Pet Insurance – Is It Worth It?

Pet Insurance – Why it is a good idea

All of our kittens go to their new homes with a 30-day prepaid pet insurance policy, courtesy Trupanion. After 30 days, our pet buyers are invited to turn the complimentary policy into a permanent one with a yearly renewal at an average cost of about $35/month ($420 annually).

We highly encourage our buyers to take advantage of not only very competitive premiums, but also not having to face any “pre-existing” conditions nor a waiting period before their pet’s policy is fully activated. It’s a win-win situation for the buyer as much as the kitten.

But why exactly should you have an insurance policy for your pet? Great question!

A Pet Insurance Story

Let us tell you the story of “Trouble”. One of our kittens became very ill in his new home. The understandably distraught family rushed him to the emergency room, where he was diagnosed with peritonitis. Peritonitis is a bacterial infection of the peritoneum (not to be confused with FIP, an autoimmune-mediated and 100% fatal disease).

It is treatable with a great prognosis for a full recovery; however, treatment is costly. Thankfully, his human parents had the foresight to continue the temporary insurance policy this little chap came with.

Money was no longer an issue. He was in intensive care at one of the most regarded veterinary schools in the country for a week. He then was transferred back to the 24-hour veterinary facility that initially diagnosed him to complete his treatment. He went home 1.5 weeks after he initially fell ill and has since made a complete recovery.

Without pet insurance, the total cost for his care would have exceeded $4,000. With pet insurance, his human family paid a mere fraction thereof – just $625.

The Moral of the Story

This particular example made us change our policy, and we now require any buyer to maintain an insurance policy to get our full, lifetime guarantee against genetic defects.

We insure our homes, cars, health, mortgage, and even our credit cards. It makes perfect sense also to insure your pet’s health.

pet insurance

Sure, you might pay $35/month for 12 years, and nothing ever happens. You would have spent $5,040 on insurance premiums. Let’s go back to the example we described above. One incident can get you into the vicinity or even exceed this amount.

It should be noted that many veterinarians will work with Trupanion and all you ever have to do is pay your deductible, and that’s it.

The peace of mind this buys you is beyond measure. Imagine having to rush your pet to the emergency room and not having to worry about whether you’ll be able to afford the care. You ARE able to afford it with pet insurance (particularly Trupanion – we are a bit biased).

There are all sorts of reasons to get pet insurance for your cat. A big one, as you saw from the story, is that it can provide peace of mind in knowing that you’ll be able to afford to provide your pet with necessary care if he or she becomes ill or injured. Vet bills can add up quickly, and without pet insurance, you could be on the hook for thousands of dollars.

Forest Hunter Pixie Bobs does not get a kickback for any policy one of our pet parents takes out. We get nothing other than knowing that our kittens will never have to face a decision that nobody wants to make – euthanasia because the treatment is too expensive.

We hope you’ve found this information helpful. You can get a quote for your cat from Trupanion by clicking here. We highly recommend it!

Cat Breeder Interview – The Important Step #2

Finding ethical breeders is hard. The cat breeder interview is the second step in the kitten buying process and the second article in our “#1 Comprehensive Kitten Buying Guide” series.

At this time, you have zeroed in on a breed or perhaps two and you have found some promising ethical breeders. So what’s next? Well, of course the cat breeder interview!! You need to interview each breeder and ask the same questions so you can compare apples with apples.

Good breeders welcome questions and will happily answer them. Texting or Facebook Messaging seems to be a new kind of communication tool many fancy; however, it does not convey tone or sincerity and is suitable only for first contact.

Please pick up the phone and talk the to each breeder. Any breeder that tells you they are too busy for an interview are very likely too busy when it comes to lending support to you and your new kitten if things go wrong.

In the previous article, “The Horror of an Impulsive Kitten Purchase“, we talked about questions you should ask:

ethical breeders

Now let’s go over each question and explain what answers you should be getting and what answers are “red flags“.

  • What is your registered cattery name and what registry are you registered with?
  • What contract do you offer and can you send me a copy to review?
  • What health guarantee do you offer?
  • What is included in the purchase price?
  • When will I receive the papers?
  • Can I visit your cattery? Or can I pick up my kitten in person (if the cattery is out of state)?
  • How old will the kitten be when it comes to me?
  • If I ever cannot take care of the cat any longer, will you take it back?
  • Do you have more pictures of the kitten and also pictures of the parents?
  • Do you own both parents?

