Welcome to Select Exotics, our progressive, innovative, TICA registered cattery. Here, we continually strive to produce the highest quality domesticated companions.
My family and I began Select Exotics in 1988 as pioneers in the Bengal breed. Today, along with my wife Holly, we have grown to include the Safari, have created the new Habari and Jambi hybrids, and we are proud to say Select Exotics is the longest standing, one owner/breeder of the ever-popular Savannah cat.
Having the opportunity to utilize my educational background and years of practical experience to create the most exotic feline hybrids has proven to be a deeply gratifying experience. I feel very fortunate to be able to share my passion for exotics. They bring exciting, new dimensions to living. Through hybrids, we can experience life closer to raw nature, and understand the meaning of "walking on the edge" of an indescribable freedom.
About Dale: Dale received his Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Sciences from the University of Illinois and his graduate degree in Animal Nutrition. First teaching at the University level, he now holds a position at Joliet Junior College where his curriculum includes Animal Science, Genetics, Nutrition, Live Animal Evaluation, and a Companion/Exotic Animal class.
With Dale’s expertise in health and nutrition, he oversees the general health of Select Exotics cats and kittens, placing great effort into a balanced, raw diet for our lactating queens and newly weaned kittens.
A forward thinker, Dale's background in genetics has allowed him to make educated breeding decisions based on statistical outcomes. Creating the Habari breed has been a major focus for him. The kittens Dale produces are exciting, their quality superior. He continually seeks to produce unique hybrids and well-tempered cat companions.
My warmest welcome to Select Exotics. So many facets of our "business" are personally rewarding. The most wonderful, for me, is being able to work from home and commit 100% of my time to raising kittens and my children. A dream come true, I love to watch the joy that playing with kittens brings to our children. And, I am so very thankful for the many rewarding relationships and friendships we have formed with our clients.
About Holly: Holly received her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations from Illinois State University where she minored in Agriculture. Her courses included Animal Science, Genetics, and Animal Behavior which heavily focused on Companion Animals. Here, she gained a wealth of knowledge in the development of kittens.
At Select Exotics, Holly is responsible for the socialization of their kittens, highly crucial in hybrid breeding. Each kitten gets held, loved and cuddled daily not only by Holly, but by Dale's and Holly's children, who range in ages two through nine.
Holly's input is integral to breeding decisions. She is responsible for all necessary paper-work, including record keeping and litter registrations. She undertakes all the details necessary to prepare kittens for, as well as send them to, their new homes. She tackles the lion's share of correspondence with individuals who express an interest in Select Exotics' kittens and follows-up with customers after kittens are in their new homes. Holly also keeps Select Exotics' website current, adding new content and pictures to the site. It is very important that our website is extremely user-friendly, easy to navigate, and up-to-date.
Rebeccauh's main focus at Select Exotics is the care of the pregnant queens, neonatal kittens and working to make the weaning process as smooth as possible for litters. She spends a lot of hands-on time with the kittens from birth through about six weeks of age. Rebeccauh also runs fecal samples weekly on all of our queens before they give birth, as well as on all litters of kittens that are five weeks or older. She is responsible for overseeing the breeding records and activity and so we know when to expect the arrival of new litters. As well, she takes part in birthing kittens, maintaining vaccination records and protocols and overseas the general health and wellbeing of the breeding cats.
About Kari:Kari started with Select Exotics initially by helping care for Dale and Holly’s children.Kari has helped with the paperwork side of things for years.She assists in ordering supplies, registering litters, composing contracts and helping with the paperwork to get kittens sent to their new homes.
As the children have gotten older and started school Kari has transitioned into being a bigger part of caring for the kittens.Kari is responsible for the daily care of weaned kittens.She too keeps kittens happy by providing a clean, comfortable environment.She also finds toys and other things to stimulate the kittens and keep them active.Each kitten receives daily hands-on petting, loving and cuddling.
About Chris:Chris comes to us from WesternIllinoisUniversity.Like Dale and Holly, Chris has a strong livestock background.His family has been highly involved in raising and exhibiting show lambs for many years.Chris has been with us on and off for several years while he was attending college.Before joining Select Exotics full time Chris worked on an organic sheep farm.
Chris is responsible for the daily care and management of our adult breeding cats.He keeps the cats happy by maintaining a sanitary environment.He also watches for heats and records breeding dates.Chris makes regular trips to the vet and the airport in order to get kittens sent out to their new families.When needed Chris is able to care for any of our breeding cats that are feeling under the weather.
About Sherri:Sherri’s long background of working with and breeding companion animals has made her an asset to our team.She has successfully bred both dogs and cats.However, she has focused her energy mostly towards dog training and handling.She has taught dog training courses for years, as well as volunteered her skills to her local 4H youth program.
Sherri’s primary responsibility at Select Exotics is to PLAY with KITTENS!She holds the coveted “job.”She starts handling the kittens shortly after birth - holding them and snuggling them each individually, every day.Once kittens are weaned from their mothers she brings them into the studio apartment/office area each day for socializing.She gets down on the floor to play with the kittens with toys, pets and touches them from head to paw and holds them for as long as they can handle being away from the toys.If any kitten needs additional one on one time she makes sure that they get it.Sherri gets lots of help from Kadie, the youngest Hummel.
I'm continually amazed to see how breeding has changed over the years, the progress that has been made. It's a treat to watch everyone in action, taking care of what needs to be taken care of to keep the cats happy and healthy.
Bud, Dale’s father, has been involved with caring for the cats and kittens at Select Exotics for over twenty years and is so key to our team, we don't know how we would manage without him. A man in motion, Bud "oils the gears" at Select Exotics to be sure things run smoothly. He keeps tabs on supplies and the special diets for our breeding and wild cats. He talks to, plays with, feeds, and nurtures them. Whether it's driving a kitten to his new home, meeting an owner half-way, or running into town before anyone else realizes supplies are running low, he is there for us. Bud's hands-on experience is invaluable and he enjoys being able to help in any way. He is also a great Papa, playing with, and distracting, our little ones while Dale and I are busy photographing kittens. We would have a tough go without him.