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ForestWind Siberian Cat Blog

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Environmental Enrichment for the Siberian Cat

Posted on March 16, 2018 at 6:55 AM

# 1 Best Friend.  This is the best strategy for most kittens.  Having a feline buddy is physically and emotionally beneficial for cats.  It is simplest to provide that best friend from the beginning / early on.


#2 Activities & Enrichment for your Siberians to involve them in activities and interests while you are gone. 
These range from:

https://www.collectionsetc.com/product/springtime-hanging-bird-feeder.aspx?utm_source=google&utm_medium=paid_srch&utm_campaign=PLA_Shopping_New" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">bird feeders hanging outside, or https://pet-fusion.com/products/tranquility-window-bird-feeder" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">attached to windows

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Regal-Mosaic-Birdbath-Feeder-Stake-Blue-Onion-Drop-20387/303732465" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">bird baths in yard or on https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009R7PSUE/ref=asc_df_B009R7PSUE5398750/?tag=hyprod-20&creative=394997&creativeASIN=B009R7PSUE&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167137962906&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=7811119948476722949&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9012387&hvtargid=pla-274125848043" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">window 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBCAOjAS9d4" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">cat videos (portraying fish, birds, small mammals, insects, etc in natural settings), https://www.amazon.com/DVD-Cats-While-You-Gone/dp/B000XC0E6K/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_15_t_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=2QR6DWHP6V8TVHX7MBYS" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">While You Were Gone DVD

Playing soothing music such as Harp of Hope  or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2X9Gu-PRBGk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">classical music

Providing safe and Interactive toys - Kong, https://www.catit.com/us/products/senses-toys/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Catit  sturdy and safe bell balls, crinkle tunnels for playing chase

Offering a https://pet-fusion.com/collections/scratching-pads-posts" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">variety of cat scratchers in different locations in your home

https://www.pinterest.com/imacdragonfly/cat-climbs-via-stairsshelvescubescircles/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Providing several different ways for your Siberian to be "up:" shelves, https://www.etsy.com/listing/244476337/floating-cat-shelf-set-7-piece-w-hidden?gpla=1&gao=1&utm_campaign=shopping_us_NewCatHorizons_sfc_osa&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_custom1=0&utm_content=11394036&gclid=Cj0KCQiAoY7VBRDtARIsAHWoO-KZ_xy7YLdsc9i9TqwlQFCMEzsLHmDxDkStD2mh3qaQ4c6WPYZt0hYaAqRQEALw_wcB" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">stairs, https://www.catit.com/us/products/vesper-furniture/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">climbers, leaping stations,

Supply https://www.chewy.com/smartcat-kittys-garden/dp/49067?utm_source=google-product&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=hg&utm_content=SmartCat&utm_term=&gclid=Cj0KCQiAoY7VBRDtARIsAHWoO-KFNuDbx8cAmhCbLhsaydyOmH8Tv8p02BDmIpiOtdL8v5_ePOGSrq8aAtmZEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">catnip or https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06X6GGDBC/ref=asc_df_B06X6GGDBC5398753/?tag=hyprod-20&creative=395033&creativeASIN=B06X6GGDBC&linkCode=df0&hvadid=196266503207&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=14463556784340954582&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9012387&hvtargid=pla-315184917111" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">organic grass stations

Placing https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KG1MZCS/ref=asc_df_B01KG1MZCS5398753/?tag=hyprod-20&creative=395033&creativeASIN=B01KG1MZCS&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167142813755&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=16878285907257635843&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9012387&hvtargid=pla-309792676996" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">cosy cuddlers  of various styles throughout your home


#3  Engaging in Person : Siberian Cat Play Sessions of at least 10 minutes in length twice daily (ideally morning and late evening right before bed time).  https://www.chewy.com/ethical-pet-telescoping-kitty-teaser/dp/117923?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Teasers, https://www.chewy.com/ethical-pet-laser-exerciser-original/dp/56335?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">laser light teasers, https://www.chewy.com/kong-naturals-crinkle-ball-feathers/dp/47848?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">feather balls to throw, any toy that involves you, your Siberians, and lots of running are ideal. These together toys are not to be left with your Siberian post play session. This is for two reasons: 1. safety these toys have parts Siberians an chew apart and swallow, and 2. to keep interest in your play sessions high. 


