Identifying a Responsible Breeder
Hairless Heroes is a very young project that is still growing and of course we cannot be aware of every single breeder out there. In some cases breeders may decline membership. In the event that none of the catteries endorsed here work for you, here are some things to look for when determining if a breeder uses responsible breeding practices:
1 Do they submit their scans to a reputable database like PawPeds or the Sphynx/Rex Breeders database?
It means nothing if they just say they scan - they have to prove it. Uploading their scans to a public database shows they are transparent and allows you to verify that they are scanning at least annually.
2 Do they have a health guarantee of at least 2 years, 3+ preferred?
In newer catteries this may not be possible, but in an established cattery the breeder should be able to offer a reasonable guarantee on the kittens they produce.
3 Do they have a contract that protects the kitten?
Things like no-declaw and promise to scan clauses are good things to look for, as well as confirmation of the health guarantee. You should also look for confirmation regarding the condition of the kitten to be adopted - will they have been properly vetted and confirmed healthy, etc before adoption?
4 Are they transparent - do they willingly and happily share information with you?
While few breeders - even good ones - will bare all, a good breeder will be reasonably transparent with you, particularly in reference to their breeding program and testing done in the cattery. Additionally staying connected during the kitten rearing is a good sign. Radio silence is always a red flag.
5 Are they as interested in you as a pet owner as you are of them?
A breeder should be concerned about the ongoing health and quality of life of the kittens they rear. They should be interested in you and your home and the lifestyle you have to ensure it is a good fit for one of their kittens. A breeder that seems unconcerned with where and with whom their kittens are going home with is suspect.
6 Are the kittens seen by a veterinarian, with age-appropriate vaccinations? Are they spayed/neutered before going home?
Some breeders will vaccinate and treat kittens at home, but it is important that they are also seen by a licensed veterinarian before going to their new homes. A kitten should NEVER be sent home without being spayed or neutered, and never before at least 12 weeks. Selling intact kittens shows a lack of concern for the integrity of the breed and ethical breeding practices and contributes to backyard breeding, while kittens are not finished being properly socialized until at least 12 weeks. It is preferred that kittens are older than this to ensure they have indeed been well socialized and develop a desirable temperament.
7 Do they show their cats?
While not a deal-breaker, showing does let a breeder know where their cats stand against others in the breed and against the breed standard.