Find out what you should consider when choosing a breeder for your kitten to avoid the common pitfalls
Choosing your British Shorthair breeder
Once you have decided to get a kitten, it is entirely natural to want one right now...well...to want one yesterday! It is a very exciting time and a new kitten brings such joy to a household that it is easy to get carried away in the moment and overlook a few basic checks. But, unfortunately, there are many breeders out there keeping kittens in crowded and unsanitary conditions, that may not be immediately apparent to you, but could easily mean you end up with a kitten that has any number of infectious conditions. We have an excellent relationship with our vet, and she tells us that she constantly sees young kittens and puppies being brought in within a few days of being collected, with all sorts of nasty conditions. Make sure you do your research before you choose your British Shorthair breeder.
Do your research
- Take your time
- Do some research
- Speak to some registered breeders
- Find a British Shorthair breeder whose priorities match your own
- Go and view the kittens and have a good look at the house they are from. Kittens should have space to run around in, free from any other cats apart from their mother
- The house should be clean, and should smell clean
- If you can’t see where the kittens are kept (there are often legitimate reasons for this), ask about the breeder’s cleaning regime and really quiz them on it - how often do they clean litter trays, how often do they clean floors, what do they use to clean with, how often are the kittens socialised, how are they socialised, do all the adults in the house work, or is someone home with the kittens all day?
- Find out if the breeder is aware of Coronavirus, FIP and other infectious conditions
- Ask them what they do to reduce the risks
- Cats should never share litter trays
- Kittens should only mix with their own mum
Make sure the kitten is registered
Always check with any breeder who the kittens are registered with. Ours are all registered with the GCCF, and you can read more about the benefits of registration, and how to tell if a kitten is registered here. If their kittens are not registered, ask them why their kittens are not registered. In reality, the only reasons someone sells unregistered kittens are either;
One or both of the parents are not pedigree cats, but moggies, and you are being misled - you can read more about kitten sale scams here
The parents of the litter are too closely related to each other genetically to allow their kittens to be registered as the kittens are too inbred and at risk of serious health issues
One or other of the parents has a genetic disease which precludes any of their kittens from being registered
One or other of the parents is too inbred, which precludes any of their kittens being registered as their offspring would be at risk of serious health conditions
The breeder was not able to purchase any registered cats on the Active Register, as no other kitten breeder was convinced that they were responsible or serious enough to breed ethically,
The breeder did not want to pay a small amount of extra money to purchase a kitten on the Active Register, to ensure it was healthy and suitable to breed from.
Breeders will often say that an unregistered kitten is ‘still a pedigree’, or ‘just the same’...but you have to wonder why, if that is true, they wouldn’t be breeding registered kittens? Think very carefully about what you are told and consider whether it makes any sense.
Be prepared to wait
Be prepared to wait for the right kitten, from the right breeder for you. This may mean waiting a couple of months, or even more, but if it saves you from bringing home a sick kitten and all the additional costs and heartache that go with that, it will definitely be worth it.
If you are considering becoming a British Shorthair breeder, we offer a lifetime of support to anyone who is genuinely serious about it, and shares in our philosophy. Unfortunately, there are simply not enough breeders out there who do, and we are working hard to increase the standards of breeding. You will find a wealth of knowledge in the articles on this website, but please contact us should you wish to discuss it. It is absolutely vital that you choose only healthy kittens, or you will be perpetuating the cycle of poorly pedigree kittens that is so virulent already. If you are going to do it, do it right, first time. Contact us for more information.
Ready to choose a British Shorthair kitten? Visit our kitten page to see if we have any kittens available and when we are expecting more.