There really is no secret to buying a good purebred kitten. It all depends on the knowledge of the buyer and the willingness of the buyer to utilize that knowledge when speaking to a breeder in order to correlate that this breeder is on point with all their knowledge. An informed buyer is less likely to be taken by a bad breeder.

The first step before choosing a breeder is to decide on the right breed for your family. The internet offers several venues for testing your personality and matching it with certain breeds. Reading all you can about breeds and familiarizing yourself with traits and characteristics is a must. Once you have completed that part of the process, study your breed’s history in detail. When was is recognized and who is the founder? Find and read the breed standard and look for champion show cats of that breed in order to assess and have some degree of knowledge when looking at a breeder’s kittens and adult cats.

Once a breed has been chosen, the search for a buying resource is next on the list.

Pet shops: Certainly an easy way to buy kittens, but they are mass produced and little attention has been paid to health, if any. Often they do not come with registration papers. Also, these kittens are sold with hefty price tags. Guarantees are sketchy at best and a return policy is usually for thirty days. Zero support or background is offered. If anything happens, you are on your own.

Basic Backyard Breeders: These people have two kittens or dozens. Breeding plans do not exist and there is no commitment to improving health or breeding to standard. These individuals decide "Kitty A” is in heat and throw it in with “Kitty B.” Parents are not registered and/or are mixed breed. The breeders will usually try to pass off their cats as an accidental litter that happened prior to neutering/spaying. After all it is a great way to show kids the miracle of birth and it’s easy money. Many times this type of breeder thinks what they are doing is a great idea, to the buyer though it often is a disaster waiting to happen. These kittens are born from untested parents and zero pedigree research is done on the parents. There are no contracts, no guarantees and on the first sign of trouble – the breeder’s phone gets disconnected or your number will be blocked.

Next is the Sophisticated Backyard Breeder. They may dabble in showing, breed multiple breeds/species, but maybe has not accomplished much. They have some knowledge, but more than likely do not test nor produce for the betterment of the breed. They produce to sell to you and make money! They tout the Champion Lines as their main selling point and their kittens are all sold/offered as breeders/show quality kittens and every single kitten is available at two prices – pet price and “with breeding rights price”. These trigger phrases are meant to impress the buyer. In fact, many things are done to impress a buyer and marketing is important. Again health testing is probably not done on the parents of the litter and if there is any health testing, it is minimal. If testing is done, the results will either cost you to view because they have to call vet or you will get a document that has more blacked out sections than an FBI top secret file. These breeders are also more likely to fraudulently give results on another cat that they downloaded and photoshopped making this breeder difficult, but not impossible to catch.

The last breeder is the Serious Breeder.  These are people who are truly interested in their breed. They are most likely involved in showing (there are exceptions), have champions, have or had mentors in the breed or other breeders they look up to and have years of experience under their belts. Their reputation depends on the kittens they sell, so they are very careful about the pedigrees of their litters and the health testing done on the sire and dam. They have a lot of money invested in their breeding cats and take care of them. Not only do the kittens look good, but temperament is consistently nice. Serious breeders are dedicated to the welfare of their chosen breed. They advertise less often because their kittens sell themselves. The have waiting lists and questionnaires for buyers to make sure their cats go to homes that meet their standards. They offer ongoing support and personally friend you on social media. They also consider the temperament of each kitten as it would suit your individual home and will return a deposit or cancel a transaction if their criteria is not met. They also REFUSE to sell animals during holidays and search the buyer’s background as much as you have searched theirs.