#4 Grooming & Snuggling your Siberian cat daily. Cats groom each other both out of necessity (parts of body they can't reach easily - back of head, jaws, etc), and also to bond and reenforce affiliation. Combing, brushing, stroking, and talking with your kitties provides this same type of sensation and well being to them, as well as allows you to know their healthy bodies well and therefor to be aware of early changes if your cat is not feeling well or is in ill health for some reason. We like to use https://www.amazon.com/Evolution-Undercoat-Medium-Coats-single/dp/B014IYGUSY/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1520723167&sr=8-7&keywords=Evolution+Undercoat+Rake" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">double tined rakes as they reach but under and upper coats at the same time, and greyhound style https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/four-paws-magic-coat-pet-comb-6-l-x-12-w-2285898?&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&adpos=1o5&scid=scplp2285898&sc_intid=2285898&cm_mmc=PLA-GG-_-PTC_P_SUP_PLA-GG_FY17_SCShopping-Desktop-_-Non+VIP-Desktop-_-58700003272135490&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&adpos=%7badpos%7d&scid=scplp2285898&sc_intid=2285898&kwid=p28810384165&device=c&gclid=Cj0KCQiAoY7VBRDtARIsAHWoO-LNX78l6c-IC-twfKieLZqZwD0aHy8RBlbsgOuLYWoC9vi5E_70F7waAmeqEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">metal combs with https://www.groomersmall.com/accessories_combs.htm" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">both fine and medium spaced teeth. 

 

 

 

Chicken Stock Recipe

Posted on March 9, 2018 at 9:55 PM

Old Fashioned Chicken Stock Recipe.

Chicken stock is a wonderful way to add nutritious hydration to your Siberian cat's diet. Simply stir some stock (aka "broth"), into your Siberian's wet food. Increasing a Siberian cat's hydration is a terrific way to avoid urinary blockages, kidney problems, dehyration, and a bunch of other ills. 

Ingredients

1 whole chicken, rinsed

2 pounds of carrots

Water to cover

LARGE pot with lid.


Directions

 

1. In your largest pot, place the rinsed chicken together with giblets/heart/ liver (from inside chicken).

2. Add 1 # peeled carrots, and cover all with fresh water.

3. Cover pot and bring to boil.

4. Reduce to fast simmer, place lid ajar, and cook for 45 to 60 minutes.

5. Strain liquid into another container, save. This is stock!

6. Refill pot with water to cover chicken add the second pound of carrots, and repeat steps 1-5.

7. Mix all the liquids together so they have equal amounts nutrition, flavor, and gelatin. Decant into storage containers leaving room for expansion when frozen. Freeze all containers but what you will use in next few days.

 

Unless your family likes soups (ours does) or cooking rice or steaming veggies in stock (ours does), this will last a good while for two kitties.

 

The cooked chicken meat can be used for a sandwiches, soup, or salad if you remove most of it after first boil :) My youngest son, Ashton, used to call this 'chicken soup' and eat it out of the pot :D

 

 

Learn About ForestWind Siberians

Posted on August 25, 2015 at 1:00 AM

Lots of people are eager to own a Siberian kitten or cat as a pet, and want to call and start learning about Siberians on the phone. We'd love to chat with you :) But first, we request that you complete and return the informational email forms we send you. We do this because we receive dozens of emails each week, and many requests for phone calls. If we didn't take the step of ensuring someone is truly interested in working with ForestWind - and not just "window shopping" or conducting "lazy research" (i.e. making a phone call instead of reading the reams of information online about Siberian cats), we'd do nothing but be on the phone all day. We breed Siberian cats because we love the breed and deeply believe in their benefit as therapy pets.

 

Once you've demonstrated your serious intent by completing and returning your KittenPreferences form - and an Allergy Questionnaire if necessary - we are happy to chat by phone. There is no cost for these inital consultations and no obligation to buy a kitten from us by returning these inquiry/ exploration forms. It's all free!

In the meantime, we invite you to become more involved with ForestWind by joining us on Facebook. You can start that by "friend requesting" us at Kate Stryker :) 

To get you started, here is the link to our ForestWind FAQs , please read in entirety! Almost all the questions people ask us *after* reading this post have already been answered on our FAQs page (such as kitten cost). Thank you for taking the time to carefully read this information :)

 

After reading the linked FAQs page, your next step is to complete and return your Kitten Needs & Preferences Form. This form is free to return, and bears no obligation to purchase a Siberian kitten with us.  We ask that you will share about the type of home and life your kitten would join, and what your own needs and expectations for your Siberian kitten are.

