Socialization…or how our kittens are raised

I have been involved in cats in some way, shape, or form my entire life. I have had strays follow me home, I have been involved in rescue, and I have been involved in purebreds both inside and outside of the show ring. My first purebred cat came to me in late 2002. That cat was a Javanese who was my first step into the show world. To say that I was bitten by the bug was an understatement. I became very competitive in the show ring and that season my boy was best javanese kitten in the country. Sadly I lost that boy at a young age and in 2004 I switched breeds.

Since 2004 I have bred and shown American Curls. I have dedicated over 16 years to this incredible breed and I have learned a lot of things along the way. Over that period of time I have severely changed how my kittens are raised. I used to have queen pens for my girls to give birth in and their first weeks with their new babies were spent primarily caged. This is an effective and safe method of kitten rearing for most, however I have found that kittens who are raised as part of a household from day 1 turn into much more confident individuals.

This is not to say that my queens give birth in the middle of my living room, my queens give birth in my bedroom. I have a busy household with 2 daughters ages 10 and 7. My bedroom is on the second floor away from the hustle and bustle so my queens feel most comfortable their prior to delivery. My litters are born in my bedroom. The bedroom door is kept closed for the first 2-3 weeks of the kittens lives so that the other resident kitties do not disturb the rest of the family. I handle my babies daily and my children visit with mom and babies daily under adult supervision of course. The kittens at about 3 weeks old begin venturing out of their nest for the first times and they begin to explore. My moms are really good about only letting their babies explore so far before a certain age.

My babies begin eating solids between 3-4 weeks of age on their own and they are litter trained before they are 6 weeks old. They still live with mom only in my bedroom but now the door is allowed to be open and the kittens begin venturing out of the bedroom. They discover my children’s room across the hall and the bathroom next door. They play with each other on the landing but usually are not brave enough to venture down the stairs. Usually around 6-7 weeks they begin venturing downstairs on their own. Mom is good to teach them how to go back up too. At that point the kittens become a part of our household.

They play with the kids, the get loved on, they hear the sounds of tv, cooking, homework, and every other sound that occurs inside your everyday household. The kittens are exposed to vacuum cleaner sounds and other things so that they become confident kittens. American Curls by nature are very inquisitive and want to be with their people. Rather than try to contain that personality we choose to foster it, embrace it, and allow it to develop. Sometime between 12 and 16 weeks we schedule our spay/neuter surgeries with our vet and allow our kittens to come back home with us to convalesce before going on to their new families. With a male kitten being neutered recovery is usually 24-48 hours and we would allow them to go home after that. Our females a bit longer, I prefer to wait 5-7 days.

When our kittens go home they are used to a family routine. They know when it is time to eat, sleep, and have their litter boxes scooped. They know when the kids come home from school and they know when they leave. They are not afraid of comings and goings and they are inquisitive of new things and surroundings. We find this is the perfect time to let them leave our nest and join yours. They bond to their new families quickly and they are very outgoing in nature so usually become a part of the family almost instantly. Each of our cats has an individual personality and we encourage that individuality. As a whole all of our curls are very much social animals and want to be the center of the activity. But we have some that demand that almost all the time and others who are also happy to just lounge around and nap in their favorite sunny window. We work with our pet parents to select the most suitable kitten for their family situation. This ensures that each of you develop the perfect bond with your new curl baby.

When you choose to purchase a kitten from my family you are purchasing a family member and I am allowing you to become an extended part of that family. I pride myself in being able to be able available to all of our families for the life of their new family member. Breeding American Curls is not just a hobby for me, it is my passion. I want to bring these amazing souls to as many families as are meant to have them. They are certainly a very special breed. They aren’t for everyone but typically if you fall in love with one, there will eventually be more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *