Five years ago, I would have never thought I could achieve this dream. I have a long and complicated history filled with heartache, trauma, and things I'd rather not remember. All of our animals are so important to my recovery.
Anyone interested in adopting my cats is welcome to contact me. Also, please come and visit for some kitty cuddles and a coffee. Because what's better than cats and coffee, right? .... Well... we have puppers too!
I'm so proud to introduce:
"Henley" imp US, black-silver ticked tabby polydactyl boy
"Adelaide" imp Denmark, black smoke girl
"Nico" imp Denmark, black classic (blotched) tabby girl
My name is Rosie. I'm located in South Australia, and my kittens are raised within my home by our whole family. We now have our own little piece of paradise less than a kilometre away from beautiful Maslin Beach.
I have written quite a long introduction. It is important to me to say these words. Feel free to scroll down until you see a heading that is relevant for you :)
I strive to be an ethical breeder. All documentation can be found on each cat's page.
Health & type are the MOST important factors in my breeding program.
I have two main goals:
1. To enrich & preserve this magnificent maine coon breed.
2. To adopt out healthy, well socialised cats / kittens for pets that remain true to the breed standard.
This is my hobby. Not a business. I'm passionate about keeping it that way.
I run on a loss, due to several factors:
1. Importation costs
2. Rigorous testing & vet regime that I follow for all of my cats (DNA / echo / xray etc)
3. Adoption price of my kittens/cats
(Scroll down for a lot more detailed information on testing and health).
My beloved companion neuter is Kuro, a rescue MC x ragdoll. You can see him in the pics on the left there! Long-story-short, I fell in love with the breed, and he's the one that started it all.
I haven't done this on a whim, however. This journey has been quite an emotional roller-coaster. I've had to earn my place (and still have a way to go). I respect those breeders who have been breeding and showing for years, decades even. I hope to learn as much as I can from those who are generous enough to give me their time and knowledge.
I'm beginning to learn how to show my cats. One of my queens has begun her show career in Denmark, so I will be proud to continue this here! I have complex-PTSD and social anxiety, so the concept of showing is very daunting to me. I'm determined to push myself out of my comfort zone to learn the ropes. I have a few people on my side helping me along. I'm not in it for the ribbons, I'd just like some experience and instruction on breed standard & type. Additionally, I hope it helps to build some trust and respect from others to know that I'm putting health and type first.
I've started to show Kuro, our companion boy, and this is for experience only, as companions are just judged on temperament. It's a bit of fun and just helping me 'ease' into the process.
Transparency and honesty is the BIGGEST thing for me. I'm a strong believer that we've all made mistakes, but our true character is shown with how we pick ourselves back up and learn from those mistakes. Actions are always louder than words.
Let me tell you about some of my past experiences which have shaped my mindset today:
Several years ago, during a chaotic and toxic relationship, my ex-partner told me we couldn't keep my 2 beloved pet cats (which were there long before him). I was devastated and unwell. They did eventually get rehomed (which is certainly much better than surrendering them to a shelter to be euthanised). But I will never get rid of that empty place in my heart from losing them.
Another memory... when I was a child, we had this gorgeous red long hair domestic cat. I named Tim-Tam (after the biscuits of course!) and he was a free-roaming cat, as many were back in the 1990's. Sometimes, we wouldn't see him for days, and then finally he disappeared altogether. I was absolutely heartbroken.
After those experiences, and a few others (included another beloved pet being baited, and yet another hit by a car), I promised myself that I would never have free-roaming cats again. This protects them from danger, but also protects wildlife too.
A few years later I fostered some other cats through a rescue organisation. Some had kittens in my care. I loved this so much. It was truly rewarding! Once they grew and found their furrrever homes, I was so happy for them.
Breeding and rescuing are two concepts that many believe cannot co-exist. Many rescue organisations do not tolerate breeders. A lot of hate and resentment is thrown around unfortunately. Some rescuers hold the view that breeders are contributing to the increasing numbers in shelters, and for every cat that is bought, this leaves one behind in a shelter. I disagree, and you can scroll down to read my thoughts on this concept in more detail (particularly on backyard breeders and TDR "trap-desex-return" programs), or you can head over to my blog. I believe that breeding and rescuing CAN happen alongside each other, but only if it's done the right way.
I do expect some resistance to my ideas, as breeding and rescuing are poles apart right now. A good friend reminded me that nothing good ever came out of standing still, and I have the opportunity now to do something I'm passionate about!
