What are a British Shorthair pedigree papers and should I pay more for them?
Ever heard this? “My British Shorthair kitten was cheaper as I didn’t get pedigree papers”. I am not sure where the term papers came from but it usually refers to a cats pedigree. A pedigree is the cats family tree and a record of its ancestors. A registered pedigree is issued by the breeders association.
All British Shorthtairs should have pedigree papers. Think of it as your cats birth certificate. The pedigree papers for your British Shorthair should have the name of the breeder and the name of the owner, details of the association that issued them as well as extra information such as the cats microchip number.
So how do these British Shorthair pedigree papers come about and what do they mean?
Well to be legitimate,cat breeders join associations called registering bodies. They are groups that, among other things, maintain a database of cat breeding records. When a breeder has a litter of kittens they must register the birth just like people do with babies. They list the kittens and their sex and colours and who the parents are and the date they were born.
Be aware that breeders can provide hand written pedigrees or pedigrees from their own pedigree database. What you should look for is a pedigree or a transfer slip or something from the registering body that has a registration number on it listing you as the registered owner.
Now here is something most people buying a kitten don’t realise. Registering a British Shorthair kitten is very cheap especially compared to the price of the kitten. Most Australian registering bodies charge between $10 and $50 to register a kitten and produce registered British Shorthair pedigree papers.
So why do breeders say the kitten is cheaper without British Shorthair pedigree papers?
It’s not because these kittens are illigitimate or unrecorded (even though that is the case). It’s probably because of one of these reasons
- The breeder is not registered and can’t register the kittens birth. This may also mean they are breeding in secret without the knowledge of local councils or authorities (often called back yard breeding)
- The kittens parents are not registered or recorded properly. This will mean the registering body will refuse to register the kittens.
- The breeder doesn’t like paperwork and doesn’t want to or is not capable of submitting the records and getting them to you.
- It’s a marketing ploy designed to make you feel like you are getting a bargain so you accept the price and buy the kitten.
Rules for Breeding British Shorthair cats
Around Australia and around the world cat registering associations have rules that state each breeder must register every kitten they breed. That means registered, legitimate breeders dont have the choice to sell you a British Shorthair kitten without pedigree papers. The record keeping is not easy as there is a lot of paperwork. Often the people doing the registrations for the association are a volunteer as well.
It can be a cumbersome process for the breeder to register kittens. As a buyer it is how to make sure the kitten you are buying is the real deal and an actual British Shorthair. It is also something you are entitled to as per the breeders associations rules regardless of the price you pay for your kitten.