Purrfect Health
The basics to good feline health are:

to keep your cat indoors (don't let it roam free); seek quality, regular veterinary care & annual vaccines; feed quality food; keep its environment clean and
provide a stress-free life giving him/her love & play/exercise.
KaDoKits Exotics
I am so excited that you have decided to adopt one of our sweet kitties!  
We have had a lot of fun raising the babies and have worked hard to make sure they are healthy, content, and ready to be loving family members.  We hope that you enjoy your new KaDoKits kitty as much as
we have.  If you ever have any questions or concerns or just want to cat chat, please feel free to call or email me!  I would love to hear from you from time to time & know how your kitty is doing and to see photos.
Food

I feed Acana brand Meadowlands recipe dry kibble. I also make a "Chicken Pate" they enjoy.
Wet/canned food is not required when feeding a high quality kibble like Acana.

Be careful about changing foods often as it upsets the kitty’s digestion.  Changes should be made
by gradually adding the new food and decreasing the old food over a 1 week period.
Always feed a high quality food…cheap foods have a lot of fillers and cause nasty stools.
Offer as much dry food as your cat will eat served in a clean dish every day.  Canned food is not
necessary, unless your cat demands it and seems to do better on it.  
Table scraps and milk may cause diarrhea. Many people foods like garlic and onions are
poisonous to cats.
Cats do not need treats or snacks, they are much happier if you play with them.
If your altered pet starts getting overweight, follow your vet’s guidelines on which food to feed &
how much.
Always have clean fresh water available.
You may want to avoid using plastic feeding dishes as some cats are allergic to plastic. They can
also cause chin acne (black crusties on the chin).
I use Pyrex dishes I buy at the thrift store.  They are easy to put in the dishwasher for cleaning, and
they're heavy enough not to be knocked over.
You can also use stainless steel or crockery.
Chicken Pate

2 packages chicken hearts,
2 packages chicken gizzards,
2 tubs chicken livers,
6-8 chicken thighs or 2 of the back & dark meat portion of a whole chicken.
Feel free to add chicken or turkey necks as well.
6-8 oz of dried green split peas
1/2 cup of brown rice

In a Crockpot, mix organ meat, peas and rice.
Layer chicken pieces on top with skin up, completely covering organ meat.
Cook for 24 hours on low.
When done, remove excess skin.
Use a hand wand blender or food processor to puree, including bones.
Add 6-8 eggs, blend. Cook additional 30 minutes.
Allow to cool completely; cover cookie sheet with parchment paper, drop large spoonfuls,
freeze, place frozen pate in freezer bag.

When ready to feed, defrost pate in microwave, mix with a teaspoon or so of Nancy's plain
low-fat yogurt (best brand for probiotics)
Litter Box
I use large, deep litter pans that give the cats enough room to do their business comfortably.  You can use one with a cover; however, they have a tendency to trap odors and some cats don't like them.
Use a good quality scoopable litter.  Be careful about strong fragrances since some cats can't tolerate them.  Keep litter about 3 inches deep since cats like to dig and cover their waste.  Scoop your kitty’s box
once or twice a day.  If a cat refuses to use its litter box, it is usually because it is full of waste, they do not like the location or they do not like the brand of kitty litter.  Completely change the litter about once or
twice a month, depending on your cat’s preferences and the type of litter you use.
It is recommended to have at least one litter box per cat plus one extra.  They should be placed in different areas of the house, especially if you have a large house or two stories. Some cats can become
territorial over the litter boxes so be mindful of their needs. Also, some cats develop a habit of urinating on plastic (bags, boxes, etc.) because of the odor, so be watchful.
Toys
Cats love cardboard boxes and paper bags to hide in & attack.  They also like plastic bags because of the noise they make so be careful to keep those put away!  Cats are hunters by nature…they like to watch
their prey, stalk it and pounce!  They love to hide and chase things.  

