This month’s contribution is in response to the many questions posed about our kitten adoption process...
If you did not get a chance to read our January post 'The argument for the Neva Masquerade Siberian – is there a ‘point’ or is it all fake news?' you can still catch-up here
Or our February contribution 'Why breed the Siberian Cat? What’s in it for me?' try here
Or our April contribution 'Allergies and the Siberian Cat' try here
It's kitten time!
I have had many requests to adopt a kitten this year including a myriad of questions. After a busy time studying - a blitz out after, then kittens arrived, have had little time to write. For this month's contribution a little summary in answer to some of the most common requests...
How do I adopt a kitten from Witchfyre & Witchstorm?
We occasionally have kittens available. Our cat pairings are matched to improve the next generation.
We are looking for something specific to show and take for our next generation or to provide for another breeder or for showing.
This may take time to produce and kittens we are not keeping will be available to pet homes.
You will need to drop us an email and tell us a little about yourself. We will then call you and have a chat. If we feel you may be suitable for one of our fur-babies, we will add you to our wait list. There is a small deposit for this which will be deducted from your kitten’s final price. Please note, when you are accepted onto our list, we do not expect you have your name down on any other breeders list.
We keep you informed of plans and kittens expected. You will join our list for twelve months after which you have the option to continue or withdraw without penalty.
Our cattery will remain closed to visitors for the foreseeable future as we are aware that the current offerings for protection against Covid 19 do not stop transmission or catching the virus and cases are still very high. References from previous adopters can be provided if required. Your kitten will be delivered to you when all health checks, vaccinations and neutering has taken place. When kittens have arrived, we assess for keeping and will inform you as soon as possible which kitten is available. Photos and videos are taken to help you choose, together with our appraisal of the kittens’ characters and suitability for your circumstances. We no longer do allergy testing, but you can consider a kitten from us provided you have an ‘allergy buddy’ – someone who knows you well you has regular contact with you and kitty who can take her if allergies present and you are unable to keep her. ‘Buddies’ are useful in all adoptions as this enables a kitten or cat to have a stressless move should the need arise. When you choose your kitten, you will be required to leave a deposit of 25% of the kitten price*. As kitty grows you will get updates from time to time. Kittens are vaccinated and health checked at nine and twelve weeks, regularly wormed and microchipped on the second vet visit. Kittens are neutered between fourteen and sixteen weeks depending on availability of the specialist veterinary surgeons. Kittens are available for delivery approximately one week after this procedure. We are available for support when you take kitty home. You will be given a dedicated number for this. We require you to take your kitten to your vet with forty-eight hours to introduce your kitty to the practice and get a once over. Cats are sentient beings and nature is such that we do not provide long term guarantees. This is not possible as we cannot foresee individual problems. Your kitten is health checked twice and produced from our cats who are tested for issues currently manifesting in the breed. Our hope is for you to enjoy your cat for up to fifteen years, but only nature will decide.
Please note, we are not able to comment on issues that should be directed to a vet. If your kitty becomes unwell, you should seek professional advice as soon as possible. Your kitten will come with four weeks free insurance. We recommend you have insurance for your kittens for at least two years as this is the time you may encounter most problems including accidents due to overzealous play, or eating something they should not...
Also note, we do not sell pet kittens outside of the UK.
You are always responsible for contacting us with any issues or changes to circumstances. Please don’t be a timewaster. We are very busy people.
...Is it possible for me to have just one litter from my pet kitten? No, all pet kittens must be neutered....
Is it possible for me to have just one litter from my pet kitten?
No, all pet kittens must be neutered. If you would like a cat to breed, please contact me to discuss your motivations and facilities. Kittens for breeding have an additional cost to reflect the many years of selection involved in producing a showing or breeding potential cat.
Please note, we do not sell male breeding cats inside the UK.
I need to rehome my Witchfyre & Witchstorm Siberian, can you help?
