Welcome to Sphynxlair! Connect with Sphynx owners & enthusiasts around the world!

What to look for in a breeder? I'm inexperienced!

wanderpus

Lairian
Joined
Sep 26, 2010
Messages
51
Points
19
Hello!

I've decided I absolutely must have a Sphynx— there's no denying it! However, every cat I've ever had has been a mutt scooped up from cardboard boxes or adopted from friends-of-friends, I've never dealt with a breeder before, and I do not know what to expect at all!

I live in upstate NY, and found a breeder in PA through the 2010 Cats USA magazine that has kittens available, so I contacted her and she informed me that the male will be $1200, will come with "3 vaccines, 2 wormings, and a Health certificate from the vet" and that " he is registered with TICA". Do these things sound normal? I have no frame of reference to compare!

Could anyone give me a rundown of the sorts of things I should expect from a breeder, what questions I absolutely must ask, and any red flags I should be aware of? I'm specifically looking for a male to be a part of my home as a pet/family member only.

Also, if anyone knows a reputable breeder in my area (or has had a bad experience with one), please PM me! Any information I can gather is a step in the right direction! I googled this particular cattery and found no bad news, but maybe I'm missing something.

ANY helpful tips for a total newbie would be so appreciated! Thanks!
 

Liliya

Lairian
Joined
Sep 25, 2010
Messages
30
Points
19
yes this things sounds normal for me, you can ask also the photocopies of HCM tests of parents, it's better if you can visit the cattery and look at the cats there, if they are healthy and looking well.
And breeder also can ask you alot of questions)))
 

susi794

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Aug 23, 2009
Messages
13,560
Points
673
Yes, ask about whether the parents have been tested for HCM within the last year--and ask for copies of the tests results. Ask to look at the contract--what kind of health guarantee does this breeder offer. You may want to ask to look at the dam and sire's pedigrees to check for HCM in their backgrounds as well. Make a visit to the cattery to look at the conditions the kitten lives in. Will he be neutered before he comes home with you, or must you have him neutered at a later date. Make sure you read the contract carefully so you don't accidently do something that voids it. Do you need to have him vet checked within 24 hrs.? Are there any injections that, if given, will void your contract? If you can't make a preview visit, I would ask for a health certificate from a vet within a few days of your pick up date--if she charges extra for that it might be worth it. Then really look at the kitten's behavior in the cattery--is it playful and active? Are his eyes bright and does he look healthy? Really take the time to talk to your breeder--does he/she seem genuine and easy to talk to? If she seems standoffish or put off by any of your questions, look elsewhere. The breeder's relationship with you will hopefully be a long one, so trust your gut feeling about whether you feel comfortable with the breeder or is it just that you are blinded by the wanting of the kitten. Relationship with the breeder is so important if there are problems in the future. Finally, my last piece of advice--the breeder must sign the contract too. A copy of the contract that you alone have signed, is pretty worthless.
Good luck with your new baby boy when you get him,
Susi and the gang
P.S. You obviously aren't from S. Africa like I said in your intro post--LOL---I KNEW you'd be from someplace so far away from S. Africa if I asked. Where did you pick up use of the word "moggy"? I've never heard it used in the U.S. before.
 

wanderpus

Lairian
Joined
Sep 26, 2010
Messages
51
Points
19
P.S. You obviously aren't from S. Africa like I said in your intro post--LOL---I KNEW you'd be from someplace so far away from S. Africa if I asked. Where did you pick up use of the word "moggy"? I've never heard it used in the U.S. before.
I replied on my intro thread, but I'll do here too! My mother's from England, it's a word I picked up from her! :D

Thank you for your advice! I emailed the breeder asking about HCM and providing proof of the results, and about the health guarantee, so hopefully she gets back to me with good and not-sketchy news!

She asked for a 50% deposit, is that a standard amount?
 

wanderpus

Lairian
Joined
Sep 26, 2010
Messages
51
Points
19
The breeder replied saying the father is clear (and she can get the paperwork from that cat's breeder) but the mom hasn't been tested yet. She said if I wanted the kitten tested for it specifically she would pay half the costs.
 

Mews2much

V.I.P Lairian
V.I.P Lairian
Joined
Jun 14, 2009
Messages
4,564
Points
0

The breeder should have the dam tested.
You should not have to pay half.
Another thing is just because a breeder is in a mag it does not mean they are good.
The price sounds right.
You know if you pm me the info I can check the HCM database and see if there is any of the breeders cats or cats in the ped on it.
They list neg cats also.
You need to ask many questions.




