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kitten buyers advice

Buying a kitten is a serious commitment
Please make sure you read this information before using our Kitten Availability page

Before using these pages to look for a kitten, you should thoroughly research the breed, the obligations of registered breeders to you and their litters of kittens, and the care you must provide those kittens initially and for the rest of their lives. If you are hoping to show your kitten, be especially vigilant in your research.

You will find plenty of information on the pages of the Burmese Cat Club, Burmese Cat Society, Burmese Cat Association and GCCF, as well as on many of the websites of the various breeders listed on this site.

The Burmese Cat Club has a code of ethics that breeders listed on their website must sign. This is a very good resource with which to begin your enquiries.

If you are serious about owning a Burmese, you will have done your homework... and believe me, the breeders will know straightaway if you haven't!

Here are a few thoughts to get you started…

What to expect when you view a litter
You should be able to see the kittens with their mother, ideally in their normal everyday environment. Kittens should be energetic, friendly and clearly healthy. The premises should look and smell clean.

You should be able to view the kittens without feeling compelled to buy, but don't expect a breeder to keep a kitten for you indefinitely... there may well be other people due to visit, so be prepared to make a decision sooner rather than later. The breeder will guide you in this.

You should be told about any policies with regard to neutering, whether complimentary short-term insurance or microchipping will be provided, and of course the cost of the kitten.

Breeders will normally be happy for you to see the kittens as they grow, in fact some will actively encourage it. Breeders are passionate about their kittens, and love to see that they have found loving and caring homes.

Kittens will be vaccinated at the correct age, but if you want to talk about the type of vaccination provided (eg. including Leukaemia and Chlamydia) now is the time to do so. There may be an additional cost to provide these options so make sure you discuss this with the breeder.

You will be asked a number of questions about you and your suitability to keep cats and kittens – don't worry, this is perfectly normal, in fact, if it doesn't happen you should be very surprised!

Most of all, you should expect to be completely smitten and wonder why you didn't look for a Burmese kitten any sooner...

What the breeder expects from you
Make sure you make an appointment to see the breeder. Be courteous enough to inform the breeder if you cannot keep your appointment.

Be sensible about how many people you intend to bring to see the litter, and as always, let the breeder know your intentions. Make sure everybody who intends to visit has not been in contact with any contagious disease (ringworm, fleas etc).

If you want to bring small children, make sure the breeder is aware of this and follow their advice regarding supervision.

Try not to see more than one litter of kittens in one day (you don't want to spread any risk of infection) and follow any instruction from the breeder regarding hygiene (washing hands, even removing shoes) when you arrive. If you do intend to see more than one litter in a day, make sure the breeder is aware of this before you visit and follow their advice.

Understand that you may not be the only person viewing the litter, and that other people may be also be interested in buying one of the kittens.

If you do decide to buy a kitten, you may be asked to sign a 'kitten agreement' with the breeder. Make sure you ask about any agreements you need to sign before you make your decision, the breeder should be happy to explain this to you. If you are asked for a deposit to ensure the kitten you have chosen is kept for you, make sure that you understand whether or not this deposit is refundable.

You should mention to the breeder when you make your enquiries whether you are hoping for a kitten to show. If the breeder does say they have kittens who might be of show quality, please keep in mind that this does not mean to say they will necessarily win awards at shows, just that they may have the potential to do so!

If you are thinking of becoming a breeder – or even want to have just one litter – be honest about your intentions from the start. Some breeders will be open to the idea, others may not be. Treat the breeder with respect and don't think they haven't been in this situation before, they will appreciate your honesty.

When breeders take their girls to stud they often have to sign an agreement with regard to breeding from the resulting kittens, especially where boys are concerned. This makes it even more important that you discuss any hopes for your own litter with the breeder right from the outset.

What to expect when you collect your kitten
You will not be able to do this before the kittens are 13 weeks old, please don't ask the breeder if you can collect your kitten any earlier. The breeder will have agreed to a 'breeding code of ethics' (for instance the GCCF Code of Ethics) and cannot say goodbye to any kittens before this time.

You should receive all the relevant paperwork for your kitten: full pedigree description, a white GCCF Registration Card signed by the breeder with instructions on how to transfer registration of the kitten to your own name (and you should complete this card and send it to the GCCF... you would do it for a car, surely your kitten should be registered as yours too!) or similar paperwork provided by other registered bodies.

If the breeder has a policy regarding neutering they should explain this to you before you decide to buy the kitten, and both parties must agree to this policy in writing at the time of the sale.

You should also receive a full vaccination record and information regarding microchipping (if this service has been provided for you) along with any complimentary pet insurance (if this has been included).

The breeder may well have some last minute paperwork to explain to you, so please don't expect to walk in the door and straight out again with your kitten. Spare a thought too for the breeder; that's one of their gorgeous kittens you are leaving with!

You will need to have a cat carrier. It isn't appropriate (or legal) to try to hold a kitten on the way home in a car, and a cat carrier makes the job of introducing your kitten to its new home a lot easier. There are many types available in pet shops and online, do your research before the happy day. Make sure you have a bowl of food and water available if you have a long journey ahead, and of course a small litter tray.

A couple of weeks before you collect your kitten, ask what food they are used to and which litter they have been using. Some breeders may give you a small 'starter pack', but don't rely on this happening! Buy what you need before the happy day... you'll feel much more relaxed about introducing your kittens to their new home if you do.

What to expect when you bring your kitten home
Burmese are not known for being the most ‘street wise’ cats. Your new Burmese kitten will arrive at your home and think ‘Thank you! A completely new environment especially made for me, I must explore every inch of it’.

You may think that your house is ready for a kitten, but try walking round each room thinking like a kitten. That cupboard may be closed, but the second you open it, your kitten will dive in. Is it fully enclosed? Does it open onto any floorboards? Can your kitten pull up the carpet and get under the floorboards or behind the back of the cupboard?

Believe me when I say that Burmese kittens want to see inside everything and are perfectly capable of going into ’Ninja mode’. You will swear that the bedroom door was only open for a second and you were watching carefully as you closed it. If you then open the door again and look inside, you will see your kitten sitting on the bed. It happens all the time, all Burmese owners will have experienced this at some time or another.

Endearing as this might seem, I’m sure you can see the potential for heartbreak. Open an external door and your kitten will be out exploring. Open a cupboard and your kitten will be there. Washing machines and tumble driers are the perfect place for a kitten to snuggle up for a nap. Check and check again, even if you feel sure.

You should always take the attitude of ‘they will be exactly where they shouldn’t be’ and check before you go out, before you use any appliance, when you shut cupboards… pretty much everywhere, really. Given time, they will understand (to a degree!) but to begin with, expect them to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

On the plus side, the ‘Ninja-effect’ can be quite hilarious and may have you spending way too long trying to work out how they manage it!

What need you to know
An entry on our Kitten Availability page does not mean that endorse or recommend the breeder in any way. It is your responsibility to make sure you know what you are entitled to as a potential owner, and what the breeder requires of you.

In addition, we are entirely dependent on breeders letting us know when their kittens have found new homes… so please don’t be too disappointed if a kitten listed on loveBurmese is no longer available.

Please also refer to our Legal Bit for this website.