One of my end goals is to advocate for the tag #adoptorshopresponsibly and for indoor-only cats who have access to catio's or fully enclosed outdoor cat runs. I want to run my breeding and rescue programs alongside each other, successfully, ethically, and responsibly. I have a lot of planning to do, particularly in preventing disease transmission and developing separate protocols.
I'm studying to become a Veterinary Technician at the University of Adelaide. I've also been invited to participate in the PawPeds PawAcademy G1 course (which I will complete when some crazy family things settle). I'm taking steps to realising my dream of being an ethical and responsible breeder and rescuer. I'm also really interested in developing a companion animal program for kids and teens who have experienced domestic violence, bullying, or mental health/developmental issues.
My ultimate end-goal is to work as a veterinary tech in the southern suburbs alongside others who have similar ideals and mindset. I want to provide rescue animals with a safe haven on their way to finding furrever homes. I'm also passionate about providing affordable vet care, early and cheap desexing programs, and education on balanced raw feeding (and finding commercial alternatives which are healthy). This is my view as of August 2020, and I'm open to my ideas evolving and changing as I research and learn more.
I've gone through an extremely steep learning curve in terms of breeding. At the start of this journey journey, I didn't have much success locally (within Australia), so I decided to look overseas to import my first cats. This involved a lot of risk (and panic attacks!), and unfortunately, like most breeders, I've lost a lot.
This heartache does not come without joy though! As a result I've also gained some truly valuable experience. I am grateful for my mistakes. I have grown, in leaps and bounds. Most importantly, I'm happy.
I have handpicked my imports, and they were absolutely the best cats that were available to me at the time.
About Maine Coons
Maine Coons are what I like to call "puppy-cats". They are large, affectionate and very social cats. My favourite feature of a quality maine coon is their wild look/expression. This is so important.
They have long hair with a naturally shaggy coat (with an undercoat). It does need regular grooming to maintain. In their full winter coats, they are very luxurious.
Females are usually around 4-7kg, and males can reach 6-9+kg. In saying that, although they are the largest domestic breed - let me stress that it's NOT all about size, or having the biggest male.
The temperament and health should be the first and foremost consideration for anyone - pet owner or breeder. Colour and size are great too, but do remember that the bigger the cat, the higher the risk of hip problems and other joint issues.
They are very intelligent and some like to be trained. Ours play fetch! Most of them have a fascination with water. If taking them outside on a harness and lead catches your fancy, they have no problems with adapting to this, and it can be very enriching for them!
Not all of them are lap-cats, but I can guarantee that they will be your constant shadow, and all up in your business! They are extremely chatty, and they'll meow and chirp along with you if you talk to them.
Kittens are ready to leave our home around the age of 14 weeks (may differ depending on the kitten). They come fully vet worked, microchipped and desexed for pet homes only (at this stage).
Each baby will be thoroughly socialised with children, dogs, and other cats. They will be accustomed to daily grooming, a leash & harness (if you so desire), regular car rides, and be familiar with going to the vet.
Some kittens may be older, and some may have experience showing!
I offer LIFETIME support and communication for all of my cats.
They will come with a kitten contract, a registered pedigree, and a kitten pack.
Click HERE for more.
I feed a complete & balanced raw carnivore diet, based on the 80-10-10 prey model.
To complement this, I also use a product called Raw Meow. This is a meal completer. It comes in both an adult and kitten blend. I always recommend this product if you are new to feeding raw, as all you have to do is add it to raw muscle meat/protein, and this makes a fully balanced raw meal.
My kittens leave with a sample of Raw Meow Mix, and lots of raw-feeding support. I can also point you toward some great information on making your own DIY raw meals.
On a long-term basis, I recommend a balanced raw diet, but a good quality dry and wet food such as Ziwi Peak is great too!
The main thing that people worry about with raw diets is "will my cats get sick??" (bacterial or parasitic diseases). The short answer is: usually not, if you manage your food prep right!
Although our animals are domesticated (which changes things little bit) - out in the natural environment, wild/big cats don't cook their food! They are obligate carnivores. Their gastrointestinal tract is designed for eating raw, whole prey, including all the fur, feathers, skin, organs and bones. Some people are surprised to find that they don't need carbohydrates or veggies in their diet, in fact they find it really hard to process!
What people feed their animals can become a controversial topic, so I'm more than happy to discuss if you'd like to contact me.
At the end of the day... I advocate for simply: "FED is best". If you've found something that works for you and your animal, keep going! Humans eat a huge varied diet, some is very nutritional, and some is junk. I'm not in any position to judge what anyone else does. However, I'm more than happy to share what works for me, and a little about what I've learnt - but I'll never bash you over the head with it!
