The Real Minuet Breeders
A website dedicated to preventing Minuet (Napoleon) lovers from being scammed by fraudulent websites claiming to be real Minuet (Napoleon) catteries.
Ask the Right Questions
Clawed LeMieux and Queen Josephine of Tiny Lions
Looking for a Minuet (Napoleon) kitten and need help on how to figure out if a cattery is real or fake? Want to know if you are dealing with a kitty mill? Trying to avoid backyard breeders? Not a fan of designer cat breeders? Learn to ask the right questions of a breeder before deciding on working with them.
Before we get started on what questions to ask a prospective breeder to decide on whether you want to work with them, let me insist on this right away. PATIENCE. Do not feel like you have to have a Minuet (Napoleon) kitten right away. The best things are those you wait for. I’ve had to wait for each Minuet (Napoleon) kitten I wanted–one for two long years. Hopefully, though, with the help of this website and the list of Real Minuet Breeders, you will be able shorten your wait significantly.
The administrator and breeders of this website do not condone the actions of fake businesses, kitty mills, backyard breeders, or designer cat breeders. Those are identified as the following:
Fake businesses: Criminal scammers who make up a phony business as a Minuet (Napoleon) breeder to con money out of people looking for a Minuet (Napoleon) kitten, only to take the money and disappear. They do not breed cats or have cats at all to sell. It is a con.
Kitty mills: Those criminal breeders who breed kittens (and puppies) en masse and indiscriminately, often using strays, but always to the detriment of the animals, caging cats and kittens, denying health care, recovery time, cleanliness, exercise, and nutrition. In all these cases, they are guilty of animal cruelty.
Backyard breeders: Illegitimate breeders who do not have the rights to breed the cats they have. Often, these cats were obtained fraudulently by the backyard breeder under the pretense that they were going to spay/neuter the cat once it was in their possession, but then started a breeding business. Breeders reserve the right to pick which kittens they sell with breeding rights based on the quality and health of the kitten, and to decide if a person should be breeding their cats. Kittens produced by these breeders will not be recognized as Minuets or ever be able to be registered.
Designer cat breeders: In regards to Minuet (Napoleon) breeders, a designer breeder is someone who is trying to breed shorter and shorter legs in their kittens. It must be strongly impressed that “rug hugger” cats are severely compromised in their mobility. A proper Minuet (Napoleon) has short legs (around 6”) and is very mobile even with these legs. However, breeders who try to make kittens with extremely short legs are causing impairment to the cat and compromises their life quality. These practices should not be supported.
Also to be wary of:
Brokers: Brokers are people who buy kittens to re-
Ask the Right
The following questions are what you should be asking any breeder to determine if it is a fake business, a kitty mill, a backyard breeder, or a designer cat breeder. You might also be dealing with a broker. We caution that you not patronize these businesses, as you will suffer financial loss and heartbreak. Try to ask these questions in person or on the phone, where you can judge the confidence of the answers and the quickness of the breeder’s responses. Remember, you want to see how knowledgeable a breeder is about the Minuet (Napoleon) breed and breeding, and to judge truthfulness.
1. How long have they been in the business of breeding Minuets (Napoleons)? This will give you an idea of how educated the breeder should be. If the breeder says they have been in business for several years, you should assume that the breeder will be knowledgeable about the Minuet (Napoleon) breed. Know the Minuet (Napoleon) breed very well yourself so you can test the breeder’s own knowledge.
2. Is the breeder a member of an association that recognizes the Minuet (Napoleon) breed? Most reputable breeders are members of a cat association that recognizes the Minuet (Napoleon) breed. This allows the breeder to register their cats, litters, and kittens. Don’t be afraid of verifying that membership, since a fake breeder will readily say yes, assuming most people will accept the breeder’s word at face value.
3. How many breeding cats does the breeder have? A good breeder should not have too many breeding cats. A good ratio of breeding cats is three females for every male stud. However, give good thought as to how a breeder of a dozen or more cats can properly care for them. Imagine the smell in the home of multiple litter boxes and the expense of caring and feeding all those cats. How much time and attention does each cat receive to have a psychologically sound life. A high number of breeding cats is indicative of a kitty mill.
4. How many litter boxes does the cattery have? A rule of thumb for the number of litter boxes in a cat home is one litter box for every two cats. However, a litter box should be in every area that a cat has access to. This question will determine if the home where a cattery is housed is suitable for properly housing cats. It will also indicate the cleanliness of the cattery.
5. Does the breeder cage their cats? Kitty mills cage cats indiscriminately, and many of these cages are small and confining. Kitty mills will keep their cats in cages all the time. However, some reputable breeders may put a male in a “cage” that is large and has many layers for movement to prevent unwanted breeding during a female’s heat cycle. Many reputable breeders have turned their garages into a cattery, which allows segregating certain cats in regards to their breeding plans. Ask the breeder about the size constraints of a cage or confinement space, and how long the cats are kept in a cage. Inquire about how the breeder allows any cat that is “caged” gets exercise. Exercise is extremely important for a cat and its mental health. Limiting exercise will cause behavioral issues in a cat.
6. How does the breeder deal with a male cat? Does it spray? A male breeding cat is a tricky creature to deal with and breeders have to navigate those complications. Many male cats spray and make it hard to have it free roaming in the home. However, there are ways of living with a male breeding cat, even if it sprays. Ask the breeder how they deal with it, or if the male cat has been relegated to an outside or isolated location. In that case, question the breeder about how the male cat gets socialization with other cats and humans. Every cat needs socialization and contact with people for its proper mental health. Only mentally sound cats should be bred to produce well-
7. How many breeding males does a breeder have? Many breeders have multiple male cats; however, if the recommended ratio is three breeding females to every male, then having multiple males increases the number of total cats overall. Take that into account in determining whether the number of cats has exceeded the number that a breeder can financially handle and properly care for.
8. If there are multiple males, how does the breeder keep track of which male bred which female? It is important to know how a breeder can track which male cat sires a litter to determine if a litter is legitimate, especially if any of the male cats are blood related to any of the female breeding cats in a cattery, which should not be bred together. Also, in order to maintain good records of lineage, it depends on the diligence of the breeder to know which male bred which female. Listen to the breeder’s response to determine if the breeder is being diligent in how he runs his business.
9. How often is each female bred a year? Pregnancy and nursing is a very taxing experience for a female cat, and recovery time is needed before breeding again. There are times when a female may need to be bred for medical reasons, but it should only be at the direction of a veterinarian.
10. When is a female cat retired? A female cat should generally be retired around five to six years old, depending on the number of litters she has carried.
11. What happens to a female breeding cat once she is retired? Some reputable breeders find homes for their female breeding cats and this is completely acceptable, provided the female has been spayed before she is re-
12. Has the breeder ever spayed/neutered a breeding cat because of a poor breeding outcome? The response to this will identify whether a breeder is knowledgeable and responsible. A breeder who is willing to spay or neuter a cat that produces inferior kittens is a breeder who is interested in the quality of their kittens. Backyard breeders care nothing about the quality of the kittens they produce. Instead, they only want to make money off of whatever kittens they can pump out.
13. Are the breeding cats registered? This will determine whether you are dealing with a backyard breeder or a legitimate breeder. A breeding cat should be registered with an association that recognizes Minuets (Napoleons) as a breed. If it isn’t, you may not be getting a kitten that is a real Minuet (Napoleon). Or you may be getting a kitten that came from a cat that was not supposed to be bred. Registering a cat will indicate whether it came with breeding rights. Backyard breeders avoid getting breeding rights by buying unregistered cats. Their kittens will never be able to be registered, which means they cannot be recognized as Minuets (Napoleons) because they came from “unknown lines.” Oftentimes, a backyard breeder will not even be using Minuets (Napoleons) to breed what they will sell as Minuets (Napoleons). A registration of the parents will guarantee that you are getting what you paid for. Demand to see a copy of a CERTIFIED registration and verify the registration’s authenticity with the association.
14. What association are a breeder’s cats registered with? Know which cat associations recognize Minuets (Napoleons) as a breed. If a breeder claims their cats are registered with an association that does not recognize Minuets (Napoleons) as a breed, they are a fake business. Once again, verify this information with the association.