Now let’s go over each question and explain what answers you should be getting and what answers are “red flags“.

ethical breeders
Kitten Pile!

Ethical Breeders – List of Questions

What is your registered cattery name and what registry are you registered with?

The answer is rather simple. Ethical breeders should give you the accurate spelling of their cattery name and let you know which registry they belong to, such as TICA, ACFA, CFA, etc. Please note that REFR or any other pseudo registries are a “red flag”.

What contract do you offer and can you send me a copy to review?

Again, the answer is super simple. The breeder should tell you that they have a purchase contract and be happy to email you a copy for your review. Anything less is a “red flag”.

What health guarantee do you offer?

The breeder should repeat what is guaranteed per their contract. If you hear something that is not listed, ask if it can be added. If the breeder then “back paddles”, you are looking at another “red flag”.

Many so-called ethical breeders “guarantee” their kittens for just the first 72 hours. Keep in mind that many issues have incubation periods of a week or longer. It would be acceptable to guarantee the kitten against FeLV/FIV for 72 hours; however, anything else should be guaranteed for 14 days.

In the case of hereditary issues such as HCM, PKD, etc. a guarantee should span several years.

What is included in the purchase price?

During the cat breeder interview, the breeder should tell you exactly what the purchase price includes. Many breeders unfortunately do not include spay/neuter or rabies vaccines. Offering a kitten with just one FVRCP vaccine is another one of those wonderful “red flags”.

When will I receive papers?

In the event that the breeder practices early spay/neuter, the kitten should come with papers. Otherwise, papers should be provided once proof of alteration has been provided. Kittens offered at a “substantial” discount if you don’t want papers is yet another “red flag”.

Can I visit your cattery? Or can I pick up my kitten in person (if the cattery is out of state)?

As of the writing of this article, COVID19 presents a challenge when it comes to visiting a cattery. However; the breeder should have no issues with the request to pick up the kitten at their home in person. Any breeder insisting to meet you at the local Piggley Wiggley parking lot is a “red flag”.

You can also ask ethical breeders if they offer FaceTime or Zoom or Skype so you can see the kitten “live” before you make a commitment, and they should happily oblige.

How old will the kitten be when it comes to me?

All larger registries such as TICA, ACFA, CFA, WCF, etc. require their breeders to administer at least two inoculations before rehoming the kitten.

The first vaccine is given at 8 weeks of age and the second one follows 4 weeks later. Consider it a “red flag” if a breeder offers to let a kitten go any younger than 12 weeks of age.

If I ever cannot take care of the cat any longer, will you take it back?

Ethical breeders will not only respond to this question with a resounding YES!! but also refer you to the paragraph in their contract that handles the very issue.

They will tell you that you are responsible for any costs, such as shipping and updated vaccines; however, they will absolutely want to take their “kitten” back.

Veterinary Care – Read This Before Your Next Vet Visit

Pixie Bob veterinary care need not be a mystery or scare you. Some veterinarians may tell you that your kittens/cats need more vaccines. That can be dangerous. Over-vaccinating causes severe adverse health issues.

What can you do?

There are few vaccines an indoor-only cat needs. Also, the frequency is far less than some veterinarians make you believe.

Let me introduce you to the AAFP – American Association of Feline Practitioners.

Who are they?

They are an association of cat veterinarians who are “dedicated to advancing the field of feline medicine and surgery by setting the standards of feline veterinary care through the publication of practice guidelines, position statements, and by providing continuing education.”

But what exactly does that mean?

The AAFP took notice of a large number of cats developing tumors and lymphoma at a young age. After years of research, they identified over-vaccination as the root cause. Furthermore, they discovered that cats develop immunity that lasts far longer than a year.

As a result, the AAFP developed a vaccine guide – the holy grail of today’s veterinary medicine.

Pixie Bob Veterinary Care – Core Vaccines

There are only two core vaccines. These are vaccines that must be given and are not subject to debate.

FVRCP(Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia) and RABIES:

  • Rhinotracheitis is an upper respiratory disease caused by the ever-present Herpes I virus.
  • Calici is a virus that causes ulcers in the mouth and, at times, the eyes. It leads to excessive drooling and an inability to consume food (it just really hurts).
  • Panleukopenia is the medical term for distemper. This is a dreadful and almost always fatal viral disease characterized by massive bloody diarrhea and vomiting.

