Backyard breeding is a term used to describe irresponsible breeding of animals. Often this is due to ignorance or neglect where a pet cat accidentally becomes pregnant because the owner has failed to have them desexed, but in most cases the term is used to describe individual(s) that breed cats for supply using unethical means in order to turn a profit (often called Kitten Factories).

Trademe is popular for selling kittens as pets by both backyard breeders and some registered breeders given their ease of use and accessibility but how do you know who you're purchasing from?    

A registered breeder will:

  • Supply a lineage history of your pet (Pedigree).  This guarantees that what you're purchasing is exactly what you expect
  • They are sold to you desexed, wormed and given a full checkup by a veterinarian and you will ALWAYS be provided with documentation to prove this.  Often a backyard breeder will say they sell their kittens are wormed and flea-free but that is entirely at their word.
  • Provide after sales support and advice.  If things still aren't working out for the new owner, a registered breeder will in most cases prefer to refund and have the kitten returned rather that seeing a kitten they've bred pushed on from owner to owner.  A backyard breeder will not provide this.
  • Responsible breeders usually test their stock for the possibility of genetically inherited disorders, as they are mindful of breeding with the health and welfare of future kittens in mind, whereas backyard breeders will generally avoid those additional costs.
  • Use ethical means to breed without experimentation with other breeds.
  • Meet the standards set by animal welfare organizations such as the SPCA, PetSafe, NZ Cat Fancy, Catz Inc, the Companion Animal Council and other global animal welfare organizations
  • Be cheaper to purchase from in some cases than a backyard breeder.
  • Proudly display that they're registered with an affiliate organization and follow ethical guidelines as provided by global animal welfare organizations

On the increase is the popularity of exotic crosses or designer breeds and they are often sold for extortionate prices.  It is advised that you shouldn't purchase one of these kittens as their history is uncertain which can in turn lead to future health and/or behavioral problems.  Also, you're wasting your money.   We've seen Burmese x Bengal kittens advertised on Trademe for over $1500.  Mother was a Burmese mix and the father a Bengal mix but it's not explained what the mix is.  In other words, that's $1500 for a moggie. 

So in summary do your homework, interview the breeder before you purchase, follow a few of these guidelines and good luck with adopting a life long Burmese companion.

A list of Burmese breeders in New Zealand is available here and here