Once you have researched your breed, it’s time to look for breeders. Start by searching for local breeders. The best way to do this is to go to Facebook and in the search bar type in your breed name and a comma and then your location. For example: Persian, Washington If there are no search results, check your spelling and variations of spelling and if necessary change the location to another that is close to your location.  When searching, do not type in “breeder” as Facebook does not have a category for breeders and so the search term may not yield much. When searching avoid suggested results and the drop-down list that appears on Facebook as you type. Instead type in your breed, location and hit enter. Results are shown on Facebook with a tab above that displays results by People, Pages, Groups, Videos etc. Alternatively you can search Google the same way to find breeders in your location. Take your search results from Facebook and write them down or screenshot them or right click on any results and choose open in new tab if you want to keep the breeder results open. Now you can  begin to search your search results. When searching your results make sure to look at any available comments and pictures.  Looking at albums and post should give you an idea of the look of the breeder’s cats and a window in on how they are raised by looking at the backgrounds for in-home shots, hygiene and cleanliness of environment. Even the breeder’s own posts can tell you a lot about the breeder. If the breeder’s posts seem rushed or they do not respond to comments, etc. may not mean much by themselves, but when put together with other facts can mean quite a bit. While searching, look for the breeder's name, address, website information and readily available details such as if  they  breed just one breed or many breeds or even other species and if they have a partner or work alone. Next, take the name of the breed and the breeder's name and search Google. You will want to check spelling and variations. Visit any search results listed which can range from cattery webpage to classified listings to show awards/points.  NOTE: Just because a breeder shows their cats, does not mean they are a good breeder. If you cannot find a breeders website, don't despair many only use Facebook as this is one of the most popular sites to get your name and breed out into the public eye. If a breeder is small, they may only have a few cats which is what you are looking for, so not having a website may mean they are not concerned with or do not have the amounts of cats requiring a website. When looking at a breeder's site make sure to note:
  • How many breeding males and females listed. If a breeder has more than 4 females they are not a hobby breeder and are required to register with USDA if they want to sell kittens over the internet.
  • How many kittens they have been selling and the parents of said cats if listed. Over-breeding can lead to health issues and a kitten mill type breeder/ BYB (Backyard Breeder)
  • The age that the breeder lets her cats go is also important a breeder with many cats breeding for $$ may be selling young under-socialized kittens.  All major cat registries ask responsible breeders not to place a kitten unless it had received two inoculations. The second inoculation is usually administered at 12 weeks. No responsible breeder lets kittens go at 8 weeks of age, so check adverts for kittens ages.
  • If they have more than one cattery or business name. Do not be surprised if they do as they may have a partner OR it could mean a breeder has changed their name after having gotten into trouble.
  • If they use subtle name spelling variations to be either unique or evade other from finding complaints levied against them (Fuzzy Cats can be Fuzzy Catz or Fuzzy Kats or Fuzy Katz, etc.)
  • If they have a WRITTEN contract and health guarantee, what it covers and for how long.
  • If the breeder is registered with TICA, CFA, ACFA, WCF or any of the major cat registries. Most breeders will put their registering association on their website.
  • Pricing and Registration. Many times if a price is too good to be true, IT IS NOT TRUE!
  • Whether the breeder spays/neuters before delivery or if this is a cost you will have to pay.
After you have searched the breeder’s cattery and name, it's time to go back to Google, type: Complaints, Cattery Name. Now your “Crack-A-Lackin.” Sites like “Complaints Board” and “Rip-Off Report” will usually pop up first. Make sure to exhaust any and all possible spelling variations. Read any results which can range from sincere heartbreaking stories to other breeders trying to damage another breeder's reputation. If you are not sure, create an account and email the past buyer and ask. We do! Also search registering bodies like CFA, TICA, FiFE, GCCF etc for the cattery's name. Making sure your cattery is listed in a proper registry is important because if they are not then you are not buying a pedigreed cat from a breeder who is using registered cats, but most likely bought their breeding cats as pets and not as breeding cats. Anything less for your money is not worth it in the end. A pedigree without papers is not a pedigree and hence there is no way to track kittens linked to this cat or potential health problems down the line etc. Once you have as much information as you can gather, it is time to contact the breeder by email. Do not share anything you know or have learned in your first contact. This is a time to put all that info to good use by asking questions. "Hi, Just saw your post and see you have (breed name) kittens available. I am interested to know more about your kittens and cattery. Do your kittens come registered with papers? Do you have a contract/health guarantee? How old is/are the (the kittens name or just say kitten) and when do you let them go to their home? What do you vaccinate for prior to homing? Do you transport and what services do you use most? I am so excited and am so looking forward to your reply. I would love to see any additional pictures you may have of (kittens name or this litter) when you have time. Sincerely, Your Name" Don't be discouraged if they do not answer all your questions initially and do not mention money in your first email to the breeder. If you are money conscious then they will focus on a deposit before answering your questions and or some very good breeders may think you look like your only interest is to pay as little as possible. Talking about the kittens and the breeder’s business is the best bet to getting the conversation started off on the right foot. In a response email you can re-ask any questions by reframing them. For example: "Thanks for your quick reply and information. I am a firm believer in contracts and am hoping you do have a contract and health guarantee in writing. My spouse had a bad experience once and will not agree to having another cat without a health guarantee. For this reason could you please attach a contract for me to look at. Thanks again." Now that you are having conversations with your chosen breeder make sure you ask questions that can in a roundabout way correlate to the information that you have obtained. Make sure to get a peek at that Contract ASAP before paying a deposit. Please note that most breeders (good and bad) will not refund your deposit should you change your mind. The contract should spell out what happens if the breeder changes his/her mind and offer a full refund for that scenario. WHAT IF I DON'T WANT TO DO THE SEARCH MYSELF OR IF I MISS SOMETHING?  

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