Questions for Cat Breeders

Last Updated on November 28, 2021 by Jenny

Astrid, a Blue Bicolor Ragdoll. Photo by Narelle

Astrid, a Blue Bicolor Ragdoll. Photo by Narelle

If you are thinking of adopting a Ragdoll cat, here are the right questions for cat breeders to ensure you are choosing the right breeder.  Please know that no cat breeder is going to answer all these questions, but rather these are guidelines.  Hopefully, they have already provided many of the answers on their website.  If you take the time to look around their website and read about them, you can gain a lot of info that way.

1. How long have you been breeding Ragdolls?

a. Ideally, you’re looking for someone who has been breeding Ragdolls long enough to know what they are doing. Also, I look for breeders that concentrate on Ragdolls. I am crazy about Ragdolls, and I want my breeder to be also!

2. How did you pick Ragdolls to breed?

a. Again, you are looking for someone who is interested in the Ragdoll breed for a good reason.

3. Do you show? Why or why not?

a. This is a touchy one for me. As I really don’t care if the cats are shown, but I do care if they are interested in spending time with their cats and playing with them.

4. What congenital defects are in Ragdolls?  Did the breeder run pro-BNP tests (to avoid HCM) on both parents?

a. Breeders should be knowledgeable enough to know what defects the Ragdoll breed carries and how to minimize them in their breeding. They should be up front with you. As any pure bred, will have its problems.

5. How are you breeding to avoid those defects?

a. See Above

6. How large is your breeding operation?

a. I prefer smaller breeding operations because then the breeder has more time to spend with their litters and get them more people orientated. Usually, the less the number of cats, the healthier the living conditions will be.

7. Where do your cats spend most of their time?

a. You’re wondering if the cats get socialized properly. After all, one of the benefits of getting a cat from a breeder is knowing its history and knowing if its been exposed to dogs, other cats, birds, etc.

8. Do you breed full time? In other words, do you have another job?

a. I prefer breeders that breed full time, as you know they are concentrating on what they are doing. However, there are excellent breeders that have full time jobs as well. So this answer alone isn’t a reason to eliminate a breeder.

9. What sort of health guarantees do you offer?

a. Your breeder should offer some sort of health guarantee, but no breeder (even the very best) can offer a 100% health guarantee. Some breeders will replace the kitten, should it develop a disease or defect as listed on their health guarantee.

10. What happens if the kitten gets sick?

a. This should be listed on the health guarantee. Also, the kitten should have seen a vet before coming to you.

11. Do you have any fun adoption stories to share?

a. This will show you how much the breeder enjoys the adoption process and feels passionate about what they do.

12. What makes this kitten or cat “pet quality” or “show quality”?

a. This isn’t terribly important, unless it is important to you. “Show Quality” just means that the cat has the proper markings as designated by the CFA or TICA.

13. Do you keep some of your cats for your own?

a. This shows you whether or not the breeder is doing the breeding for a business or as a business and a hobby. You want the ones that do it as a hobby too, as that means they truly enjoy it.

14. How old is your oldest cat that you’ve bred?

a. This gives me an idea of the longevity of the breeder’s lines.

15. What is your favorite Ragdoll look?

a. I usually ask this one out of curiosity. The breeder that likes seals like me is going to predominately breed seals.

16. May I speak with three people that own your cats?

a. The breeder should have this list ready to go because you always want to ask for referrals!

17. Do you raise your cats underfoot?

a. This means, “Are the cats raised in your home?”. Some breeders have a separate part of the house or separate building in their backyard where they keep the cats. If the cats are raised underfoot, most likely, they will be used to sounds like the dishwasher, the washing machine, the vacuum, etc. before they come to you. I would recommend underfoot cats only.

18. Can you send photos of the parents before I adopt a kitten? Or do you post the parents on the website?

a. The breeder should be more than happy to show off the two cats that she or he decided to breed to make your fabulous kitten. You should see if you like the look of the kitten’s parents to be sure, the kitten will have a similar look you desire.

19. Do you send the kitten’s pedigree when you adopt a kitten?

a. You are, after all, purchasing a pure bred kitten. You should care about their pedigree.

20. Will it be a problem if I request, and want to pay for, the CatGenes DNA testing before I accept a kitten?

a. You might want to do this to make sure your kitten is healthy. If you are planning on breeding your kitten–and buying breeding rights to it, then you absolutely need to have this done to make sure the Ragdoll lines stay healthy.

21. Can I visit your cattery?

a. If a cattery is clean and organized, then a breeder should allow you to visit and see where you kitty comes from. If they are opposed to it, red flags should go up–and you might wonder what they are trying to hide. However, there is a distinction between a “kitten visit” and a “cattery visit”. Some breeders might have their cattery incorporated into their home and may not be comfortable allowing perfect strangers to go through their home. However, they may be okay with you staying in their living room, for example, to meet a kitten you’ve seen on their website that you’re interested in. It is important to understand that some breeders are protective of their homes. So be sure to get clarity. Even by visiting their living room, you can learn a lot about their cleanliness and their cats (if their house cats are interested in you and hanging around or if they are scared and hiding).

22. If a possible adoptee cannot visit your cattery, are you willing to talk to your adoptee on the phone?

a. If the breeder is unwilling to take the time for a phone conversation, what will she/he be like when you have a problem?

23. How do you honor your health guarantee?

a. The breeder should be willing to pay for the vet bills associated with the claims made in the guarantee or take the kitten back and offer you a replacement.

Do you have an additional question suggestion to add to this list of questions for cat breeders? If so, please contact

24. What if a kitten gets adopted and the customer is unhappy with a kitten, what do you do?

a. The breeder should take the kitten back–if she or he cares about her or his cats and their well-being

25. How are your kittens registered?

a. For example, if you want to show in CFA, in order for a kitten to be CFA registered, the parents and cattery have to be CFA registered. If they’re not, you have to go through a process of registering via pedigree. A little more time consuming.

26. Are you capable of including the kittens maturing pattern since birth?

a. This is a good measure about how much attention and time is spent with the kittens.

Do you have an additional question suggestion to add to this list of questions for cat breeders? If so, please contact

27. What vaccination brand do you use? And what vaccinations are given, when?

a. This will help you know the research the breeder does and the quality of their vet–be sure to double check with your own vet and see what s/he thinks of that brand.

28. What are the kittens fed?

a. Again, this is a good measure of how the importance of the cats to the breeder. If the breeder is feeding grocery store bought food, like Meow Mix, more than likely, their cats’ health isn’t the first priority and should draw red flags for you.

Do you have an additional question suggestion to add to this list of questions for cat breeders? If so, please contact

…and ABOVE ALL, you should be able to ask for as many photos and ask as many questions as you need to, so that you feel comfortable with the huge decision you are about to make. After all, if your new kitten lives as long as Rags, then you are making over a 19-year commitment to an animal! There should be no doubt in your mind that this is the right breeder and right kitten.

Do you have an additional question suggestion to add to this list of questions for cat breeders? If so, please contact or simply leave your suggested question below.

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