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The role of the GOOD Breeder PDF Print E-mail
Written by Melanie   

What the Breeder Does

Breeders strive to achieve physical conformation in their cats. That means a cat must meet the standards that make the breed unique – size, body shape, eye shape and colour, nose break, the way the ears and tail are set, the angle of the stance. Above all, the cat must be healthy, with each generation further minimizing the chance of genetic flaws.

In order to evaluate and choose a breeder, you must understand the characteristics that would make them top-notch. The majority of responsible breeders pursue their calling as a hobby; they are just enamored with a particular type of cat. They know everything there is to know about a breed's behaviors and potential health problems. Some also might make a living as professional trainers; they might show cats. But they always make a lifetime commitment to each cat that they breed. They don't tally their rewards in purely financial gain.

A breeder must know the ancestry of a cat and the parents for at least several generations back. They need this information to understand each cats personality and health tendencies, as well as to maintain good standing among fellow breeders and to meet the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) requirements. A good breeder also looks to the future: They usually require buyers to keep them informed about a cats health throughout it's life; if tragedy strikes, they may even require a cause of death report.


Breeders Choose Buyers Carefully

Breeders should choose each cats buyer as carefully as a buyer would choose a breeder.

They'll ask for a history of your relationship with cats and other pets; quiz you on your knowledge of the breed; even probe into your family's habits and schedule. Many breeders require you to sign a contract, stipulating how you will care for your cat.

A responsible breeder raises a limited number of cats. They do not over-breed; They breed a dam only when certain that they have enough responsible people to buy the kittens she will produce. And he breeds when the parents are one or older, after the most egregious genetic flaws would be evident.

A dedicated breeder also belongs to a local, state or national (or all) breed clubs. This allows the breeder to keep abreast of current information regarding their breed and to produce the best kittens possible.

A breeder goes to great lengths to find a mate for his sire or dam. That means that both cats are of age; proven to be healthy, intelligent, easily socialized; and capable of filling the roles they're bred for, be it energetic, quite, social or companion. Even if the resulting kittens won't be raised for showing, some breeders travel great distances with their cats to make the right match.

Once a female is impregnated, the breeder provides her with a healthy, calm environment; supports her through birthing and her kittens early days. They socializes each kitten so they're used to humans and provides a stimulating environment for them. They interview buyers and educates those he/she chooses to sell to.

The fees you'll pay a breeder, beginning with a down payment, reflect the expenses incurred at every stage of the process, from mating through follow-up. Fees vary, depending upon a breed's rarity, products and services included with the sale, geographic location and special requirements, such as cesarean birthing for certain breeds.

But beware of breeders who overcharge because a breed is popular at the moment. In the true spirit of responsible breeding, it costs the same to breed a Siamese whether or not he resembles the pet movie star of the month.

Responsible breeders know about their breed. Responsible breeders screen for genetic diseases and maintain good veterinary and breeding records. Responsible breeders offer a written health guarantee with each kitten they sell. Responsible breeders are always available to offer help and advice to their new kitten owners. Responsible breeders always breed their cats with the thought of improving their line.


How To Recognize a Responsible Breeder

A good breeder will only sell a cat under contract, which will set forth that breeder's policy regarding health guarantee, refund/return policy and other rights/responsibilities between buyer and seller. PLEASE NOTE: 

BY LAW there is a requirement under Standard 9-1-1 of the NSW Department of Primary Industries - Animal Welfare Code of Practice - Breeding Dogs and Cats (effective 25th September, 2009) that states:

(c) "If within 3 days a cat is not acceptable to the purchaser for any reason, we (the breeder) shall take the kitten/cat back and refund 50% of the purchase price of the animal."

A good breeder will be knowledgeable about the breed and the common genetic diseases in that breed.

A good breeder will offer you support with your new kitten, and always help you place the cat (or take it back) if for some reason you cannot keep the cat.

A good breeder will be able to show you both parents, and in the case of a male that lives off the premises, will have a photograph and history available.

A good breeder will carefully screen potential buyers to ensure that the cats will be placed in an appropriate home.

A good breeder's cattery or even more ideally thier home will appear clean and well maintained.

A good breeder will be willing to answer your questions about the breed and the appropriate care for your cat.

A good breeder will be willing to let you see the environment in which the cats are bred and raised.

A good breeder will allow you to see the kittens but may not allow you to handle all of them. Exposure to many different people can increase the risk of illness in the kittens. Only serious buyers should be allowed to handle the kittens to limit exposure.


