You've met a Persian, or seen a gorgeous picture online, maybe you've always wanted a Persian and finally have the ability to have one of your own. So you’ve started looking, and found the confusing world of the cat fancy. Mind boggling isn’t it? We know, we were there ourselves. Locating the perfect kitten doesn’t have to be difficult, it helps to gain as much information as possible, before making an inquiry.
This page is lengthy; it takes the time necessary to address the common questions, misconceptions, and rumors; in hopes of making your search more successful and enjoyable. Whether you are interested in one of our kittens or another breeder’s, we would like to help you find that perfect kitten. Please feel free to contact us with suggestions, questions, concerns, or for referrals.
A few words on choosing a pet.
Boy or Girl?
In general boys make better pets, they tend to be more social, more loving, and more easy going. I hear concerns of spraying, marking, and strong smelling urine. This is an easy fix! Simply have your kitten neutered before it reaches puberty, as required by our contract. (BTW, females will also mark if not altered in a timely manner.) Girls can make great pets, but girls are girls! :-) They tend to be independent minded and sassy. This suits some people, I find them great fun, but its not for everyone.
Kitten or Retired Cat?
Retired breeder/show cats do make excellent pets, but it takes a bit of patience. These cats are used to living in the cattery as one of a larger group. Individual attention is sometimes a bit overwhelming to them, but in time, they can't get enough. When bringing them home, treat them as you would a kitten, confine them to a small area (bathrooms are best), when you are not home to be sure they are using the litter box appropriately in their new surroundings. Spend a few minutes "making friends" daily, scratching, petting, talking to them - even if they aren't asking for it. While kittens adjust in just 2 days, and adult will take 2 weeks. The advantages; price, show experience and titles, bathing experience, nail clipping/grooming experience, vet experience, crating/travel experience, manners, and litter box training already completed. In short you have a fully trained and usually shown kitty, it just takes more time to "make friends" with him/her.
Short or Long Haired?
Long haired, or traditional persians, require grooming several times a week. Most prefer to sit down with their favorite TV show while brushing kitty. Bi-monthly bathing is recommended. (Kittens are bathed several times before leaving us, their training is well started, its not near as hard as you may be thinking! :-) They do shed, not much if grooming is kept up, the hair is soft and fine, relatively easy to clean up. The cat has an elegant, aristocratic presence.
Short haired, or exotic persians, still require grooming! A quick brush once a week will do, monthly bathing is recommended. Their short coats are not coarse like "alley cats". They have thick, rich, soft, luxorious short coats, it feels much the same as their long haired siblings. Exotics make it possible for those with very active, busy lifestyle to enjoy the look and the sweet disposition of a persian.
Questions to ask a breeder before selecting a purebred kitten....
We’ve all seen the lists of questions, but what do the answers really mean to you?
These lists are to help you make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate and ethical breeder. They are a verbal safety net, a reminder list, and can be a great conversation starter. However, some of the questions may seem irrelevant, but the answers are important; others that seem brilliant are actually short sighted and can point you in the wrong direction. Here's my answers to the common questions, a little insight into why it’s important to ask the questions, what the answers mean to you, and some insight on common rumors and misconceptions.
How do breeders feel about answering “the list” of questions?
Legitimate, reputable breeders love getting these questions, it makes us feel you are doing your homework, you care about getting the right kitten for you, and gives us an opportunity to outshine the questionable breeders. Beware, just as you care deeply your kitten came from the best home, we care deeply our kittens are going to the best home and we will have questions for you!
How long have you been involved in the cat fancy?
I began searching for the perfect foundation cats that fit my vision of what a Persian should be in 2006. After searching for two years (Yes, I am that picky!), I found my foundation cats and brought them home in 2008. Our first homebred cats/kittens were available in 2010.
How many breeds do you have? How many cats do you have? How large is your breeding operation?
Just Persians! Though I have both short (“Exotic”) and long haired. We currently have a breeding colony of two males, four females, and two youngsters coming along.
