Cost of a show cat

How much should a show cat cost? How much should I charge for my show quality kittens? How much should I have to pay for a quality cat? Is there a difference between the cost of a male or a female cat? Do some colors of cats cost more than others?

These are questions that we hear all the time.

The flip side of the coin is people who complain that so-and-so is asking too much for their kittens... or too little.

Or there is the person who when hearing how much someone else paid for a cat will comment. "I would never pay that amount for any cat no matter how good".

So, how much should a really good cat cost?

Well... There is no one answer to what a show quality cat should cost. It depends on a great many factors.

Factors Affecting The Value and Price of a really good quality Cat

  • The Breed: The more rare a breed, the more expensive the kittens maybe. The more "in demand" a breed or color is, the higher the price tag might be.
  • Quality: Is the cat showable? Does the cat have hard-to-find -qualities?
  • The Age of the Kitten: The older the kitten the more you are able to evaluate how it has developed. The younger the kitten, the more you are buying "potential" rather than reality.
  • Titles: Has the cat been shown and how has it done? Is the cat titled already? If the cat hasn't been shown what is the show history of older siblings?
  • Proven: If older, is the cat proven? If proven what has it produced?
  • The Pedigree: Are the parents titled? Are the grandparents titled? Is it a common bloodline that many breeders have in the pedigrees or is it more desirable but less available?
  • Cattery Name: Is the cattery name well known with many known winning cats to their credit? Or is the cattery name little known?
  • Mentoring: Is the breeder knowledgeable and willing to mentor you?
  • The Location of the Seller
  • Guarantees

While there is no magical amount that a show cat should cost, if you do a little research you can discover what you might expect to pay. You can certainly get a feeling for what the cost might be simply by visiting websites offering kittens for sale.

Of course, like many things in life, there will always be cats that are bargain priced (for whatever reason) and some that are "pricey" (for whatever reasons :-)).

The question of "how much" should you pay for a show cat becomes more complex when you actually begin to evaluate individual kittens - when you must not only decide which kitten best suits your needs and the needs of your breeding program, but if the asking price is what you are willing to pay for what the kitten has to offer.

And what the kitten has to offer goes well beyond just its physical qualities...

Let's suppose you have a 4 month old male Bengal Kitten who looks like the kitten pictured above. How much would YOU charge for him? Or how much would YOU be willing to pay for him?

Think of a dollar amount... then read on :-)

While the actual quality of the kitten remains the same, let's now consider what the price of the kitten might be if some of the "unseen" things about the kitten are different:

(A) How much is this kitten worth if ...

(B) How much is this kitten worth if...

  • Both his Parents are Regional Winning Supreme Grand Champions and have produced other RW SGC cats
  • Neither Parent was ever shown
  • He is a repeat breeding of an older brother who was Cat of the Year last season
  • He has 4 older full siblings who were shown but never titled
  • He is bred by a famous cattery with many Regional Winning cats
  • His breeder is relatively unknown and has never a titled cat
  • He has been shown once and was a Best Kitten Winner
  • He has never been shown
  • His grandfather is a International Winner whose bloodline are very desirable however the cat only sired a few litters before he was neutered and so he appears in very few pedigrees
  • His grandfather is a Grand Champion that sired many litters for his owner and was used as an outside stud on many queens and is in many pedigrees
  • Both parents and grandparents have been DNA tested for PK-Def and Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
  • One parent has been DNA tested negative for PK-Def, but the other has never been tested. Neither tested for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
  • The Seller lives in New York City
  • The Seller lives in Alaska

Remember that original money amount you decided on when you had just looked at the kitten's photo? Did it change when you learned more about the kitten?

Would you want more money for Kitten (A) than Kitten (B), even though they look exactly the same? Would you be willing to pay more for Kitten (A) than Kitten (B)?

Obviously, while the kitten's quality remains the same between the 2 scenarios, its relative value changes considerably and its price tag could well change accordingly.

There is always a certain amount of implied risk in purchasing a kitten. They are living breathing beings... and showing and breeding is part art and part science... and neither are a perfect art or a perfect science.

When you are purchasing a very young show kitten, you are purchasing POTENTIAL. The younger the kitten is when you purchase it, the greater the risk that the kitten may or may not fulfill that potential as it continues to grow and change.

Spend your money on a kitten KNOWING there is a risk. Get the best value for your money possible. But just like purchasing a high quality car, or stereo, or designer outfit, or anything, you should expect high quality to cost more that the average.

A Gentle Reminder...

Each breeder has the right to charge whatever they like for their kittens. Each purchaser has the right to pay as much as they wish for a kitten. Both the seller and the buyer have the right to place whatever value they decide on a kitten and that is THEIR BUSINESS

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