Reputable breeders are affiliated with breed associations, which typically maintain breeder referral liststhat buyers can use to locate catteries with available cats. The Cat Fanciers' Association, an umbrella organization for purebred cats, can also help buyers find cat breeders.
Before beginning their search, buyers should research different breeds and choose the one they prefer. A Persian cat may have very different needs than a Bengal, but both are considered exotic cats.
Although exotic cats are sometimes offered for sale in pet stores, these cats usually come from backyard breeders or kitten mills. Buyers should avoid them and look for a reputable breeder.
Another sign of a backyard breeder is advertising individual litters in newspapers or online classified advertisements. Good breeders usually rely on traffic from breeder referral lists or their websites and often have waiting lists for kittens.
Exotic cats can be difficult, so many of them end up in animal rescues. Buyers can check municipal animal shelters, general cat rescues and breed-specific rescues to find adoptable exotic cats. Adult cats may be a better choice for many people, especially if the cat is a hybrid breed. Hybrids are created when domesticated cats are crossed with wild cats to create new breeds, such as the Bengal or savannah cat. They often have more energy and may be more aggressive than a typical house cat, so raising kittens into well-adjusted adults can be difficult.