How Much Should a Kitten Cost?
How much a kitten should cost is something that you may wonder when looking to buy a kitten. When considering purchasing a pedigree kitten and you are scrolling through the adverts on various websites, you may also notice the wild price differences. For example, I just looked at a well-known pet advertising website to check the variations. The lowest priced ‘Ragdoll’ kitten available was £500 the most expensive £4200. What’s that all about, how can these prices be for the same thing? A Ragdoll is a Ragdoll right? How come some are cheaper / much more expensive than others?
Please allow me to shed a little light on this for you . . . . .
REGISTERED BREEDERS: Sadly during the COVID pandemic, some unethical registered breeders have raised their prices to crazy amounts! This is 100% unethical and in my opinion - totally immoral! These people are price gouging and using the popularity of the breed to line their own pockets and bank balances! This is NOT what an ethical breeder does. An ethical breeder will ALWAYS have the kittens' best interest at heart and not charge insane amounts, just because they can! These greeders, as I call them, are taking advantage of a situation that has killed and caused absolute misery to millions of people! Do you really want to buy from these people?
Registered Ragdolls at the moment (March 2021) should be somewhere between £750 & £1200. Different breeders, in different areas, have different expenses, but they should be between these two figures. This should always include 2 vaccinations, health checks by a registered vet, they should preferably already be neutered and with a registration document (or proof it has been applied for) with a cat registering body (TICA, GCCF & FifE are the most popular ones in UK). They should come with a 4 generation pedigree, showing you the parents, grandparents and great grandparents details - preferably with their registration numbers, pet insurance, and an after care / support package! This is the absolute minimum. The kitten should have clear eyes and nose. They should not be sick, they should not be sneezing! They should never leave Mum & siblings until they are at least 13 weeks old - Ragdolls need this extra time with Mum and she and their siblings teach them a lot during this time.
We will be just coming into kitten season in the next few months, so please be patient. Ragdolls are a wonderful breed and totally worth waiting for. Do not buy from a BYB (see below) and do not pay above £1200 for a registered, fully vaccinated Ragdoll!
BACKYARD BREEDERS (BYBs): Prior to the pandemic, historically, BYBs (Backyard Breeders) have sold their kittens for a lot less than registered kittens. However, sadly at the moment, they are also seeing £££ signs and have also hiked their prices hugely! Backyard Breeders cut corners. They often don't health test parents, they rarely keep the kittens for 13 weeks - this is essential in a slow maturing breed like a Ragdoll, they NEED Mum longer! They want them out of the door, so they don't have to do the vet work and so Mum can be remated again! They often feed inferior foods and don't practice the hygiene standards that most registered breeders do. There are currently unregistered kittens for sale for more than double what we charge - and we do it legitimately by the book - as it should be done! I would strongly recommend NOT buying from a BYB, I have picked up the pieces so many times with owners who have bought their unregistered kitten and it has become sick or died very soon after purchase, leaving huge vet bills and a broken hearted family!
SCAMMERS: Sadly another thing the COVID has brought out in droves is Scammers! These people have no kittens to sell, but steal photos and advert wording from registered breeders to pretend they have the kittens to sell. They usually say they charge £500 or less for them to attract maximum people! I can now tell scammers a mile off and report them as soon as I see them, but they just move or rename the page / site and start up again! Please take great care at the moment, I have literally seen 20+ people taken in and have lost money to these scammers. So how can you prevent this / know that the kittens are genuine?
The scammer will almost always PM you initiating the chat.
The price of the cat will be unusually low.
They may have genuine looking Website or Facebook selling pages / groups which has many different kittens / cats available. Photo backgrounds may all be different, sometimes in different homes and possibly of different cats / kittens.
The scammer may have a brand new profile with few friends on it. The friends that they do have may be unusual to the seller.
Scammers almost always want a deposit or money up front (often by something like Western Union or Zelle where you can’t get the money back). This is not a safe method of payment.
Scammers will not allow you to collect the cat, but offer to ship it to you. They will want more money for their own courier.
The seller often ’speaks’ in poorer English than his / her profile name / location would suggest with awful grammar.
Offer to collect the cat yourself in person (even if this isn’t possible) and to pay in cash when you collect.
Ask to have a video call to see the cat and to ensure it actually exists.
Check the sellers profile - is it new, do their friends seem unusual to what the profile name / photo is claiming?
Ask LOTS of questions - about the cat and the seller. If they can’t answer or avoid answering, walk away. Ask if you can speak to the vet that has cared for the cat, or owners who have bought from them in the past. If a breeder is retiring a cat, check the breeder out. No genuine breeder (or seller) will mind you doing this, especially in the current climate, with so many scammers around!
Check the registering body is correct for the country you are in! ie GCCF is for UK only!
Once you are happy and have done all the checks, pay by Paypal (not family or friends), or another method that guarantees your money. Or better still, go and collect your new family member (when allowed and observing social distancing methods) and pay in cash.
All photos and text on this website are copyrighted and should not be saved, copied, published, shared or otherwise distributed without the written permission of Carolyn Littlejohns.