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Spotting a good kitten

(25 Posts)
Teapot74 Sun 05-Jan-14 09:04:07

Similar to other post I'm afraid. We are looking for 2 kittens. We are set on having kittens rather than rehoming an adult. I have been looking at pedigree and non pedigree on the usual websites and have found some bsh. to visit on Monday. Can someone advise me as to how I will know if they are good kittens? They are £450 but £550 if registered. Is that standard practice or a way to rip off the buyer? I would have thought that if paying pedigree prices the cat should come with a pedigree??? What is a reasonable deposit for the breeder to ask for?

cozietoesie Sun 05-Jan-14 10:57:49

I don't understand the '£550 if registered', Teapot. If you're buying a pedigree kitten, they should be registered by the breeder although they will likely be registered as 'Non-Active'. (Not for breeding.)

Have you had a recommendation for this breeder? And why BSH out of interest?

FeelingTheFire Sun 05-Jan-14 11:32:33

What do you mean by "good kitten"? Do you mean a decent breeder or personality wise.

Where did you find out about this breeder? Can you find reviews or anything online? I would have thought they would have been registered.

Is the Mum on the active register?

Teapot74 Sun 05-Jan-14 12:04:29

The extra £100 for registering is something I have seen a few times. I want a cat bred by a reputable breeder for form and temperament. I don't want to pay top dollar for a kitten from someone who is just out to make money. It's so difficult!

lookatmybutt Sun 05-Jan-14 12:27:22

Get a rescue, not a posh cat.

Lots of unwanted cats are euthanised every year.

Kittens are cute, but they only look teenie and adorable like that for 5 months or so.

With an slightly older cat (say 1 or 2 years) they have a more developed personality and it will be easier to tell if they will fit with your family or not. You cannot train a kitten to have the personality you desire, for the most part.

'Form' (breed standards) is only necessary if you're going to show. Many of these for certain breeds can increase the likelihood of serious ongoing health complaints. If you are interested in a certain breed, have you even bothered to look up breed standards for it to see how much money it may cost you in vet fees above the usual cat problems?

As for temperament, it's mostly a load of arse. Cats are mostly too genetically similar to have set temperaments across any one breed. The only exceptions I'd say would be Siamese, Burmese, Maine Coon, Ragdoll having certain temperaments, but that's purely down to my own personal experience of these breeds and is not scientific fact. There also may be health issues involved that produce particular temperaments.

If you want something pretty to look at, get a nice picture or a sculpture.

MinimalistMommi Sun 05-Jan-14 12:32:16

If you want a breed get a breed, or a 'posh' cat as poster said above. I'm looking for a kitten Ragdoll and I'm finding it hard to know how to look for a breeder I can trust so I'll be watching this thread.

TheBunsOfPanettone Sun 05-Jan-14 13:16:19

I don't want to pay top dollar for a kitten from someone who is just out to make money. It's so difficult!

Then don't - approach a rescue instead. It's very unlikely you'd end up with a specific breed but a decent rescue won't be out to make money and will go to a good deal of trouble to match you and your family with compatible kittens. There will be a rehoming fee to pay, likely in the region of £80-120 per kitten, to cover pre-adoption care and medical costs.

A rescue will likely have a clause in the adoption contract requiring you to return the kittens to them if for some reason, things don't work out. I have no experience of cat breeders so I don't know whether it's standard practice for responsible breeders to stipulate a similar arrangement but if they don't and the adoption doesn't work out, you then end up adding to the sadly high numbers of unwanted felines.

As someone else mentioned the really cute kitten stage doesn't last long. Cats live increasingly long lives, sometimes developing health problems in their senior years, so can become pretty high maintenance in terms of care and medical costs.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 05-Jan-14 13:32:34

Hmm I wouldn't get BSH if I was looking for really good temperament I have had two neither have been that nice the current one is horrid he bit my foot the other day badly. I have noticed that their temperaments are getting worse and in the clinic they are either nasty or very, very timid. If you. Are looking for good temperament and pretty I would look at any oriental Siamese and Burmese first.
By far and away my nicest cats have been female rescue moggies particularly ones who have been kitten making machines prior to rescue they really appreciate a warm, comfy home.

