Choose a breeder, not a kitten.
It's fairly shocking how many calls and messages I receive asking if I have kittens available to go home. Right Now. So many of you hopeful ragdoll parents want what you want and you want it now. I get it, I'm pretty into instant gratification myself. But mostly, I do not have a kitten available right now, or even next month. In fact, I do my best not to have kittens available right now. Sometimes, things change and reservations get cancelled but mostly, you're going to have to wait. Now, you can keep calling and emailing every breeder on every list, feeling more and more desperate with every dial, but then you're setting yourself up to be manipulated by a scammer or cheated by a bad breeder. Might you luck out? Sure, it could happen. But there's more going on here than perhaps many of you realize.
This week, the rescue I work with brought in a van full of puppy mill cast offs. Some of them are perfectly good, brand new fluffy puppies, others under-socialized used up breeding stock. How did they end up in a van headed for rescue, you ask? The breeder made too many of them. They saw a boom in the market, they produced a gajillion puppies and then they couldn't sell them. This is one of the main reasons that breeders keep waiting lists, to head this off at the pass. It is extremely valuable to know how many people are lined up waiting for their chance to take home a new fluffy buddy.
I know though, how often well-meaning folks put their names on these wait lists to hold a spot and then continue to dial other breeders. It's so hard to wait two months until the kittens are born, and another three months until they can go home. Not to mention waiting for kitten season to even begin. It's hard! Trust me, I know. I don't love the wait either. But I don't want to produce kittens, bring lives into this world, who might not have a loving family waiting for them. I WANT each of these sweet things to have a loving family who felt that they were special enough to wait for.
There's so much information on the internet right now about how to choose a breeder. I implore you to really CHOOSE. Dig around, don't just believe what we tell you on the internet. I recently saw a breeder recommended because she "is so transparent on her insta page". Now, the breeder mentioned on that post is actually a great breeder. But not all are. A lot of breeders spend a lot of time on the internet making it look as if they're experts, or even mildly ethical. And often neither is true. So dig deeper, ask around. Shop local if you can and find out if you have friends in common. Google them, glance at their linkedin, look at satellite photos of their address, does it even exist? I want this for you. I want this for us. Please, ask me every question, fall head over heels in love with me and My Lucky Day. Don't go stalking me or anything, I don't really have the energy for that, but do feel free to get to know me. Don't desperately choose a kitten from a photo on facebook in some far flung place and then scramble to throw money at it and make it yours. Take your time, wait for the right kitten created by the right breeder. Wait for it to grow. Wait for it to show us who it is. Wait.
Take a moment to ask yourself what you want in a breeder. What do you consider ethical? Why did this person become a breeder and how do you feel about it? How does this person talk to you or respond to you, and how does it make you feel? How do they talk to and about their cats and how do you feel about that? How do their posts make you feel? Not just the ones advertising a specific kitten for adoption, but the body of their internet life. Learn all kinds of things about your breeder and then make a choice. Feel secure in your choice and then wait.
I told someone recently that I have to like an adopter in order to send a kitten home with them. I mean it. If I don't like you, you're not getting a kitten, not from me. Lucky for you, I like most people, as long as they're real and honest. So, call me, be real and honest, and I will do the same. Let's begin a relationship and then I'll make a pairing and raise a kitten for you. You can be patient, I know you can. Let's really like each other, shall we?