Wonderful pedigree Siberian kittens sometimes available to loving INDOOR ONLY homes.
To go on my waiting list you will be required to pay a non refundable deposit of £100 to secure a place. (this comes off the overall cost of a kitten). On choosing your kitten a further £100 is required to reserve them and the balance payable on collection.
Sorry I no longer accept waiting list enquiries without a deposit.
Please contact me via my website !

Allergy testing available on request for a small fee

WARNING! Scammers on free advertising sites selling so called pedigree kittens for cheap, do not approach these people and go only to a registered breeder. I have also noticed people selling very young unvaccinated, unregistered kittens for cheap on these sites, again these type of kittens do not make great pets and are far to young to be rehomed, they most likely won't be purebred siberians either!

Information on my website 'adopting a kitten page' on why you should choose a reputable, registered breeder.

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Choosing a kitten

Well it is the time of year again when kittens will start to be born and lots of adverts will be appearing online. But how do i choose a kitten? How do i know it is the right one for me?
Important questions to ask and it can be very difficult to know what you are getting from just a picture. You will see from my previous post 'how to choose a breeder' that alot can be learnt in advance from research. I firmly believe it is not about just choosing a kitten but more choosing a breeder. I will not go into great detail again about what makes a good breeder because it has already been discussed but the success in finding the right kitten is mainly down to finding the right breeder with the correct knowledge of feline husbandry and welfare/behaviour etc
Most owners only know what colour,sex of kitten they want. They may have an idea of the temperament they want also but the last point is very difficult to determine on your own without the breeders help.
Some people prefer to look online and get a kitten from an advert without knowing much about the breeder. Others prefer to get to know the breeder before deciding where or what kitten they want. Some may choose a breeder local to them.
Some join a waiting list once they have chosen a breeder they feel is best able to provide a healthy, well balanced kitten.

I feel the latter approach is the best way to sucess for the following reasons.

You get the chance to research the breeder and a feel for what they are like and have to offer way before any kittens are available.
You get to follow births and development which providing the breeder is knowledgeable allows them to choose the correct kitten for you whilst taking into consideration your requirements. Like it or not a good breeder is best placed to help you choose.
It is not about just picking a kitten you think is pretty if you want a lifelong companion who will be happy in your home. This is probably the most important point.
You get a sense of contentment in following your kittens development with regular updates and even visits well before adoption.
You get alot more choice if you are prepared to wait.
Temperaments should be assessed around 8 wks when they are more developed. A breeder will also have more knowledge about their health at this point.
Choosing a kitten before this age makes it impossible. Even within a litter there will be subtle differences in temper and a good breeder should be able to pick up on this. No matter what a breeder says their kittens will not all have the same temper. There will always be slight differences. This is just a ploy to get you to reserve a kitten asap.
Reserving from birth is not suitable for the above reasons plus the first 3 wks of life are critical. Alot can happen in this time. Getting attached now only to find something very serious has happened leads to alot of heartache.

I am astonished sometimes at the number of adverts online for kittens from people who are not even registered or the amount of messages from people asking have you got any kittens without having spoken to me. However there will always be those who want a kitten now and are prepared to take the risk if just buying online.
So ideally choosing your breeder is the best way to choose your kitten because they should help you pick the right one for your needs. A cat can be with you for 15+yrs. You need to make the right choice.  Kittens are generally not chosen in person. They do not choose you. As a stranger you will not see their true nature. Only the breeder who the kitten trusts will have knowledge on this. Cats take time to get to know new people.

However if you do not want to wait and join a list and prefer to take the risk online. What can you do to safe guard yourself?

Firstly you need to determine if the kitten actually exists and it is not just a scam.
Does the person have a website and are they registered? If so this is a good sign  but does not guarantee an ethical breeder. Some big scammers have in the past gone to the extreme length of creating a fake website to appear genuine.
Do they seem knowledgeable when you speak to the breeder? Ask questions about the breeder. How the kitten is reared. Are the kittens health checked, vaccinated etc. Are the parents screened for disease. Can they be seen etc..are they registered and who with?
Ask if you can speak to someone who can provide a reference i.e the breeders vet.

