Q: When Did ForestWind Start breeding Siberians?
A: We imported our first Siberians in 2005. This is now our 13th year of breeding Silver and Gold Siberians.
Q: Why do you breed Siberian cats?
A: We breed Siberian cats because we love the breed and deeply believe in their benefit as happy and healthy family members for cat allergic or asthmatic homes, as well as hold an exceptional role as therapy pets. Our Siberians are not a business - in over 12 years of breeding we have yet to "break even." This 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 them, and to provide our own Siberians and each kitten a happy and healthy life. We like to say that Siberian cat breeding is "Our profession first, and a business second."
Q: What is the benefit to me of working with ForestWind?
A: We are in our 13th year of working with Siberian cats, and bring our successful experience and expertise to bear for your benefit.
Q: May I call you instead of reading all this information?
A: We'd love to chat with you :) But first, we request that you complete and return the information form(s) we will email you. We do this because we receive dozens of emails a 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 talk on the phone.
Once you've demonstrated your serious intent by completing and returning your Kitten Inquiry form - and an allergy form if necessary - we are happy to chat by phone. There is no cost to return these informational forms and to take advantage of our expertise and experience, and there no obligation to buy a kitten from us implied when you return the form. It's all free!
Q: Why can't I reach you as soon as I message you on Facebook, or email you?
A: Your questions, concerns, and needs are important to us. We are dedicated to supporting your exploration of ForestWind Siberians, and our Siberian cats and kittens, including researching topics extensively when needed. However, please remember to be realistic about response time and asking repetitive questions. We are not a business - we are not "open" 24 hours a day, and we do need to engage in activities other than those related to placing kittens. We know you are very 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. At the same time, please remember that there are limited hours in any day, and we spend an enormous amount of those hours hands on with our cats, answering emails, sharing with folks on Facebook, and working on our website. Yet, we still need to have time to be with our family and to do "crazy things" like go to market and cook dinner - or even (GASP!) - sleep :)
A: Much of the information folks want is openly published on our Website/ Blog/ Facebook 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.
A: If you are a buyer who is looking for instant replies and round the clock kitten placement, we suggest you search for a large scale breeder who is focused on sales. You can find catteries like this by searching online advertisements in places such as Craig'sList or Kijiji for lower priced kittens; checking for breeders who send their kittens home early - between 9 and 10 weeks of age; locating a cattery who breeds in a facility like a barn or a kennel, A cattery who has a lot of Queens (mother cats); or one who perhaps identifies kittens with a coding system, and has a "buy now" option on their web site. In these ways you may be able to locate, purchase, and bring home a kitten in four to twelve weeks.
Q: What is the application process like?
A: We have a FAQS and a Form for most stages. For example, everyone reads and fills out the first Kitten Inquiry FAQs and For. If anyone in your home is cat allergic, asthmatic, or has special needs that we should consider, we have additional steps to support you in making a good decision.
Q: How can I learn more about the kitten application process?
A: To get you started, here is the link to our ForestWind FAQs. Most of the questions people ask us *after* reading the FAQs have already been answered (such as kitten cost, or our location). Thank you for taking the time to carefully read everything, and then making up your list of questions to share with us via your Preferences & Needs Form. We love questions -- just not the ones already answered in information we share with you. :)
Q: Is there a cost to applying to be considered a kitten home?
A: No, this process is free. In fact we share a lot of helpful information and support with you in response to your reply.
Q: If I complete all of your forms, am I guaranteed to be able to buy a ForestWind kitten?
A: Sadly, no. ForestWind Siberians only has a few kittens very season, and we are not the right breeder for every home. It is important that there be a two way partnership and comfortable exchange of information, and a willingness to take bringing home a kitten very seriously for there to be a meaningful and effective relationship between ForestWind and a prospective buyer. We look at this placement as a long term relationship with you. We are here as a support and information source for the life of your kitten. We do not "chase you down," we are simply available almost always to help our kitten homes with their ForestWind Siberian's needs.
A: Because we are not the right breeder for every home, we happily share contact information for many Siberians breeders on our Links page.
Q: If I am approved, can I buy a kitten from ForestWind "right now?"
A: ForestWind rarely has kittens available immediately. We are a small cattery who only accepts a limited number of reservations per season. If you are going to buy your kitten(s) from us, please be aware that we are not a large scale 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 you can expect a wait for your kitten. If this is not tenable for you, please check our links page for contacts to other breeders.
Q: How do I follow the development of my kitten's litter and receive timely information?
A: When you make a kitten reservation with ForestWind Siberians, we add you to the appropriate Season's private Facebook group. This group is unsearchable and invisible to anyone but members. It is only for people with reservations for that season. Your membership in this group is required, and allows us to share timely information about nutrition, preparation - including exactly what to shop for - supportive suggestions about environmental enrichment and feline needs, as well as to share darling photos of the kittens growing up.
Q: Why do I have to be on Facebook to reserve a kitten with ForestWind?
A: Facebook membership allows each person to access the photos, information, and updates at the same time. Everyone has the same access and no one is accidentally left out of any communications. We have discovered that it is too complicated to separately email each and every notice and photo to persons choosing not to be on Facebook. You do not need a personal profile to be in the group. As soon as you bring your kitten home, you can close the profile and leave Facebook. We can assist you in setting up a generic profile that you will use only to access the group during the time you have a reservation with ForestWind.This profile would not be tied to you personally or professionally, so your privacy is protected.
Q: How can I be connected with you?
A: You can easily "friend request" me on Facebook at Kate Stryker .
A: You can "Like" our Facebook fan page at ForestWind Siberian Cat Breeder
Q: Why are Siberian kittens expensive?
A: Siberians are still a rare breed. Breeding properly means protecting genetic diversity by identifying and importing rare lines and foundation lines to build the best breeding program with the happiest and healthiest kittens we can.
A: We import most of our breeding Siberians directly from Russia and have them hand carried from their Russian Cattery to our home in Buffalo, NY, USA. Just this cost is approximately 1500 usd per kitten. This cost is to Courier the kitten from the cattery to Moscow, have appropriate export paperwork and examinations conducted, and pay for a Courier to bring our kitten in the plane's passenger compartment. We do not cargo ship our own kittens, and we would not put a kitten from Russia through cargo to reach us.
A: We treat our Siberians as pets, not livestock. They are not caged or kenneled and do not live outdoors away from the family. This means dedicating many of the rooms in our home exclusively to Siberians. We all know that houses are expensive to heat, light, insure, pay taxes and mortgages on, repair and maintain. Deciding to have our Siberian cat living humane happy lives means having a home of the size to facilitate this. Our home was formerly a 9 bedroom boarding house. Now we have three people, two dogs, and our Siberians living here :)
A: Our Siberians are not a business - in over 12 years of breeding we have yet to "break even." This means we lose money each and every year we breed. 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, including not vaccinating, microchipping, or desexing our kittens prior to placement, 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 breeding program. And finally, 5) We'd need to raise our prices. A LOT. We adore our breed and do everything we humanly can to protect them, and to provide our own Siberians and each kitten a happy and healthy life. We like to say that Siberian cat breeding is "Our profession first, and a business second."
A few "Yeses" for you:
* Yes, you can visit us to pick out your Siberian:)
* Yes, you can visit us for an in-person allergy challenge in your car.
* 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 seven years old. We only place our Siberian Retirees in non smoking, non allergy, non asthma, single pet homes with either no children or children over the age of ten.
* And finally, Yes, we take breeding and raising our Siberians very seriously.
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 terrific years for you and for your Siberian!