If you're having questions about the ethics of breeding in the first place, you might want to start by reading our article called "To Breed, or Not to Breed". But let's say you're convinced that breeding is a good idea in general but you feel guilty about buying a pure-bred when there are kittens at the humane society still needing a home. While we don't want to discourage anyone from rescuing an unwanted cat or kitten, here are some things you might want to first consider:
- How much will it cost you to take care of the cat for its entire life? Expenses include food, litter, vet bills for required vaccinations and unexpected illnesses, someone to take care of your cat if you are away, scratching posts, brushes, treats, toys, etc. When these expenses are added up over the life of the cat, you may find that the initial cost of purchasing a kitten from a breeder is actually pretty small in comparison.
- A pure-bred kitten from a reputable breeder will come with a health guarantee. A good breeder will also be specifically working to avoid known genetic health issues when selecting animals to breed. A free cat, on the other hand, may end up having a number of health problems that could quickly end up costing you more than the initial price of a pure-bred kitten.
- Purchasing a pure-bred cat encourages breeders to continue doing what they're doing – working hard to maintain and improve upon traits that are the most desirable in cats. If nobody purchased kittens from breeders, we would soon all go out of business! There would then be no controlled means of keeping the various cat lines going. So one way to look at buying a pure-bred ragdoll is that you're helping keep this wonderful line going!
To sum it up, purchasing a Ragdoll from a reputable breeder helps support and encourage the continuing of our cat lines. Spending some money up front and being picky about where you get your Ragdoll can actually save you a lot long-term and will guarantee that you get a healthy and well-socialized kitten.
Finally, a word of caution: Not all breeders have the same philosophy and not everyone is committed to producing healthy kittens from disease-free lines. We have heard "horror stories" from people who purchased a ragdoll from a less-than reputable breeder. If you've decided to purchase from a cattery, we'd strongly encourage you to make sure you are completely comfortable with the breeder before buying. Ask tough questions and if at all possible, go visit the cattery in person before committing to buy one of their kittens.