The number of cats someone owns has nothing to do with it whether a person is a responsible breeder... or not. A person could have four cats and be irresponsible, or have forty cats and be an excellent and respopnsible breeder.
A Responsible Breeder:
* is motivated by the love of their breed, not by profit.
* breeds for a reason - to improve their breed.
* never has more cats of their own than they are properly able to care for.
* considers temperament important.
* has spent time studying and learning about their breed, and knows the breed's history and breed standard.
* is knowledgeable about the hereditary problems that occur in their breed and has the appropriate tests done prior to breeding in order to decrease the likelihood of their occurrence in their kittens.
* is active in one or more breed clubs or similar groups and thus is in regular contact with other people in the breed.
* almost always is involved with showing their cats, so as to have a realistic idea of how their cats compare to others of the same the breed.
* will ask a prospective new owner a lot of questions.
* expects lots of questions from a prospective new owner, and believes there are no "stupid" questions.
* is honest with you about both the best and worst parts of their breed, and will try to determine if their breed is the right one - and may steer you in another direction if they think their breed is NOT right for you.
* explains how to care for the breed, and is available to provide advice and help to people who have purchased a kitten from him/her.
* is willing to let you see the dam, and if possible, the sire of the litter.
* supplies shot records, pedigrees, care information, genetic test results.
* offers some sort of contract that clearly explains both the breeder's and buyer's responsibilities, and any guaranties.
* uses spay/neuter contracts or withholds registration until proof of alteration to prevent the casual breeding of their kittens.
* feels responsible for every kitten they produce, and is ALWAYS willing to take back a cat of their breeding if the buyer cannot keep it for any reason.