Buying a kitten

If you have decided to buy a Pedigree Kitten, one of the questions is ‘what documentation is the breeder required to hand over to you at time of sale?’ If you are buying a kitten for the first time this area can seem like a minefield and even after several attempts at buying kittens you can still be left daunted by the whole experience of documentation. This article is designed to give you a no nonsense approach describing exactly what you should expect from a breeder.
You are buying a living animal which will probably be with your family for 14+ years, it is imperative that you are totally happy with your purchase. Would you buy a car without test driving it? Probably not. Would you buy a car which has no MOT? Most definitely not!. And would you buy a car with incomplete registration documents? No, of course you wouldn’t. You would not leave the forecourt with such a vehicle. And you should not leave the breeders premises with half completed documentation for a living animal which will be in your life for a long period of time.
OK, so you have seen the kitten you would like and want to place a deposit on him in order to secure a sale. After placing a deposit ensure you get a receipt for the deposit which is signed by the breeder and shows the following information:

1. The breeder’s name and address.
2. The amount you have paid and by what method.
3. What exactly you are getting which include indicating colour, date of birth of kitten, sex, and registered name if already registered. Whether for Pet only, showing or Breeding. Whether registered or not registered.
4. An approximate date of collection of kitten.
5. A balance to pay on collection of kitten and by what method.
6. A breeder’s signature which should be signed in front of you.

Hopefully your breeder would have allowed you to visit the kitten several times prior to collection and given you the opportunity to ask questions and the breeder taken the time to answer them. If your breeder does not offer you this time before you have bought the kitten outright you must ask yourself what chance of any after sales care will be afforded to me by the breeder and decide from there if you proceed with any purchase.

You are happy with your breeder so far and now it is time to collect the kitten, this of course should be no sooner than 13 weeks or at least 7 days after the completion of the vaccination course. This is a recommendation of the General Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) in their Breeders and Owners Ethics, which you should take the time to read prior to any purchase. Your breeder should be able to supply you with a copy upon request and also will supply a copy at time of purchase.

Regardless of whether you are buying a registered or unregistered kitten, any reputable breeder will not allow you to take the kitten prior to the kitten having a completed course of vaccinations unless they have good reason, they have notified you beforehand and you have agreed to this. Remember, by the kitten having vaccinations by a veterinary practice, a vet will have given the kitten a health check prior to the vaccination. This goes some-way (but not all the way!) to being a guarantee of the kittens’ health. The Vaccination certificate should be scrutinised and you ensure it is actually for the kitten stated, that the course of vaccinations are complete and that at the very least your kitten is vaccinated against Feline Panleucopaenia/Feline Infectious Enteritis (sometimes coded ‘P’) and Cat Flu Viruses (Sometimes coded ‘Flu’). Your cat may also be vaccinated against the FELV virus (Sometimes coded ‘Felv’), but some breeders don’t have the cat vaccinated against this, so check this prior to buying the kitten as it is advisable to have your cat vaccinated against FELV when you get home. Your kitten’s vaccination course will consist of two visits to the vets with a three week gap between the visits.

The Kitten agreement can be quite daunting and official looking, but generally these are rules applied by the breeder in order to protect the cat, the breeder’s reputation and also the breeding bloodlines. Read the Kitten Agreement and get the breeder to explain anything that you don’t understand. An explanation should not be bypassed by simply the breeder saying its standard format or that section does not apply to you because once you have signed the agreement you are bound by its terms. Generally, for instance, if you buy a kitten as pet only, there will be clauses in the agreement to prevent you from showing or breeding the cat and that you will get your cat neutered by age 12 months and supply proof to the breeder. If you fail to adhere to the sales agreement then the breeder has all rights to use the power of the law to correct any issues. The Kitten Agreement will include the total price paid, name of cat and date. Two copies of the Sales agreement should be signed by yourself and the breeder. You retain a copy and the breeder retains a copy for their files. Click here for Kitten Agreement

The GCCF (Rule 10a) states that when a cat is advertised or sold as a pedigree cat the breeder shall, at the time of sale, provide the purchaser with a properly completed pedigree signed by the breeder, carrying three generations at least, showing all the breed numbers and registration numbers. The certificate must have the breeder’s name and address included.
So at the time of sale you should receive a properly completed pedigree signed by the breeder showing all the necessary registration and breed details.

The GCCF registration certificate is the registration document and should be supplied by the breeder at the time of sale. The transfer of ownership details on the reverse of this certificate should be completed at point of sale and YOU should send this to the GCCF with the relevant transfer of ownership fee. If the kitten is not yet registered then the breeder shall supply the mating certificate in its place. If the breeder states that registration is in process, but there is a delay in the GCCF registration process, the breeder should still supply you with the mating certificate. (See Mating Certificate Below)

The mating certificate will allow you to register you kitten at a later date making you the original registrant of the kitten, most breeders are reluctant for this and wish to maintain control over the registration by them being the original registrant. If the registration process is being sorted by the GCCF the breeder should have no concern and still hand over a properly completed ‘Mating Certificate’ as the Mating Certificate would not be used other than for the purpose of registration. If the registration process is not in process then a properly completed Mating Certificate must be supplied at point of sale GCCF. (Rule 3F) This is important to protect you as the buyer. Print out a Mating Certificate and take it to the breeders with you, then there is no excuse of not having one available for whatever reason. If the breeder used an outside stud then they will have a Mating Certificate available. At least take a photo of it with your mobile phone if the breeder cannot copy it. Click here for Mating Certificate

If the registration document is not available, then it is recommended that a GCCF Transfer of Ownership form is completed by yourself and the breeder and accompanied with the Mating Certificate at time of transfer when the registration document is received. Print out a Transfer of Ownership Form which is available off the GCCF website and take it to the breeder with you. Click here for GCCF Transfer of Ownership Form.

Make sure you get a receipt for any hard earned cash you hand over, stating all that as on the deposit receipt. Do not hand over any money until you are happy with the paperwork and your breeder has answered all your questions satisfactorily.

If you go to a reputable breeder you should also receive information on any past treatments such as worming history, flea and mite control and vet visits outlining the reasons for such visits, although this is not mandatory, unlike the documentation listed prior to this.
Documentation should be organised and well-presented and the breeder should go through this documentation with you at the time of sale and answer any questions you may have. As a buyer you should accept nothing less for your expensive outlay.

The following page gives you a handy check list for documentation which you can take to your breeder and tick off as you check it.


Deposit Receipt (Take this along with you) 0
Vaccination Certificate ❑
Kitten Agreement ❑
Pedigree Certificate ❑
Registration Certificate (Reverse Completed) ❑
Mating Certificate (With correct parents details) ❑
GCCF Transfer of Ownership Form ❑
Sales Receipt ❑
Previous Medical and Treatment History ❑
GCCF Breeders and Owners Code of Ethics ❑

This information is merely a guide to help you with your purchase of your new kitten and that it is the breeder and buyers responsibility to ensure that all documentation is correct prior to completing the sale. It is the buyers responsibility to familiarise themselves with the relevant paperwork, current GCCF rules and guidelines and any other factors that may affect the completion of any purchase. We cannot be held liable for any discrepancies or errors whatsoever through this article.