TICA British Shorthair / Longhair:
* Please contact us for breeding pric
This is a question we are sometimes asked and so we have decided to include an explanation of why this is so, on our website. We would first like to start with this important information;
We feed our nursing queens the best, holistic cat food and supplements that we can find. Our queens are fed Life's Abundance dry food, Instinctive Choice wet food, and Oxy-Mama vitamins, with additional probiotics and other supplements for a healthy immune system, and well balanced diet. They also always have access to a water fountain that filters their water to keep it extra fresh. This diet allows our mamas to have an abundant milk supply so that they can care for their kittens. We always allow mamas to care for their kittens all on their own unless we notice a kitten that needs extra help, that is when we will intervene and offer the additional assistance needed. However, there are some instances that are beyond our control and despite our best efforts we will occasionally lose a kitten, the same goes for any breed of cat but kittens with the dwarf gene are particularly fragile for their first 4-6 weeks of life. Because of this, dwarf kittens are far more rare and often more challenging and delicate to raise than non-standard (ns) dwarf kittens. That is the first reason for their increased value. Next, in a litter with one dwarf parent and one regular long-legged parent, each kitten statistically has a 50% chance of having the dwarf gene. We have found that in actuality the percentage is smaller in most litters and closer to 20-30% dwarf kittens, rather than 50%. Rarely are litters exclusively made up of dwarf kittens. It would be amazing if they were!
In addition, dwarf kittens grow at a slower rate than their NS (regular) siblings which can sometimes pose extra challenges. As I mentioned before, rarely are litters exclusively made up of dwarf kittens, and since NS kittens start out larger and grow faster (sometimes 50% faster) than their dwarf siblings, this makes competing for prime nursing positions difficult for the dwarf kittens. The NS kittens typically end up with the best nursing spots because of their size advantage, and the dwarf kittens will get whatever is left over, making it necessary to supplement feed the dwarf kittens, otherwise they become weak and will not survive. If a kitten requires supplemental, assisted feeding (via syringe/bottle or tube), and stimulation to expel waste matter (go to the bathroom), this means around-the-clock care which must occur every 2-4 hours, 24 hours a day, until they are eating solid food, around 4-5 weeks old. That is a lot of feedings, and yes, it can be exhausting.
As you can see, a lot of monitoring, and extra work goes into ensuring the survival of these precious tiny treasures for the first several weeks of their life. After they are out of the woods they lead normal, happy, healthy, lives, just as their NS siblings do! ...although, they are extra adorable!!!
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