Tonight, I created a TICA CODING page so that you can understand how your Savannah Kitten has been developed from our lines.
We carefully hand-select our cats, even if that means waiting 18 months (sometimes longer!) for the right kitten, from the right pairing just so that we can shape our breeding programme to meet our goals of excellent type.
You will see a lot of our cats are from nowhere near Scotland, UK and have been imported to ensure that we have a really good mix of the best bloodlines.
Other points to consider -
Black nose - Do not fall for the 'black nose will produce black nose' train of thought.
It is often we see two black-nosed cats mated and only some or none of the kittens will have a black nose. Ask about the line. If the line has a lot of black noses in it on both sides then it is a higher chance you will produce black noses. Your breeder should be able to tell you roughly how many black noses are in the line and where. It is one of the first questions we ask when looking at breeding kittens.
We really like the jet black spots on a golden coat…who doesn’t right?
Learn from breeders how to produce those kind of kittens if that is what you are looking for. Just because a kitten does not have a good pattern or perhaps the spots are lighter than you would prefer, does not necessarily mean that the offspring of that kitten will produce the same. Look again at the cats in the line and their offspring. Remember pairing your cats takes practice and a lot of “being picky” but it also has a lot to do with “vision”. If you can see the type on that kitten and it perhaps has a few off spots then is it really worth losing those nice big ears and fabulous eye shape over?
You have to be selective but still comprehensively analyse each kitten. Take your time. If you’re not sure then don’t buy it. You’ll know when you’ve found the right one.
We’ve placed a pre-birth deposit on a kitten before because we knew the lines and knew that we would have one from the next litter. We watched around 6 litters from that line develop before being sure that we could move on to analyzing the kittens when they were born.
Sometimes you will kick yourself…then kick yourself again
We have purchased a kitten which by the time it was 9 months old we knew we didn’t want him in our programme as he had changed dramatically from being a kitten. He was neutered and placed into a pet home and we lost £2,500 / EUR 3250 / $3,600.
Testing (oh here she goes again..)
We will always bore you to tears on this subject. Seriously.
I’ll have an upper respiratory panel and a Faecal panel please!
You do not want to buy a sick kitten and bring it into your cattery. When we refer to a sick kitten it could mean something totally normal-looking and normal-pooping but inside that little bundle of joy there could be lurking a fabulous parasite called Tritrichomonas Feotus or an upper respiratory infection totally undetectable to the human eye. Before you know it the cats passed it’s quarantine period at your home, looks great then BAM, your whole cattery has cat flu and your changing your clothes 16 times a day to prevent cross-contamination?
Don’t risk it. It is an extra expense to check but get it tested. You will never regret testing but you can definitely regret not doing it. Would you rather lose £200 or potentially your whole cattery? #promotingcleancatteries
We sent a kitten back last year which arrived with a whole host of infections – even gum disease! …from a supposed reputable breeder who does fantastic at showing in Russia. The cat came into the quarantine pen, was tested and the day the tests came back the cat went. Some problems you could fight for months, some could wipe out your whole cattery. It is not worth it. Some are not worth fighting when the spread of infection is so easy. Another £2,000 down the drain. Plus all the fees for the individual quarantine staff to tend to the cat solely.
Chances are, you’re never going to get the perfect kitten – and if you do, give us a call….
If you’ve done your best then it’s all you can do to ensure you are being a reputable breeder and that is before you have even bought your first Savannah for breeding.
The coding system itself helps you to determine how many Savannahs have been used in the mating and of those cats, which were the purest Savannahs. It is always worth keeping in mind that just because a cat is an SBT, doesn’t necessarily mean that the kitten is better than a B or C for example if the latter has better type overall and good solid lines behind it. One of my best studs is a B. The male I neutered and petted out was a C. You would think it would’ve been the other way round - I had to do what was right for my programme. Just because something is written in a certain way i.e. a C is more pure than a B, doesn't necessarily mean it's better.
Post any questions in the comment box below and we’ll respond.
New blog to follow on tomorrow titled, “Why we’ll never offer stud”.
So here it is - click below to go to the GUIDE with a fully downloadable version for you to refer back to.
