Reputable vs. Backyard Breeder: What's the Difference?
Buying from a Reputable Breeder(RB's) VS Backyard Breeder(BYB's). Some simple signs to look for when buying a Sphynx or hairless kitten:
1) Are the Parents or the foundational lines of the kittens, HCM scanned annually (yearly) or at a min. bi annually depending on cardiologist and past parental history?
*BYB's will not scan at all or try filling your head telling you HCM is a scam. HCM is declining in the hairless breed only due to dedicated breeders practicing responsible breeding and using HCM scans.
*BYB's will only scan their breeders once and try to claim they are a HCM scanning cattery.
*RB's will scan their Kings and Queens yearly or bi yearly by a Board Certified Cardiologist and continue to scan their breeders.
2) Health Guarantees & HCM Guarantees
*BYB's usually only give 6-9 months or some none at all. Some will not even cover HCM whatsoever let alone give any guarantee for the kitten. If they do can you find them after the "sale".
*RB's will give minimum 1 yrs for Congenital, hereditary, genetic defects plus give a HCM guarantee. I post my HCM SCANS FOR ALL TO SEEon our FB and my vet info. Call them I don’t mind.
3) Vaccines & Vet Checks
*BYB's usually only give one set of vaccines & possibly see the vet once for a vet check or may even do vaccines at home themselves and the kitten or the recovering Queen NEVER see a vet. This saves them money and keeps them "under the radar".
*RB's will have a vet do minimum 2 set of vaccines, therefore at least 2 Health checks at this point. The mama cat also gets Checked out with the kittens so this means the vet sees every mama every time she births...NO HIDDEN breeders or litters this way folks. Also, mamas can appropriately rest between litters and the vet can recommend any changes he feels are needed for the Queen to maintain her best optimum health, like supplements, hormone levels, blood draws, draws etc.
Some individuals have claimed that breeders are “greedy” or out for ourselves and not the longevity of the breed for spaying and neutering our babies and the future of the breeds we love and are committed to. So here is some food for thought:
*BYB's do not spay/neuter their kittens before leaving them as this is taking money out of their pockets. It also allows them to leave much sooner so they can stop assuming any responsibility/cost for them. They often chalk this up to the new owner getting to enjoy the baby stage, however, kittens need the socialization until at least 12 weeks. If they are separated too early they can have real behavior issues and even become ill.
*RB'S will spay/ neuter their kittens before leaving them as RB's want to cover these costs as well and not leave this responsibility up to new kitten parents. Plus make sure their babies are pets only and not end up in a BYB's program. Also, an RB wants the kittens to recover where they will be the least stressed, with their mom and in an environment they know. If there are any complications it comes from my time and money to cover and doesn’t increase the cost of your kitten.
When it comes to healthy baby, altering your kitten is a good way to avoid a myriad of health problems involved with the reproductive tract. Unaltered females (queens) are at risk of uterine infection (up to the point of cancer and pyometra which both are life threatening if not handled properly) throughout their lifespan and are at increased risk for mammary cancer ( also can be fatal) . Spaying your female will completely remove most of these risk! Neutering your male also eliminates the risk of testicular cancer and nearly always if done early eliminates a male’s need to mark (spray urine) on their territory. Plus they become less aggressive. Cost and no delay- done with the breeder with their budget on time, with no unforeseen delays and therefore no unplanned pregnancies. That all sounds healthier for everybody!
5) Age of kittens when leaving:
*BYB's will let the kittens go home starting as early as 6-10 weeks old. Less time means less money, food and vet cost out of their pockets and more responsibility and cost passed to you. Some breeder pass this off as wanting the kitten to have bonding time with you but it still has much to learn from its mother at this point.
*RB's will not let kitten go home until 12-16 weeks old, already spayed or neutered therefore now seeing a vet yet again for another vet check if flying if leaving via air travel. Kittens learn many behaviors from mom and need them for more than milk. How to use a litter box, how to scratch a post, what is appropriate play, what is dangerous, how to clean their ears, nails, how not to climb the curtains etc. separate them too young and your in for a behavioral animal who needs you and my have separation anxiety issues or aggression issues.
6) Registered and known breed-lines, pedigrees vs. unknown or unprotected accidents w others:
*BYB's cats are usually not registered with a recognized cat organization or they state parents are registered but kittens will not be..... that makes no sense ???
* RB's are registered with a cat organization TICA, CFA, CCA, and most RB's show their cats, as we do at Adora Sphynx.
We worked and continue to work very hard to produce quality champion kittens for show. We deserve to and are going to protect our lines. I invested countless hours doing research, grooming, showing, growing and learning as a breeder, First with a mentor. This is precious work to us and deserves protection to us and our feline family. Once a kitten is adopted into a forever home the breeder loses control over that cat. Even the most responsible pet owner has accidents! An Ughhh, my kitten slipped outdoors and is now pregnant by the barn cat moment. Your breeder wants to avoid unintentional and potentially dangerous unplanned pregnancies that threaten the queen's health ( and potentially future breed health w sexual health diseases) and the kittens health. Yes— they have the right to protect their lines. We at Adora Sphynx have the right to protect the breed line and you want us to from Byb! Once a kitten is placed into a home—the breeder loses precious control over that cat. Even the most responsible owner has had a ‘whoopsie, my kitten slipped outdoors and is now pregnant’ moment, but not if they leave fixed.
7) COST of Kitten:
*BYB's Will charge anywhere from $1000-$1650 On a spay/ neuter contract with one set of vaccines. For example you bought a kitten for $1400 now you need to spay/neuter which costs btw $300-$450 and then do a couple more vaccines and vet checks which cost approx. $75 -$150 per visit and $25-$35 for vaccines..... in the long run you have now paid $1900-$2100& UP. And have a kitten with a horrible or no health guarantee, or God forbid they die on the operating table because your vet used Ketamine on your baby. Not all vets are aware of the Sphynx breed when it comes to do's & dont's! Or maybe they’d like to do some flea topicals because you have dogs as well... ask your byb* which ones are safe? ( trick question only one is “safe” / approved but likely none are needed.)
*RB's cost average from $1700-2500 for a straight Sphynx (here significantly less) , but your kittens come with minimum 2 sets of vaccines, spayed/neutered, at least 2 vet checks, minimum 1 yr health guarantees for congenital, hereditary, genetic defects , 1 yrs HCM, continuous breeder support, the list goes on..... hope this info. helps. This is definitely a case of you get what you pay for!
* Written for education purposes only and not meant to replace or supercede veterinary doctors advice.
Edit and rewrite by Leta Rogers with Adorasphynx Llc, Originally written by C. Boissonnault, edited and used with permission, 2019.