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Finding the Right Breeder

Over the last several years the popularity of Siberians has sky rocketed. This is like a double edged sword for the breed. It is wonderful that they are getting more attention and bringing joy to more people. But with the added popularity, backyard breeders and scam artists are becoming more prevalent. Here are some of the things to look for and to avoid in a breeder. 

What to look for

  • Health Testing - Does the breeder test for the most common genetic diseases for Siberians? Do they at minimum test for FELV/FIV & DNA test for PK DEF OR PKD1? Do they ultrasound their cats for other forms of PKD? Do they have their breeding cats tested for HCM via Echocardiogram by a board certified veterinary cardiologist? Their is no reason to skip these tests. Does the breeder publish their genetic testing results on Pawpeds or The Siberian Health Tracker for example? Do not trust claims of having "HCM Free lines" 1 in 7 cats will develop HCM, 1 in 4 cats will develop a gum disease. A reputable breeder will do their due diligence to prevent breeding affected cats. 

  •  Price  - You should expect to spend $2,000-$3,000 for a pet quality Siberian. Is the breeder charging to much or too low? Does the breeder charge more for certain "rare" colors? No matter the color, they all cost the same to raise. 

  • Kittens always available - A responsible breeder usually has a long waiting list and does not advertise available kittens often. 

  • Sales  - A responsible breeder does not have sales on their kittens. They do not need too, because kittens typically have homes before they are even born.

  • Breeding to the breed standard - Does the breeder breed cats that look Siberian? Are the cats unusually colored or have traits that are not Siberian. If you can't tell the cat is Siberian, chances are it isn't or is poorly bred.

  • Pictures - Do they provide pictures of their kittens? Do they only send one or two photos and no more? Do the cats/kittens look healthy clear eyes no crusty noses? Does their environment look clean? If their photos they provide look iffy chances are their are many other things going on behind closed doors.

  • Showing - Does the breeder show their cats? This may not seem important to a pet buyer. But it helps ensure the breeder is breeding to the breed standard. Showing is very expensive and time consuming, but it gives the breeder valuable insight into the quality of their breeding cats. 

  • Breed & Cat Fancy Involvement - Is the breeder a member of breed clubs, cat show clubs.Do they contribute to  breed or health research? 

Red Flags to look for

  • Registry Censure - Check CFA & TICA to see if the breeder is on their suspension list. Breeders are not put on this list because "breeders were jealous of them". If the cattery or breeder is on the suspension list is means that their dealings were considered detrimental to the cat fancy . This could include knowingly selling sick cats/kittens or stealing deposits. 

  • Bad Reviews - A quick google or yelp search for bad reviews. Keep in mind on some of these sites anyone can make a bad review. But if their are a lot of bad reviews on a breeder that is a red flag.

  • Bad breeding partners - Do not consider working with a breeder that has partnered with a suspended breeder or cattery. A reputable breeder would not have those kind of affiliations, and most certainly would not use breeding cats from a suspended cattery. 

  • Sell Breeding Rights - Very few reputable breeders sell their cats with breeding rights. Selling a whole cat to anyone who has enough money to purchase one, is not only incredibly irresponsible it hurts the breed as a whole.

  • Unregistered cats/kittens - A huge red flag of a backyard breeder or scam is a breeder who can't register their kittens. Some backyard breeders breed pet quality cats, that were supposed to be altered under a spay and neuter contract. Kittens born by these breedings can't be registered. 

  • Strange Registration - Most reputable breeders in the United States register their kittens with the following registries. TICA (The International Cat Association),CFA (The Cat Fanciers Association) or ACFA (The American Cat Fanciers Association). The breeder's cattery and kittens should be registered under one of these registries.

If you are still unsure if a breeder is reputable, you can always privately e-mail other breeders for a breeder recommendation.

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