Pixie Bob Veterinary Care – Other Vaccines

There are other vaccines your vet might try to talk you into. These are Feline Leukemia (FeLV), Feline Aids, FIP, Bortadella, Chlamydia, and Giardia.

Generally, FIP and Giardia vaccines are not recommended. They have dangerous side effects while not truly protecting your cat.

It would be best if you only considered these vaccines for a cat at risk. A cat at risk is one that you allow outside or gets in contact with outside cats. No indoor-only cat runs the risk of contracting Feline Leukemia, Feline Aids, FIP, Chlamydia, and/or Bortadella.

veterinary care
Kitty at the vet

If you board your cat when you are on vacation, the facility might require you to provide proof of Bortadella, Chlamydia, and FeLV. Boarding is quite stressful for a cat. I am sure that you are fully aware that stress lowers the immune system. We suggest hiring a trained, licensed, bonded, and insured pet sitter instead to care for your cat in its familiar surroundings.

You no longer vaccinate cats every year. Instead, the AAFP recommends vaccinating as follows:

  • Series of 3 baby vaccines
  • Booster one year after the last vaccine
  • After that, only every 3 years.

We recommend stopping FVRCP vaccines at the age of 10 years. It would be best if you continued Rabies as it is the law. The next time you visit the vet with your Pixie Bob cat, insist only on vaccinations meeting the protocol’s guidelines. You will be glad you did.

Our Vet Cheat Sheet – An Invaluable Resource

Knowing how overwhelming a vet visit can be, I have developed a Vet Cheat Sheet for your Pixiebobs to make things easier on Fluffy’s next check-up visit.

Let’s face it – a vet visit can be more stressful than a visit to a human doctor. There are so many acronyms. Just like human doctors, veterinarians are often rushed and do not take the time to explain everything.

Or worse, they tell you horror stories to justify why your cat needs all these vaccines. Low and behold, you’ll end up with a large vet bill containing at least 3-4 vaccines and other preventative treatments.

And of course, as soon as you leave, you feel borderline railroaded. You ask yourself if “all that” was really necessary. And you might even worry if what you just did to your Pixie Bob cat might now actually be harmful.

Chances are it was not necessary and might indeed be harmful in the long run.

Help is on the way!

Our handy dandy and free “Pixiebobs Vet Cheat Sheet” for indoor-only cats is sure to make things easier. It is a simple list based on recommendations established by AAFP – American Association of Feline Practitioners.
These recommendations will do three things:

  • Prevent disease.
  • Eliminate the potentially fatal effects of over-vaccination.
  • Protect your pocketbook.
vet cheat sheet
Our Vet Cheat Sheet

Yours – free! The Pixiebobs Vet Cheat Sheet

Just right-click on the picture to save it. Then print this out and take it with you to your next visit. This will let you know what your Pixie Bob cat needs each year.

I hope you find this simple list helpful, and it will take the stress out of Fluffy’s next “V E T” visit.

Did you know?

What are typical Pixie Bob cat traits?  Read on to find out some fun facts that you might now know.

Although the breed is considered wholly domestic, when it comes to kittens there are some noticeable differences between the Pixie Bob cat traits and its non-pedigreed cousins. So here are some fun facts that you might not know.


  • Females give birth approximately after 65-67 days of gestation. Domestic house cats are pregnant for around 63-65 days. The average size of a Pixie Bob litter is about 3-4 kittens. Litters with only one kitten and as many as 10 kittens have been reported (yes, that happened, and they all survived).
  • Pixie Bob kittens weigh around 4.5 ounces at birth. That is slightly larger than the average domestic kitten birth weight of 3.5 ounces. Birth weights as high as 6 ounces have been reported although they are the exception and not the norm.
  • Just like any other kitten, Pixie Bob kittens are born blind and deaf. The hearing starts to develop at 1 week of age, eyes start opening at days 10-14.
  • Polydactyl Pixie Bob kittens are slower to start walking. Those big paws just require a tad bit more coordination.·
    They weigh around 3-3.5 lbs. when they are 10-11 weeks old. An average domestic kitten would weigh 2-2.5 lbs.
pixie bob cat traits
Pixie Bob cats are so silly


  • No special diet is required. They can eat regular, high-quality kitten kibbles and wet food and ideally a combination of both.
  • They should stop eating kitten food when they turn 6 months old. Kitten food is high in fat and can cause adult obesity if fed past 6 months.

