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Buying Tips For Persian cats, Ragdolls and more

Buying Tips For Persian cats, Ragdolls and more
This article contains: cats pedigree pets Pedigree cats

Owning a pedigree cat/s can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience for many cat lovers – but there are plenty of things that need careful consideration before getting one of your own.

The added expense, additional care and potential ethical concerns in relation to breeding practices are all things that require further investigation.

Petplan takes a look at these topics to help you decide whether owning a pedigree cat is right for you…


Pedigree cats can be expensive

Around 90% of cats in the UK are ‘moggies’ (a cat that does not belong to a recognised breed). Pedigree cats are far rarer and may be considered more ‘special’ and, as a result, can be more expensive.

Pedigree cats are bred specifically in order to have certain physical characteristics and some may show some breed related behaviors. For example the Siamese is known for being more noisy and ‘talkative’ versus a moggie.

However, breeders may sometimes sell cats with a minor ‘flaw’ which do not meet the breed standards, such as incorrect eye colour or coat markings – which would make the cat not quite suitable for breeding purposes or to show. However, its health and personality would not be affected and these types of cat are often less expensive.

Always make sure you are able to afford, not only the cat, but the cost of their general care for the years ahead.

If money is no object though, then an Ashera cat may be for you. The breed is the most expensive in the world and regularly sells for more than £20,000.


There can be some health problems associated with pedigree cats

There are a limited number of cat breeds that can be bred to produce pedigree cats compared to moggies.

The ‘gene pool’ therefore is much smaller which can lead to these cats being subject to inbreeding and more susceptible to inherited health problems.

Some cats such as Persians have a significantly flatter face, and can suffer from severe brachycephalic syndrome. This means these type of cats typically have small nostrils and a soft palate which is too long and can often cause breathing difficulties. Jaw deformities are another concern, which can lead to dental disease and issues when eating and drinking.

Cats with brachycephalic syndrome also often have tears streaming down their face as the tear ducts cannot follow their natural path draining properly into the nose. This requires a lot of care from the owner to clean the face regularly and take extra care when grooming.

Ragdolls are particularly prone to carrying a gene that leads to the development of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, a form of heart disease that can lead to heart failure at an early age. However, screening tests have made it easier for breeders to eradicate this problem.

Polycystic Kidney Disease has become common in Persians, Exotic Shorthairs and some related breeds. It’s a dominant disease that is inherited very easily. Small liquid filled cysts develop in the tissue of the feline kidney, which can multiply, grow in size, and can lead to fatal kidney failure.

With genetic screening now available, breeders are working to try to eradicate the problem. You should always ask the breeder to show the PKD certificates for the parents of your kitten.

Make sure you do your research and, if you do decide to get a pedigree cat, ensure you buy from a reputable breeder that has received good reviews (whether online or through friends) and is registered with the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy Breeder Scheme.

And, as always, ensure you have the correct cat and kitten insurance if you do decide to buy a pedigree cat.


Make sure you are buying the right breed for your lifestyle

When selecting a pedigree kitten you should take into consideration the environment you have to offer.

If you do not have a garden or you live in a flat, you should consider a breed that is more suited to an indoor only lifestyle. Your cat should be in an environment that they are comfortable with, while meeting their needs will also help you build a strong relationship with them.

You should also research the breed characteristics as different breeds do vary significantly in terms of the time they may demand from you. For example the British Shorthair is easy going and laid-back, whereas an Abyssinian may be more demanding of your time as they are extremely playful and enjoy fetch!

When selecting any kitten (whether it be a pedigree or moggie) always ensure the mother is present.

Try to visit them a few times so that you are able to pick up on any particular behavior traits and assess whether they would fit well in your home. Seeing the mother cat’s behavior can give you an indication of what your chosen kitten’s behavior may be like.

Make sure the kittens and cats appear healthy. They should have:

  • Clear and bright eyes
  • White teeth without excess tartar
  • Ears clear of any thick black or brown wax
  • Smooth nails
  • Shiny coat
  • Non-runny eyes and noses

If they haven’t already, most private breeders will allow you to take your kitten to a vet to be physically examined before you fully commit to ownership. You should also ensure your kitten has received the initial vaccinations required from a vet before you purchase them.