Download this blog:
Download the TICA Code Guide
(Oh and the new centre)
Finally getting through the backlog of filing and paperwork we had to get done!
We have a software where we log all our cats vaccines and batch numbers in their individual files on our system. This system can be handy if you want to add notes to a cats file, find information quickly for kitten owners/potential buyers and the good thing about the pedigree aspect of it is that we can look back so many more lines very quickly when they are all linked together on the system.
I love the software storage but data entry can be very monotonous- even worse when you need to make sure its completely accurate. Once it's done though the benefits are fantastic as it means that we can review the whole cattery at the click of a button.
It is also handy to schedule in reminders for boosters. We have started to do boosters every 18 months as opposed to annually to prevent over-vaccinating.
We no longer vaccinate for the Feline Leukemia Virus as we have all our cats indoors and fully protected. I will write more on this vaccination later.
How are you all? Are there any signs of Spring for your pussy cats to enjoy where you live?
This holiday period we are removing the newly laid bark in some areas as it's been selected as a new litter tray despite the cats having two each! We will have to resort to paving slabs in areas which we really wanted to avoid and give them a more natural surrounding.
In the case of infection control, the cats surroundings must be kept sanitary and hygienic - plus we don't want any unexpected friends that are very small and furry.
The bark is very porous so even though we collect waste then disinfect the areas, the scenting of faeces or urine in an area (whether it be outside the home or inside the home for other cat owners who have cats that like to defecate outside their trays), the saying is true that once it's happened once, they will likely always go back to that area as no cleaners can remove the scent which is detectable by a cat.
We can't wait for the weather to get that bit better. The sun has been shining a lot more during the day although it doesn't seem much warmer. The flies always come when the farmers start on their fields so at this point we always remove the hay outside and discard sand boxes. The wild cats simply don't like litter trays though so we have to be busy cleaning more throughly, regularly. Wild cat urine is also a lot stronger in smell than your domestic or even F1.
Its going to to be an exciting year. We have some wonderful cats coming to join us into our breeding programme from the USA and Europe and we have successfully rehomed ones that we decided to no longer use in our programme.
We have been getting to work on our new concept of the Feline Centre which we hope to open either at the end of 2017 or early 2018. This centre will be based at our home and only be available to visit through private arrangements for a one to one hands on experience with an array of cats. The purpose of the centre will be to support the reintroduction and preservation of certain species which we have been offered to work with, even the privilege of supporting some endangered species, which we will be helping to support the breeding programme with our Zoo colleagues, private owners and colleagues within our own facility.
It is very exciting and we can't thank the people enough who have shared their time with us, forming good working relationships and some friendships within the professional field. The dedication and determination on our part has helped to demonstrate the passion to work with the cats and that has been worth its weight in gold in achieving certain goals. It is not an act or falsified in any way to portray an image for commercial purposes. That's the beauty about being a small team of Wife, Husband and some extended family members. The friendships are closer with those who we call friends and they know they mean a lot to us. This also means that when people come to us for advice we can give them it with a heart felt response. If someone asks us for a certain thing which doesn't fit with our vision and goals then we won't offer it - even though it could be very easy to do things and make a quick buck. Working at the Zoo is also a massive milestone and as I'm going on to do Veterinary and Zoo related studies, it all seems like we are on the right track.
We are very much looking forward to being able to provide people with that much sought after "experience day" where they can come and be a keeper of our wild cats for the day and really get involved with the husbandry. We feel that this will be very educational in itself to allow people to properly identify if wild cat ownership really is for them and provide the opportunity to ask a load of questions. Some of the big cats may not be suitable for the hands on experience as much as the smaller cats such as our servals and caracals but we do aim to work on that. For those who decide to apply for a wild cat from us (or others) we will be aiming to provide a days course where they will be given the dwa requirements and a chance to run through their own plans for their enclosures, experience the cats hands on, prepare food and learn about the techniques of smaller wild cat feeding, learn about diet and nutrition, help with the cleaning of the enclosures and discuss environmental enrichment, discuss breeding plans and receive support and guidance on getting started. It will be amazing to show people how loving our tame wild cats are and be able to show them how to get their own wild cats to grow up in the same manner of mutual respect and love (something which is often overlooked when buying a wild cat). Behaviour training and understanding is one of the most important aspects of wild cat ownership because without creating respect for each other you could simply have a wild cat which gets no enjoyment from living in captivity, you don't get the chance to enjoy the cat and the whole idea of having a bond becomes a distant dream. We hope to help people get it right from the word go and really enjoy the experience it can bring.
