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Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean to have a registered pedigree cat from a registered cattery?  Having a cattery registered with one or more of the major cat registries lends legitimacy to the cattery and the kittens born in that cattery.  There are several cat registries, with the CFA (Cat Fanciers' Association) and TICA (The International Cat Association) being the largest.  If you want to show a pedigree cat in a CFA or TICA cat show, it must be registered in the appropriate organization.  Mythicbells is  registered with both CFA and TICA.  Each litter is registered individually with CFA (and TICA upon request).  The registration for each litter provides the vital information for the kittens in that litter to legitimize their heredity as pedigreed kittens.  This includes date of birth, name of father and mother, breeders name, etc.  As a pet, your kitten does not need to be registered.  However,  I feel that if you have gone to the expense of securing a pedigreed kitten as your valued family member, it is your right to have registration papers on that kitten should you choose to have them.  These papers will be provided to you upon proof of spay/neuter.  IF you have purchased breeding rights to the kitten, you will need to register the kitten and will receive papers and a PIN number to indicate that you have purchased the breeding rights to that kitten.  Without the PIN number, CFA (or TICA) will not allow you to register the cat with breeding rights.

I've heard about 'Teacup Persians,' 'Pixie Persians,' 'Toy Persians.'  What's the deal here?  PLEASE be careful of anyone using these terms.  There are some very small Persians due to a genetic anomaly upon which a few breeders are attempting to develop legitimate  lines.  As far as I know, these are the ONLY true 'Teacup Persians.'   Many of the cat breeds began this way, for example the Scottish folds, the American Curls, the LaPerms, and others.  Some were purposely created, for example the Himalayans, when someone crossed a Siamese with a Persian.  I'm sure that all of these breeds or variations had their detractors in abundance in the beginning.  It's possible that Teacup Persians will one day be recognized, but so far that is not the case. The majority of breeders using the term "Teacup," "Mini-Persian," "Pixie," or whatever, are more than likely breeding shaded silvers and goldens which tend to be a bit smaller than the other color divisions.  They are not "Teacups."

What in the world is a 'Shaded Golden,' or a 'Shaded Silver?' And what does 'Chinchilla' mean?  This is an area of considerable confusion, but genetically fascinating. They are a division of Persians, and often thought of as the "Rolls Royce" of Persians.  The elite.  They often are sold for higher prices.  Probably the most famous Shaded Silver Persian is the Fancy Feast Cat.   Genetically, a shaded silver/golden is unique and somewhat different.  Traditionally, they have a slightly longer nose, though many breeders have pushed for and succeeded in achieving the more extreme face in their shaded silver/golden lines in order to make them more competitive in the show rings.  What makes these cats somewhat unique is the 'inhibitor' gene.  These cats are actually genetically black tabbies, but because of the inhibitor gene, their undercoat becomes increasingly lighter as they mature until they are white (or gold), with black ticking on their backs.  The strength of the inhibitor gene dictates how light they become.  I often tell people that they are like the Lipizzaner horses because they are born black (or very dark) and lighten as they mature.  Tiny Bear (see the 'Parent Cats' page) is almost completely white.  The very light colored shaded silvers and goldens are called "Chinchillas."  A subset of the shaded silver Persian is the shaded goldens which, put simply, comes about when two shaded silver Persians carrying the recessive golden trait, or two goldens are mated.  Or, as in the case of my cats: a chinchilla silver, carrying gold mated with a shaded golden.  Therefore, shaded goldens are quite unique, and a Chinchilla shaded golden (very light colored), even more so.  Another genetic trait of the shaded silver/goldens is that they will ALL have green to blue-green eyes at maturity. (Please note that the term "Chinchilla" in other countries often means the shaded golden and silvers without regard to the extent of their shading.  The term "shell" is sometimes applied to those cats who are very lightly shaded.)

What are 'Shaded BLUE Goldens,' or 'Shaded BLUE Silvers?'  These beautiful and still rare cats are the dilute versions of the above.  Shaded Blue Goldens will look a bit like a de-saturated Shaded Golden, while Shaded Blue Silvers will have gray ticking on their backs as opposed to black ticking.  To get the 'Blues' a breeder needs to have two breeding cats that both carry the dilute gene.  The blue shadeds were accepted by CFA for championship competition in their color divisions in May of 2009.  Description and photos of The Blues.

Okay, then, what is a Himalayan?  Are they Persians, or what?  You may have found your way to my website looking for a Himalayan.  Some of my early ads still show Himalayans at Mythicbells.  I had hoped to breed them as they continue to be a favorite with me.  Unfortunately, with a small program such as mine, certain choices have to be made, and that plan didn't work out.  But, Himalayans are considered a color division of the Persian breed by the Cat Fanciers' Association, and are therefore considered Persians by them.  Some other registrations consider the Himalayans a separate breed.  Technically, they are not quite 'pure' Persians since somewhere in their background they started out with a Siamese crossed with a Persian.  Some 'purist' Persian breeders will not allow CPC Persians in their programs.  You may hear the term "CPC."  This means 'Color Point Carrier.'  Any 'CPC' Persian may or may not actually carry the color point gene, but has a Himalayan somewhere in their pedigree.  It takes two cats carrying the gene to produce a Himalayan, so you might actually have two non-looking Himalayans who can produce Himalayan kittens.  However, a Himalayan will only pass on the CPC gene and therefore two Himalayan cats will have all Himalayan kittens.  A Persian that has the pointed color pattern of the Siamese is considered a Himalayan, and should also have blue eyes.  In every other respect it should have the long fur, cobby body, shortened face, etc. of the standard Persian.

