ADOPTING A RAGDOLL ...
What you need to know Before you purchase your kitten and things you should be aware up front.
1) The first thing is to ask if your kitten is a pure Ragdoll. Some breeders are out-crossing to other breeds to bring in new colors and patterns. While this is fine if it’s done honestly, the customer should be told if the cat is less than the generation that brings it back to full Ragdoll. The price should reflect the generation of the out-cross. The kitten should be at least 4 generations away from the outcross before it is considered a full Ragdoll.
2) Are the Parents and Kittens registered? Ask what cat association this breeder is a member of to ensure that they are true registered breeders. In North America the most popular are:
Cat Fancy Association (CFA)
The International Cat Association (TICA)
Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
Don’t be Shy!! Look them up on the internet and give them a call. If there are no registration papers then a BIG RED FLAG
should be raised. Why are they not registered you ask? Breeder says she can sell them for less if they are not registered. This is not true. Registering a LITTER of kitten is under $20.00 so this is NO excuse. Chances are they are breeding illegally. They bought their cats from a Ragdoll breeder with a contract to spay or neuter their cats by a certain age. Usually by 6 or 7 months. They have broken that contract by breeding their cats. This was a legal and binding contract that they signed and they could be prosecuted by the breeder. Do you really want to do business with this dishonest person? What else are they being dishonest about? The health of the kitten maybe. What happens when your have problem or questions and need help. They probably won't answer the phone or emails.
3) If you find a breeder whose asking price is much lower than the rest of the breeders around their area, again DON’T' BE SHY. Ask why it is lower. If kittens are offered for less than average price, it could be because the breeder is cutting corners in order to outsell the competition, or they have produced too many kittens. They may have to lower their prices to attract people, and so the people will overlook the conditions the cats are raised in. BUYERS BEWARE. If it sounds to good to be true then it usually is! You get what you pay for!!!
4) No kitten should leave its breeder’s home before 12 weeks of age, and with at least one shot but usually two. By not taking a kitten before it’s 12 weeks old, you will be getting a much better and well-adjusted kitten. Also, the kitten’s immune system will be stronger, and the adjustment to it’s new home will go smoother. Kittens need to be with their littermates until this age. Kittens have to learn to be kittens, and it is better for them to do that at the breeder’s house, with their siblings and Mom, than to do it with you and your children. Breeders know how to train the kittens for the best behavior towards people.
Kittens go through stages of kittenhood that are important
- The first three weeks, they don’t want anything to do with people, and are happy just to be with Mom. Most breeders will handle them at this age anyway, to get them use to it.
- The period of 3 to 6 weeks is a fun time. The kittens are thrilled with people, and want to climb all over you, they are learning to use the litter and of course the all-important scratch post.
- Then comes the 6 to 10 or 11 weeks of age. At this age, they are either sleeping or flying through the house. This is the age they need each other the most. Getting a kitten at 8 weeks will NOT make the kitten bond with you more than at 12 weeks. You will just be depriving the kitten of a very important learning experience. It is much cheaper for the breeder to let kittens go to their new homes at 8 weeks of age. Kittens between 8 and 12 weeks eat a tremendous amount of food, because they are growing fast. So, if the breeder is feeding them top quality food, as they should be doing, the food $$’s add up and take away any profit that might be made from the litter.
4) You should never buy a kitten or cat without a health guarantee and contract. This protects the buyer as well as the seller. Read the contract carefully, so you know what is expected if you need to have your kitten replaced. Most breeders require an autopsy report if a cat has to be put down. This is a sad thing to have to have done on a cat you just lost, and we do understand that. However, if we are to breed healthy cats, we have to know what problems we are dealing with. The vet’s "best guess" is not good enough. We need to know for sure what the problem is, and if it could be passed on to more cats and kittens. Make sure you get at least a two-year health guarantee on the kitten for any genetic or heredity defect. Many things don’t show up until the cat is a year old. Click here for my sample Contract and Health guarantee
Contract and Health Guarantee
5) Try visit the cattery you are getting your kitten from. This is not always possible, but it is worth the effort if you can manage it. If you can’t visit, ask for references and do call the people who have been there. Breeders can tell you something over the phone or email, but you won’t know if it is true or not, unless you visit, or talk to someone who has been there. When you do visit, look for overall cleanliness, and make sure the litter boxes are clean. Many breeders will not let you handle young kittens, but they should be willing to show you where they are raised even if it is a peek in the door of the kitten room. You have to remember that breeder cats do not look as beautiful as they would be if they were spayed or neutered. Males often have more important things on their mind then food, and can be on the thin side, with half the coat they would have if they were neutered. The females are usually in different stages of "beauty". They usually start looking good again with all their weight, and starting to get back their coats, just about the time they are ready to be bred again.
Visit me at http://www.ragabye.com/