 

We ask questions about kitten exploration and allergy / asthma (if relevant) because we take our kitten placement seriously and responsibly. We hope that you will be comfortable asking questions of us in return, because preparing for and bringing home your new Siberian kitten is a two way street between buyer and breeder.

 

ForestWind Siberians is not the right breeder for every family, so we happily share contact information for many other reputable Siberians breeders (along with a lot of other helpful information!) on our LINKS page :)

 

 

If you are going to buy your kitten(s) from us, please be aware that we are not a large cat breeder who has kittens available immediately year 'round. Instead, we are a family who loves and raises Siberian cats in our home and does our best to match our kitten and its temperament and needs to the needs and preferences that you express to us.

 

This means that you will need to be patient while waiting for your kitten. While we do our best to ensure every family gets a kitten when they expect it by limiting our reservations to slightly less than the number of kittens we anticipate having in a given season, nature is still "the boss" and there are times that our queens (mama cats) have very small litters, which of course limits the number of kittens we will be able to place at that time.

 

Our Siberians are not a business - in ten years of breeding we have never once "broken even" - that means we lose money each and every year. Our Siberians are our beloved pets, and we adore the breed and do everything we humanly can to protect it and to provide our own Siberians and each kitten a happy and healthy life.

 

In other words, we spend more on raising your kitten healthily and properly than we make back in the purchase price for that kitten. If we wanted to earn money we'd have to 1) Decrease the quality and amount of foods we feed our kittens and adult parent Siberians 2) Provide less health care for them, and 3) we'd definitely need to stop our health testing program. In addition, 4) we would not be able to continually research and slowly import the rare foundation Siberian cats we are proud to include in our small breeding program. And finally, 5) we'd need to raise our prices. A LOT.

 

Since we focus more on health, temperament, and genetic diversity, there is more of a range in the appearance and size of our Siberians than there is in a cattery who is breeding with genetically limited lines for the show hall. If you are looking for a show kitten you will want to look for breeders who are spending a lot of time and money in the show halls - this is not us or our focus.

 

We are dedicated to answering all of your questions, including researching topics extensively when needed. However, please remember to be realistic about response time and repetitive questions. We are not a business - we are not "open" 24 hours a day, and we do need to sleep, spend time with each other, and engage in activities other than those related to placing kittens. Many of the issues and information people want is already published on our website/ blog/ and Facebook fan pages. Please be sure to carefully read all information we share with you as it will assist you in staying on track. You might wish to print this information out and save it in a binder to refer to as you progress in your kitten exploration.

 

We know you are eager to bring home your Siberian kitten and are spending a lot of your time thinking about this, researching it, and getting ready. We are delighted to help you with this. At the same time please remember that there are limited hours in the day and we spend an enormous amount of them with our cats, answering emails, sharing on Facebook and working on our website. We still need to have time to be with our family and to do "crazy things" like go to market and cook dinner - and even (GASP!) sleep! So if you are a buyer who is looking for instant replies and round the clock kitten placement, we suggest you look for a cattery focused on sales. You can find them by searching classified advertisements in places like craigs list for a low priced kitten, or looking for breeders who send their kittens home between 9 and 10 weeks of age, or finding a cattery with a lot of cats, or one who perhaps has a "buy now" button or page on their website. In that way you might be able to locate, purchase, and bring your Siberian home in two or three weeks.
       

A few "Yesses" for you:

 

* Yes, you can visit us to pick out your Siberian:)

 

* Yes, you can visit us for an in-person allergy challenge with one of our Siberians in your car.

* Yes, we now ae able to offer "off site" in person allergy challenges in some of the major cities in the USA and Canada.

 

* Yes, in most cases, if you are allergic you can get a fur sample instead of making the in-person visit.

 

* Yes, all of our our pet kittens are placed desexed, microchipped, and vaccinated. No exceptions, period.

                         > See comment above about working with a different breeder.

 

* Yes, our kittens go home between 12 and 16 weeks of age to allow for proper emotional and physical development. Each litter is different and the going home dates are set with the kittens' needs and best interest as our standard.

