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"Spots of Africa" breeder & other general pedigree Qs

karenlynn79

Site Supporter
#1
So as I've posted a couple of questions lately we're looking for (now decided) an F3 male to join our family and our F5 Zyon who is just over two years old now. I'm actually in tentative talks with two very reputable breeders but it's competitive (!) so not sure if either of those little guys will work out (one little guy Milo from AJ Savannahs is who we really want but there are 4 families in the running...!)

Has anyone had any recent dealings with Spots of Africa? It's in SoCal and us being in the Bay Area would make that attractive to me. My understanding now is that a new owner basically "bought" the Spots of Africa cattery recently (not sure when). One of the things I'm doing (with all the breeders/cats) is making my own little "pedigree" list as I'm trying to wrap my head around the finer details of this whole breeding thing!

I'm wondering - I'm looking at the currently available male F3. His dad Duke - I have his full pedigree (never saw one before!). The only thing that really stood out to me is that ALL of Duke's previous parents/grandparents etc..) were from Select Exotics. I don't know if that is a potential negative, unusual, typical??

The queen for the available kitten is Zena and all I know is her parents are an F1 from Select Exotics and a "champion Ocicat". Does that sound normal? Seeing as I didn't know what an Ocicat was and googled it, and it just seems like a regular cat with cool spots, is that a typical breeder into the SV lines? So this kitten wouldn't be an "F3C" as that would mean only SVs were in it's past fam tree?

Other questions re: this particular breeder - Lori (new owner) has been very quick to answer my questions, text me pics and vids of her little guy (who is very cute of course). Her emails are really brief without a lot of information which is just a pet peeve of mine. I'm not crazy about her website, I feel that she doesn't have solid info and has some misleading comments about SV size. She doesn't microchip or neuter the kittens before they go to their homes. She said that they are too young to do that (that doesn't seem accurate? as I've mostly only heard from breeders that they DO have the kittens neutered). She does get them their first round of vaccs and an exam, but that's it as far as "what the kitten comes with".

The kitten is less expensive than the other two breeders that I'm pretty much waiting on to make a decision. Cost is certainly not my priority, but something to mention. Is there a red flag when a kitten is "too cheap"?

Sorry for all the questions, any thoughts would be great!
Thanks,
Karen
 

NikkiA

Site Supporter
#2
Karenlynn, I have no knowledge of that cattery, so I can't chim in with regard to them.

What I can tell you is that I have two "cheap" for what they are SV boys. Our F5 boy, Diablo, was less expensive than the norm because he is melanistic, has funny patches of fur missing in a few spots, and a tail so long it drags on the ground if he doesn't hold it up. Now, he is also a certified therapy pet and a wonderful cat. His brother, Mickey Blue Eyes, an F4 boy, was "cheap" because he is a snow and he is slightly cross eyed. Now, Mickey occasionally goes charging into walls and furniture, and no one is ever going to confuse him with Einstein, but he is a great cat. He is also at present my most expensive kitty in terms of health care, currently ringing in, at just over 4 years "home" in September, at $9k in vet bills. Mikey eats dimes. Yes, dimes. Yes, plural.

Jarvis, our F3 boy on the other hand was expensive. He is a BIG 20 lb bst boy. He looks the part of a SV, and we paid up for him. That said, he is also my nervous nelly spastic kitty who went through a period where he was so on edge that every time 15lb Diablo pounced on him, he peed himself. It took months to get to the root cause and fix it. He is the most expensive baby in our house, in terms of sticker price, but I also love him very much, having had to work very hard to gain his trust.

So, if you ask me if an expensive or cheap kitten is a better choice, I would say ask a lot of questions, and if you are not getting answers, go elsewhere.

We are also lucky enough to share our home and our lives with a little F2 baby girl, Rey, and I would recommend her breeder, Patti. I flew out to get her, and have not regretted that decision for a moment, nor the couple of hours I spent with Patti getting to know her and Rey (while drinking good wine) before flying home :)
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#3
Good questions, Karen!

Looking at the pedigree and seeing all Select Exotics cats is a matter of personal opinion. For me, I find their cats to look very much on the Bengal side of Savannahs, so it would be a drawback for me. That is a program focused on breeding size and spots/rosettes in a dramatic pattern for early sales... which is fine as there are definitely a lot of people that want those traits. If you like the look of Select Exotics cats on their website, then this is good for your purposes, you are looking for a pet so they have to personally appeal to you as much as conform to any breed standard.

Ocicat was used years ago as a domestic outcross in the development of the Savannah breed, mainly for being a spotted domestic cat with not too extreme features. But most good breeders were using Savannah studs years ago, so it is unusual to see an outcrossed queen nowadays unless it is F1. Even my last B litter was 2007 (unless you count F2s which can't be more than B)... my one and only A litter was in 2005. Of course, I don't know how old Zena is...

