All of our cats and kittens are registered with the GCCF or TICA and come with a GCCF Registration Slip, or the TICA equivalent. So you can rest easy in the knowledge that you have all of the added protection provided by proper registration.
Why choose a registered kitten?
Above: the GCCF logo
There are many reasons to choose a registered kitten. Here are just a few of them:
Additional protection from the GCCF/TICA
The GCCF (Governing Council of the Cat Fancy) is an official body responsible for registering cats and kittens. There are other registering bodies, mainly TICA and Fife, but the GCCF is the largest in the UK. The GCCF lays down certain rules and standards about how kittens should be bred. It also offers additional protection to anyone buying a GCCF registered kitten.
- monitors and regulates how in-bred each kitten can be, and will not permit matings from cats that are too closely related, as this can produce very unhealthy kittens
- ensures that certain cats that do not meet the requirements for health or type cannot be bred from by preventing them from being registered 'Active'. Any offspring from a cat on the non-active register cannot be registered
- provides certified pedigrees, so that we know the genetic lineage of every cat and can make sure we avoid dangerous matings
- sets certain health tests as standard, so where there is a prevalent disease within a breed, all parents must be tested and proven free from it before they can be used to breed from
- has the power to penalise breeders whose conduct falls below a certain standard, which includes selling sick or neglected kittens. They are able to impose fines on breeders and help people who have bought a sick or improperly registered kitten by helping them pursue a claim in court
- can suspend and ban breeders, meaning that the breeder will never be able to sell registered kittens again.
If someone has taken the extra time and effort to become a registered breeder, and follow all of the additional rules that this imposes, it tells you something about their character. Chances are, they like to do things properly, and to the best of their ability...and when you are choosing where to get your new kitten from, that is a very good attribute!
We are registered with the GCCF because we want to do things right. We want to breed beautiful British Shorthair kittens, without cutting corners and putting their health at risk. We want to provide the best experience possible from start to finish. Registration is a no-brainer!
GCCF or TICA
The GCCF is generally much more stringent that TICA. The GCCF has further reaching powers and appears to use them more often. There are cases of very well known breeders who have been banned for life from the GCCF but who continue to breed and sell their kittens registered with TICA.
The GCCF also has higher standards for the health of breeds. For example, the Scottish Fold is not recognised by the GCCF because it has been absolutely proven that every Scottish Fold will have a life of pain. TICA still allows Scottish Fold cats to be bred and registered despite the very clear medical evidence.
That being said, the GCCF are much slower to recognise new colours and patterns of cat. We therefore have to register some of our more unusually coloured kittens with TICA. The GCCF and TICA hold their own cat shows so this can be another reason why someone might choose TICA.
A good rule of thumb is this: if your kitten will be registered with TICA, check that your breeder is registered with the GCCF as well. We are dual registered which means we are registered with both. This will ensure that you do not choose a breeder who has been banned from the GCCF. If your breeder is only registered with TICA, make some more inquiries: there can be perfectly good reasons for this, but remember that the onus is on you to perform due diligence.
Kitten not GCCF or TICA registered?
The GCCF only have the powers mentioned above where a breeder is a registered breeder. Where a breeder is not registered, you have no protection at all other than your basic legal rights and these are very limited.
How do I know if a kitten is registered?
All registered cats and kittens come with the following:
- An official GCCF Registration Slip. This is the important bit. It is printed on glossy paper, A5 size, in the GCCF colours of purple and white. It lists the details of the kitten - name, date of birth, registration number and UIN (unique identifier number). It also tells you whether the kitten is on the Active register for breeding from, or the non-active register, which is for non-breeding cats.
- A 4 or 5 generation pedigree (be aware, many non-registered kittens come with a 'pedigree' as well, although it will not be a certified pedigree - a GCCF registered kitten's pedigree can be checked against the GCCF database online or by calling them to ensure it is genuine)
- or the TICA equivalent, and a pedigree
Unregistered kitten scams and excuses
Do not accept imitations! Some kitten sellers have become quite skilled at creating highly misleading adverts, and the rise of online sale sites has given them an easy route to consumers, that requires very little effort and does not rely on the need to maintain a good reputation. Unfortunately a seller using just an online advert can simply change their name every time they advertise, and then they become basically untraceable. Here are two examples of misleading adverts:
Misleading kitten advert 1
- 'Show Quality Pedigree British Shorthair Kittens' for £600
- on very close inspection it said 'are the kittens registered: no'
- but the advert gave the distinct impression that they were
- unregistered kittens cannot be shown properly (only in the 'household pet' section, for moggie cats) so by describing the kittens as 'show quality', the advert was highly misleading!
Misleading kitten advert 2
- 'Pedigree british shorthair kittens £700' and then it said 'unregistered as we only want them to be pets, not bred or shown'
- this is nonsense! Almost all of our kittens go to be pets, and they are all registered
- unregistered cats can still be shown but only in the household pet classes
- unregistered cats are often bred from by back-yard-breeders
- registering your kittens on the non-active register is the only way to create any protection for them
- In this situation the reality is that the parents of those kittens are either not registered at all, or are registered on the non-active register which means that they are likely not good enough or healthy enough to breed from
To protect yourself:
- read adverts all the way through
- if in doubt ask for confirmation and
- call the GCCF or TICA to confirm it with them
- a misleading or deceptive advert speaks volumes as to the integrity and attitude of the advertiser
- double check everything and ask lots of questions
- check to see if the breeder has their own website - this is a good sign, because it means they have a reputation to maintain
We are happy to answer questions about what we do because we love what we do and we take pride in it. If you find a breeder who doesn't want to answer your questions, or can't, then something is not right. If something is not right, walk away and find anther breeder.
Find out what kitten sale scams are out there so you can avoid them!
Registration is a first step...
Remember, whilst registration is a great first step, there are many registered breeders whose standards of hygiene and care leave much to be desired. Ensuring the kittens are registered is the first hurdle passed, but there are other things to consider as well. Read on to find out what else to look for when choosing your British Shorthair kitten: how to choose your kitten breeder