- Do your research and read, read, read about cats and which breed you'd like to "grow up" with. - I rushed into the feline world head first so did not really read about which breed suits me and my life style best. But I believe I have made the right choice in choosing maine coons
- If there's a cat association or club, join them or at least get to know a few of them before plunging into the ravine so to speak :) - in other words, don't do what I've done, do what I was supposed to have done
- Ask yourself whether you want to start a breeding programme or just enjoy the cats that you have. Initially I only want cats as pets but I have now decided to breed maine coons
- Do you have the space to keep them? I keep my kittens in the family area but I have already allocated them a room in the new house. We'll be moving in June 2011. :)
- Do you want to keep them in cages or let them roam free in the house? For safety reasons (and my peace of mind), I keep the babies in their individual cages when I go to work but will let them out once I get home. As they sleep most of the time during the day, I believe they don't miss much. Furthermore, it is easier to keep the boys away from the girls as I don't want the girls to get pregnant before they are one years old.
- Do you want to keep them indoors or outdoors? I prefer indoor cats as at least I can keep them safe
- Do you have a good vet within your neighbourhood? We have two vets located within 15 minutes drive from my house
- Don't go cat searching during a long weekend break, most of the shops would be closed. In my haste to get a cat, I had to choose the long Chinese New Year holiday weekend!
- If the petshop is offering a kitten before he/she is three/four months old - WALK AWAY! They still need the mother and most likely have not been potty trained. A responsible breeder would only sell their kittens after they are four months old or so.
- Buy the biggest cage you can afford in terms of size to fit your home as they will grow bigger. I bought the largest kitten cage (36"L x 22"W x 29"H) for both Boboy and Dusky as the petshop had only one. After scouting around, I found a small sized dog cage (48"L x 30"W x 36"H) which is the biggest sized cage that could go into my family area. I now have four of the dog cages.
- And if you want to buy pedigree cats, make sure that the breeder shows you the registration slip for your kittens. Make a copy for your records as the breeder needs the slip to change the ownership. I made the mistake of not making a copy of Pearl's registration slip and am still waiting for the new one from TICA. In the case of Putra, I took a copy but am happy to note that the registration slip from CFA arrived on Friday 13 May 2011.
- The best breeder are those who allows you to choose your own name. I gave Putra his name but had no choice on Pearl.
- There are a lot of cat registration associations in the world but Malaysia only recognises FIFE (Federation International Feline, Luxemburg), CFA (Cat Fanciers' Association, US) and TICA (The International Cat Association, US)