All I'll say is: question everything, and don't just take my advice, or any one else's on face value. Research for yourself, talk to your vet, and make an informed decision :)
These are my absolute favourite colours in the maine coon world:
Wild-look black/brown classic tabby
High silver black/blue/red mackerel tabbies
Dilute colours with blue-cream
Deep red tabbies
Low-white: gloves / socks / white blaze on chest / white chin
Special note: Colour ALWAYS comes secondary to type. At this stage, I am strongly concentrating on type. My stud boy's facial features have not developed as much as I would have liked. As a result, I'm working with the most typey girls as possible to correct this. Therefore the colours are slightly on the backburner whilst I focus on this crucial part.
All of that said, I will be seeing black/blue/silver tabbies (ticked/classic), and solid black/blue smokes.
I know shaded cats are "in fashion" at the moment. Whilst I won't produce any shaded or shell cats at this stage (or maybe ever!) Henley does have shaded in his lines, so we may get some high smokes/silvers.
I will be importing a tortie girl soon, which will introduce some red into my lines too - which I am very excited about!
DNA & Physical Health Testing
All of my sires and dams are tested by DNA profiling, Echocardiogram and Xray.
Known disorders of the maine coon breed:
HCM - Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy MYBPC3 mutation: A31P (cardiac disorder). Screened by DNA profile and echocardiogram ultrasound (echo's are every 2 years in adult cats).
SMA - Spinal Muscular Atrophy/Dystrophy (muscular disorder). Screened by DNA profile.
PKdef - Erythrocyte Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (blood disorder). Screened by DNA profile.
Hip Dysplasia - Screened by Xray in all adult cats.
Radial hypoplasia - Screened by Xray in all polydactyl adult cats.
- - - - -
The DNA Profiles I choose are the extensive disease and trait tests by Orivet, UC Davis, or Langford.
This can show whether the cat is:
1. Homozygous for the disorder (they possess the disorder and pass it on to their offspring)
2. Heterozygous for the disorder (they are a carrier, but may not necessarily have the disorder themselves)
3. Completely clear for the disorder (N/N)
The tests also determine the colour and trait genetics for each cat. This shows whether they carry solid or tabby (agouti gene, dominant), blue or cream (dilution gene, recessive), silver/smoke (inhibitor gene, dominant), and polydactyl (dominant).
Polydactylism means "many digits". Simply put, polydactyl cats have extra toes. Poly paws are a controversial mutation in the maine coon / feline world. Research has shown it does not cause any structural or behavioural problems if bred correctly. The gene for polydactyl is dominant. Generally if one of the parents is polydactyl, then 50% or more of their kittens will also possess this trait.
See my blog for some articles on poly paws!
There two other conditions that some people can mistake for polydactylism:
Radial hypoplasia (commonly known as a "twisty cat") is a different condition to polydactylism. It has an extremely low incidence of occurring as a result of heavily inbreeding homozygous polydactyl cats. In simple terms, the bones of the limbs are undeveloped, and/or develop with deformities. We obtain x-rays on the limbs of each of our adult poly cats to make sure there are no developmental or structural signs of radial hypoplasia. We also only breed poly-to-standard foot to further minimise any chance of structural abnormality.
Double-paw is a completely separate condition to polydactylism. It is a structural mutation where the paw or limb has branched into two separate paws, or even separated further up at the elbow/knee/shoulder/hip creating another limb entirely. Both of these conditions occur during embryo development. Double-paw can create a lot of structural problems depending on the formation of the limb.
I absolutely love poly-pawed cats and think it is an endearing and interesting feature that goes way back into the early history of the maine coon! It's slowly being re-accepted into the maine coon world. Indeed, poly's are able to be registered and shown in New Zealand. Perhaps Australia will not be far behind.
I would like to reiterate here that I'll never sacrifice a certain trait for an animal's health.
I am fortunate enough to have found some amazing mentors.
Gitte Dahm from DK Jungle Man in Denmark: Gitte has over 14 years experience in breed & show. I am so honoured to carry on her lines with one of her amazing black smoke girls. She is extremely knowledgeable about the standard and genotype. She prides herself on being an ethical breeder, only choosing the most exquisite lines with the best type.
There are several other trusted breeders that I work alongside who are a constant source of invaluable knowledge and experience. You know who you are - so thank you xx
I am so grateful to be learning from these breeders and I owe them the world!
