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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 happy to share information and answer your questions. They want to be sure that their kittens will go to a safe and responsible owner.
When you visit a breeder, look for kittens that are active and curious. Kittens do not necessarily come directly to you, but should be withdrawn lethargic or apathetic. These questions will help you find responsible breeders and ensure you get a quality, loving and healthy kitten. Do your homework. It is the first important step to 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 is not just for titles and awards. It’s a way to connect with other breeders, identify health issues, improve breeding programs and find emotional support.
2. Do you have a registered kennel? A registered kennel is important because it identifies the cat’s pedigree for generations. The name of the breeder remains forever in the family tree. Kennels raise each kitten as if it were to be a show cat, which means that the cat is well taken care of: combing, bathing, clipping claws and interacting with people at a young age. Show cats are bred for their easy-going temperament.
3. Can I see the family tree? Legitimate breeders will be happy to show you the cat’s pedigree, including titles such as champion, grand champion, regional or national winner. Your kitten should have at least one, if not both parents, degreed. This means that the cat has been judged according to industry standards. Since the two main associations, CFA and TICA, do not recognize each other’s titles, you can only see one side of the pedigree in CFA without any titles because they were listed exclusively in TICA.
4. What are the health problems or hereditary diseases? Beware of the breeder who says none. Legitimate breeders will let you know about the breed’s health issues and advise you on how to prevent future problems for your kitten. Responsible breeders have an overview of news, health problems and changes with the breed.
5. When can the kitten come home? Breeders breed kittens until they are at least 10 weeks old, and most breed kittens between 12 and 16 weeks old. Kittens need to bond with their mother for the first few weeks. If a breeder is trying to sell a kitten under 10 weeks of age, they are more interested in money than the welfare of the cat.
6. Will the kitten be registered? This is a simple operation that usually costs $10. The breeder will provide an official registration once you have spayed the kitten and informed the breeder.
7. Do you provide a contract and a written health guarantee? Legitimate breeders will provide a written contract guaranteeing the kitten’s health. As with all contracts, please read them carefully. Typical requirements include being kept indoors only, declawed, neutered at a certain age and not being moved to another home without permission. State laws vary, but most warranties will specify the breeder’s liability time period and rules regarding sick kittens. Clarify any questions with the breeder.
8. Have any of the other cats had any recent illnesses? In addition to making sure the kitten is currently living in a clean environment with toys, water, food, and warmth, you want to know if any of the other cats have contracted the strain of cat flu.
9. What is the kitten’s personality? Depending on your home situation, make sure your new cat will be comfortable around small children or other animals such as dogs or other cats.
10. Does the cat get shots before coming home? Legitimate breeders can give their own, but the kitten must also be seen by a vet to make sure it is healthy. Your kitten should have at least one vet visit before returning home.
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