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ForestWind Siberian's Cat Diet and Hydration Advice

Posted on May 6, 2013 at 10:15 PM
ForestWind Siberian's Diet and Drinking Advice

ForestWind Siberian Kittens are started on our Home Made Raw Food as infants - it's real food and they easily begin to eat on their own. We then feed 50-50 on raw and kibble (separate plates) to get them to understand that kibble is also food. 

We do not feed canned as ALL of our cats get diarrhea on it - and this is with the very, very best brands.

When your kitten is close to going home to you - about 10 days before desexing - we switch to 80 % kibble. This makes the transition to your home simple (if you'd like to raw feed - please let us know and we'll send a separate informative email). 

Your Siberian needs plenty of fresh water. This paragraph is arguably the MOST IMPORTANT piece of information you will ever get about guarding your Siberian' lifetime health. It is also the simplest. Cats who do not get enough liquids on a day to day basis are chronically slightly dehydrated. They are at high risk to develop kidney and urinary tract problems as well as be predisposed to other illnesses. These are not inherited diseases - they are diseases caused by unknowingly creating a health hazard for one's cat. 

What can you, the loving Siberian parent, do to prevent diseases caused by chronic dehydration? There are several simple steps to follow to ensure your Siberian gets enough liquid every day. First, consider feeding raw! Raw food has a lot of liquid in it, and we suggest adding home made chicken stock to it... further increasing the water content. If you are not "up for" raw feeding, here are some simple strategies to keep your baby healthy: 

1. Use 100% clean and heat disinfected water bowls. Cats will not drink from dirty water bowls. Remember they put their paws in their water often - those very same paws as walked in a litter box and on the floor! Dump and refill the water at least once a day, and replace the bowl daily - running the used bowl through the dishwasher to disinfect. 

2. Consider filtering your Siberian's water - especially when she or he first comes home. A good way to ensure both healthy and neutral-tasting water is to buying a PUR brand faucet filter and using it to refill your Siberian's water bowl. 

Water tastes different geographically and your ForestWind Siberian has "imprinted" on the water at our home. Since cats do not like any water with a strong taste, you want to prevent them avoiding your water because it "tastes different" and therefor initially "wrong" to your kitten. You may have become used to water with a lot of chlorination, sulfur, or other inclusions. Your Siberian won't like it and will avoid. Cats are desert animals and will easily avoid drinking. They are programmed to get the liquid from fresh kills. Since you aren't likely to be breeding and releasing mice for them to hunt, it's important to ensure your Siberian always has access to fresh, clean water. 

3. A real treat for your Siberian - and one guaranteed to keep him or her drinking enough water during those hot summer months is to add a cup of ice cubes (suggestion: make these from the PUR filtered water - no reasom to add microbes back into the water you are so carefully protecting!) to your Siberian's water bowl a few times a day :) Our Siberians definitely love cold, cold fresh water :) 

3. Use small to medium sized ceramic mixing bowls for your Siberian's water dish. These bowls are sturdy (hard to tip over), easy to disinfect safely and repeatedly in the dishwasher, and are affordable (especially sourced at places like your grocery store, TJ Max's or Target). Being deeper than a typical "pet bowl," these small to medium mixing bowl keep you Siberian's drinking water fresher and cooler than a plastic or stainless bowl can. 

Your Siberian needs the Very Best Food.

After ensuring your Siberian is and remains well hydrated, the very best quality of food is key. This email addresses feeding a mostly to a 100% kibble diet. Once your kitten has transitioned, even if you choose not to raw feed, you can offer small amount of tuna fish, chicken stock, fish, or cooked chicken, beef, etc in addition to the kibble both to replicate the natural variation of a wild feline's diet as well as to give stimulation in an indoor environment and finally to give healthy supplements and enjoyment in their diets :) 

So, How Does One Offer a Healthful Diet of Kibble?

First, we rotate kibbles for our Siberians. Balanced with a diet of homemade raw food, the kibble mix keeps our Siberians healthy, happy and interested in th-eir food. Even for those not feeding raw, feeding a mix of top notch kibble is the best second choice. 

Second, we use Wellness Core as the base dry food for our Siberians. 
Ironically, while one would expect that a KITTEN food is better nutrition than a typical kibble (and normally this is true, adult cat food is simply unbalanced nutritionally), we do not use Wellness Kitten at ForestWind Siberians, since Wellness Core is so much better and Wellness Kitten food is just as expensive as the Core.

Third, we rotate the other kibbles listed below as mix ins with the stable base of Wellness Core. We feed a three to four kibble mix (so the mix is either 33%, 33%, 33%;  or 25%, 25%,  25%, 25%). 

Fourth, to get you started, we provide you with a quart bag (this is a generous one and a half to two pounds of dry food), of our current kibble mix if you pick up your Siberian at our home in Buffalo, NY.  Unfortunately, we are no longer able to send more than a small "snack bag" size bag of kibble when kittens are flown solo to you, as we are limited by the new airline regulations. 

When you arrive home with the quart bag of kibble, mix 1/2 this quart bag with Wellness Core (an All Life Stages kibble). Next, mix the other 1/2 of the quart bag we send you home with together with the % kibble mix (33/33/33 or 25/25/25/25), you've decide to use (and have already made up BEFORE your kitten comes home) together with the Wellness Core base. 

So, why does ForestWind Siberians rotate kibble?

We rotate the kibbles in our feeding mix for several reasons:
1. Replicates more closely the natural variety of a free roaming domestic cat. 
2. Keeps your Siberian from being a picky eater.
3. Takes advantage of different healthful inclusions in various brands of top quality cat kibble. Each manufacturer uses different vitamins, keeps the cats healthier by including different ones at different times.
4. Avoids food poisoning. Should there be a food poisoning incident, each kibble you are feeding is only contributing between 25 to 33 % of the total diet and it is being rotated so the chance of your Siberian dying from the exposure is minimal. 
5. Keeps costs lower. Buyer can take advantage of sales, which tend to rotate through brands at the major pet stores or online sites. 

What Brands of Kibble Does ForestWind Siberians use in its rotation diet?

1. Natural Balance Ultra Premium all life stages or the ALPHA CAT all life stages are the ONLY kibbles from natural balance I will use for cats. The other natural balance flavours / types have too many fillers. 

2. Nature's Variety Kibbles are an excellent mix in option :) We love their grain free options.  Our babies do love the Rabbit flavour :) Their Salmon Holistic Kibble is also an all life stages option that our Siberians enjoy. 

3. Nature's Variety Raw is an option if you choose not to make your own raw food. Raw feeding helps Siberians avoid gum/teeth problems as well as increases vitality, growth, coat and skin health and temperament. A natural cat fed naturally is a delight as a pet :) 

Here's to Good Health! 


Kate Stryker
ForestWind Siberians... pure, healthy kittens since 2005

Categories: Feeding, Health & Disease, Care Practices