Questions Before Buying
Questions to ask before buying a Munchkin cat.
Need to Know Questions
Below is a list of questions that you will want to know the answers to from any breeder that you are dealing with (Instate or Out). The more information you can get, the better when it comes to buying a cat. You want to have a clear understanding of the kitten’s family history, the kitten’s health history, and the breeder and their operation. These questions will ensure that you have all the information that you need to make an educated decision on your breeder and kitten.
Questions about the Parents of the Kitten
Ask about Family History
The Family history will give you insight into important health issues such as life expectancy, and any diseases the cats have had. This information can prepare you for what your cat may be predisposed to as it gets older.
Have the Parents Been Certified?
Since diseases can be inherited by the kittens from the parents, it is good to know if the parents have been evaluated and tested for particular diseases such as Feline Leukemia, Panluekopenia, Calicivirus, and Rhinotracheities to name a few. If the parents of the kitten have been tested for certain diseases the breeder will often have a certificate from their veterinary specialist stating that they are disease free.
Questions about the Kitten
What age does the breeder place the kittens in their new homes?
As a general rule of thumb, a good breeder will wait at least 12 weeks before placing a kitten in its new home. This allows ample time for the kitten to be weaned from its mother and to socialize with its litter.
If a breeder is willing to put its Kittens into their new home before 12 weeks, be wary. Research shows that a kitten needs at least 12 weeks to wean and socialize before being separated from its family. This can result in emotional and developmental issues for the kitten causing it to have trouble bonding with its new owner.
Has the Kitten Been to a Veterinarian yet?
What you are looking for here is evidence to the kittens overall health. Has the kitten been deemed healthy by a veterinarian? You want to make sure you are bringing home a healthy munchkin.
Also if the kitten has been to the Vet it is important to figure out what shots the kitten has already received, if the kitten has been dewormed, and if any other kittens in the litter have had any health related issues.
How has the kitten been socializing?
Learning how the kitten has been socializing with its litter is a great way to get an idea of the kittens character and health. A social kitten indicates that the kitten has been developing properly and has been weaned off its mother. If the kitten has not been socializing well with the litter it may need a little more time with its family before it is ready to take home.
What has the kitten been eating?
It is important to know what the breeder has been feeding the kitten. When you take your new kitten home it is a good idea to continue to feed it the same food the breeder was feeding it to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal disturbances. If you decide to change the kittens diet start giving them the new food gradually to allow time for the kitten to adjust.
Questions for the Breeder
Does your Breeder Belong to a Cat Association?
Cat associations such as The International Cat Association (TICA) will give breeders who practice safe and healthy breeding access to one of their many different recognized breeder groups. This is a good indication that your breeder is experienced, trustworthy, and professional in their breeding operations.
Ask for Recommendations
Talking to other customers of the breeder is another great way to get a feel for type of breeder you are dealing with. You will be able to talk with previous customers and get their take on the breeder, hear how their kitten is doing, and their overall happiness with buying their munchkin from this breeder. Previous customers will give you the honest truth so I highly recommend talking to some of them if you can. A good breeder will happily turn you on to a couple of references.
Does the Breeder Provide a Written Health Guarantee?
This health guarantee at the very least, should address that the kitten is free from external parasites, known genetic problems, and known communicable diseases.
This should also include that once bringing the kitten home it will remain free from communicable diseases for a period of time. It is not always apparent whether the kitten is disease free when you bring it home and It may have caught something recently which you will want to be sure that you are protected against.
Make sure that the health guarantee includes all the vaccinations as well as any other health records that the kitten may have had. This will make it easy for your veterinarian specialist to assess what needs to be done upon your kittens first visit.
How will your breeder handle the transaction?
It is one thing to be able to go visit the breeder and kitten first hand, but as I mentioned this may not be possible for some people. Either way the transaction part of this process is extremely important, even if you can meet your breeder face to face.
You will want to know what kind of payment forms your breeder takes. Credit card and PayPal are the best options since they have proof of sale systems and fraud protection built in. I would strongly recommend finding a breeder that is able to accommodate these forms of payment, especially if you are purchasing a kitten from a breeder that you can't meet face to face.
Cash and Check are also a form that breeders will deal in. However, it is much harder to protect yourself in the case that something may happen with these forms of payment.
I Bought my Munchkin through a PayPal transfer since I was not able to meet with the breeder face to face. This allowed me to go through the process with a little less worry knowing that if something happened during our transaction I would be able to get my money back.
Munchkin cat breeders also may take deposits to hold a kitten from the next litter. Since there are few Munchkin breeders throughout the US they often have waiting periods before you will be able to purchase a Munchkin kitten. This is not an issue, but I recommend getting the details of the deposit outlined in writing. You want to know what happens to your deposit if you decide to not get a kitten, there are not enough kittens in the litter for everyone on the waiting list, or if your deposit will go towards your payment if you are able to get one.
As a general rule of thumb just be wary of your money and make sure you fully understand the terms of the transaction.
Side Note: If you are buying an out of state munchkin that will need to be transported to your location, make sure you work out all the details with your breeder. Many Munchkin breeders are used to this and will have procedures of their own which they will be able to walk you through and give you a quote for. Luna had to take a plane ride to get to me, which I was apprehensive about since she was just a small kitten, but my breeder was very helpful talking me through the procedure, letting me know that she had done this many times before and that my munchkin would be just fine.
All in all both you and the breeder are going to want the best for your new friend. This transaction will rely on trust and the idea that both of you want to get your new kitten to its new home safe and sound. By taking extra precautions during the buying process, both you and the breeder can ensure that this happens, and that your new Munchkin will have a happy life in its new home.
Munchkin Cats by State
California, CA Colorado, CO Connecticut, CT Delaware, DE Florida, FL Georgia, GA Hawaii, HI Idaho, ID Illinois, IL Indiana, IN Iowa, IA Kansas, KS Kentucky, KY Louisiana, LA Maine, ME Maryland, MD Massachusetts, MD Michigan, MI Minnesota, MN Mississippi, MS Missouri, MO Montana, MT Nebraska, NE Nevada, NV New Hampshire, NH New Jersey, NJ New Mexico, NM New York, NY North Carolina, NC North Dakota, ND Ohio, OH Oklahoma, OK Oregon, OR Pennsylvania, PA Rhode Island, RI South Carolina, SC South Dakota, SD Tennessee, TN Texas, TX Utah, UT Vermont, VT Virginia, VA Washington, WA West Virginia, WV Wisconsin, WI Wyoming, WY
New Hampshire, NH
New Jersey, NJ
New Mexico, NM
New York, NY
North Carolina, NC
North Dakota, ND
Rhode Island, RI
South Carolina, SC
South Dakota, SD
West Virginia, WV
Wisconsin, WI Wyoming, WY