 

* Yes, occasionally we have retired Siberians available for a low cost (850 USD). These adult or teenaged Siberians have been raised for our breeding program. Sometimes they have been bred, other times we are retiring Siberians without having been bred. Retired Siberians vary in age from four months to two years old. We only place our Siberian Retirees in non smoking, non allergy, non asthma, single pet homes with either no children or those over the age of ten.

 

* And finally, Yes, we take breeding and raising our Siberians very seriously.

We encourage you to "Like" us on our Facebook Fan page ForestWind Siberian Cats , and to Facebook friend us at Kate Stryker. If you choose to work with us, you are also invited to request membership in our Siberian cat groups Siberian Cat Chat or If Cats Could Shop and also our newest group FAQs ForestWind Siberian Kittens and Cats.

 

At some point after you have made a Kitten Reservation, you will be added to the appropriate private Kitten Group on Facebook.  This is typically about 2 to 3 weeks after the Kittens are born. This group is only for those people with reservations for that exact litter. Your membership in this private Facebook Kitten Reservations Group allows us to fairly announce kitten availability, and to share kitten photos quickly. You are not required to join it. You can wait and receive updates via email instead if you prefer not to be on Facebook. In the meantime, ask for membership in our ForestWind Siberians FAQs group to learn all about how to prepare for you kitten's arrival and how to take care of him or her purrfectly once at home.

 

Getting a Siberian kitten from ForestWind is a collaborative process. We are learning about you and your needs, and you are learning about us and our Siberians. Please feel comfortable asking as many questions - and for as many clarifications - as you need. There are no "stupid" or "silly" questions - they are all good! Sometimes we will refer you to information on our website, in other instances the situation might be particular to you and your home and we will answer that with individually specific information :)

 

Take time to enjoy your kitten exploration! Well bred, healthy Siberians are a long lived breed, typically thriving for 13 to 18 years. Let's work together to make those 13 to 18 terrific years for you and for your Siberian!

 

Remember - to start this process we ask that interested folks take some time to read through the information we share - including the links to relevant pages on our web site - and share some basic information about themselves and the type of Siberian they would like to bring home.

 

If you or a family member is cat allergic or asthmatic, we have a bit more information gathering to do with you, so that we are able to supply the proper information for you to consider as you research buying a Siberian kitten.

 

Again, we welcome you to join us immediately on Facebook :) We have several fun and informative Siberian chat groups that our Kitten Families are welcome to join.  Anyone is welcomed to "Like" our ForestWind Siberians Facebook Fan, and we hope you will take advantage of these communities and resources :)

 

We also share information and advice via our ForestWind Siberian Cats Blog.

 

We look forward to our coming contact with you, and to answering any questions that our Facebook presence, ForestWind Siberian Cats web site and emails did not answer :)




 

Support & Successes with Allergic + Asthmatic Families

Posted on August 24, 2015 at 4:25 AM

We place most of our kittens into allergy and/or asthmatic homes. 2015 is our 10th year of Siberian Cat breeding. During that time we have needed to rehome three (3) kittens placed in allergy or asthma homes.

 

We believe a large part of our success rate is careful screening and support of prospective Kitten Families. We are not focused on kitten sales, but rather kitten placements. By this we mean we want to ensure - cat allergy family or not - that there is a proper fit between our kitten and your family. We want to also be sure there is a comfortable fit between you as the buyer and us as the breeder. Purchasing a kitten from a breeder you are not in "synch" with results in not asking for help with questions and any problems that arise. It means that you might make unnecessary expenditures at the Vet's when other advice fits the situation better, or armed with knowledge you are able to ask for the proper testing and treatment of your Siberian.

 

We also help our prospective Kitten Families consider the steps they will want to take once bringing their Siberian home. These steps go from the early transition period; to proper nutrition for your Siberian (which even impacts allergy levels and temperament!); to keeping your Siberian emotionally and physically healthy - unstressed cats produce less allergens; to cleaning strategies for the home to ensure the majority for any allergens produced are removed; to our step by step support on allergy friendly bathing and grooming of your Siberian.

