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FAQ: What to Ask Potential Breeders?
Please feel free to apply any of our
"FAQ" to any other responsible breeder.
Always do your homework when
interviewing a potential breeder.
Unless it is an emergency, we respectfully ask that you contact us after 2:00pm EST. Our kitties are our first priority, and mornings are for the care of our beautiful cats and kittens.
We are always here for your questions and concerns...If you have an emergency, please contact us anytime. If you have general questions or would like to schedule an interview, and would like to contact us, please do so AFTER 2:00pm. We are simply too busy with kittens and cleaning in the morning to answer the phone/texts. Thanks.
How can I get on your wait list?
We respectfully request that you read our website in its entirety before calling. Many of the questions that you will have hen calling will have already been answered on our Frequently Asked Questions page (FAQ's). You can also visit us on Facebook. You can visit our Facebook page even if you are not a member of Facebook. Simply type in Facebook/Willetteragdol. Please be sure to read our ratings. We tell all potential parents to please do their homework when looking for a responsible breeder. We suggest typing the name of a potential cattery/complaints into google, etc. to make sure nothing negative pops up. After you have done all of these things, if you are still interested in a Willetteragdol kitten, then please call us after 2pm (EST) for a phone interview 508-813-6411. Our parents come to us from all walks of life, and every one of them must conduct an interview before being accepted as one of our wonderful parents.
Why should I buy a Willetteragdol kitten? Is there anything included with the price of my kitten?
At Willetteragdol, we do not cut corners when it comes to our kittens. Our kittens and cats come first, plain and simple. Included in the cost of your kitten, you will not only receive a healthy, well-socialized, beautiful kitten, you will also receive the following:
• First two shots, administered by a licensed veterinarian who comes directly to our home. Many breeders will perform their own shots for their kittens.
We think it is safer to have a trained professional administer their shots.
• De-worming performed three times, at an age deemed appropriate by our vet.
• A show-quality bath and nail trim before you pick them up
• Microchipping (optional)
• A TICA registration. A three-generation laminated pedigree is also offered for an additional charge of $50 (optional)
• We fecal test every litter and will provide proof that your kitten is free of parasites.
• Once you have chosen your kitten, you will receive weekly photos and updates so you can follow along with your new baby's progress and growth.
• Weekly photos. An updated letter (email) will be sent home to every family just before your baby goes home.
• Our awesome Kitten Take-Home Gift!!! Each kitten receives a made-to-order, handmade, crocheted kitten bed made in your choice of color, courtesy of Auntie Kim's Cat Beds (auntiekimscatbeds.com). Auntie Kim also allows parents of Willetteragol kittens to upgrade the size of their kitten bed at a huge discount, as long as parents contact her before they pick up their kitten.
• Most importantly, we socialize our kittens. We believe in giving you not just a pet,
we want to give you a new member of the family.
When/how can I schedule my interview?
After a phone interview, if we feel that you would be a suitable parent-to-be for one of our kittens, we will schedule your interview with you. All interviews are conducted after 2:00pm EST. We never conduct interviews prior to 2:00pm as our mornings are spent cleaning and caring for our kitties. We apologize if this is inconvenient, but we simply do not have time in the mornings to conduct interviews.
Do you show your cats?
No, we do not. For a few reasons....
• We have an ailing family member under our care and he cannot be left alone. This makes it extremely difficult for both of us to be gone at the same time, which we would need to do if we decided to show our cats. As we said, family (both 4-footed and human) comes first with us, so we will not be showing anytime in the near future.
• We take pride in having a closed cattery, which means we do not take our cats out of the cattery unless it is an absolute emergency. Although showing may be wonderful for some people, we do our best not to expose our cats to unfamiliar four-legged friends who could pass along harmful bacteria or viruses. The risk of spreading a kitty illness at a cat show is much too high for our liking, especially when they could potentially bring something home and spread it to our babies. If exposed to certain illnesses while at a show, we would have to quarantine our cats from the kittens. We just do not think it is worth the risk. The health of our cats and the standards of the breed are our top priorities. We even have our own licensed veterinarian who comes to our cattery to perform our babies' first physicals and inoculations. Some breeders will perform their own medical (shots, etc.), we prefer to leave that to a licensed veterinarian. I challenge you to find another breeder who has their own licensed veterinarian on call who will come to their cattery for all check ups and shots. The only time our kittens/cats leave our cattery while under our care is for their neuter/spay and in cases of emergency. We believe in high-quality food (we have notoriously healthy, chubby babies!), top quality veterinarian care, and tons of socialization. We spare no expense when it comes to our babies. We test all breeding adults for HCM, PKD, FeLV, FIV, and DNA testing for Ragdoll HCM and PKD mutations (all of which were negative). We also do random fecal testing with every litter. We test all of our litters for potential parasites (which are always negative). Kittens receive their first two round of vaccinations from a licensed veterinarian. (4-way FVRCP-Ch). This gives our potential kitten parents huge peace of mind. All kittens are registered with TICA and we microchip all kittens at parent's request for an added measure of safety.
• When someone shows their cats, regardless of breed, chances are, they cage them. In fact, many breeders cage their cats while at their catteries. Make no mistake, caging among breeders is quite common place. We just don't agree with it. When inquiring about a kitten, please always ask if their cats are caged. We absolutely will not cage our cats. EVER. Caged cats are stressed cats. Stress causes all kinds of problems later in life. They are a part of our family from the moment they are born and we treat them as such. Caging can result in non-socialization and a less well-rounded cat. Although our kittens have wonderful lines and are quite often show quality, our main focus is on producing loving, well-socialized, healthy kittens that adhere to the Ragdoll breed standard. If you would like to know what the bloodlines are for one of our cats, what "bloodlines" or "Ragdoll standards" mean, or have questions about any of our cattery workings, please just ask. We are an open book.