No, the kitten cannot be F3C as most other F3 kittens you would be looking at. He would be F3B from what you have said. This doesn't really matter to a pet home if the kitten looks like what you want it to look...it would be of more importance to a person looking for a breeding cat. But in general, with outcrosses more recently in the pedigree that may explain why the kitten is less expensive than other kittens from other breeders.

Add to that, the breeder is not outlaying money on two vaccinations, microchip or spay/neuter. How early does she send them out that she says they are too young? That worries me to think maybe the kittens are sent out too early?

If she says she bought the cattery recently, it might be hard to find any previous clients to get recommendations or warnings from I guess. I can hear the doubt in your post, and I think it reasonable. If you are asking questions and not feeling that the replies are detailed enough, I do think that a red flag. If someone can't make the effort to communicate with you before they get your money, there's a good chance that won't improve after they have it...
 

admin

Paige
Staff member
#4
Other questions re: this particular breeder - Lori (new owner) has been very quick to answer my questions, text me pics and vids of her little guy (who is very cute of course). Her emails are really brief without a lot of information which is just a pet peeve of mine. I'm not crazy about her website, I feel that she doesn't have solid info and has some misleading comments about SV size. She doesn't microchip or neuter the kittens before they go to their homes. She said that they are too young to do that (that doesn't seem accurate? as I've mostly only heard from breeders that they DO have the kittens neutered). She does get them their first round of vaccs and an exam, but that's it as far as "what the kitten comes with".
I would have many doubts about buying from this breeder - I'm sorry to say that. Ask her how old the kittens are able to leave for their new homes...sometimes cheap is for a reason :-(
 

karenlynn79

Site Supporter
#5
Now, Mickey occasionally goes charging into walls and furniture, and no one is ever going to confuse him with Einstein, but he is a great cat. He is also at present my most expensive kitty in terms of health care, currently ringing in, at just over 4 years "home" in September, at $9k in vet bills. Mikey eats dimes. Yes, dimes. Yes, plural.
NikkiA, that was really funny! My daughter felt empathy for poor Mickey Blue Eyes (which is a movie I love BTW!) Thanks for weighing in on the expensive/"cheap" debate! I know there are certainly no guarantees, despite prices!
 

karenlynn79

Site Supporter
#6
Hi Brigitte,
Thanks for the information and clarification! That is really helpful and makes sense. I was completely blown away by SE! My family and I spent a good 15 minutes just looking at their cats, kittens, facilities, it's quite the operation!
I also don't know Zena's age, and the Ocicat thing was interesting as I hadn't heard that before. I haven't got a response yet about at what age she sends the kittens home. It looks like around 11-12 weeks just based on their birthday and the general time she said they'd be ready to go home.

I would have many doubts about buying from this breeder - I'm sorry to say that. Ask her how old the kittens are able to leave for their new homes...sometimes cheap is for a reason :-(
Paige,
I do agree, with you and Brigitte, about red flags and being wary. The other thing that just occurred to me is that I wasn't asked really anything about myself, family or home, etc.. which for most of the breeders I've been in contact with, that is a pretty big part of this process. I'm 99% sure that we won't go with her. It's felt a bit as if I'm pulling the information from her, coupled with the other details I mentioned just don't add up to a gut feeling about it.

Thanks!! I'm super hoping that it works out with Milo @ AJ Savannahs, she's out of town so not sure when we'd have an answer. The other little guy we're looking at is at Savvy Paws which is in Canada, and Christine is great, I have no reservations at all from either of those breeders. I'm hoping to be able to update with good news on that front soon!!
Karen =)
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#7
I have no reservations about Adrienne of AJ Savannahs (she's long term tried to help with rescued Savannahs and I know takes her commitment to her kittens very seriously) and Christine of Savvy Paws similarly (she's helped with rescues in Canada). Both are quality breeders who have demonstrated their responsibility to the breed.
 

karenlynn79

Site Supporter
#8
I totally agree, I didn't feel that I needed to ask the group here about either, their emails include tons of information and Adrianne's screening process is very elaborate!

So the breeder @ Spots of Africa just replied to my latest list of questions by stating that this male kitten has suddenly been purchased. I'm guessing I asked too many questions...
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#10
We are also lucky enough to share our home and our lives with a little F2 baby girl, Rey, and I would recommend her breeder, Patti.
Awww, thanks Nikki! I do actually have Rey's niece (F3C) available right now at a discounted price because momma chewed part of her tail off when she was taking care of the placenta - so even though she has a perfect serval-length tail, it is considered a fault. And since I have family in the Bay Area I would be willing to fly her out as well! :)

I would also highly recommend Adrianne from AJ Savannahs - I know how well she takes care of her babies! I have not heard of Spots of Africa but agree with the others - saying that the kittens are too young to neuter is a bit of a red flag for me...