I thought that it would be helpful for people to have some suggestions on what to look for when purchasing a kitten that will become a member of your family.
IMPORTANT ! PLEASE READ THIS PARAGRAPH ! Any ragdoll that you find should have been DNA tested, or it parents DNA tested, for HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) and for both the RD and the MC mutations. Do NOT believe stories that these tests are no good as this is not true and just an excuse to not test. I was one of the breeders to get this research started and so know a great deal about it. Ask the breeder if they are doing this testing before you buy a ragdoll from them and ask them for documention from either NCSU or UC DAVIS. Some breeders are now saying that their cats are "screened" for heart disease or that they are tested by DNA but they are NOT ! ALL breeders should be working with ragdolls that are not carrying these deadly mutations. Do not take their word for it. It is important to the future health of your kitten. I have posted links for the DNA tests pages at NCSU and UC Davis on my links page.
A ragdoll kitten should NOT be a mixed breed. Beware if it looks like there are other breeds in the house or the litter. We have read of some that are mixed with Persians and Himilayans and are saying they are ragdolls. They are NOT. Our breed is suppose to have a non-matting coat and mixing with other breeds, especially Himilayans and Persians will not produce the right type of coat nor facial structure. Ragdolls that are true purebred Ragdolls have only ragdoll parents in their pedigree and are NOT mixed with other breeds.
You will also see minks and solids advertised. These are not accepted colors in the ragdoll standards. They are not even registerable in CFA and are not recognized colors in TICA. Ragdolls have BLUE eyes. Minks have aqua eyes and solids have all differnt color eyes. These cats are not more "valuable" then the real ragdoll that meets the standards
You will seem them advertised as "rare". The only reason they are "rare" is that no reputable Ragdoll breeder will use them in their breeding program.
A kitten should NEVER go home before 11 to 12 weeks old. These kittens are not ready to leave their siblings at an early age. I've seen people that say that the kitten is ready at 8 weeks old and this is not true with a Ragdoll kitten. They are slow developers and need to be weaned at around 7 weeks old and then be with their siblings and other cats for the remaining time. Also socialization is so very important with this breed. They need to be out in the house and handled during this time to make a brave and loveable kitten that is ready to move to a new home.
Be sure that your new kitten have had that vaccination at least two weeks before they go home for the kitten's protection. Vaccinations do not work until two weeks after they are given. Vaccine reactions can show up 10 days to two weeks after it has been given too so never take home a kitten that has just had a vaccination.
Your kitten and its parents should be raised in a home situation and not in a cage!!
You kitten should be able to be registered and with ONLY one of these nationally run organizations that have breed standards, sanction shows, registration, etc. These organizations are CFA (Cat Fanciers Association), TICA (The International Cat Association) and ACFA (American Cat Fanciers Association). Even though this kitten is going to be a pet, getting its papers tells you that at least the breeder has taken the time and has the knowledge to know who the parents are and be familiar with the registration process.
You should feel comfortable with your breeder and know that you can ask questions at a later date. You should also get a health guarantee with your kitten. A guarantee should protect you from genetic problems that could arise in the coming years and should be longer than a 30 or 90 days type of guarantee or, worse yet, no guarantee at all!
Beware if a kitten is available as soon as you call. Be sure that this breeder is not a mass breeder that is just cranking out kittens with no regard to their welfare or their best interests. Most of the good breeders, that I know, have a waiting list because we spend a lot of time with each kitten in every litter and you can't do this with a large amount of kittens being produced. There is a big difference in the kittens that are produced in a cattery with smaller number of litters produced in a year or at a time.
Beware if the kittens at a breeder are "cheaper". It costs the most to raise a kitten after it is weaned. They are sold younger and cheaper by uncaring breeders to keep the cost down (thus raising profits) and to eliminate the time that is needed to be put into them. At this age, however, is when all of the socialization is so important in the Ragdolls.
Don't buy a kitten because you "feel sorry for it". You can be asking for a pack of problems and continue the breeding practice of a bad breeder.
Buying a purebred kitten should be a fun adventure and a rewarding experience with a breeder that cares about what they are producing and constantly is working to be sure that the kittens that are produced are the best in health and temperament.
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