• Although we are extremely knowledgeable about the Ragdoll breed/standards, our main focus is not, and never has been, about acquiring titles and ribbons. We have always been very open about this. If you are more interested in titles and ribbons than a well-rounded, well-bred Ragdoll, then we are quite simply not the breeder for you. All of our cats have come from, or are descended from great lines. This however, is probably important to us for reasons that are different than other breeders. We love this breed. We really do. When we began breeding years ago, we wanted to make sure that we were starting with cats that were healthy and met breed standard. We did this knowing that someday we wanted to have our own Willetteragdol bloodline...a bloodline that would be full of kittens that were healthy, loving, social, and show-worthy, even though we had no intention of entering the show ring. Many breeders do this for the titles, this allows them to charge more money for their kittens. Many breeders also ship overseas, which we will NEVER do. Quite frankly, we could not sleep at night knowing one of our kittens was being shipped on a long flight to a different country. We just won't do it. We don't breed for greed. Will we ever make a million dollars breeding these wonderful cats? No. Not even close. But rest assured you will be getting the best with a Willetteragdol kitten.
Do you require a down payment?
Most breeders will require some form of a down payment. WilletteRagdol requires a $300* non-refundable deposit per pet kitten and a $500 non-refundable deposit per breeder kitten. This deposit will be deducted from the original balance. Please note that the deposit for kittens in non-refundable. If you change your mind and decide against a kitten, after submitting your deposit, your deposit will not be returned to you.
How much do you charge for your kittens?
Currently, we charge $1700 for our pet kittens and $1900 for show quality pet kittens (same markings on the both the left and right.)* We charge $1700 for every pet kitten. This includes all necessary shots, spay/neuter, health certificate, an "Auntie Kim's Cat Beds" Kitten Bed, TICA registration & weekly photos and monthly letters home from the viewpoint of your new kitten. (Your kitten will let you know when they get a shot, learn to use the litter box, etc.) We try to keep our parents 100% in the loop. This all helps with the bonding process between you and your new kitten. Our kittens are healthy, happy, well-socialized, and free of parasites. We also test all of our kitty parents to guarantee that our babies will not be subject to genetic diseases. We will also microchip upon request at the cost of the procedure.
* $1700 (Seals, Blues, Torties, and Red Points) Bi-Colors and show quality pet kittens $1900. All parents will be informed when it comes time to choose their kitten as to whether the kitten qualifies as show quality
or a bi-color.
Please note that the deposit for kittens in non-refundable. If you change your mind and decide against a kitten, after submitting your deposit, your deposit will not be returned to you, but it transferable to another kitten.
What should I expect on kitten pick-up day?
On the day you pick up your new kitten from Willetteragdol, you will need to bring a carrier for your kitten, along with a soft towel to be placed inside. We will not release a kitten without a carrier. You will also need to bring your remaining balance due (cash only, please) as well as a hug goodbye for us humans. Your Auntie Kim's Cat Bed will be finished and waiting for you to bring home when you pick up your kitten.
Do you sell Breeder kittens?
Yes. We sell kittens to be used as breeders to approved family breeders who share our values. We will not sell to breeders who are mainly interested in showing our cats. Although we produce many show quality cats, we do not believe that the show life is in the best interest for our babies. We also NEVER ship kittens to be used as breeders overseas. EVER. All of our breeder kittens will be sired by our very own Maurice. Any breeder who wishes to receive a Willetteragdol kitten must be interviewed thoroughly and be approved by Willetteragdol.
Do you sell your retired breeders?
On occasion, we have retired kitties or a previously adopted Willetteragdol kitty that needs to be re-homed due to parent's illness, death in the family, or a move. Although these instances are rare, they do happen from time to time. If you are interested in being considered for a situation such as this, please email us so that we can interview you and keep you in our file. We do charge for retired or re-homed kitties. Charges vary depending on the circumstances and the age of the ragdoll. We do not charge in these instances to make a profit. If a kitty is returned to us for help in finding a new home, that kitty must be re-vetted. We re-test and update with any appropriate vaccines. After all veterinary costs, if there is money remaining, it is donated to our charity, Cassidy's Kitties. We do not sell our kitties twice...all fees are for veterinary care, food, and care of the kitty until we are able to find it a new forever home.
Do you allow visits to your cattery?
We used to, but we no longer allow visits for a number of reasons. When kittens are very small babies, they are like human babies...their immune systems are not fully active, leaving them susceptible to a number of illnesses if exposed. Things like distemper and other viruses can unknowingly be carried into the cattery on people's shoes and clothing. Our babies are super healthy and we try everything in our power to keep them that way. Our cattery (which is also our home) is kept super clean for the same reason. Willetteragdol is a closed cattery, which means our cats do not leave our kingdom. Our licensed veterinarian comes to our cattery to perform exams and inoculations. Our kitties only leave the cattery if there is something that needs to be done, such as an X-ray, lab work, or an ultrasound. The first time kittens leave the cattery is generally when they go to get altered and they usually go to their forever homes the day following their surgery. Our home is their home and we think of our Ragdolls as our children...and we are very protective of them.
What constitutes a show quality pet kitten?
Kittens that are show quality are the exact same temperament and premium quality as our non-show quality kittens. The difference between a show quality kitten and a non-show quality kitten is that a show quality kitten meets and/or exceeds Ragdoll breed standards (markings, fur quality, etc.).
I've heard that a lot of breeders will in-breed or line-breed their cats. Does Willetteragdol do this?
Absolutely not. Although this is a common practice among breeders used to achieve certain show-quality standards, we do not practice this method of breeding. We do not believe in breeding between "kitty family members".
Do your kittens come with a pedigree?