 

Bella07

Banned
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
2,078
Points
0
I haven't read the other replies yet, but will just add my thoughts in for now! I don't have a Sphynx yet either, but have spoken to several breeders, and have learned so much! When I buy from a breeder, this is what I am looking for them to do....
Have all their adults tested for HCM, and can provide me with proof.
Kittens come to me with shots, spayed/neutered, microchipped already would be fabulous, a health guarantee (Some provide HCM guarantee's which I love!)
Show their cats, in either the TICA/CFA
Kitten comes with Registration Slip

And the breeder breeds the best of the best. She/He is dedicated to improving the Sphynx breed, and wants nothing more than to make sure that the kitten finds the most wonderful home ever! I have spoken to breeders who seem more concerned with who can give them the most $$$, rather than the best home. A kitten between $1,000-$1500 is the average price for a pet. So, $1200 seems normal. But, I would hope that the kitten would come to you fixed for that price?

Also, do you mind PM'ing me what breeder in PA you are considering purchasing from? I'm from Pennsylvania, and would love to know!
 

gizmo6370

Banned
Joined
Apr 7, 2009
Messages
3,599
Points
0
Great tips already.....
The breeder should have tested the dame on HCM before having a litter....you also need to ask her for a recent copie of the Felv and Fiv test of both parents and a copie of the PKD test....

Polycystic- Kidney Disease in Cats

I also don't think that 50% of the amount is a standard deposit....
 
Last edited by a moderator:

gizmo6370

Banned
Joined
Apr 7, 2009
Messages
3,599
Points
0
Well from what i have seen on other breeders site's it usually says 200 or 300 dollar deposit....not 600 :Wink:
 

gizmo6370

Banned
Joined
Apr 7, 2009
Messages
3,599
Points
0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Last edited by admin; 09-26-2010 at 10:31 PM. Reason: link to another cat forum

Sorry Admin :Woo:
 

wanderpus

Lairian
Joined
Sep 26, 2010
Messages
51
Points
19
So, so far it seems like:

-Deposit's too high
-Hasn't tested the mother for HCM
-Hasn't tested the kitten for HCM
-Offered to pay half for test, but should pay all?
-No mention of neutering yet
 

wanderpus

Lairian
Joined
Sep 26, 2010
Messages
51
Points
19
The breeder says he'd be too young to be neutered when he gets to me (around 3 months old) and that it should be done when he's around 5 months. Thoughts?
 

gizmo6370

Banned
Joined
Apr 7, 2009
Messages
3,599
Points
0
So, so far it seems like:

-Deposit's too high
-Hasn't tested the mother for HCM
-Hasn't tested the kitten for HCM
-Offered to pay half for test, but should pay all?
-No mention of neutering yet
Deposit....yep to high
Hcm test for mom should be payed for by the breeder
Hcm test for the kitten is way to early...should be done for the first time around the age of one year...
Some breeders neuter their kittens before leaving...and some don't...that's everybody's own choice....
 

Bella07

Banned
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
2,078
Points
0
The breeder says he'd be too young to be neutered when he gets to me (around 3 months old) and that it should be done when he's around 5 months. Thoughts?
The high majority of vets in my area will alter a kitten, as long as it's in good health, when he/she is two pounds. At three months, in my experience, the kitten should be at least 2 pounds, if not more.
 

wanderpus

Lairian
Joined
Sep 26, 2010
Messages
51
Points
19
I've heard conflicting info about when kittens should be spayed/neutered, so I'm not really sure what's right. I've had a vet tell me to wait until one of my kitties was a certain age, but when I took him in, another vet yelled at me and said I was irresponsible for waiting so long :X
 

ilovemysphynx

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 2, 2009
Messages
4,988
Points
271
Waiting until 6 months of age is ideal so everything has a chance to grow, most vets will not spay or neuter any younger.
 

marlene

V.I.P Lairian
V.I.P Lairian
Joined
May 14, 2010
Messages
1,985
Points
0
Wanderpus, here are my thoughts on your situation:

1. The dam should have been tested for HCM before being bred. Unless these kittens are the result of an accidental breeding of a queen who isn't one year old yet.
2. A warning bell went off when you said that s/he stated the sire had been tested and that s/he could get the paperwork. Why do I want to say that a truly responsible breeder would have had that paperwork in hand already? And if s/he purchased a male that was already of breeding age (as it obviously was, if someone else had done the testing) then why didn't s/he get a copy of the scan before purchasing the sire or at the time of purchase? Something about that seems sloppy at best, untruthful at worst. I'll end this comment by saying that if I were breeding sphynx there would be absolutely no way I would EVER get a new stud of breeding age without having the HCM scan already in my hot little hand.
3. I'm in Ohio and have researched a lot of breeders in the OH/MI/IN/PA area. The average down payment is about 1/3 of the purchase price. Also many breeders don't accept money down until the kitten is at least 5-8 weeks old but will keep your name on the waiting list until that time.
4. The kitten himself won't come tested for HCM since scanning isn't recommended until around 1 year old. That's one reason parentage scanning is so important.

The advice given is all very sound. I would like to echo the statement that you really need to pay attention to your gut feelings. If something doesn't feel right then keep on looking.
 

Mews2much

V.I.P Lairian
V.I.P Lairian
Joined
Jun 14, 2009
Messages
4,564
Points
0
I agree with everyone else and am going to send you the breeders websites I know are good in a few minutes.
I got your pm.
 

Bella07

Banned
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
2,078
Points
0
I agree with everyone else and am going to send you the breeders websites I know are good in a few minutes.
I got your pm.
Great minds think alike! I sent Wanderpus a list of some of my favorite breeders as well. Jacky, would you mind PM'ing me the same list of breeders that you are going to send Wanderpus? I'm interested in seeing if there are any breeders in your favorite list, that I may not know of. Thanks!!
 

wanderpus

Lairian
Joined
Sep 26, 2010
Messages
51
Points
19
I got the impression that the sire was someone else's cat, not one that she owned.

But after everything everyone has said, I definitely am feeling a little questionable about this breeder, which essentially equates it being a no-go. I don't want to have doubts, I want to be confident that the breeder I am working with is knowledgeable and responsible. I am waiting for more info from her so I can check the HCM database, but you're right (as was everyone else who said) that she should never have bred the female without checking for HCM. My bf and I really want this kitten (he's black, SO CUTE) but we do not want to bring home an adorable little buffmonster, only to discover that he is has a terrible condition. If she didn't check for this, I wonder if she was lax in other areas of their health, too.

She's admittedly a new breeder, which isn't a bad thing— everyone starts somewhere, but I want to know for sure that I am getting a strong, healthy cat who will be with me for a long time!

If anyone has other great personal experienced with breeders in the North East, please PM me! I'd like to be able to go visit them, although I'm not adverse to shipping, but I heard it costs a lot?

Wanderpus, here are my thoughts on your situation:

1. The dam should have been tested for HCM before being bred. Unless these kittens are the result of an accidental breeding of a queen who isn't one year old yet.
2. A warning bell went off when you said that s/he stated the sire had been tested and that s/he could get the paperwork. Why do I want to say that a truly responsible breeder would have had that paperwork in hand already? And if s/he purchased a male that was already of breeding age (as it obviously was, if someone else had done the testing) then why didn't s/he get a copy of the scan before purchasing the sire or at the time of purchase? Something about that seems sloppy at best, untruthful at worst. I'll end this comment by saying that if I were breeding sphynx there would be absolutely no way I would EVER get a new stud of breeding age without having the HCM scan already in my hot little hand.
3. I'm in Ohio and have researched a lot of breeders in the OH/MI/IN/PA area. The average down payment is about 1/3 of the purchase price. Also many breeders don't accept money down until the kitten is at least 5-8 weeks old but will keep your name on the waiting list until that time.
4. The kitten himself won't come tested for HCM since scanning isn't recommended until around 1 year old. That's one reason parentage scanning is so important.

The advice given is all very sound. I would like to echo the statement that you really need to pay attention to your gut feelings. If something doesn't feel right then keep on looking.
 

Mews2much

V.I.P Lairian
V.I.P Lairian
Joined
Jun 14, 2009
Messages
4,564
Points
0
Ok I will do that.
BTW the Bombay I am getting is from Cleos and Polars breeder.
 

Bella07

Banned
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
2,078
Points
0
Well, trust your gut! If you're already having questionable thoughts, move on. There are so many breeders out there, and in my opinion, there's no need to "settle" for just anyone. You'll find your perfect breeder soon! Along with your purrrfect Sphynx kitten! Oh, and shipping usually is around $250-$300 including crate/health certificate.
 
Top