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How to Find a Responsible Cat Breeder: 5 Tips

Nicole Cosgrove

You have decided to buy a cat from a breeder. However, it can be challenging to know where to start with finding a responsible cat breeder. What should you know about cat breeders before you purchase a cat?

While there are plenty of reputable cat breeders out there, unfortunately, there are ones that do not apply the best practices for felines. How can you find a responsible cat breeder? This article goes over five essential tips that you want to consider when looking for a cat breeder.

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Top Five Tips for Finding a Good Breeder

1. Research the breeder online.

Three cats look at laptop
Image Credit: Eugenia Terekhova, Shutterstock

Many breeders rely on the Internet to make a name for themselves and their cats. A reliable list of breeders can be found on The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA)website. If you want a pedigree, this association has a comprehensive list of catteries that sell CFA-recognized breeds. The International Cat Association (TICA) is another place to look over a list of breeders that specialize in pedigrees and domestic cats. The breeders on that list have all signed a TICA Code of Ethics as well.

If you want to look for independent breeders, do a Google search for cat breeders in your area. Many have Facebook pages, as those are often easier to update and manage. Check out their social media presence and following. See how often they are active on their social media pages. If they have not updated their information for a year or so, this could be a red flag.


2. Visit the breeder’s breeding location.

Maine Coon kiitens lying
Image Credit: mariyaermolaeva, Shutterstock

While email and phone communication are good ways to start getting to know the breeder, you should visit their home or where they breed and raise the cats. Seeing where your potential pet is coming from is a good way to tell how the breeders care for their animals.

Do the cats look happy and well cared for? Is the cats’ living area clean and safe? This is also a great time to meet the parents of the kitten you are considering buying. Genetic issues get passed down the family line, so seeing the parents and asking about their health is also a smart idea. A good breeder will provide all the information about the parents’ health, lineage, and characteristics.


3. Have a list of several breeders.

Woman working with a cat on her lap
Image Credit: azem, Shutterstock

As the old saying goes, “Do not put all your eggs in one basket.” The same goes with looking for a cat breeder. Even if the first cat breeder checks all the boxes, it is a good idea to research and visit a few other breeders in your area. Those breeders might bring something unique or special to the table that you had not thought about before. Or they might have a cat or kitten you instantly form a bond with.


4. Get to know the cat or kitten you want to purchase before committing.

Woman holding up a ginger cat
Image Credit: Marlia Boiko, Shutterstock

Ideally, you want to physically interact with the cat or kitten before buying it from the breeder. One good reason to do that is so you can inspect the animal. Check to see if it has been properly socialized. If the cat is very scared or overly aggressive, this might reflect how the breeder has treated it. See if the animal is healthy. Does it seem underweight? Is it lethargic? Does it have skin or eye issues?

Health issues are connected back to the breeder. If the cat or kitten is unhealthy, the breeder has not taken care of it and has not sought medical treatment for the feline. Breeders should put their animals’ health and well-being at the top of their list.


5. Be aware of the breeder’s behavior.

Person bringing home a new kitten
Image Credit: Daisy Daisy, Shutterstock

Have you ever had to deal with a pushy sales rep in a store? It is a frustrating and stressful situation to be in as a customer. It can be even more stressful when a cat breeder is pressuring you into buying a cat. Bringing a pet into your life is an important decision. The average lifespan of a housecat is 10-15 years, sometimes even longer. You want to make sure that the cat you buy is the right one for you and your lifestyle.

If the breeder is pressuring you to buy one of their cats, this might signify that the breeder is more concerned about the money they will get instead of whether you and the cat are compatible companions. They might be trying to sell cats with false medical records or pedigree status. Also, be aware of how the breeder wants payment. Not wanting to give receipts or leave a paper trail are signs that the breeder is not reputable.

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Final Thoughts

Buying a cat is incredibly exciting! Cats make wonderful companions and can bring joy into your life. Therefore, you do not want your experience sullied from going to a less than adequate breeder. Many cat breeders raise healthy and well-socialized kittens, many that come from generations of strong parents. Taking the time to research breeders in your area and getting to know each breeder will help make purchasing your kitten a more manageable and stress-free decision.


Featured Image Credit: JensEnemark, Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.