 

We have allergy assessment strategies for pre-approval that involve a fur sample challenge and an in-person allergy challenge (which in some cases we can arrange close to your home). These challenges help you assess - prior to committing to a purchase - the level of reactivity you or a family remember will experience. Our allergy / asthma questionnaire provides us with information about your home/ allergy - asthma situation that allows us to provide you with targeted, situation specific information on the chances of a successful purchase as well as steps to take to ensure your purchase is a good one. We do *not* approve every home. In situations where it is clear that the purchase would not be successful for you we explain why. In some case we are able to make alternative suggestions - such as buying a kitten from a cattery that allergy tests its kittens. Those kittens are normally sold for 2500 USD to 3500 USD. However, in extreme situations they are the safest option for some prospective kitten homes.

 

Finally, we require a Safe Home. this is a non-asthmatic non-allergic person or family who co-signs your purchase contract agreeing to provide a forever home for your kitten should issues around allergy/ asthma arise that necessitate re-homing. We find that this requirement weeds out those people who want to use a Siberian kitten purchase as either a magic bullet (no work necessary on their part) or a "try it and see" situation - which is terribly unfair to the kitten.

 

By supporting our Kitten Families with information, advice, and care strategies we ensure that those families who bring home a ForestWind Siberian kitten are ready to enjoy many years of happiness and comfort with their sweet pet:)

 

We look forward to supporrting you through your exploration of purchasing a ForestWind Siberian kitten of your own!

 

Warmly,

ForestWind Siberian Cats

Healthy, Happy & Hypoallergenic since 2005

Prevent the Spread of Fel d 1 Throughout Your Home

Posted on June 21, 2015 at 9:35 PM

Fel d 1 is a tiny protein expressed in saliva, skin oils, and via the anal glands. Salivatory Fel d 1 is spread through your Siberian's fur during grooming; and sebaceous Fel d 1 also spreads through the fur through expression. The Fel d 1 enters the atmosphere via loose hair, dander, and the litter box.. The allergen is very stable and can remain active in the environment for over a year. Anally expressed Fel d 1 ends up in the litter box, of course, which is why Unfair Rule # 1 for allergy households exists: Allergic persons should not scoop litter boxes. If you are the allergic party and live alone, consider investing in an automatic litter box. Then use a mask to protect you when emptying the container or washing out the unit.

 

Using an electrostatic air filter on your furnace, and adding a HEPA filter helps to remove the floating hairs and dusts that carry the dander and allergen proteins about your home. If you have radiators or electric baseboard heat, invest in high quality room air filtration units. Learn about CADR ratings (Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) is a figure of merit that is the cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air that has had all the particles of a given size distribution removed.), and use them to guide your purchase decisions. AHRAMs CADR Verifide program. CADR Ratings Guide.

 

When selecting furniture, opt for leather and hard surfaces. Use blinds or shades that can be wiped, instead of curtains.

 

Use glass enclosed display areas to keep treasured items from becoming catch-alls for dander or dust.

 

Be sure to select a low dust, non scented litter. If you can't find any, consider using play box sand which is fine grained and very dust free. The downside is you will absolutely need to dump this litter every day or so, as the urine will not clump in it. Adding baking soda to the litter box helps neutralize urine odor in between dumpings. An additional benefit to dumping frequently and then washing / disinfecting the litter box is that it is a very good way to maintain cat health, especially if you have two or more cats.

 

Keeping your Siberian groomed reduces loose hair in the environment. Use Allerpet C before grooming to prevent the allergen from becoming airborne during daily brushing or combing. Washing your cat weekly removes the dander and protein from the body. You can simply use tap water or a mild shampoo. It is simply the act of thoroughly wetting the coat, rubbing it, and then rinsing thoroughly that mechanically removes the dander and deposited fel d 1. We use one cup of white vinegar in a bucket of warm tap water as our final rinse (or second to final - you may want to use a neutral smelling conditioner after the rinse if a vinegar scent bothers you!!).

 

Bathing cats with shampoos or grooming solutions which contain tannins or borates deactivates many allergens. Normal levels of the allergen deposits return within a week. Routine bathing of your Siberian, combined with vacuuming rugs, mopping floors, and wiping off surfaces, reduces the allergen buildup in your home.

 

In homes with some allergic and some non allergic individuals, it is realistic to declare certain areas "off limits" to your cat. Bedrooms are top priority. Next is a family room or other area that the allergic person(s) spends a lot of time. Even installing doors to provide a "cat free zone" is a realistic step.

