According to TICA, a reputable breeder has certain qualities that
make them stand out from "kitten producers" and "backyard breeders".
We always try to meet or exceed these criteria:
1. Reputable breeders spend time and money on that which they believe to
be in the best interest of the breed, their cats and those directly and
indirectly affected by the breeder's actions.
Before we started breeding, we spent hundreds of hours over eight months
heavily researching the Bengal breed. We spoke extensively with other
breeders and carefully chose our breeding cats from other reputable
breeders. But we did not stop there! On most days, we are reading the latest
studies in cat health, planning and building new enclosures, preparing
diets, scooping poop, and, of course, playing with our wonderful cats! We
are in constant contact with other breeders discussing needed improvements
in Bengal breeding and health. When we can afford it, we spend extra money
on attending cat shows in Massachusetts or Pennsylvania instead of taking
weekend trips to the beach. Essentially, our lives and future plans revolve
around our awesome cats!
2. Reputable breeders see their breeding program as an unfinished work, a
creative masterpiece that drives them towards excellence and perfection. A
kitten producer or backyard breeder is motivated by profit. While a kitten
producer is happy to sell quantity to dealers and brokers, the reputable
breeder insists on individual contact with each prospective owner and will
only place a kitten after careful and thorough screening.
We fully admit that our breeding program is a work in progress! There are
many things that we hope to improve upon in the future. For instance, Anna
thinks that a whited underside really gives a cat the Asian Leopard Cat look
and wants to work towards producing kittens with this trait. Brooks likes
patterns with excellent horizontal flow and cats with small, round ears.
Right now, we are seeing what kittens our current cats produce, and when we
bring in new cats for the next generation of breeding, we will be looking to
reinforce specific traits. We chose to breed Bengals is because of their
stunning appearance and we are striving to produce quality kittens that are
not only spectacular in looks but in personality as well.
It is of our utmost concern that our kittens
go to good homes. However, a good home is not defined by one or two specific
characteristics. We know that everyone has a different lifestyle and work
with prospective owners to adjust less-than-ideal situations to make the
best possible environment for a new cat. If prospective buyers take the
initiative and show a genuine interest in providing the best life possible
for their new cat, then we are happy to send one of our cats home with them!
Additionally, we follow up with all owners throughout the life of their cat.
While it may seem intrusive, we expect owners to understand how much time,
energy, love, and money we have put into our cats and how passionate we are
about the well-being of every cat produced at Pixel Perfect.
3. Reputable breeders are concerned with pedigrees. The breed standard is
of utmost importance to their goal for excellence and the betterment of the
breed. A reputable breeder would NEVER think of breeding without knowing the
pedigree or without holding the papers qualifying the dam and the sire as
breeder quality. A reputable breeder will own the right to breed, the papers
proving such, and will have the pedigree of his/her cats as well.
Pedigrees are something we are sort of fanatical about at Pixel Perfect.
This is partly because of Anna's interest in genetics, and also because it
is important to the health and breeding of our cats. We study them to
determine if there are any hereditary conditions in our lines and to also
see what we should be looking for in the pedigrees of future additions to
our breeding program.
All of our breeding cats were purchased with
breeding rights, and we hold all documents verifying our right to breed
them. We never condone the breeding of cats purchased as pets. Also, in
order to prevent unauthorized and/or unintended breeding of pet cats, we
spay or neuter all kittens sold as pets before they leave our cattery.
Finally, we strive for the Bengal standard.
No bloodline or breeding program is perfect, and we are keenly aware of
weaknesses in our program. We make decisions that direct us toward
4. Reputable breeders are willing and able to educate and be educated,
have willingness to answer questions correctly and care about the concerns
of the potential new owner. They will allow visits to see the mother and
kittens and, if available, the father, in their environment and when it is
feasibly safe to do so. The kitten producer may offer seemingly good reasons
to meet in places with available kittens other than the raised environment.
Asking questions and sharing concerns shows us that you are interested in
Bengals beyond their looks and ancestry. We encourage potential owners to
ask questions and learn as much about the breed as possible before bringing
home one of our kittens. Furthermore, we seek to educate ourselves through
discussions with more experienced breeders and veterinarians.
Visitors are not only encouraged but
welcomed! Early on in our decision-making process, we decided that we did
not want to bring in a stud or offer stud service. Nor did we want to co-own
cats as many breeders do. Therefore, each of our breeding cats and all the
kittens are on premises. Admittedly, Anna gets a bit self-conscious when
potential buyers come to visit- but mostly because she does not want them to
notice how badly we need a new sofa or figure out that cleaning the bathroom
mirror is not a top priority. What is a priority is the cleanliness and
health of our cats and we are confident you will find our cats' environments
and health to be one of the best around.
5. Reputable breeders insist upon contracts and require that cats and
kittens be returned to them if, for any reason, the purchaser is unable to
keep them. These breeders show responsibility to the breed and the cats and
kittens they have "created" for the lifetime of the pet. Health records,
pedigrees and care information are a source of great pride to the breeder
that is reputable, as well as a sanitary, clean, healthy and happy
Pixel Perfect Cats has a rather long contract, in fact. It covers nearly
every situation we can imagine. It may seem overwhelming (and perhaps "a bit
much" as Anna's father put it) but the contract is meant to protect everyone
- us, the buyer, and especially the cat! Our contract stipulates that
if an owner is ever unable to care for their cat, they must return it to us.
We specify that owners of Pixel Perfect cats/kittens cannot resell, "give
away", re-home, surrender, or euthanize the cat without either our express
We are very emphatic
about this matter so we will reiterate: At no time may an owner of a cat or
kitten purchased from Pixel Perfect Cats sell, re-home, give away,
surrender, or euthanize the cat without first contacting Pixel Perfect Cats.
We consider every cat we've produced or owned to be our
responsibility, in one way or another, for their lifetime and are committed
to them no matter the circumstances.
6. Reputable breeders are excited at the prospect of furthering their
education through breed clubs, at shows, seminars and will take advantage of
available resources. These breeders tend to live around their cats and
kittens. Every opportunity to participate in activities with other reputable
breeders, ensuring them that their breeding program compares to others
within the breed group, is looked upon favorably by this reputable breeder.
Not only are we members of The International Cat Association (TICA) but also
of The International Bengal Cat Society (TIBCS) which focuses information
and education to breed-specific issues. We are also looking forward to
joining The International Bengal Mentor Association (TIBMA) when it is up
and running so that we can pry every iota of Bengal information from
seasoned breeders. Additionally, we frequent two Bengal online discussion
groups to weed through petty bickering and extract vital information about
7. Reputable breeders are realistic and understand that sometimes things
go wrong. However, they maintain a responsibility to the situation. If it is
within their power, they do what is needed to rectify the problem fairly.
The reputable breeder does not abandon the situation.
In the year and a half since we started breeding, we have had two
confrontations with well-respected breeders regarding the idea that
"sometimes things go wrong". In both situations, they abandoned us. We were
a little shocked at their lack of professionalism and, in one case, utterly
devastated by the outcome.
Nevertheless, we persevered and learned from
these situations. Sometimes things come up, things go wrong, and accidents
happen. Most of the time, no one is entirely to blame and we will do what we
can to make amends. However, we are also business-minded and expect owners
to take as much responsibility for their cats as we have. This, we think, is
in the best interest of everyone.