I’m throwing it back to before I got Sully to explain to you guys how I found him. I thought, perhaps naively, that I’d find him straight away and it’d all be plain sailing, but it wasn’t at all. There was a hell of a lot of effort, research and back-and-forth involved which I hadn’t expected. So, here are some things to bear in mind when you’re looking for a pedigree kitten, based on my own journey.
Find a registered breeder
First, I found a list of breeders on the Maine Coon Cat Club website, who are linked with the GCCF. Going to a registered breeder was really important to me, simply because it’s the safest option. Although it can be more expensive, legitimate breeders often do everything from DNA testing for hereditary diseases to vaccinating your kitten right up until you take him home. I know that Sully was tested for HCM, Feline Leukaemia and lots of other nasties before I got him.
Visit your local animal shelter
Checking out your local animal shelter is always a good shout, too. I was having a browse on the RSPCA website the other day and came across the most beautiful snow Bengal. She would have easily sold for hundreds when she was younger, and the RSPCA only wanted £55 for her! You could save yourself a lot of money going through a shelter, and there are just so many kitties out there without a loving home. I often get The Guilt™ because I bought a pedigree cat rather than a rescue moggy. Getting another kitten is on my radar though, so watch this space.
Approach classified ads with caution
I did have a look on a few classified ad sites too, but I wasn’t convinced. Backyard breeding and kitten farms are rife on those kinds of sites, especially the free ones. Saving yourself a few quid just isn’t worth the risk of ending up with a sick kitty that hasn’t been socialised properly.
Prepare to be grilled
Once I had a shortlist of breeders in my area, I sent emails to all of them explaining a bit about myself. After some toing and froing over email, I eventually went to meet a couple of breeders, as some won’t even put you on their waiting list until they’ve met you. One breeder asked me to fill out a questionnaire beforehand.
They only want what’s best for their kittens, at the end of the day. So be prepared to talk about things like:
- What you love about the breed
- Your address and how long you’ve lived there
- Your current pets/experience with animals
- Your vets details
To name a few!
Patience is key
I started looking for Sully around September and didn’t actually bring him home until January. Most reputable breeders will have big waiting lists, and even though I was lucky enough to reserve Sully straight away, I still had to wait until he was 12 weeks old to bring him home. It’s worth the wait though, because he was fully vaccinated, weaned and properly socialised by that time. Any breeders offering to let their kittens go at 8 weeks are a big red flag, and anything younger than that is a complete no go.
Thankfully, my breeder kept me up to date with weekly photos of Sully so I felt really involved in his early life. Check him out when he was just a little nugget:
Until next time,