Registering a kitten enables you to show it in purebred competition classes, if you choose to do so. Whether you intend to show or not, you want to buy a British Shorthair that is registrable. This means that the kitten's pedigree, or family history, can be verified and accepted by the cat-registering associations. With no proof of its parentage, a British Shorthair without papers may not be a purebred. Remember, you are paying for the predictable qualities that a certain bloodline offers. On the other hand, it's important to understand that papers alone do not guarantee the health or quality of a kitten.
The purchase price should include the kitten's papers and pedigree; however, the breeder may give you the kitten's registration slip at the time of sale or mail it to you later, depending on the terms of your agreement. For example, if the contract stipulates that the cat cannot be used for breeding, you probably will not receive the kitten's individual registration form until you furnish proof that you've had your kitten spayed or neutered. Without this form, you cannot register your kitten, nor can its future progeny be registered. If the Not For Breeding box on the form is checked and signed, the cat-registering association will not allow kittens from that cat to be registered.
When you receive the form, simply fill it out with the name you have chosen for your British Shorthair. Complete the owner information section and mail the form with the proper fee(s) to the association(s) in which the breeder registered your kitten's litter. The breeder will have completed the sections about your kitten's breed, sex, hair length, eye color, coat color, and so forth. Also, if the breeder has a cattery name, that name will be printed on the line where you write in the name you choose for your kitten. The cattery name will be part of your kitten's official, registered name. Most forms direct you to select two or three names, in case your first choice has already been used by someone else. When the association receives the form, it will verify the pedigree information, approve your name selection, then send you back an owner's certificate.