Breeders - Frequently Asked Questions
1. I would like to find a breeder in my area. Can CFA help me do that?
An excellent way to find a breeder is to visit a CFA show. That's the best way to find a breeder for your particular breed since you can meet the breeders in person and see their cats. Go to: CFA Show Calendar or http://www.catshows.us/ to find a show near you.
CFA also has the CAT BREEDER REFERRAL SERVICE. Please use our search engine to locate a breeder in your area.
Note: Pricing on kittens is up to each individual breeder and may vary depending upon the quality of the kitten, its bloodlines, its color, markings or other qualities.
2. How do I know a breeder is “reputable”?
CFA cannot endorse or recommend a specific breeder. Below are some guidelines which may help you determine if your chosen breeder is the "right" breeder for you.
- The responsible breeder is willing to take the time to talk with the prospective purchaser and share information about the breed, both before and after the purchase.
- The responsible breeder will likewise interview the prospective purchaser to determine the kind of home the kitten or cat will have.
- The responsible breeder will not sell kittens before they are 12-14 weeks of age and have been vaccinated. Some pet quality kittens will already be neutered or spayed; others will be contractually required to be altered by a certain age.
- The responsible breeder will provide a health guarantee in writing.
It is advisable to visit the breeder’s home and to see the sire and dam of the kittens and when possible, the other cats in the cattery. By observing the prospective kitten in its environment, it may be easier to judge the relative health and cleanliness of conditions in which the kittens were raised. However, when purchasing a kitten from a breeder in another state, or at a cat show, this home visit may not be possible. Additionally, many breeders - especially those who live alone -- fear becoming a crime victim, and are reluctant to allow any strangers into their home.
There are also restrictive breeding laws and pet number limit laws in jurisdictions across the country which can make even the most responsible breeder less likely to allow strangers into the home. In any case, when a home visit is not possible, you can ask the breeder for references from people who have previously purchased kittens or can ask permission to discuss the breeder's cats with his or her veterinarian.
Most of all, you should be comfortable in your dealings with a breeder.
3. Where can I find breed rescue groups?
Many of CFA's breeders have banded together and provide rescue for pedigreed cats when it becomes necessary to do so. You can find a listing of rescue groups at: http://cfabreedersassist-rescue.org/
While a group may not be in your immediate area, please contact them anyway, as breeders have a very wide network of communication and may be able to put you in touch with someone local who can assist.
4. The kitten I just purchased is sick. The breeder won’t help me. What are my options?
Generally, the protest process is not appropriate for contract disputes. Contract dispute includes, among other things: failure to deliver a cat/kitten, failure to pay money or refund a deposit, delivery of the wrong cat/kitten, failure to deliver papers or records, or complaints concerning the quality or health of a cat or kitten delivered. Every contract (including the sale or exchange of a cat) is governed by the law of the state or country having "subject matter jurisdiction." The local courts know the contract laws for their state and they, rather than CFA, would be the ones to enforce them.
That being said, CFA has a person called our "Ombudsman" whose job it is to handle problems that don't fit into the system. The ombudsman is someone who investigates complaints and tries to mediate settlements between aggrieved parties or between a party and CFA. The ombudsman is only there to open lines of communication and suggest alternatives. They can not impose solutions but can facilitate discussion. Contact information for the ombudsman may be found at: http://www.cfa.org/AboutCFA/BoardofDirectors/CurrentBoard.aspx
If the ombudsman is unable to help you resolve the matter there is another option. If the other party has a history of contract problems it may be investigated. The CFA Animal Welfare Committee keeps track of unresolved complaints against breeders. If the ombudsman is unable to get the parties working together you can contact the Animal Welfare Committee. Contact information for CFA Animal Welfare may be found at: http://www.cfa.org/AboutCFA/BoardofDirectors/CurrentBoard.aspx
Other agencies which you may want to contact, if applicable, are your local/county department of consumer affairs, the better business bureau, the board of health or the local organization which is empowered to do inspections of premises. Should a local agency deem the situation to be an animal welfare/cruelty case, we ask that you advise us by submitting a copy of the actual report that charges the individual or a newspaper clipping.