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purebred = pedigree

The decision has been made - you buy a purebred cat! But what does it really mean purebred?

Average person asked, what does it mean: a purebred cat, will probably answer "One, that looks like a breed." A person with a little knowledge may answer "One, that is a descendant of two cats from a certain breed." But a person that really knows what it means will say "One, that has a pedigree."

Why is this "piece of paper" so important?

Let's imagine a situation: a person comes to us and says "My name is John Smith, I'm representing company XYZ and I want to offer you a serious deal." Well, if it's a serious deal, let us see some information, some company issued certificate... But it turns out that mister Smith doesn't even have an ID, not to mention any proof of his connection with this company.

A pedigree - or a registration certificate - is a cat's ID. This document says who were the parents of the cat, if it's a pedigree, it also shows a fragment of cat's family tree. It always informs you who bred the cat and what organization registered the breeder and the cat.

Buying a purebred cat is a serious deal and long-term commitment. It's a good idea to have a proof that you bought what you paid for.

People, that breed their not-exactly-purebred cats and try to sell the kittens as "purebred" have plenty of excuses to justify the lack of a pedigree or registration certificate. The very popular tales they spin for their clients:

  • A pedigree is so very expensive it doesn't pay off to buy it
    Bullshit! Pedigree is not a big expense, especially not when you compare it to a price of a good quality purebred cat. Some organizations give only registration certificates that are very cheap, but they allow the owners of a cat to order a printed pedigree at any given time. In TICA a pedigree is 25$ for 3 generations, 50$ for 5 generations. Other organizations issue a pedigree for every registered kittens. In Poland average cost of a pedigree is about 30-40 PLN, which is roughly about 12$ or 10 euro.
  • In order to get pedigrees one has to show cats and I don't want to torture my cats
    Bullshit, and twice so. Shows aren't "torture". It is true that some cats like them more, some less, but rarely they really badly hate them. Besides there are many clubs and organizations that do not require a single show from a breeding cat. And if one happen to be registered in a club that do require shows, it is usually enough to go to one two-day show to fulfill these requirements.
  • You can get a pedigree (or registration certificate) but it will cost you and we will send you the document at a later date
    Kitten buyers often give up on the document after hearing this, especially if the pseudo-breeder exaggerates about the costs. And these that do pay wait indefinitely for a document that never existed.
    If a breeder says he/she has problems with obtaining the documents because of the club delays, you should ask what club is that and also to see the pedigrees or registration certificates of the parents of the litter. If you are refused, you should back off. If you get these information, you should contact the club (every club or organization has it's web page) and ask if a litter from these parents, born at given date, has been registered. If the club denies, you should back off. If not and you agree to get the document later, you should never give up on it until you get it. If you don't get it, you must inform the club.
  • Pedigrees are for snobs, normal people don't need them
    A really nasty way of playing with your mind. Pedigree is not for snobs, it is FOR CAT, IT'S ID. Just like a person's ID. Are we all snobs, because we have various IDs, like driving licence or credit cards?

All right, a pedigree is like a part of a purebred cat. But do I need a purebred one? Maybe I could get a one that only looks like a purebred?

Buying a cat that only looks like a purebred is like opening Pandora's box. People that breed these pseudo-cats don't do that because the love the breed. The do it from stupidity or worse, from greed.

Pseudo or back-yard breeders rarely care about their cats. They care about money, so they cut all the expenses they can: good food, veterinary care, living space for the cats. If you buy a cat from such a place, you will probably end up with a weak, sick kitten and you will spend for it's treatment much more money than you would pay for a good quality kitten from a real breeder. On top of that you risk the kitten being poorly socialized and instead of a lap cat you could end up with a nervous cat's shadow living under furniture.

Sometimes some people breed their pet purebred kittens they were supposed to spay or neuter, because "it's so cute and I really want kittens". These kittens, although usually better fed and cared for, still are a big risk. A person without at least basic breeding knowledge won't make sure her cats have all the necessary test made to ascertain they are healthy, with no congenital defects and can really be bred. She will not have the knowledge necessary to pick up the right breeding partners to have good quality kitten. You can still end up with a genetically impaired kitten that will die tragically.

You have to remember about one thing: when there is demand, there is supply. As long as there are people buying kittens from back-yard breeders, there will be such kittens, bred only to make money and without any consideration for themselves. If you happen to end up in such a place, don't get a kitten, even if your heart cries to the sight of them. Because if you buy, the person you bought from will think "Great, I sold another one, I have to make more." And next sick, undernourished litter will be brought upon this world. Instead you should always report sick and/or undernourished animals to proper authorities.

A pedigree or registration certificate doesn't guarantee you are buying a kitten from a good cattery. But lack of one tells you for sure, that you aren't.

To make sure a cattery is a good one, it's best to check it for yourself. A good breeder will show you healthy, happy, well socialized animals, will answer all your questions but will also ask a lot about you. He/she will check carefully if you can be trusted with a kitten. When you buy one it will either be already spayed or neutered or you will have to sign an obligation to neuter your cat at a later date. A good breeder cares about his/her kittens for all of their lives, not only until he/she get the money.

If you have any questions concerning the "purebred=pedigree" idea, don't hesitate to ask. You can find our e-mail and phone number on "CONTACT" page.