Welcome to Berstuk, My name is Caitlin Esparza. I got into Siberians as many people do. My husband was allergic to cats, and as a cat person it tore me apart. After 5 years without a cat I had given up hope i'd ever have another. Luckily for me, my husband decided to look into Hypo-Allergenic cats for my sake. That is when we learned about Siberians and their low allergen counts. From our research we learned some people have little to no reaction to Siberians.
Not trying to get our hopes up we requested fur samples from a breeder. I never thought I would be asking my husband to smell,pet and rub cat hair all over his body! But to our surprise he did not have a reaction. I had been involved with dog & horse breeding and showing and knew this is where I would be headed. I wanted to spread the word that their was hope for cat allergy sufferers. But getting into breeding takes a lot of work especially for other breeders to trust you with the lines they have dedicated their lives too.
Luckily after a year of searching Maria of Cica cattery had a stud kitten for us. I am very blessed to have her as a mentor. Radagast was my test dummy into the cat show world. Thankfully he could not have been a better cat. And as they say the rest is history.
Berstuk pronounced (Bear-Stook) is the name of a Russian forrest god. Berstuk is the chief forrest spirit in slavic mythology ,and protector of the forest. We thought it only fitting to name our cattery after him. We are proudly registered and show our cats in both CFA and TICA. Our goals in breeding is to produce healthy cats with great confirmation and temperment. All of our breeding cats are tested for the most common health problems associated with the breed. We believe their is no good reason to skip on genetic testing our breeding cats. All of our cats results are published on The Siberian Cat Info page and pedigrees are published too Pawpeds.
We do not keep our cats caged in our cattery, we believe our cats are most happy as part of our family. Keeping our cattery cage free helps our cats adjust to their retired life. Our cats are kept indoors only, they are only allowed outdoors in a enclosure or on a harness. It is very important to us our retired cats are well adjusted for their retired life as a pet.We frequently take our cats to shows & pet stores to socialize them. We also expose them from a young age to small animals. Siberians have a high prey drive, we want to ensure they see their families pets as friends not food.
All of our cats at Berstuk are fed primarily a raw diet. We believe strongly that many health problems in cats can be prevented with proper nutrition. We have put a lot of research & time to prepare their meals to make sure they are balanced nutritionally. Their are many benefits to feeding your cats raw if you choose to do so. We find our cats do not shed as much as Siberians normally do, which reduces the allergen load in your home. They also have beautiful coats & teeth! We also have no problems with hair balls or vomiting. Best of all our litter boxes do not stink! If you would like more information about raw feeding we recommend reading the info on Catinfo.org. The recipe provided on that site is from a veterinarian & feline nutritionist. Another great source of information is some of the raw facebook groups such as Cats Completely Raw & Proud.
We strive for genetic diversity in our cats. Which means we have spent hundreds of hours studying pedigrees. We feel you can breed quality show cats without having to resort to linebreeding. To ensure we are breeding to the standard we show our cats as well. Showing our breed gets helps judges become more experienced with the breed. But also allows spectators visiting the show, to learn about the breed. We are also members of the Topeka Cat Fanciers club. Being apart of clubs keeps us in the loop of what is going on in the cat fancy.