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I want to see the kitten before I choose

If you are wondering what is the right cat for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about purring and learning.

  
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~Purrcy ~- Meohmy

I AM- MARSHMELLOW CAT!
 
 
Purred: Sun Feb 26, '12 6:24pm PST 
I have been in touch with a breeder (Maine Coon) for several months. I love her kittens - they are beautiful!
Her momcat just had a litter last Thurs and the breeder e-mailed me that she had one red kitten (I like the orangies) and said if I wanted the kitten she requires a $100 deposit to hold the kitten for me.
I messaged her back and said I would be happy to send the deposit, but until I "met" the kitten I couldn't make a decision.
She in turn messaged me and said she would not accept my deposit unless I committed to taking the kitten first.
I know some people "buy" kittens and have them shipped to them sight unseen, but is this normal protocol?
I feel uncertain about what to do.
Anyone??
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Bodrouex

all you need is- love
 
 
Purred: Sun Feb 26, '12 10:39pm PST 
I am also a breeder, not MC but whatever; it is entirely normal to get a deposit up front without seeing the kitten. That is because we get so many people claiming that they will come on so and so date, but never show up, or otherwise avt very interested but don't follow up. I have to say, $100 is as low as I've ever heard of. When I take a deposit, you pick the kitten from pictures and my description if you don't live locally and don't want to travel here, or even specify, for example, that you want the next male kitten out of queen x and stud a, or the biggest female from the 'next' litter, or 'next show quality boy" whatever. If you decide you don't like the kitten selected, I do apply your deposit to another kitten or put you on a waiting list for the one you want and give you first choice of the next kitten of the type you are looking for. . We do NOT give back deposits in 98% of cases, since if you don't want the kitten for whatever reason and we have not been marketing it, it is rapidly aging out of the age cat most buyers want and often end up keeping thwm several more months before the right home comes along. That costs time, money, and space that we didn't plan on. The few deposits I've returned were extreme circumstances; for instance I only have one queen that can produce dilute colors, so I had a buyer that put a deposit on one as soon as we bred her. So--this week the queen delivered, but not the color desired. I had already told the man that if such a thing happened, I would return his deposit check, which I never took to the bank. I felt in this case it's fair because there is no way I can will have a dilute kitten for him to take home until a minimum of 8 months from now; I would never make someone wait that long.
I am sure if you made a deposit on the red cat but didn't like him when you went to visit the breeder would apply the money to a future kitten. If not, and you don't like the idea of possibly losing the deposit, find another breeder that will be more flexible. I just would not ever expect to find a quality breeder who will hold with no deposit or that would agree to give money back without extreme circumstances.

If someone does not wish to make a deposit but prefers to wait until the kittens are bigger to come visit and choose, that is fine also. But in that case, you have to understand that if someone else calls and wants to put a down payment on the kitten you 'might' want, then I will take that deposit and you will have to wait.
Unfortunately, if the lady tells three other people they can't get the red tabby because she is holding it for you to come see, she is taking a big risk that she will end up with NO new home if you don't like him, so this is how the system works.
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Bert (Miss- You!- '88-'07)

Brrrrrrrt!

moderator
 
 
Purred: Mon Feb 27, '12 2:10am PST 
We've never bought from a breeder, but....it seems like this person wouldn't charge a bunch of money up front unless there was something to hide. "I won't even let you meet a kitten unless you pay $100 -- nonrefundable!" sounds like they're attempting to charge you for something that they know you won't want.

The shelters and rescues we've worked with in the past have not only not charged to meet a kitten, they've let potential adopters take cats home for a trial period before committing to adoption.

If you're determined to buy a cat with papers, though, you might have to deal with the "up front" expense to meet a potential purchase.


Bumpurr

RESPECT The- Star!
 
 
Purred: Mon Feb 27, '12 4:07am PST 
I picked out Bump, at 6 weeks, well rather, he picked me. I gave the breeder a cash deposit, and took him home at 8 weeks. When I told her that I was looking for a red kitten, with white paws and a white chest, long story, a yr later, she said I will call you when I get one. 2 yrs later, she called. She said he was just born, he is the only one in the litter, and I will hold him for you, until he is 8 weeks old, you have first refusal. She didn;t even want a deposit, she said he is yours if you want him. That was Cowboy, I took him home that day.

What Rory's mommy has described, is more for the show people that run heavy, looking for points and a championship kitty. They are familiar with that line, and want a kitten from that line, and will put a deposit on one, sight unseen.

