About Lilac Farms
Lilac Farms was created out of a love for the Persian breed and a great desire to raise the standard in feline breeding along with maintaining the Persain breed standard. My breeding Motto is: If you aren't trying to breed the highest quality of the breed, you shouldn't be breeding at all. There are to many felines in this world sitting in shelters and needing homes or worse (being euthanized) for breeders to be breeding just for the sake of making more felines. Therefore the only justification to be a feline breeder is to breed the highest quality and topmost examples of the breed they are working with. As a feline behaviorist, not only did I want to create an environment that catered to their behavioral instincts and needs, but I wanted them to have the best medical care available. I’m proud to say I have been able to accomplish all of these goals. In fact I was honored in the spring of 2008 when a writer for Cat Watch Magazine contacted me and asked to interview me for an article she was writing entitled, The Responsible Breeder. This article is in volume 12, and dated June 2008. For me, this was an immense confirmation of my accomplishments because Cat Watch is positively the leading magazine for feline healthcare and published by Cornell University of Veterinary Medicine.
The web address to order this magazine is: http://www.catwatchnewsletter.com/pub/12_6/
Being a Closed Cattery
Lilac Farms is a closed cattery who's felines reside indoors only. A closed cattery means that our felines are never exposed to felines who do not reside within our cattery. We are extremely strict with this rule. We do not show our cats for this reason. Ringworm runs ramped at cat shows and many catteries who show their cats have ringworm. This is a dirty little secret that numerous catteries actively showing their cats keep from the general public. To prevent our cats and clients from ever contracting and or spreading ringworm, we don’t allow our felines to compete in cat shows. Hence, we sacrifice the championship status Lilac Farms felines would most likely receive if they were exhibited.
All of Lilac Farms foundation felines were tested and found negative for PKD, Feline Panleukopenia, FIV, Feline Leukemia, and Ringworm. The term foundation felines means, the very first breeding felines within the cattery. The ailments mentioned above are either contagious or strictly hereditary. Due to being a closed cattery and knowing that our foundation felines were tested and found negative for these issues, there is no further need for us to test our feline’s offspring. If ever we were to add a new feline into our cattery, that new feline would be put into a quarantined area or room for three months and tested for all of the above before being introduced to our existing feline pride.
I’m proud to say we were able to use, learn & follow the advice from one of the leading feline exclusive Veterinary Hospitals in the USA from 1998 until 2011. The name of that clinic is Cat’s Limited Veterinary Hospital, and they are located in West Hartford, CT. Cat’s Limited is strictly a cats only clinic. It is owned by Diana J. Lafer, DVM, and her expertise in feline healthcare is truly exceptional. Other then herself, she has two of the most noteworthy feline Veterinarians working along side of her, Dr. Katie McClaine and Dr. Laurie Hester. The clinic itself is state of the art, and I often walked in wishing my human clinic was just as nice. I must say, Cat’s limited is on the cutting edge of feline medicine, they believe strongly in continued education and their Drs. are constantly attending classes to keep up to date on the latest feline medical findings. They are equipped with the most modern of surgical equipment and perform many of their surgeries by laser. In addition, they are the only feline clinic in the state of CT, that is AAHA accredited, which is extremely important. I recommend anyone who owns a cat and lives within driving distance to go to them. Once you do, you’ll understand my enthusiasm for their practice. I have to say if it wasn’t for Cat’s Limited and their phenomenal Veterinarians, I wouldn’t be half as educated in my field as I am. As a note, all of Lilac Farms felines were regularly seen by Cats limited from 1998 to 2011 and to this day if ever something arises that I am questioning, I contact their clinic for assistance.
Cats Limited’s web site address is: http://www.catslimited.com/
AAHA’s web site address is: http://www.healthypet.com/
In mid 2011 upon moving to Southern California I researched numerous different Veterinary clinics in our area until I found one who I felt comfortable with, one that had the same belief in continued education and were up to date with their knowledge in feline healthcare. It took two whole years to find the right clinic for us and we are happy to have found Murrieta Oaks Veterinary Hospital in Murrieta CA. We've been their clients for a little over 2 years and have been very happy with the advice and care they have given us.
An Overview of Our Establishment.
