I often get asked many questions but some come up more frequently then others, so I've tried to answer the more common ones here. This post will be updated as and when more frequent questions arise. Please note, depending on who you ask, these, or at least certain questions, you may receive a different answer. Everyone has their own views and opinions, however these are mine and this is how I like to do things.
What is your process, from first contact to reserving a kitten?
However you've found me, you've been in touch and I've added you to my list. I get many enquires and I try my best to answer all of them. I would have sent you an acknowledgement of your interest and informed you that you've been added and that I will be on touch when we have possible availability for you. I know some people want to ask more questions at that point but I prefer to wait nearer the time until I have a kitten available for you. It may be some time before your name comes up, and the information I give you may be outdated or forgotten.
Once a litter is born my website is updated and I will post regular updates on my social media (Facebook and Instagram - links to those are on my website by clicking on the relevant social media logo). Once we know what we have, I would be in touch with the next people on my list to discuss (by means of a telephone conversation) their suitability and the home they can offer, and if happy inform them that I may have a kitten available should they wish.
You can continue observing the kittens development and will have the opportunity to visit us when the kittens are at least six weeks of age. If both parties are happy, then a non-refundable deposit is accepted to secure the reservation of a kitten (Kittens are chosen in order of booking) and a contract is signed to agree with my terms. The families that have now reserved a kitten will receive weekly pictures and videos, and regular contact can be made to answer any questions that may arise etc. Kittens will be ready for collection at 13 weeks of age as per GCCF guidelines.
If I pay you a deposit now, before they are born (or mum not yet expecting) to show I'm serious and how much I want a kitten, can I be guaranteed one from your next litter?
I am very sorry but I do not take any money from anyone until the kittens are born. Even then, deposits are not usually taken until they have reached six weeks of age. This is to ensure we have healthy growing kittens before we can offer them to new families. Also, we can have more of an idea of what they will look like e.g longhair, shorthair, their colours and markings, and we can also confirm their sex.
Okay, so I am on your waiting list. Where am I on that list and how long will it take to get a kitten from you?
This is a question I get asked all the time and it's a very hard one to answer. How long is a piece of string?
I do not like to tell people at what stage in my list they are at. This is because it can be misleading. For example, you contact me and I say you are number 25 on my list. You may think you stand no chance, or think it will take years to get a kitten from me, so you either go elsewhere or put the plans of getting a kitten from me on the back burner for a while. When in reality the people on the list above you are waiting for a particular sex that I don't have - so they go down the list and continue to wait. The next person is wanting one after their holiday at the end of the year - so they move down the list; another person wants a particular colour, a Longhair or a Shorthair, or a particular dam (mother). You get the idea. You are no longer at number 25 but find yourself at the top. Now, I could have potentially lost you as a customer and you me as your breeder.
Some people wait many months for a kitten from me while others not so long. It depends on many factors and some that are also out of my control, such as how many kittens are in the litter.
If you are flexible in what you want (ie colour, sex, LH, SH) then your wait will be much shorter. Please don't be offended if you find that I've got a new litter and have not contacted you. Be assured if you are on my waiting list I will be in touch when one potentially becomes available for you. Should your circumstances, or preferences, change please let me know.
When can we visit?
Visits are not permitted until the kittens have reached at least six weeks of age. This is also the stage when deposits for any reservations are accepted.
This is to avoid stress on the mum, and gives the kittens time to grow, to be at a stage where their personalities start to show and you can begin to see more of what the kittens may look like.
At six weeks of age, families are able to visit, choose their kitten and secure a reservation by means of a deposit. The next time you visit will be on collection day. I am sorry but I do not permit more visits. We are a very busy, working, family unit, and if we allow it for one family we would be obliged to do the same for all families, and as you can imagine that would not be practical. You will however receive weekly updates of pictures and/or videos so that you can see your kitten grow.
I live too far away to visit (viewing and collection) is there another way to see/get the kittens?
Yes of course. I'd say 99% of my customers are not local to me. They travel many hours to come for one of my fur-babies, and often return for another at a later date. Rightly so, distance should not be an issue when it comes to finding your new family member, after all it's often a once in a lifetime event for many. At the 6 weeks viewing stage, if you cannot travel for whatever reason we can set up a video call should you wish. All reserved families are updated with weekly pictures and/or videos until they collect their kitten(s) regardless.
On collection day, if you are unable to come we can arrange a reputable cat courier to deliver the kitten to you (please get in touch if you would like their contact details).
We are also located close to a Train Station where I have often met customers there and brought them back to my house for viewings/collections, and we can gladly arrange this for you too. If you need to stay over, to break up the travel, we can recommend local hotels/B&B's.
I live abroad, can you ship a kitten to me?
I do not ship any of my cats/kittens abroad.
I'm so excited, is it okay to keep requesting updates/pics/videos?
We understand that it is an exciting time, no matter how many times I reserve a new girl or I have a new litter born I still get excited so I know exactly how you feel. However, I cannot keep taking and sending pictures and videos every time someone asks for them. That is why I state weekly updates so I can send them to all reserved families at once. More often than not I do send them more frequently, but there are times when the household is too busy its just not practical for me to do .
What does active and non-active mean?
Active registered means that the breeder has given you permission to breed from the said kitten. Non-active means that the breeder has not given you permission to breed from the kitten and therefore the said kitten should never be mated (with neither another pedigree or a moggie). If you went against the breeders wishes, any resulting kittens from the mating would not be able to be registered with any governing body (eg GCCF, TICA, FIFe etc). You would be reported and you would be exempt from ever being able to become a registered breeder. If we breeders sell on the non-active register, we expect the new families to respect this as we may have reasoning behind it. If you find your chosen breeder is selling kittens from non-active registered cats they are going against the contract and wishes of the breeder. If they are dishonest about this, do you believe they have integrity? What else are they being dishonest about?
Some breeders neuter their kittens before they leave them, however, although some vets agree and are willing to early neuter, I feel the kittens are way too young and again I go back to say they go through enough at that age as it is. I personally like to work on the basis of trust. A desexing contract is signed by both parties when my kittens are sold.
What is the difference between a registered pedigree and non-registered cat?
"A cat registry or cat breed registry, also known as a cat fancier organisation, cattery federation, or cat breeders' association, is an organisation that registers domestic cats (usually purebred) of many breeds, for exhibition and for breeding lineage tracking purposes." Without this, we do not know if the said cat/kitten is a pure breed or in fact a mix of breeds (moggie).
We've all seen the infuriating adverts where the vendor says "parents are registered pedigree cats but the kittens will not be registered as they are for pets only". This basically means that they have bred from one or two cats that do not have breeding rights (non-active) and therefore GCCF, for example, will not register the litter. They have broken the breeders contract. What's to say these kittens are even a result of the two matings? They could be a litter from two moggies that the vendor/back-yard breeder is trying to portray as pedigree kittens to get more money.
Regardless if the kittens are intended for pets only, or for breeding, all genuine pedigree kittens should be registered. If not, then you are paying pedigree prices for a kitten that in fact is not a pedigree! You might as well get a moggie.
Do you microchip the kittens before they leave?
I do not microchip the kittens as I believe they are too young and go through enough as it is. Although the implantation needles have significantly decreased in size since they first came out, I personally still think they are huge and I don't like hearing them cry (admittedly I'm not a fan of needles!)
All my kittens are homed with the intention (and trust) that they will be indoor pets only, and hope that their new families will go to all measures to prevent their fur-baby from escaping (please see my Recommendations page for products regarding safe outdoor use). However, I still highly agree with microchipping incase the unthinkable happens, but I recommend the new owners have this done by their vet at the same time as spaying/neutering.
No, this isn't because I want to cut costs and put the added expense on the new owners. No expense is spared for my cats and kittens! Regardless if I had them microchipped, the new owners would still have to pay to transfer the details into their names because it is standard procedure to automatically put the kitten in the breeders name. Sometimes this is more headache than non so it just makes sense for the new owners to arrange this.
It is currently the law to microchip puppies before they leave the breeders and for all details to be kept up-to-update, but for kittens it is not a legal requirement at this time.
Why are some kittens Longhaired when the siblings and/or parents are Shorthair?
I specialise in British Shorthairs and up till now only own British Shorthair Queens and Stud. But I do have the occasional British Longhair kitten(s) from some of my matings, which is a breed in their own right (not a cross/moggie) and are registered as such (in my case with GCCF or TICA).
In order to get Longhairs from two Shorthair parents, they both have to carry the Longhair gene. Bear (my stud) carries the Longhair gene and so do Luna and Aphrodite. Therefore it is possible to have a litter with a mixture of both Longhairs and Shorthairs. I personally love the surprise!
How soon can you tell if a kitten is a Longhair?
Sometimes we can tell as soon as they are born if a kitten is a Longhair, and other times its not till they are a few weeks older. By the time they are six weeks old we will know for sure.
On preparation of my kittens arrival, should I buy kitten litter trays or the adults size? and same question in regards to scratch posts?
I would say go straight for the full sized products or else you will find they would have soon outgrown them. By the time the kittens leave us they would have already been to the top of our structures with ease.
Once we collect our kitten should we arrange for him/her to visit his new vet shortly after so he's registered and has a treatment plan set up?
When your kitten leaves us he would have already seen our vet twice and would have had all the vaccinations they need for a full year. They will also leave with a letter from my vet declaring this and their current health. However, it is a peace of mind for you that your own vet has seen your kitten, and if anything is discovered then this can be rectified sooner rather than later (please see the terms and conditions on your contract). You can also discuss with your vet about continuing with worming/flea treatments etc. I highly recommend that all new owners continue with an insurance plan after the 4 weeks free insurance that your kitten comes with expires.
What, how much and when do you feed the kittens? Will this change by the time they come to us at 13 weeks old?
A detailed, personalised diet sheet will be included in your information pack that I prepare for when you take your kitten home. I have also included the types of foods I feed on my website on the 'Recommendations' page.
Once you have reserved a kitten from me you will receive a voucher to apply for your free starter pack direct from Royal Canin.
What should I expect on collection day?
On usual circumstances, families are given at least hourly time slots. This is to give enough time in between collections to answer any questions or concerns you may have, or in case of people arriving early/late due to travelling from longer distances. If you choose to travel by train we are happy to collect you from the station.
**DON'T FORGET TO BRING A SUITABLE SECURE CAT CARRIER** Kittens will not be allowed to leave in a cardboard box.
I ask that people enter via the back way due to it being a larger entrance and to avoid escapees. My cats and kittens do have a free run of the house so please remove all shoes in the kitchen upon entering. Please do not visit other catteries on the day of visiting us.
We will go through the paperwork and information pack and you will be given a scented blanket to put in your cat carrier. Once payment has been received in full, you are ready to go.
If I spay/neuter before he is one year old will it stent his growth?
Every person you ask will probably give you a different answer. However, my vet told me this is not the case. Neutering early will not stent their growth, and the expected adult size of your kitten is more to do with genetics. So if you want an idea of what size your kitten will grow to then look at his parents. An ideal age to get your kitten spayed is 6 months old, although I would say younger for the boys before they start scent marking and attempting to escape to look for girls.
Can I show my kitten
Yes of course. You do not need a specific registration type to be able to show like you do for breeding. If you feel your kitten/cat is ready and has the right personality for the show bench then give it a try. Please feel free to get in touch if you need any help/advice on this subject.