As a secondary additional service the centre will take any wild cats or hybrid cats which need a new home but one cannot be sourced from the current owner or the cat requires to be placed in emergency respite until paperwork clearance comes through. We hope to work with behavioural issues if necessary and rehome any cats that fall into the DWA category. This service is currently active but we are in the process of making it all more official through registration as a separate entity and not part of Stylisticat.
Hope you enjoy your Easter break! We'd be happy to have any volunteers who would like to come and help us do some groundwork and spring cleaning. (Cat cuddles guaranteed) ;) and remember: chocolate is poisonous to cats so make sure you keep those eggs safely stored.
If you thought owning and breeding a DWA (Dangerous Wild Animal) or raw fed cat had the same hygiene routine as a normal cat then read on!
As an insight, we thought we would give you an idea of what we do to prevent cross-contamination and protect ourselves from infectious diseases/ parasites.
Following these guidelines can seriously improve the health of all involved in a DWA cats facility.
We have outlined several routines that you should follow to ensure you have excellent standards of infection control and husbandry to protect all the cats, animals and people under your care. Advice also included for those who are considering breeding cats or keeping larger species.
Please remember that certain groups are more susceptible to risks of infection, for example, children under 5 years old, the elderly and those who are immunosuppressed.
If you have any questions, then please get in touch and we’d be happy to help!
Ensure all cleaning products are phenol-free and safe for use in cats (felids are susceptible to phenolic poisoning).
ENSURE YOU ARE USING A GOOD MOISTURISER ON YOUR HANDS AFTER YOUR WORKING DAY WITH ANIMALS IF YOU ARE REGULARLY HAND SCRUBBING TO REDUCE PROLONGED IRRITATION TO SKIN.
Suggested cleaning products: (We use both of these products)
Blankets (cleaned daily)
FIOSC or VIRKON S
Cages (cleaned daily)
FIOSCXD or VIRKON S
Foot Bath (changed daily) [ if used]
FIOSCXD or VIRKON S
Face and Bottom Cloths (changed daily)
Milton 12.5ml per litre. Soak for at least 30 min.
Rinse thoroughly in water before use
Floors and Other Hard Surfaces (cleaned twice daily or as necessary)
FIOSCXD or VIRKON S
Vaccuum hoses, heads, brushes and internal (cleaned weekly)
FIOSCXD or VIRKON S
Virkon S is the premier broad spectrum virucidal veterinary disinfectant, is recognised by industry and governments worldwide as a disinfectant of choice for livestock disease prevention and control. Virkon S is a pink powder that is added to water to make a disinfectant solution. The standard dilution is 1% (at this dilution rate this 10kg pack willl make 1000 litres of disinfectant).
Virkon S features and benefits:
Foot & Mouth Disease: 1g in 1300ml of water
Swine Vesicular Disease: 1g in 100ml of water
Diseases of Poultry: 1g in 280ml of water
General orders: 1g in 100ml of water
Routine disinfection for all surfaces, earth, wood, and concrete. Use a 1:100 dilution (10g of Virkon S for every litre of water). Apply via a pressure washer or other mechanical sprayer, apply Virkon S solution at an application rate of 300ml/m2.
Routine cleaning and disinfection of movable farm equipment. Use a 1:100 dilution (10g of Virkon S for every litre of water). Apply using a brush or pressure washer, wash all equipment in Virkon S solution until visibly clean.
Water system disinfection.
Terminal disinfection 1:100 to 1:200. Continuous disinfection 1:1000.
Routine disinfection of footwear. Use a 1:100 dilution (10g of Virkon S for every litre of water). Replace solution once it has either become soiled or after 4-5 days.
SOURCES: Stylisticat UK, Emergent Disease Foundation, ABWAK
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All about Stylisticat, written by Kayleigh McIntosh-Lowrie