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How to Find a Good Breeder

So you’ve decided to get a Maine Coon! Congratulations. Regardless of whether you get a kitten from me or not, I want you to choose wisely where you get your next family member. Here are some tips in helping you choose a good breeder.

  • Most good breeders will not have kittens immediately available. This is often because good breeders do not have many girls and only breed those girls approximately once a year so the girls get their health and weight back.
  • Good breeders test for heart disease which is the major health issue with Maine Coons. In other words, Maine Coons can suffer heart attacks and strokes which are usually fatal. Good breeders DNA test their breeders for ONE kind of heart disease that have been identified with Maine Coons. Their cats should be n/n for the gene. However, they ALSO should ultrasound the hearts of the breeders with a board certified cardiologist to make sure they are clear of heart disease since the DNA test only identifies one kind of heart disease and there are a multitude. If you ask, a good breeder should be able to produce copies of the heart screenings of their breeders.
  • Most good breeders also screen the hips of the breeders to make sure they are free of hip dysplasia. Just like in large dogs, hip dysplasia can be painful and crippling. Again, if you ask, a good breeder can produce documentation of good hips.
  • Good breeders know their lines and the pedigrees of their cats should be readily available on their website. These lines should be clear of heart disease and inbreeding, both of which cause health problems. Beware of catteries that specialize in European Maine Coons.  These cats often come from lines that have not be sufficiently tested.
  • Good breeders will allow you to come to their home to get your kitten so that you can see how their cats live. If the cats are caged, in poor health or not well socialized, do not buy from the breeder! This only allows them to stay in business.
  • Good breeders will have their kittens vaccinated and checked by their veterinarian to make sure they are healthy and free of disease. Good breeders will offer a health guarantee which is usually for 7 to 14 days for communicable diseases and up to at least a year for congenital issues.

The kitten you choose will be a part of your family for many years and you want those years to be filled with health and happiness for you both so do your homework and buy wisely.

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