There is a certain risk inherent to the adoption of a mixed breed kitten or cat. Little is known of the animal's background and current state of health, even less can be predicted about its future development. Such kittens, however, are not initially costly. Purebred kittens are expensive, and as a buyer, you have the right to certain advantages and guarantees.

Ethical, knowledgeable breeders evaluate their kittens by the same process used by professional judges at cat shows. They compare each kitten to the written standard that describes the ideal cat of that breed. Experienced, honest breeders determine which kittens fall short of the standard, in qualities of coat, coloring and bone structure. The goal of a serious breeder is to improve their breed of cat, therefore, the kittens that don't conform to the standard, are sold as pets. Because the ideal cat is a rare creature, pets are more numerous.

Such pets are in great demand, for they reflect the health, personalities and most of the physical qualities that define the ideal example of their breed. Only those kittens with the potential to mirror their breed standard closely are considered for breeding or showing. Be certain that you get the quality that you pay for.

Wholesalers are not qualified or equipped to evaluate or care for kittens. No ethical breeder will sell to dealers or pet shops. The unfortunate young animals found in pet shops are produced in volume and usually overpriced. Buy from an established reputable breeder. Raising and showing cats is my hobby, not a business. Raising kittens properly costs a great deal. Each kitten represents years of effort, care, research and financial investment. The quality of nutrition and medical care received in a kittens first few months will be reflected in its lifelong health. Bargain kittens, priced low because of a low overhead system of care by the original owner, can be expensive in the long run. Correcting illness and deficiencies can be a depressing procedure.

Consider the environment in which a kitten is raised. Cleanliness, or lack of, will be related to the physical condition of your kitten. Kittens need a great deal of handling and affection in the first few weeks of life, to become a loving pet in your home. Animals raised in cages or kennels are often handicapped for life. Do not accept a kitten that is too young. Ours are weaned when the mother cat and offspring show less need of each other, and the kittens show an interest in forming a bond with a family member. Never purchase a kitten that has not been inoculated against the preventable diseases. You have the right to insist on a pet free of disease, parasites and ringworm. Conscientious breeders protect their kittens, their ethics protect you, the buyer. Do not accept a kitten unaccompanied by instructions for its care, immunization schedule, neuter, feeding and grooming needs. Do not buy on impulse; be prepared to provide the necessary care and companionship for the lifetime of the kitten.

     



Echo Hill Juliet and her daughter, Echo Hill Dawn, at 3 weeks.




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