Transition Room

The transition room is where your kitten will spend his or her important first days.  This ensures the kitten feels secure, safe, knows where the litter box is located, is isolated from other household pets, and is not overwhelmed with new sights, sounds, and smells.The transition room should be a room like the bathroom, washroom, or an extra bedroom.  The room should be set up with a litter box, food & water, and toys.  Failure to take this important step can lead to litter box issues as your kitten struggles to find where to go in a new home, fear reactions as they could be overwhelmed with too much space, and aggression (even play aggression) if they become overstimulated.  Remember, your kitten is a baby and babies need to take baby steps!If you have another cat in the home, it is important to introduce them slowly.  When your new kitten is in his/her room, feed the kitten and the resident cat on opposite sides of the door. That way they smell and hear each other and associate that with positive feelings and activities.  Other ideas are to take a blanket or bedding from each kitten and place it with the opposite kitty.  Again, you are letting them get used to the other cat's smells before making the introduction.  Keep in mind, some hissing and hiding at first are pretty normal.

Siberian Proof your home

kittens, like babies, will put almost anything in their mouth.  Some are worse than others and many will be compelled to chew on plastic bags, shoes, etc.  Some of the worst things are twist ties, hair bands, rubber bands, and string.  These can get caught around the tongue or in the intestine and constrict around the organ and result in severe illness or death.  Other objects can cause obstructions in the intestine.  If caught in time, at best this means a costly surgical procedure but if not it can result in death.  So, when kitties are in the house keep those items off the floor and put away in drawers.  
Other things to do are to get out the baby proofing supplies like electrical socket covers, cord covers, and child proof locks for those lower kitchen cupboards.  Another thing to be extra cautious about is plants.  Many plants and foods are toxic to your cat. Lillies,Christmas Cactus are a few that are very toxic to cats.   

 

Helpful links:
Poisonous Plants
Toxic Foods

 

Cleaning Supplies

Kittens and cats will have the occasional accident. Unfortunately, cat urine has pheromones in it and this attracts your cat to come back to urinate again unless you really get rid of the odor.  Keep in mind that just because YOU can't smell it, doesn't mean your cat can't.  The best way to get rid of a cat odor or stain is by using a specially formulated enzyme cleaner.  This should be CAT specific since cat urine is more concentrated than dog and harder to clean.  Some good options include:  Dumb Cat,Urine Off, Stink Free, and Anti Icky Poo.  
Cats often have accidents on items that are made of plastic or synthetic leather.  This is because one of the components of these items is a product called Urea and it is chemically very similar to urine and to your cat, they are very very similar.  So, keep that luggage in the closet, the back pack put away and get a real leather sofa instead of the fake.  You'll be glad you did.

Grooming

Siberians have a thick, triple layer coat.  Like any cat, they shed and two times a year they molt the heavy coat.  This means that regular grooming is needed to keep their coat in top shape. A good, metal greyhound style coat is a great all around tool for grooming your cat's coat.  If you have allergies, regularly bathing will help keep the allergen levels in check - not only will the allergen deposits be minimized but any dead hair will be removed.  After bathing, the most important step is rinsing.  If any soap is left in your cat's coat, it will irritate your cats skin and they will look greasy. 

Grooming Tools we Recommend:

Tougher Than Tangles Hard Slicker Brush
Chris Christensen #013 Cat Comb
Chris Christensen #006 Cat Comb

Nail trimmers
Chubbs Shampoo Bar

Soft Claw Nail Caps

Diet

Our Siberians eat a diet made up of  raw foods with access to grain free dry as a supplement.  Wet and raw are the staples since cats need a diet high in moisture and low in carbohydrates.  Kibble diets, with only a few exceptions, are high in carbohydrates even if they are grain free.  So we keep this to a minimum. We strongly encourage our kitten owners to feed a raw or wet diet. Diets that are made up of predominantly wet food/raw are better for your cats urinary tract health. Another important note about urinary health is a cat ideally shouldn't eat a primarily fish diet. Eating a lot of fish can lead to Thymine Deficiency in cats. If you do feed fish try to feed smaller fish which have less Mercury content. Conditions such as diabetes are also increased with diets that are kibble heavy since the carbohydrates are converted to sugars which your cat does NOT need.  Cats are obligate carnivores and their bodies are designed to process meat rather than grains & vegetables.​

 

One of our go to homemade raw recipes we make is from Catinfo.org. But we also feed recipes from the facebook group Cats Completely Raw & Proud. There are a variety of pre-made raw diets available including  Darwins, Blue Ridge Beef, Bravo, and Stella & Chewy's.  Stella & Chewy's & Primal also make a convenient dehydrated raw that is just reconstituted with water or goats milk.  There are also local options available for raw in many areas.