 

Speaking of bedrooms, use the "Transition Room" as a permanent bedroom /retreat for your Siberian. When you go to bed, so does kitty - in his or her own bedroom. Keep the HEPA filter running at all times in there. Also HEPA vacuum daily, and open your Siberian's bedroom window for at least one hour a day. The hours your kitty is in her room are hours that dander is not distributed throughout the house. It is also a great safety measure: you can Siberian proof her bedroom area and not worry about her biting through light cords, or getting into cleaners or medications while you are sleeping. Finally, in cases of emergency, you know where your cat is. With a carry crate in that room, you can easily get your cat safely confined and removed from the house, or let rescue people know where to find your beloved pet, instead of having her terrified and hiding in the house "somewhere."

 

Consider implementing as many of these steps as you can if you are cat allergic and would like to ensure that both you and your Siberian are comfortable at home!

A Thanksgiving Love Letter to ForestWind Siberians

Posted on November 10, 2014 at 12:00 AM
Dear Kate,
 
How are you?  How are the kids?  How are the cats?  If I'm not mistaken, you're going to be blessed with another litter soon.  Please send me an update when you get a chance!
 
I wanted to write (it's been too long) and wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow.  It will be the first American Thanksgiving that we have ever celebrated, in large part because of the kindness of new American friends like you! 
 
We have some great news - our daughter Isabel's health problems have been manageable as of late! She is now able to attend school regularly, and though she has many physical limitations, her pain level is far better than it was.  Last week, she even went 10 days in a row without any pain meds at all!  Smile emoticon 
 
And of course, our precious boy Wills, has been an incredible friend to us through it all.  He is actually more like a dog, always needing to be with the family.  Daniel and I finally couldn't hold off any longer and he now sleeps with us every night.  My allergies must be mild enough, because they aren't troubling me at all.  Though he is only 6 months old now, he's already 8 lbs.  Do I need to worry about that?  When he jumps from any height, it's quite the "thud!" 
 
For Isabel, Wills is an excellent distraction, garnering smiles that would have not been otherwise.  He often lies in her arms, with his enormous white tummy, purring up a storm.  On her face is a look of complete contentment.  Wills has also been such a healing force for Isabel's sister Anneliese (who is finally a big sister because of him), Daniel and I.  We had hoped that he would bring happiness into our home, but we could never have suspected how much he has brought to us. 
 
Other than the change in  Wills' sleeping arrangements, we've ramped up the grooming.  At about 5 months, his fur tripled!  Since we got back into grooming after a few month's break, at first it wasn't his favourite activity. But, with routine and treats, he's come to accept it as the new norm, and he looks gorgeous!  He's now so furry that he could be mistaken for a teddy bear!
 
Thank you again for this wonderful boy.  We are thinking of you always, but especially on this Thanksgiving.  I pray you know how much gratitude we have in our hearts for you. 
 
With best wishes,
 
Tina, Daniel, Isabel, Anneliese and Wills

Kittens Available!

Posted on August 25, 2014 at 1:05 AM

Want your very own lapful -- or climberful ;) -- of love? ForestWind Siberians Kittens available for September 2014 <3   Email us at SweetSiberians@aol.com to reserve one of your very own!


Fel d 1 Testing Issues and Costs in Siberian Kittens

Posted on August 2, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Allergen testing (fel d 1 level testing) for kittens is now available. This is information about how it works and some of the challenges for the potential Kitten Family and for ForestWind if allergen testing is pursued. Some of the limitations of testing are cost and the increased age of the kitten at placement.

Allergy testing for kittens is $600 per kitten. This fee includes the Vet visit with the charges to collect the samples; overnighting the samples to the testing lab; and the lab's charge for the testing. We do not charge for our time, parking or anything similar. This is *not* a fee deducted from the cost of kitten purchase, but is in addition to it.

Kittens must be at least ten weeks old to be reliably tested. The older the kitten is, the more reliable the results are. Results can take up to three weeks.

We have considered testing all of our kittens, but do not because of the timing and expense. More typically a cat allergic or asthmatic person will visit to challenge in person first with the breed itself (adult cat) and then if that is successful, with a kitten if it is old enough to be producing allergens.

We are making this service available to our families, but are also sharing our concerns about engaging in it:

One, in order to test reliably we need to keep kittens an extra one to two months. Two, if the tested kitten is not considered low allergen enough by the family, then we have a much older kitten who does not have a home. Three, this kitten will most likely be placed for a significant reduction in price even though our expenses and our time/ space costs have risen.

