The Kelimcoons Cattery
Published March 2014

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Rita, Bruce, Kimberly & Kelly Berg breed Maine Coons under the Kelimcoons cattery name and show their cats in both TICA and CFA.   Located in Ashland, New Hampshire, just south of the White Mountains, the Bergs live and raise their Maine Coons in a roomy, two level home built on a hillside.

Rita works at home while her twin daughters, Kim and Kelly, are both professional groomers at the local veterinarian clinic and kennel.   Kim and Kelly race Siberian Huskys as well as offering tours and sled dog rides in the winter with Valley Snow Dogz.

The Bergs began showing and breeding Maine Coons in 2000.  Starting by showing an alter in CFF, they now show mainly in TICA and CFA.  They have produced multiple regional winners and their first International Winner in TICA was IW, SGC Kelimcoons Don Cesar of SaraJen who was TICA’s Kitten of the Year in 2012, shown by owner Teri Matzkin of SaraJen Maine Coons

The Main Cattery & The Grooming Room

The home-based Kelimcoons cattery has both indoor and outdoor spaces custom designed areas for the cats.   The Bergs designed their cattery themselves, with Bruce doing all the construction.   Materials were simple and easy to find at the local hardware store — primarily lumber, paint, and wire fencing.   Construction is within the skill set of a handy-husband and materials used were not expensive.   The main cattery includes spacious areas for the cats to simply "hang out", plus a separate grooming area, isolation pen and luxury stud quarters.   Amenities include a TV set, a wood stove, lots of different styles of cat trees, sofas and chairs, toys and access to the outside areas.


The main cattery area includes a sink for washing dishes and bathing cats


In the main cattery, both the kitties and people can enjoy a comfortable chair, watching the TV or just a visit and a cuddle . . .


The view from the grooming area, looking into the main cattery


The wire used in the main cattery area is 2" x 3" squares but the stud pen was constructed with 1" x 2" wire.   In retrospect, the Bergs would use the smaller opening wire everywhere as it is stronger and prevents cats from pawing through the wire.


The Grooming Area


Above is a photo of the grooming area which includes a rubber surfaced grooming table and shelves to store various shampoos and supplies.   This area also includes an isolation pen for times when a cat might need to separated from the other kitties for health or behavioral reasons.

The Stud Pen

The pen for the stud cats adjoins the main cattery area so that the boys can still enjoy a lot of social time.   1' x 2' welded wire is used in the upper half of the walls and the door.   The boys also have their own outdoor area that is accessed through the cat door in the window in their pen that leads to the outside area under the deck. 


The Stud Pen


A variety of cat trees in the boys area provides lots of choices for climbing and lounging

The Outdoor Areas

There are two large fenced in areas at the back of the home that allows the Kelimcoons kitties lots of access to fresh air and sunshine.   There is a screened-in upper deck with a separate fenced-in area below.   The cats can go in and out as they please through a kitty door in the window adjoining their area.   Whether it's 95 degrees in the summer or 20 degrees in the winter, some of the Maine Coons will be enjoying the great outdoors. 


This is the view from the backyard of the upper and lower outdoor areas for the cats


The Enclosed Upper Deck


The kittens love to play on the upper deck in the early morning hours during the summer, or lay stretched out soaking up the sun in the afternoon.   The deck walls are enclosed using "Textilene® SuperScreen", a window screening that is highly resistant to punctures and tears.   The screen was purchased in a 100-foot roll online but was inserted in each separate panel that if kitty claws did cause damage, the screening could easily be replaced.


Another View of the Upper Deck


A litter of kittens on the deck “bird watching”


The deck is furnished with rugs, a table, chairs, cat beds and plants.   The roof over the deck is made of clear corrugated PVC roofing panels so that the sun shines right through keeping the area light as well as airy.   The panels are available in 12-foot lengths from your local Home Depot or Lowes.


The Enclosed Area Underneath The Deck


The adult cats have free access to the penned in area under the deck.   The alters and girls have half the area, while the boys share the other half.   To provide indoor/outdoor access, the original windows were replaced with cat doors in Plexiglas.   The original windows are in storage so they can be replaced in the future if the home were to be sold or renovated.   The wire fencing will one day be replaced with vinyl-covered "lobster" netting which is more weather-resistant.

The Nursery

While the adult females and alters have free run of the home, the Kelimcoons kittens are born and raised in the family's bedrooms.    When the kittens are born they and the new mom are placed in a show shelter, either single or double depending on how many kittens there are and whether the mother prefers it to be more cozy or more spacious.    For the mother that wants more privacy, the tent will be moved to the bedroom closet with the door left open.


A blanket or cloth over the tent may help the mother feel more secure

The babies stay with their mothers until they are 3-4 weeks old then they go into a a large dog's X-pen or small toddler's plastic pool until they are litter-box trained.   This usually takes about a week.    Once the kittens are all litter trained they graduate from the bedroom to a kitten room — a spare bedroom that has been kitten proofed with small cat trees and toys. 

Once the kittens are fully vaccinated at 12 weeks of age, they join the other cats to enjoy free run of the home.

Final Words

By customizing their home to accommodate their cats and by adding an enclosed deck and outdoor run, the Bergs have succeeded in maintaining a pet lifestyle for their kitties and placing each cat's happiness and comfort as a high priority in their breeding program.    

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