Our principles of breeding kittens
Before a kitten is born, I carefully select a pair of parents, usually among large lines of a good European type. (I study the pedigree, look for photos of grandparents going back up to the fourth-fifth generations, and sometimes even earlier). I try to figure out what type and size the kittens from these ancestors were under certain mating to choose the right parents, and to improve and consolidate the breed qualities in the best possible way…
When the couple is selected, the cat wedding takes place. After 3 weeks, it is possible to find out if the cat is pregnant or not. Having learned the good news, I give the feline mother a complex of multivitamins in order to replenish the necessary elements in her body and so that the kittens can develop healthily, and of course, I give her high calorie balanced nutrition. 3 weeks before the kittens’ approximate date of birth, I take the cat to our bedroom, where kittens further grow up.
As the date of kittens’ birth approaches, the cat gets constantly supervised by our veterinarian, who is ready for the house call in case of urgent need. It takes a long time for a cat to give birth, sometimes up to 24 hours. When the kittens are born, even if everything went well, our veterinarian still comes to examine the feline mother and the kittens. Many catteries do not do this, relying on nature and their owners’ competence. I believe that it is imperative because it’s important to timely notice any problems or changes in the health status of the cat or kittens, and it is better to do this as soon as possible than to regret it afterward. We live in a modern civilization, where people have also long preferred to give birth in clinics rather than in the field.
Now, my first sleepless nights begin. We have to make sure that the cat, especially an inexperienced one, does not lie on its kittens. 2-3 times a day I monitor the kittens’ weight. As it should increase, I make sure that everyone has enough nipples and milk (I put the kittens to the cat’s nipples myself); I make sure that the mother cat licks the kittens which is very important because kittens cannot pass stools themselves until they are 3-3.5 weeks old, so the cat stimulates them with its tongue. If the cat refuses to feed properly or there is not enough milk – and sometimes we have 9-10 kittens in a litter, and the mother cat just does not have enough nipples (there are only 8 of them, but it happens so that 2 do not work, so 6 remain) – then I take over the role of a mama cat and start preparing a mixture every 2 hours, taking care of the right temperature, then I stimulate the kittens with a damp warm sponge instead of the cat’s tongue so that they pass stools. Yes, kittens are babies, they become my own feline children. They are really fragile and smell good, those sweet little lumps of happiness and joy!
It gets easier in 3 weeks. Kittens begin to make border raids out of the kennel, learn to walk, and we begin complementary feeding them with meat and pet commercial food. From this age, the upbringing and socialization of kittens begin.
Kittens should behave properly, should not be wild, like those that were raised in a separate building or a separate empty room without sofas and people. Our kittens live and develop in the human bedroom. They get used to people from an early age, understand how to interact with a human, what to do when I sleep, and that it is not necessary to open my eyes to make me get up faster and play with them, because there is a time for everything. They are also accustomed to the fact that they cannot do everything they want, for example, they cannot climb on curtains, chew wires, sharpen their claws on a bed, as there is a scratching post for this. Living without people, in a poor environment, kittens will not learn good manners, they have no experience of behavior in a home environment and of long-term contact with people. A kitten acquired in an inappropriate cattery may have behavioral problems, it will shatter your expectations; besides, such kittens undermine the breed reputation, and then terrible legends appear that Maine Coons are evil, biting, etc.
As the kittens grow older, I give them more complicated mental and physical workloads with the help of different toys, lifehacks, and cat towns. My goal is to make kittens more intelligent and developed; in this case, they learn faster because their brain is already accustomed to the fact that it is necessary to solve some problems.
Also, for the proper growth and development of kittens, we use only super premium food (Fitmin), plus meat which is an indispensable component of the proper nutrition of cats. Evening feeding in our cattery always entails a meat mix, which includes: 50% beef meat, 15% chicken gizzards, 15% pork heart, chicken necks 20%. All this meat is raw and duly overfrozen. Soon you will find an article on meat mixes posted on the blog. As the first complementary food, our babies receive only meat – everything is like in the wildlife, like lions and tigers eat… A cat is an obligate animal, that is a predator, and feed containing corn or potatoes is undesirable for them. Manufacturers are trying to reduce the cost of food by reducing the percentage of meat in it, but cats are not canaries or chickens.
Getting back to a socialization topic: as kittens grow up, we accustom them to different sounds, up to the Boeing sound before flying abroad, for better adaptation and less stress on the road and in a new family. If a kitten goes to a family with small children, we introduce it to the sound of a baby crying, etc.
Our graduates are familiar with the smell and barking of dogs since their early days because we have 5 dogs. After developing immunity, after all the vaccinations, they get to know the dogs live (you can see the vaccination schedule at the end of the article).
Kittens are accustomed to bathing and combing since their early days. At the request of the new owner, we can show a video of how this happens, and how to bathe exactly the pet they chose.
This is how, step by step, we breed and grow feline babies, so beautiful, sweet, gentle, very cute, and madly loved by me!!! I love to hug and cuddle this sweet lump of happiness, I tremble with delight and tenderness inside, I just want to smother them with kisses…
Before all vaccinations at 4 weeks of age, we carry out the first deworming, then we do it again in 2 weeks.
The first vaccination is given at 8 weeks, followed by revaccination in 4 weeks.
Rabies vaccination is given at 3 months.