Ensuring Ethical Cat Breeding: Key Questions to Ask a Cat Breeder

Choosing a reputable cat breeder is paramount when considering adding a purebred feline companion to your family. While many breeders are dedicated to preserving and improving their chosen breed, others may prioritize profit over the well-being of their cats. To ensure you’re supporting ethical breeding practices and promoting the preservation of cat breeds, it’s essential to ask the right questions when evaluating potential breeders. Here are some key inquiries to help you discern whether a breeder is genuinely committed to preserving the breed:

  1. What Is Your Breeding Philosophy? Start by asking the breeder about their overarching breeding philosophy. A responsible breeder will prioritise the health, temperament, and breed standards of their cats above financial gain. Look for breeders who are passionate about preserving the integrity of the breed and improving its overall quality.
  2. Can I Visit Your Cattery? Requesting a visit to the breeder’s cattery is a crucial step in assessing their breeding practices. A reputable breeder will welcome prospective buyers to tour their facilities, meet their cats, and observe their living conditions firsthand. Pay attention to the cleanliness, organization, and overall welfare of the cats in the cattery. There are some breeders that wont allow visits unless you are definitly going to be purchasing a kitten from them. Breeders can be fooled by some who just want to pat and play with their cats, and are not actually interesting in buying a kitten so be kind if they initially say no. You can also see if you can do a facetime or video call.
  3. Are Your Cats Health Tested? Inquire about the breeder’s health testing protocols for their breeding cats. Responsible breeders conduct thorough health screenings to identify and eliminate hereditary health conditions within their breeding lines. Ask for documentation of health tests, such as screenings for genetic disorders, heart conditions, and infectious diseases.
  4. Do You Provide Lifetime Support for Your Kittens? A reputable breeder doesn’t just sell you a kitten and disappear—they offer ongoing support and guidance throughout the cat’s life. Ask the breeder about their policies regarding kitten care, behavior advice, and assistance with any health or behavioral issues that may arise. Look for breeders who prioritise the well-being of their kittens even after they leave the cattery. Most breeders will also have a policy that if for any reason you are unable to continue to care for that cat, that they must return to the breeder for rehoming. This allows the breeders to know where all of their kittens are located.
  5. Are You Involved in Cat Shows or Breed Associations? Breeders who are actively involved in cat shows and breed associations are more likely to be dedicated to preserving and promoting the breed’s standards and characteristics. Inquire about the breeder’s participation in breed clubs, competitions, and other breed-related activities. This involvement demonstrates a commitment to breed preservation and improvement.
  6. Can You Provide References from Previous Buyers? Request references from past buyers who have adopted kittens from the breeder. Hearing firsthand experiences from satisfied customers can give you valuable insights into the breeder’s reputation, professionalism, and the quality of their cats. Look for breeders who have a track record of happy and satisfied customers.
  7. Do You Spay/Neuter ? Responsible breeders must include spay/neuter as part of the sales agreements to help control the cat population and prevent irresponsible breeding. Ask the breeder about their spay/neuter policies and at what age a kitten is spay/neutered. Boys should be no earlier than 10 weeks and girls 14 weeks or more. You should not be allowed to take your kitten home with you until this is done. In south australia it is legistlation that any cat sold that is not sold into a breeding program be desexed.

By asking these essential questions and carefully evaluating the breeder’s responses, you can make an informed decision and support ethical breeding practices that prioritize the well-being and preservation of cat breeds. Remember, responsible breeding is about more than just producing kittens—it’s about safeguarding the future of beloved cat breeds for generations to come.

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