Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have kittens available?
Head over to our Current Litters tab and check for kitten's statuses. Make sure to check our website regularly or follow us on Facebook Page or Instagram to stay updated with our plans, pregnancies and kitten news.
Can you add me to a waiting list?
Our goal is to find the best matched homes for our kittens where they will be loved and spoiled. To ensure a perfect match,
we don't keep a waiting list and we don't accept reservation deposits for unborn or very young kittens, as we need time to evaluate kittens' temperaments before we place them.
Once a pregnancy is confirmed, we will announce it on our social media platforms and on our website. Get in touch via e-mail or our Facebook Page if you would like to be considered for one of our kittens. First impression goes a long way with us...
NOTE: Just because you filled in our kitten application or messaged us about getting a kitten, doesn't mean you will be a right match for one of our kittens. We will pick the best fit for our kittens, no matter in which order we have received or approved applications.
How can I reserve a kitten?
The kitten application form needs to be filled in and submitted for approval prior to kitten reservation. The form can be found on the tab of our website, however it will remain hidden unless we have kittens available. Once kittens are released from our evaluation and listed as available in our Current Litters at approximately 10 weeks of age, the digital application form will be added to our website for interested people to apply.
We will give few days notice on our social media platforms and on our website.
If approved and selected for a kitten of your choice, we will send you a confirmation e-mail with our contract for a review and signature. The reservation deposit will be due within 48 hours. In this time frame, you can ask us any further questions you might have and request additional photos or videos of the kitten. Once payment is received, the kitten is officially reserved.
NOTE: Not all kittens will be released for reservation if we decide to keep a kitten for ourselves, place with our current Dark Moon family, homes who are interested in showing their kitten/cat or within our small and trustworthy circle of breeders.
We also prioritize applicants who are interested in adopting siblings.
What is the price of Dark Moon kitten?
The price of our kittens is determined by various aspects of running our breeding program responsibly & ethically, including performing all appropriate health screenings, obtaining new cats to broaden the gene pool, feeding the best quality RAW food and working towards Championship titled cats.
Our price of R 12 000* includes:
- healthy, well socialized kitten out of tested parents
- 2 sets of vaccinations, including rabies
- sterilization on 12 weeks of age & microchip
- de-worming and flea treatment (as needed)
- a comprehensive kitten pack which includes Kitten Owner's Guide (info on feeding, settling the kitten in and introduction to your other pets; as well as other useful info for many years to come), toy & soft blanket
- SACC registration, certified 4 generation pedigree & transfer form for the change of ownership
- kitten adoption contract designed in the best interest of the kitten
- vet book & 12 month health guarantee, which is activated by the mandatory health check within 72 hour of kitten's arrival.
- high quality raw food for the first week for our Cape Town clients, as well as discount voucher from Chefs4Pets (CT & Gauteng clients only).
- our assurance we can be contacted anytime to offer you advice and tips in regards to your kitten's care and well-being.
NOTE: With the rising costs of food, pet supplies and veterinary care, price is subject to change at our discretion.
*Reservation fee of R 6 000 secures the kitten and the final payment is due one week before kitten's departure.
Reservation fee shows buyer's commitment to purchasing a kitten and is not refundable for the change of mind or circumstances, unless Dark Moon decides to cancel the sale for any reason. Dark Moon reserves the right to refuse any person at any point of the adoption process up to and including the pick-up day.
Do you screen your breeding cats for genetic health issues?
YES. Our breeding cats are DNA tested for breed specific genetic diseases - namely Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PKDef) as well as screened by echo-cardiogram for HCM (we're hoping to have the screening process completed by end of 2023).
DNA HCM testing covers only 1 mutation (MyBP3 gene), but there are many others causing this disease. For this reason it's important the DNA testing is being supplemented by a heart screening via ultrasound, as that's the only way to see the heart is healthy.