Choose toys that are well made for cats.  When evaluating a cat toy, think of how you would choose a baby toy…what can they get in their mouths, chew on, choke on, cut themselves with, or get toes stuck in.  
Also, chose a variety of toys that the cat can amuse herself with and those you can play with her with. Be careful about cat toys found in supermarkets, the quality is often poor.  Shop for toys at cat shows or
specialty pet stores.  A little more expense in this area is worth an emergency trip to the veterinarian!  
DO NOT LET YOUR KITTY PLAY WITH YARN OR STRING!!!!   
Cats will often eat yarn, string, tinsel, etc.  It can cause a blockage in the intestines and can sometimes cut through the intestinal wall. Also, watch out for twist ties, tape and cellophane.

Some of our favorite toys are
a disk with cardboard in the center and a ball around the perimeter for chasing,
kitty teasers with feathers, tinsel, strings, balls, etc on the end,
laser lights, balls, and plastic springs
and tall cat trees for climbing and scratching and playing hide & seek!
Furniture
Cats will usually sleep wherever they please.  They do prefer confined places that feel like a den....like bags, boxes, deep pet beds, in front of your computer screen, or the bathroom sink.
Another piece I feel we can't live without is a cat tree. Cats love to climb and play chase on it.  Make sure there is sisal on at least one post for scratching.  It's best if there is a little house for hiding and several
shelves. I like the tall ones (at least around 5 feet) because the cats like heights. Sprinkling a little cat nip on the tree o
r preferred bed will help the cat accept where you want him to sleep.
Safe Children

Many breeders have concerns about placing their kittens with families who have very young children. Babies and toddlers are in a developmental stage when they think they are the center of the universe and
everything revolves around them.  They don't yet have the capacity to understand that their actions have an effect on other people or animals. Preschoolers are just beginning the process of understanding
that their behavior has good and bad effects on other people and animals.  They are learning the value of praise/rewards for good behavior and scolding/punishment for naughty behavior.

It is important that families establish consistent rules for young children's behavior with animals. It is always necessary to supervise young children with animals.
Even the best behaved, sweetest child will forget and do something that could harm an animal....this can result in a bite or scratch.

Some of my rules for children are....
1.  Never ever chase a cat
2.  Do not bother a cat when it is on its cat house or in a hiding place
3.  Do not bother a cat when it is eating or using the litter box
4.  Always provide a way for your cat to get away from children....through a barrier gate or up on high furniture, etc.
5.  Small children are not allowed to pick up or carry the cat until they are physically able to keep themselves and the cat safe.
6.  Do not pull on the cat's body parts or poke it in the eye, ear, etc.

What is important is that you decide on the rules and stick to them!  
Grooming
Whether you chose an Exotic or a Persian/Exotic Longhair, you are going to have issues with grooming.  These breeds have been selectively bred to have thick coats.  The Persian has a long, luxurious coat
and the Exotic has a plush, medium length coat.  Animals shed
(the most) twice a year when the major weather changes occur.

Combing
An Exotic Shorthair will need to be combed about every week, depending on the individual’s coat type.  They usually do not mat, however their shedding undercoat needs to be combed out to prevent hairballs.  
During shedding season (about twice a year) you may think your Exotic will go bald!  They shed all of that fabulous thick undercoat so they can grow some more.  During shedding season, an Exotic needs to be
combed every day.

A Persian/Exotic Longhair needs to be combed several times a week, or maybe daily depending on the coat type.  A Persian’s shedding hair gets caught up in the long hair and mats, especially behind the ears
and under the armpits.  One icky thing that happens with the Persians is sometimes their poop gets stuck to their “britches” after they use the box.  I sometimes find land mines on the floor, more so with
kittens…their coats can be different.

When combing, especially with the long hair, divide the cat’s coat into sections.  (Think of how you would comb a little girl’s long hair.)  Start at the rear.  Comb at the ends of the hair first, then work your way to
the skin.  If there are tangles/mats, break them apart with your fingers before combing them out.  Move to the next section closer up on the cat, etc.   When done with the body, do the mane and ruff.  Last, ease
the cat onto its side & comb under the armpits, its chest & belly, and under its rear legs.  I do one side at a time.  Be very careful with the tail and britches…that’s sensitive area.

If your kitty protests too much, keep in mind that they are like a two year old.  It’s for their own good & it needs to be done.  Be the boss, talk kindly, be firm, don’t tolerate biting, etc.  You can use a foamy door
mat on your table top to sit the cat on.  This gives the cat something to dig its claws into & gives it a sense of stability.  The more frequently you comb, the less time each session will take. You always must be
the one who decides when grooming is done. Never let your cat run away from your grooming session. If your cat is getting too upset, stop grooming, calm your cat and then let him go. You can always do
another session later. A
monthly bath helps to remove the dead hair also.

…did you say bath??
Most Exotics & Persians/Exotic Longhairs benefit from an occasional bath to remove excess oils, dirt, and dead hair.  You must comb out all mats before the bath or they’ll get worse!  You can bathe in the sink
or bathtub, whichever is more comfortable for you. An important thing to remember is to get all of the soap rinsed out.  
Use plain Dawn dish soap (blue, has a duck on the label) for the first shampoo, rinse, then
shampoo
with a product especially formulated for use on cats. I like Equiss Botanical shampoo.
Do not use a flea shampoo.  Many pesticides are very toxic to cats.  If you use Advantage or Frontline flea control, a flea shampoo will overdose the cat.  Only use Advantage, Frontline or another comparable
product
from your vet!  Cheaper store brands are very toxic to cats!!   Also, do not use a shampoo intended for dogs.  After the soap is rinsed out thoroughly, use a hair dryer to dry the coat.
If bathing the cat yourself is more than you can imagine doing, make an appointment with a groomer who is experienced in bathing cats.  Most cats do not have to be sedated for a bath if the person bathing it
knows what they are doing.

Haircuts
To decrease the problems with shedding in the summer, you can have the cat shaved down.  Many people enjoy doing a “lion’s cut”.  The body is shaved leaving the tail, mane & legs long.  Go to your vet or a
groomer who is experienced in shaving cats. Another partial cut useful with longhairs, is to have the cat’s underside shaved or clipped close with scissors.  Go from the upper armpits to just to the rear end.  This
way the hair on the sides & back is still long & pretty. If the britches catch poop (mostly a problem with the longhairs), clip the hair a little around the bottom…just enough to keep the stuff from getting
caught…nothing extreme needed.  Be extremely careful with scissors or clippers!  A cat’s skin is very loose and it is quite easy to cut the skin by mistake.

Claws
Cats sharpen their claws on carpet & furniture to exercise and to mark their territory.  It is very frustrating to have an animal ruin your belongings.  There are several things you can do to deal with this behavior.
First, keep his nails clipped short using nail clippers made for use on a cat’s claws.  Do not cut into the quick (the blood vessel at the base of the nail). Second, buy a good quality, tall cat tree.  It’s best if at least
one of the posts is covered in sisal rope.  My cats also like the cat toys with cardboard disks in the center & a spinning ball on the outside ring.  Seasoning the cat tree & disks with cat nip helps convince the cat
to use their furniture & not yours. Third, if your kitty is testing your resolve for him not to claw your stuff, using a spray bottle filled with water to squirt the cat when he is engaged in the offending behavior may
work.  Pair the squirt with a firm “No”.  This only works if the cat is squirted when he is actually misbehaving!

De-clawing is the surgical removal of the first toe joints which forever removes the cat’s claws.  Post-surgery is very painful.  A de-clawed cat that gets outside cannot defend itself against enemies and may have
a harder time climbing.  I do not recommend de-clawing a cat except in the most extreme circumstances since it is a very cruel & inhumane procedure.

Eyes
With the flat faces and short noses that Exotics and Persians have, their eyes tend to tear a lot.  The tear ducts can get blockages easily making it more difficult for the tears to drain into the nasal cavity.  The
tears collect in the eyes and create a discharge.  With the extra fluid, often bacteria forms and causes minor eye infections.  This is why the drainage is often brown.

