Choosing and buying a Pedigree Kitten
A kitten, which will soon grow into an adult cat, is for life and it is well worth spending some time considering what breed is right for you.
Do you need a lively type of kitten, a show-off and an extrovert? If so, the foreign shorthairs are more likely to suit your needs.
If you fancy the quieter longhairs, the question you need to answer is, have you the time and patience needed to groom one? This must be done on a regular basis from the day you bring home a longhaired kitten. If you or members of your family are sensitive to cat hairs you may be better with a shorthaired kitten or none at all.
A cat show is a good place to see the various breeds of cat but DO NOT take a cat home from a show as there is a risk of infection. If you see a cat or kitten you want to buy, arrange to take it one or two weeks after the show.
Are you likely to be leaving your kitten alone for more than two or three hours a day? In this case it could be sensible and kinder to buy two for company. You should get them together or within a few weeks of each other. (You should never go out and leave a cat or kitten shut out of the house).
If you are elderly, you should consider that you may easily trip over a lively young kitten. Would you be better giving a home to an older and quieter unwanted cat? There are often unwanted cats of all breeds that need kind permanent homes. The secretary of the club for your chosen breed will be able to give you more information. The GCCF will supply you with his/her telephone number.
A kitten, whether pedigree or not, is your responsibility from the moment you acquire it, needing your care and protection for the rest of its life. It is not merely something to feed, give attention when you feel like it and put outside when it suits your purpose.
When you have decided on your choice of breed contact the club which caters for that breed, or your local cat club, and ask if they have a kitten list or details of breeders. (The GCCF can put you in contact with club secretaries). You may find what you want in your area, but you may have to wait and/or be prepared to travel some distance to meet your exact requirements.
Telephone some breeders and get an idea of the price of kittens. Avoid having a kitten on "breeding terms"; this is likely to lead to discord later on. Kittens should be sold with at least an enteritis inoculation and a full course of cat flu inoculations. They should also be registered with the GCCF and have a written pedigree supplied with the registration details. (If the kitten is not registered, the breeder should supply a mating certificate in addition to the pedigree, so that you can register the kitten yourself.) Make sure all of these are included in the price given and that there are no 'hidden' extras. Kittens should be at least 13 weeks old before they leave the breeder. 13-14 weeks is probably the best age, especially for all foreign breeds.
You may wish to see more than one litter before you make your choice. Never go from one breeder to another without a wash and a change of clothing as you could be the cause of cross infection.
Always make an appointment with the breeder before you visit and let him/her know if you change your plans. Breeders should be happy to show their kittens without compelling you to buy. However, don't expect a breeder to keep a kitten for you indefinitely. You may be expected to pay a non-returnable deposit if the kitten is to be kept for any length of time after it is ready to go to a new home.
You will often find that one kitten in particular will appeal to you and will, in fact, select you as its new owner.
Ask to see where the kittens are usually kept and to see the 'Mum'. Watch for signs of sickness, diarrhoea, sticky eyes or stuffy nose. Never choose a sickly, lethargic or weakling kitten out of pity.
If you visit a breeder and you are worried about the way they are breeding and/or the condition of the cats and kittens, please write to the GCCF Office, with full details. It will then be possible to give the breeder advice and help, if it is required.
We recommend you never to buy a kitten from a pet shop.
Buying a kitten
If you wish to buy a kitten for breeding or showing it is essential that you buy one which is correctly bred and registered: you may otherwise discover that it is not possible to register the kittens you produce or not possible to show your cat.
Check the pedigree against the registration policy before buying the kitten.
Only cats which are registered on the Full Register (its registration number will begin CS...), Supplementary Register (CSSR...) or Experimental Register (CSEXP...) may be shown. Check out what the the registration numbers mean here.
If you only wish to buy the kitten as a pet you should still ensure that you are paying for a proper pedigree kitten and that the breeder has adhered to the Code of Ethics. (Buying a cheaper, unvaccinated kitten may work out much more expensive in the long term!)
When buying a kitten the purchaser should read any contract of sale very carefully before signing it and make sure they fully understand it.
Don’t forget to transfer your cat into your name as soon as you purchase them. Some breeders may arrange this for you. You must have the breeders signature on your transfer form which is on the rear of your cats Registration Certificate, so its easiest if you fill it out when you collect your cat/kitten. Currently there is a cash prize of £25 for the lucky winner chosen at random from each month’ transfers. A list of past winners can be found here.
- Choosing a Pedigree Kitten
- Feeding your Kitten
- Caring for your Kitten
- Code of Ethics for Breeders & Owners
- Early Neutering
The GCCF cannot supply details of breeders or kittens, but most Cat Clubs hold lists of kittens available or breeders who may be able to help you.
You may wish to join a Cat Club, visit a Cat Show or show your cat: Cat Clubs, Shows & Showing
If you plan to breed you should study the Registration Policy for your breed. (If cats are not bred according to the Registration Policy for their breed they cannot be registered as a particular breed and cannot be shown)
If you intend to breed from your litten you must also ensure that your kitten is registered on the Active Register; if it is registered on the Non-Active Register you will not be able to register its kittens.
- Information for Breeder
Before buying a pedigree kitten, whether you have seen its pedigree form or not, it is sensible to check the GCCF Suspensions List to see whether the seller is listed there.
When someone breaks a rule in GCCF they can be taken to the Disciplinary Committee and, if the offence is serious, they may be “suspended” for a period of time from showing and breeding. Sometimes offenders are fined but do not pay, so they are suspended “sine die”, that is until such time as the fine is paid. So, before you consider buying a kitten, it is very important to check the breeder’s or seller’s name is not to be found on GCCF Suspension List
Check carefully that the person selling the kitten is not on the list for whatever reason. Suspension means just that! They are no longer a part of the GCCF; they will not be able to register their kittens and, sadly, neither would someone who bought an unregistered kitten from them. Sadly not all sellers are truthful; they still charge full price for their kittens and still give the impression there is not a problem. The GCCF is very concerned and want to make sure innocent buyers are not cheated - that is why they advise you it is so important to check first.
Just like us, cats and kittens fall ill and have accidents. Luckily vets can do so much more to help sick and injured cats. But with no NHS for pets, bills fall to owners.
Cat Insurance helps owners budget for unexpected vet’s fees. This is usually the reason owners choose to insure their cat(s) and is increasingly important in the current economic climate.
Cat insurance policies can also cover a range of other pet related risks including help to find a lost or stray cat, recompense in the event of a cat’s death or loss and the costs of homecare or cattery fees if the owner is ill. One or two policies even cover breeding risks.
Find out more about cat insurance
Find out more about kitten insurance
Find out more about breeding risks cover
Download our Cat Insurance Guide