There is no reason for any reputable breeder to sell pure-bred kittens without papers. Beware of breeders that try to sell "Bargain Ragdoll Kittens" without papers. They have no papers because they are most likely not pedigree cats. Our kittens come from Supreme Grand Champion Bloodlines. WIlletteRagdol kittens are all registered TICA kittens. A pedigree is available on request of the kitten's parent for an additional $50.00 per kitten. (TICA charges $25 for the pedigree and we charge $25 for the huge amount of time it takes to submit and request a pedigree.) Many breeders will leave it up to the parents to request a pedigree, but we know how difficult and daunting it can be, that is why we offer to do it for our parents for a small fee. We try to make the experience at Willetteragdol one that is as stress-free as possible. Please note: kitten parents have one week after choosing their kitten to decide on a name to be used on their TICA registration. TICA only allows 12 spaces on their form for a name, and we highly suggest that you add a middle name or initial. Adding the middle name/initial makes it less likely that TICA will reject that particular name.
Why do you practice early spay/neuter?
First of all, you will find that most responsible breeders practice early spay/neuter. here is an accumulating body of evidence indicating that the positive results far outweigh any remaining UNKNOWN risks. Studies report that anesthetizing kittens was uneventful. Spays are reported to be easier and faster at a younger age than they would be if they waited until the baby is 6 to 7 months because there is little subcutaneous fat to hinder entrance to the abdominal cavity. The lack of vasculature reduces the chances of hemorrhage. In addition, finding all the organs was no harder than it is on older kitten. The speed of castration is much easier on the little boys as well. The testicles on a male kitten as young as six weeks are easier to remove and break down. Finally, the younger kittens recover faster and with much less pain. Even we are amazed when we open up our carrier after seeing our surgeon. Our little boys walk out like nothing happened at all. Little girls are a little slower but it’s a bigger surgery. Our kittens generally can leave as early as the following day. Parents are advised not to bathe the kitten and to keep an eye on the incision site for bleeding and redness...generally the same as any other surgery. In eight years of breeding, we have not had a problem. We can’t say the same with spaying/neutering an older cat.
Are you, as a breeder available for consult for the life of the cat?
We at WilletteRagdol are always here to answer questions and concerns for the life of your cat, and after.
Do I need insurance for my kitten?
Insurance is something that is generally never thought about until it is needed. We think it is always best to plan ahead by signing up for pet insurance while they are still young. Although your kitty will most likely not need to use the pet insurance, you never know when kitty may ingest something bad or otherwise injure themselves. We do recommend TruCompanion (Just in case!) Just like the way you found Willetteragdol, we Recommend you doing your homework, compare insurance companies, and decide what is best for your family. Willetteragdol provides you with a coupon for month of TruCompanion for free. We will give you your TruCompanion coupon in your welcome home packet. Remember, it is time sensitive. If you want your first month free, please contact the insurance Company. We will go over all of this info with you on kitten pick up day.
Do I need to choose my veterinarian before my Kitten goes home?
Absolutely! Please find a good veterinarian local to you. Check them out by researching the veterinarians name/complaints. We strongly recommend that you do your homework when choosing a veterinarian. Just like people doctors, there are good veterinarians and not-so-good veterinarians. We’ve met a few nightmare vets in our day. So, please Choose your doctor wisely. Please schedule a well visit the first week of baby is home. This is also part our contract. At this point, you can schedule a tech/ nurse appointment for your babies third distemper shot.
Remember parents, and I can not stress this enough!!! Never ever ever ever ever give a rabies shot with the distemper shot. The likelihood of your kitten having a reaction to a rabies vaccine is very slim however, it has happened in the past. This is not worth the risk!!! So please schedule the rabies shot at least two weeks after giving distemper.... if you could put it off till six months old, all the better. Our ragdoll babies are inside only kitties. However, it is state law that all cats, even indoor cats, have the rabies Vaccine. Yes, all of our cats are always up to date with all vaccines.
If my kitten develops an illness after bringing it home, will Willetteragdol pay the bill?
Willetteragdol is responsible for treatment and prevention of all genetic Ragdoll diseases. Under contract, all parents are responsible for bringing their new kitten to their own veterinarian within 72 hours of leaving our cattery. All of our kittens are seen at least three times and are certified by our veterinarian to be healthy before they are allowed to leave our cattery. Willetteragdol is not responsible for illnesses that may occur after leaving our cattery. Illnesses, allergies, fleas, and other similar occurrences will not be covered by Willetteragdol. All of our kittens are free of parasites and disease when they leave for their new homes. Please be mindful when exposing new kittens to existing pets as the existing pets may be carrying illnesses, etc. that you may not be aware of.
What are PKD1 and HCM?
PKD: Polycystic Kidney Disease is a disease in which a large number of fluid filled cysts form in the kidneys. These cysts are present from birth in affected cats. They start off very small, gradually increasing in size until they affect the surrounding normal kidney tissue, causing kidney failure and death.
Polycystic Kidney Disease is an inherited disease in cats. Most breeders are aware of this potential problem for their cats and test their cats for the presence of the disease before using them for breeding.
HCM: HCM is a horrible and very unfortunate condition which is common with the Ragdoll breed. In it's most severe form, most cats will not live past 2 years of age. Cats diagnosed with this defective gene could potentially collapse and die at any time. They will also pass this defective gene on to their offspring.
Ensure that potential breeders test all breeding cats for PKD and HCM. Please do not consider buying a cat if this test has not been done. The DNA test for Ragdolls is inexpensive and non-invasive for the cat. If a breeder has not tested their cats, this should signal a huge red flag! Any responsible breeder will be more than happy to show you the test results for their cats.
Are your breeder cats DNA tested for PKD1 and HCM?
PKD1 is a test to determine if there is a hereditary kidney defect. HCM is used to test for a hereditary heart defect. WiletteRagdol tests for both.
Have the kittens been fecal tested for parasites?
All kittens should be tested for Giardia and Coccidia. These are both parasites that lay in the colon and cause horrible diarrhea, which can be lethal for a young kitten. WiletteRagdol tests for both.
Do you test for Feline Leukemia and Feline AIDS?
Yes. All of our kitty parents are tested for both Feline Leukemia and AIDS.
When will my baby receive their first shot?
We notify parents of the day the doctor comes in. After their vet visit, we will let you know how your baby tolerated their first physical and inoculation. At this time, we will book their surgery for spay/neuter and notify you of that date as well.