15. Does the breeder have breeding rights of their breeding cats? It is very important to ensure that the breeder has breeding rights of their parent cats. A reputable breeder who sells a cat with breeding rights has ensured that such a cat is healthy and meets the breed standards to pass on the genetic material to its kittens. If a breeder withholds breeding rights of a cat, they have determined that such a cat should not be bred, either for its own health or the health of any kittens it produces. It is also possible that the breeder determined that the new owner is not capable of being a responsible breeder.
16. Where did the breeder get its breeding cats? Ask the breeder where they got their cats and verify that with the person they got the cats from. Ask the original breeder if the breeder you are dealing with was given breeding rights to their cats.
17. Does the breeder DNA health check their breeding cats? Health checking breeding cats is essential for identifying quality parent cats for future kittens of the Minuet (Napoleon) breed. A cat with health problems should not be bred; therefore, ask how a breeder knows that their cats are genetically sound. If they say they DNA health check their cats, ask which company does the testing and request to see the results. If a breeder who says they DNA health test their cats but refuses to show you the test results, be hesitant in dealing with them.
18. What does the breeder feed their cats? Good nutrition is essential to raising healthy parent cats and kittens. Ask a breeder why they chose that food brand and check it out yourself, to see if it is something you would approve giving to your own cat.
19. How often are the breeder cats seen by a vet? A cat should be seen at least once a year for a checkup and vaccinations. A breeding female should be seen more often by a vet to ensure her continued health, including x-
20. What veterinarian does the breeder use? Contact information? Ask the breeder which vet they use and check with the vet to see if that breeder is a client. A fake business may not give you an answer, may give a phony vet name, or not be verified by the vet. Kitty mills rarely have their cats seen by a vet. Backyard breeders may have a vet on file, but doesn’t use them much.
21. How are the kittens raised? Are the kittens raised “under foot,” in the home, or in a garage or shed. Be the judge of whether you would like a kitten that is raised in such an environment. A kitten is in its formative time when it is with the breeder, which develops its mental stability. The more human interaction a kitten gets, the more sound of mind the kitten will be.
22. When can the kittens go home? As much as you might want a little kitten, the longer a kitten stays with its mother, the better adjusted it will be. A kitten should go home no sooner than 10 weeks of age; however, 12 weeks is better. Ask a breeder how early they will let a kitten go home to see if you are dealing with an unscrupulous breeder. A fake business, kitty mill, and backyard breeder will let you get a kitten at a younger age than a responsible breeder because they just want to “move inventory.”
23. Ask for videos of the kittens in their home environment. If a breeder doesn’t show you a kitten in its home environment, end discussion with them immediately. They are trying to hide something from you. If you do get a chance to see a video, use that opportunity to judge the health of the kitten and activity level. Kittens should not be frightened, look malnurished, or be dirty. Also, judge the cleanliness of the environment you see them in.
24. Ask to see the birth pictures of the kitten. Most breeders will take pictures of their litter immediately after birth. I take pictures of each kitten as it is born so I can later document its weight, color, and order of birth. If a breeder cannot show you birth pictures or pictures of the kitten when it was newly born, be wary of whether that kitten was actually bred by that person.
25. Ask if you can visit the cattery and see the parent cats in person. Ideally, if you can visit the cattery, you can judge for yourself if you are dealing with a legitimate business. You can also see if you want to deal with the breeder by judging the cleanliness of the cattery, the quality of the parent cats, and the kindness of the breeder. If a breeder doesn’t want you to see their cattery, look elsewhere for your kitten. There’s something the “breeder” doesn’t want you to see. They will give you a lot of excuses to keep you from coming by, but that should not eliminate the red flag.
26. What kind of prenatal care does the mother cat go through before delivery? Pregnant cats should have good nutrition, supplements, weighing, x-
27. What colors/patterns does the breeder breed for? This question will identify if the breeder is knowledgeable about the Minuet (Napoleon) breed. Cat colors are not just brown, white, black, etc. They have specific names for colors and patterns. If a breeder doesn’t know what agouti means, they don’t know cats. Ask specifics about the colors and patterns their parent cats can produce. If they give vague answers, they are probably a fake business, kitty mill, or backyard breeder. Judge their knowledge level.