Pixie Bob Cat Traits – Paws, Tails & More

  • 50% of all Pixie Bob kittens are born with a long tail.
  • Two straight-footed parents cannot produce a polydactyl kitten. However, two polydactyl parents can produce a litter of kittens with just straight feet.
  • Long-haired kittens have only about double the coat length of short-haired kittens and no longer than 2 inches.
  • The pattern on a Pixie Bob coat goes through to the skin. If you shave a Pixie Bob, you can still see the spots/stripes on the body.
  • The life expectancy of a Pixie Bob kitten is the same as any domestic cat at about 13-17 years (if kept inside exclusively).·
  • Distemper and rabies vaccines are not an issue with this breed. All other vaccines are considered non-core and should be avoided.·
  • One of the most distinguishable Pixie Bob cats traits is their intelligence. Most can follow basic commands such as “come,” “no,” “get off” (that kitchen counter), and most know their name. But because they are a cat, after all, don’t blame them for trying….to get on that kitchen counter.·
  • This breed enjoys water. It’s not unheard of that they welcome a small wading pool during the hot summer days or play with their water fountain.·
  • Have a dog? No problem! Pixie Bobs like dogs – even if they were not raised with dogs. That’s why we call them “dogs in disguise.”

One or two – which one is better?

Pixie Bob Kitten happiness – is there such a thing? I am often getting asked how to ensure the happiness of Pixie Bob kittens. Should I get one? Or should I get two? Will one kitten by itself during the day be o.k.?

The answer is simple – yes, and yes! Well, maybe not quite that simple. Let’s dig deeper!

The Cat’s Natural Behavior

Cats are, first and foremost, nocturnal. That means during the day when you are gone, that little furball mostly lays around and sleeps. When you get home at 6 or so, your fluffy partner in crime is wide awake and ready to roll.

If the Fluffinator had a kitty pal of complimentary age, he would naturally gravitate to the other feline in the house for playtime. This certainly makes a good case for having more than one cat.

That’s a lot of money!

If the budget doesn’t allow the purchase of two purebred kittens simultaneously, it’s perfectly acceptable to look for a suitable mate at your local rescue. You accomplish two things that way – you get your purebred, AND you save a life.

Or ask the breeder if there would be a suitable retiree you could also take. They are often priced at merely the cost of the spay or neuter plus updated vaccines. On the other hand, perhaps one cat is all you want/can afford to take care of. That’s quite alright. Pixie Bobs are notorious for being fine in a busy, multi-person/animal family as well as the quiet only-cat home.

The Correct Pixie Bob Kitten Environment for Happiness

Regardless of your preference, you need to give some thought to creating a suitable indoor environment for your cat. Sounds daunting? It is quite easy, and you can do this on a reasonable budget. One thing to consider is the quality of the items you are going to purchase. Pay a bit more off the bat, and you won’t have to replace them any time soon.

So here we go (note: any links are NOT affiliated links, so you are safe to click on them, and I won’t get a penny):

Pixie Bob Kittens Happiness Perches

Pixie Bob kittens and cats love high places. Many DIY ideas on Pinterest show you how to create a kitty jungle gym on a bit of wall space while respecting your budget.

pixie bob kitten happiness
Pixie Bob Kitten Happiness Perch

I recently bought and installed this awesome contraption. My cats love it so much that I decided to order two more. 

Pixie Bob Cat Scratchers

Cats will use their claws to mark territory. Help them be good kitties by providing them with a couple of cardboard scratchers for vertical scratching surfaces. My personal favorites are available at Target. $20 and they last forever.

The perfect cat scratcher

Cat Trees – Heaven & Happiness for Pixie Bob Kittens

Preferably, you would also invest in a good cat tree. These will not come cheap but will last for many years. Here’s what I use in my home. I bought mine 7 years ago, and it still looks fantastic.

It also has a replaceable shelf and scratch pads. They are found on Wayfair and Overstock at around $350.

Note: they are very sturdy and will last forever. They are either referred to as the Cleopatra Cat Tree or the Lotus Cat Tree.

The Lotus Cat Tree

Interactive Toys

Get some toys that Kitty Fluffington can play with on its own. The turbo scratcher has a ball that kitty can chase ad nauseam. It also doubles as a scratchpad. Little fuzzy or foam balls are wonderful to toss around, and so are smaller catnip filled toys.

Hours of fun!

And how do you get your kitten to sleep at night? Well, check back for the next article (it’s a short one) that will teach you how to handle a kitten or cat that keeps you up at night.