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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I am new to the breeding business and am starting a Siberian/Neva Masquerade Cattery. Looking into registering with TICA and WCF. Since it’s cheaper to purchase a male and female straight from Russia, I have been planning on doing that. However, my question is: how do I know if it’s a scam or not?
I’ve been chatting with two breeders, and they both know each other from cat shows etc and are friends. The male is $1300 and requires a $500 deposit. (They requested Western Union or straight wire to bank account. I can pay them separately or pay it all just to one breeder they said). The female is $1500 and requires a $500 deposit. Shipping them both together to my local airport is $1050. They sent me the page for the courier too, and she seems legit. The breeders websites seem legit too and all of the information seems to be correct. I have cross checked the internet and done Google searches and their emails match up and i also found them in their local competing cat club in Moscow. Their catteries are also listed in the WCF and TICA database. I have also FaceTimed with each breeder and saw the cat I want to buy. They speak minimal English so they have been using Google translate. I don’t see any red flags and I read on several reputable breeders here in the US that they got their kings and queens straight from Russia so it must be a thing people do? Am I making a huge mistake or is this a legit thing? I can share their websites if that helps.
 

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I've always been told that you get what you pay for. Even if there are no red flags and they seem legit, you have no legal recourse if there's something wrong with the cats. Or if you don't receive them as promised. Or if anything goes wrong. And you can't get your money back from Western Union or a wire transfer. Being told that you can pay it all to one breeder doesn't seem quite right, either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmm that is true, yeah. They don’t have an option to pay with credit card which is what I prefer because it’s safest for me if it has to be refunded by my bank. That’s my biggest concern. They do seem to have a good reputation on their Facebook pages.. I guess my main question is how to breeders here in the US get their initial king and queen? They are so much more expensive here (I’m seeing $3k-$4k for one Neva Masquerade for breeding purposes here in the US whereas they are like $1300-$1500 over in Russia)
 

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My opinion only :)

I've always thought along the lines.. if it seems too good to be true.. It probably isn't..

As Marie has said, no recourse if it all goes south.. I'd look somewhere closer to your home.. even if it means waiting a bit longer.. and doing more research..

As I said at the start.. Just my 2 cents :) Others opinions will vary . x
 

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I highly recommend you do not do this. As noted above, if it is a scam you will have no recourse whatever.
Even if it is not a scam, what if you get a kitten who is sick and dies in a few days? No recourse there either.
There are good breeders of Siberians in the US. Contact them. You don't need a cat from Russia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is helpful, thank you! I’m trying not to get too invested in those cats as I really fell in love with them in photos, videos, and over FaceTime 😭 But it does sound like the reasonable decision is to wait and look closer to home. Let me know if you know of anyone in the United States that sells Neva Masquerades for breeding! I only found one locally that sold them for $3k for breeding and the waitlist was pretty long. I’m all set up and ready to start my Cattery so buying one at like 8months old would be ideal which is the age of the cats in Russia I am looking at :/ (male is 6 months and female is 8 months)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thank you for your advice! Let me know if you know of anyone that sells Neva Masquerades for breeding purposes here in the United States. So many catteries seem loath to help out bc they don’t want competition or their website is very adamant about neutering the cats. I will keep researching but I’m always open to any breeders you would like to recommend! 🙏🏻 I appreciate your help
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I had not heard of these cats and, after looking them up, thought they look very similar to Ragdolls. What are the main differences?
This is a good article that describes the differences! Siberian Cat vs Ragdoll: Which Cat Should I Get? - MyMoggy Neva Masquerades are basically a crossbreed between Siberians and Siamese (as recent as the 1980s) and are considered separate from the Siberian purebred by some. I honestly am obsessed with them and if they’re considered their own separate breed then so be it! I love their mane-like neck hair and how they like water and their tri-part coat. They evolved for over a thousand years in the wild and only recently were crossbreed with Siamese so they have minimal human manipulation making them healthy compared to many other cat pedigrees. They’re called Neva Masquerades bc of the region they originated from. The Neva River — a lot of masquerade parties were held there and their color points sometimes look like they’re wearing a masquerade mask ☺
 

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Personally, I believe that breeding cats for pleasure or profit is cruel. There are millions of cats put to death every year because there aren't enough people to adopt the ones that are confined in shelters or trying to survive on the streets, waiting for someone to take them home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Personally, I believe that breeding cats for pleasure or profit is cruel. There are millions of cats put to death every year because there aren't enough people to adopt the ones that are confined in shelters or trying to survive on the streets, waiting for someone to take them home.
Personally, I strongly disagree with you; but I respect your opinion. I think it’s a noble endeavor to preserve these incredible breeds and I love the culture around it, cat shows, etc. The United States breeders require buyers to neuter their pet, if they haven’t already spayed them before they sell them. Neva Masquerades are not breeding out of control, in fact they live wonderful lives as their owners usually have a sincere affection for them and care for their health and take pride in them and do not over overbreed them (from my research and experience at least). I think it would be a tragedy if these pedigree breeds were neglected and not kept papers on and they became a mixed line that died out. They are a beautiful, healthy breed and the world is a better place for them! ❤
 

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I did a little research before I responded, and it seems that the Neva Masquerades were originally cross-bred between Siamese and Siberian cats in Russia in the 80's, and are quite common there and in some other countries. They're in no danger of dying out, just really expensive here because they're rare in the U.S.

I'm not a fan of cat shows, or any other animal pageants, because they're judged on an ideal form of perfection. When some unethical breeders don't get the "right" cat, they consider them disposable, or worse, kill them outright. And even as you say, the US requires buyers to neuter of spay the cats, they had to come from somebody who has either bought them from breeder or is breeding them somewhere, which just perpetuates more breeding. For each cat that is bought, another cat waiting in a shelter loses their chance to have a home and family.

All of my cats have been basic mutts, all of them adopted, and I assure you, imperfections and all, I love them with my whole heart!
 

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This is a very hot topic here, but I'm glad everyone is being respectful.

I'm quite torn on the subject. On one hand, breeding cats properly, running tests on the kittens and cats, giving a health guarantee for a period of time, and being 100% transparent to buyers are just the basics of a good breeder.

Price
If the price is too low or too high in comparison to other catteries, that would be a red flag. I can’t give you a price range as this will vary between countries and breeds, but keep this in mind. In fact, if the price is too low, it may mean that the breeder saves money on the health tests, while if the price is very high, it could just be a scam.

International delivery
Be especially careful if the breeder offers international shipping, especially if they don’t deliver the kitten themselves. A reputable breeder will want to meet in person the future family of their kitten.
Having said that, my first cat was a purebred Birman, with papers, medical documents dating back to her birth, her parents, etc. Free, on Craigslist. I met her and didn't really want her because I was told she had litter box issues, but I wanted to get her out of the hoarding/neglect situation she was in. But after 24 hours with her, she was already in my heart. The breeder gave her away because the color on one paw reached down too far onto her paw. She had 4 homes, at the age of 4, before I adopted her.

Cat Siamese Felidae Carnivore Blue


You can kind of see where the brown goes down into her paw on her right paw. I mean, seriously, this cat was a "reject"? Having said that, a responsible breeder having a kitten that doesn't pass the breed test will have the kitten fixed and find a good home for her/him.

And on the other hand, people want what they want. I have a friend who only wants Ragdolls, and who am I to judge? Being a responsible breeder is very, very expensive and is usually a person who loves that breed.

About the spay/neuter laws:

Those owners and individuals with breeder, animal handler, or fancier permits, and pets qualifying for a temporary or permanent medical exemption will not be required to comply with the ordinance.
Many states require sterilization or a promise to sterilize to adopt an animal from a pound, animal shelter, or pet animal rescue. Some of these states require a monetary deposit to ensure future sterilization, and most of the states provide for certain exceptions
It's funny how dog breeders, people who want certain breeds, etc. are not thought of in the negative way cat people are treated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This is a very hot topic here, but I'm glad everyone is being respectful.

I'm quite torn on the subject. On one hand, breeding cats properly, running tests on the kittens and cats, giving a health guarantee for a period of time, and being 100% transparent to buyers are just the basics of a good breeder.