We carefully plan our litters so as not to overwhelm our home or our family. Each kitten needs lots of socialization time. As well, cats do not like to be crowded. Crowded cats are unhappy cats, and unhappy cats are not healthy cats*...

So the compromise we have arrived at is the following: we do not "hold" kittens pending allergy challenges or allergy testing. In other words, the prospective kitten parent pays for the adoption, and if the test results are low, they adopt the kitten. However, if the test results were not satisfactory to the prospective family, and they decide to wait for a later kitten, we do not refund the adoption money.

If due to age or higher allergen factor the kitten is placed for less than our normal adoption cost, that is deducted from the moneys paid toward the adoption of a kitten for the family who is involved in the testing.

This still leaves us without a resolution for the space and time issues, but we are absorbing those in an effort to support people who would like to pursue the lab based allergen testing before adopting.

As you can see, as well as the good news of being able to test for fel d1 levels in a kitten, there are also some challenges involved for everyone. We will work this out on a one by one basis with prospective families who strongly feel they would like to pursue this testing.

We do have a process for in-person allergy challenges. There is a 100 USD fee for in person visits conducted at ForestWind Siberian's home.  This is deducted in full from your final kitten purchase payment if you buy a ForestWind kitten. Allergy challenges conducted in ForestWind Siberian kitten pet homes are paid to the pet owner and are not deducted from the purchase price. One can also request a fur sample for 25 USD, 20 of which is deducted from a kitten purchase with ForestWind Siberians, 5 USD goes toward the cost of priority mailing).

We are happy to answer any questions you have about the various allergy challenge and testing options.

* We love the babies, but our Siberians live in our home, and which cats are in which areas of our house is carefully timed and structured to provide the healthiest and happiest outcome for all our Siberians - and our people. A kitten from Litter A should not be hanging out with Litter B kittens, especially after kitten A was vaccinated and desexed. That kitten now has been exposed to airborne illnesses at the Vet as well as will shed the vaccines (in other words, a non vaccinated kitten can actually get sick from exposure to a vaccinated kitten).

10 Steps to Find Your Lost Siberian Cat

Posted on July 31, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Lost Cat? 10 Tips to a Safe Return

We rounded up tips to get lost cats safely home.

By Anastasia Thrift | Posted: July 21, 2014, 12 p.m. EDT

July is Lost Pet Prevention Month, so we checked in with the latest advice on finding lost cats. According to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, nearly one out of five pets go missing after loud noises scare them away.

Paul Mann heads up Fetch! Pet Care, a professional pet sitting, dog walking and pet fitness/exercise services franchise. Mann says surveys show that 93% of dogs and 75% of cats reported lost are returned safely to their homes.

He offers the following tips:

1. Contact shelters. File a lost pet report with every shelter or animal control office within a 60-mile radius of your home and visit the nearest shelters daily, if possible.

2. Tell all vets. Sometimes people pick up a stray and drive it to a distant clinic. Contact veterinary offices in your area.

3. Search your neighborhood. Walk or drive through your neighborhood several times each day. Get friends, family and others to help you. Ask neighbors, letter carriers, and delivery people if they have seen your pet. Hand out a recent photograph of your pet and information on how you can be reached if your pet is found.

4. Talk to neighbors. The more people know you have lost a pet, and that you are upset, worried and desperately trying to find your pet, the more people will call you if they see an animal in the woods or on the road, or in their back yard.

5. Put up flyers. Post notices at grocery stores, community centers, veterinary offices, traffic intersections, at pet supply stores, and other locations. Also, place advertisements in newspapers and with radio stations. Include your pet's sex, age, weight, breed, color, and any special markings. To avoid scams, when describing your pet, leave out one identifying characteristic and ask the person who finds your pet to describe it.

6. Post to websites. Sites like Craigslist.org, TheCenterForLostPets.com andFidoFinder.com allow you to broadcast your missing pet info quickly. National pet care providers can be hired to assist you in your search for your lost pet.

7. Consider recovery services. There are now numerous lost pet alert services, such asFindToto.com, that will contact homes, veterinarians, shelters and animal control organizations for a reasonable fee.

8. Offer food and water. Your pet may eventually return to your home when they get hungry or thirsty. Consider placing the food in a rented or purchased humane pet trap to capture them.