How To Make a Complaint about a Breeder:

If you wish to make a complaint about a breeder you have dealt with you will need to put your concerns in writing within 6 weeks of the incident. Don't leave your complaint till 6 months after the fact.

If your complaint is health related and you have seen a vet regarding your concerns include a copy of your receipt and any relevant test results with your complaint. If necessary request a letter from your vet to attach to it.

If you feel that a breeder is not abiding by the code of ethics put in place by the governing body and relevant associations or your feel their practices are not in the best interest of the cat/kitten then there are 4 organisations you could complain to depending on the type of complaint....


1) The RSPCA will deal with any concerns about the conditions a breeders cats and kittens are kept in. If you suspect that a Breeder is continually breeding cats with the same health problems (Cat Flu, FIP, Death at a young age etc), the breeder is not seeking vet attention for health problems or the cats are kept in poor conditions (unhygenic/dirty) and not able to access food, water and shelter etc then please contact the RSPCA in your state or territory. Go to www.rspca.org.au for further information.


RSPCA New South Wales

Mailing Address
PO Box 34
Yagoona NSW 2199
Street Address
201 Rookwood Road
Yagoona NSW 2199
02 9770 7555
02 9770 7575
 2) If your complaint is regarding a registered breeder contact their governing body such as the NSW CFA (Cat Fanciers Association). Website: www.nswcfa.asn.au. Make sure you have all relevant details including dates and circumstances and any related documents and send your complaint to:
email address: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  
or via post to:

NSW CFA PO Box 379, 
St Mary's NSW 1790.
Phone: +61 2 9834 6577

3) If you are a neighbour or resident in the local area that has a complaint regarding hygiene or smell coming from a local breeders residence then contact your local council.


4) Department of Fair Trading. If you have had the kitten vet checked WITHIN 3 days of collection and you decide you do not wish to keep the kitten the breeder is obligated BY LAW to refund you 50% of the purchase price of the animal NO QUESTIONS ASKED! 

BY LAW there is a requirement under Standard 9-1-1 of the NSW Department of Primary Industries - Animal Welfare Code of Practice - Breeding Dogs and Cats (effective 25th September, 2009) that states:

(c) "If within 3 days a cat is not acceptable to the purchaser for any reason, we (the breeder) shall take the kitten/cat back and refund 50% of the purchase price of the animal."

If the breeders refuses to refund 50% then contact DFT and lodge a complaint.


Additionally - Jump on any cat websites and put a complaint online. Why should these breeders continue to sell unwell animals and get away with it! Why should more people be put through the HELL of losing their beloved pet. Families with children find it particularily difficult and it isn't fair! There are good breeders out there that do the right thing. Don't let the minority of bad breeders that do the wrong thing get away with it! DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! If you have lost a cat to FIP - this will usually have occurred within the first year of its life. I would EXPECT that the breeder would offer you a cash refund. If you don't want to risk purchasing another kitten from them that is understandable! If they are only willing to offer you another kitten specify why you want a cash refund in writing. I personally believe that is your right. If they were a decent person they may even offer to contribute to some of your vet bill although they don't have to do so. 


Some websites you may like to complain on: (Copy & Paste these links into your browser)






WARNING: You have 2 options:

1) Use an email address that has been created for the purpose of complaining. Don't use your REAL details to create the email address or in any part of the complaint. Mention Specifics about the breeder including their name. The name of the cattery and detail as much of your experience as possible without listing information that will lead directly back to you. Don't mention the date/month of purchase (unless the breeder doesn't have current contact details for you (microchip forms etc). If you inculde scanned documents ensure you block out any identifying details.

2) You may choose to NOT mention specific names if you think you could be identified by the breeder and attacked because of your complaint. I hope a breeder wouldn't do this but unfortunately there are some nasty people out there. If the breeder could identify you - mentioning the name of the breeder or cattery does put you at risk of being sued for defamation. You can put some tell tale facts about the breeder without mentioning the name of the cattery or their name. Some facts including their suburb, facts about their cattery eg... They breed Burmese, Siamese, Scottish Fold, Devon Rex etc etc. Maybe even their initials. Or the letter their cattery starts with. Include all information about your experience so that other people STAY AWAY!!! Again - If you inculde scanned documents ensure you block out any identifying details.











Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 May 2013 09:15

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