I notice my kitten is starting to lose the fur on the back of it's ears and some sneezing. What could be causing this?
Most likely, it's food allergies. Ragdolls, as a breed, are more susceptible to allergies caused by some of the better cat foods on the market. Although these foods may be great for your Ragdoll, they may cause an allergy that presents itself in the form of hair loss on the back of the ears and sneezing. If you suspect an allergy, you are more than welcome to call and discuss it with us, regardless of where you got your Ragdoll. Of course, if there is an emergency situation, always consult your veterinarian.
Does your stud cat(s) live in a cage?
No. Absolutely not. Our current stud cat, Jon Claude, not only has his own bedroom to spend his nights in, he also has his own wardrobe! His wardrobe consists of kitty "Stud Suits" that are made by our friend at www.meowwear.com. These specially made suits allow our precious boy to be able to socialize with our other cats and family during the day. At night, he retires to his bedroom where he can remove his suit and relax like the bachelor that he is.
At what age do you release your kittens?
Kittens should not be released before they are 12 weeks of age. They need
that time to bond with their mother and siblings. WilletteRagdol releases our
kittens at 12 weeks, making sure they are all up to date on their shots and
spayed or neutered.
Will you release your kittens without being altered? Can I get them fixed at my own vet?
No. We will not release our kittens if they are not fixed. The only exception to this rule would be kittens that are sold for breeding purposes.
Why do ALL of your girls have Simone as their middle name?
Simone was the name of Bette's mum who loved cats almost as much as Bette does. We give her name to all of our breeder girls as a way to honor her memory. Not to mention that she also had the bluest eyes you ever saw....just like our Ragdolls. All of our kitties are named to honor friends, family and chosen family members.
About the Care Packages....do I get to choose the color of my Auntie Kim's Cat Bed? When should I order it?
All of our babies are sent home with a special care package to get them started in their new forever home.* Included in this package, there will be
a cozy cat bed hand-made by our "Auntie Kim". You can absolutely choose the color of your new kitten bed! You can find her list of offered colors on her website: www.AuntieKimsCatBeds.com. You can also find her on Facebook.
Auntie Kim offers Willetteragdol parents a special deal...we at Willetteragdol provide an Auntie Kim's kitten size bed that we send home with our kittens as part of our Kitten Care Packages. Auntie Kim allows new Willetteragdol parents the opportunity to up-size their kitten bed for the difference in price between the smaller, kitten size and the selected larger size. What's the catch, you ask? Auntie Kim only offers this deal on beds that are ordered BEFORE your kitten is picked up from Willetteragdol. Please place your Cat bed orders ASAP and
AT LEAST 2 weeks before kitten pick-up day. Every bed is made to order, and waiting too long may result in having to choose from her selection of pre-made cat beds, which is a more limited selection). Even waiting to within 2 weeks of pick-up day is sometimes not enough time for Auntie Kim to hand make your bed, depending on the amount of orders she has at that time, so please contact her either through her webpage or through Facebook as soon as you choose your new kitten. It's a great deal, and since out kitties can grow BIG, we encourage all of our parent to take advantage of this great offer. Your Auntie Kim's Cat Bed will be finished and waiting for you to bring home when you pick up your kitten.
*Please note: in rare circumstances, such as a kitten that has been discounted or re-homed, a kitten care basket will be provided at Willetteragdol's discretion.
Are you a cage-less cattery?
YES! WIlletteRagdol is a cage-less cattery. Kittens are raised underfoot with kids, family commotion and a wonderful cat-loving dog. This ensures that your kitten will be well-adjusted, friendly and not the least bit skittish.
Are your kittens up to date on shots?
WilletteRagdol kittens have all received their first two sets of shots before they are released to their forever homes. To insure that our babies don't pick up any "friends" while out of the cattery to get spayed/neutered, we apply Advantix flea & tick medicine to the kittens during the warmer New England months. This is the only time we apply Advantix flea & tick medication because other than the trip to get altered, the kittens do not leave our cattery until the day they go to their forever homes.
In the unlikely and unfortunate event that I may need to
re-home my kitten, will you help?
Absolutely. Although it is unlikely, we understand that life happens. In the event of divorce, fire, unforeseen allergy, etc., we will definitely help to re-home your kitten/cat. As stated in our contract, Willetteragdol should be the first person you call in the event that a new home is needed for your Ragdoll.
Do you Blood Type your cats in case of emergencies?
Yes. You never know when an emergency will arise, so we cross-type all of our parent cats. In the unlikely event that a blood transfusion is ever needed, we will not have to waste precious time waiting to find out if there is a match available. We will already know which of our cats are a match. Most veterinarians have to send the blood out for testing, which can take hours. In the event of an emergency, this is often time that cannot afford to be wasted. The health and well-being of our cats and kittens is, and always will be, our top priority.
What kind of guarantee do you offer with your kittens?
WilletteRagdol guarantees the health of our kittens for the first full year of it's life.
All of our cat parents are guaranteed to be free of hereditary defects. We guarantee healthy, happy well-adjusted purring machines!
What colors do Ragdolls come in?
Ragdolls come in a variety of colors. However, they always have blue eyes and points, they are never a solid color. Beware of mink or solid fur color and any variation from the blue eyes. These are not true Ragdoll cats. A cat with any eye color but blue is NOT a purebred Ragdoll. There are four major patterns with Ragdolls: bi-colored, van, mitted and color point. Patterns come in six major colors: seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red, and cream. Points may be solid, lynx, tortie, or torbie, which is a combination of tortie and lynx. They can also be mitted or high mitted. The color combinations are endless. Please visit for more information on Ragdoll breed colors and color combinations. Please note: Willetteragdol will no longer have any lynx colored kittens.
I put down a deposit and am on the waiting list. If I pass on a kitten or two, and the price increases in the interim, do I still get my kitten for the original, lower price?
