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How Can I Find a Chartreux?
Since putting up the Jedi pages in 1997, we have received many interesting comments from the nice people who visit. Often, we get E-mail from guests asking "How would I go about finding a Chartreux of my own?" We've put together this information in hopes that it will help you if you have the same question. There's no simple answer to this question.
This page tries to give you some ideas for adopting a Chartreux of your own. They are not derived
from large surveys or vast numbers of experiences; rather, this is how we went about finding Jedi,
and, finding that process to have been rewarding and enjoyable, we offer it as an avenue for you.
We are glad that seeing Jedi has made you want a cat like him.
However, you should be aware of the following while you look:
- Chartreux are somewhat unusual, if not rare, in the U.S.
- Chartreux don't have big litters as a rule, so the supply of new kittens is limited.
- Breeders are therefore very selective in who adopts their kittens. You may be required to sign a legally binding covenant which states that you will never declaw the cat, and that it will not roam freely outdoors. The breeder may retain inspection rights, and the right to reclaim the cat if they believe it to be abused or neglected. And yes, they do check back every few years.
- Waiting lists vary with the breeder, but may be as long as a year or more.
- Pricing varies, but expect $500 and up per kitten.
- Pictures do not communicate how LARGE the male Chartreux grow to be. They are stocky
cats, easily growing to 18 pounds or larger. Their size means that if you want to buy cat
furniture, you may need to look around a bit to find oversized pieces, or have it custom built.
Happily, this doesn't cost much more than buying a piece at a pet supermarket. Check with
specialty pet stores in your area, or at cat shows for suppliers.
As for finding a Chartreux like Jedi, the best advice we can give is to go to cat shows in
your area. There is just no substitute for looking at how the breeder treats her/his cats,
and you'll be able to find out when they expect to have litters with available kittens.
But what if there's no cat show near you soon? Don't worry, since you'll be on a waiting list anyway. Locating a Chartreux kitten is going to take a while, so go ahead and do your research to find cat shows within comfortable driving distance of your home. Plan to be at the show for several hours to talk with all the cat breeders you see. In fact, you might find another type of cat you fall in love with even more - we were looking at Maine Coons when we met Jedi's breeder.
Finding a cat show is not hard. There are several cat organizations which list their regional and local shows on their web pages. You can also get in touch with them via E-mail or phone to find out the names and addresses of local contacts in your area, then call these people to find out when shows will be held. Don't feel like you're bothering these folks - most of them love to talk about cats or they wouldn't be doing this. For a few starting points, here are some cat organization sites on the Internet:
If you cannot find a breeder at a cat show, your second best option is to contact breeders by phone or letter. You may be able to find out the names of breeders by contacting the above organizations, or from a local veterinarian, or through a web search. Jedi is busy organizing a Webring dedicated to Chartreux cats, which is also open to breeders; since the ring changes frequently, we suggest you select that link in the navigation bar to the left to check for new entries.
Note: These catteries are not big businesses. It's usually one person who loves cats, so be kind and don't request information unless you are serious about adopting a kitten.
When you contact a breeder, remember that most of their adoptions are probably arranged at cat shows where they meet people and have face-to-face conversations with buyers. Even though some catteries have E-mail addresses, I believe that E-mail inquiries will be seen as more casual and therefore less serious than direct phone calls or nicely written letters. Learn to savor the adoption process - adopting a Chartreux shouldn't be seen as an economic transaction. You should be looking to make a new friend in your breeder.
Once you have found a breeder, do not be shy about asking to visit the breeder's cattery. All reputable cat breeders will be happy to show you the cats and where they live. Pay attention to how clean the place is; a well-run cattery should not smell bad. Do the cats get plenty of fresh air and exercise? Do they act happy to see the breeder, or are they frightened acting? Though I have never talked to any Chartreux breeder who mistreated their cats or had a dirty cattery, it pays to be careful since you're about to make a large investment. Be sure to ask about things like vaccinations, neutering/spaying, etc.
Good luck and we hope you find the right cat for you,
Russell & Martha