~ beware scams ~


More and more people are getting scammed thinking they are buying ‘cheap’ kittens on the internet.

Scam artists created bogus websites, frequently using the names of well-respected, registered catteries and breeders.

They post photographs of kittens and their ‘parent cats’. A reverse image search usually shows that the pictures have been downloaded from a legitimate breeder’s website.

The bogus website usually runs for a few weeks, and then it is replaced with another, so as to be able to catch more victims.

These ‘breeders’ claim to be South African. They often advertise a wide range of breeds for sale, such as Persians, Maine Coons, Norwegian Forest Cats, Spyynx. Be wary of ‘breeders’ that are advertising many cat breeds. Often, they will have the exact breed, sex, and colour that a buyer is wanting.

If a buyer asks to visit and see the kittens (and having established the buyer’s domicile), they will indicate that their cattery is based in another province in a difficult to access area. Despite the fact that is an outlying area they usually just happen to be sending another kitten the following day and can plan for “your kitten” to travel at the same time

The ‘sales’ are usually handled via WhatsApp or, less often, e-mail. Sometimes they will provide a landline telephone number, but the area code will not match the place that the scammer claims to live.

Scammers claim to be South African and will provide a photo of a (stolen) SA ID in exchange for a copy of the buyer’s ID. This becomes their next identity.

Scammers generally insist that a ‘deposit’ is paid to secure the kitten. After a short while, when the ‘buyer’ tries to follow up, there is no response from the contact numbers that were provided. Alternatively, more money is requested for “shipping” (cats are not cargo), temperature-controlled travel crates (these do not exist), a CITES certificate (for wild, endangered animals into or out of SA), a cross-border permit. The ingenuity of scammers appears endless.

Pedigreed kittens should never be re-homed under the age of 12 weeks, so be suspicious if kittens are being advertised as ready for re-homing at a younger age.

When considering a pedigree kitten, if possible, visit the breeder and inspect the cattery. Phone, ask questions, build a relationship with the breeder who should be willing to answer any relevant queries. Follow the breeder on social media to get a good sense of the cattery and breeding ethos.

Verify for yourself that the breeder is registered with either the SACC (the Registrar of the South African Cat Council at 011 616 7017/082 549 2931, or email: sacatreg@iafrica.com  or CFSA (Cat Federation of Southern Africa – 016 987 1179, e-mail: CFSARegister@gmail.com

KUSA is the Kennel Union of South Africa. It is for dogs! A reputable breeder will never make this mistake.

If it seems to be too good to be true, that is because it is too good to be true!



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