No. Please see our "Willetteragdol Deposit Agreement". The price of your kitten is the price that is in effect on the day you pick it up. We do not raise our prices often, and only when necessary to keep up with rising vet costs, etc. If you are put on our wait list and pass on an available kitten or two, that is your choice. However, we cannot guarantee pricing over 6 months.
Why do I have to sign a contract?
Contracts are very commonplace among reputable breeders. This ensures the safety of our beautiful babies. Contracts are an added insurance that our furry babies will be cared for correctly, ie: agreeing to not declaw, agreeing to keep the cats inside and making sure that they visit the vet regularly.
How will I know when my kitten is born? Will you call us?
Yes, when your name comes up on our list, we will let you know that your kitten has been born. When your baby is approximately a month to six weeks old, we will send you a series of videos for each kitten that is available. You can choose from these kittens or you can pass and wait for the next litter to be born. We have no control over the sex, colors, or patterns that we will have in any given litter. In some instances, such as a flame point female, we may be able to slightly predict the outcome of the colors of the litter, but nothing is set in stone.
When and how do I choose my kitten?
We will call you shortly after your kitten is born. At this point, we will send you videos of all of the kittens that we have available for you to choose from. You can either choose from what we have available, or you can wait and choose from the next litter, without losing your place in line. Once you have chosen your kitten, we require that you name your kitten (first AND middle name, a total of 15 characters) within a few days so that we have ample time to register them and receive their pedigree from TICA. We ask for middle names because as we register them with TICA if there is another kitten with that name, TICA will reject it. By adding a middle name, the chances of your kitten's specially chosen name being rejected, are significantly reduced.
When do I pick up my kitten?
Kittens must be picked up within a few days after spay/neuter. After the spay/neuter, parents will be charged board, which is agreed upon on the day you choose your kitten. We strongly encourage parents to pick up their kittens within the week after spay/neuter. Bonding with your new kitten is crucial and extremely important in the first few months of life.
What should I bring with me when I pick up my kitten?
When picking up your new kitten, please bring a suitable carrier for the kitten to travel in safely, along with a soft towel or blanket inside. Also, we request that you bring any balance due (cash only for payment of final balance, please. We no longer accept checks of any kind for final balance payments.) We apologize, for the inconvenience, but we have been burned once or twice, so checks are now only accepted for initial deposits. Your final balance due on kitten pick up day must be cash. Your kitten will be washed, nails clipped, and smelling wonderful when you pick him/her up. All of our kittens are given a "kitty spa day" (bubble bath, nail trim and ears cleaned) before they leave us for their forever home. We spend hundreds of hours on every litter to make the kitten of a lifetime for each of our parents. We socialize a ton. We even sleep with our babies! We really do aim for perfection. There's one more thing you need to bring....a hug! We hug every parent. (You could say we have a hug collection. LOL!)
What if I can't make it on the date you have scheduled for my kitten to go home, ie: the kitten's "pick up date"?
Once a kitten's pick up date has been established by Willetteragdol, new parents are expected to pick up their kitten on that date. If you are unable to pick up your kitten on their scheduled pick up date, Willetteragdol will hold the kitten for you at the charge of $25/day per kitten, for up to one week past the scheduled pick up date. If a pick up agreement with the parent of the kitten has not been reached within one week past the pick up date, Willetteragdol has the right to cancel the purchase of the kitten, and the parent will thereby forfeit the kitten. (Deposits are non-refundable). We do our absolute best to make sure that the pick up dates work for all involved. Please keep in mind that we are not a boarding service and when a litter is scheduled to go home, we often have plans to move new moms/litters into the rooms that these current litters are occupying. It is very important for our cattery that kittens are picked up on time.
When it comes time to choose my kitten,
can I choose via FaceTime?
Do you give discounts?
No, we do not give discounts. We work very hard to ensure that our kittens are raised in an environment that is clean and conducive to raising healthy, happy, and well-adjusted babies. This takes more time, energy and money than you could ever imagine. Add in to that the cost for vet visits, proper nutritious food and shots, and you'd be shocked to find out how much money we, as breeders, do NOT make.
I want a specific color/sex of kitten. Can you guarantee that I get what I want?
We try as hard as we can to accommodate the color/sex of the kitten that you are looking for. However, unfortunately, our Mumma cats don't take orders very well. All kidding aside, mother nature will give us whatever color/sex combos that she sees fit. Therefore, if you are deadset on a certain color combo or sex, it make take a few litters to get what you are looking for. We do have all traditional (pointed, blue-eyed) Ragdoll colors. We will never have "mink" Ragdolls as minks are not a traditional Ragdoll color.
I want a female cat because I've heard that male cats will spray all over my house. Is this true?
Both UN-ALTERED male and female cats will spray. However, once a cat (male or female) has been fixed, the cat should not spray. In fact, if an altered cat begins spraying, it's an indicator that the cat is trying to tell you that something is not right. Might be that the litter boxes need to be cleaned more frequently, you may need to add additional litter boxes, change your brand of litter, or the cat may not be feeling well. Simply put, male or female, once a cat is fixed, they should NOT spray. All Willetteragdol kittens are spayed/neutered before they leave for their forever homes. Please do not let this myth be the reason for choosing the sex of your kitten.
Do all cats land on their feet?
No. This may be true with regular cats, you see, a cat's back is extremely flexible and they are able to right themselves in a fall. They also have an Instinct that allows them to judge where to put their feet. This is True with “most Cats “. This is NOT true with Ragdolls. Ragdolls do not land on their feet. They are more dog like in this aspect. So please be aware of your cat falling as they could, and will, get hurt.
Why does my cat seem to be hiding?
There is a Myth that Ragdolls do not feel pain. I laughed when I read this. This is NOT true.... absolutely not true. Cats will hide pain as a survival instinct. They are not going to whine and complain if they are uncomfortable or in pain. Instead, if your cat is in pain, he/she will hide. Anytime your Ragdoll is hiding, please take them to the vet. Remember parents, you can call us 24 hours, 7 days a week in case of emergency... however, if your cat is hiding from you, please note that I will probably tell you to bring them to a 24 hour veterinarian.
