Is Facebook (FB) the right place for cat breeders to advertise and sell their cats? Assuming, that is, you agree that there should be cat breeders in the first place.
I was surprised to discover that there are a lot of breeders marketing their cats on Facebook. This is not about meeting and communicating with people but about hard selling. Innocently, I thought that FB was not a market place but a meeting place.
When you sell cats on Facebook, you sell at a distance. Even if you provide a name you can remain almost anonymous because the name could be false and there is no obvious place to visit to inspect the cat and the facility or ask questions face-to-face.
I am not saying people provide false information but the beginning of the transaction is done at a distance. When you run down the FB page looking at a huge number of different cat breeds and photos it is like choosing a new product.
I could be old fashioned but if a person is stuck on the idea of buying a pedigree cat the only way to do it is to find a good breeder as local to you as possible, telephone them and visit. Inspect the place and meet the cats. Take your time and reflect on things such as lifelong commitment, the overall cost, the suitability of one’s lifestyle and whether a rescue cat is a better idea.
The old-fashioned way of meeting people and cats in person is the best. At a distance things become depersonalised. You don’t know what the breeder is thinking or what her facilities are like. Is she treating her cats well or simply as money making machines in dirty cages?
I don’t think FB is the right place to sell living creatures of any sort. FB was designed to be a meeting place for people.
The opening line of Facebook Principles is:
We are building Facebook to make the world more open and transparent, which we believe will create greater understanding and connection.
I don’t think the breeders marketing cats on FB need to be open and transparent. It could encourage the opposite. All you are seeing is the “product”. A buyer needs to see what is happening behind the product. Facebook is allowing breeders to present this face or front, only.
Facebook’s mission is:
to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.
I don’t think allowing cat breeders to sell their cats is in unison with that stated goal.
A lot of the breeders are Russian or from old Soviet satellite states (as far as I can tell – this is a guess). A lot of the cats look fine but there are some overbred freaky felines as I state in the title. Here are some examples: