Irina says: Our Maine Coon cattery is very new, small, and home-based in Ukraine. This is a family cattery because I and my husband Andrew are both real cat fanciers. Our first pedigreed cat joined our family in 1994 -- Siberian cat Boise who has been living with us during 13 years. We were showing our Boise for some time, but we were not involved in breeding because we had to work a lot to make our living. We don't take breeding as a business or a basis of income, this is a hobby and a rather expensive hobby sometimes, but now we work at home and pay much attention to our cats.

We have decided to start our own cattery, because we are in love with Maine Coons and feel happy being surrounded by their long flowing tails, splendid coats, grand whiskers, and beautiful voices. Our aim is to breed beautiful, healthy, large, harmonious, well-socialized Maine Coon cats of a best possible type with a nice personality. We plan few litters and don't plan many cats in our cattery because we want to give our coonies as much attention as possible.

We visit cat shows when possible and try to get to know more about the breed and its standard. I study genetics and physiology of cats. I've finished two months felinology courses with a big program including some extracts from genetics, veterinary, grooming, cattery organisation, felinology systems, cat show rules, breed standards etc. And I keep on learning because felinology is a serious study and breeding is not just a reproduction but also special knowledge and experience. We have raised our first Maine Coon girl India under the guidance of an experienced breeder Olena Tometskaya.

In December, India brought eight kittens! Opera was smallest of them, so we had to feed her with a bottle in addition to her mother's feeding. Opera never fights with her brothers and sisters for mother's milk. She prefers to be hugged. :-) Opera has a nice personality, and she is a very friendly and curious kitten. She was the first of our kittens who began to eat meat and now she has a rather good weight. It looks like we've found a new good home for Opera in Kiev, and she will go there in March after all needed vaccinations.

All Photos Courtesy of and ©: Irina Shvayakova
Please visit Irina's Web site for more information about her gorgeous kittens
and her Flickr stream for more photos of all sorts of beautiful places and things

Comments and LOLs:
Gradoli -
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26 points
Bella, anche la mamma!
kittysmama -
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765 points
lovely baby
JayPea -
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Mom is rolling her eyes and thinking "Drama queen!" in this picture. Pretty mom and pretty baby!
crashnandicoot -
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116 points
all gorgeous! Breathtaking!
myrtlecat -
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96 points
Beautiful cats and beautiful photographs. Good luck to Opera in her new home. :)
shana0809 -
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309 points
What an adorable family
Golfergirl55 -
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568 points
Squeeeee!!! OMG - she is so precious and beautiful!!!! Of course, I have a real soft spot for Maine Coons!!!!!
TigerPJ -
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893 points
Mama's arm around her baby is so loving. They are both gorgeous beyond belief:o) xo
LindaG -
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269 points
Adorable. :-)
jezebel1490 -
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477 points
Gorgeous! Though I can understand your appreciation for this beautiful breed and you say you're not doing it for profit, please reconsider. You are indirectly contributing to the problem of homeless kitties. Please go to for some scary statistics. There are so many shelter kitties who could use a home, I'm sorry to say, breeders should be outlawed.
judymack812 -
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I have seen India's kittens before. This is not a new post so I will leave the cattery issue alone. These kittens are probably 2 or 3 years old by now. They certainly all were beautiful as is India (I hope her breeding days are behind her now) and all have loving homes.
katzenmother -
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1030 points
Mama India is such a great mother. I have seen many pictures of her and her kittens over the years. Opera is as pretty as her mother and the other kittens are gorgeous as well:)
ILoveKittyCats -
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241 points
Mama's love <3 I agree about the cattery. We should be looking after the homeless cats and kittens to find them homes!

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