How will I bond with my kitten while I wait for the day
when I can pick it up?
All parents of Willetteragdol kittens will receive bi-weekly email "kitten updates" and lots of photos (Many times, these updates are from the kitten's perspective...ie: "this is what I learned this week..."). We believe this helps to foster the kitten-to-new parent bond while you are waiting for your new kitten to be old enough to go home.
Our parents are extremely important to us. We also understand how exciting it is to receive your bi-weekly photos and email from your kitten! We love to get your replies and hear all of your comments, we really do. However, what happens most often, is that everyone replies immediately upon receiving their photos. We have quite a few parents, so you can understand how this would completely lock up our system. When we send photos we ask you to respectfully refrain from replying for two hours. It makes our job much more difficult if we have a dozen parents answering at once. Also, when contacting us, please identify yourself since we do not have your phone or email address on hand at all times. We sincerely thank you for understanding.
How often should I feed my new Willetteragdoll kitten
once we bring her home?
Please feed your baby the minimum of three cans a day. The schedule should be as follows....First thing in the morning give your a baby 1/2 - 1 full can of wet food. Then again at lunchtime or whenever possible. Another 1/2 - 1 full can at dinner time and then again at what we call "last call" just before bed. Dry food should be left out for snacking, discarded twice a day and refilled. There is no such thing as a FAT kitten. Your baby should be eating the minimum in MOST case Scenarios of three cans a day. Our Kittens grow at an incredible rate it is not uncommon for a six month old little boy to weigh almost 6 to 10 pounds.
Please feed off a FLAT small plate not a bowl. Your baby will eat better from a plate versus a bowl. Never use plastic dishes. Plastic dishes cause chin acne in ragdolls.
Fresh water should be given with each and every meal. Always use a clean bowl. We are not crazy about fountains because most cannot be cleaned properly. The only one that we would recommend is a stainless steel one called thirsty cat that can be broken apart and run through the dishwasher. Bowl washing should be done several times a week. It will help to prevent kittens from getting sick.
OK, let’s talk again about Litter Boxes for a second. Scooping the litter box is equivalent to flushing the toilet. Litter boxes should be scooped at least three times a day. It only takes a couple of seconds to keep your baby healthy and happy. Your baby does not want to use a dirty toilet anymore than you do. Remember, if a cat does not get enough food, it will cause behavior problems throughout their life such as food aggression and over eating.
What do you feed?
This can vary from litter to litter with wet food. Please contact us if you have concerns and we will gladly tell you what each litter is eating for wet food. As for dry food, we are feeding Wellness Grain Free For Kittens.
What food and litter should we buy?
We will always keep you in the loop regarding what food, kibble and litter to use. We talk with all new parents about these things long before it is time to pick up your new baby. We strongly advise that you continue to feed what the kittens are currently eating at our cattery for the first few weeks in their new home. Changing a kitten's diet will cause severe diarrhea if not done properly and slowly. If you choose to change your new kitten's food, please do not do so for the first few weeks after picking them up. As always, if you have any questions, please just ask...we are always here for our kitty parents.
What type of litter should do you use?
We use Arm and Hammer Clump & Seal cat litter. We also highly suggest that you add a few cups of kitten attract . Many people do not realize how important it is to choose the right litter. There is one litter in particular that our kittens and cats do not like/and have had problems with. While it is a good litter, for whatever reason, our cats do not like it. It is called "The World's Best Litter". Many times, they will flat out refuse to use the litter box with this litter. We tried many rimes with this litter in our cattery, we have 11 rooms with more than two dozen litter boxes. We bought a bag of The World's Best Litter and filled some of our boxes with it. NONE of our cats would use those litter boxes. NONE. They would go into the box, scratch around, and leave. So, we moved the locations of the boxes. Same result. Although our parents like this litter, as well as some other catteries that we know, our cats and kittens do not like it. We suggest using Arm & Hammer Clumo & Seal litter. Remember the rule of thumb, 1.5 litter boxes per kitty. One kitty= two litter boxes.
How do I protect my kitten from teething on electrical cords?
Cord chewing is a very serious danger with kittens. Please purchase a cover for electrical cords. This is an inexpensive way to protect your little one. Any baby, whether they have two legs or four, will go through a teething period. They will bite on most anything to make their gums feel better. Biting into an electrical cord can kill your kitten. Please protect your kitten by purchasing a cord cover. We have provided a link below to the one we use. It will cover the equivalent of five lamp cords. The one we use is a great product and can be found on Amazon, but you can find them most
anywhere. Buy the one we use by clicking here
How do I socialize my new kitten with their kitty siblings?
Number one, go slow. We can’t stress this enough.....slow, slow, slow!
This is what we suggest to all of our kitty parents: Put your kitten in their own room. Feed your kitten on one side of the door and their older siblings on the other side of the door. The thought behind this method is that the older cats will smell the new kitten underneath the door while they eat, thereby associating something good and positive (food) with the new kitten. Also, put your new kitten in their cat carrier in a common spot, such as living room, now play with your older kitty while the kitten is in the carrier. You can use a fishing pole toy or a laser toy. Play and give attention to the older cat while the kitten is in the carrier. Give treats too...the thought again being that good things happen when the new kitten is nearby. Do not give treats to your older cat unless the kitten is near. Another trick we tell our parents is take some of the older kittie's litter and put it in the new kitten's litter box and vice versa, combining the scents of both cats .
Remember parents, we are here for you for the life of your kitty, a day later , month later, ten years or 20 years ....we are always here for our parents. Please contact us with any questions or concerns.
General Health Care Questions:
Can I make my own cat food?
No, please don't make your own cat food. Tufts and Cornell University have completed many studies on this topic and found that making your own cat food does not supply your cat with the many things it needs to thrive. There are major factors that go into making quality cat food. We know you may think you are doing the right thing in making your cat food at home, but please leave it up to the experts. Making cat food yourself is a recipe for disaster for your cat.
Are there anything that my cat should not eat?