With the correct care and knowledge, being a responsible owner of a pedigree cat can be very rewarding.

You should be aware of the challenges and concerns specific to each breed before you buy to ensure your pet remains healthy, happy and receives the care they deserve.

Do you have any experience with owning a pedigree cat? What are your top tips or pieces of advice? Let us know below… 

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i had Seal Point Siamese for many years, but don't like the way they have been bred with such narrow faces now. One of my most loving cats was a stray tabby who walked into our lives, starving & asking for food. We gave him a good last 2 years of his life. We now have a 5 yr old rescue cat, my first girl, who is a Calico with the most loving temperament. It's not the fur coat that counts, it's the character of the cat inside it!
Hi AngelaWe are sorry to hear of the loss of your tabby. We couldn't agree more with you - each and every cat is an individual :) Please do check back regularly as we post a new blog each week. Thanks, Jade - the Petplan Team
Leslie Chetland
I have had Siamese for nearly 50 years. I was given my first, a Seal boy, on my 13th birthday and have been besotted ever since. I have had various colours over the years - great (but different) characters all. Currently have two boys - a lilac point and an apricot point. Very different personalities but both lovely cats!
suzy bricknell-sproston
I have 2 seal point ragdoll brothers. They will be 10 yrs old on 31st march. They are house cats although I had a cage built for them that they can access from their cat flap in thd back wall of the house. They are a wonderful breed. Choosy when it comes to sharing their time with us mere mortals, but this has improved as they got older. They walk on a lead and we have taken them out, which caused some amusement with the neihbours. We were told that they were not very vocal, but I would disagree with that, they are very vocal. The brothers are not particularly friendly to each other, but have their moments. We recently added to our family with a komondor girl who is now 10 months old. They are not impressed with her yet. Love the boys to bits though and do not regret having them for one minute, and they are beautiful with their coffee and cream coats and blue eyes.
Gill Whelan
I have owned cats all my life only moggies, but 5 yrs ago i bought a Gorgeous Bengal, Sebastian is wonderful, loving, very affectionate but also extremly demanding, we let him come and go as he pleases, he loves our Lhasa apsos dog like a brother and talks all the time, he demands attention and WILL NOT be ignored, I definatly wouldn't recommend a Bengal to a first time cat owner or someone who is hasn't alot of time to devote to an extremly active and athletic boy, But having said that i wouldn't swap him for anything!.
Fiona pearson
I have a Bengal cat .hes very demanding and needs company all the time .hes more like a dog .he runs to the door when I get his lead out .he s very vocal early hours of. The morning .he s more affecionate to one person in the house and if anyone is thinking of getting a Bengal make sure you have all the time in the world for him /her as they like your company and don't like being left alone .for long .not good for a first cat I wouldn't of thought .but I love my boy so much I'm going to get another Bengal .but I've owned cats all my life.experienced cat owner
Patsy Smith
I run a Persian Rescue and have been shocked by the amount of young Persians coming through our door with heart murmurs and after scans they have HCM some early stages some far worse it seems very common in the persian too. I suggest if you are planning to buy a Persian kitten ask the breeder are the parents HCM negative.It a wicked disease and can cause the cat to just drop down dead or be paralysed either way it's a shock and heartbreaking.
Hi Leslie, Thank you for your comments on your Siamese cats! They do have great personalities don't they! Please do visit our blog again as we post a new topic each week. Thanks, Jade - the Petplan Team
Hi Suzy, Thanks for posting your comments on the breed. Hopefully they will love the Komondor girl soon enough! Do visit our blog again we post a new topic each week. Thanks - Jade - the Petplan Team
Hi Gill, That definiteley sounds like a Bengal personality to me! Thank you for posting your comments as well as tips to new owners. Do visit our blog again - we post a new topic each week. Thanks, Jade - the Petplan Team
Hi Fiona, Thank you for posting your tips to new cat owners - that's really helpful. Do visit our blog again as we post a new topic each week and would love to hear your tips on other topics. Thanks, Jade - the Petplan Team
Hi Patsy, Thank you for posting your comments. That's sad to hear with the problems that Persians are experiencing. Thank you for sharing this with the rest of our readers. Do visit our blog again as we post a new topic each week and would love to hear more of your thoughts on other topics. Thanks, Jade - the Petplan Team

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