I do see Rory's mommy;s point, but your not looking for a heavy duty show kitten. Suppose you don't like the kitten in person, or the kitten doesn't like you. I highly recommend, that if the breeder won't let you see the kitten in person first, and see both parents, and the house, per say, where the kittens are cared for, what their surroundings are, how they are treated and handled, that is a huge huge red flag. Like we discussed, being that they are MC's you absolutly want to see that the parents have been tested for HCM, and, see their registration papers.

Ask her, if the parents have been tested for HCM, if she says no, run run run. Ask her, what is her contingency plan, if the kitten develops HCM. If she don't know, or blows you off, run run run. The HCM, is not something Rory's mommy would be dealing with. I lived it first hand, can you imagine, being told, your 10 month old kitten, will not live past 1 yr old?

I would keep looking, for another breeder, that will let you look at the kittens first, that is not an unreasonable request, and they did an article in Cat Fancy, awhile back, and it gave red flags, of what to look out for. Not being able to see the kittens in person, before, you give a deposit, is a huge huge red flag, as the other poster said. waveway to gohug
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~Purrcy ~- Meohmy

I AM- MARSHMELLOW CAT!
 
 
Purred: Mon Feb 27, '12 11:59am PST 
I absolutely understand that the breeder doesn't want to turn down a sure thing to hold a kitten for me on the chance I might not like the kitten for some reason. I wouldn't expect a refund of my deposit, but it doesn't sound like she would apply the deposit to a future kitten,if the kitten didn't appeal to me - or if I didn't appeal to the kitten.
But I can't see personality in a picture (or maybe not as much as I would like to). I like to try to engage a kitten to learn a little bit about his or her personality before I make a decision.
In November I went to look at a kitten, but decided that because we didn't engage and I was a bit taken aback by the breeder's feeding program ("I just get the cheapest food I can find at Walmart") AND the adults that I saw at her home had poor coats and seemed, in general,to be in less than optimal condition. I didn't think that kitten was right for me.
Bump I messaged her back and said that I was still interested but needed some questions answered including HCM testing and what her health guarantee entails, before I could make a decision. I guess I could commit to taking the kitten sight unseen, if I have too.
And I can certainly understand her position of not allowing people in to see the kittens before first shots...no one wants their cattery exposed to folks who might be carrying diseases from their pets at home. She has not answered my message as of yet.
And Bodroeux I agree that $100 is a low deposit price. A few months I offered ago to send a deposit on a future kitten but she refused saying she only accepts a deposit once a litter is born. So she wants a committed deposit on each kitten, I guess. It is her cattery, and her business and I can't tell her how to run it, but I think most folks would like to see the kitten in person before purchasing. These kittens are not cheap either - she gets $650 for females and $850 for males.I don't mind paying that much for a quality kitten, but I'd really like to see what I'm paying for before I make a decision.
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Bumpurr

RESPECT The- Star!
 
 
Purred: Mon Feb 27, '12 4:37pm PST 
She should be telling you, the price difference is for pet quality kittens and show quality kittens, as well as males and females. If she doesn't, she is most likely, a back yard breeder, and doesn't show, which means, she most likely, does not test for HCM.

If, you decide to get this kitten, sight unseen, and she tells you she has tested for HCM and that the parents are negative, tell her you want this in writing, and tell her, you want it in writing, what her procedure is, should the kitten develop HCM. If she refuses, run run run. Remember, it can skip a generation, and it can affect only one kitten in the litter. Males are more prone, but females can get it too.

Tell her ya got a friend, that got a kitten, that has HCM, and said friend, demanded, every cat in his background be tested, to see where it came from, and that there are still lawsuits going on. See how she reacts to that. You can also tell her, said friend will be helping you, should said kitten develop HCM. laugh out loud

PM me who your looking at, if I know them, I will tell you they are safe. waveway to gohug
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~Purrcy ~- Meohmy

I AM- MARSHMELLOW CAT!
 
 
Purred: Mon Feb 27, '12 5:39pm PST 
Will do Bump, although I think I sent her site to you before. thanks for watching out for me!!applause
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Pandora