*How does this question help you? It’s important a cattery is not too large or too small. Ideally, there are enough breeding cats to have varied bloodlines for kitten’s good health, but not so many to cause overcrowding; unsanitary conditions that lead to health problems, and lack of time for individual attention.
What do you think is special about this breed?
Beyond being visually stunning, and having magnificent plush coats, Persians have the best personalities! When people ask, I always answer they are “Labradors in kitty suits”. It seems no one has ever told them how a cat is supposed to act! Our cats greet visitors at the door and jump in their laps, play with the shower head while you’re trying to bathe, and sleep belly up and snoring!
Do you show? Do the parents of this kitten have titles?
Yes! We opened our the 2012 season with a bang. Our first show, with our first home bred kitten, received "Best Kitten in Show"!
All of our sires are shown to at least Grand Champion; currently one is a Double Grand, the other a Quadruple Grand. Most of our queens have shown to at least Champion, if they haven’t shown themselves they have either produced a Champion, or are the offspring of one.
*How does this question help you? There are many ways to look at this issue, let’s explore a few.
*Any time cats come in contact with each other, or people that own/handle cats there is a threat of illness/disease/parasites to be passed. While show staff is excellent with use of spray disinfectant on all surfaces and their hands in between handling each and every cat, other competitors and visitors aren’t as well disciplined. Who can resist patting a pretty head? Be sure if the breeder you chose shows, they have a quarantine area for the shown cats, separate from the area your kitten is housed in.
*Breeders using a foundation of shown cats insure quality pedigreed kittens. Exceptional cats that meet high show standards will produce similar kittens. To some, a pedigree and/or title is just words on a piece of paper, but it does mean more, it’s a verification you are getting what is being represented to you, what you are paying for. It is not as important the breeder him/herself shows, as the cats have. If cats haven’t been shown, ask why. It’s important to understand some queens have a limited time to show due to puberty, thus it’s more acceptable for queens not to be shown or to only be shown to Champion. As in most places there is a “show season”, the time of year they are born will dictate the shows they are able to attend.
*Expect kittens out of titled parents to be priced accordingly. Show standards are high; cats that meet them and have the exceptional personality to excel in the show ring are rare. There are also high costs associated with showing, ie: time off work, travel, hotels, show fees, bench fees, and frequent Vet work such as health certificates for travel. Not forgetting all the homework (grooming, bathing, quarantine) that goes into showing, time is valuable as well. The cost involved per cat is easily well into the thousands. Beware of bargain kittens boasting parent’s show titles, ask to see the paperwork.
All that said, you can expect a breeder using a foundation of show cats to be quite serious about their breed, bettering the breed, and producing exceptional kittens.
What congenital defects are in this breed? How are you breeding to avoid those defects?
Persian bloodlines are known to carry Polycystic Kidney Disease aka PKD. All of our foundation adults have been DNA tested for PKD. We have never used PKD positive cats for breeding.
Vet check? Health Guarantees? Do you practice early spay/neuter? Do you have a spay/neuter agreement?
*Our kittens receive their second vaccines at 12 weeks. We allow 2 business days to have your kitten seen by your Vet for evaluation. If a problem is found the kitten may be returned in the same manner it was sent, for a full refund. After 2 days, this is handled on a case by case basis. In general; if you are unsatisfied with a kitten, the kitten will need to be returned to receive a refund or another kitten.
*As Persians only known genetic defect is PKD, we do offer a negative PKD guarantee. (Cats must be tested by DNA.)
*We do not practice early spay/neuter. Due to Persians “flat face” thus limited airway, it is unsafe to anesthetize until they are large enough to accommodate airway assistance. Usually they have grown enough by 5-6 months of age for surgery. Our contract mandates all pet kittens must be spayed/neutered by one year old in accordance with CFA and TICA ethical breeder standards. Our kittens are registered as “not for breeding” so offspring cannot be registered to them.