About my breeding standards and the cattery
I have extremely strong values regarding enriching this breed and remaining an ethical breeder.
All of our cats are raised underfoot within our family home. The boys and girls have free reign of the house.
I am working on building custom indoor and outdoor enclosures which provide safe, large and enriching spaces for the cats when/if they need to be contained (nursing, injury, illness). I am also planning to enclose the entire backyard so that they can roam free outside without the risk of catching wildlife, or escaping into traffic.
When they do have to be separated for any reason (preventing mating at certain times, injury, illness), our boys and girls are separated by see-through mesh only. We allow them to see/lick/smell/talk to each other. This is really important to us.
I can only allow 3 litters, per 2 years, per queen - as per South Australian Legislation for responsible breeders. This is absolutely the maximum number of pregnancies, as this gives the queen adequate time to recover between litters.
Each cat receives daily interaction and socialisation. They are NOT locked away and forgotten about, and my stud is together with my pet neutered rescue boy (not singularly isolated).
Back Yard Breeders (BYB) / Rescuing
I completely support rescue organisations! It is a controversial subject for a breeder to rescue, and vice versa.
I have been involved with a local rescue in the past, and I've taken on foster animals occasionally too. My rescued maine coon x ragdoll Kuro is the best foster-daddy cat, especially with newborn kittens.
I haven't fostered in a while, this is because we've been building a new home that has loads of space. Once we've set up, I'm going to begin taking on rescues/fosters again, and they will have their own safe space to live with us until they can find furrrever homes.
It is honorable and amazing if you've chosen to rescue. It's ALSO OKAY to desire a certain temperament, colour, hair type, and to buy a pedigree.
I DO NOT SUPPORT BACKYARD BREEDERS (BYB) or kitten mills of any type or kind. These "breeders" only care about money and often sell their animals sickly, weak and inbred.
There is a mass wave on social media at the moment which states "adopt don't shop". I strongly believe ethical breeding does not contribute to the incidences of shelter animals - a truly responsible breeder will not dump the runt of the litter or sell an un-desexed animal. Some people also say that if you spend money on a pedigree animal (cat, dog, or otherwise) this leaves other animals behind at shelters that could have been saved. I don't think this concept addresses the underlying source of the problem.
I believe that EDUCATION, TNR AND EARLY DESEXING PROGRAMS are the key to getting to the root of the problem.
See my early blog posts to read more about my view on this. I'm very open to talking about it. If you have an issue with my views, please come and talk to me.
Recent legislation changes to South Australia stipulate that you cannot possess an undesexed animal unless you are a registered breeder. Further to this, if you claim to be a registered responsible breeder, you have a choice to abide by ethical breeding standards as outlined by the Dog and Cat Management Board, or risk having your registration stripped, disciplinary action against you, and your reputation tarnished.
Also, you can no longer sell or advertise any animal on social media or websites like "Gumtree" for free, or if you do not have a registration number. This has really cut down on the number of people taking in stray animals, breeding them haphazardly or even just accidentally, and creating a never-ending wave of strays and irresponsible humans. The stray animals that are left, are slowly being trapped, neutered (or speyed) and returned to their original area (TNR). This TNR program run by many rescues is extremely effective in reducing the amount of strays and unwanted litters.
The RSPCA and AWL have released a Cat Management Plan for South Australia (Nov 2019) which you an access here. Our state is lagging way behind the rest of the country in terms of legislation and management of our "cat crisis". It's an interesting read, and certainly needs developing. The local Councils need to come on board, and a single set of rules need to be developed and enforced. Responsible dog ownership is quite widely accepted within the community, and we really need to begin fostering this culture with cats too.
Some other thoughts:
Rescues and shelters put a price on animals now, rather than just simply giving them away. This encourages (at the very least) people to be semi-serious about taking on an animal. In the past (10+ years ago), you could just go in to a shelter or respond to a newspaper or social media ad, and go pick up a kitten or puppy for free, with no thought about the rest of the animal's life. How much will food, litter, bedding, and vetting cost? Shelters also used to sell undesexed animals, allowing new owners to deliberately or accidentally mate them. In South Australia, every animal is now adopted out desexed. Also now, the price of these rescue animals are covering their initial vetting costs (90% of the time not making a profit), and it is a good thing, because if someone is willing to pay an initial fee for an animal, it's less likely to be returned or dumped (again).
