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This is Fergie

Backyard breeders and what to avoid when looking for a pedigree kitten

Currently the demand for puppies and kittens is extremely high, resulting in an increase in backyard breeders, scammers and kitten “flippers” (people buying a kitten from a genuine caring breeder and re-selling on for a profit). Scamming the breeder and the purchaser

What do we mean by “backyard breeders”? Well, these are breeders who are attempting to make money breeding cats by cutting corners. They are not interested in trying to improve the breed by careful selection of breeding stock. Kittens are often bred from one or both parents who are registered as Non-Active on their official registration documents, which means that the kittens cannot be registered as pedigree with the 2 UK governing bodies, the GCCF and TICA.

A responsible breeder will register kittens as Non-Active for several reasons; they feel the kitten is not suitable for breeding, they wish the kitten to live in a loving pet home and not a breeding establishment, or they do not want to risk the progeny of the kitten being passed to backyard breeders in the future.  

Kittens from backyard breeders are not registered, many are not vaccinated to cut costs, and kittens are often sold before the GCCF recommended age of 13 weeks. Kittens that are unvaccinated may have never been checked over by a Vet.  Queens may be mated more than once a year, which does not give them enough time to recover from rearing the previous litter. You may feel that you don’t need registration as you only want a pet, however breeders who register their kittens have agreed to adhere to a code of conduct set out by the registration bodies, which is there to protect not only the kitten but also the purchaser.

Unregistered kittens are not necessarily cheaper; the Birman Cat Club Committee has recommended a price guide for pet kittens for 2021 of between £750.00 and £1000.00.  Prices are often much higher than this on pet sales websites and we STRONGLY advise you to avoid these sites as these are where a lot of backyard breeders advertise their kittens.  The best place to look for a kitten is on the Birman Cat Club website, which lists breeders throughout the UK, and kittens available, or one of the other three Birman Clubs in the UK.

A genuine breeder will not ask you to pay a large deposit before the litter is born and will want to meet you and assess the home you can offer before promising you a kitten, Be prepared to wait for a kitten as they are not born all year round. Good breeders will offer you lifetime support and will be keen to know how the kitten is settling in his or her new home.  

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This is Rosie (Ch. Arezza Alpine Rose) with her last litter