Are these terms breeders use merely smoke and mirrors? Being well informed will help you make a more enlightened choice. The CRCC wants to help you understand these terms and their true added value.
What is a registered cattery or breeder?
If the breeder is registered, it means that his affix or the cattery name is registered with a recognized feline association. You can contact the association to validate the registration of the breeder or cattery.
There are several cat associations around the world.
TICA (The International Cat Association) / www.tica.org
CFA (Cat Fancier Association) / www.cfa.org
ACFA (American Cat Fancier Association) / www.acfacat.com
WCF (World Cat Federation) / www.wcf-online.de
FIFe (Fédération Internationale Féline) www.fifeweb.org
LOOF (Livre Officiel des Origines Félines) / www.loof.asso.fr
Some of these associations may also have Canadian divisions or Canadian representatives.
Note that cat clubs and breed clubs generally do not issue pedigrees and registrations; this is usually done by cat associations as mentioned above.
You should know that breeders who register their cattery to one or more of these associations must register all of their breeding cats and all kittens produced in order for them to be part of the association’s genealogical registry.
To be considered and sold as a purebred cat, the kitten must be registered individually and have his own registration certificate (not only his parents). The breeder must provide this document, in your name, within a reasonable time frame.
In spite of this, the registration of a cattery must not be seen as a guarantee of quality. Cat registry associations do not carry out inspections of the catteries. It’s not their mandate to do so anyone may register a cattery if they pay the fees.
If you adopt an unregistered kitten, you are not adopting a purebred kitten. Neither the breeder nor you really know the ancestors, so it is impossible to know if there was breeding between close relatives (inbreeding). You also do not know if diseases are present in the kitten’s ancestors. You are adopting blindly and you are about to pay surely too much for what is basically a domestic kitten. By buying an unregistered kitten, you may be taking additional risks. Be careful.
What is a certified breeder or cattery?
If the breeder is certified, it means that an independent body, which recognizes that this breeder respects a certain level of quality, competence and knowledge to operate a cattery, certifies him.
In Canada, there is no mandatory legal certification for breeders.
There is no law requiring breeders to obtain a certification. Anyone is therefore allowed to start a cattery, without regard to their skills, background and the conformity of their facilities.
Here is the list of voluntary certification bodies for catteries (consult their websites to know the selection criteria of breeders):
For Québec :
ANIMA-Québec inspects and certifies catteries and boarding facilities based on high standards of animal welfare.
For the other provinces:
There are no non-profit organizations in other Canadian provinces that offer animal welfare certification programs for cat breeders.
However, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association has provided breeders and the public with a recommended code of practice for catteries. Bear in mind this is not a certification as there is no inspection and verification of these practices and breeders may or may not comply.
Certifications issued by cat associations:
The CCA-AFC does not offer a certification program.
The CCC does not offer a certification program but it does offer an voluntary based education program for breeders. http://www.chatscanadacats.ca/eleveurs/formation.cfm
The CFA offers an optional inspection based certification program.
TICA offers an optional cattery certification program https://www.tica.org/resources/our-forms/file/476-cattery-evaluation-form
Don’t take the breeder’s word for it, ask to see the certificates and in doubt call the association to validate the certificate.
What is a cattery or a breeder that has a license?
Breeders must have a license for the keeping of animals and must comply with the maximum number of animals that they may have in their possession according to the standards established by their province.
The standards of animal care are minimal, but nevertheless existing. Check the provincial government websites for the minimum standards that homeowners and guardians must meet. Make sure these catteries have been inspected. Some permits can be issued WITHOUT inspection, ask to see the inspection report.
The MAPAQ (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of Quebec) requires guardians of more than 15 animals to obtain a permit. There is no mandatory inspection to obtain the guardians of between 15 to 49 animals. Only guardians of 50 or more animals are automatically inspected.
For other provinces:
Ministries delegate to municipalities. So the laws are very different in all Canadian cities. There are mostly no permit requirements or control on this subject.
Remember that there is no mandatory permit or training required to become a breeder. Cat breeding is neither controlled nor regulated. It is therefore extremely difficult for future adoptive families to be sure that the breeder is competent and that he respects the standards of animal welfare, which is naturally very worrisome. This is the reason why there is a blatant decrease in the quality of purebred cats, their health and their physical standard.
Did you know that even if the breeder is a family breeder, he must also respect the legal tax obligations? Make sure the breeder declares his income, gives you an invoice and has a recognized business registration. Some will also charge taxes if they are legally required to.
The Cornish Rex Club recommends that the public refer to the following document for advice on choosing a breeder.
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