People have also asked me how to screen for a back-yard-breeder. Always ask to see paperwork, visit their home/cattery if you are local, or ask for pictures/videos if you live further away (or across the other side of the world!) If the breeder is secretive or evasive, this is a big red flag for dishonesty and it will show immediately. They probably won't allow you to see where their animals are raised. If they are cagey about providing paperwork, this is a huge red flag. I encourage you to ask a ton of questions, and if you don't get forthcoming answers, it's probably a good idea to find another breeder. If you do happen to witness anyone who raises animals in less-than-satisfactory living conditions, please report them to your local RSPCA.
Also, just another note: if a breeder doesn't allow you into their home, this is not necessarily a red-flag itself. They may be wanting to protect their animals from disease transmission/infection. However, they should offer an alternative, such as a live video stream or regular pictures. In this case, there should be no issues.
You don't have to get a cat from me, but I do encourage you to seek this information from any breeder you choose to go with.
Mental Health Awareness
Something I'd like to touch on... I think it is something a lot of people can relate to. I've suffered for many years with mental health issues. I'm a big advocate for talking about it and being open, because at one point I almost died when I felt like couldn't speak out or ask for help. I don't want anyone else to have to feel alone or isolated.
I have major depressive disorder, social and generalised anxiety disorder, complex-post traumatic stress disorder, and at times of high stress I also get auditory hallucinations. All of these issues were complicated by severe post-natal depression when my son was born (requiring months of hospitalisation, medications, and electroconvulsive therapy). Things got so bad that I attempted to take my own life in 2012 and I was in a coma for 40 hours in ICU on life-support. The one consistent in my life has been my animals. I grew up with both dogs and cats, I've fostered newborn kittens, and cats old and young, and in my lowest moments my animals have given me unconditional love and loyalty.
Perhaps you can relate. If you ever need to talk, my door (and my inbox) is always open.
Companion / Therapy Animals
My animals have always been a great source of comfort and love, and I hope that my kittens will also provide this to their adopted families.
I am planning and hoping for some special cats to become companion and support animals for children with behavioural or mental health issues, and also developmental disorders such as autism.
At this stage it will be about once per year. I may have a special kitten available (depending on what's happening each year).
Please contact me if you know a child who would benefit from this very special addition to my program.
It will be on a case-by-case basis.
I would like to keep it within South Australia, so that I can easily support the child and the kitten throughout the kitten's life.
There are other breeders who choose to engage in similar programs, and if you live in another state, I may be able to direct you to them.
I'm an ex-industrial paramedic. Previously I used to work FIFO onshore oil and gas rigs in remote South Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland. Recently, I have made the huge decision to return to the University of Adelaide to study a Bachelor of Veterinary Technology on the Roseworthy Campus. I'll have a whole new set of patients now and I am so excited to start this new chapter in my life!
Paul is my partner, and whilst he doesn't appear so much publicly on this page or social media, he is just as invested (if not more!) than I am. Paul is my rock. He works steadfastly in the background to make sure our home runs like clockwork. He also works FIFO, so when he is home, he gives 150% to our crazy human & animal family.
Spencer is our son. He is 9 years old and loves animals, reading and riding his bike. He lives with us some of the time, and the rest of the time, he lives with his dad. Spence is really valuable to our breeding program. He is the one that helps with handling and socialising the babies. He is there from day-one, whispering sweet nothings into their ears and making sure that they are comfortable around little humans. You'll often find Spence with his pet Stimson Python "Anna" around his shoulders, and a cat in his arms. The babies grow up around a reptile as well! Whilst Spencer is usually a typical rough & tumble boy, he has the biggest heart.
We have 2 dogs, Ziggy and Asher. They are brother and sister German Shepherd x Australian blue cattle dogs. They've been brought up around our cats (and snake) since they were 9 weeks old, and I'm pretty sure they think they ARE cats ha! Ziggy is also a bit extra-special, as he is training to become my PTSD service dog (aka assistance dog).
The kitty that started all of this is Kuro. He is our rescue chocolate maine coon x ragdoll (as a result of unethical breeding). I think he carries the best of both breeds. He is extremely affectionate and laid back. Nothing phases him, whether it's dogs, other cats, car rides, vet visits, or even walking down on the beach on his harness. In the past, I've fostered pregnant mama cats, and their babies have been born in our home. Kuro is the perfect foster daddy. He adores the babies, cleaning and playing with them... and even allowing them to "suckle" him. Just quietly, he's the best!
We live in Maslin Beach, South Australia. Our home looks out onto a reserve with kangaroos and wild rabbits, and is only 1km from the best beach in SA.
Please feel free to contact me anytime here, or on social media using the icons on the menu.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.