Updated: Mar 18
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.
1. What is your process, from first contact to reserving a kitten?
However you've found me, you've been in touch. I get many enquires and I try my best to answer all of them. I would have sent you an acknowledgement of your interest, informed you of any availability or upcoming litters, and added you to a waiting list. 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 It may be some time before we have a kitten available, and the information I give you may be outdated or forgotten by the time your turn comes around. Also, many of your questions can be answered via this blog or my website.
I used to contact people on my waiting list in order once I had availability. This was too time consuming for numerous reasons, and I felt I was chasing people, waiting for their answers when there were people contacting me wanting to secure there and then. So now I say, when I post ‘Reservations are now being accepted’ it is up to you to contact me. A waiting list is still being kept and if someone contacts me that has previously been in touch, then they would have priority (in order of first contact). Having said that, I don’t just give my kittens to anyone that contacts me. I do like to talk on the phone, at the very least, to discuss suitability etc and to ensure they are going to a good home. So just because someone may be the first to contact me it doesn’t mean they will be guaranteed one of my kittens. My cats & kittens are my world and only the best will do. So, the first stage would be to email me requesting to be added to my list, telling me a bit about yourself and the home you can offer. Please follow my Facebook and/or Instagram accounts (links to those are on the top and bottom of my website), to keep in the loop about births and reservation announcements etc. The Nursery page on my website will also be kept up to date with availability and important dates.
Then, once I announce 'reservations are now been accepted' and all the family are ready to make the commitment, you may wish to message again expressing your interest in this litter and a particular sex/colour (if you have a preference). If a kitten is available I will arrange a call back to discuss further.
Please only contact me when you are serious about reserving. I usually give a weeks notice before reservations are accepted, and that is around four to six weeks after they have been born. This gives ample time to think things over with the family. I have many people waiting for kittens so if you are given the opportunity to reserve then hesitations may result in loosing out of securing a kitten this time round. At that point, if we are both happy, then you will be supplied with a copy of the contract for you to have a read through. You will be asked to sign in agreement with its entirity before reservation can proceed, as some clauses are relevant before collection day (You will be asked to sign again at the time of collection and the hard copy will be included in your pack). Finally, a non-refundable deposit/admin fee will be accepted to secure your new fur baby.
The families that have now reserved a kitten will receive (at least) fortnightly pictures and/or videos, and regular contact can be made to answer any questions that may arise etc. Kittens will be ready for collection at around 13 weeks of age as per GCCF/TICA guidelines.
Video calls and/or visits will not be permitted until the first stages have been completed; once I know more about you, and only when I have kittens available for reservation. This is for the safety of myself, my family, my cats and kittens. Furthermore, please do not be disheartened or take it personal if you are not successful at first. I am inundated with requests for my kittens. I try my very best but I cannot always please everyone. I wish it were more simple. I do have quite regular litters so it shouldn’t be too long await.
2. 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 reservations begin at around four to 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.
3. Okay, so I have been in touch. 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?
Some people wait many, 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 (i.e. colour, sex, LH, SH) then your wait will be much shorter.
4. When can we visit?
Visits are not permitted until the available kittens have reached at least four to six weeks of age. This is also the stage when deposits for any reservations are usually 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. Visits are only offered to those who have reserved or have the intention to reserve a kitten from that current available litter. If you would like a kitten from a future litter I ask that you wait until then before visiting.
At four plus weeks of age, families are able to visit, choose their kitten (in order of reservation) and secure a 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 fortnightly updates of pictures and/or videos so that you can see your kitten grow.
Please do not visit any other catteries on the day of your visit to us. This is to prevent possible spread of disease/infection.
5. 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 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 fortnightly pictures and/or videos until they collect their kitten(s) regardless.
On collection day, if you are unable to come we can arrange for delivery of your kitten. Please get in touch if you would like a quote.
If you need to stay over, to break up the travel, we can recommend local hotels/B&B's. Please see my blog post on hotels that I recommend near to me.
6. I live abroad, can you ship a kitten to me?
I do not ship any of my cats/kittens abroad. This also applies to individuals wanting to collect in person and organise shipping themselves. My kittens welfare comes first and I believe it is an added (unnecessary) stress for them at such a young age, especially after everything else they are going through ie Leaving everything they've known so far, their mum, siblings, vet visits, vaccinations, new homes/people etc. I do not believe putting them in a crate alone in the hold compartment of an airplane for x amount of hours is good for their health. It is scientifically proven that stress has been shown to contribute to diseases in cats that can lead to fatalities.
If, on the other hand, you are willing to collect in person and have found an airline that permits cats to be in the cabin with yourself, or if you are lucky to have a private jet then we can talk. It could also be permitted if you were to collect in person and transport your kitten with yourself to neighbouring counties via train/ferry/car. All additional costs would be at the buyers expense.
