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9 Things to Do If You Want to Buy a Purebred Cat: Vet Approved Advice

Written by: Kit Copson

Last Updated on May 21, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Golden shaded British short-hair purebred male cat is confused or surprised

9 Things to Do If You Want to Buy a Purebred Cat: Vet Approved Advice


Dr. Ashley Darby Photo


Dr. Ashley Darby

Veterinarian, BVSc

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Catster advocates for adopting before shopping, though we fully understand there are many reasons for seeking a breeder. So, we encourage it to be done the right way. We have not personally visited or investigated all of the breeders below. We have put the top-recommended all in one place for you to get in touch and make the best decision for you. Learn more about our stance and how to choose the right breeder here.

If you want a purebred cat, you have a couple of options. You can adopt one—plenty of rescue organizations are looking for new homes for both purebred and mixed-breed cats and kittens—or you can go to a breeder.

Here at Catster, we’re big fans of adopting cats rather than purchasing them because adoption saves lives and reduces the number of homeless cats—a problem that irresponsible breeding greatly contributes to. Nevertheless, the demand for purebred cats from breeders remains high.

If you’ve made a firm decision to buy a cat from a breeder, there’s a lot to think about, and we’ll explain everything in this guide.

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Top 9 Tips to Buy a Purebred Cat

1. Thoroughly Research the Breeder

If you plan on purchasing a purebred cat, it’s essential to thoroughly research who you’re buying from. While some breeders have a solid reputation (you can check this by looking for testimonials) for their high welfare standards and stringent health checks to reduce the risk of genetic conditions, some do not adhere to these standards and are only interested in making money fast.

To give you an idea of what to look for, a responsible breeder:
  • Does not separate the kittens from the mother too early.
  • Meets with you in person.
  • Allows you to meet all the kittens and their mother and father at the breeder’s home or facility.
  • Answers all your questions without being evasive.
  • Feeds the cats and kittens a AAFCO-approved, balanced diet.1
  • Asks questions about your home and lifestyle to make sure it’s a good match.
  • Provides proof of health screenings, including genetic testing of the parents.
  • Provides proof of pedigree.
  • Handles and plays with the kittens daily to socialize them.
  • Has their kittens checked by a vet.
  • Makes sure the kittens get their first vaccines.
  • Gets the kittens microchipped.
  • Provides guarantees.
Image Credit: Massimo Cattaneo, Shutterstock

2. Meet the Kittens

You should always go to the cattery or home of the breeder to meet your potential kitten and ensure they’re in good health and are being raised in a clean, enriching, and loving environment. A reputable breeder will also make sure you get to see the mother and father. If a breeder is reluctant to let you see the facility, the kittens, or the mother and father, this is a big red flag.

Meeting a litter in the flesh is also the only way to ensure you’re taking home the best possible match for you. Even cats of the same breed have very diverse personalities.

3. Learn About the Breed

Each cat has a unique personality, but getting clued up on breed characteristics can give you an idea of what to expect in terms of grooming needs, common quirks, and potential health issues to watch out for. For example, Persian cats and other flat-faced breeds are susceptible to breathing issues because they have elongated soft palates and narrow nostrils.

Image Credit: Meriluxa, Shutterstock

4. Consider the Financial Side

It’s no secret that buying a purebred cat from a breeder doesn’t come cheap, but the initial cost of the cat is not the only factor to consider.

Other expenses include food, veterinary care (the need for which can crop up expectedly and can be very expensive for certain treatments and surgeries), toys, pet sitters for when you go away, litter boxes, enrichment items like cat trees, and health insurance should you opt for it.

5. Reach Out to Other Breed Enthusiasts

Even though certain traits are often attributed to certain breeds—for example, many describe Siamese cats as very affectionate and vocal—every cat has unique traits, so everyone’s experience will be different!

That said, if you’re curious to know about the experiences others have had with your chosen breed, you could always reach out on breed forums or social media groups. You might even consider popping along to a cat show to get to know the breed a little better.

girl in headphones with your cat
Image Credit: arisa Stefanjuk, Shutterstock

6. Get the Green Light from the Appropriate People

As nice as it may seem to surprise someone with a cat, it’s not always a good idea. If you get a cat for someone else, make sure they’re on board with the idea and are ready to care for the cat for the duration of that cat’s life. If you’re renting, you might want to check your contract or ask your landlord to make sure pets are allowed.

7. Prepare Supplies

Once you’ve decided to get a cat, it’s time to start gathering supplies for their arrival.

Here's a basic checklist if you need ideas:
  • Food
  • Food and water bowls
  • Cat bed
  • Cat toys
  • Litter
  • Litter box
  • Cat brush
  • Carrier cage
  • Calming pheromone products (optional)

It’s a good idea to set up one room for your cat for their first few days to give them time to get used to their new environment without feeling too overwhelmed. You can gradually open up other areas of the house as your cat gets more confident.

kittens sleeping

Knowing which kitten essentials to get will help seamlessly transition your furbaby into their new home. Providing them with the proper care, comfort, and enrichment will promote a healthy lifestyle for your new addition so they can thrive and grow into a well-established and healthy feline! Check out our top recommendations in our New Kitten Checklist linked below!

8. Avoid Pet Stores and Kitten Mills

In addition to buying an animal from an irresponsible breeder, purchasing one from a pet store or market is not a good move. Pet store kittens are often acquired from kitten mills which function only to pump out as many animals as they can to make a profit with no regard for health or welfare. Buying from pet stores often means supporting these cruel facilities.

9. Consider Adoption

As we touched on in the introduction, you absolutely can find purebred cats in need of new homes via rescue organizations, so adoption is an option well worth exploring if you’ve got your heart set on a specific type of cat.

As a matter of fact, some rescue organizations specialize in rehoming specific breeds. Try searching for terms like, for example, “Siamese rescue in (your location)” to see what you can find.

Girl and woman holding cats
Image Credit: Bearfotos, Shutterstock

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Are Purebred Cats Better than Mixed Breeds?

No. All cats, purebred and mixed alike, are special and bring something unique to the table, and both purebred cats and mixed breeds make equally wonderful companions.

People are drawn to purebred cats because of certain physical traits, like the Siamese’s dazzling blue eyes, but when you look beyond these things, you realize that they’re all cats with a huge array of personality traits, quirks, and unique physical features, even if that’s just a small and unusually-shaped marking on the coat.

Furthermore, the “cute” traits that some cats are bred for can sometimes cause the cat to have serious health problems. One example is the Persian whose smushed face is often described as “cute”, but this feature causes breathing difficulties in the breed.

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Whatever kind of cat you’d like to bring home—whether that’s a purebred or mixed breed—doing your homework and preparing in advance is always a good idea. Don’t forget to reach out to a vet, too, to plan your cat’s vaccination schedule, parasite preventatives, and any other regular treatments they may need.

Featured Image Credit: aesthetica, Shutterstock

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