Our love for the breed
My family has always had a place in our hearts for the love and caring of cats, specifically Persians! Besides, anyone who has owned a Persian knows there is no sweeter personality, so softer body, no more special and loyal a friend. After visiting several cat shows, we decided to continue our love of the Persian breed and to also begin breeding Exotic Shorthairs, which are also impossible not to love! Our dear friend, Karen Williams, who has been raising and showing cats for 40 + years sold us our very first red and white exotic shorthair, Baby. Baby produced two litters for us and is now spayed and living in Sun City with her new family.
After we decided it was time to purchase our own male, we began carefully researching and planning our breeding stock. Taking them to CFA shows to obtain their titles was a fun family adventure. How rewarding it was to show Ivy Cat Penny Lane, a beautiful cream tabby exotic, to her Regional kitten win! The entire family is involved in the showing, the cleaning, and caring for the babies. My 14 year old daughter has even kept and shown her own kitten, Katniss, and was tickled to death when Katniss made a final at the CFA cat show in Palm Springs!
The Breed Standard for the Exotic Shorthair is similar to the Persian, apart from the long coat. Nice heavy boning, shorter limbs, large round, smooth heads, are just a few of the traits we strive for here at Dandycats. You will also find that the desired look calls for round, open eyes, and rounded ears placed lower on the head. Lush full coats are also a trait of the Exotic Shorthair, and the hair should pop back up upon running your hand down their back. For the full breed standared, click on the pictures below to take you to the Persian and the Exotic Shorthair standard on CFA's website.
Because of our love for the breed, and the babies themselves, we chose to do genetic testing through UC Davis on all of our mamas and papas to make certain they do not carry PKD, Polycystic Kidney Disease. Persians an Exotic Shorthairs alike can be prone to this disease, so I wanted peace of mind that none of my animals carried the gene. A clean home is a happy home, and less likely to carry diseases as over crowded catteries might carry. I am very lucky to be able to stay home full time with our babies, watch them so very closely each day to ensure that they are happy, healthy, and free from any ailment whether we keep a baby for show, or place it in a loving pet home. Our mamas are lucky to each have their own bedroom, with cat tree, and area where they can deliver their babies, with me right there to help if need be. Our cats are loved and treated like members of our own family, and, by the way, spoiled rotten! Each cat here has a different favorite food, and I indulge them all! Please feel free to telephone me for any other questions about the breed personality, or questions pertaining to the Persian or the Exotic Shorthair.
How I raise my kittens
Only a breeder knows and understands all the work, time, and effort that go into raising a healthy litter of babies. Every breeder does things a little bit differently, but this is how I do the raising of my babies from start to finish. It will give you a little insight on how your baby has been raised if you decide to purchase a kitten from us! It might also give you an idea why I price my kittens the way I do.
When the mama is due to deliver, she is shut in a bedroom, or bathroom, particularly at night so that she can be checked on around the clock. I feel proud and lucky to be a home maker so I am home with the mamas constantly. I aid quite a bit in the delivery of the babies and sit with the new mama and her babies until I know they are all suckling, healthy, and all is well. Weights are checked daily, to make certain each kitten is gaining, and sometimes supplementing is needed which I do via bottle and KMR milk or goats milk, whichever the baby prefers. After birth the kittens are contained in a nesting box, inside our home, either in our master bathroom or a bedroom, with mama constantly in with them. Their bedding is changed daily.
When the babies are about four weeks old, they are ready to come out of the nesting box, and I know they are ready when the first one climbs out! This is such a fun time, as they are little balls of fluff. They are now given their first litter pan, paper pellets for training litter, and an area much larger where they can run round and play, however, they are still contained as they are very tiny and need mama constantly. Sometimes we move them into our large garden tub for their "next step", or an area of similar size. I have a large whelping pen I use in bedrooms to transition them from nesting box to use of the full room. Once I see that each kitten is using the litter box properly, they are given full range of the room in which they were born. At this stage I am still using small litter pans with paper pellets. I find the babies eat other types of litter. Sometimes, though, they will actually use mamas's larger litter pan which is filled with Nature's Miracle Crystals.
Around five weeks, I offer the first plate of hard kitten kibble. The food of choice that I recommend is Orijen cat and kitten. Mama and babies can both eat it, and in my research, I find it is the top food. In with this food, I mix some Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach kibble. I do this because of the tiny size of the kibble, and also to make the trasition to hard food easier on their little tummies. Some stuborn babies still prefer nursing but eventually and slowly they all catch on to the food. I will send home a bag of the food mixture with you when we meet or when you pick up your baby.
My babies get constant socialization. They are around our three older children and get loved on and handled numerous times a day. My children are all middle school aged and older and are old enough to know the proper way to handle and play with the tiny babies. Plus, I have been doing this quite a while so they have had lots of practice watching me! When the babies are eight weeks old, they will receive their first vaccination. I use a three in one vaccine purchased off of Revival Animal Health. The babies will be vaccinated again at eleven weeks. During this time, they will also receive two doses of wormer, just as a preventative measure. Luckily, we have never had worms or mites or things of that nature here. Because I keep my mama's few, and my cattery small and home based, we are able to consistantly produce healthy show quality and pet quality kittens to offer you from my home and love to yours.