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Our family is looking for a kitten. More specifically a Scottish Fold. In our quest, we have many questions.

1. What should we look for in a breeder? (Organization affiliation, warranty, avoiding scam artists)

2. Since there are no breeders in our area we would need to have shipped. what concerns should we have? (safety, costs, etc)

3. What are the pitfalls of buying from a private family? (health, avoiding scams, etc)

We have already come across a person that listed kittens for sale in PA only to find out they are actually from Texas and are charging $300 for "adoption paperwork and shipping". We found this to be suspicious.

Appreciate any feedback. Thank you.
 

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Welcome!

We have members here who can answer most of your questions, but since we're not allowed to post links to breeders, you may also want to check out a Scottish Fold-specific forum, they would probably be very aware of who the scammers are.

You might also want to check out Scottish Fold rescues or Petfinder in your area, there may be some Fold-mixed kittens available. Not purebred, but also not outrageously expensive. And still adorable. :grin:
 

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I'm sure you have, but please check out some of the problems that occur with this breed, especially if breeding out doesn't occur.
 

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Welcome! Looking for a new kitten is so much fun! I spent MONTHS looking before Jasper and I found each other, so don't worry if it seems like it's taking a while, the perfect kitten is worth it! :)

I'll try to answer some of your questions based off of my own personal experience in this area.

1.) A good breeder should have almost as many questions for you as you do for them; they will show a clear interest in the welfare of the kitten and may ask you to contact them in the future to let you know how the kitten is doing; I send my breeder new pictures of Jasper every month or so and she just loves to see him grow! They will have their cats and their litters registered with CFA/TICA, and will not release the kittens to you until at least 12 weeks of age at the minimum. They will usually provide a guarantee of health (with tests for FIV, FeLV, etc), the first few vaccinations, and wormings. When you go to meet the kittens, they will introduce you to their parents and any other cats they have; I met both of Jasper's parents, littermates, an adult sister, and the breeder's pet Persian and dogs when I visited, and all of them were extremely friendly, which is a great sign! Finally, a breeder may also give you a 'kitten kit' with a blanket that smells like home/mom, a toy or two, and some food to get started.

Please take the time to find a good breeder that meets these standards. I spoke with several 'shady' sounding individuals before I found a breeder I was comfortable with, but when I did I knew I was in great hands! It's worth it to expend the extra effort to find someone that really knows what they're talking about, especially since they'll be able to answer any questions you'll have settling your new kitten in. :thumb

2. I don't know much about shipping. I was in the same boat as you, in that there were no breeders in my area (well, there were but I didn't trust any of them :p) so I ended up driving ~6 hr round trip to get Jasper. He slept the first half of the way back then mewed softly when he did wake up. All in all, not too bad. He's WAAAAAY worse in cars now haha :roll:

3. I think you're referring to a backyard breeder? These families can mean well, but often do not have the knowledge or experience to properly breed; I would avoid them in favor of a CFA/TICA registered breeder.

Just a heads up as well, some don't support the breeding of cats with folded ears because they are associated with several health problems. I'm not sure what you know about this, but it might be worth looking into.

Hope this helps! :thumb
 

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Good breeders should be affiliated with TICA or catFanciers...they will be quite knowledgeable about the breed and breed standard and most good breeders show their cats at cat shows. If there is a cat show near you, I would encourage you to attend and speak to the breeders there. When contacting a good breeder, they will ask you a LOT of questions in order to determine if you are a good fit for their cat. You will most likely be required to sign a contract, so you may want to see that in advance. Most good breeders also require a non-refundable deposit as their kittens are in demand and this ensures the buyer is honestly interested in the kitten. (Breeders tend to get a lot of people who just want to come and look and and "play with" their kittens....almost all good breeders don't allow this unless they feel you are a good match. This is simply because it takes one ringworm spore or one flea or one anything and an entire cattery is infected and it is very expensive when you have that many cats to take to the vet and get meds for).

When talking with breeders, ask about screenings they do. I am not familiar with Scottish Fold, but with our Bengals, we do several screens such as PK def, HCM, and more each year. Ask if the cat can be registered and with which affiliation. You can ask about the parent health screenings and general health....parent names. A good breeder will answer all your questions.

I know with bengals, we keep our kittens until they are 14 weeks old, 2 vaccinations, microchipped, and vet checked. Our four came with food samples and presents (different depending upon breeder, but things like a blanket, dish, favourite toy, etc).

With regards to shipping, you will have to talk to the breeder. Some do ship via airlines and feel comfortable doing so. I did just read that Delta had some problems with their kitten shipping lately. Shipping a cat via airline with all the extra health checks and paperwork is usually about $300 in the USA. Sometimes breeders have people that fly with the kitten so it can go in the cabin instead of animal cargo....which may cost more.
 
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