located in Washington, IL - 11 miles east of Peoria, IL,
almost centered (N/S) between Chicago, IL and St. Louis, MO.
B Street Cattery is a licensed
cattery in the state of Illinois and registered
CFA - Cat Fanciers' Association and TICA - The
International Cat Association.
All our litters, kittens
and cats are registered in CFA (and TICA, if requested).
B Street Cattery is certified as a
CFA - "Cattery Of Excellence".
General "Cat-House" Information
Maine Coon Cat
Norwegian Forest Cat
The cattery itself is located in our
new home. During design and construction, the cattery was
one of our primary concerns.
We spent many hours discussing the layout, many more hours
pouring through books and articles describing the "perfect" cattery,
and even more hours trying to incorporate various aspects of catteries we
have seen. We realize that there is no such thing as a
"perfect cattery", but by keeping things flexible, we should be
able make reasonable changes, at any time, to accommodate almost any situation
that may come up.
All in all, it is a combination
of all the aspects we think are important for raising healthy
and happy kittens.
A partial list of
"design essentials" are as follows:
- Safe and secure
- Interaction with people, safely
- Bright and sunny
- Rooms of sufficient size (we do not rely on cages)
- Plenty of ventilation, in all areas
- Males need to be segregated, yet remain part of the
- Nursery has to be "expandable" to
accommodate and stimulate kittens
as they grow and develop
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Incorporate plenty of "interest" for
kittens and cats alike
To be sure,
there are many other items of importance to us, but these items
were the "essentials" and could not be compromised in any way
during the building of the house and cattery. We have had
our veterinarian and her assistant visit the house & cattery and
though we will incorporate a number of the items they
am not sure about the "surround sound" setups in each birthing
room... on the other hand, if I can convince my wife...:-)
more, please take some time to browse through the
pictures and commentary about our cattery. As always,
should you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
New Cattery under Construction
The Use Of Cages
One of the basic
requirements we have always had is to limit the use of cages in
our cattery. Though
cages have their place and there are certainly times when using
them is beneficial to the cats, the majority of the time (we
feel), they should not be used. To accommodate this belief requires space,
a lot of space and
not every cattery has the ability to do this. This does not mean
other catteries are not as good, or that the owners care less about their
cats, it simply means that we are fortunate enough to have the space
available and use it
(we believe) to benefit the kittens and cats we are raising.
Though we may not like to
use cages, we do
have them - they are used for isolation and confinement, when
necessary, but otherwise sit open and empty (except when
someone simply wants to be in them, or when the kittens and cats are
practicing for a show). Most of our mothers seem to like
to use them when birthing, but otherwise they generally sit empty.
Our cattery has been
designed with the emphasis being placed on the "cats".
Though we have combined our home with our cattery (a very common
and generally, beneficial practice), we have set aside and built many areas
dedicated specifically to our cats and their specific needs.
The walk-out basement of
our house is pretty much dedicated to the "cattery" and its
associated facilities. Within that area we have rooms
dedicated to the "whole" boys, areas specifically for mating
(including waterbed, fuzzy pillows, lava lamps & musak), birthing areas,
nursery and health care facilities. Along the back wall
(walk out) are plenty of windows letting in as much light as we
can. Many of the interior walls within the cattery are made up of
glass "French Door" panels which allow much of the light to enter into
many of the interior rooms, as well as for us to easily see in.
Each of these "panels", along with the windows themselves, can be
covered to visually isolate the room from outside distractions
Please be aware, though we welcome visitors, it is by appointment
only. Please contact us and we will gladly setup a time
for you to come and visit.
When you do come, either wear easily removable
shoes, or be prepared to put on shoe covers, which we will
provide (we recommend not wearing heavy work boots). In addition,
you will be asked to wash your hands and remove your coat, or
jacket before entering the house and cattery.
Do not expect to be able to see,
much less handle, kittens under six (6) weeks of age. Before
they have received their first shots, we limit all "outside"
contacts. Even after 6 weeks, possible direct
contact will be limited and strictly controlled and will be
entirely dependent on the current circumstances. We do not
wish to disappoint anyone, but our primary concern is for the cats health
and well-being, first and foremost.
When you come to our cattery the
first time, you will be introduced to "all" our cats - house
cats, as well as the breeding population. We do this so you can get a
feel for how all our cats react to new people, not to mention,
behave amongst themselves, which can give you an idea on how
your new kitten / cat may act in your home. Sometimes this may not be all
that good - our cats can mis-behave, but overall we feel it is
helpful and important to you, the possible new "cat servant". Many breeders will do the same, but not all and
it is something that we feel you should expect to have available, when looking for
a kitten at this level.
addition, we will introduce you to our "whole" males. Not
only will we introduce you to them, you will go into the areas
where they live and get to see what their lives are like and see how
they are treated. Male cats, particularly when left
"whole" (with ALL their parts) are for some, difficult to deal
with. Many will "spray" (mark their territory) which
leaves behind a very pungent smell - pungent to humans at least.
Some, will not get along with each other very well either.
Both these problems (and others) can make it difficult for some
to to deal with and all too often, result in their being kept in
out of the way places that are not always good for the cats.
We understand these problems, accept them for what they are (a
challenge to resolve) and deal with it in a way that we believe,
is best for our boys and good for us. The boys are just as
much a part of our family, as any of our other cats and we want
you to see where and how they live. Again, you should
expect the same from any breeder / cattery.