Yes. Among other things, a cat should not have onions, milk, grapes, chocolate, or raisins. These things may be delicious and nutritious for you, but they can be poisonous and/or deadly to your cat.
I've heard of "Raw Diets", is this good for my cat? Do you feed them a raw diet?
No. Never. We do not believe a raw diet provides all the nutrition a cat needs in order to thrive.* Raw diets can contain eColi and salmonella. We at Willetteragdol feed both wet and dry food to all of our cats. Of course, if you feel strongly about a raw food diet for your cat, we strongly recommend speaking with your veterinarian first.
My cat is a fussy eater, do you have any tips?
Place your cat's wet food on a flat glass plate, such as salad plate ...we don't know why, but cats eat better off a flat plate for the wet food. With Ragdolls, please use glass or metal, no plastics dishes or bowls. Plastic will cause them to get a rash around their chin that we refer to as "kitty acne".
How often should I change/offer water?
Water should always be offered in a clean bowl and ideally changed three times a day. Would you drink water that had been sitting there for 12 hours?...of course not! and neither should the cat. Standing water can give your cat Giardia. Giardia is microscopic and nasty causes bad Diarrhea and dehydration. Dehydrated kittens can die extremely fast...within a couple of days. So parents, please give your cat clean water and a clean bowl at least three times a day. Also, please do not let your cat or dog drink from your toilet bowl. Teach your family the importance of closing the lid. Any questions, please feel free to call us.
Should I feed my cat both wet food and dry food?
Yes. To get proper nutrition, cats must have both wet and dry food.
Please reference this link for reasons why you should never feed just dry food
to your cat: www.peteducation.com
Also, their water should be changed three times a day if possible.
How long should I leave wet food out?
Well, how long would you leave out a tuna fish sandwich that you plan to eat? The answer is, not very long. A couple to three hours at most.
Why is wet food more important than dry?
As a rule, cats are not big drinkers. Cats get most of their moisture from their food.
The majority of dry cat will food is high in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates will make your cat fat. Humans need fruits and vegetables, but can can live without meat...this is not so for your cat. "Why does my cat need meat?" you ask? Your cats need meat, they crave meat, and must have the nutrients it provides in order to stay alive and healthy. The majority of dry foods contain grain or potato. Did you know that potato is something that many cats, especially Ragdolls, are sensitive to? Some of our Ragdolls are potato sensitive, causing an allergy which presents itself as hair loss on the back of their ears. A cat with a food allergy may have hair loss and/or redness around the eyes. Cat food companies add potatoes, as well as peas, to dry food as fillers because they are less expensive than meat and protein. Always read the labels of your kittens' food. We also like to remind our parents to leave the fish in the sea. Fish is high in ash and very bad for your cats kidneys. A diet high in ash can lead to kidney failure which is the number one killer of all cats, from lion to domestic. Did you also know that your kitty will eat more dry food in an effort to get the protein their body requires, making kitty chubby, which is not healthy? The fact is, cats are meat eaters, pure and simple. Kitties will eat and eat and eat dry food trying to get that protein in their body. A chubby kitty can acquire diabetes, arthritis, some cancers, and a host of other problems. Some dry foods that claim to be grain free have potatoes and peas, so please read the labels. Your cat NEEDS a diet of protein, a small amount of fats, and LESS than 10% of carbohydrate. Now, we are not saying dry food is bad for your cat. It is not. It’s good for snacking when no one’s at home. Dry food should always be down for your cat. Dry food is a vital part of Kitty's' diet. However, it should NEVER be the only part of your kittys' diet. If your cat will only eat dry food, please purchase a quality food, and again, read labels. Always offer lots of clean fresh water.
Always consult your veterinarian when changing your kittie's diet and never do it abruptly.... ALWAYS add or subtract a new food gradually to avoid tummy upset and diarrhea. We recommend a diet of canned chicken or turkey food and grain free dry food for all of our Willetteragdol cats, as well all non-Ragdoll cats. Feed wet food as directed by a veterinarian in a clean flat small plate. If you feed as the food manufacturer recommends, your cat will be over-fed.
Always remember to feed wet food from flat plate. Your cat will eat better from a flat, small plate. Dry food should be fed from a clean bowl, leaving it down for no more than 12 hours. Remember the importance of a clean bowl with fresh dry food. Dry food left out will get stale just like a bowl of potato chips that you would leave out for yourself.
Also, please make sure to keep all food away from litter boxes.
Isn't dry food better for my cat's teeth?
No. This is a total myth ...
Bad teeth/oral health is caused due to a lack of dental care. It can also be passed down in your kitty's family tree. We try to teach our parents about feline oral hygiene. Brushing your kittens' teeth with a soft child’s tooth brush and using only cat tooth paste should start from day one. If a parent waits until the kitten is older, we promise it will be difficult.
How about fish? Is fish good for cats?
Please leave the fish in the sea. Fish is high in ash, which is bad for a cat's kidneys.
For the life of us, we don't know why they even sell cat food made with fish. Please feed your cats only food that is made from chicken or turkey.
How about dairy? Should my cat have a saucer of cream?
No dairy products. Cats are naturally lactose intolerant. Giving them dairy (milk, cream, etc.) will give them a tummy ache and gas ... and nobody likes stinky kitty farts.
Can cats eat vegetables?
Please check with your veterinarian when giving vegetables. Cats are meat eaters by nature, they cannot become full-fledged vegetarian. Feeding your cat a diet of only vegetables will kill your cat very quickly. Cats need a diet that includes meat. Period.
How often should I brush my cat and trim their nails?
Brush your kitty as directed by your breeder. We suggest brushing your kitty' fur at least 2 to 3 times a week. Cut your kitties nail as often as you would trim your own.
What about fleas?
