Unfortunately, some people smell an opportunity to make money the easy way when they become aware of the exclusive and exotic flair of a rare or currently fashionable cat breed. Animals who visually meet the respective breed’s standard are bred without regard to genetics. The resulting kittens are sold at competitive prices as soon as possible, which means that they are separated much too early from their mothers. Kitty mill operators save on food quality and quantity, deworming and vaccinations, as all these investment would lower their profit margin.
Easy Play for Black Sheep
Buy & sell platforms, primarily on the Internet, that allow the advertising of animals free of charge are the favorite selling channels of kitty mill operators. Photos of the cute kittens are uploaded in the blink of an eye, and a (usually not very informative) text can be created in a few minutes. While responsible European cat breeders charge 500 EUR and more for a healthy kitten, you will find numerous high-bred kittens offered on the web for between 100 and 250 EUR. If you think that these lower prices are adequate, please reconsider after you have read the following:
- Responsible breeders have their cats checked for breed-specific hereditary diseases, such as polycistic kidney disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and progressive retina atrophy (PRA).
- Responsible breeders will not let you adopt a kitten that is less than 16 (!) weeks old. Until then, the litter has been vaccinated against feline influenza and feline panleukopenia (basic immunization). They have been checked by a veterinarian, dewormed if necessary, microchipped, and a European pet passport has been issued for each kitten.
- In order to find cats that are suitable for breeding, they often travel far and wide in both their home country and abroad, where they attend cat shows, present their own animals to judges of recognized organizations and exchange information with other breeders.
- Responsible breeders will make inquiries about the future home of their cats and will make you sign a contract that obliges you to have your pedigree cat neutered or spayed.
All this costs time and money. If you consider the actual costs for raising a healthy litter of well-bred cats, you will realize that responsible breeders don’t sell their “expensive” kittens for profit – and not to everyone.
Shelters and cat welfare organizations are also places you should consider when searching for a cat of a certain breed. By the way, this is also where you should go first when you consider adopting a European shorthair (ordinary domestic cat or “moggy”). Animals who are adopted out by responsible animal welfare organizations will be microchipped, vaccinated, vet-checked and, in most cases, also be spayed or neutered.
Your awareness and actions can help enormously to ensure that the breeding of animals for profit is no longer a worthwhile activity, because only where there is a demand there is a market.