I want to discuss backyard breeders. Many of you don’t know what exactly makes someone a backyard breeder and it can definitely be confusing. My definition of a backyard breeder is someone that is breeding solely for profit with no regard for health, temperament, or breed standard. They also may or may not be breeding illegally with no pedigrees, paperwork, or registration. They may sell their cats for a much cheaper price than elsewhere which makes them seem like a good deal. However, the health and behavioral problems that arise with kittens from backyard breeders is often so much worse than paying for a healthy kitten with correct breeding and paperwork.
A backyard breeder does not care about health. They don’t do DNA testing for HCM, SMA, PKD, PKDef or any of the other 46 diseases/conditions I test for. They don’t have yearly Echocardiagrams performed on each of their breeding cats. They don’t have a health guarantee. They don’t care if the kitten they sell dies two months later of HCM. They send their kittens home with parasites and upper respiratory infections that they are perfectly aware of. They don’t take proper care of the general health of their breeding cats and allow sickness to run rampant.
Backyard breeders don’t care about the temperaments of the kittens they produce. Some keep their cats and kittens in cages where they get no love, attention, or socialization. They are happy to seperate kittens from their mother at 8 weeks, despite how detrimental it is to their socialization, to get their money faster. They don’t dedicate time everyday to work with their kittens so they are prepared for the rest of their lives. They don’t practice nail trimming, bathing, grooming, holding, general handling or any other important experiences. They don’t care if the kitten you recieve is absolutely terrified of everything and everyone.
Backyard breeders care nothing for the Maine Coon breed standard. They are happy to breed anything so long as it looks something like a Maine Coon. It doesn’t matter to them if they are producing weak muzzles, small ears, short bodies, or bad tails, so long as they are making money. They certainly don’t show their cats because they aren’t registered or official. They may call their kittens purebred Maine Coons but you can’t be certain they haven’t just bred two Domestic Longhairs that look similar to a Maine Coon.
Most backyard breeders will either not provide pedigrees at all or will assure you that they will send them once kitten is spayed/neutered. Now please understand, there are real breeders who have a spay and neuter contract where they will provide the pedigree after proof of the surgery is provided. This is not to say that practice is bad or illegitimate. Backyard breeders will simply pretend they are doing the same thing. However, even once proof is provided, you will likely never hear from them again because they really don’t have any pedigree to give you.
Many backyard breeders are breeding illegaly. In the case that they are truly breeding purebred Maine Coons, they have purchased a PET Maine Coon with no breeding rights from a breeder that likely had a spay/neuter contract. It is usually written into the contract that the breeder will pursue legal action if they discover the cat has been bred but it is often difficult to find these people and they continue unhindered. This is the reason their cats have no paperwork. They never provided proof of neuter/spay. This is a big reason I spay/neuter my kittens before they even leave my cattery. It completely destroys this possibility. I do not want to allow the opportunity for one of my kittens to be used for such nefarious purposes.