What makes a kitten pet or show quality?
This is determined on an individual basis; feel free to ask why a kitten you are interested in is labeled as show or pet quality. Show prospect kittens must be absolutely perfect in every way, right down to where coloring is on their coats. One colored spot in the wrong place can mean the difference between show and pet quality!
*How does this question help you? Please don’t feel a kitten labeled as a pet is of lesser quality. Ask why the kitten isn’t show prospect, and decide if that fault matters to you. In many cases, the “fault” makes them even more adorable!
At what age do you place your kittens?
Kittens are placed after 12 weeks in accordance with CFA and TICA ethical breeder policies.
*How does this question help you? Beware of kittens placed before 12 weeks! Kittens cannot be given their rabies vaccine prior to 12 weeks. If vaccinated earlier their young bodies cannot process the vaccine, thus they do not build immunity. This is crucial not only to the kitten’s health, but to your family’s. Due to this issue, and the fragility of younger ages, CFA and TICA both mandate breeders to not allow kittens to leave before 12 weeks. If you see kittens advertised younger, and registered with either organization, the breeder is in violation of ethical breeder policies.
What paperwork do you give with your kittens?
Kittens leave with a “package” including; contract, blue slip CFA papers, rabies certificate, vaccine/worming records, microchip record and a week's supply of kitten food.
*How does this question help you? Paperwork is your verification you are getting what has been promised to you, what you paid for. Always get paperwork to verify everything the breeder has promised you!
Do you accept advance deposits on kittens?
No, however we will hold on a verbal or written request until 12 weeks. This allows both us and the new home time to prepare for travel/shipping.
What if the kitten I want becomes unavailable?
If the kitten becomes unavailable you have the option to choose another available kitten.
Do you accept advance deposits on unborn kittens?
No. Even with careful planning and care, kittens are never guaranteed, we are blessed with them. If there is something “special” you are looking for, let us know. We will be happy to contact you if that special kitten arrives here.
Do you offer a written sales contract? What are the important points of the contract?
Yes. The contract outlines my responsibilities to the adopter per CFA and TICA ethical breeder standards, all of which are covered on this page. We will be happy to email you a contract if you'd like to review it.
What forms of payment do you accept?
Payment is expected at kitten pick up, cash is accepted. For cats/kittens being shipped/delivered full payment is required before shipping/delivery.
Can you visit or have a tour of the cattery? Has the cattery been inspected?
Occasionally, but not usually. Our cattery is our home; health, safety, and security are top priority. Our cattery is professionally inspected and holds the highest awards possible from both cat TICA and CFA. We were awarded TICA’s Outstanding Cattery designation and awarded CFA’s Cattery of Excellence yearly since 2010.
*How does this question help you? This is another question with many points of view, let’s explore a few.
*Many are given advice to never adopt a pet from a breeder that doesn’t allow you to tour their facility. While this sounds like good advice and we can all understand why it is, it’s just not practical or safe to allow complete strangers to parade to and through your home.
*Security. While letting potential adopters visit is an enjoyable experience for us and you; it’s also an opportunity for less savory characters to use our kittens to check our security measures, right down to what cars we drive, so they know when we aren't home.
*Safety. Kittens receive their primary vaccinations at 9 weeks, and their boosters and rabies vaccines at 12 weeks. Though they receive immunity and antibodies from their mothers; for everyone’s safety, kittens younger than 12 weeks are not permitted to be handled by visitors.
*Health. Healthy cats/kittens are our absolute top priority! Disease, pests, and parasites are easily carried to our cattery by unknowing visitors. Visitors usually have a cat or dog at home, or have visited several catteries on their way to ours, or petted the kitty that “hangs out” at the gas station on the way. These unwanted “surprises” can quickly infect all our cats, including the kitten someone had hoped to take home soon, and/or not incubate in your kitten until he/she is in your home; infecting your other pets and home as well.
