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Top 10 Questions to Ask a Maine Coon Kitten Breeder
When looking to buy a Maine Coon cat, you want to ask each breeder the same questions. Most breeders are more than happy to share information and answer your questions. They want to make sure their kittens go to a safe and responsible owner.
When you visit the cattery, look for kittens that are active and curious. The kittens do not need to come to you, but they must be withdrawn, lethargic or apathetic. These questions will help you find responsible breeders and also make sure you get a quality, loving and healthy kitten. Do your homework. It is the first important step in pet ownership.
1. Do you show your cats? Legitimate breeders will say yes. Don’t dismiss this as a snobbish or unimportant question. Showing cats isn’t just about titles and awards. It is a way to make contact with other breeders, find out about health problems, improve breeding programs, and find emotional support.
2. Do you have a registered cattery? A registered cattery is important because it identifies the cat’s pedigree for generations. The name of the child remains on the pedigree forever. Catteries raise each cat as if it will be a show cat, which means that the cat is well taken care of: grooming, bathing, cutting its nails, and interacting with people at a young age. Show cats are bred for their easy temperament.
3. Can I see the pedigree? Legitimate breeders will be happy to show the cat’s pedigree including titles such as champion, grand champion, regional or national winners. Your kitten must have at least one, if not both parents, entitled. This means that the cat has been judged by industry standards. Since two major associations, the CFA and the TICA, do not recognize each other’s titles, you can only see part of the pedigree in CFA without any title because they were shown strictly in TICA.
4. What are the health problems or inherited diseases? Beware of the breeder who says no one. Legitimate breeders will let you know about the health problems of the breed and give advice on how to prevent future problems for your kitten. Responsible breeders stay informed about news, health issues and changes with the breed.
5. When can the cat come home? Breeders keep kittens until they are at least 10 weeks old, and most keep kittens until they are 12 to 16 weeks old. The kittens need to bond with their mother for those important first few weeks. If the breeder tries to sell a cat younger than 10 weeks of age, he is more concerned about the money than the welfare of the cat.
6. Will the cat be registered? This is a simple act that usually costs $10. The breeder will provide an official registration once they sterilize the kitten and notify the breeder.
7. Do you provide a contract and written health guarantee? Legitimate breeders will provide a written contract with a guarantee of the cat’s health. As with all contracts, read them carefully. Typical requirements include keeping them at home only, not declawed, neutered at a specific age, and not transferred to another home without permission. State laws vary, but most warranties specify the breeder’s liability time period and rules about sick kittens. Clarify any question with the child.
8. Have any of the other cats had any recent illnesses? In addition to making sure that the cat is currently in a clean environment with toys, water, food and warmth, you want to know if any of the other cats have contracted a strain of cat flu.
9. What is the cat’s personality? Depending on your home situation, make sure your new cat will be comfortable around children or other pets, such as dogs or other cats.
10. Will the cat have his shots before he comes home? Legitimate breeders can give their own shots, but the cat must still be seen by a vet to make sure they are healthy. Your cat should have at least one vet visit before coming home.
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