Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Siberian cats. If you cannot find the information you need here, please email us and we’ll try to assist.
What causes cat allergies?
Most cat allergies are triggered by an allergen called Fel d1, one of 13 different allergens found in cats. Peoples’ reactions to Fel d1 vary from mild to strong, especially when dealing with the litter box.
What does Fel d1 mean?
Fel d1 is a small, stable glycoprotein discovered in house cats. It’s an abbreviation for Feline domesticus allergen number 1.
Where is Fel d1 found?
Fel d1 is produced by lachrymal, salivary, sebaceous, and perianal glands. During grooming, some Fel d1 from saliva becomes airborne. Allergen from the glands in the skin stays in the fur, and is transferred to clothing, carpet, and upholstery. Litter boxes contain the highest amount of Fel d1, as the highest concentrations are found in the anal glands.
Are all Siberian cats hypoallergenic?
No, but a significant portion of Siberian cats have much lower levels of the feline allergen Fel d1 than other domestic cats, and have been found to cause little or no allergic reactions.
Our breeding cats have tested low for Fel d1, and all our kittens are tested at 10 to 12 weeks of age, prior to being matched to buyers on our kitten reserve list.
How do you test your cats for allergens?
We take multiple samples of saliva from our kittens when they are 12 weeks old. This procedure does not hurt the kittens.
We send these samples to a laboratory (Indoor Biotechnologies) in the USA where the level of Fel d1 allergen is measured and the analysis is sent back to us.
Do low-allergen dams (mothers) always have low-allergen kittens?
No. Mating a sire and dam, when each has a low Fel d1 level, gives the best chance of producing low-allergen kittens, but normal allergen kittens can occur in any mating.
On the other hand, studies have shown that mating two cats with high Fel d1 levels will always produce kittens that cause allergic reactions. That’s why Seacliffe breeds only Siberian cats who have tested low for Fel d1.
If the litter box is a source of Fel d1, how can we manage the cat litter?
Keeping litter boxes outside can make a difference to families with asthma. This reduces tracking and minimizes allergens and dust from the litter box. But we have found no problem having the litter box in our home, thanks to our low-allergen cats.
Why choose a kitten from Seacliffe Siberians?
Seacliffe is a small, home cattery. Siberian kittens are raised in our home, and get lots of cuddling and play. This daily physical contact is especially important when they’re 2-8 weeks old. That’s when they learn to interact with people and to become affectionate pets.
What’s involved in buying a kitten from Seacliffe Siberians?
Kittens will be ready to go to their new home when they are 14-15 weeks old. As soon as we receive their Fel d1 test results – when they’re about 14 weeks – kittens will be matched and offered to those registered on the waiting list.
Do you allow cattery visits?
When kittens are available, prospective owners are invited to visit us to get to know their Siberian kitten and to confirm that they do not have an allergic response.
What is Seacliffe’s health guarantee?
We have selected breeding cats from lines with low genetic health risks. Our cattery is free from FIP (Feline infectious peritonitis), FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus) and other contagious diseases. Before leaving the cattery, each kitten has a veterinary exam and will be certified free of disease and parasites.
Kittens are sold with a one-year warranty against genetic and congenital disorders.
Are the kittens microchipped?
Yes. We microchip all our kittens, and the microchip registry will be updated with the new owner’s name and contact information.
Are the kittens registered?
Yes. We register all our kittens with TICA (The International Cat Association). We transfer registration to the new owners after neutering has been confirmed.
What are the ‘neutering requirements’?
In allergic homes, we recommend neutering males at three to four months, and spaying females at five to six months. Studies on early neuter/spay indicate there are no real adverse effects.
Can kittens be shipped?
We prefer that you pick up your kitten from our cattery in Auckland, but we will also ship within New Zealand and internationally. New owners are responsible for paying the cost of shipping, cage and flight certificates. We have cages available for purchase and these will be useful throughout your cat’s life for the occasional trip to the vet or other travel.
When will Seacliffe have kittens?
Please check our Siberian kittens page for updates.
What can we do to make a home for happy, healthy cats?
We recommend keeping kittens and cats indoors to keep them safe from harm as well as to protect our native wildlife. We can provide advice on how to do this (e.g. window screening or construction of an outdoor cat run).
Providing a rich environment for cats would include catnip toys, ping-pong balls, feather teasers, a cat tunnel, and even a 1.5m (5′) length of string. We also recommend a scratching post at least 800mm (30″) high (we make these ourselves and offer them for sale). It would also include access to ledges of screened windows so they can be entertained by what’s going on outside.
And of course, good quality food and regular veterinary checks will keep them healthy. We’re happy to offer further advice throughout the life of your cat.