Taking on a pet is a lifetime commitment. However, occasionally events happen that mean we have to part with our beloved pets. In this instance call us and we will support you where possible. We recommend cats are rehomed form their existing home unless an absolute emergency. Cats become very stressed when moving house – studies have shown that a cat attaches, not to its owner like a dog, but to its environment. Reduction in home hopping is encouraged where possible. Careful consideration of your current lifestyle should be taken as one of the prerequisites for bringing a kitten or cat into your life
I am going on holiday can you keep my kitten a little longer?
When a kitten is chosen, we encourage you not to make arrangement for travel that will clash with a kitten arriving in your home. Occasionally adopters have already booked a holiday before selection. As long as this has been discussed prior to selection, we will consider an extension to kitty’s stay here. If you know you are going on a big trip please do not reserve a kitten if you will not be available to spend at least four weeks with your new arrival. Obviously, if an event occurs that calls you away unexpectedly – contact us as soon as possible to discuss options as additional costs may be incurred.
We don’t home kittens for Christmas holidays as this may be too stressful for kitty. All kittens that are ready to be homed at this time will be retained until after the new year. Neither do we allow kittens as wedding gifts, a surprise present or for a child’s birthday – kittens will be expected to be family members not property and be afforded the rights thereto.
Can I pre-reserve a particular colour or sex of kitten?
All our pet kittens are on a first come first choose basis. We have tried individual pre-selection and have found it too complicated – arguments, changed minds and frustration on my part. I have heard horrendous stories of kittens being chosen to match interior décor; not on my watch…
Our wait list enables a move to the next litter if you do not feel an affinity to any kitten in the current litter or if the timing is not right. After this, if you do not find your choice in the next litter you will be deemed to have withdrawn from the list – there is a small charge for this – or will be placed down the list as a new joiner.
With respect we do not buy in to the ideology of the separation of breeding of full colour – often referred to as traditional – and colourpoint nicknamed the Neva Masquerade Siberian. These are the same cat, not separate breeds. Colour breeding is mainly for showing or at worse, vanity. These practices and ideologies are created and are only manifest on individual’s web sites and are not breed registration policy. They are only a detriment to the future of the Siberian Cat. Relevant Siberian breed policies can be found on the GCCF and TICA websites. Please read them before you are drawn into the misinformation from the ‘clean genealogy’ ideology.
If you are selecting for breeding, you may specify your needs depending on your breeding policy. You may have to wait some time for the best kitten to arrive. We will offer you a kitten based on your criteria or what we feel would be a good candidate for breed or show within agreed parameters. We will offer twice after which you will be deemed to have withdrawn from the list -there is a small charge for this.
Do you operate a host family policy to adopt a kitten?
This is a practice traditionally practised outside of the UK. Often called ‘umbrella’ catteries, kittens are placed with a host family for use by the breeder for several litters
which are registered under their cattery name and eventually, somewhere down the line, the cat becomes the property of the host with no original purchase price.
I can only ask this question -would you take on, rear at your own cost, pay for all keep including vets’ fees for the cat and litters produced, be responsible for the litters and all that entails including the risk of complications to the cat and loss of kittens for the price of a cat? Work out the costings carefully and you will see, even if all goes well, it will cost you more even in the short term. Better an outright purchase and a good mentor…
Breeders who operate these schemes will make profit from you without the risk. It is better to buy your cat outright – after all, if you cannot afford to buy, you will not afford to keep – and be in control of the safety and wellbeing of your pet.
A host family would only be considered by us for a retired cat who may need a period of settlement with the family before commitment to take on a retired cat, particularly a neutered stud cat.
We will endeavour to mentor, where possible, any new breeder. Inevitably new breeders will take on their own ideologies and we encourage independence, particularly when this reinforces registration policies rather than fashionable breeding practice. For this reason, we do not place restrictions on breeding cats.
*Pet kitten prices are in line with all experienced breeder catteries. We are a hobby breeder and do not subscribe to the £2000+ price tag from some catteries. However we maintain a concensus with fellow breeders and consider ourselves fortunate if we cover our cattery's costs in a breeding year.
That’s it for now. In our next contribution we will look at the cost to keep a kitten in its lifetime and items you will need...see you then.