We try our best to ensure that any genetic predispositions towards illnesses are being minimized; however, we can't guarantee that your Maine Coon will never be affected by these conditions. The possible influence of non-genetic factors such as age, gender, weight or environment (diet, injuries, activity level etc.) can also contribute to overall health problems beyond our control. We strongly advise to take out a pet health insurance to assist with unexpected veterinary bills or emergencies.
What kind of healthcare will my kitten receive?
All of our cats and kittens are being cared for, when required, by our trusted veterinarian
Dr Bebbington from Blue Cross Veterinary Hospital in Newlands. Kittens will receive full health physical examination, age appropriate vaccinations, parasite treatment (as needed) and will be neutered/spayed and micro-chipped.
At what age can kittens leave?
Kittens will be ready to leave to new homes at approximately 14-16 weeks of age. This time frame is absolutely not negotiable as it's in the best interest of each kitten to ensure proper socialization and good health. All vet checks, vaccinations, neuter/spay and recovery period are following a set schedule, so kittens leaving earlier is not an option.
In a rare but possible case of a kitten reacting badly to the vaccination or having a complication after the neuter/spay, the pick up date will be delayed accordingly. The good health and well-being of our kittens will always remain a priority.
Do you transport kittens to other provinces or other countries?
YES, we can fly kittens to other provinces using the services of an animal travel agency. We will organize everything on our side but the travel costs are on your account and are due prior to kitten's departure.
NO, currently we don't export our kittens to other countries. We prefer to keep our kittens locally.
NOTE: Due to a number of airlines liquidated and flights getting cancelled regularly, transportation to some destinations are unfortunately not possible at the moment. Please enquire with us in this regard.
Can we come for a visit to see your cats?
Our cats and kittens live in our home as a part of our family. Our home is not a petting zoo with huge grounds, outbuildings and staff ready to welcome visitors. We have our own private lives and with young kittens often running around freely, we need to consider not to compromise their health by germs being brought into our home.
For the safety and health reasons of our cats and our family, we don't allow visits by strangers wanting to see our cats or play with kittens. Exception is given for the scheduled kitten pick up days, where new owners will get to meet kittens' parents and our other cats. For anyone interested to see or interact with our cats, cat shows held in and around Cape Town are a great place to meet Dark Moon crew up close and personal.
We post photos and videos on our social media pages regularly, so you can watch kittens grow. New owners will also receive updates with photos and videos via What'sApp or Messenger as we have time to take them.
Video call prior to kitten reservation can also be arranged so you can meet us and the kitten.
Do you offer any kitten related advice after the kitten leaves to new home?
YES anytime and we always try our best to respond ASAP (within a reason), should you have any questions with regards to your kitten's care or well-being. We also love receiving updates and photos of our graduates, so please keep them coming!
What kind of home environment do Maine Coons require?
Our kittens are sold as "indoor only" with a contract stating free roaming is not allowed. We do understand this might be a new concept for some people, as cats have been free roaming for centuries; however, in this time and age, it's not safe for any cats to free roam.
REASONS WHY WE DON'T ALLOW FREE ROAMING:
* Maine Coons get stolen. They are very trusting and affectionate and their impressive look and size makes them an easy target.
* Maine Coons have absolutely zero road sense (picture a toddler in the road).
* Indoor cats are safe from diseases, viruses, poisoning and cat fights.
* Indoor cats are safe from predators, dogs, cat traps and people (remember not everyone is a cat lover).
We prefer to place our kittens to homes with "cat-proofed" fencing/boundary walls, to allow safe garden access. "Catio" is a great alternative to experience the outdoors safely if you have a huge garden which can't be enclosed.
Unless your boundary walls are "cat-proofed" or all windows/gates have "clear view" or similar safety bars in place, it is necessary to install mesh on all windows and door/gates to prevent slipping out. Sadly it's bound to happen sooner or later and it's just not worth the risk. Maine Coons are very smart and excellent escape artists - if there's a loophole, they will find it and make a run for it. Pet Safety Solutions and few other companies specialize in securing boundary walls/fencing, windows/gates and building catios to ensure the home is safe and kitten/cat can't escape but can still enjoy the fresh air, sunshine or watch birds. There are also many tutorials available online on "cat-proofing" your property for DIY enthusiasts.