Canned options we like include Weruva, Tiki Cat After Dark,Wild Calling, Zikipeak, Fromm and Earthborn.  

Finally, there are some grain free dries, we leave out Fromm Hasen Duckenpfeffer for our pregnant and nursing queens between our raw feedings.

Litter

Cats shed as much or more allergens in their feces as they do in their saliva so it's essential to keep the box clean and use a litter that won't aggravate other unrelated but bothersome allergies.The litters I use most often are Dr. Elisey's Cat Attract and Tidy Cats.  For those kittens that are in need of a bit of encouragement to use the litter box I use Dr. Elisey's Kitten Attract.  To help prevent litter tracking with fluffy feet, pelleted litter is best.
 

Litter Box

Each cat is an individual and may have a preference when it comes to what kind of litter box they want to use. It is recommended to have at least 2 litter boxes for one cat and one each levels of the home. If you have two cats it is recommend to have 3 litter boxes. It is very important to keep your cats litter box clean to prevent undesirable bathroom behavior & disease. Because Siberians grow quite large, we recommend buying the largest litter box you can. We personally use the Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Box and the Litter Robot Open Air 3 or 4. If you don't use pelleted litter we also highly recommend the Blackhole Cat Mat to prevent litter tracking. 

Scratching Post

Like litter boxes each cat may have individual preferences on scratchers. I personally do not use any carpetetted scratchers, I feel it can be confusing especially for a young cat & encourage carpet or furniture scratching. Depending on the kind of furniture you have in your home should help determine what kind of scratching material you should try. Cats may also have preference on if they are a vertical or horizonal scratcher. If you catch your cat needing the carpet you may want to use a horizontal scratcher, if they are standing up at trying to scratch furniture we recommend a vertical one. If you are purchasing a vertical scratcher I would buy one that is at least 30" tall for when your kitten grows. These are the scratchers that we personally use & recommend.

 

Increkid Modern Cat Tower

The Ultimate Scratching Post
Kitty Power Paws Post

Behavior

Kitten behavior can be adorable and a naughty kittens is reason for laughs - until they aren't.  Remember a few things:

  • Set boundaries.  Your kitten won't do this on his/her own.  You must let them know what is allowed and what is not.  A firm NO will go a long way to curbing many behaviors.

  • Don't use hands/feet as toys.  Your kitten cannot tell the difference between what is fun and what is now suddenly naughty and often painful. 

  • Time Out.  Yes, it helps with cats too.  A firm NO followed by time out in a bathroom or other room by themselves until whatever stimulus passes.

  • Scratching.  Provide lots of good, allowable scratchers in various forms.  This means vertical scratchers for stretching and horizontal scratchers like a sisal doormat for just general scratching.  If your kitty is looking at the new leather sofa, try some double sided tape.

  • As with humans, the teenager phase can mean being naughty and rambunctious especially with the young males.  This is especially true of only cats.  They get bored easily and will seek out activities which often include pouncing on some of their humans who they consider to be "cats".   If a buddy is not in the cards for them, be sure to be firm in not allowing this behavior. 

Vaccines

I will start off here by acknowledging that vaccination protocols are a sensitive topic.  I am not a veterinarian and I don't pretend to be one.  However, I do know my cats and what they are more sensitive to as far as things like anesthesia's & vaccines

We do follow the basics of the AAFP guidelines for the core vaccines.Because our kittens are placed in indoor only homes and therefore their risk of exposure to many illnesses is minimal, so we believe that "less is more" as far as vaccinations go.  We do also advise people to always follow their state, local, and municipal laws regarding vaccinations for rabies while also recognizing that some areas will accept rabies titres as a substitute (check with your vet and/or local health boards).

Per the AAFP, we also recommend the FVRCP 3-way vaccine.  This is given typically at your pet's annual vet visit.  The 4-way is more common now, but we've had kittens that have experienced some pretty significant reactions to the 4-way so we encourage talking to your vet about the 3-way.

Vaccines we do not recommend:  FIP, Leukemia,Giardia, and Ringworm.  We include a sheet on vaccines in our New Kitten Packages.