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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:43 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Hi there.

I am picking up my first Bengal boy Samadhi in December, and feel that he may need a friend. I dont know that we can afford 2 Bengals, but I am glad to hear Tonks make great friends with them too! I love Tonks but have never had to go through the process of buying a Tonk kitten (I grew up with them and unfortunately the breeder my parents used is no longer around).

Can anyone recommend a breeder in Victoria (pref. Melbourne area) Australia? Or give me some pointers of what to look for in breeders?

Thanks!

Shell

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:23 pm 
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I'm just wondering why you are thinking that a Tonk would be cheaper than a bengal? Bengal breeders are everywhere, there is so much competition, Tonks are much much rarer. I would expect them to be more expensive if anything.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:18 am 
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From what I've seen here in Australia, Tonkinese are about half the price of Bengals. But that's just from browsing about, I certainly haven't tried to purchase any Tonks :)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:34 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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When I was living in Melbourne approx a year ago there were often tonkinese kittens for sale in the petshops, i.e. Pets Paradise in Melbourne central and Pets Paradise in Richmond's Victoria Gardens. Not that I condone pet stores selling kittens or wish anyone to buy a kitten from a petshop, but there must be breeders around if they were getting so many tonks in these stores! If you gave Pets Paradise a call they may be able to put you in touch with breeders. How reputable they are though, I wouldn't know, you would have to research further.

Don't blame you for wanting a Tonkinese, they are gorgeous.

Lily


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:00 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Brian - Tonks in australia seem to go for around $250-$500 from what I have seen. The bengal breeder I am getting Samadhi from starts from $600 for a marble... and the spotted kittens start from $1000... Tonks are definitely easier to come accross, though REPUTABLE breeders may be another story! I am in contact with Angela from Anjayma Tonkinese cattery in Altona, apparently one of her Queens gave birth last night, so i'll see what I learn about her.

I am not too keen on going through a pet shop. I just don't like the idea of supporting potential kitten milling.. i would much rather see the parents too, and make sure where they are raised is acceptable. If I'm going to fork out several hundred dollars, I want to make sure I have a healthy, happy and well socialised kitty ;)

I am getting more sold on the idea of a Bengal and a Tonk together... I think they would be awesome together. Maybe a tonk girl with my bengal boy... or would 2 boys be a better idea?! Haha. Think i'll just let the second kitten choose me :) Either would be fun.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:18 pm 
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Hmm, that's interesting. I don't think you could buy a Tonk in the Portland area at any price. Plus it just strikes me as odd that someone would say that they can't afford breed X so will get breed Y, since I think the cost of breeding and raising kittens will be mostly independent of breed. My bengals and oriental were very similar in price, as were other breeds that I contemplated at the time. The only one I recall being much more expensive than the others was Sphynx, presumably because they were in such short supply.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:19 am 
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As an update, I have been speaking with Angela, and I am very happy with what I have learned of how she cares for her kittens and cats. She has been more than happy to share with me information of her views on everything I have asked about. She is happy for me to meet the kittens and their parents, and she has been very quick to respond to my emails.

When I questioned why her kittens were more expensive ($500) than the others I have previously seen ($250-$400) she was happy to share with me :

"Regarding pricing, you'll find that $500 is the standard price from most Registered Breeders. Some charge more - I paid $1,000 for the father of these kittens, plus airfare to bring him down from Queensland. Unregistered (backyard) breeders and the huge "kitten farms" (where you'll often find a hundred or more breeding cats living in cages in a shed) generally do charge less, for the following reasons:

a) You have no guarantee that the kitten you're buying is in fact purebred.
b) The parents usually havent been tested to make sure they're free of feline leukaemia/AIDS. Reg. breeders' cats have.
c) The kittens are often raised on a low-quality diet of primarily tinned & cheap dry food (rather than Premium dry food), with very little fresh meat in the diet.
d) In the case of the farms, the kittens usually arent vet checked (so that there's more profit).
e) In the case of both backyarders & farmers, there is almost never a Health Guarantee.
f) Backyarders/farmers dont pay fees to register their cattery, plus register as a breeder, plus annual breeder registration fees, plus joining fee for the Cat Association, plus annual Membership fees, plus and registration fees for the kittens.

