Why is it important to work with an ethical Registered breeder?
My first Balinese was not a registered or purebred kitten, In other words his breeder did not have "papers" for him, nor any of her cats or their kittens. Although the breeder I got him from was very adamant that he was, it was very obvious after I became a breeder and started working with traceable registered pedigrees that he was not. That was ok, I still really loved him despite feeling lied to, and this fueled my fire towards keeping the Siamese and Balinese breed pure and true to their breed.
The Old Style Siamese are a fantastically healthy breed and I'd like to encourage you to view yourselves as their guardians and to purchase from breeders who have researched and registered their pedigrees with a legitimate registering body to ensure the long health and viability of the Siamese and Balinese cats. If I don't have kittens I would be happy to recommend other local registered breeders.
********A word about legitimate registries: TICA, CFA, CFF, ACFA and ACA are the ONLY legitimate registries in America.********
Any others are organizations run by an individual who is willing to "paper" a cat sight unseen, or pedigree unseen just by simply submitting a request online. They are detrimental to the purebred Siamese and Balinese as well as other pedigree breeds. And a serious and ethical breeder and custodian of their breed would not need to use these registries.
Why are blood lines so important and why do ethical breeders insist on researching and breeding from specific lines?
Because the hours spent on researching bloodlines and making sure that the breeding will produce healthy kittens leads to your kitten living a long happy 20+ year life. I could haphazardly breed from any nice pointed Siamese looking cat, even one found in my neighborhood but in the long run this would damage the breed as I would be introducing unknown medical conditions that I may not be able to test for. Before long I would have kittens with autoimmune disorders, blood incompatiblility, cancers, kidney disorders and heart defects that are life threatening. This is unethical breeding and shouldn't be supported.
Do you have allergies? How can an untraceable, unregistered Siamese or Balinese give you the best chance of being able to tolerate the kitten that you have dreamed about for so long? Sadly it can't be trusted as there is not factual evidence of its purity. You are gambling with your health and a long term home for a very innocent kitten.
What should I expect from a registered ethical breeder? Raising a kitten amongst people and household activity is paramount if you expect to have a wonderfully raised kitten that will fit right into your home once it joins you. The practice of raising kittens and adult cats in sheds or buildings adjacent to the home, no matter how "homey" these buildings are, and calling it part of the home, or even "raised underfoot" is unacceptable and neglectful to the kittens needs of socialization and to your needs of bringing in a kitten who is well exposed to everyday life. To me it is appalling that any so called breeder would feel this is a suitable way to take care of a Siamese or Balinese cat and its kittens who have so many emotional needs to constantly be part of their peoples lives. If a "breeder" can't incorporate them into every minute of their life than they shouldn't be a custodian of this breed or any breed. Please ask where the kittens are raised and watch videos to verify what the breeder says. It has come to my attention, that a few are not honest concerning the way their kittens are raised.
A registered breeding must breed to the ethical standards of the registering body they choose to work with. Upon registering a cattery a promise is made to do so. These standards require those breeders to provide at least two vaccines before letting a kitten leave their home. Therefore, you should only take a kitten that has been given at least two FVRCP vaccines before they join you, which doesn't occur until they are 12 weeks old. These vaccines are done at 8 and 12 weeks and provide immunity to common and deadly diseases. Some breeders choose to have their vet give their vaccines between 7 and 11 weeks.
Taking a kitten from any breeder at 8-10 weeks is too young and in my opinion bordering neglect to that kittens long term needs. Keeping a kitten until at least 14 weeks is based on maturity, the comparison of 8 week olds to 12 weeks old is astonishing in terms of confidence, An 8 week old is just going through a fear stage which starts at 7 weeks. A 12 week old has been through many phases of personal growth and are bold and confident if raised in an encouraging environment. Our kittens leave between 13 and 14 weeks. Kittens who are 8-10 weeks old have not been given 2 vaccines, are still nursing from mom and when taken this early may become ill due to the inability to fight off illnesses because of a young and weaker immune system.
Make sure you avoid the perils of parasites and protozoans by asking your breeder to run at least two stool cultures before you accept the kitten into your home. If they haven't, I suggest asking your vet for an Idexx 2627 stool test as well as a Giardia Elisa test. These are two very important DNA/PCR tests that monitor the existence of bacterias, viruses, parasites and protozoans. A kitten can be a carrier of something and still have perfectly formed stool, Once they can come to you, the stress of leaving their mother and litter mates will cause the once controlled parasitic infection or bacterial infection to bloom, causing illness, sometimes severe. There are bacterias such as Salmonella and Campylobacter, Toxoplasma that a kitten can come to you with that can make a human very sick, especially pregnant women, children and the old. These PCR/DNA tests rule out those infections. At Provenance we feel it is our duty to send out every kitten free of these problems.
My commitment as an Ethical Registered breeder who loves this breed for its health, its beautiful dark blue eyes, fantastic coat contrast and funny little quirks, is to continue researching, following, promoting, all for the longevity of the breed. I cringe to think of Siamese and Balinese cats with PRA which leads to blindness at an early age, chronic kidney diseases or heart defects or amyloidosis.
These diseases should not be part of this breeds healthy life but they are. The reckless nature of these disorders can be eliminated from a cattery by testing the Kings and Queens and only breeding from those who are free of these genetic disorders.
There are two qualities of breeders. One is ethical as I have been describing, being very focused on producing High Quality Pedigree registered Siamese and Balinese with a goal for advancing the breed. Keeping abreast of the new or existing necessary medical testing to rule out genetic disorders. Not a cookie cutter cattery but a breeder who has lines unrelated to the others and good working relationships with others to keep the breed alive. The other is unethical, breeding haphazardly, for fun, for the experience without studying the lines they are using. These breeders claim their cats are pure bred, pedigreed and will verbally run through the "pedigree" that is not on registered papers provided by a registering body or promise their cats are healthy because their vets said so. If you studied what they are saying you will find that their cats are severely inbred as the breeders have had to keep back their own kittens, breeding them to each other, since registered breeders won't work with them. These breeders do not genetically test their cats for diseases or parasites or protozoans, or worms. They do not give their cats their required vaccinations nor do they support their immune systems with healthy high quality grain free foods, but rather feed them poor high calorie low protein foods. They have kept back their own lines forcing them to breed to close relatives such as father to daughter or mother to son etc. This is a disaster waiting to happen as the closer the lines are, heart murmors and genetic faults become very prevelant. These breeders may be a few dollars cheaper than the registered lines but you will have a much healthier genetic cat and be much happier in the end by supporting the 100% purebred studied registered Siamese and Balinese. These breeders do not allow home visits at any time but rather make excuses as to why they need to meet you in a grocery store parking lot or their church or another location. This is a big warning sign for the quality breeder you are choosing to work with and will reflect in the quality kitten you receive. As you search for a breeder, don't be willing to settle, ASK QUESTIONS and be EDUCATED so you can make the best choice for yourself and the breed. Ask to see pictures of the parents, look for white footed cats or kittens is the litter as these are not purebred. Ask to meet them at their house so you can see their living conditions. Ask if the parents or the kittens are vaccinated? Caged, raised under foot or in a cat house away from the living area of the family? all of this early socialization is key to a healthy kitten.