Breeding Goal

We can be fairly concise about our breeding goal:
To us, breeding should include three essential components. Health, Character and Beauty. 
These three aspects are the pillars of our cattery and we believe that they are all conditiones sine qua non.
Below we'd like to give you a little bit more information on each of these pillars.

Health:

We only breed with tested animals. Concerning FNI, we always have the
blood group of the queen determined before she has her first litter.

HCM, PKD-DNA, Felv and Fiv test are a prerequisite
in our cattery. Our cats will be tested as soon as they are old enough and then again EVERY year. Obviously we maintain the same list of demands for the tomcats our ladies visit outside the cattery.

In practice this means that all our cats are:
-Tested once for the PKD-1 gene through DNA (examination of blood or buccal swab)
-Tested biennial for PKD through ultrasound (in depth examination of the kidneys, as well as the liver, since PKD cysts may also manifest themselves in the liver.  For the moment we keep on testing PKD through ultrasound since the PKD-1 DNA tests is only able to detect 1 gene responsible for PKD, while the disease is caused by more than one gene. The additional advantage is that it gives us a general view on the kidneys, obviously PKD is not the only illness or abberration that can be found in the liver-kidney area. E.g think about liver shunt.)
-Tested annually for HCM throught ultrasound (thorough examination of the heart) Please be aware of the fact that HCM is a notorious issue among the British breed. No matter what some breeders might say: up to date there is NO valid HCM-DNA test. Don't let yourself be misguided!
-Tested before each visit to the male for fiv and FelV (examination of blood)
-Examined VERY carefully before a first litter through ultrasound to make sure EVERYTHING has been done to assure the cat is in exquisite condition and doesn't have any aberration. Testing for HCM and PKD is one thing but obviously a cat is more than kidneys, liver and heart.

Kittens leave for their new home at the age of 14-15 weeks. They take with them their "travelling bag" with toys, a blanket, food,
lots of baby pictures, a valid health certificate issued by our vet and much
more.

Upon transfer, all Smitten Kittens are  completely free of any parasites and/worms worms. They will have had an ID microchip
implanted under their skin and will have had the two standard vaccinations. 

The attentive visitor might have noticed that our kitten pages always mention the cause of death regarding kitten mortality when indisputably known through autopsy executed by a licensed anatomical pathalogist and/or additional viral/bacterial analysis. Although my veterinary knowledge is broad and I am often right about medical conditions, I -as many others I assume {#emotions_dlg.winking}- was not born with x-ray eyes and cannot look into the body of a kitten or cat. For this reason I run health tests on my cats and in the sad event of death I always instruct an autopsy. Often we hear about kitten/cat mortality at other catteries, but this is hushed up towards the outer world. Sadly kitten mortality is usually immediately concealed. It is easy to list mortality as coincidence. But to measure is to know!
I am of the opinion that it might be really important to know what has been the cause of death of a kitten. And at the same time I think these things are also significant to other breeders who are working with the same lines. It enables them to understand and prevent problems occuring in the lines they work with.
Breeders who have their cats and kittens best interest at heart can - if they are up for it- use this information to their advantage. Although it is no secret that the mentality in the cat fancy is often "what doesn't see the daylight, doesn't hurt anybody". Some breeders even treathen me for the sole reason that I'm not afraid to say the plain truth. Luckily for me and unfortunately for them I am not scared that easily and I know that I am breeding cats and kittens with a pure conscience. Nevertheless it seems that, for some disputable individuals, living is easier while wearing blinders.

Paradoxically the Cat World is a community in which sincerity is answered with slander and mobbing and transparency stops at showing cute kitten photos and good test results. This is a mentality I simply cannot support.
To us it is only self-evident that without health, there is no cattery.

 

Character:

We strive to deliver pleasant kittens to their new butlers and therefore we'd do anything to socialize them the propper way.
In the choice of a tomcat we won't overlook his character. The kittens will be raised in the context of our family.
We will let them get used to daily sounds, such as the vacuum cleaner, the tv, etc.
They will be accustomed to other cats given that we obviously also own adult cats.

Once they have reached a safe age visitors are more than welcome to cuddle with the babies and help socialize them.


Beauty:

Our ambition is to create kittens that are as beautiful as they can be.
We stronlgly believe that breeding is more than combining two pretty cats. The difficult task of each breeder is searching for a tomcat who can lift up the weak features of the female cat, maintain the strong aspects and vice versa.

A difficult, but extremely satisfying expedition!

Longhair or shorthair?

While it is without any doubt our long-term goal to be able to make pure LH x LH combinations, we genuinly feel the time is not there yet.
We are very clear in our point of view that the choice of longhair vs shorthair should always be subordinate to the type we want to see in our kittens.
As they say "First build your house and then you can paint it".
What's the use in entire BLH litters at the expense of loss of coat quality, loss of good type, loss of genetical diversion,...

I want healthy british bears, not pears! (For those who are confused by this comparison: A british should be ROUND, like an apple, like a bear. Round eyes, rounded ears, round cheeks etc. Unlike a pear which is pointy and is nothing like a british should look like {#emotions_dlg.winking})

It is indeed correct to say that BLH ("Fluffies") have emerged in many British Shorthair litters as a result of the recessive longhair gene in the BKH population, they have been around for quite some time now, but as a breed on intself they still need heaps of work!

It would be the easier choice to chose "a" British Longhair male for every single one of our girls, this way we would expect full longhair litters.
Although I love my cats very very dearly, I also have to be their worst critic. I owe it to my cattery, to the dreams I have and to the marvellous breed I am able to work with!
My cats are lovely but objectively we always see room for improvement.

For this reason the only things kept in mind while looking for a partner for one of our cats is type, health, low inbreeding percentages and temperament. 
The matter Longhair vs Shorthair is at this time obsolete.

This way we hope to be able to do a true and substantial contribution to the breed we love with all our heart.

 

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