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Choosing a Kitten!

Why purchase a highbred cat

The majority of us have warm childhood memories of a yard cat with fluffy playful kittens and grandmother’s fat cat in the country. Many of us brought home “no one’s” cats and pitifully asked mother to let the kitten stay. Some were lucky, mother let them leave the kitten, and they grew up happily with a CAT. But some people can afford getting a kitten only being an adult. Here comes a question – which animal would live nearby: a highbred or a simple home cat. This choice should be made very responsibly; indeed, this cat is going to be a part of your family for the next 10-15 years.
It might happen that a cat appears at home “on its own”: it can be found accidently near your door, presented by colleagues, or you may see a kitten, left by ruthless people, in the street. If you want to have an ordinary cat at home, as a pet, take this kitten, you may save its life.
Another thing is if you have the image of the perfect cat. In this case you need to look around among highbred cats and choose that ideal. The highbred cat is meant for those, who want to have the animal with defined highbred look at home. Some like a fluffy cloud – the Persian cat; the others like short-haired cats with well-shaped muscles and severe body lines. The color is not less important: a painted tortoiseshell cat or a black oriental, which looks like a panther; ginger “sun” or a striped cat of the wild color. It is widely known, that every breed has approximately similar character. For a cat host it is very important to be in agreement with a cat in temper. The teddy bear British or Persian would fit a quiet man. An extravert would rather choose Eastern breeds – Burmese, Oriental, Abyssinian – for active communication. An independent self-contained man would probably purchase aborigine breed cats – Kurilsk Bobtail, Syberian, Norwegian. Some like mobile animals, which play till old age. Some would choose “interior” cats, which lie royally on a leather sofa for hours. There are also plenty of alternatives for those who prefer the rage – naked cats, curles with curved ears, munchkins with short legs. The main thing is that it would suit your idea of beauty.
This isn’t a secret, that you need to pay for a highbred animal; the price may vary from 100 to 2000 dollars. The price of a kitten consists not of the amount of used food and filler, but of the common financial, moral, emotional and physical expanses of the breeder for getting the IDEAL animal. The ideal one would cost considerably more expensive than an average kitten of the same breed, but the thing is that you have to pay for high quality. Indeed, a serious art collector would hang a cheap replica from a magazine at home. You need to treat a highbred cat respectively – like a piece of art, an item of collection, delight and admiration. I think that the best customer is a man, who’s made a conscious choice, who’s in love with the breed just like me or any other breeder. One of my customers couldn’t make a choice between a Burmese cat of sable color and a black Kurilsk Bobtail during 3 hours. The head of the family liked a carbon black Kurilsk, but his wife couldn’t stand “the absence of a tail”. The disagreement could have led to a family row, when the man asked a crucial question: “Which cat would suit kids better?” Of course, for one and a half years old twins I recommended Burmese. And I was so glad to hear comments on the kitten’s behavior after two weeks. “The cat never leaves children, eats and sleeps together with them, sits in their knees with pleasure, doesn’t get offended and is never angry, if a child accidently kicks it.” That’s what it means to guess the right breed. I don’t think that Bobtail would let kids such freedom.
SO what are you gaining when you purchase a highbred cat? The definite outlook of the pet and the forecasting character. Additionally, on your wish, the set of documents, which lets take the cat to exhibitions and get proud of its achievement, the opportunity to start breeding.

At the age of 2-4 months the breeder estimates the class of a kitten. There are the pet-class (a kitten for your house), the breed-class (for breeding), the show-class (an animal close to the breed ideal; for exhibitions). The price for these kittens differs: a show-class may cost 2-5 times more expensive than a kitten “for a pillow”. Purchasing a pet-class animal presumes its castration (sterilization), as because of various reasons, it is not supposed for delivering offspring. At the same time it doesn’t mean that the kitten has defects or health problems. The breeder selects animals according to his breeding program.
Every host of a nursery or breeding cat wants a potential customer to estimate his capability and to choose a kitten correctly. Purchasing the cat for breeding, you need to remember, that breeding is complicated laborious work, which demands full commitment, serious financial and physical expanses, special knowledge. The breeder selects the definite type of host for breeding kittens; he must be a responsible, hard-working, interested man with enough free time and adequate accommodation. Abroad there is no practice of selling breeding kittens to new-beginners. The hosts of kittens start their way in phelinology with castrates and only being assured of the hobby, they can purchase the animal of breed-class. It is very reasonable; that’s the way how come-and-go people who have decided to start breeding because of whim or in order to grow rich.
The kittens of the breed/show-class are often sold on the condition, that during the first two years a customer would be engaged in breeding under the supervision of the breeder. I think it is correct, as in any profession you need to study first to avoid mistakes. And phelinology is science, as well as skill, experience, intuition and a bit of luck. Even in order to find worthy hosts for kittens, you need to know the basics of psychology, marketing, and law. And in order to find grow healthy kittens, you need to be veterinarian a little: be able to make injections, assist delivery, be ready to provide the first aid in emergency. Sometimes it is said: ”What are the difficulties? Cats deliver and grow kittens themselves; the main thing is to sell kittens”. This is not called breeding; this is “multiplication” and has nothing in common with phelinology.
So purchasing a highbred kitten, you should relate your wishes with your capability. If you want to get something predictable and congenial out of your kitten, study the breeds and choose the version, which suits you mostly. If you are going to start breeding work, firstly decide, whether you will cope with this complicated and energy-intensive process. And if you are ambitious and ready to attend exhibitions with the “cat-star”, buy a show-class kitten. And be ready to pay for it as for the exclusive.
If you need just a lively cat soul at home and don’t care about the character, take an ordinary house cat free of charge. Just remember, that your baby half-bred may grow into a slim, as well as a fat cat, weighing 8 kilos, or a hooligan, or a lazy sleepy one. Good luck in your searching for a kitten!

Magazine "Cat’s Friend",   12, 2006

Marina Popova
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