Is this a bad question to ask a breeder? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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Is this a bad question to ask a breeder?


I hope I am posting this in the right place.
After years of kitty rescue, I would like to find a cat from a breeder and am seriously considering a Devon Rex. I have gotten some responses from breeders that left me wondering if I am asking questions that seem negative.

First of all, I feel like this is a huge decision, a big investment emotionally and monetarily and I want to find a kitty whose personality fits as well as possible.

I have talked to several breeders about the personality I am hoping for in a kitten. I would really, really love to have a kitten that would enjoy snuggles and sitting on laps and be more affectionate than aloof. I haven't had that in years and I am just dreaming about it.

If it turns out that the kitten doesn't, of course I will love it endlessly anyway, however, I that is something I would really, really like to have if possible. My current kitty I adopted knowing she might not be snuggly-and she isn't at all. She is incredibly aloof and reserved. She has never once sat on my lap so obviously that is not a deal breaker.

When I ask if a kitten is affectionate or will sit on a lap and snuggle, I either get noncommittal, rushed answers about "Oh, it's a sweet kitten." and that sort of thing or I never hear back after that.
So far, several peopledid not return my emails after I asked questions about personality or the other problem is that one is often expected to put a deposit down on a kitten when it is born and you don't know much about it at all.
I feel like I am an outstanding home for a kitten and so I don't understand.

Because of this, I have missed out on a handful of potential kittens. Our family is very loving and I know we would all be so incredibly happy to have a kitten to snuggle with. It has been a hard year.

I hope this makes sense. Should I not be asking this question? Can you figure out if a kitten is affectionate at all at a few months old? Is this taboo and does it make me seem like a negative thing to ask a breeder? I'm trying to ask all the right questions to make sure I do this right.
Thanks all.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 06:56 AM
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Your dilemma is one that many people here lament about......the want of a loving lap cat. Unfortunately, many cats are little jerks, who feel like dishing out love on their terms and when they feel like it. Such is the nature of the cat. I was fortunate enough to have a stray kitty find me 7 months ago who turned out to be the sweetest, snuggliest little lap cat ever, so unlike my two other cats who are 10 and 6. I knew I had to keep the don't come across cats like that every day, you just don't.

I personally think you would have better luck finding a snuggle bunny kitty by looking for an adult cat. One that is in a rescue, one that you can go by and talk to the people in charge of the rescue, in talking to them you can tell them what you are looking for and they may say "I have just the cat for you". It's so hard to tell though, because their sweet littler personality that they show in the cage may not mean that they will be a lap cat when you get them home. I have looked on petfinder before, and many of those pets have a good description of their personality and I know I have read that in there before, in their bio, how "this cat loves to sit on your lap", or "this one is old and a loner and just looking for a comfy place to curl up", that kind of thing.

My lap cat I rescued from the woods back in Dec, he is a black kitty, and I have heard so many people recently talk about how black kitties seem to have the sweetest personality....and I know that's silly, because it's not a breed, just a color, but it seems to be one of those things, like many tuxedo cats are big.....again, it doesn't make sense, because they are not a breed either, but so many of them are huge. Same with the black kitties. My first kitty I had as a child was a little black kitty and was the biggest sweetheart ever. My recent rescue, black kitty, and you will hear on here how loving many of those black cats are.....I am convinced black cats are the biggest sweethearts!!!! I know I sound crazy, but I'm just convinced of it
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 07:06 AM
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If you are set on a Devon, you can find adult cats for adoption in a retired breeders area (like on

Honestly, I would get an adult cat. I adopted a kitten first, that seemed very outgoing, liked to be held, ect. Now that he is an adult, I can't even remember the last time he wanted to be on my lap, and he is not the biggest fan of even being held.

Recently, I adopted an 8 month old Siamese mix through a purebred cat rescue (SPCR based out of Milwaukee WI). This rescue is based out of foster homes, so they really understand a cats personality. So I watched the website and waited for a cat that had the personality I wanted (cuddly, talkative, ect) and I couldn't be happier with that decision. I feel just as close with him as with my boy that I adopted as a kitten, but adopting as an adult allows you to really find that personality you are looking for.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 08:27 AM
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Your problem is that you are looking for a fully developed personality in a kitten- that doesn't happen. A lap kitten could turn out to be an adult cat who doesn't want to be held. Personalities can't be predicted in kittens. You would be better off getting an adult cat.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 11:22 AM
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Like people said, what you really want is a fully mature cat with a developed personality. Though all cats are different, even pure bred cats, there is a higher chance of getting a cat bred to be true to the breed if you buy from a reputable breeder. I would recommend looking into these breeders, and checking to see if they have any retired breeders they are looking to re-home.

There are a lot of benefits of adopting a retired breeder. They are going to be the best of the breed because what reputable breeder is going to knowingly breed a cat that isn't true to breed standards, and you are going to know exactly what you are getting ahead of time. The breeder should know their retired breeders very well, and will be able to tell you exactly what you are getting, not to mention they tend to be cheaper because they aren't kittens.

Something to understand, kittens will be kittens, no matter what breed. As somebody on the forum is experiencing right now, it doesn't matter how docile, and relaxed, or snuggly an adult pure bred cat is supposed to be, kittens have one thing on their mind, they want to play. They don't want to play sometimes, they want to play all of the time, and it will take a while for them to grow out of that.

Can't wait for pictures though, whichever way you decide to go
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 12:38 PM
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Just wanted to add- the question isn't taboo, it's just one that is impossible to answer. Even the most experienced breeder cannot predict with 100% certainty what the personality of a cat will eventually be. Lots of breeds often have common personality characteristics, but that is no guarantee that every cat of x breed will have those exact traits. If you know what traits you absolutely want, get an adult cat. A cat who is a few years old still has many, many years to spend with you and you won't end up disappointed.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 12:51 PM
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I'm going to have some different advice that the other posters so far...

