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Pricing

How is the pricing decided upon and why can quality pedigreed kittens cost so much?  Without a doubt, this is one of the most difficult decisions to make.   Naturally I've attempted to find every Persian cattery on the Internet that states prices in order to determine what others are charging.  I've found, as I'm sure you have, a distressing and confusing range.  I'm often asked why?  I'm sure the answer is not a simple one.  Reasons vary -- region, perceived quality, doll-faced vs extreme faced, time of year, rare colors... the list goes on.  I'm going to make a huge generalization here and say that the west coast tends to be more expensive; doll-faced kittens more expensive than non-show quality extreme faced (doll-faced kittens are more in demand for pets); winter kittens more expensive than spring kittens; more expensive colors might be the dilutes, vans, chocolates, silvers, goldens.  You will also see catteries advertising 'Teacup Persians' and other specialties that in all likelihood do not exist, and asking high prices for them.   An article on one website lumped 'doll-faced' Persians in this group.  Maybe they are right and maybe not -- all 'show breeders' get 'doll-faced' kittens which they consider 'pet quality.'   'Doll-faced' is another term for 'Traditional' -- i.e. the Persian "look" before the extreme faces became more show-worthy.  I also read -- perhaps in the same article -- that there is no excuse for charging more than $500 for a 'pet quality' Persian.  I don't know how old the article was, however in 1992, I paid $400 each for two Himalayan kittens from a very questionable breeder, then proceeded to spend thousands of dollars on them at the vet due to ringworm and diarrhea.  So, the old adage of 'you get what you pay for' also extends to kittens.  In my opinion, a breeder who lets their kittens go for ONLY $500 is undervaluing their kittens, and may also be taking shortcuts in feeding and medical care.  Notice, that I say "may." I know that there are very caring breeders out there that charge very little for their own reasons, and who am I to say one way or the other if this is right or wrong.

What goes into breeding kittens?  What is the money used for?  I've seen a number of articles on this subject and in my opinion they fall short of the reality.  Granted, these articles are probably dated.  Do breeders make a profit?  Virtually never.  Here is an example of veterinary expenses. 

A 4 year old female was spayed because she had failed to breed, along with having her teeth cleaned ($800). My senior queen required a C-section ($1500), then was later spayed with a teeth cleaning ($600+), but developed a hernia through her incision that had to be repaired a month later ($500).  Another queen suffered from dental issues (resorptive lesions) and needed extractions ($1200). A kitten faded on the third day of life and was rushed to the vet ($400) where he died.  Another kitten wrenched her leg at six weeks of age.  Thankfully the leg wasn't broken, and she recovered nicely ($400).  All kittens vetted, inoculated, and fecal exams done ($300 - $500 per litter). Miscellaneous routine exams, vaccinations and whatnot throughout any given year on various resident cats ($300 - $800).  These expenses only include veterinary issues--possibly for an expensive cross section of time--but it gives you an idea.   A huge proportion of my budget goes towards buying them the best food I can, a lesser amount for small kitten kits to go with each kitten at adoption, advertising, toys, tools, CFA registration fees, etc.

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