Teapot74 Sun 05-Jan-14 15:31:20

lonecatwithkitten, thanks for input re temperament. I do understand what people are saying re rescue cats but also do not think there is anything wrong with wanting a kitten and if we want a certain look and am willing to pay for it there is nothing wrong with that either. I am seeking advice into how to go about this in such a way that we get what we want without supporting an ill thought out backyard moneymaking breeding programme. If I can find kittens in a rescue centre that appeal to us I am more than happy to save several hundred pounds, there just aren't any out there at the moment.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 05-Jan-14 15:45:03

Teapot this is not the best time of year as cats are still most seasonally poly oestrus so cycle less between October and March. This will mean if you can wait till the spring you will have a much better choice of kittens.
What you are looking for is well socialised kittens who have been exposed to a wide variety of people and noises.

mmmuffins Sun 05-Jan-14 16:13:18

They are £450 but £550 if registered. Is that standard practice or a way to rip off the buyer?

They are ripping you off. Pedigree kittens should always be registered. Charging extra money for "registration" is a way to trick you into thinking you're getting a good deal for the unregistered kitten. Registration costs something like £15 per kitten! It is most likely they cannot register the kittens at all. Some cat registries like GCCF require breeding cats to be registered as "active." If your breeding cat is not "active," it is not allowed to be bred from. Any kittens bred from an non-active cat cannot be registered. The people breeding these cats are "backyard breeders," and I can almost guarantee they wont be doing any health screens on their cats.

I think it's so great that you want your kitten to come from a responsible breeder but to make sure this happens you will need to do some research. It is really important to be an informed consumer here, for both your benefit and the cats'.

I think first you need to narrow down what breed you want. What traits will suit your family? Active, energetic cat, or mellow cat? Do you mind a long haired cat that sheds loads and needs brushing or would you prefer short hair? Will incessant meowing drive you up the wall or will you find it endearing that your cat talks to you? Etc. There are some online quizzes you can fill out that will give you breed suggestions.

MinimalistMommi Sun 05-Jan-14 16:19:48

If it helps OP, Ragdolls are meant to be very good with children and are very loving, a bit like a cat version of a dog but on the other hand they can be quite demanding from what I've read. They're indoors cats and need someone who is home a lot so wouldn't be much good if you're out at work Monday to Friday otherwise they would get lonely. I know I wants Ragdoll but I'm so worried about how to find someone who is not a 'backyard' breeder!

MinimalistMommi Sun 05-Jan-14 16:30:20

Should mention though that Ragdolls can suffer from heart conditions.

mmmuffins Sun 05-Jan-14 16:40:32

Minimalist I would start with reading about what a good breeder looks like, for example: The more information you are armed with, the easier you will be able to discern a breeder who is doing things right. When you are ready to start visiting breeders, the breed club often has a list: Don't be afraid to ask questions and ask to see paperwork, a good breeder will be happy to show you these things.

bishboschone Sun 05-Jan-14 16:44:29

We have three cats , two were from gypsys and were going to be drowned . They are the most loving boys ever... Our younger cat that is my dd s was from a posh breeder and she is a cow bag , beautiful but very aloof and only likes my dd . To the point were she hisses and spits at us when we walk past her . I love her but she jut doesn't love me . When we went to see her she was friendly and has never been treated badly ( I have a younger son but he knows to be gentle with her ) what I'm trying to say is you jut don't know. However my friends has rag dolls and they all have fabulous personalities so maybe worth a look at them .

