Our Elf Breeding Program
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There is a new meow in town …and it goes by the name Elf cat. The excitement over this new look of the Sphynx is international; as two of the most personable, distinct species of cat are married together creating a cat that is different from each contributing foundation breed. When combined, there is no harm to the health or well-being of the resulting Elf cat.
Contributing foundation breeds include the Sphynx, known for its unique hairlessness and personality, and the American Curl, known for its signature curled ears. Permissible out-crosses include Domestic Short Hair, which is any cat belonging to Felis Domesticus not registered as a recognized breed. Elf cats have been researched, developed and founded by Karen Nelson from House of Falmari at www.elfcats.com . A strong foundation has been built utilizing many bloodlines from numerous Elf Foundry Breeders located in Arizona, California, New Jersey, Idaho, Michigan, Illinois, and Georgia.
The Elf cats most distinctive features are it’s hairlessness and curled ears. They are extremely intelligent, have a sturdy, athletic build, and are as loving and cuddly as lap dogs. Sociable and highly inquisitive, they love to be the center of attention.
Cat enthusiasts throughout the world are lining up, awaiting the arrival and availability of these incredible Elf cats. Currently being registered as an experimental New Trait with The International Cat Association (TICA), Elf cats are quickly catching the eyes of the Cat Fancy. Half Elfs resulting as non-standard kittens will be sold at prices in accordance to the respective out-crosses. Please welcome the return of the Elf into mans world…
Original Elf Breed Founder Karen Nelson
So the question comes up all the time… “How Did You get Into Breeding Sphynx/Elfs”? So here is my story.
Growing up I had severe allergies to cats and dogs. I always LOVED cats… yes even my first word was cat! But, I had cats anyways. I grew up with a domestic shorthair named Whiskers (how original) who lived well up until she was 18. I also had a main coon named Zima and Big Leo another domestic shorthair. I remember going to school with eyes bulging out of my head itchy and red from sleeping with the cats even though I knew the end result. I loved all animals, and I was always the first to bring home any animal that was sick, abandon, or hurt and nurse them back to health. Just a passion that was always there:-D
So when I finally moved out on my own I brought my maine coon with me. I felt bad while I was at work her being all alone but could not imagine bringing another hairy cat into my home as even as years passed my allergies never got any better. So after researching “hypoallergenic” breeds I stumbled on the sphynx. OMG I had to have one!!! After never really purchasing a cat from a breeder I had no idea what to look for so I just grabbed the first one I was able to get immediately! She was a blue and white bicolor and I had her name already picked out “Chloey”. She had to be shipped to me as the breeder lived on the West Coast… I was sooooo excited counting down the 7 days I had to wait for her arrival! 2 days before Chloey was to be shipped I got a call from the breeder and the woman explained my kitties mom was diagnosed with a horrible disease HCM. OMG what is HCM??? She said I could have the kitten or she would return my money as she couldnt guarantee the health of this baby as it is sometimes a genetic issue. I could not imagine giving up a kid because he/she may develop a disease so I took the girl anyways. I did my research and decided to have my kittens heart scanned for this HCM. I never imagined she would have it as she was a CRAZY playful kitty!! So we went to see the cardiologist as soon as she turned 8 months and to my surprise she was diagnosed with HCM. It felt like my world was falling apart:-( How can my baby have this?? Why wasnt she the lucky 50% of the litter?? So we put her on medication for her heart that the Doc prescribed and I took her home. Well that was 8 yrs ago and luckily my Chloey is still with us today.
If you have a sphynx then you know sphynx are addictive. So I went online and decided to purchase a little boy. He was a beautiful blue and white sphynx. Chloey needed a naked friend (well that was my excuse to get another). So Jakes arrival was finally here YIPEE!!! He came with a cute little sweater and had the sweetest expressions on his face. OMG we bonded immediately! Chloey and Jake also became friends immediately! After about a week I noticed Jake was not eating much and laying around quite a bit. I went to pick him up and I felt his heart beating out of his chest and I knew something was wrong. I called my vet immediately and ran him right over. My vet said he had a level 4 heart murmur (most likely from a birth defect) and there was not much they can do for a kitten so young with such a high level, and he would most likely die:-( I burst into tears and held Jake tightly praying this not to be true. I brought him home and never left his side. Jake came to work with me everyday, he went grocery shopping, to the bank, to the movies, and he even came in the bathroom with me (Oh yes NEVER left my side). I called the breeder and she said heart murmurs were normal in kittens..even a level 4. Ok I am no expert but this cannot be true! As the days passed he became very skinny and I had to syringe feed him morning, afternoon, and night. Oh please dont leave me Jake… be strong we can beat this. He slept right next to me every night under the covers and on a peepee pad as he lost all control of his bladder. But, I didnt care:-( I took him to University Pennsylvania Veterinary Hospital to run some tests as I would do anything… just dont let this baby die. I was told the same…”There is nothing to do for him”. My world was falling apart again but this time no meds or love could help this poor baby. Unfortunately Jake’s body had enough and he crossed the rainbow at the age of 5 months. And to this day I will never forget that poor little guy. Why did he have to go so soon? But in the time he was here with me he learned what it was to be loved and he is now in a place where he can be a happy healthy kitten forever.