9. Spread the word. The more people you alert about your missing pet, the greater the chance someone will recollect seeing your pet in their area.

10. Stay on it. Keep up your search, solicit help and put out the word right away. Don’t wait a few hours to see if she’ll come home on her own; you need those early hours to put up posters and start your search.

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Allergic? 8 Mistakes to Avoid

Posted on July 30, 2014 at 8:00 PM

1. Showering Only in the Morning

When you spend a lot of time outside, particularly if you’re working

out in the yard, pollen can end up on your skin and hair, worsening

allergy symptoms. If you’re highly allergic to pollen, it’s a good

idea to take a second shower after you come inside, to rinse away

the pollen and help avoid allergy symptoms, explains Mark S.

Dykewicz, MD, professor of internal medicine and director of

allergy and immunology at the Wake Forest University School of

Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C.



2. Wearing Shoes In and Around Your House

You can carry quite a bit of pollen into the house after you’ve been

exposed to it by exercising or working outside. If you don’t take off

your shoes as soon as you come into the house, you may be

tracking pollen into every room. The same goes for your

clothes. It’s not necessary for everyone, but if seasonal allergies

like hay fever are particularly troublesome for you, change your

clothes as soon as you come in and throw them in the wash to keep

allergy symptoms from following you home, Dr. Dykewicz advises.



3. Opening the Windows Once Spring Hits

It can be hard to resist the allure of a warm spring breeze once the

temperature rises, but opening your windows when seasonal

allergies are at their peak is like giving pollen an open invitation to

invade your living space and cause allergy symptoms. Keeping

your windows closed and using an air conditioner with an allergy

filter can be an effective way of treating allergies and may help you

breathe better, says Dykewicz.



4. Having a Drink With Dinner

Drinking any type of alcohol increases blood flow to the linings of

your nose and can make nasal allergy symptoms worse, notes

Dykewicz. Also, if you’re someone who has year-round nasal

issues, including frequent congestion, this scenario can be

complicated by alcohol. When seasonal allergies hit and you’re

already feeling congested, skip the beer or wine to avoid worsening

allergy symptoms.



5. Inhaling Chlorine and Strong Perfumes

Odors such as chlorine from a swimming pool and strong perfumes

can irritate the nasal airways and lungs and make you cough.

Irritants such as perfume and dyes in cosmetics and cleaning

products can also cause an allergic skin reaction, known as

contact dermatitis. Dermatitis can cause a rash, lead to itching,

which will make your other allergy symptoms feel even worse.



6. Skipping Short-Acting Allergy Meds at Night

Some medications for treating allergies like cetirizine (Zyrtec) and

fexofenadine (Allegra) last 24 hours and don’t need to be taken at

night. But if you’re combating allergy symptoms with a different

antihistamine first thing in the morning, keep in mind that its effects

will only last six to eight hours. If you don’t take it again before

going to bed, you may wake up to more allergy symptoms in the

morning, Dykewicz says. Check the label of your medication to be

sure you’re taking the correct number of doses for

your seasonal allergies.



7. Using a Humidifier

If you’re allergic to dust mites, using a humidifier may make your

allergy symptoms worse, especially if you use one in your

bedroom. Humidity promotes the growth of dust mites, Dykewicz

explains. The best thing for treating allergies from dust mites is dry

air. So if you suspect a dust mite allergy, stop using your humidifier

and see if your symptoms improve.



8. Eating Foods That Can Cause a Reaction

People with seasonal allergies often have antibodies that can cause

their immune system to overreact to certain foods. This

phenomenon is called cross-reactivity. For instance, if you’re

allergic to ragweed, you may experience allergy symptoms like

itching on your lips, tongue, and mouth if you eat bananas, melons,

cucumber, or zucchini, Dykewicz says. If you’re allergic to birch

tree pollen, you may have allergy symptoms after eating

apples, pears, peaches, hazelnuts, kiwi, carrots, or celery. These

problems may only occur during the season that your allergies are at

their worst. Regardless of the season, help minimize your allergy

symptoms by keeping all of these triggers in mind and avoiding them

as much as possible.

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Remember: every step you take to ensure an allergy friendly home and a less-reactive-you helps you enjoy your Siberian kitten with less worry that you will become reactive as time passes.


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