FeelingTheFire Sun 05-Jan-14 19:01:02

With kittens I don't think you can instantly tell if they have a fantastic temperament (despite a breeder telling you) - they're going to be too young to really tell (if you're going to have them between 8-12 weeks). It takes time to get to know them, to let them discover their own personalities and in turn temperament. It depends how they've been treated so far and how they're continued to be brought up to discover what their temperament is really like.

umiaisha Mon 06-Jan-14 12:33:12

We have a BSH girl which we bought from a breeder. Its all very commendable getting a cat from a rescue centre but they wouldn't give us one as DS is too young (2)

We were originally going to get a persian but struggled to find a reputable breeder, so on the advice of a friend who has 2, went for a BSH. She is GCCF registered and cost £400, we have had her neutered but that wasn't a condition of sale.

She is absolutely fantastic and I couldn't have asked for a better cat for us. She is extremely affectionate, gentle and tolerant of the children and has yet to have forgotten to use the litter tray. The breeder has 2 dogs and 2 lively children so perhaps that has attributed to her laid back temprement! If you would like the breeders details please pm me (they have a website).

umiaisha Mon 06-Jan-14 12:35:00

Forgot to add our girl is very vocal, which is not typical of the breed but other than that she is no bother!

Teapot74 Mon 06-Jan-14 22:36:53

Thanks all. Think we have found what we want. Kittens with a breeder who seems to really care where they are going. From the comments here it sounds like a lottery but feel that we have done everything we can to give us the best chance. Wish us luck!

bishboschone Tue 07-Jan-14 07:05:37

It is a bit of a lottery but I would suggest you handle them as much as possible from day one .. Good luck

cozietoesie Tue 07-Jan-14 09:36:17

You might find it useful to look at the BSH Cat Club website. You'll see there (under 'BAC') their official Breeding and Registration policies which could be worth a study for you. At least then you'll know more of the right questions to ask the breeder.

Good luck.

Floralnomad Tue 07-Jan-14 15:48:47

My mum has a Ragdoll ( he's about 11 now I think) ,he came from what on paper looked like a very good breeder . He was quite expensive at the time and came registered and with insurance ,the breeder had won loads of prizes in the UK and abroad as had her parents who breed the same kind of cat .The day after we got him he collapsed and required major abdominal surgery ,it was nothing to do with the breeder but we rang her because we thought she would be interested in his health , nothing could have been further from the truth ,she couldn't distance herself fast enough and never once called us to see how he was .He required further surgery and has been left with major bowel issues and behavioural problems ( my mum thinks he was affected by the anaesthetics, I think he's just a git !) .No advice ,just a cautionary tale of cat breeders . We have always had rescue dogs / cats before and since and would not go down the pedigree route again .

Queenofknickers Wed 08-Jan-14 21:00:36

Cat sanctuary we were at the other day (Celia Hammond) had all sorts of cats including pedigree-looking ....

HMG83 Wed 08-Jan-14 21:09:12

Hehe I have a male Bengal from a breeder who is the most unaffectionate mare in the world, beautiful but very aloof and wonderfully vocal. Whilst my rescue girly, who cost me £100's in the first month due to illness is the most adorable, cute little thing in the world.

My advice....get from a rescue and insure them from day one.

Noodles123 Fri 10-Jan-14 11:18:21

I have two BSH, we had a blue before who was our absolute superstar, he was run over at 3 and we were heartbroken. We now have a cream and white and a silver tabby. Silver tabby was about the price you mention (£550), and cream/white was £350. They are IMO the absolute best breed of cat as house pets. Since we have had ours, three seperate lots of friends have also gone for BSH, and love them. One rehomed an older female who isn't as friendly, another went for a kitten who they adore, and the last rehomed two 2 year old boys who are fabulous with her riding 3 year old and now with 2 week old newborn!
I think it is difficult to tell a kitten's personality when they are 8-10 weeks old though - our blue was the most nervous as a tiny kitten. But he ended up being the most gregarious of all three, our silver tabby is very very cuddly with us but not sure of strangers (although only 9 months old so far) and our cream is, well, a bit special!! But we love him. They are all extremely gentle and loving though, and low maintenance for grooming, good with children and dogs etc. I wouldn't ever have anything else!

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