Registered Breeder vs Backyard Breeder

Registered breeders vs backyard breeders can be a very emotive subject for cat lovers. What are the differences between the two and is anyone whose cat has had a litter of kittens a backyard breeder?
Let’s start by looking at definitions of these terms:
The term “registered breeder” denotes that a person is a member of one of the numerous cat registering bodies with Australia. These are located in all states of Australia and have similar aim and objectives, cat welfare being the most important. Being a member of a club does not automatically make you a registered breeder. Registered breeders have a cattery prefix or suffix to identify themselves and registered their cats using these names. They only breed purebred cats according to the recognised standards set out by their registering club. All their breeding cats are registered and have registration papers. Registered breeders should adhere to the rules and regulations of their clubs concerning the keeping and selling of their cats. Registered breeders usually tend to show their cats to learn more from the judges, and often to check they are going in the direction they had planned.

The term “backyard breeder” denotes a person who breeds cats and is not a member of a cat registering body and does not have a cattery prefix. They may have purebred or domestic cats. If they have purebred cats, their cats may have originally come from a registered breeder who sold the kittens as pet only without papers, expecting the new owners to have the kittens desexed. They might have been given a kitten by a friend and decided they want to have kittens of their own. Or, in some cases, they see cat breeding as a way to make money, because they see lots of kittens in pet shops selling for high prices. To these people, cats are a commodity, not an animal.
What are some of the differences between these two types of cat breeders?

Registered Breeder
Belongs to a cat club
Breeds only registered purebred cats of the same breed
Breeds to improve their breed
Knows about the genetic problems of their breed and works to eliminate them from the breed
Is knowledgeable about possible health problems and seeks veterinary advice as soon as required
Screens potential new owners and tries to match the kitten/cat with the best home.
Gives out health, vaccination and historical information on the kitten/cat at the time of sale. Is always available to the new owners for information, advice, etc.
Takes back or assists in rehoming a kitten/cat that has been previously sold if the need arises

Backyard Breeder
Does not belong to a cat club
Breeds any type of cat
Breeds for money or “love” of cats
Has little or no knowledge of any genetic problems and puts any two cats together
Has little or no knowledge of heath problems and does not take a sick cat to a vet either out of ignorance or to save money
Breeds genetically impaired kittens often resulting in a way shorter life span
Sells to anyone who pays the asking price
Sells the kittens/cats with no information or assistance to the new owners.
Does not want to know about the kitten/cat after it has gone to its’ new home

Whether someone sells their kittens undesexed cannot be used to differentiate between a registered breeder and backyard breeder, nor whether someone sells their kittens to pet shops. Although registered breeders are generally forbidden to sell their kittens to pet shops by their governing bodies.

Early desexing (from 10 weeks of age) is a topic of great debate between breeders, rescue organisations and vets.  Advocates for early altering believe it contributes to reducing the number of kittens and cats in shelters.  Advocates against it believe that it subjects the kittens to various risks due to their physical immaturity.  It is true that the vast majority of backyard breeders sell their kittens undesexed, many registered breeders do as well.  The difference is that most registered breeders sell with a desexing contract that is signed by both parties when the kitten is sold (more often than not, this contract is not upheld). Ethical breeders will early desex all their kittens before rehoming.

Registered breeders ARE prevented by the rules of their clubs from selling kittens less than 10 weeks of age.  Backyard breeders will sell kittens to pet shops at eight weeks or less.  Where someone sells their kittens has little to do with their status as a cat breeder.

Not every non registered breeder can be classed as a backyard breeder.  There is another type of breeder who falls between these two categories.  This is the breeder who once registered with a cat club, but for whatever reason decided not to continue their membership.  They still have registered cats and may breed only one of two litters a year and they have the knowledge gained while a member of a registered club.   They cannot be called a registered breeder, but neither are they backyard breeders churning out kittens for the pet market.

There is also the person who, due to ignorance, lets their female cat have a litter.  This may happen because they do not have her desexed before she comes into heat and she is allowed to roam outside or because they wrongly believe a female cat should have “just one litter” before being desexed.   They are not backyard breeders, just misguided in their knowledge of cats.  Most will have their female desexed after one litter.  If they do not, they can then be classed as backyard breeders.

This information was taken from

Article written by Tracy of IceRegal.

Here at FURDINKUM  ALL pet quality kittens leave this cattery already desexed. There is no debate on this, so please do not ask to have your kitten left entire – this is a non negotiable stipulation.

My cats are all tested for PKD and other genetic issues. They are also blood typed and I know what each and every cat is and what traits they may carry – eg: chocolate carrier, dilute carrier, long hair etc. This ensures that I can plan matings that will have a successful outcome. There is no expense spared for the health and well being of my cats.  I show my cats at many shows around Brisbane with great success. Showing is not just about winning, it also reinforces that my breeding program is on the right track. It also gains you the respect of fellow cat breeders and shows that you care about your breed, not just selling the kittens.

Registered breeders have to be not only registered with a Governing Cat Body, but also with our local councils. We also have to pay registration costs for our cats, and many other fees so we can breed a wonderful cat with an amazing temperament for you to have as your new best friend.  Backyard breeders avoid paying all fees and charges associated with being a reputable breeder.

This is the main reason you will pay a reputable breeder more for a kitten than you would from a backyard breeder.  To get genetically free from disease and healthy cats/kittens costs money.

Please support your Registered Breeders when looking to purchase your purebred fur kid. It will probably be cheaper in the long run anyway.