With me:

a) The cat has a Registered Pedigree and is guaranteed to be Purebred.
b) I require any breeders that bring their queen/s here for Stud to have current certificates showing the queen has tested clear of Leuk/Aids, so that I can be certain my cats dont catch it.
c) The kittens are raised on a premium diet, and all my breeding cats are on a premium diet for the full year. This ensures optimum health of my cats, and therefore optimum health of kittens. It is, however, expensive. From weaning to leaving, kittens eat approximately $200 worth of food (each). The adults eat approximately $800 (each) over the year. There's no profit in the kittens - money from sales pretty much just covers the cost of keeping my adults.
d) I offer a full Health Guarantee. If your kitten becomes sick within a couple of days of leaving (which could be caused by a reaction to the vaccine), I cover the new owners vet fees. In 25 years of breeding dogs and 5 years of breeding cats, this has happened once, where the vaccine caused cat flu in the kitten. If your kitten turns out to have any genetic disorder not picked up by my vet, I'll refund the purchase price. The owner may either return their kitten, or keep their kitten - in which case the refunded purchase price goes towards offsetting any additional vet costs the cat may have over it's lifetime as a result of the genetic disorder. In my 30 years of breeding, this has NEVER happened. Backyarders/farmers and some Registered breeders don't offer this full health guarantee."


I plan on going to meet her cats and kittens, and who knows, maybe I will end up with a friend for Samadhi... I may wait a little bit to get to know him first, but it is good to find a Tonkinese breeder who seems to fit the bill of what I am looking for. Her cats are really gorgeous too!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:23 am 
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It all sounds very positive.
I'd love a Tonkinese myself, however 2 cats is my maximum for now. Maybe some day in the future :)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:32 pm 
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Well, if the tonks are similar to oriental shorthairs, then it should work out really nicely. Her price still seems cheaper than I would have expected, but in reading between the lines it sounds like she may have trouble finding them homes.

The explanation the breeder gave you is interesting. Honestly I don't think it's fair to make a breeder defend why they charge more than shelters or kittens that are advertised in the paper. Her explanation confirms what I thought, and that is that breeders often don't even pay themselves minimum wage for their work after they subtract out the expenses.

She seems to make a really big deal of her health guarantee, but hers actually sounds pretty standard to be honest, and the "first couple of days" thing is actually stingier than some. But she seems to be real impressed by it, lol. I'm also skeptical that she refers to the food she foods as "premium food" without saying what it is. Why? What is the big secret?

Anyhow, I'm sure you'll enjoy your new Tonk, they look like great cats.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:30 pm 
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thats only $100 difference lol! Id rather get 2 from the same litter :) bonded already then!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:43 pm 
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I'm definitely not making any decisions until I have both met Samadhi's brothers n sisters that are still available, cos this would be my first choice.. two from the same litter is definitely a possibility... but if for some reason I don't connect with the marble kittens, then I would have to pay another $1000-1200 for another spotted Bengal.. which is waaaay outside what I can afford!!

I also love tonks and would be very happy to find a friend from a different breed. They are really cool cats to befriend and I have no doubt that they would make a great bengal friend too :) As I previously mentioned, I have been finding it difficult to find breeders that are ethical and in it for the right reasons. I saw one guy selling tonk x for $60 each... god only knows whats going on for them to be that cheap!!

By the way Brian she had previously given me the rundown on food etc in previous email along with other things, I don't think she is trying to hide anything. I only quoted a section of the email she sent me. I agree that the health guarantee is nothing amazing but at least it is offered. Also I was just asking about the price cos I am new to kitten-searching and as I mentioned in my earlier post, the tonks I had seen elsewhere WERE cheaper.. I am probably a bit naieve (but making the effort to learn and understand!) about breeding and the cost involved.. and thanks to reading in this forum I have learned a lot... and now i know that unless I was to get a rescue cat, I am happy to pay a bit extra to support an ethical breeder.

