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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Introducing kittens? + Question about breeder

I've had some tough luck with my breeder.

In January, I put down a deposit on the cutest little kitten (a silver chestnut ticked Oriental), and watched him grow and grow, until his mother suffocated him. I actually think that the mother might have sensed something wrong with him. His forehead bulged a bit (especially when you saw him in profile), and his eyes were considerably wider apart than his litter-mates.


Gallagher

It seems silly, but I'd already gotten pretty attached to him, just from hearing about him and watching his day to day growth. So, hearing that he'd passed was a bit depressing. I decided to try again with another kitten, from the same breeder and the same father cat (I love his colouring, ebony silver, and his giant goblin ears!)


Vertigo, the father

The second kitten lasted a little over a month. Then his mother caught a URI and passed it on to the entire litter (7 kittens in total), and they were all lost.


Gallagher the second

A third litter from the same father-cat was born about 12 days ago. I haven't seen any pictures yet, which in itself makes me worried. With the previous two litters, she sent pictures a day or two after the litter was born. I have heard two other things that make me worry...the mother is a first-time mom, and two of the babies are underweight and on supplements. I'm not sure how many kittens there are, and I don't know if the URI virus is still making its rounds through the cattery.


The new mother

So this is my first question: should I switch to a different breeder? I've talked to another woman who breeds longhaired Orientals, and she has a few four-month kittens that are ready to go. I would feel a bit disloyal, since I've been with the first breeder since November (when the first litter was conceived), but I really want to get a kitten while my current cat (Grimalkin) is still a kitten, so that they'll be easier to introduce. I'm worried kitten #3 is not in good health, which is why she isn't sending pictures.

I think I might end up driving down to the second breeder this Thursday, and picking up a little white furball.


One of the available kittens from Breeder #2

Which brings me to my second question: How would I introduce a 7 month kitten to a 4 month kitten? Would it be the same as with adult cats?

Grimalkin is VERY friendly (unless you're getting between her and her food, in which case she'll start howling at you and thrashing her tail). When I was introducing her to my other cat, Marmaduke (7 years old, over 3x her size), she didn't hiss once! And he hissed A LOT, so she wouldn't have been unprovoked. She's outgoing, playful, and all around adorable. I'm not worried about Marm or Grim reacting to the kitten (Marm's hissing was just out of fear. He's very timid, but also very friendly and unaggressive. Once he knew the tiny little kitten wasn't there to eat him, he became overjoyed with her presence). The kitten, however, is an unknown element in this, so I still want to go through a proper introduction.


Grimalkin and Marmaduke
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 01:22 PM
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If you haven't made a deposit, I would drop that first breeder so fast. How many litters does she have a year?! How many cats does she have?!


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 01:40 PM
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That white cat is a beauty. Is she/he the one available? I really like the way she is looking alert. Since your older cat already accepted a kitten you probably won't have any problems. Just to be safe, just use good "introduction" methods. Good luck and more pictures, please?
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 01:42 PM
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I don't have any pedigrees so I am not speaking from personal experience but my alarm bells are ringing. It might be pure bad luck but this sounds suspiciously like a big business and not a terribly well run one.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 02:19 PM
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Had a look at their site. I love it how no matter what kind of breeder they are, they're always a "small" one. They have 9 females and 3 males... three listed as co-owned in one section and then in another section have 5 listed as co-owned ones. Some that are listed as co-owned aren't listed in one section while others are. Makes me question if they even know how many cats they own where. They're breeding three different kinds of cats according to their header on the website (Siamese, Oriental and Colorpoints).


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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 04:23 PM
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I don't know anything about buying a cat from a breeder, so take this with a grain of salt, but... that death rate would worry me a lot, personally. Especially since it seems like the breeder is going about business as usual, rather than putting on the brakes and figuring out what's going so dreadfully wrong.

Kittens do die sometimes even under the best possible care, that's just a sad fact of life, but when it comes to contagious disease it's really important to be proactive about preventing future transmission, and in this scenario also keeping good communication with the customer about what's going on. It just doesn't seem to me like the breeder is doing that.

If you still have options, I would look elsewhere for your kitten.


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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 04:28 PM
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I see too many red flags with your current breeder. I wouldn't set myself up for more heartbreak. The white kitty is gorgeous! You should go check the new breeder out and if there are other kitties available, look at them too. You should get a feeling pretty quickly about this new breeder. Go with your gut instincts based on what you see there!

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 04:43 PM
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I am in complete agreement with all of the above. While mortality rates with kittens are high, they aren't THAT high. I'd be outta there! (So to speak!)

That said, I've never had any problems introducing kittens to older cats, ever. I think of it like introducing two toddlers...they could give a crap about color, race, religion, sex...they just see the opportunity to hang out with someone their own size and age!

If all are healthy (and I do stress this) and are up to date on all shots, etc. then I see no reason to attempt an intro for kittens as opposed to adults. If for whatever reason you see discord on the older kitties parts...then perhaps try the official method.

That's my two cents....
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 05:15 PM
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Since the first breeder seems pretty shady to me, I tried searching out the second one. I think I found them, just based on your location and that they have white kittens. They seem iffy to me, too.

They list their kittens on Kijiji which is often a red flag right there... and the two listings I see of white kittens, one lists them as born on the 27th on November at 600 dollars... then the next posting has dropped the price to 500 and they were born on the 20th instead of the 27th?! Which is it? Or do they have two litters of kittens? And why such a price drop. If they can't find homes for the kittens and need to price slash that fast... don't breed kittens. And then there's the fact that I tracked down their website (same kitten pictures as Kijiji) and they list prices on there at 550 so what's the deal there?! They also seem to be listing their kitten prices based on their quality... but it should be show quality or pet quality, not a bunch of distinctions. Either they're going to be show quality/breeder cat... or they aren't, so show quality/flaws won't matter.

Another major thing: They don't refund on FIP, FeLV or FIV. They also claim their queens are tested for FeLV and FIP, but you can't really test for FIP as far as I understand it. They make no mention of testing their queens for FIV, which makes me wonder if they don't even realise they've typed FIP instead of FIV. Not very professional there.

Anyway, I won't look into it farther since I'm not 100% sure that's the second breeder you're considering.


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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Had a look at their site. I love it how no matter what kind of breeder they are, they're always a "small" one. They have 9 females and 3 males... three listed as co-owned in one section and then in another section have 5 listed as co-owned ones. Some that are listed as co-owned aren't listed in one section while others are. Makes me question if they even know how many cats they own where. They're breeding three different kinds of cats according to their header on the website (Siamese, Oriental and Colorpoints).
I went to visit her place, and she actually seemed really professional, She knew all about the genetics, breeding for health and temperament as well as looks, and her cats were amazing! They were all very happy and healthy (it was cat heaven, with toys and cat trees scattered all over the house), and were never caged. There were quite a few cats, but not an unmanageable number, and both her parents lived there and were able to help out. It wasn't a "I never moved out of my parent's house" situation, though, more of a "I'm helping them out and giving them a home" situation, which I thought was very sweet.
The deaths do seem quite excessive, but the cattery didn't seem sketchy to me. I can totally see how it would come off like that, though...I think she's just having some extremely bad luck.

Sorry, I didn't mean to make breeder #1 come off as a back yard breeder That was my fault. I really do trust her, I just think she's in an unusual situation right now.

Quote:
Since the first breeder seems pretty shady to me, I tried searching out the second one. I think I found them, just based on your location and that they have white kittens. They seem iffy to me, too.

They list their kittens on Kijiji which is often a red flag right there... and the two listings I see of white kittens, one lists them as born on the 27th on November at 600 dollars... then the next posting has dropped the price to 500 and they were born on the 20th instead of the 27th?! Which is it? Or do they have two litters of kittens? And why such a price drop. If they can't find homes for the kittens and need to price slash that fast... don't breed kittens. And then there's the fact that I tracked down their website (same kitten pictures as Kijiji) and they list prices on there at 550 so what's the deal there?! They also seem to be listing their kitten prices based on their quality... but it should be show quality or pet quality, not a bunch of distinctions. Either they're going to be show quality/breeder cat... or they aren't, so show quality/flaws won't matter.

Another major thing: They don't refund on FIP, FeLV or FIV. They also claim their queens are tested for FeLV and FIP, but you can't really test for FIP as far as I understand it. They make no mention of testing their queens for FIV, which makes me wonder if they don't even realise they've typed FIP instead of FIV. Not very professional there.

Anyway, I won't look into it farther since I'm not 100% sure that's the second breeder you're considering.
You're quite right, breeder #2 is super sketchy! I'm not trying to be mean, but she sounded pretty thick in her emails. And the prices on her site (which, by the way, is blindingly tacky. I mean come on, little glitter Jesus gifs?) DO NOT match the ones on kijiji. Or the ones on Hoobly. Or the ones she sent me in an email :S I'm unsure what to make of that.

Even still, quite a few other catteries in Canada and the US use her cats as breeders, so they can't be that bad. I'm being optimistic right now, and thinking that maybe she does breed responsibly, but isn't that bright.

There are two litters of kittens (same father, different mother), so the variation in birth dates makes sense.

I'm going to visit her, and see for myself what kind of place she runs. If it reeks, with dead cats poking out from under the furniture, I'll just turn and walk out (and maybe report her). If, however, I see a bunch of happy cats in a clean environment, I think the cute little white kitten is worth considering

Last edited by marie73; 03-25-2013 at 10:08 PM.
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