Each Practicalcats cat (whether kitten or adult) is a labour of love, not of profit. Because of this, it matters immensely to us where our cats end up.
The process of acquisition
1) We do not have an official interview process or a list of questions you need to answer. The perfect home for our cats is one that will love them and care for them to the best of their ability, with humans who are willing to learn, as there always is more to learn. We want to get to know prospective owners, and get to know their environment and what they are looking for in a cat. This can be done through conversations in email or over the internet, with exchanges of pictures, in a relaxed manner; we are members of several cat-oriented groups on social media and easy to find there. We can also be found at most CCA shows in Ontario.
Concerning general attitudes, please consider the following:
a) Cats have claws, and claws are a part of having cats. Declawing is a horrible mutilation that can cause significant behavioural problems, including biting and poor litter box habits. Our cats will come into your house knowing how to use scratching posts and tolerant of nail trimming, and we're happy to recommend appropriate ways to keep those good habits up. We will not sell a cat to a household where declawing is considered an acceptable way of dealing with cat claws.
b) Outdoor cats are bad for the environment and bad for the health of the cat. Our kittens will all be acclimated to wearing a harness and going outside with supervision, and many of our adult retirees are harness trained as well. Our cats should remain indoor cats. Outside access can be allowed in a safe, secured area (such as a catio or outdoor enclosure) or with a human on harness and leash. We will not sell a cat to a household where allowing cats to roam freely outdoors is normal practice.
c) Oriental Shorthairs are extremely, extremely social cats. Left alone for long periods of time without same-species company they develop imbalances and unpleasant habits, and may become aggressive, jealous or harassing to their humans. We will not give a kitten or an adult cat to live as an only cat. There are several other breeds less interactive and more tolerant of not particularly stimulating lifestyles. But if you want an Oriental Shorthair and do not have any other cats, why not take two at the same time? Two is easier than one, and they come with a life-long buddy.
2) Once together we've determined that you're a good fit for one of our cats and that one of our cats is a good fit for you, we will take a deposit towards the purchase you wish to make. A deposit means commitment. Kittens can be reserved starting at 8 weeks, however, we encourage people to express interest in a specific kitten sooner rather than later. If someone reserves a kitten, and fails to send a deposit within one week of the kitten having reached 40 days, the reservation will be lost. Once a kitten is reserved, they are no longer available. Deposits are in most cases non-refundable, but can be transferred to a later litter if mutually agreeable.
3) We encourage visits of prospective owners after a good acquaintance has been established and a deposit has been put down. We do not allow visits to kittens younger than 8 weeks.
4) Your cat will come with a CONTRACT, binding for both parties. Please feel free to peruse the contract at your leisure, and if you have questions, feel free to ask.
After having the cat
5) We try to breed the healthiest cats possible, but sometimes, unexpected congenital issues occur. Most frequently it becomes evident shortly after birth, but very occasionally these issues may manifest later in life. If this happens, if the cat is discovered to have a congenital/genetic life-threatening defect, please get in contact with us as soon as possible, and we'll discuss how to move forward from there. We will want to know, for the health of our breeding programs -- and we will not 'replace' your kitten, as kittens are irreplaceable, but we may provide a new kitten free of charge or refund your purchase price.
6) We are here as a resource for you. We have a great deal of behavioural, health, and environmental knowledge on how best to live with cats and are happy to share that knowledge. Please email as soon as you have any concerns, or if you have any questions, and we'll be glad to help.
7) We breed Oriental Shorthair cats because we love this breed and want to share that love with others. We also acknowledge that there are many, many cats out there needing homes, and we never want one of our cats to end up in that situation. Every cat that leaves our house, kitten or adult, still has a home with us for life. We will take back any one of our cats, no questions asked, in any situation or any condition at any point in their entire life. Just ask, and we'll be there.
8) We love to hear how our cats are doing. Please keep in touch!
Specifically about kittens
1) Our litters are planned first and foremost to produce kittens as close as possible to our ideal Oriental Shorthair form, among whom to choose our next breeding and show cats. Once we have determined who is pet quality and who is show/breeding quality, we will attempt to match the right kitten to the right household. If you have a specific sex or colour request, please say so, but keep in mind that we can make no promises that a kitten of that variety will be born or will be appropriate for your house.
2) Kittens will be sent to their new homes between 12 and 14 weeks, depending on the development and size of the kitten. All kittens will be appropriately vaccinated, vet checked, and free of any and all parasites. All will be extensively socialized, both with humans, other animals and diverse environments. Your kitten will come with a set of guidelines for the first few days to make the transition easier, a sample of the food that they've been eating, six weeks of free health insurance from Pet Secure, and all the appropriate paperwork.
3) All of our cats come CCA registered. If you are looking to show or breed in a different organization, please contact us and we'll make sure you have all the right paperwork to get your new kitten registered in the registry of your choice.
4) By contract, all pet kittens must be spayed or neutered by 7 months of age, at which time you will receive your registration papers. A copy of the vet receipt is adequate to show that the cat has been spayed or neutered.
5) We love showing, and we love cat shows. If we think your new kitten has the potential to be a show alter, we will pay for you to enter your first show and attend with you if at all possible. Maybe, just maybe, you'll fall in love with showing too!
6) Shipping is available at your own expense and may come with additional requirements for health documents, especially if borders have to be crossed. We have extensive experience in shipping pet animals. Please feel free to contact us if you think we're the right cattery for you, even if you aren't local.
Specifically about retirees
1) From time to time, we have retired breeders available. These cats are the best of all worlds -- at 3 to 5 years old, they are adults who still have a long life ahead of them, with stable personalities. You know exactly what you'll be getting, and since we've lived with them as beloved pets for years, we know far more about them than you can say about a kitten. We generally have a good idea of what cats may be available in the future -- if you're particularly interested in one of our cats who is currently a breeder, there's no harm in asking. We would love to know where our cats are going far before they are spayed or neutered. (But no, you can't have Balance. :))
2) Many of our retirees have been show cats. If you're looking to start showing in any cat association, and want an adult who already knows the ropes, we can easily set you up with a cat who already loves showing.
Specifically about breeders
1) Every one of us has been a new breeder once, and we love new breeders. The cat fancy thrives on new blood. If you are a new breeder who is looking for a breeding cat, we'd love to talk with you and see if our philosophies match.
2) As concerns breeding cats, we're looking to work with people who fulfil all of the requirements of the pet owners, as well as demonstrate ethical breeding practices. Cats will be given to breeders whom we feel we can trust, who have a registered cattery, preferably who also show in a cat association, and whose breeding practices meet or exceed our standards.
3) If you are a breeder, old or new, who finds our lines interesting, please get in touch with us, tell us about yourself, tell us what you're looking for, and let's see what we can arrange.
4) Our Breeder contract differs only marginally from our PET CONTRACT, mainly in the specific agreements we'll stipulate with the individual breeder about the individual cat.