Exotics and Persians need help with keeping their eyes clean.  I have a set of soft washcloths just for the cats.  I
wet the washcloth in warm water and use it to clean a cat’s face.  Only one cat per washcloth and
I use it only once.  You can also use make-up pads or 2”x2” gauze pads to clean around a cat’s eyes.
Use a dry pad or corner of the washcloth to dry the fur around the eyes.
Artificial Tears eye ointment can be helpful with soothing irritated eyes.
During allergy season you can use Opticon eye drops for eye allergy relief.  
If there is pus, or the cat has trouble opening its eyes, see your veterinarian.  Sometimes they need a treatment of antibiotic eye drops.

Traveling
The enjoyment of traveling with your cat will depend on your cat’s disposition.  A cat who enjoys traveling can be a lot of fun in motel rooms.  ALWAYS use a carrier to transport your cat.  You never know what
might frighten even the most laid back cat.  A frightened cat turns into a high speed moving streak of claws, hissing and teeth.  Even when caught, they can get out of your grasp like a little kid acting like limp
spaghetti. Using a body harness made for cats and a leash is a good precaution.  But remember, cats can get out of a lot of things because of that loose skin.

I strongly recommend microchipping your cat!  The microchip is the size of a grain of rice.  The vet uses a special needle that places the chip under the skin in the neck.  The procedure is quick and quite
painless.  It is a small price to pay if your cat ever gets out & is picked up by someone.  Vets and shelters have scanners they can read the chip with.  They take the number from the chip & contact the
registries.  As long as you have kept your contact information current, you can be notified of your cat’s whereabouts.
Bringing Home Baby
Bringing home your new kitty is so exciting!  You have waited a long time for a special fur friend and have spent a lot of effort in finding just the right kitty for your family.  It is important to understand that any
animal may be shy and sometimes afraid when they get to their new home.  Make sure there are no extra visitors in your house the first day or so to keep down the chaos.  Remind all of your family members not
to pester the new arrival too much the first few days.  Give your kitty a chance to get used to its new surroundings.  He will come to you when he is ready and ask for love.

First
As soon as you get home, put your new kitty in his litter box.  It is important not to move the litter box because the kitty will forget where it is.  Keep your kitty confined to one room of the house until he settles in.  
Make sure the room is safe so there are no hiding places the kitty will get stuck in.  A frightened cat can get themselves into some impossible hiding places.  I once had a new kitten who tried to climb up the
chimney! Place the kitty’s water and food where he can get it when he wants.  Don’t be alarmed if your kitty doesn’t eat for a day or two.  Some cats can take a lot longer to adjust to a new home.  Do not change
any children in the household not to chase the cats.  My kittens are raised around children and are used to their rambunctiousness.  But any kitty may need a little time to settle in to her new home.  
 

I would like to share some brief information about some common feline diseases all cat owners should be aware of.
For more specific and current information, please consult your veterinarian.

POLYCYSTIC KIDNEY DISEASE (PKD)

PKD is a genetic disorder found in the Persian breeds (Persians, Himalayans, Exotics) and breed that use Persian breeds as outcrosses. PKD causes cysts to form on the cat's kidneys which destroys the
kidneys' ability to function.

Kittens can inherit a gene for PKD from one parent or two parents.  If they have two genes, they often die when young kittens.  If they inherit one gene, they can live for a few to several years. Once a cat starts
showing symptoms of the disease (like renal failure) it is most humane to have the cat euthanized.  Death from PKD is very painful and the cat just wastes away.

Breeders today are breeding towards PKD free cats. A cat can be diagnosed positive or negative for the PKD gene through a DNA test done at UC Davis (California, USA) or Gribbles laboratory (Australia).
Before the DNA test became available, breeders could have their cat's kidneys scanned via ultrasound by an experienced veterinarian.  The ultrasound would show if the kidney showed signs of cysts (a
"positive" sign for PKD) or if the kidneys were normal and healthy.

