The Cattery

 
B
Street Cattery is located in Washington, IL - 11 miles east of Peoria, IL, almost centered (N/S) between Chicago, IL and St. Louis, MO. 
(See Map)

B Street Cattery is a licensed cattery in the state of Illinois and registered with
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 | Cattery Construction Pictures


 

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 family
     - 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 recommended, I am not sure about the "surround sound" setups in each birthing room... on the other hand, if I can convince my wife...:-)

To learn 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.

Pictures of 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 and worry.
 

 
Cattery Visits
 
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.

In 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 - Construction Photographs

Below are 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 pictures.... 

 

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 Pad".

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...

11/07/08

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!! :-)

 


Main Cattery

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 startled.

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 play room.


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 office. 


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 stops by.