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What to expect from a responsible sphynx breeder


Staff member
Jan 13, 2009
We get this question quite a bit here on Sphynxlair so I figured we would compile some useful information, a check list if you will for a first time sphynx buyer or even an existing sphynx parent looking to get another sphynx cat or kitten. All of these items listed below aren't necessarily deal breakers, but most of these are good buying practices to ensure a healthy sphynx cat or kitten as well as to protect you and the breeder. :)

(Thanks @Catzzzmeow for putting this together.)

1.) Most recommend going to a breeder that scans for HCM (Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.) The recommended scanning interval for a breeding pair is once EVERY year, as it shows they are investing in their bloodlines and trying to eliminate future heart issues in their program...and can provide scans upon request.

2.) 12-14 weeks of age is recommended to go to their forever home.

3.) They have a contract that covers the kittens as well as the breeder.

4.) Forms of payment are diverse and not just cash/money order. (NEVER! Western Union money!)

5.) Average cost of a kitten with papers (registered) is $1200.00 - $1500. Without papers is usually less but I would recommend you ONLY buy from a reputable breeder with the proper papers and documents.

6.) Breeders should allow you to visit their home, and not just in a parking lot or remote location. However it's not uncommon that a reputable breeder will not allow visitors into their catteries or home until their kitten's immune systems are properly developed.

7.) Guidelines are given about spaying/neutering. It's not uncommon that some breeders will spay/ neuter before you take the kitten home.

8.) Will provide health records at time of pickup or in a reasonable time frame thereafter.

9.) Breeder has open communication with you and responds to questions in a reasonable period of time (a couple of days.)

10.) Breeder will share a few pics (it never seems often enough) but they do update under most circumstances.

11.) Not every breeder can please every buyer, so be sure to check to see if there are any repetitive complaints against the cattery/breeder - just Google the breeders cattery name, this is usually sufficient enough to find information on that person or their cattery.

A registered cat breeder MUST have a prefix, which is the name the cattery has registered with the appropriate cat council. If a breeder can not provide you with their registered name AND the cat council who holds the registration, they are either a backyard breeder and/or they are scamming you. All sorts of paperwork accompanies a responsibly bred purebred cat, but what most people mean when most people say a cat “has papers” they mean registration papers issued by a cat registry. Some people also mean that the cat has a pedigree, which is simply a family tree showing the cat's ancestors.

Some of the more well-known cat councils include:
  • CFA (Cat Fanciers Association)
  • TICA (The International Cat Association)
  • GCCF (Governing Council of the Cat Fancy)
  • WCF (World Cat Federation)
  • FIFe (Fédération Internationale Féline)
  • ACF (Australian Cat Federation)
  • NSWCFA (New South Wales Cat Fanciers Association)
  • ANCATS (Australian National Cats Inc.)
  • QFA (Queensland Feline Association)
12.) Some breeders have applications as they want to make sure their babies go to good homes.

13.) Look at the warranty - a great standard is the cat/kitten is guaranteed against congenital defects up until it’s 1 year old. Should it die within this time due to a congenital defect the kitten/cat will be replaced by one of the same quality and value when next available, only if necropsy has been preformed and a certificate from your vet is provided as proof of the cause of death. Kitten is guaranteed for 14 days against feline viruses/diseases.

14.) Usually their contract has a clause that a cat cannot be resold or rehomed w/o the breeders consent or first option to take back the cat or kitten.

15.) If you can visit, is the environment clean? Are the cats eyes clear, do they have a runny nose? Bottoms clean and overall weight of cat/kitten looks good?

16.) Have in their contract that a kitten must be vet checked within 72 hours of you getting it.

17.) Most breeders have an extensive contract that mentions no declawing in it.

18.) Ask your breeder about vaccines and see if they are knowledgeable about them. Most breeders state in their contract that it may void the contract if the FIP and FeLV vaccinations are given by your vet or any other entity.

19.) Above all trust your gut...if something feels wrong there is a reason. The quick "deal" is a red flag.

20.) If the price is too good there is a reason. If it feels too good to be true...it is!
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Mar 8, 2012
This is a weird list because some of the information sound subjective & does not mention HCM scanning parents? Is it an error?


Staff member
Jan 16, 2011
@TheTopaz assuming you missed it, the mention of HCM scanning is actually in the very first #1 thing to look for..did you miss that?
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