(Frequently Asked Questions)
Okay, I don't get a lot of questions other than "do you have kittens available", but now and then questions pop up that I would save time by answering publicly...
How much are your kittens?
The price for kittens depends on the kitten's quality and if it is being sold as a pet or to another breeder for show and breeding. Prices start at $600.
Why do kittens cost so much?!
I'm always being asked this by people -- or people tell me cat breeding must be a great "business" to be in to make money. First of all, this is NOT a business. Small breeders like myself are considered "hobby" breeders, but hobby doesn't really describe it either. Hobbies are something you can do as you have time and interest. The decision to become a breeder is much more serious than that. For me, my cats are all a cherished part of the family. They receive the best veterinarian care, eat premium cat foods, have tons of toys, and go through many pounds of cat litter each week. In order to form relationships with other breeders and insure I'm on track with breeding cats that well represent the breed, I show cats in CFA and TICA. Do I make money on the kittens I sell? Never! I do pay for some of the expenses I incur caring for them and showing.
Do you sell cats for breeding?
The answer is yes and no. If you are serious about learning about the breed, breeding to preserve these wonderful cats and are interested in showing your cats, then let's talk. Cat breeding brings with it a multitude of expenses (see above) and responsibility. It brings heartaches as well as joy. If you are looking for a cat to breed once so your children can experience the miracle of life firsthand, then no. For you, I'd suggest working with your local shelter or a cat rescue group to care for kittens or foster a pregnant cat.
I live out of state. Do you ship kittens or do I have to come pick it up?
I do ship kittens, however I much prefer to place kittens locally or have you come pick up the kitten in person. I like meeting you and it's nice for you to get to meet me and the kitten's parents in person. And now that I'm living in Montana, my shipping options are much more limited, meaning that I may not be able to ship a kitten when and where you want them.
Where do you come up with the names for your kittens?
So far, I've had a theme for each litter and the names come from the theme. Litter 1 was born during a rainstorm and so had names that fit the night they were born. Oh, that Jeremy name mixed in? Jeremy is my step-son and he watched this litter be born so when he asked if a kitten could be named after him, I agreed.
The names for Litter 2 came from Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books. Talia is a Herald; Kimbry and Tantris are Companions -- hence, the litter name. There are more Companion names I like, so look for further litters out of Talia to follow that theme.
Litter 3 is named for characters in Sara Douglass' Wayfarer Redemption series. There really aren't any "Wayfarers" in the books, but it's a good name for the litter. Zara, Cazna, Niah, and Faraday are Acharites. Azhure is Icarii. Axis is half Acharite and half Icarii.
As mentioned above, I had Companion names picked out for Talia's litter, so once again, we have a litter of little Companions. But the name for Litter 4 is The Travelers as these five babies were born in the car while we were enroute to Montana.
Litter 5 is called The Gifts because Shira decided early on Christmas Day that she wanted to be a mom-cat again. These five babies are her Gifts to me. Each of their names means "gift" or "gift from God".
Litter 6 is named in honor of my Czech heritage. My dad's family is from Czechoslovakia. I'd run across some Czech names I liked when naming the Gifts (Bozidar means gift from God) and so decided one day I'd name a litter with all Czech names. These babies were born the day before Dad's birthday, so they were the lucky ones.
Litter 7 is another litter of Gifts, this time the Wedding Gifts. Much to my dismay, Shira ignored my request to wait until I got home and had these babies on the night of my daughter's wedding. Xaria is now living with Heather and Patrick, so it seems fitting that they are the Wedding Gifts and their names all mean "gift" or "gift from God".
Litter 8 is the first of what I think will be a long line of "Wheel of Time" themed litters. For those who don't read fantasy, "Wheel of Time" (WOT, for short) is a series of books by Robert Jordan. Bria's first litter all have the names of rulers in the series. Of course, I'm hoping for a litter with three boys and two girls so I can name them after the first main characters from the Two Rivers, but until that happens I'll be doing mini-themes like this one. And as always, there may be times I will name kittens with a completely separate theme.