Is a male or female better?  And which is easier to introduce to established family pets?  I'm often asked these gender questions.  I can only tell you my own experience.  I've had both genders of cats.  In general,  I've found females to be just a bit more independent than males.  But every kitty is an individual and, once neutered, males and females only exhibit subtle differences.  As for which gender is the easiest to introduce into a household?  I have people call and tell me that they want a male because they already have a female cat (or visa versa), and were told that a male and female would get along better.  I don't know this to be true.  I know that jealousy issues definitely can arise when introducing a new animal, but I've had very little trouble with Persians of either gender.

... AND what about males spraying?  Yes, this can happen -- but it's rare in a neutered male.  It's preferable to neuter males before they begin spraying (at around 6 - 8 months), but neutering an adult male will, in most cases, stop the spraying habit, though it may take a few weeks or months.  Also, though many don't know this, females can spray (both neutered and non-neutered) -- again, it's rare in a spayed female.  Households that experience spraying from spayed or neutered cats are generally multiple cat environments where the cats feel as if they are in competition with each other for territory.

Is it difficult to introduce a new cat into a home with established cats.  This will depend on the personality of the pet you already have.  The kitten will probably want to make friends as soon as he or she becomes accustomed to the new environment, but the older pet is going to feel threatened, so you will need to be patient.  Some take longer than others.  I've had it be a non-event or, as in one case with an older cat, it took several months for her to accept the new kittens.  Usually, they are tolerating each other within a few days, and full acceptance on average is two weeks.

What about having an ONLY cat?  Will it get lonely?  I, personally, would always like to see my kittens go to new homes in pairs.  It's fun for them and the new owners.  However, I highly respect the pet owner who knows their limits.  Quite often that limit is ONE cat.  An ONLY cat does quite well once they adjust to their new environment, and quickly becomes accustomed to being king or queen of the family.  I would like to emphasis, however, that these are SOCIAL cats!!  As such, they should not be left for long periods of time without human companionship and attention.  If you work long hours, I STRONGLY recommend two kittens.  If you plan to introduce another cat at some later date, it's advisable to do it while the resident cat is fairly young, as they can get quite attached to their royal status as the one and only family pet.

Why do most breeders keep their kittens until at least 12 weeks, and some even longer?  Yes, I know many puppies and kittens go to new homes at 8 weeks and sometimes even younger.  You will usually find this to be the case in animal shelters, or large breeding operations where it's necessary to move them out as soon as possible....and, of course, we all know that they usually manage fine in their new homes.  However, most breeders do not like to let their kittens go that early for a number of reasons, especially if they are going with a health guarantee:

It's often advantageous to the socialization and health of the kitten to not rush weaning.  A kitten going to a new home at 8 weeks is going to have to be rushed through this important adjustment.

Through nursing, kittens will benefit from their mother's immunity to diseases  for up to 6 to 10 weeks of age.  This varies from kitten to kitten and is always an unknown.  Therefore the kitten needs to be vaccinated at around 9 weeks of age, then again 3 - 4 weeks later.  A kitten going to a new home, with all of the ensuing stress, is going to be particularly vulnerable to disease, and needs time for its immune system to build up, so it's ideal for a kitten to at least have its first effective vaccination BEFORE entering a new environment.  Yes, kittens are often vaccinated the first time at 6 - 8 weeks of age, but if the mother's immunity is still protecting the kitten, it renders the vaccine useless.  This is why a series of kitten vaccinations several weeks apart is recommended to cover the transition.  At 12 weeks we are pretty sure the kitten has made this transition and will not be caught in the void unprotected during the stress of adapting to a new home.

By 12 weeks of age, the kitten has had sufficient time to be on solid food for a while as well as develop good litter box habits; the inevitable kittenish problems of goopy eyes and upset tummies is pretty much over, and the reputable breeder is more confident that the kitten can be launched with the least amount of trauma to either the kitten or the new family.  If you would like to read a more detailed explanation on the best age for kitten adoption, I found this article to be excellent:  http://www.breedlist.com/faq/young.html

What about vaccinations?   Since I mention vaccinations above, this might be a good time to address this question.  Recommended vaccination protocols along with other health related information is periodically published by the AAFP (American Association of Feline Practitioners).  This is something for the buyer to discuss with their veterinarian.  Other vaccinations to discuss are the FeLV, which is not considered a "core" vaccine and is recommended only for cats at risk (usu. outside or indoor/outdoor cats) and the rabies vaccination which is mandated by law. 

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