This may sound quite harsh, but we have learned from our and other cattery’s mistakes. We have been extremely fortunate not to have experienced any of these troubles, as we continue to be very vigilant.
We’ve all seen things in ads or on the web and thought "that doesn't quite add up" or “I wonder why”, but it never seems appropriate to ask, or the answers seem a little sketchy. The result is rumors and/or assumptions. Let’s explore a few.
Breeders not offering papers/pedigrees, or offering kittens at a reduced price without papers/pedigrees.
*Obviously this is usually red flag although occasionally extenuating circumstances do occur. The most likely reasons for this all point to a “puppy mill” type situation. Serious breeders simply must have all their paperwork in order.
*Often potential adopters are told this is due to the cost involved in registering the kitten, when in fact; both major registries have extremely low rates. It costs a breeder under $20 to register each kitten, in each registry! It takes about 15 minutes to enter the information into the registry website and print out each kitten’s papers. Clearly, there is no major effort or expense in registering kittens; this is not a valid excuse.
*There are several unethical options. The breeder could be using a cat for breeding that was adopted as a “pet” (“not for breeding” indicated on their registration papers), thus cannot register kittens from it. The breeder could be using completely unregistered cats, with no pedigree. The breeder could be using PKD positive cats. Lastly, and sadly, the breeder could be using stolen cats as breeding stock. Usually breeders active in one of the above unethical options will not have a public website with pictures of their adults, as they cannot risk an ethical breeder recognizing these cats and reporting them.
If you choose to answer one of these ads, please be sure to protect yourself and get copies of the parent’s papers and PKD tests.
Breeders offering kittens at ridiculously high or low prices.
(Note: these are pre-pandemic costs/prices, this section will need some 2022 inflation adjustments.) This can be mind boggling, I’ll try to simplify as much as possible. In short, usually, you get what you pay for, and usually the “cheaper” way out will cost you more in the long run.
*First things first. Shipping is expensive! ...especially in the pandemic. If you're on a page/site that boasts "free shipping", it's a scam. Really, truly, it's that simple.
*Let’s do the math. Each kitten requires its first vaccines at 8-9 weeks, costing $75-$100 (this can be regional, call your Vet for exact prices for your location). At 12 weeks, booster vaccines are due, as well as rabies vaccine, microchips, and most breeders have health checks and certificates done, costing $150-$200 per kitten. Not forgetting smaller expenses of special kitten foods, supplements, worming several times ($50-$75), and extra time for proper care/grooming, weekly bathing/blow dry (an hour each kitten, each time) for at least 12 weeks. Remember the registration fees from the above question, and advertising costs. Totaling these costs; $600-$800, thus I expect to see starting adoption fee for a pet from a reputable breeder to be in that range. I refer to this as an "adoption fee" within these financial limits as the breeder is only being reimbursed for costs incurred.
*If a kitten is priced above that range, it tells me the breeder feels there is something extra special about the kitten! Ask why, we breeders love to gush about our “perfect” babies. More than likely, higher priced kittens are of show quality, uniquely colored, and/or of sought-after bloodlines. Certain catteries, colors, and bloodlines are popular, and the price will reflect that.
*If a kitten is priced below that range, be cautious; seek further information from the breeder as to why. Often lower priced kittens have not had any/all their Veterinary needs met, sanitary needs met, or time spent with them; you may be taking the chance of bringing home a unhappy, unhealthy kitten and/or incurring large costs to correct it.
Breeders offering young kittens, or older kittens.
Kittens younger than 12 weeks.
Reputable, ethical breeders honor the guidelines set by CFA and TICA, mandating kittens not be placed before twelve weeks of age. Breeders can be penalized and/or suspended for violating these guidelines. Bringing a kitten home that has not been properly vaccinated, especially not having their twelve week rabies vaccine at twelve weeks, puts you and your current pets health at risk.
Kittens older than 12 weeks.
Registries mandate kittens may not leave the breeder younger than twelve weeks, but it’s the breeder’s decision how much older they would like their kittens to be before placing them. Some breeders chose twelve weeks, some chose 16 weeks, some wait until the kitten is able to be spayed/neutered at 5-7 months old, and sometimes it’s a case by case decision per the kitten’s or breeder’s needs. Often breeders will hold onto several promising kittens as show/breeding prospects, but they don’t always develop as we hoped and are placed for adoption later. The exact age doesn’t matter so much, the kitten isn’t counting! Just be sure to check the kitten is up to date for the age. For example; an average 8 month old available as a pet should have all vaccines, wormed several times, be completely litter trained, well experienced in bathing and grooming, and spayed/neutered.
Our adults are very special to us, and when it comes time to retire them, some breeders have the extra space and wish to keep them as pets, others wish for them to have a pampered life in a special pet home. There is no “right or wrong” in this, just personal preference. Again, just be sure the cat is up to date for the age, and certainly should be spayed/neutered.
This is another red flag, reputable breeders will never advertise a teacup, as this simply does not exist. Persians with silver, and sometimes gold, in their pedigrees tend to be a little smaller, but never “teacup” small sizes.
“Backyard Breeder”, “Commercial Breeder”, “Show Breeder”, “Pet Store”, and “Puppy Mill”.
These titles are sound a bit negative don’t they? But we must chose from one of these, haven’t we? These labels themselves seem to be a case of “my way is the only way”, which we know is not true. It’s a matter of preference, and it’s your decision to make.
Backyard Breeder is a negative connotation given to an in-home or at-home breeder. It negatively implies ignorance on the part of the breeder, implying amateur status. At times this is true, at times it is not. There are many wonderful caring homes that house a small breeding operation. Their reputation is built on a very small amount of kittens, thus they must be sure each one is carefully bred and meticulously cared for. The good ones will have the best interest of each kitten in mind, put importance on following all registry rules and guidelines, and adopting kittens to the best homes with the best adopters. The bad will be trying to impersonate the good, trying to make a profit, and have little regard for the kittens best interest or the registry rules - if they are registering at all.
Commercial Breeder is a connotation given to a breeding business, a professional for profit establishment, producing a large number of kittens. This can also be called a “Puppy Mill”, though that label is usually reserved for an unclean, unkempt facility. These businesses produce large quantities of kittens, usually selling kittens at wholesale prices to pet stores, or a lower prices than others, to the public. Rarely are these facilities using show quality cats; they don't exist to better the breed, they simply are in the business of producing more kittens. In most states, laws require those producing certain numbers of kittens to register as a commercial breeder, thus regulating that these breeder’s animals receive up to date veterinary care, and inspect their facilities routinely.
Show/Breeder is a label given to those that use shown cats for breeding and aim to produce show kittens. They may be “Backyard Breeders”, "In Home Catteries" or possibly “Commercial Breeders”, and the same guidelines as above will apply. As we, in general, have pet overpopulation in the US, breeding really should only be done to better the breed, thus breeders should be aiming for show quality offspring. However, there are some “show ring styles” that are shunned by reputable breeders for various reasons, with the best interest of the animal in mind. Thus, once again, you will have to make your own decision.
Pet Stores are obviously in the business of buying kittens at low prices and reselling them higher to make a profit. They do not screen potential buyers, nor sellers. These are merely stores with a “commodity“, just like apples at the grocery.
Many people have taken a position against breeding of any kind, they believe pets should only be adopted from shelters. While this is amiable and we certainly encourage adoption of homeless pets, this position is short sighted. Man has bred animals for hundreds of years for specific purposes, whether it be for companionship, sporting, security, or public service. If breeding of quality pedigreed animals ceased, within a decade all that would be lost. It seems the more realistic approach to continue to breed quality pedigreed animals and discontinue the unplanned breedings of unpedigreed animals. My suggestion is to enjoy the best of both worlds; Indulge yourself in the pedigreed pet you’ve always wanted, and adopt a companion for him/her from your local shelter. :-)