Having said that, my first cat was a purebred Birman, with papers, medical documents dating back to her birth, her parents, etc. Free, on Craigslist. I met her and didn't really want her because I was told she had litter box issues, but I wanted to get her out of the hoarding/neglect situation she was in. But after 24 hours with her, she was already in my heart. The breeder gave her away because the color on one paw reached down too far onto her paw. She had 4 homes, at the age of 4, before I adopted her.

View attachment 132290

You can kind of see where the brown goes down into her paw on her right paw. I mean, seriously, this cat was a "reject"? Having said that, a responsible breeder having a kitten that doesn't pass the breed test will have the kitten fixed and find a good home for her/him.

And on the other hand, people want what they want. I have a friend who only wants Ragdolls, and who am I to judge? Being a responsible breeder is very, very expensive and is usually a person who loves that breed.

About the spay/neuter laws:





It's funny how dog breeders, people who want certain breeds, etc. are not thought of in the negative way cat people are treated.
Oh my goodness she is beautiful!! 😍
Yes that is a good point about dog breeders! That’s interesting.
Thank you for sharing that information. The Russian breeders, upon my request, sent me the Facebook page of the courier girl that they use and I have been messaging with her. She seems legit as far as I can tell. Is that the same as offering shipping? We can’t really meet in person bc we’re across the world but we did FaceTime with each other and the cat. Male is 6 months and $1300 and female is 8 months and $1500. Those prices seem reasonable for over there; they are slightly less expensive over there since they are swimming in Neva Masquerades in Russia and they are a rarity over here in the USA.
Apparently Xoom is a bit more secure for international purchases (its owned by PayPal) so I might use that if I do end up buying from them..

This is the website of the female’s breeder: Питомник невских маскарадных кошек Талисман Удачи

My phone translates the page into English for me. I don’t see any red flags 🤞🏻🙏🏻
 

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It's funny how dog breeders, people who want certain breeds, etc. are not thought of in the negative way cat people are treated.
People who breed dogs are definitely viewed in the same negative light.

There's a huge debate that will never end on whether or not breeding dogs, even in a responsible and appropriate manner, means fewer shelter or rescue dogs are adopted. Some feel it does mean that, some do not.

In my opinion whether it is a dog or a cat or any other animal people keep as a pet, truly responsible breeders of fine health tested examples of their breed are not contributing to the homeless population as long as they spay and neuter any animals not sold to highly responsible people who are going to show or breed them appropriately.

Of course, ultimately some of those down the line may be handled improperly, or bred for profit and there's only so much a good breeder can do about that if it is generations away from their direct breeding. But not to breed pure breeds at all would lose the fine specimens that we have in well bred pure breeds, and in the case of dogs and horses many of these are bred for specific working purposes that are important and should be protected and preserved.

No such argument can be made for cats, though, who do not have working jobs unless it is to mouse, or be an emotional support animal, which any cat can do. The breeding of purebred cats is always, even if done excellently well, done only to show at cat shows (which cats in general do not enjoy) and to sell the kittens to people who want a certain look or possible personality type. I think there's a lot less justification for breeding purebred cats, especially for creating new and fancy breeds, than for breeding purebred dogs.

Unfortunately, thousands upon thousands of people breed animals only to sell for profit. They breed mixes and purebreds, reptiles who are only bred for fancy color patterns and sold to people who have no idea how to care properly for them, dogs who are bred to make "designer" breeds without health or soundness testing, and so on. These are usually backyard breeders or puppy mills or reptile mills and so on, and I detest these things.

Anyone who is a backyard or mill breeder is viewed by true lovers of any animal with great distaste and scorn if not worse by those who love that animal. And some people take it farther and do not think the animals should be bred at all until every one already here finds a home. To me that is unrealistic, but I am one who does not like breeding to create a new fancy breed when there are already so many breeds here and the new breed has no purpose except to look different.

In my opinion, breeding either cats or dogs, or horses or anything else just for profit is reprehensible. And this view is shared by many dog and horse and bird people just as strongly as it is for cats.

In the case of the OP here, this is intention to breed a new breed (since the 80s is new in my opinion, and a created breed rather than an ancient one) just because it looks slightly different from other very similar breeds.

People will do what they want and will buy what they want. Without casting negativity specifically onto the OP in this thread, I myself wish that people would think a lot more than most do about the homeless ones who are killed by the thousands every year and who would make just as excellent a pet as the fancy one that costs thousands of dollars just for their looks.
 

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Oh my goodness she is beautiful!! 😍
Yes that is a good point about dog breeders! That’s interesting.
Thank you for sharing that information. The Russian breeders, upon my request, sent me the Facebook page of the courier girl that they use and I have been messaging with her. She seems legit as far as I can tell. Is that the same as offering shipping? We can’t really meet in person bc we’re across the world but we did FaceTime with each other and the cat. Male is 6 months and $1300 and female is 8 months and $1500. Those prices seem reasonable for over there; they are slightly less expensive over there since they are swimming in Neva Masquerades in Russia and they are a rarity over here in the USA.
Apparently Xoom is a bit more secure for international purchases (its owned by PayPal) so I might use that if I do end up buying from them..

This is the website of the female’s breeder: Питомник невских маскарадных кошек Талисман Удачи

My phone translates the page into English for me. I don’t see any red flags 🤞🏻🙏🏻
Anyone can tell another person anything, in person, over the internet, in writing, what have you. Anyone can put on a Face Of Great Sincerity and be lying. That "courier" may be legit or may be a family member of the scam artists, helping out by pretending to be a courier in order to help scam people out of money. You cannot possibly know for sure. You cannot trust your impression because the reason scam artists make so much money is that they can fool people.

I have known of puppy mills that hold their dogs in shockingly terrible conditions but have gorgeous websites with fake photos of beautiful places that are not even remotely what they make the animals live in. They will tell you pretty stories, and send the puppies over to the home of a person who is working with them to show them, with some excuse as to why the mother is not there, and pretend that this nice home is where the dogs are being bred, but it is all for show and the dogs live in filth. I have seen things that would make you sick but on the outside it looks all pretty.

The same is true for other animals, horses, cats, what have you.

Any time you cannot go yourself to the site where an animal is being bred and see it for yourself and see the parents of the babies, and see the babies yourself in person, you are taking the risk of being scammed. And when it is overseas, as I said before, you will have zero recourse if you don't get what you paid for or get a sick or dead animal. Or if your money just vanishes and then you get no response from the people who took it.

Do it if you want to risk it. It might be legit, but it equally might not be. there's about a 50-50 chance.
I and others here have given you very good advice NOT to do this. It's up to you if you want to ignore this. But then, why did you ask for advice at all if all you wanted was for people to tell you what you want to hear?
 

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A lot to consider here. First off, I am a fan of both pedigree and mix breed cats. I think it is possible to care about both. At my house, we are devoted fans of British Shorthair cats - they are not particularly common in the U.S. but have immensely loyal followers in the U.K. where they are from, as well as in Australia, Asia and Europe. We‘ve also had wonderful cats from the local shelter, where I have been a volunteer for seven years - I think I‘ve logged more than a thousand hours of time there. I love it.

To address the OP‘s concerns and questions - how to judge the trustworthiness of overseas breeders? I don’t think there is a quick or easy approach to what you want to do, if you want to do it well. First, you likely need to invest the time and expense to travel - to attend cat shows where you can meet breeders, see their cats, watch competitions, and meet other owners. (If language is an issue, you’ll have to work with a guide). You should also visit catteries to see conditions and meet their studs and queens. Before beginning a breeding program, do a ton of research - physical setup, typical expenses, veterinary issues common to the breed (if any), cost of professional memberships, insurance, advertising, etc., how to vet potential buyers and so on. If you are serious about this enterprise, the more home work you do now, the better things will go later! Good luck to you!
 

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I highly recommend joining the siberian cats facebook page. There are lot of breeders (US and Russian) and owners on there discussing siberian cats. I own one. They are great. All cats are great. I don't know that anyone commented on Siberians being low allergy. This is a great opportunity for cat lovers with allergies. I think if you start talking to breeders and show interest in breeding, they can also mentor you through the process. I don't think you would get that hands on approach from an overseas breeder.

If you still want to start your cattery from Russia, many on there have imported and questions about legit breeders and the importing process get asked on a regular basis.
 
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