One of the most important parts of caring for your new kitten is playtime. Mutual play creates a strong bond between the new owner and a kitten and it will keep the kitten busy, stimulated and overall happy. Maine Coons are very social and get easily bored, especially if they are only cats. In general it's very hard on them to be left alone all day without another cat to to play with and keep them company, which often leads to behavior issues. For this reason we prefer to place our kittens to homes with another young cat/kitten as a companion. We love when two siblings go together to a new home as they've already formed a strong bond, but we also encourage to adopt a kitten from reputable animal shelter/rescue organisation as an alternative option if you currently don't have a young cat/kitten in your home.
What do Maine Coons eat?
Cats are obligate carnivores and need high protein diet to thrive. While obligate carnivores might be able to ingest small amounts of plant matter, they lack the necessary physiology required to digest it.
Maine Coons are a large breed and can grow up to 10+ kg - therefore a correct diet is extremely important. We've made the decision to switch to natural raw diet more than 8 years ago and the difference it made in our cats was incredible. UTI issues and food allergy cleared almost immediately and within few weeks we've also noticed a huge change in their energy level as well as visible difference in their coat and muscle tone.
All of our kittens and cats are fed exclusively with a nutritionally balanced raw diet and we ask our kitten owners to continue with this diet as it's in the kitten's best interest. We will offer a full guidance in this regard.
Unfortunately sterilized cats are prone to obesity so it's important to monitor the weight and adjust meal portions accordingly. In general sterilized cats require approximately 30% less caloric intake to entire cats.
Overweight/obese cats are risking having diabetes, heart problems, orthopedic and other issues.
Can I have a "Giant" Maine Coon kitten?
No, our kittens are not lion cubs, they are average size Maine Coon kittens. We certainly don't breed for size!
Although Maine Coon is one of the largest domesticated cat breeds, there's absolutely no way to predict what size your kitten will grow into. Maine Coons are a slow growing breed and don't reach their maturity until 4 years of age.
The size of a Maine Coon is based on height, length and weight combined - not on a weight only. As per the data submitted to TICA (international cat registry), the weight of a fully grown male is on average between 18-22 lbs (8 - 10kg) and the female is between 12-15 lbs (5.4 - 6.8 kg).
There's so much more to a Maine Coon than the size. Maine Coons are sweet tempered, gentle and friendly and get along with everyone. They are always prepared to "help" their owners with house chores yet aren't demanding of attention. They are often compared to dogs as they are smart, loyal, very entertaining and can be trained to walk on the lead and play "fetch" and other tricks.
Can I buy a kitten with breeding rights/unsterilized?
NO. Although we might decide to offer breeding rights, it will be only to selected few breeders we are currently working with. These breeders share same passion and vision for the breed as well as our breeding ethics. In short, don't expect us to sell you unsterilized kitten if we've never met you and know nothing about you, your experience as a breeder or your goals.
All kittens will be neutered / spayed prior to leaving to prevent unwanted pregnancies (it can happen as early as 4 months of age), minimize health risks (such as ovarian or testicular cancer, pyometra, dystocia and mammary carcinoma) and to reduce undesirable behavioral issues (such as urinary marking and aggression) linked to unsterilized cats.
As per The Winn Feline Foundation Report published on The Cat Fanciers' Association website, the various studies indicate that early neuter/spay is in fact beneficial and not detrimental to the overall health of the kitten/cat.
Why do pedigree pets cost so much more?
The cost of Maine Coon kittens will vary between breeders across South Africa and it has risen quite drastically over the last few years. These days you can expect to pay anything between R 10 000 - R 15 000 for a purebred Maine Coon kitten. Make sure to do a thorough research before selecting the right breeder for you and learn what exactly is included in the cost of the kitten. Breeders have the right to charge what they deem a fair price for their kittens - however, a purebred kitten doesn't always equal a well bred kitten. Beware of catteries charging bellow the national average price - these are mostly scams or unregistered/back yard breeders who had not undergone proper health screenings and kittens are raised in appealing conditions. Also beware of catteries charging the high-end prices without actually doing the very important (and very expensive) health testing - including hip x-rays to screen for HD and routine heart echo-cardiograms.