If you think indoor cats don't get fleas, please think again. Fleas can come in on your pant legs. It's a HUGE deal, right? Not really. Yes, it's a pain in the backside, but it's not the end of the world. If your kitty has fleas, this is what we at Willetteragdol swear by...First, don't panic. Our treatment of choice ( and it works GREAT) involves using Dawn dish soap. Make a ring of dish soap all of the way around your kitty's neck with the Dawn dish soap. Go all of the way around the neck...this keeps the fleas from running up onto the kitty's head. Then, give your cat a thorough bath using the Dawn dish soap. Once kitty's body is washed, use a cloth and gently wash kitty's head, being careful of the ears and eyes. Whatever you do, do not, we repeat, DO NOT use flea dip on a cat. The chemicals in a flea dip will indeed kill the fleas, but it can possibly kill your kitty as well. We recommend no chemical soaps. Dawn dish soap strips the skeleton right off of the fleas, effectively killing them without harming your precious kitty.
If you have rugs, you will need to flea bomb your house.You will need to take every living thing out of your house prior to bombing, including any fish you may have. Wait the recommended amount of time before entering your home after a bombing, then give your house a thorough vacuuming and dispose of any vacuum bags once finished. You can also sprinkle some Borax laundry detergent on the rugs before vacuuming.
Once all of these things have been done, please bring a fecal sample to your vet for testing. If your kitty has fleas, they most likely will develop worms from the fleas. (Yuck! We know!). You may get lucky and not have your kitty end up with worms, but we always test to be sure.
What about flea prevention? We use Advantix or Seresto flea collars. Both work well as a preventative. However, some cats are very sensitive, so if you see any kind of adverse reaction, please get your kitty to a veterinarian quickly. Most of our cats wear a Seresto collar. They are inexpensive, last 8 months, and we have found that only a few of our cats are sensitive to it (we use no flea preventative on kitty's that are sensitive).
Please check your cats once a week during the Spring, Summer and Fall and hopefully you will stay flea free!!!
How many litter boxes should I have and what placement
should I have them in?
According to Catster magazine, they suggest, and we agree as follows:
1. You must have an appropriate number of litter boxes. For example, you will need one for each cat you have, plus an extra one. For two cats, you should have up to 1.5 litter boxes per cat. Two kitties=three litter boxes, three kitties=five litter boxes, and so on.
2. Litter box placement is very important. You must have a litter box in areas that are easily accessible for your cat, but away from heavy traffic. They like their privacy too.
3. This is very important, especially with ragdoll cats...please have a litter box that is big enough for the cat to easily stand and turn around in. Remember, ragdolls are big kitties! Our boys can go well over 20 pounds.
4. Willetteragdol suggests using scoopable litter. We also suggest that you wash your litter box out at least twice a month and use fresh, clean litter. Nobody wants to use a dirty bathroom.
5. Another tip we tell our parents: your scoop should also be cleaned. We use a wire grill brush when cleaning ours. Make sure you get into all of the nooks and crannies using hot water and bleach. Also, litter boxes are made of plastic, which is a porous material. We suggest buying a new litter box every other year, minimum. If your cat is going in and out of the litter box, this is a sign of possible urinary tract infection. Please bring them to the vet.
Please remember to scoop your litter boxes AT LEAST TWICE A DAY, And change the litter a minimum of once a week per cat.
How often should I replace my cat's litter boxes?
Litter boxes should be replaced with a new litter box every year. Consider it your baby's birthday gift and buy them a new box every year! We also highly recommend a grill brush or stiff vegetable brush to clean your litter box scoop. Remember, a clean litter box = a happy cat. We also highly recommend 1.5 litter boxes per cat...we cannot stress this enough! You will have the same amount of waste, but happier, healthy cats.
Does my kitty need a bath?
Not really. Cats groom themselves. Their rough tongue has little barbs on it, which are very similar to a comb. When they groom themselves, they are actually washing and combing their fur at the same time. If, for whatever reason you may have to bathe your cat, please use Cat Shampoo! Never use people shampoo unless instructed by your veterinarian.
Should I childproof my home for my kitten?
Yes. Please do. Make sure to keep electrical cords out of your kitten's reach. Also, beware of plastic bags as Ragdoll cats like to chew them and could possibly swallow the plastic.
Should I allow my cat to walk on a wet floor after
it has been washed?
NO! Cats can absorb chemicals through the pads in their feet, just like we can absorb chemicals through our skin. This can make your cat extremely sick. When washing your floor, please make sure to not only put kitty in another room until the floor is dry, but also make sure to pick up their dishes from the floor. Cleaning products such as "Swiffer" and "Febreze" are very toxic to both cats and dogs while they are wet. Keep kitty away from the floor until it is completely dry.
My cat is going in and out of the litterbox what's wrong?
Your kitty may have a urine tract infection. Please bring them to the vet ASAP.*
A tip from us at Willetteragdol: If you need to bring a urine sample to your vet, remove the litter from your litterbox(es) and line with a disposable litterbox liner
or a trash bag. Once your cat has urinated in the liner, collect the urine and PROMPTLY REMOVE THE LINER. LINERS SHOULD NEVER BE USED ON A REGULAR BASIS WITH RAGDOLL CATS AS THEY WILL CHEW ON AND INGEST THE PLASTIC LINERS.
My cat is suddenly hiding under the bed should I be worried?
With cats, hiding is a defense/survival mechanism. They will hide for a multitude of reasons, all of which should be given proper attention. If your cat is hiding, please bring them to the vet to get checked for illness or injury ASAP.*
*We at Willetteragdol do not claim to be medical doctors of any kind. We are simply passing along what we have learned from having had cats for many years and from being a breeder of Ragdoll cats. Please, if you think there may be something wrong with your kitten or cat, bring them to a veterinarian to get checked immediately.
Any tips when adding a new kitten to our family?
If your kitten/cats are stressed, we suggest using Feliway plug-ins. It's a drug-free way to calm your kitties. It works by releasing a hormone called "pheromones" into the air. We use them in the cattery and can testify that they really do work! They are all over our house. There are a lot of hormones in the air when you have a cattery, and it helps to keep our "fur kids" calm and happy. Our cats come from different catteries and it's no accident that we have peace in our little kingdom.