28. Will the kittens be individually registered with an association that recognizes Minuets (Napoleons) as a breed? Registration of Minuet (Napoleon) kittens is encouraged, as it increases the representation of the breed in an association. If a breeder does not register their kittens, it is likely you are dealing with a kitty mill or backyard breeder, which CANNOT register their illegally produced kittens.
29. How will that registration happen? Will the breeder register the kitten in your name or will they provide you a breeder’s slip? If they just say you get registration of the kitten, ask for more specifics. If the breeder seems like he doesn’t know the process or seems hesitant in answering, then it is likely he is making it up as he goes along. You should always get a kitten that comes with registration to verify that you are getting a genuine Minuet (Napoleon).
30. Is there a deposit to be on a waiting list? Is it refundable? Fake business will always require a deposit and it can be as much as half of the kitten price. This is the way they get sure money out of you. Some reputable breeders will require a deposit for a waiting list, but discuss this with them to see what the reason is for that. Ask what the policy is for getting your deposit back if you change your mind about getting a kitten from that breeder. Most breeders will require a non-
31. Is the waiting list a first come/first serve basis? A good breeder will interview prospective kitten buyers. They are concerned with the home their kittens will go to. Fake businesses, kitty mills, and backyard breeders just want to get buyers for kittens. They don’t care if the buyer is a good home or a broker. They just want to make money. Look for a breeder who is willing to find a good home for their kittens by judging YOU. IF they do a first come/first serve basis, it is probably because they have required you to fill out an application.
32. Does the breeder have an application for adoption of a kitten? A good breeder will have an application for you to fill out before you are put on a waiting list. This application should have more than just your contact information. It should question you about your living situation and how their kitten will be cared for once it leaves the breeder’s possession. A breeder might use a phone interview in lieu of a paper application.
33. What is the price of a kitten? Minuet (Napoleon) kittens are not cheap. They are a relatively rare breed yet. There are not many real Minuet (Napoleon) breeders in operation, and breeding Minuets (Napoleons) in any one cattery is done sparsely for the benefit of the parent cats. Minuets (Napoleons) are notorious for having small litters (in quantity). In addition, not all kittens born in a litter are the standard version (short legs), making them even rarer than normal. Therefore, Minuets (Napoleons) come with a price. If a website is offering a cheap Minuet (Napoleon), you are not being sold a Minuet (Napoleon). You may not even be getting a kitten in the end.
32. What type of payments do they take? Ask what type of payment methods the breeder takes. If the breeder doesn’t take payments that offer fraud protection, avoid the breeder like the plague.
Remember, these questions are suggested to help you identify a legitimate Minuet (Napoleon) breeder. You should ask these questions, and other questions you come up with, to judge the knowledge of the prospective breeder you are dealing with. The answers to these questions will help you get a feel for the type of breeder you are dealing with and the quality of their kittens. Some of the above questions have answers that should immediately raise a red flag (such as no registration), while others are a gray area where you will have to decide if you agree with their breeding practices (such as the number of cats they have). Regardless, bringing a Minuet (Napoleon) kitten into your home is a big decision, which usually requires a large price tag, so do your research to get what you want.
Blueskies Cracker Jack
Remember: Minuets are also known as Napoleons. Therefore, you will see the two names joined together in honor of those who still call these cats by either name. Be aware that there is absolutely no difference in cats called Napoleons and cats referred to as Minuets. The two names are synonymous and breeders have their own preference of which name they use in reference to their cats.
Note: A Minuet/Napoleon is only authentic if it was bred from a Munchkin to one of the Persian breed group (Persian, Himalayan, and Exotic Shorthair); or a Minuet (Napoleon) to one of the previous, or a Minuet (Napoleon) to a Minuet (Napoleon). Anyone presenting a kitten from a parentage different than those breeds just mentioned, such as a British Shorthair or other breed that mimics similar Persian features, is not selling a Minuet (Napoleon). CHECK PEDIGREES! A kitten that is not bred from the correct foundation breeds will not be able to register as a Minuet (Napoleon) in any cat association, no matter what that breeder says to the contrary.