Lilac Farms is beyond a full time job for me, it encompasses every moment of my life. And because I don’t use any cages, I need to be home 95% of the time. This is so I’m able to monitor any changes that may occur within our feline prides. We only have two breeding males at one time and neither know of the others existence. They each have their own large bedrooms. This is to keep them from feeling territorial, thus keeping them from feeling the need to mark their territory and spray, in other words, to urinate in our home inappropriately. I jokingly call our two males our little Hugh Hefiners. Each male has his own harem of beautiful females and gets to be involved as a Father in raising his children. Our females and their offspring are allowed to be in either their own male’s area or in the neutral territory. But, unless a female or their kittens are freshly bathed, they are not allowed to enter the opposite male’s area. This is so our our males/studs never smell the sent of each other. Like I mentioned above, if a stud (a non-neutered male) sees or smells the scent of another stud, he will feel the need to mark his territory and spray. By keeping our males separated in this way, we have been able to prevent our males from marking territory. If one of our males ever started to spray he would be neutered immediately. Spraying will quickly become a habit for a male cat. And if he isn’t neutered immediately, it is likely that he will spray his entire life. Therefore, to prevent one of our males from ruining his future life as a welcomed house cat, I’d rather sacrifice his services to our breeding program and neuter him.
Mothers and Birthing
From the date a female is first breed with a male until birth is usually between 66 to 72 days. Birthing can be difficult and always needs to be assisted by a human. Because of this, I stay by my pregnant females sides from their 66th day of pregnancy until birthing is finished. Birthing can sometimes take a long time. I’ve had females go into labor, give birth to one kitten and then not go back into labor for another 36 hours. It is not uncommon to have a litter born on two separate days. Because of this, I’m at my females beck and call and I spend many sleepless nights waiting until their final kitten is born. Once a kitten is born, it needs to be wiped off and have the fluids sucked from it’s lungs. Once this is done the kitten needs to have it’s umbilical cord tied off and be cut from the placenta. I then check for any birth defects such as a cleft pallet etc. Once I’m done taking care of the kitten’s immediate needs, I give it back to it’s mother, at which point she can lick and clean it. Often newborn kittens will have a hard time starting to suckle, so if they don’t latch onto their mother’s nipples within the first thirty minutes, I immediately assist by bottle feeding them. By doing this, it allows the kitten to gain some strength, and very soon after they will have the strength to suckle on their own. Because all the mothers like to care for each others kittens it is hard to tell if all the kittens are getting enough milk. To assist the mothers and to prevent any kitten from not getting enough milk, I help by bottle feeding all of our kittens every 3 to 6 hours for the first 6 weeks of their life. I’ve learned that by assisting them in this way, our mother cats don’t become worn out by their kittens and our kittens have a special bond and trust with humans. The combination of both feline and human rearing creates a desirable foundation for the most amazing adult cats.
The Appropriate Time to Leave the Nest
All our kittens are kept with me and their feline prides until they are at least 15 weeks of age, sometimes 18 weeks. This extended stay produces the best type of feline. Persian felines mature at a much slower rate then other feline breeds . Most people aren’t aware that for Persians, from eight to eighteen weeks of age is crucial for it’s behavioral development. During these ages, kittens are testing their own abilities and limits. They are also learning proper manners from the older cats in their pride. During this time the adults cats are the teachers and trainers, they are teaching the kittens proper feline behavior. It is the corrective and disciplining stage in a kitten’s life. The adult cats in the pride correct the kittens when they get out of line or are misbehaving. Therefore, kittens who stay with their feline family during this time become more confident, outgoing, and bold, as well as being more loving and gentle towards humans. They are also healthier and sound of mind. Kittens removed from their feline families at younger ages, frequently develop behavioral problems and are often fearful, less friendly & are likely to be less trusting towards humans.
Kitten pickups and or showings often last between 2 to 4 hours. This is because of all the information I'll go over during them. I only schedule one client appointment a day, this is so that I'm not away from the kittens for very long. By not using cages, my home is like a kitty preschool and I can't turn my back for more then a few hours a day. And due to expectant mothers, some days not a moment at all. At client pickups or visits, I'll go over food and healthcare. I also give detailed grooming instructions by providing grooming demonstrations. Clients also receive a packet containing all the information we go over so they won't forget a thing.
All our kittens are sold under contract with a very strict spay and neuter agreement. All kittens who leave us will have had a 3 course treatment of pyrantel, which is a deworming medication. All kittens who are adopted and picked up before they turn 16 weeks of age, will come with their first and second kitten distemper vaccination and will require their 3rd distemper vaccination as well as their rabies shortly after they turn 16 weeks of age. Any of our kittens who have not been adopted by the age of 17 weeks will recieve their complete set of kitten distemper vaccinations as well as their Rabies while residing with us.