7. 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 that updates aim to be sent out fortnightly 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 that its just not practical for me to do.
8. What does active and non-active mean?
Active registered means that the breeder has given you permission to breed from the said kitten/cat once he/she has reached maturity. Non-active means that the breeder has not given you permission to breed from the kitten/cat and therefore the said kitten/cat 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) and therefore all kittens would be classed as moggies. 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?
9. 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 mating's? 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 and have papers to prove it. 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. It is not expensive to register a litter so why wouldn't you? unless you are hiding something.
10. Do you microchip the kittens before they leave?
Yes. By 10th June 2024 it will become mandatory for all cats to be microchipped.
Cats must be microchipped before 20 weeks of age, and details must be kept up to date. Even cats that are kept indoors must be microchipped.
If cats are not microchipped, you van face a fine of up to £500.
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, microchipping gives you the peace of mind that if the unthinkable should happen then there is hope that he/she would be found, scanned and returned to you. It is up to you as the owners to ensure that your contact details and address is kept up to date.
11. Why are some kittens Longhaired when the siblings and/or parents are Shorthair?
I specialise in British Shorthairs but I do have the occasional British Longhair kitten(s) from some of my mating's which is a breed in their own right (not a cross/moggie) and are registered as such (in my case with GCCF or TICA). As of Friday 20th August 2021 British Longhairs have been accepted by the GCCF at Champion level.
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 most of my girls. Therefore it is possible to have a litter with a mixture of both Longhairs and Shorthairs. I personally love the surprise!
12. 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 four to six weeks old we will know for sure.
13. 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.
14. 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 for a health check and would have had all the vaccinations they need for a full year. 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 before the 5 weeks free insurance that your kitten comes with expires.
15. 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.
16. What should I expect on collection day?
I would have sent you a message or email leading up to your collection day. A time slot would have also agreed between us. Please aim to keep to this time as I often have multiple collections on the same day. **DON'T FORGET TO BRING A SUITABLE SECURE CAT CARRIER** Kittens will not be allowed to leave in a cardboard box.
Please do not visit other catteries on the day of visiting us, and only visit us if you, and everyone accompanying you are well with no COVID symptoms and have not visited anyone in the past week that have been unwell.
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 (cleared funds), you are ready to go. Most people, if paying by bank transfer, prefer to settle a day or two before collecting their kitten(s) to ensure the funds have cleared in time.
17. 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. It is a good idea to spay or neuter as soon as possible, especially for the boys before they start scent marking and attempting to escape to look for girls. All my kittens will leave with a spay/neuter contract signed by both parties (if they haven't already had the procedure done before collection). Most vets will do the procedure once the kitten is 2KG or above.
18. 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.
19. What is the difference between GCCF and TICA? and how do I go about transferring the kitten into my name?
Both are registering bodies however GCCF is just for the United Kingdom, whereas TICA is international. Which one your kitten is/will be registered to depends on which one both dam and sire (parents) are with. I would have informed you of which, however you can also find confirmation on which of these applies to your kitten on your receipt. Please follow the relevant section below to transfer the kitten to your name.
GCCF Registered Kittens
The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) is a cat registry, established in 1910 and the largest organisation that registers pedigree cats in the United Kingdom.
In your pack you will find a small card titled ‘Breeder Registration Card’.
It is possible to fill in the back and send it off in the post, however I DO NOT RECOMMEND doing so, it can easily be lost. Instead, go to https://www.gccfcats.org/Online/CatTransfer/OpenTransfer
and follow the instructions. It will ask for the UIN number. This can be found on the right hand side of the registration card in bold. Never share this number with others as this is what allows others to transfer to themselves. The cost of a kitten transfer is £12 and you will be taken to the payment window once the relevant information has been completed.
GCCF registration is instant. You will now be able to see your fur-baby on your online account, and a new registration certificate will be sent in the post to you.
TICA Registered Kittens
The International Cat Association® (TICA®) is the world's largest genetic registry of pedigreed cats, the largest registry of household pet cats and kittens.
In your pack you will find an A4 printed document (Black & White) titled “Breeder Slip”. Because TICA is located in Texas, most documents we have to print ourselves (such as Kitten registrations). They only send out certified copies of pedigrees if purchased.
TICA now has a new online system and it is much easier to do everything from there. Therefore do not fill in the paper version of the Breeder Slip form but rather do it online…
Create an account:
The first thing you need to do is go to https://tfms.tica.org/s/login/selfregister
If you have previously had an account with TICA (TDS Online) then make sure you use the same email address you used before as this will activate your account and give you access to your cats.
