You’ve probably heard the old saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Well, that definitely holds true when it comes to buying a purebred cat, and unfortunately some people are learning that lesson the hard way. While Sphynx cats are quite popular and not as rare as you’d think, they are still quite expensive – usually ranging from $1,000 to $1,500 for a kitten from a reputable Sphynx breeder. (Click here to see what makes a reputable breeder.) So, when Shayla Bastarache, from Alberta, Canada, saw a Craigslist ad for a Sphynx kitten for just $650, she thought it was too good a deal to pass up.
She met the seller in a gas station parking lot at night — this should’ve been the first clue something was “off” — and purchased two cats, one for her and one for her friend.
Two weeks later, the cats started growing fur.
Surprisingly,Bastarache isn’t the only person who was scammed in this way! Holly Rattray was also taken by con-artists advertising low-cost sphynx kittens, only to meet in a parking lot and be handed a freshly-shaven animal. In her case, the kitten had nicks and cuts all over it’s body from a razor, and she told the CBC that it seemed “too hairless.”
“Even underneath its legs, it was so clean-shaven that my husband did question it. But my husband was like, ‘There is no way, honey, that someone could have shaved a cat this good.’” It turned out someone had indeed shaved the cat, because it soon grew a full coat. It turned out to be another regular house cat which they named Stripes.
After discovering that she had been scammed, Rattray did some research and discovered yet another Alberta woman who had fallen for the same trick. JoAnne Dyck had also bought what she thought was a Sphynx kitten online, at an unusually low price – $700. The poor kitten didn’t want anything to do with JoAnne and her family, didn’t get along with her other cats, so she decided to give it away to another Sphynx lover, Shaniya Yung. See Vlad’s story in this news clip below:
JoAnne Dyck and Shaniya Yung have both contacted the Royal Canadian Mounted Police about the this scam, but they are unable to press charges because they didn’t have the seller’s information, and the cell phone number they had wasn’t working anymore.
If you’re interested in a particular breed of cat, you can avoid being scammed like this by making sure you’re getting your cat from a reputable breeder, not from Craigslist. And, if the seller wants to meet in a gas station parking lot – that’s usually not a good sign.