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9 Things to Do If You Want to Buy a Purebred Cat

You should never rush into buying a purebred cat. Let's talk about how to make an informed decision.

 |  Apr 23rd 2013  |   9 Contributions


I’ve said it before: No matter how much we talk about the importance of adoption and rescue, there will always be a demand for purebred cats. There will also always be profiteers trying to cash in on the demand for purebred cats. If you want a purebred cat or need one due to physical health or allergy issues, here are some important tips to help you find a healthy, well-adjusted cat of the breed you’re looking for.

LaPerm kittens by Shutterstock

1. Research the breed

Many people fall in love with the look of a purebred cat without taking into account the cat’s temperament or special needs. Bengal cats, for example, are very high-energy and need lots of exercise, while Persians need daily grooming. If your lifestyle isn’t compatible with the cat’s needs, consider a different breed.

2. Talk to people who own cats of that breed

Once you’ve decided that you’re a good fit for that breed, talk to people who live with them to find out what the experience is like. The Catster forums are a great place to connect with people who love the breed you’re considering.

Egyptian Mau cat by Shutterstock

3. Research breeders in your area

Get recommendations (or warnings) about breeders from Catster forum users or other venues where purebred cat owners get together. I think it’s best to work with a breeder in your area because you’ll be able to visit the cattery and see if the cats are in good condition and are being well-socialized.

4. Visit cat shows

A cat show can be a great place to learn about breeders in your area and to get more information about the breed from people who live with them every day.

5. Expect to be asked a lot of questions

If you’re interested in buying a cat from a breeder, don’t be surprised if you’re asked for veterinary references. If you rent, you might also need confirmation from your landlord that you are allowed to have cats. Also, you will probably be asked to sign a contract stipulating that if you can’t keep the cat, you promise to return it to the breeder.

6. Consider adult cats

Breeders sometimes have retired toms and queens that they are willing to sell or adopt out for a reduced price. These cats are still wonderful, but since their breeding careers are over, the breeder wants them to be able to live the rest of their lives with a family who will dote on them.

7. Look for warning signs

If the breeder doesn’t want you to visit their facility or if they’re willing to sell a cat to you with no reference checks or contract, they’re probably a backyard breeder -- or worse, a kitten mill.

8. Don't buy your cat from a pet store

Reputable breeders never sell their kittens through pet stores. Good breeders want to be personally assured that the people who are buying their cats are doing so for the right reasons and understand what they’re getting into.

Young Abyssinian cat by Shutterstock

9. Check shelters and purebred rescues

You might be astonished at how easy it can be to find purebred and purebred lookalike cats at animal shelters. There are also organizations that exist specifically to rescue purebred cats. Purebred rescue gives you both the breed you want and the good karma that comes from adopting a homeless cat.

Do you have any other tips for people interested in adopting purebred cats? Please share them in the comments!

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