Writing a Kitten Inquiry

I know many potential new breeders who send out e-mail inquiries, looking for cats to start their program, and are disappointed that many breeders never write back to them.

Well.... too often, the problem is your approach! I can't count the number of times I've received an inquiry, which goes something like this: "What color/sex kittens do you have, and how much are they?"

That's it - no signature to identify themselves, etc. While many of us start out trying to answer notes like this, as time goes on, it gets very frustrating on our end to continue to do that.

So... how can you write a better inquiry, and improve your odds of getting a reply? Here's a few tips for you!

 


Introduce Yourself

Take a few minutes to write out a paragraph or two of introduction! Tell me your name, where you live, and some of your experience. Have you got a mentor? Please share that with me as well. If your breeding and already got the start of a cattery, tell me a bit about your current cats, their lines, and how they are housed. Tell me a bit about your eventual goals and what you're working towards...

Research

Before you start inquiring about cats, do some research. Figure out the "look" you like - afterall, there are a wide variety of looks out there, all of which fall within the standard. Most of us have our own opinions about which look appeals to us, though.

Once you've done that, look at what catteries are consistently producing that look - pick three or four of those breeders to concentrate talking with. When you write with your introduction, it doesn't hurt to show off this knowledge you've researched - for instance, I'd much rather get a note that says something like "I love the eyes you consistently get on your cats, and that's something I'm really looking for" - it shows me that you've taken the time to become familiar with my cats. Too often, the new person just writes to every breeder they can find, looking for kittens. To me, this tells me you haven't done any research at all, and you just want whatever you can find that's available.

Be willing to wait

Please - have some patience in your search! The right cat can take awhile to find, but it's worth it. Rarely, if ever, will a breeder have something nice available right that second - often, we don't even have a potentially nice kitten growing up at that point. So you have to be prepared to wait... 6 months... a year... who knows? Too many people, new breeders and pet buyers alike, are into "instant gratification" - they move on to another breeder, wanting something "right now". If you've done your research and found a cattery or catteries you like, then be willing to wait.

Be realistic

On the flip side of the coin, while I am happy to hear things like "My favorite cat of yours is RW SGC Mr Wonderful", PLEASE do not then ask me for one "Just like him"! Guess what - so do I! :-)

Frankly, top show quality cats are few and far between, and when I get a cat of that caliber, it's probably not going to anybody else, let alone a new person. I'm breeding to improve the breed and my own breeding program - a cat like that is what I'm trying to achieve. Be realistic in your request - asking for a quality cat is certainly reasonable... asking for the top-show cat that will win everything in sight, not so reasonable.

Prove Yourself

This is probably one of the pieces of advice that more new breeders object to than anything... but, I'd love to see that you've already proven yourself by showing an alter. Contrary to popular belief, most of us DO remember what it was like to start out - and most of us have at one time or another taken pity on a new person, sold them a nice cat, only to be disappointed and burned in the process. It makes it really hard to trust the next one that comes along. This is where showing an alter can really work to your benefit. By showing an alter, you tell me with your ACTIONS that you're serious about learning about the care, grooming, and showing of your breed. No matter how nice you may sound on e-mail, phone, even in person - it's really just talk at that point, and we'd like to see some sign of a serious commitment.

Sample Letter

Below is an actual inquiry letter sent by a buyer. The letter is an excellent example of a well-written inquiry that is sure to get an answer.

Hi {breeder name here},

My husband and I love cats.  We rescued two litter mates many years ago, and sadly they have both passed away from old age.  Bill is allergic to cats but was able to overcome the problem by hand washing and by keeping them out of the bedroom.  After the last cat passed away we waited about 6 months and tried to get another cat.  We have not been successful as his allergies appear to have gotten worse.  We have thought about a dog and have looked at several breeds, but a cat is really what we want. 

This afternoon we saw a Bengal with his owner in a store and we both immediately took to the cat.  He was so curious and playful!!!!  The owner said that Bengals can cause less trouble to people with allergies - can you speak to your experience with that?  Would it be possible for us to come play with your adult cats to see if Bill has any reaction to them?

We both truly love cats and are willing to make concessions to have a pet.  We are a middle aged couple with no children, a large house in Spring Valley, and lots of love to share.  We both work but are active and committed to having a happy healthy pet in our lives.  Any information you can give will be gratefully accepted.

Best regards,

Bill and Lou
Houston, TX
Home 713-xxx-xxxx
email bill.xxxx@comcast.xxx

 

 

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