When you are talking to breeders about a pedigreed kitten, there are a few warning signs that you can pick up on by arming yourself with knowledge.

Here are a few things that you ought to look out for when reading advertisements or breeder websites. Ads that rely solely on "Champion lines" without ever mentioning health, temperament or standard are suspect. All “Champion Lines” means is that there is a cat somewhere in your kitten’s family that was a champion. It says little about the quality and health of your kitten. Anyone can buy a kitten from a champion, but it does not mean that the breeder has any other interest in the breed, but to bank on the name and make money, in particular if they cannot back this claim up with an actual pedigree. This is an indicator something is off.

Kittens are offered at a substantial discount if you do not insist on papers and usually you are told that “it’s a pet and what do you need papers for anyway”. Registration is automatic if you buy from a reputable breeder. They will provide all necessary paperwork when you buy a kitten. It is not a selling point, and shouldn't be treated as one. Take note here that registering an entire litter in any of the major registries is anywhere between $10 - $15.

Be wary of other lesser known ”registries”. i.e. REFR, etc. These registries offer to register your moggie brown tabby longhaired domestic cat as a Maine Coon as long as you certify that it is indeed a Maine Coon.

"Extra-big", "Extra-small" - breeders trying for extremes are rarely raising healthy kittens, and any breeder/ad that has to repeatedly stress the size and weight of the kitten/cat to sell them are suspect. Usually, these kittens are outside of the breed standard and are subject to their own medical problems due to excessive size or lack of it.

“Rare" – The term “rare” is almost always used to justify grossly inflated pricing. Always check that the “rare” condition a breeder touts is in line with the breed standard. Off colors can be an indicator of an “oops” breeding and you will not be purchasing a purebred kitten after all. There are even some people selling cross breeds as "rare" cats, and people buy them thinking they are getting some unique treasure. The dog fancy has a ton of them – the Labradoodle, the Cockapoo, the Maltipoo, etc. What you are really dealing with is a sophisticated backyard breeder asking you to pay big bucks for mutt cat.

Shop with care.