Anyways, thanks for the advice/comments... until I actually meet any of these kittens I dont have a clear path... i'll let u know how I go though~ ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:45 pm 
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Great to hear you are thinking of getting a Tonkinese... they make great companions!! :D

Just for information. In the Uk, Tonkinese usually sell for £400 - £500. I sold mine for £400. Bengals vary somewhat but i think you can get them for between £400 and £1000... more for breeding. Tonkinese queens tend to be about the same as pet quality ones unlike in Bengals.

I think, in the UK, Bengals are generally more expensive. Possibly due to supply and demand :roll:

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:14 am 
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lollo2304 wrote:
I think, in the UK, Bengals are generally more expensive. Possibly due to supply and demand :roll:


lol dunno where your looking, they are about £200-300 where I live now due to the back yard breeders churning out un regged and crosses :roll: :roll: I had a phone call asking to buy one of mine (at £350 a blue eye snow!) for £60 as apprently they can get one up the road for that! :roll:

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:27 am 
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Hi all, I'm Angela. The post by Shelly was pointed out to me by someone who bought a kitten recently ... I see it's from a couple of years ago, but thought I might as well weigh on the topic, since I'm the breeder Shelly was talking about :wink:

I make a big deal of my heath guarantee because (in the event of a sold kitten becoming ill), breeders are required to offer a replacement or RETURN THE KITTEN for a refund. But by that time, buyers often have fallen in love with their new cat, and don't want to return it for a refund, or return it for a replacement.

So I guarantee it's healthy when it leaves (as we all do), AND will cover all their vet bills if it becomes sick in the first week or so for ANY reason, not just with something it may have picked up here ... eg it might get diarrhea (when none of the ones here have it), simply from re-homing stress ... or whatever. I mentioned "first few days" in the case of a reaction to vaccination because they're done about 10 days before leaving and any reaction would appear within a fortnight. I don't know of anyone that would guarantee a kitten past the first week, since if it got sick then, it wouldn't be anything related to breeder's premises or re-homing. Nobody would guarantee your new cat won't get (eg) food poisoning from contaminated/less than fresh meat that the new owner has fed it!

I also refund purchase price if the buyer's vet picks up a congenital defect AT ANY AGE that would affect it's long term health. If they find a heart murmur (for instance) at two years old, I'll refund the purchase price.

I honestly don't know any other breeders that offer that extensive a guarantee - most guarantee it to be healthy when it leaves, and will only cover vet fees if it gets sick with something that was incubating when it left (ie picked up at breeders premises). But I feel that offering such a complete guarantee DOES make the buyer feel very comfortable that they are indeed buying a very healthy kitten, which will grow up to be a very healthy cat, and that they have a guarantee that I wont just say "Oh well, sorry to hear that" if they find in two or three years that their cat has late-onset PRA, or a heart murmur, or whatever :)

On my "premium diet", it's Royal Canin Babycat biscuits, human grade tinned tuna, human grade raw beef and chicken chopped or minced, and a porridge of (human grade) lactose free milk and Farex babyfood (one meal of each, per day), and chicken necks once or twice a week. I tell the butcher I want the necks to make stock, to make sure they give me FRESH ones, not "ok for pets" ones. I don't use any "pet grade" foods except the biscuits. That's a fairly usual diet for any reputable breeder, nothing special ... but it's not usual for a farmer or backyarder (or a registered breeder who's not particularly reputable - and yes, they're out there!), which was the point I was making.

As far as selling kittens goes, no I don't have any trouble with that, lol. I have 7 breeding queens now, but could breed twice as many kittens as I do, and still not keep up with demand. My last two litters (4 kits in one, 5 in the other, born a week apart), were all sold by two weeks old. Half of them were sold (deposit paid) at only 2 days old, to people on my waiting list. They're a rare-ish breed here in Australia, with only a couple of (registered) breeders in each State. Pricing, I charge $550 for pet, same as the other Reg Breeders in my State (Victoria), but I know for a fact that the NSW breeders charge $750.

I'm not sure whether it was Shelly, but somebody with a Bengal did buy a kitten from me, a beautiful Seal Point girl called Miracle. She and the Bengal adore each other. Pic attached.

Cheers,
Angela Watson
http://www.anjaymatonks.comuf.com
Australia
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Miracle 1.jpg


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