The way I see it there's two ways you could go:

-Adopt a kitten, with the intention of raising it to enjoy cuddles
-Adopt and already snuggly adult cat

Both options are viable.

I disagree with the idea that a kitten will just grow into a cat who doesn't cuddle. Out of our four cats ALL of them cuddle. Sure, with Torri it's only in her room (where she feels safe), and with Jitzu if she's having a bad day she doesn't want to...but by and large they are all cuddly cats.

I'm a firm believer that it's all in how you raise them. Kittens do go through less cuddly phases, but they'll come back to it if you make it enjoyable.

The main things I did to ensure both my boys loved cuddles were:

-Make sure they were comfortable with the level of contact.
Doran likes hugs, kisses, ect because I got him very young (he was abandoned) and he was raised getting lots of kisses and hugs from day one. He loves it and will ask for kisses ect...the other cats do NOT like my face that close to them. Watch their body language and adjust your actions accordingly.
Most cats don't like to feel constricted, and if you lay your hand/arm across them they will get up and move. Ditto with face-to-face touching, unless they initiate it I don't put my face in their space.
-NEVER put down a fussing kitten. Wait until they settle.
There's two reasons for this, the main one is that if they fuss or struggle and you put them down right away they learn that fussing means you'll let go. That makes any sort of medicating, nail trimming, ect MUCH harder than it needs to be. The other reason is that the act of struggling is uncomfortable in itself, if that's the last thing that happens every time you hold them they'll slowly become more adverse to being handled.
-Cuddle them when they're tired! Excited bouncy kittens don't want to cuddle! Have playtime first, and when they're all sleepy and adorable scoop them into your lap and have cuddle time then. I did mandatory sleepy-cuddles every day with the boys as they grew because I think it's important to give them a thorough check up regularly and it's much easier when they're sleepy. Now, when they want a nap they come find me and WANT to nap with mummy rubbing their little cheeks, or paws, ect.
Snuggling sleepy cats is one of my favorite things, so I encouraged it with lots of their favorite rubs and pets.

Kittens do have attitudes, and I see no reason the breeders should be put off by asking which kitten is cuddlier...but also ask if you could come visit the kittens and interact with them before it's pick-up day, or before you need to choose. if they won't let you near kittens and Queen ASK why. If they have legitimate concerns (distemper is going around in your area and it's for the safety of the kittens, ect) then that's one thing...if they just say no and won't explain I wouldn't get a kitten from them anyways.
See which kitten clicks with you, I like to hold them on their backs like a baby and tickle their tummies. Some kittens will tense up and immediately try to flip over - that could be anxiety, stress, excitement, ect. Others will purr and completely relax in your arms...that kitten is a better bet to raise a cuddler.

Either way, I'm sure you'll find the right kitty for you
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 02:30 PM
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I don't think there's any questions that can't be asked. I'm also new in adopting kitten from breeder and i actually sent over 30 emails on some really basic (and somewhat nonsense lol) questions, but breeder still had the patience to answer my mails. It is ok to ask about the 'usual' behaviors of the breed.

Like i have just recently adopted a ragdoll kitten, which it is said to love cuddles/affectionate, but actually my kitten didn'tet me cuddle and not sitting on my lap for a week of arrival. I even keep trying to cuddle her on first few days which made her run. But eventually i just let her be. After a few days she would come to me then i'll cuddle her awhile.

I learned that if we keep trying to force cuddle or forcing cat to sit on lap it'll make them hate cuddles/lap sit or even petting. Excessive cuddling make them dislike too.

Every cat got diff personality so there's a chance for them not to like these actions anyways. I do agree that visiting the kitten before adopting is a good idea. But keep in mind that there's a chance for the kittens to not let u cuddle on first visit as trust has not been developed.

Ah, maybe you can try sitting close to ur kitten/cat so it get used to the feeling of your body/thighs.

Good luck.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by librarychick View Post
I'm a firm believer that it's all in how you raise them. Kittens do go through less cuddly phases, but they'll come back to it if you make it enjoyable.
I can only agree with this to a point. Of course how an animal is raised plays a key role in what they will grow into, but genetics (predisposition) are also huge. There have been studies on this, none I can locate at the moment, and quite honestly cannot recall if it was done on cats, dogs or silver foxes (or multiple studies from all three)... but taking an animal and placing it with a friendly/unfriendly parent to be raised does not often affect how they mature into adults. The tamer ones stay tame, and more aggressive ones stay more aggressive ... it's in their genetics. This was likely the tamed silver foxes of Russia, now that I'm thinking about it.

Here was one study on cats in particular:

Although the kittens had never met nor observed their fathers, McCune found that the friendliest kittens were those from the friendly father.
... so anyway, getting a kitten and doing everything right may still not yield the perfect lap kitten you want. The odds are higher that if raised correctly they will be more friendly, but this is never a guarantee.

My aunt's kitten started out nice and cute and grew into a cat that hardly likes to be touched half the time... her three previous cats were fantastic and total lap cats, and all of them she raised from kittens.

I would strongly suggest an adult cat if you would like a lap cat. Basing a cat on breed traits is a pitfall... there have been many members on here with purebreds that state their Ragdoll (for example) is too hyper, not a lap cat, scared of everything... etc.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 04:05 PM
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OVERWHELMING concur with Wannabe Catlady! A cuddly kitten does NOT mean a future lap cat, and vice versa. Our Maddie was not cuddly AT ALL when we first adopted her at 3 years old, but now that she is 9 she enjoys a cuddle on occasion. Thankfully not often because she is a big cat.

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