Sphynx cats are becoming a global sensation as more and more people are attracted to this unique hairless breed. With this demand for sphynx cats, many people are going into the breeding game since these beauts don’t come cheap and there’s lots of money to be made.
Likewise, it’s also very easy to get tricked into buying from unskilled backyard breeders if you don’t have background knowledge and insight of what to ask and check for. Luckily I’ve compiled a detailed list of things you should know before seeking a breeder to ensure you find a good reputable breeder who would produce healthy sphynx kittens.
1. Cat Breeder Must Be Registered.
When buying sphynx cats, it’s most important to buy from an authorized cattery that is registered with the cat breeding council. This will ensure that the breeder is qualified and you can expect healthy sphynx kittens free from genetic diseases.
Backyard breeders arent authorized as they just produce kittens that may not be healthy. In this case, certain genetic diseases are passed on to the offspring.
A registered cat breeder MUST have a prefix, which is the name the cattery is registered, with the appropriate cat council. This registration means that they have a commitment to producing kittens of a certain standard in accordance with the (CFA AND TICA)
If a breeder can not provide you with their registered name and the cat council who holds the registration. Chances are that these breeders aren’t approved breeders.
You need an authorized breeder to produce this robust breed and to make sure their practices are ethical and aren’t going against the animal cruelty laws regarding the sphynx breed.
Heres a list of well known cat councils.
1. CFA (Cat Fanciers Association).
2. TICA (The International Cat Association).
3. FIFe (Fédération Internationale Féline).
4.GCCF (Governing Council of the Cat Fancy).
5.WCF (World Cat Federation).
2. Look For a Warranty.
Warranties are often only offered by registered breeders who are confident in their work in selecting kings and queens for breeding. These breeders offer a 1 year warranty against congenital defects.
In the case of death within this timeframe the cats remains will be tested and if the cause was due to the defect than you are within your warranty to get another cat or sometimes money back ( if the breeder is willing ).
Kittens also come with a 2 week guarantee against viruses and diseases. All this systems are set in place to protect the buyer as well as to ensure the breeder.
This is some of the benefits of buying from a responsible, reputable breeder.
3. Health Records.
Health records are of utmost importance when bringing home a new kitten. Most states require a health certificates from an approved veterinarian for a sale to take place.
This certificate will also give the buyer peace of mind knowning that the cat has taken the necessary vaccinations and is free from viruses and diseases.
4. Breeder Should Scan For HCM.
The most common congenital defect in sphynx cats are HCM (Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.) Approved breeders often take the time and expenses to send their queens and kings for extensive testing to rule out this disease from being passed on.
Backyard breeders dont take this route, since they breed on a smaller scale and isnt able to afford such expensive testing. This is why their kittens cant be trusted since the cats could be carrying genetic diseases that this breed is prone to.
When approaching a sphynx breeder, make sure you remember to ask if the parents of the kittens have been scanned for HCM, and ask them to provide the scans and DNA testing for further evaluation.
5. You Should Be Allowed Into Their Cattery.
While its preffered to go to the cattery and have a look at the environment, it isnt uncommon for breeders to refuse entry into their cattery to protect the kittens from infections and viruses knowning that their immune systems are weak.
Either way you should be able to easily locate the cattery and not meet at a remote location or buy online without any background information or whearabouts of the appointed cattery.
You can also do a quick search to look for reviews regarding the cattery you are looking to buy from. Normally reviews will give an indication of the level of service and the quality of the kittens.
Remember that breeders can’t please every buyer so its normal for certain catteries to have a few negative reviews, however overall you need to see customer satisfication.
6. Background Information And Counselling.
Baxkground information is crucial for the buyer and it also signals that the breeder knows what they doing. Overall it just confirms that the breeder is legitimate.
Information that your should be asking includes
1. Pictures and background information on the parents. Meet the parents if you can and check their health and overall appearance.
2. Information on the bloodline and life expectancy.
3. Accuracy in health issues that may show up in the kittens lifetime.
4. Ask for references of other owners who they have sold to previously.
5. Have the kittens been dewormed? And vaccinated?
6. Speak about the temperament and socialization of the parents, its possible for the kittens to share similiar attributes.
7. Try to find out as much information as you can and maintain good relationship with the breeder. At the same time, dont be too pushy and arrogant.
7. Talk About The Price.
Price plays a big role in determining wheather a breeder is legit or not. Backyard breeders, often lack proper knowledge and experience so their ways of breeding arent preferred.
These breeders often disregard testing and scaning and therefore will be cheaper. You can expect to pay between $400-$900 for a sphynx kitten which is way below the average price for this breed.
Registered breeders who have taken the long and reliable route to produce healthy kittens normally charge much more.
They send their cats for testing which can be expensive and therefore they charge between $1500-$3000, sometimes more depending on the quality, bloodlines and the experience of the breeder.
So if the price is too good to be true, probably it isn’t.
8. Clauses and Contracts.
Before signing any contract always read carefully and take note of the fine print. Even though these breeders may offer binding contracts to protect themselves as well as their kittens, they are still some information that must be properly understood to make sure you are within contract.
Some contracts may state that the kitten cannot be declawed, Certain vaccines shouldn’t be administered such as the FIP and FeLV as well as other health-related restrictions.
Contracts also state crucial information about rehoming and adoption, if you decide to sell them afterwards.
9. Breeding Practics Of A Responsible Breeder.
1. Responsible breeders Spays/Neuters kittens before they are sold, however its not necessary.
2. A sign of a reputable breeder is that they microchip their kittens before being sold.
3. Kittens are only sold after 12 weeks of age.
4. Offers information to buyer of care and maintenance, as well as breed-specific requirements.
5. Offers support to the new owners for behavior and training purposes.
6. Breeder will question you of your living arrangement, purpose of adoption, prior experience with the specific breed as well as other personal questions to make sure that the kitten will be well looked after.
10. Trust Your Instincts.
As human beings, we are able to decipher what’s right and what’s not to an extent. Just try to research, check reviews and find out more about the breeder.
Signs of a scammer include, the sale seems too rushed and the breeder isnt very responsive. Payments are sketchy and breeder contacts via email instead of phone calls.