go getter kitter
 
 
Purred: Mon Feb 27, '12 8:12pm PST 
Bert, I guess I didn't understand that she won't even let you LOOK without a deposit! that is just wrong n my opinion. I hope the new breeder you are looking at now is not the one with the bdraggled cats eating cheap food. I spend hours daily making ure my cats are clean and taken care of and it is a LOT of work. I DO welcome anyone come here, at the drop of a hat, as do my Burm breeder friends. I don't care if you come when the litter is an hour old, as long as it's one of our 'happy' queens (one here is not) You do have to wash up, but you can look. And if you have interest in the kitten, you can take your chances and hope nobody puts money down on him ,that is also fine. Bump, this isn't just for show kittens, it's for any kitten we breed , period. We don't "run our cats heavy' whatever that refers to, and very few go to show homes even if the quality is there. I do it and every purebred breeder I know does the same. The deposit is only about 20% of the kitten price, and i think that's fair, it's not a huge amount. We don't hold kittens for people that might not even show up, or those that call, call, call and waant the kitten held then start changing their minds etc. We do NOT make people we already know well or who have gotten kittens before do all this, unless for instance we have 2 people wanting the same kitten, then it's who puts money down first. . However--we do not charge money just to look! If you don't want to do the deposit, that's fine. But if you have 'an eye on' a kitten, whether you came here in person or just saw the picture online, and want us to promise not to let someone else have that kitten, guaranteed, you have to pay the deposit. We have a brand new litter of kittens, IF you want to call it that; it's a 'litter' of ONE laugh out loud We had a person who wanted, specifically, a female from that litter, it will not be a show cat. But to ensure getting the kitten from that mom, they paid me a deposit. good thing, as there is a choice of only one. If they don't like the ktten for whatyever reason, they can wait until that queen or any other has a litter. The thing is, I now have other callers, and i'm havint to tell them no, we have no sable female kittens available. The people who paid the deposit will not be coming to see the kitten until her eyes open. They will probably be visiting weekly as they live within an hour, and I;m sure they will love her, how could they not. But if they SHOULD suddenly come up when the kitten is 8=10 weeks old, and they suddenly don't want her just...because, then the paid deposit just goes onto a future kitten, and I have to hurry up and do photos, put out the word etc that I have a kitten that really needs to go to a family --within 3 weeks. And we do not sell to just anyone.
Possibly it's done differently with more common breeds--if so i apologise, not trying to be a smarty britches. (oops, I AM a smarty britches!)Unsure what breed Bump is, or how many are around. have heard you mention he is NOT Maine Coon, so his particular breed may be done differently as well. I know there are not that many Burmese breeders compared to MC, Siamese, Persian etc. and for darn certain very very few Bombay breeders so that may have something to do with why my breeds are handled the way they are.
I also feel that requiring deposits helps weed out someone who might otherwise buy a kitten on a whim and somehow get past my interrogation; my cats are not toys and I want them to be loved and cherished and I think having to do the deposit makes a potential owner think about it more, and no doubt weeds out silly twits that will chunk the kitten aside when it gets 6 months old.

Edited by author Mon Feb 27, '12 8:33pm PST

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Bumpurr

RESPECT The- Star!
 
 
Purred: Tue Feb 28, '12 4:12am PST 
Bump is 1/2 Maine Coon, 1/2 Ragdoll, comes from registered Maine Coon show parents and registered Rag Doll show parents. His Maine Coon side is a championship line. Maine Coons and Ragdolls are both prone to HCM. His was traced back to his Maine Coon grandmother. He shows HHP, he was in first place in his Region, at 10 months old, when he was diagnosed with HCM, and my vet pulled him from the circuit. I have had judges tell me, he is Maine Coon, some even downright called me a liar. One lady, who in her words, said she has the top Maine Coon in the country, and "that" is a Maine Coon! Even said she was going to tell her friend, one of the judges at that show. Said judge, who always finaled him and placed him high, did not final him at that show, and has not since.

So ya, I guess I do know what I am talking about, mol. laugh out loudwaveway to gohug

Rory might want to start getting nervous, now, the big man is hard to beat, some even fear him. shockkissinghug
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Pandora

go getter kitter
 
 
Purred: Tue Feb 28, '12 6:20am PST 
You don't know what you are talking about if you think he beats me! (no tongue stickin out smiley? We need one) )So would Bump have counted as a Ragamuffin if they had been recognized when he was born? No, just wanted to get clear here, and the procedure is different among different groups of breeders regarding deposits, payments, etc. For someone like you who was getting 2nd or 3rd cats, heck no, no deposit. Shoot, if YOU wanted a shortie hair, dark sweet chocolate cat we wouldn't make you do a deposit either. These things are flexible to some exrtent. For example, we do make a blanket statement that NO kittens leave unaltered. But for someone that we KNOW will do the right things, we will think about it, obviously Meowma was 'let in". (And we ask YOU if you want a breeder cat, not the other way around, and only after our breeder group has had discussion about you)
I guess, for the OP, I would say look around at other MC catteries, even ones too far away or with the wrong color cats, that have good reputations and have been at it a while. See what their policy is, and after looking at 10 or 12 you will know what's considered normal. I know with a couple of very rare breeds, it's not uncommon for anyone who wants one to voluntarily pay half or more up front when no kitts are due anytime soon.
Bump by the way pawmailing you with a totally OT subject

Edited by author Tue Feb 28, '12 6:22am PST

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