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Screening Suggestions

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
What questions do you ask when screening buyers?

I'm getting a sudden onslaught of interest (3 calls in 2 days, plus a couple last week) and I have a feeling that some (not all) are Christmas buyers. Now some Christmas buying is ok, but I know gift giving isn't. How do you screen those really interested from those who had a whim? Particularly for cross-country interests where you can't actually meet the person.

I may not have kittens right now but am helping out my breeder by advertising her kittens on my site so I still have to deal with buyers before I send them to her. Good experience anyway before I have my own babies.

Anyway suggestions are greatly appreciated!
post #2 of 15
Ask them how long they have been looking at the breed and if it is a "gift" is it for someone who lives in the house and will be part of picking up kitty or out... I am looking and have been for around 8 months , yes I am picky lol I want a male

i am not a breeder but thats the first ?? that came to mind since I have been asked..
post #3 of 15
The easy answer is to screen them exactly the way you'd screen at any other time of year. Make sure you find out who the cat is for ("self" or "family" is good, "kids" is okay, "third cousin twice removed whom I see once a year at the holiday get-together" is NOT fine!).

One thing that is popular is to offer people a "gift certificate" redeemable in the week after Christmas. Suggest that they put the cat supplies under the Christmas tree and go as a family to pick up the new cat during the next week when there is no Christmas morning craziness and the kids are off from school and often the parents have taken some time off from work too.
post #4 of 15
I usually asked about any other cats they have or have had in the past. Were these cats inside or outside? How long did they live and what did they die of? What kind of food are you planning on feeding? Do you have kids? Ages of them? Dogs, other pets? Why they wanted my breed (rex)? Did they want a pet or interested in showing? Male/female? Colors?

Since I bred rexes, I was cautious about "allergies" and the cats for the reason they wanted one. I would not sell to families with young children because rexes are not big cats and could be easily hurt. I also had in my contract they had to be indoor cats and spayed/neutered by a certain age (among other things).

I would never plan on having a litter ready to go around Christmas time - only in the spring/summer or early fall. I would never sell to anyone wanting a "present" for themselves or others - not a spur of the moment thing.
post #5 of 15
I have found that many families will bring a new pet into the house around the Christmas holidays and for me, that it fine - so long as it is a family decision and everyone understands that a pet isn't something to be unwrapped on Christmas and then discarded when there is no longer interest. Just make certain your people understand that if they can no longer provide the appropriate care to the animal or that if for any reason they no longer want or love the animal as they should, they can bring the kitten right back to you no questions asked - at NO time should they EVER consider dropping off at a shelter.
post #6 of 15
I like what Gayef said. The way I look at it, any home that I would accept in May I will also accept in December. If the kids have been begging for a pet and Mom and Dad decide they're ready as a family, then I don't have a problem with the cat(s) being a Christmas gift for the kids.

If the cat is a gift for an adult or someone who does not live in the same household, then I tell the inquirer that they are more than welcome to pay the adoption fee as their "gift" to the recipient, but the recipient has to be the one to go through the application process and be approved as a home. Most of the time people are fine with this once the rationale is explained. It's a little less "fun" than a surprise but it's better for everyone in the long run.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well one person resulted in buying a kitten (not for Christmas, he just wanted a bengal). The other person is a buyer in progress. The other person wasn't interested upon finding out there were no retired adults. So no difficult situations yet.

I've been learning a lot in the process. Actually I've learned a great deal about HCM recently through all of this too.

Thanks for everyones advice!
post #8 of 15
The rescues I am involved with don't home over Christmas due to the noise, extra people etc that is involved with Christmas - too much for a new cat, and a lot of potential for the cat to escape. We don't have a prob with them reserving the cat and picking it up in teh new year though.
post #9 of 15
I was pretty strict in selling my kittens. But I always had a waiting list for them. The kittens were sold before they were born. When showing my alter, I'd have a "next litter list" with me and those that were interested would sign it and I'd give approximate dates on kittens that were planned (including colors expected).
post #10 of 15
I have each buyer fill out this questionnaire:
Will the cat be for breeding, pet, or show?
The name address and phone number of your vet, please.
Are you over the age of 18?
Do you rent? I will need a letter form the landlord that shows you have permission to keep pets there.
Is the kitten for you or someone else?
Is anyone in your home allergic to cats or have Asthma?
Have you ever returned a cat/kitten and for what reason?
Do you have live plants in your home and are they poisonous to cats?
What are your feelings on de-clawing?
Will the cat/kitten be spayed/neutered?
Will the cat/kitten be an indoor or outdoor kitty?
Who will bathe, comb, scoop the litter box, and feed your cat?
Why a Persian cat? Have you owned a Persian cat before?
What other pets do you own?
How long do you think cats live?
Who will care for your cat if you become ill or injured?
Do you or anyone smoke in your home?

This often weeds out those who can't be bothered to get me the information. I also have a three paged contract that covers their care, and forbids the cat from being declawed, left outside, or rehomed with out contacting me first.

I ask lots of questions, and encourage them to ask as well. I make sure they understand that Persians shed, a lot, and that they need toys and a scratching post for thier health and well being. I contact their vet and ask questions like "Would you say they give their animals average, above average, or excellent care of their pets" and general information about the care or frequency of visits. Do they purchase flea or heartworm meds ect.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonLady
I have each buyer fill out this questionnaire:
Will the cat be for breeding, pet, or show?
The name address and phone number of your vet, please.
Are you over the age of 18?
Do you rent? I will need a letter form the landlord that shows you have permission to keep pets there.
Is the kitten for you or someone else?
Is anyone in your home allergic to cats or have Asthma?
Have you ever returned a cat/kitten and for what reason?
Do you have live plants in your home and are they poisonous to cats?
What are your feelings on de-clawing?
Will the cat/kitten be spayed/neutered?
Will the cat/kitten be an indoor or outdoor kitty?
Who will bathe, comb, scoop the litter box, and feed your cat?
Why a Persian cat? Have you owned a Persian cat before?
What other pets do you own?
How long do you think cats live?
Who will care for your cat if you become ill or injured?
Do you or anyone smoke in your home?

This often weeds out those who can't be bothered to get me the information. I also have a three paged contract that covers their care, and forbids the cat from being declawed, left outside, or rehomed with out contacting me first.

I ask lots of questions, and encourage them to ask as well. I make sure they understand that Persians shed, a lot, and that they need toys and a scratching post for thier health and well being. I contact their vet and ask questions like "Would you say they give their animals average, above average, or excellent care of their pets" and general information about the care or frequency of visits. Do they purchase flea or heartworm meds ect.
I find it hard because there is a very thin line between finding the best home for your cats and making the person feeling like you are being too nosey. Not to mention, alot of people lie about stuff.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45
I was pretty strict in selling my kittens. But I always had a waiting list for them. The kittens were sold before they were born. When showing my alter, I'd have a "next litter list" with me and those that were interested would sign it and I'd give approximate dates on kittens that were planned (including colors expected).
I don't know how long ago you bred but at this day and age very rarely does anyone want to wait any amount of time for anything! Especially in California!!
post #13 of 15
And especially at Christmas!
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the suggestions! I know the local rottie rescue has a questionaire very similar to the one mentioned. Its better to be on the safe side I guess.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by gayef
And especially at Christmas!
Isn't that the truth!!
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