New Cattery -
some pictures of various parts of the new cattery.
They are (to be sure) difficult to "see", but as we have
been asked a number of times what it is going to look
like, we felt we would at least try and give you some
idea. As progress is made we will update the
The Boys Move In
They were a bit nervous
at first (as were we), but after a few hours, some of
them started to wonder around checking things out.
Within a day or two, all of them were out and about.
Since then, we have made a few improvements, added a few
items for them and they are all enjoying the "Bachelor
Boys Room 1
& Mating Room
Boys Room 2
Boys Room 2
& Kitchen (sort of)
There are three
(adjoining) rooms dedicated to the "boys". Each
room is approximately 15 X 18 feet or so and have two
windows (each) looking outside, two have windows looking
out to the "shop". Doors between the rooms are
divided lite doors, so even when they are isolated, they
can see each other (unless we put in the screening).
All three rooms have a variety of shelving, ramps,
perches, etc. for the boys to roam around on. Room
1 will double as the mating room and room 3 has a sink,
cabinets and counter top.
Revision / Addition:
The boys area has
expanded from what was originally envisioned...again.
Three more rooms and a back porch have been added.
The rooms are obvious, it gives them more space to run
and play in, as well as more chances to segregate (in
comfort) any that do not get along and the back porch
will allow us to add "outside" areas to each room that
can be accessed by the boys. The porch is raised
off the ground by about 10 feet, so should limit the
visitation of most / many unwanted guests. With
this came the need for being able to readily "groom" the
boys (bathe), so a new grooming sink was added that will
allow us to easily keep up with that and help keep the
pesky pests off the boys as they venture out.
Pictures coming soon...
The boys area is going "GREEN".
Though, at this moment, the cost of fuel has
dramatically declined (over the summer gas was $4+ and
is now down below $1.95), we do not anticipate the trend
continuing through the winter, so... The central
heating and cooling in the boys area is being handled by
a "hydronic" (water) heating / cooling system that is
based on a "DIY" geo-thermal system, heated via solar
and cooled with ground tubes. Back-up heating is
with a gas water heater and electric heating element,
but we are hoping that when the system is complete, 90%
(+) of the heating and cooling will be energy
independent. The circulator pump and blower fan
will be driven by a solar electric system, with battery
back-up, to further enhance it's energy independence.
Now... If we could
only find a use for "used cat food" (waste, litter,
etc.) then we could REALLY go green!! :-)
The "main" cattery is
located in the house's lowest level... Often called a
"basement". The typical image the word "basement"
brings up in most minds (dark, dank, dingy, etc), does
not apply in this situation, as this is a light and airy
place. It is a "walk-out", with double doors, 8
windows and lots of light coming in. Most of the
walls and doors in the cattery are made up of divided-lite
door panels that allow light to come in throughout the
area and permits us to view most of the rooms where the
cats and kittens are located. The heating and
cooling (ventilation) in this area is a separate system
from the rest of the house and thus limits possible
cross-contamination, from - to the rest of the house.
Our "office" area (where we
spend most of our time) is located in the center of the
space and the various rooms used by the mother cats is
off from it. Though each group has plenty of
space, we do all we can to insure that all cats and
kittens get plenty of safe interaction time with us.
As the kittens reach 6 weeks of age and have received
their first set of shots, they are allowed to venture
out into the main area (the other cats, etc. are in
their rooms). With this, they get controlled
exposure to the typical things found in most homes - the
tv, computers / printers, toilet, coffee maker, shower
and all the other things that cause sudden noises, etc.
With this, we "hope" they become more confident and will
be better able to handle new things without being
Please keep in mind... It is
all but impossible for me to keep up with the changes
that go on. Some ideas we started off with do not
work out as well as we thought they would and are
changed / adjusted. When you come for a cattery
visit, you will be seeing what we are currently doing,
at any given moment. It may be a bit different
from how it is explained here. As time permits,
adjustments are made to the descriptions here, but we
are more interested in making sure the cats and kittens
are safe and secure, than in whether this website is up
to date. :-)
These are two of the
four birthing / nursery rooms. Each room has a
window to the outside world (which can be blocked off)
and a glass "dutch" door for entry. The dutch door
allows for the mother cats to come and go without the
babies getting out. Each room enters onto a
central hallway that then leads to the nursery play
room. Once the kittens get old enough (and the
mothers permit it) the doors can be opened / removed and
the kittens will have access to their room(s) and the
Looking from the kitten's "common room"
out through the nursery play room towards the office
area. Each room is separated by glass "French"
doors that allow light to pass through and us to see in.
The Nursery "Play Area". Once the
mother allows the kittens out of their birthing area,
they have a safe area to romp and play around in...Which
we can watch!!
Looking into the Nursery "Play Area" from
our office. We can sit at our desks and watch the
mothers and kittens going about their day and the antics
they come up with.
There comes a time when every kitten get's big enough to
be a threat, or at least a discomfort, to newer, younger
kittens and their mothers. When that time comes,
the "big kittens", and often their mothers, move into
the "Big Kitten Room". This is an area that can be
cut into two rooms, has views to the outside world and
can also be watched from our office. When coming
to pick up a kitten, this is the area they will
generally be in. The kittens here can easily be
"introduced" to the "house cats" that reside in our
This will be the kitchen /
grooming area / vet room for the cattery. A
shallow sink (48" wide) will go along the left wall
(picture to right) for bathing. An exam table will
go in the middle of the room for our vet to use when she