Litter 9 is another group of Companions, probably the last time I'll use this theme. What can I say, I just liked the names!
Litter 10 is named the Victory Kittens because I'd had some difficulties over the winter and they are my celebration of getting through all that. Their names mean victory or victorious.
I came up with the name for our Little Lions in Litter 11 because I am keeping the female for myself. All three of my breeding girls have Hebrew names, so I needed a name for the girl that fit with theirs. I like the name Kefira, which means "young lioness". From there I searched for other names with lion in the meaning and so we have a litter of lions. :-)
When I knew we were moving to Montana I decided that our first litter born there would be the Montana Kids. And so, Litter 12 has the honor of being named after Montana towns.
Sariayh is a name meaning Clouds at Night. He was named in honor of the wegie wannabe that caused me to find this wonderful breed.
Fin's (Litter 14) nickname by itself is Spanish for end. His sister Zeta's name meant last born. When I started thinking about keeping Fin for myself I decided he needed a more show worthy :-) name, so I combined his dad's name (Star Shadow) and the meaning of Shira's name (song) into StarSong and added Finale for obvious reasons. But at home, he's still Fin or Finny.
Kefira's first babies (Litter 15) were due on March 17th, so I looked for Gaelic names for them. As a litter, they are the Leprechauns.
Once again I find myself turning to famtasy for the names of a litter. Kalispell's first litter, Litter 16 is known as the Belgariad Babies after characters in David Eddings' Belgariad series. I'm always amazed by the people who write me about my kittens just because they are fans of the books I use as sources for names!
I have a cat at home that looks just like (blank). Do you think it's part Norwegian Forest Cat?
It's unlikely the lovely cat that showed up on the doorstep one day or you adopted from a shelter is a Norwegian Forest Cat. The breed has not been in the US all that long. Most breeders are very protective of their cats and include a clause in their contracts that requires them to be notified if a cat has to be re-homed. The evolution of the NFC is from randomly bred cats (see the Breed Info page) and there is no reason why other random breedings couldn't result in a cat that resembles the NFC. So you may have a cat that looks and acts just like a Wegie, but he probably isn't. A cat doesn't need a pedigree to be a wonderful companion, so enjoy your Norwegian lookalike!
How much do Norwegian Forest Cats weigh? Are they bigger or smaller than Maine Coon Cats?
An adult male NFC will weigh between 12-16 pounds on average; a female will weigh between 8-13 pounds. Of course, you will sometimes find cats that weigh more or less than average. Wegies are usually a few pounds lighter than a Maine Coon.
Speaking of Maine Coons, what's the difference between the Wegie and them?
While the Maine Coon and the NFC look alike at casual glance, they are truly very different cats when you look a bit closer. Some easy to spot differences are the profile (straight in the NFC, gently curved in the MC), the body shape (much longer in the MC than the NFC), and the face shape (a triangle in the NFC, a rectangle/wedge in the MC). For a more detailed list of the differences between the Norwegian Forest Cat, Maine Coon Cat, and the Siberian Forest Cat, visit Kathryn Pennington's site: http://www.katpenn.com/DIFFERENCE.html
How much work is all that hair?
During the summer and winter months, the coat of a NFC will require minimal care. I comb my cats with a medium toothed steel comb about once a week. In the spring, they lose their winter undercoat and will have a couple weeks where daily combing is important to keep mats from taking over -- especially in the "armpits", back legs, and ruff. They also shed a bit more in the fall as they prepare to put on that winter coat. I find the best way to keep my fur kids looking great is to have a comb handy wherever I might sit and pet them. Then if I feel a small mat I can comb it out right then. Regular petting and cuddling will keep you in touch with their grooming needs. Baths are not necessary unless you are showing your cat. Feel free to write me and ask about show baths if you need help with that.
(Please note that you will see a number of photos of our cats and kittens that I've taken outside in a natural setting. The LostWoods cats do NOT go outside unsupervised! When we do go outside for pictures and occasional adventures, there is always one person and usually two watching them closely. We do have an outside, fully enclosed run to which the older cats are allowed access, but even then we check on them often.)
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