So a few months after Jakes passing I decided it was time to get poor Chloey a friend again. My Maine Coon was old and didnt want to be bothered. But, am I setting myself up for heartbreak again? Well after a ton of thought I decided to get Jasmine. She was a beautiful solid black little sphyxn girl. So the day came to pick her up from the airport. I couldnt wait for the airlines to hand her over to me!!! I finally get the carrier and run out to my car with her to let her stretch a bit from the long flight. I open the kennel and I smell this awful smell… what the heck is that I ask myself? So I pull her out and her poor eyes were glued shut with pus and the tips of her ears looked scabbed. She also had scars all over her body….and OMG the sweater on her was filthy along with the blanket she was laying on. I rush her home and get her cleaned up as best as possible and run her to the vet. She is VERY sick and had to be put on eye drops and antibiotics. I bring her home and do everything the vet says but she is still so sick. Oh please not again…I give up. What is wrong with this breed??? Or is it my bad luck? Well after $4000 in vet bills and 24/7 care 8 months later my Jasmine finally got better. And Jasmine is still here with us today healthy and happy!
Well after my horrible experiences one would ask “Why the heck would you breed”. Well I wanted to be better than the breeders that sold me those cats and make this breed better. I wanted to learn everything I could about sphynx, and unlike the many breeders I contacted and asked questions to with no reply when I was so desperate for help… I want to answer everyones questions… even the questions asked by people who didnt even purchase a kitten from me. If someone has a question about their cat I will give the best advise I can. I do not care whether their cat came from me or not. I want to give back to the breed I fell so in love with and the breed who gives me so much happiness. I researched everything about sphynx down to their toenails. Oh yes I was crazy, I read entire veterinary textbooks from cover to cover. I was determine to do this right and produce the healthiest cats I could. Well things were uphill from there….I found an amazing breeder in Europe that agreed to import a sphynx female here to use in my breeding program. When I got my girl she was big and healthy and had the biggest blue eyes you ever seen. That is my Vanessa. I then imported another female here to the US and named her China. Another beautiful healthy girl. I was so excited and grateful to finally find breeders who actually did right for our breed!! Well it was time for my stud…. and Jax came along not long after. He was a big muscular blue mink male. I love them all and everyone was healthy and happy. I continued to do my research and text book reading for the next few months and now it was time for my China to be bred. OMG I am so excited and scared at the same time. Well China gave birth 64 days after she was bred and I welcomed 7 healthy beautiful kittens in the world as the first Nocoatkitty generation:-)
So this is my story. Everyone starts their breeding programs for one reason or another. Mine was to make better of our amazing breed we call sphynx for Chloey, Jake, and Jasmine. Though I know I cannot play God (even though I try my hardest) I am 100% devoted to the sphynx/Elfs and have a passion that drives me to produce the best sphynx kittens I can!
OUR ELF BREEDING PROGRAM
We began our Elf Cat endeavor in 2007. It has been a very long journey since then. The decision to start our Elf Program was not taken lightly and there was a lot of thought before we came to the decision. After doing extensive research on the American Curl (which is the outcross used to produce our naked curls) that is when I realized this may actually benefit our sphynx breed more than anything. The American Curl is an extremely healthy breed with an amazing body structure and of course those cute curly ears READ ME. Using them as an outcross to our sphynx poses no harm and in the end will probably make a more healthy naked cat. All cats in our Elf program are scanned for HCM and we also hope by using the American Curl (which has no known genetic defects) our chances of producing HCM positive kittens will be reduced drastically. Some feel that breeders are producing Elf Cats just to make money…. I believe people that say this just dont take the time to really sit back and see what us breeders are really trying to do and dont bother to ask what our end goal is. I call this close minded. Any responsible breeder knows that breeding is a hobby and a lot of hard work no matter what breed. We did not start selling pet kittens until 2011 and even then there was very few going to pet homes. Many of our first kittens stayed in our program or went to other responsible breeders working on the Elf Cats. Outcrossing is very expensive to do and starting a new breed is 100x that. Almost every breed out there was made by putting 2 breeds together at some point. We would not have a lot of our wonderful cat and dog breeds today without the determination of a few breeders working very hard for the same goal. I am so glad to have the Elfs in my life…. they are the sweetest little kitties I have ever met and I could not imagine the world without them. We are hoping one day to be accepted as a new breed called Elf Cat some wish to stay registered and show in New Trait Sphynx. I am personally against this.