Register your kitten using the Breeder Slip:
Go to https://tfms.tica.org
On the top navigation bar click on “Cats & Litters”
Click “Register a cat” from the drop down menu
On the left hand side select “Register a cat using a Breeder Slip”
Fill in the “Breeder Slip Number” and the “Litter Number” using the information on the printed Breeder Slip I supplied you with.
Click “Next” and follow the instructions.
Once you and TICA have completed the registration you will be able to see your registered cats by selecting “My Cats” on the main page of tfms.org
There you can print off documents such as registration and pedigrees etc.
Please note TICA may take some time to respond and/or complete some requests due to a backlog of tickets.
If you encounter any issues with your transfer please do not hesitate to contact me.
20. I've reserved my kitten. What should I buy in preparation for their arrival?
Firstly, you will need to stock up on the foods that your kitten have been brought up on. Make sure to ask your breeder what these are. I would have supplied you with a voucher to claim your free welcome pack from Royal Canin so there is no need to buy any dry food for a while. However you will need to purchase some Hi Life Kitten food (Chicken). Please see my Recommendations page for links and other ideas of what to buy in preparation.
Kitten essentials: Royal Canin kitten dry food, Hi Life Kitten (Chicken) pouches, 2x food bowls (one for dry food and another for wet), water bowl (not plastic), litter tray and litter, toys, scratch post, pet carrier, and cat brush.
21. I want to change the food that my kitten has been brought up on.
In order to help settle your little one in and to avoid unnecessary stomach upsets/loose stools, it is advisable to stick to what foods they are used to. Any changes should be made gradually by mixing small amounts of the new food to the old over a period of at least two weeks.
He/she should remain on kitten food until the age of 12 months, as it will provide all the nutrients he/she needs to grow up strong and healthy.
22. I have a shorthair kitten. Do I still have to brush him?
Brushing your kitten is important regardless of their coat length. Tools for grooming are listed on my Recommendations page.
23. I have another cat/kitten at home. How do I go about introducing them?
British Short/Longhairs get along well with children and other pets. I personally love it when people approach me for more than one kitten from the litter, or return in the future for another, because its great for them to have a companion. Once you have witnessed two cats interact with one another you will understand what I mean and be glad of your decision.
If they are introduced correctly, with time and patience, there is no reason for them not to be best buds for life.
Before bringing the new kitten home install a Feliway Plugin around a week before their arrival. "This sends harmony messages to help cats get along".
On arrival don't just throw them together in the hope that they will sort themselves out. Your new kitten will most likely already be nervous with leaving everything they know without the added pressure. Keep them separated for now and allow time for the kitten to settle into their new surroundings. See my other blog post on 'Bringing your kitten home'.
Once you feel your kitten is ready I like to do the sock trick. Cats recognise each other by scent not sight, therefore get a pair of socks, rub one sock around the kittens face/scent glands, and the other sock around the other cat's face, then trade socks with each cat. No doubt they will show interest in the new scent. Then, when you do decide to introduce them to one another they will approach each other, smell, and think 'Hey I know you'.
The next stage would be to let them be able to see each other, but not able to touch. You should be able to judge by their reactions the time for when the full introductions could be done. When that time comes, make sure there are plenty of escape routes in each room so neither can be cornered, such as tunnels and perches. Provide separate feeding/water bowls and do not force them to eat close together. Some cats may block the other from getting access to litter trays as a sign of dominance, therefore it is advised to have multiple trays for multi-cat households to avoid the cat having to find alternate places to 'go' in your home. The general rule is one for each cat, plus one extra.
Each cat/kitten is different and there is no one rule for all. Some take to new comers quicker then others. There will most likely be a few hisses and smacks, and this is fine so long as its not a full on fight, and trust me you will know the difference. This could last hours, days, weeks or months, but as long as you are calm yourself, and patient, I am confident they will get there.
24. How big will my cat grow and how long do they live for?
Males average 4 to 7kg whereas females average 3 to 5kg.
An adult British Shorthair cat can stand 12 to 14 inches high (paw pads to shoulder).
British shorthairs are slow maturing and are not fully developed until they reach around 3 years of age.
The average lifespan is around 14 to 15 years, but some have been known to live as long as 20 years.
Of course, what you feed your cat, their lifestyle, indoor or outdoor cat, genetics, exercise, enrichment, and veterinary care will all contribute to how long they will live.
25. Do British Shorthairs/Longhairs shed their fur?
Although the British Shorthairs have short fur, yes they shed.
They have a double coat which is very dense and the bottom coat tends to shed more than the top. Brushing your Shorthair cat at least twice a week will keep on top of shedding.
British Longhairs on the other hand do not shed as much. They tend to shed only twice a year during the change of seasons, and even then it tends to come off in clumps rather than individuals strands. Again regular grooming is needed to keep their hair healthy and matt free. Pay particular attention to under their chin, stomachs and around their bottoms and back legs.
Please see my Recommendations page for grooming kits.