If at this point you are happy they are genuine you need to visit before buying the kitten. Never have them dropped off at a public place or your home without first seeing the breeders home.

Kittens should not leave before 12 wks of age. They should have 2 vet checks at vaccine times. Wormed and flea treated as a bare minimum. The kitten should have registration documents aswell as a pedigree as this is your proof they are 100% siberian and not just a look alike. Even if just a pet still ask for these. You may not be given them until proof of neutering but you should be able to see them. Is there a contract of care and health guarantees/aftercare advice etc.
None of this? Then walk away.

On visiting the kittens at first they may be wary of strangers but with toys and a gentle approach should approach you and be alert. Hiding the whole time or lethergic. Not good.

Do the kittens and home appear clean? Bright eyes. No dirty eyes, ears, back end, bald patches in fur , dull coat etc. No sneezing or nasal discharge.
Try and handle them. Do they feel a healthy weight or are they boney?  What are they being fed. It should be a good quality kitten food and not supermarket sold food. If you know someone with knowledge of cats and experience assessing these things (especially if you are a new cat owner) ask if they can go with you to assess the kitten and home. A good breeder will not mind.
Is mum present? Kittens should be with mum. Not everyone has their own males but if they do ask to see dad also.

Unless you are a veterinary professional it can be a minefield but if you research what to look for in a healthy pedigree kitten you can then use your gut instinct to determine if you are happy.

Kittens should be bred in the home not outside. The breeder should be concious of disease control so might ask you to remove shoes and coat. Use hand gel etc before entering the kitten area. They should not be letting you handle very young kittens (under 8 wks) as they are more prone to picking up bugs from strangers.

Never buy a kitten because you feel sorry for them. It will only result in heartache and perpetuates the problem of bad breeders. If a bad breeder cannot sell their cats they will think twice about producing more. If you are concerned over welfare you can report them to the rspca.

If no questions are asked of you and they are only concerned about money this is an awful sign. Any decent breeder will ask alot of questions because they care about where there kitten is going. If they are not happy they may refuse to let you adopt.
Do they have a care contract and health guarantees? Do they provide aftercare advice? A good breeder should have atleast 12 month health guarantee if not longer. Most hereditary issues occur by the age of 5yrs. I personally offer a 5yr health guarantee but this will vary from breeder to breeder.
Ask to see parents health screening. I.e HCM pkd pkdef. Fiv/felv etc. They should either have it to hand or be able to obtain records from their vet.

How much is the kitten? You do get what you pay for and will not get excellent standards on the cheap. To rear a litter correctly whilst looking after the parents and screening for disease is expensive. It is also very time consuming. When i have kittens it takes over my life.lol Some also neuter and chip all their kittens. This will be reflected in the cost. I would always be prepared to pay more for a kitten with a good health guarantee from health screened parents because if anything does go wrong you have the peace of mind of knowing you will get another kitten.
Prices range from £700-£1200 from what i have seen..it is a huge price difference and reflects the standards you are getting.  However do not pay top price for a kitten that has no health guarantees and comes only with vaccines. For that price you should get gold standard and everything done. Some will try and exploit you by charging more than they should be.
People in it for money do not care and will have very poor standards. Everything will be done cheaply including what they feed.  They will rehome early to avoid vet expenses and may even lie about kitten age.
Your kittens first couple of months is very important to the rest of their life. You cannot correct a bad start no matter how good an owner you are. Behaviourally it will imprint badly on the cat.

Personally as a veterinary professional i advise any new owner to choose their breeder not just choose a cat from an advert. Get the breeder right and you will not have to worry about any of the above because a good, knowledgeable breeder will do everything correctly and your kitten will have the best possible start in life.
If you are considering buying a kitten but have concerns i am more than happy to advise you. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
Only by educating yourself can we combat the issue of bad breeders and help the feline population as a whole.

No comments:

Post a Comment