When buying/adopting a kitten/cat you should always ask for the cat's DNA PKD status and/or the DNA PKD status of their parents and/or grandparents. Once a cat is DNA negative, they will never contribute a
PKD gene to their offspring. Adopting a PKD positive cat should not be out of the question.  Some breeders do breed PKD positive cats in order to try to get a negative offspring and maintain a wide gene pool.
For example, a mother may have one gene for PKD (she's positive) and the father is negative (he has NO PKD genes). Statistically, 1/2 the kittens could be positive and 1/2 negative.  
The breeder would plan to keep a negative daughter to replace the mother in the breeding program.  The positive mother and positive offspring would be altered and placed as pets.  
Any time a breeder places a PKD positive cat, they should always inform the adopting family!  That adopting family needs to be sure they are ready for the cat's early death and the possible need for humane
euthanasia when the time comes.  These cats can still give a lot of love and companionship to their families.

WHY ON EARTH breed a cat that will die and produce kittens that will die?
When PKD started showing up, it devastated the Persian breed.  Nearly 30% of the breeding cats were lost to the disease.  That means the gene pool shrank tremendously.
In order to keep a breed healthy, there has to be enough genetic diversity to keep the cats healthy and robust.

If you breed, or are thinking of starting to breed, PLEASE, PLEASE DNA test all your breeding cats!  And ALWAYS be honest to adoptive families about their new cat's PKD status!
When you buy a new cat for your breeding program, have it DNA PKD tested as a contingency of the sale.

HYPERTROPHIC CARDIOMYOPATHY (HCM)

HCM is a disease of the heart muscle.  It causes the heart to enlarge. It progresses over time, but the symptoms are so subtle, that the cat often gets sick and dies very suddenly. It is thought that HCM is a
hereditary genetic disease and research is ongoing to develop a diagnostic DNA test.  It currently appears that each breed needs its own DNA test.  Progress is underway for Maine Coons and Devon Rex

FELINE INFECTIOUS PERITONOSIS (FIP)

FIP is one of the most feared and difficult diseases in the cat world. It is actually caused by a mutation of the common Corona virus. Once a cat contracts FIP, it can be a carrier and shed virus thereby infecting
other cats, or it will die from the disease.

It is an unfortunate viral trick of nature and cannot be forseen. It is thought that there might be a predisposition to a weak immune system that causes some cats to get FIP and others to fight it off. A few things
can be done in managing your cat population to lower the risk of FIP: Keep litter boxes meticulously clean.  Scoop at least every day and change litter frequently. Reduce the stress your cats undergo. Play with
them every day to exercise them. Do not allow them to roam freely outdoors or come into contact with strange cats. Keep your population to a number so the number of cats comfortably fits into the space they
occupy.  It is thought that cats should be separated into groups of about 3 cats.

There is a lot of research left to do. It is very heartbreaking to lose a pet.  Fortunately, from what we know today about FIP, a person no longer has to euthanize all their cats who were exposed to the one that
died. A cat population can live on in a healthy state without another cat ever contracting FIP.

FELINE IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (FIV) (Feline AIDS)

The virus is in the same family of viruses as the human HIV, but it does not cause HIV or AIDS in people!! It is transmitted through bodily fluids, quite often from the cats using the same food and water bowls as
an infected cat, or from grooming an infected cat. I blood test all of my new cats for FIV and all of them are negative.  They never come into contact with other cats who have not been tested negative. It is very
important to have any new kitten/cat tested before mixing them with your cat population.  It is a good idea to have your new kitten/cat tested when you first get them just to be sure.  
Consult your veterinarian for advice. DO NOT allow your cats to roam freely outdoors!!

FELINE LEUKEMIA (FeLV)

FeLV is a viral disease, that causes cancer, blood disorders, and lowers resistance to infection.
It is spread through contact with bodily fluids.
I blood test all of my new cats so everyone in my household has tested negative. DO NOT allow your cats to roam freely outdoors!!