Pet lovers, unless they already own a pedigree kitten, can get unpleasantly surprised when they hear the initial price for a well bred pedigree cat. These people usually try to find a kitten at a significantly lower price and as a result, they end up getting scammed or with an unregistered kitten - often of mixed breed, unhealthy or not properly socialized.
When we bought our first Maine Coon many years ago, the cost for a pet kitten was significantly lower. However, in the last few years, there has been a huge increase in the cost of living in general, especially after COVID-19. This had affected costs of veterinary care, food, pet supplies and many other day to day expenses.
Breeding is extremely expensive if done the right and responsible way. It's hard to understand what goes into it without actually trying it out for yourself. We don't get paid for our time, we don't go on holidays, we are awake at night waiting for kittens to arrive. Breeding isn't just a full time commitment, breeding is a lifestyle!
That being said, let's break down the various expenses related to responsible and ethical breeding practices and the associated costs of running a Maine Coon cattery.
We hope this clears up the misconception of kitten prices vs profits in breeding.
NOTE: This cost break-down is an average based on running our cattery and it can differ across other breeders.
Initial cost to start up a cattery:
*Cost to register a cattery: R 300 once off
*Active member of a a cat association and cat club: R230/year
*Cost to register and maintain a domain name: R 2800/year
*Cost to design a website: R 5000+
* Cost of one cat with breeding rights:
R 20000+ locally/EUR 2500+ internationally
(with additional transport costs of +/- EUR 2000)
Ongoing costs such as veterinary visits (per kitten/cat):
* General vet consultation fee: R 480/R 1000+ (after-hours)
This excludes additional treatment and/or medication costs
*Vaccinations: R 580/R 750
* Flea & tick treatment: R 150/R 450
* Emergency C-section: R 8000+/16000+ (after-hours)
*Micro-chipping: R 250 per chip
*Neuter/spay R 1200/R 1800
Routine care which includes:
* Cat food and supplements: R 8000+/monthly
* Cat litter + litter boxes
We spend up to R 2000/monthly on these
* Genetic testing: HCM/SMA/PKDef: R 650 each
* Echocardiogram: R 3000 each
(Routine echoes are performed every 2 years)
* Hip X-rays for HD: R 2200+
* Entry fees: R 100/R 150 per kitten/cat
* Petrol costs to go to shows (locally): R 150+
Total cost per show based on 3 cats being shown on a day R 550+
Why are cat shows important? Next to health testing, the next most important aspect of breeding ethically, is breeding kittens that have the the right temperament specific for the breed and are a good representation of the breed according to the written breed standard. Showing cats and earning titles is very important for an unbiased feedback from judges as whether the cat/kitten is a good representation of its breed. The grooming, the travel and being handled at shows by strangers also helps to see if the cat/kitten has the right temperament appropriate for the breed, which gets passed down to future offspring.
* Enrichment (average cost for toys, beds, blankets, scratch posts, cat tees etc.):
* Enzyme cleaners: R 450/5l
* F10 disinfectent R 1900/5l
* Registration of a stud: R 250
* Registration of a kitten/cat R 45 - R 90
* Pedigrees: R 25+ each
* Miscellaneous (milk replacement formula, birthing supplies etc.) R 1000+
* Routine deep cleaning of the cattery
* Photographing of kittens and cats
* General admin (reviewing of applications, responding to e-mails or messages, phone call follow ups, maintaining cattery records etc.)
* Educational courses & materials
Most of the above cost is our own time and lots of it!
The cost of a well bred pedigree pet should be looked at as an investment. Picking up a cattery based on an immediate availability or kitten price alone is risky. You could run a possibility of getting scammed or end up paying more over your pet's lifetime in health and/or behavior issues. Do your research and do not rush this process.