Should you adopt a retired breeder cat? 10 Tips on Older Cat Adoption
As a retired Bengal breeder cat myself I am an expert on this topic. I was born to a breeder who became ill and sold me to a second breeder when I was one year old. I lived in a cattery which meant that I lived in a cage but was able to have some time out of my cage every day. When mommy cats had kittens, they were moved out of the cattery to live in the house so that the kittens could be socialized before going home to their new families.
After my first litter died during emergency surgery when I was two and a half years old, I was spayed. I was sad living in the cattery and my breeders decided to find a forever home for me. I was adopted into a family of a mom, two teens, and a two year old Bengal brother. Here are some things to think about when you are considering adopted a retired breeder:
Home Or Cattery Raised?
Is the Bengal you are considering adopting raised in a home or in a cattery? Bengals raised in a cattery may be frightened by the amount of space they have access to in a home and may need extra time to become socialized. My cattery cage was approximately four foot by four foot by eight-foot high. When I first came home I felt safe in a small bathroom. I spent my first week in it getting used to having more freedom.
It’s great if you adopt a retired breeder that lived in a home, but Bengals who have lived in a cattery are so grateful for their new families and homes they never stop appreciating how amazing you are. Once I became used to more freedom and living in a bigger space, I constantly purr and I am so sweet and happy that I have my own people and a house. I express my appreciation every day to my family for adopting me.
Since my brother Dukey came home as a kitten he doesn’t appreciate what he has as much as I do. I love my people fiercely and bonded almost instantly with them because as a Bengal I craved the human interaction I now get. So if you can help a retired breeder through the first few weeks of transition, you will get a pet that is fiercely loyal, loves to be with you, and is happy to have a real home. So don’t discount the benefits of adopting a cattery cat. My family feels like they rescued me because I truly want to be a regular family cat.
Extra transition time
Many retired breeders could be described as terrified for the first few weeks after we get to our new forever home. Try not to judge us by how scared we might be, to begin with. Kittens just don’t know enough to be afraid of new surroundings. Give us extra time to transition as we learn what it means to live as a family cat. We might need to be confined for up to a month in one or two rooms until we lose our fear and settle in. When I came home I was scared of everything for the first two weeks. Now my family calls me a compact pile of Bengal love and I am fearless.
Male Or Female Cat?
Most tomcats spray as part of the attraction and dominance of attracting a mate. They may or may not stop marking their territory once they are neutered. If you are not prepared to deal with this, you’ll want to consider adopting a female. Not all male cats mark after neutering and they seem to have an easier time emotionally with the initial move to the new home.
Seeing Is Believing
Since your Bengal is older, they have a complete medical history, of their shots, and their coat has been fully developed. You get to see what you are getting before you adopt.
The Best Of The Best!
Since the cats used for breeding are typically the best cats meeting the breed standard, by adopting a retired breeder you are usually getting the best the breed has to offer in both looks and personality.
Most Retired Breeding Cats Are Used To Being Around Other Cats
I didn’t accept my brother Dukey right away, but I am an exception to the rule. Most retired breeders are used to a multi cat environment and adapt to existing cats easily. Please see my post on bringing a new cat home for a good method on introducing a new cat to an existing cat.
The cost of a retired breeder can range from nothing to a few hundred dollars. Typically breeders charge the cost of the spaying only. A pet quality Bengal can cost between $1000. to $1800. Adopting a retired breeder can help you to be able to afford a cat that otherwise might not fit into your budget. It’s also a good opportunity to get two cats at once since the cost is so much less than a pedigree kitten.
The Right Fit
Rely on the breeder to help find the right match for you. Since most of the cats adopted that is a retired breeder will be a few years old, the breeder has had time to learn their personality and knows what type of situation will work for the cat. Work with them to find the right fit for you.
A Good Companion Cat
A retired breeding cat can make an excellent companion for an older person who may not be up to the challenges of the kitten phase. I have a friend who’s mom was lonely after her father died, she adopted a retired breeder. They take naps together and the slower lifestyle of the elderly woman works really well for the cat who now is her constant companion.
Like A Rescue, Retired Breeding Cats Need A Loving Home
If you would consider adopting a rescue, then a retired breeder may be for you. One of my friends was on a rescue adoption list for two years waiting for a Bengal to need a home when a retired breeder became available. Both types of cats need homes, will have transition issues, and are worth loving. Rescues and retired breeders can both become loving, grateful companions.