Even though they are a fairly new breed, the Exotic Shorthairs have quickly become the second most popular cat breed, second only to their ancestors the Persians. Much easier to care for, the Exotic is referred to as the “lazy man’s Persian”. If you are looking for a cuddly lap cat that is still lively and playful, this is the perfect breed. The Exotic Shorthair is a great pet for families and apartment living as well because they are such low maintenance. In our opinion, this breed is extremely easy to care for! Please be aware that because of the snub-nose (flat face) these kitties are very prone to upper respiratory infections. They can easily get over them with help from a vet and most likely antibiotics, plus plenty of rest and love.
We recommend and feed all our cats grain free dry and wet food. We switch between Fromm, Nutro, Blue Buffalo, and other high quality brands since their recipes are prepared with the freshest ingredients and offer the highest inclusion levels of meat, fish, fresh fruit, and fresh vegetables. You will truly notice a difference in your kitty's health, fur coat, and overall disposition when using high quality food.
For multiple cats we have not found a better litter than Fresh Step EXTREME in open air litter boxes. It reduces the smell and frustration that a litter box can cause. We are not able to use any of the new options like crystal litter or automatic litter boxes because we are training kittens to go to new families. We recommend you try to use what we do at first, and once the kitten has settled in you can switch things up to see how they like it!
Appropriate places for your cat to let out his scratching instincts are critical for long term behavioral success. We recommend not only one scratching post, but several. Having both vertical and horizontal scratching areas, made out of sisal as well as cardboard, can save your furniture and keep your kitty happy. As for toys, we try to always have a wide variety of feathers, catnip mice, bells, crinkle balls, etc...spoil your kitty with as many toys as you like, but don't be surprised when they also want to play with the cardboard box it came in!
Your kitty will need a pet carrier to be picked up from us, taken to the vet, and all travel. It is never a good idea to carry a kitty from the house to a car since they could get scared and jump out of your arms. For their safety, we recommend having a hard carrier if you are going to be driving a long distance because they will be better protected in the event of an accident, and usually come with an attached food/water dish. Soft carriers are fantastic for everyday use on short trips and usually come with more plush options like a fur lining or a bubble window for them to see out of.
We try to keep our kitty's claws trimmed to not only save the furniture, but to help them be more comfortable. If you do not feel like you can clip them yourself, your vet can do it for you or you can take them to a groomer. If you would like to try it on your own, please read this article about how to properly trim the claw without hurting your kitty: Scratching and Nail Trimming Tips
Exotics are a snub-nose breed, meaning their tear ducts are all squished up in their adorable flat face. With this comes the most common problem - runny eyes. Most of the time all you have to do is simply wipe them when you notice they need to be cleaned off, using just a simple paper towel or sensitive baby wipe. Some kitties are worse than others and may need more attention. Two things we use that are hugely impactful are Eye Envy and Lysine Gel. The Eye Envy is a tear stain remover that also builds up a protective layer on the fur to keep bacteria from growing, and the Lysine is a supplement that targets eye health and helps them have a general healthy immune system. Every cat is different, some may never need either of these products but if you find you have issues with excessive tearing they can really make a difference!
Most Exotics only need brushed once a week or so, and usually they aren't known to shed too much. Every year they will lose their winter coat and summer coat and will have a shedding period, but if you brush more often during those times then that will help them get through it quicker. We use a slicker brush for regular brushing, but during periods of high shedding we use the Furminator because it removes the loose hair and undercoat without damaging the topcoat or hurting their delicate skin.
PKD stands for Polycystic Kidney Disease and is unfortunately very common in the Persian breed. It is an inherited disorder in which small, closed, liquid-filled sacs develop in the tissue of the feline kidney. These sacs (cysts) tend to multiply in number and grow in size over time, eventually overwhelming normal kidney tissue and often leading to potentially fatal kidney failure. There is no explanation for the development of these cysts except for a genetic anomaly. In an affected cat, the cysts are present at birth and, though minuscule, may be diagnosed by testing. We are very blessed to have all PKD Negative parents and each kitten comes with the genetic testing paperwork showing their parents are negative to give the new owners peace of mind.
If you already have a kitty and plan on bringing home a new kitten, it is important to introduce them properly so they have the best chance of getting along and becoming friends. Here is some very helpful information on how to introduce a new kitten to your home, a method we have used multiple times ourselves with success each time: Introducing Two New Cats
This is a common myth with Exotics and we have not found it to be statistically true, at least with our kittens. We take socialization very seriously and try to make sure each kitten is not only happy to be around humans, but enjoys their attention. Each kitten has a different personality, just like us humans. If they want to lay on your face, they're going to! If they're more happy to just curl up next to you on the couch, then that's where they will be. We encourage everyone to let us know what they're looking for in a kitten so we can help guide you to the one that might fit best with your family. That is why we do not let anyone starting choosing their kitten until they are over a month old. We will have much better sense of personality by then and can help you make the best choice for your family.
Nutrition is so incredibly important to a cat's health and behavior. Recently, vets have started promoting a more "natural" diet to get as close to what they would be eating in the wild as possible. Dry food is great at keeping plaque off their teeth and is wonderful because they can free feed all day whenever they desire, but it can leave them dehydrated if they aren't drinking enough since they would naturally be eating raw food with plenty of water in it. It's incredibly important that they have fresh water every day because most cats tend to have bad kidneys and can develop kidney disease if they don't have enough hydration in their diet. That is why many vets are now suggesting to at least supplement wet food in when you can to help keep them hydrated, not to mention it is a great treat. Cats are known for being picky though, so don't be surprised if your cat completely ignores the wet food and never touches it, or has one bite and decides to never eat dry food again!
"...All the cats are so clean and well taken care of. They truly grow and learn in a home environment...the contracts are very easy to understand and also make sure the new owner is responsible for their new kitten. They don't just hand over the kitten and not care about their future. I would highly recommend Keystone Cats." - Liath's new family
"Bixby and Cheddage have quickly settled into their new home and we are completely in love with them. It's clear that they have been appropriately handled and well socialized, and we really couldn't have dreamed of sweeter kittens." - Bixby and Cheddage's new family
"Sophie is the perfect kitten...My veterinarian even commented that it was clear that her breeding family took great care of her both in terms of physical health and socialization. I would definitely recommend Keystone Cats to anyone looking for a new addition to their family." - Sophie's new family
"We love our girl Poppy!!! She is a wonderful addition to our family and my daughter just adores her. Thank you for the pictures sent and allowing us to come and meet her before adoption day. The entire experience was just wonderful." - Poppy's new family
"Just wanted to let you know that Charley is doing great. He is adorable and loving--a bundle of energy. He gets along really well with the two dogs. We take them all out on the screened in porch at night. Couldn't have found a greater pet. Thanks so much." - Charlemagne and Hershey's new family