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Siberian Cat Breeders item created by Anne, Jun 3, 2014
Pros - Helpful and knowledgeable
I have been in the process of researching Siberian cats and breeders in hopes of getting a cat that my cat allergic husband can tolerate. I have looked a pages and pages of websites multiple times and have been in personal contact with several breeders. Although I have not yet made the leap to get a cat, I can say that Kate Stryker at ForestWind Siberians has been by far the most helpful and responsive one that I have talked to. Not only does their website have an enormous amount of helpful information, but she responds to my questions so quickly, within just a day or two, and it is obvious that her help extends even after a kitten has been placed. She even offered to help me find someone in my area who has adopted one of her lovely cats so that my husband can have a sitting with a cat locally. Although I do not live in the Buffalo area, I can see why so many feel it is a trip worth making to adopt one of her kittens. It is so frustrating to see a negative review on here from someone who sounds so obviously difficult, when Kate is nothing but helpful and so kind. Thank you so much for all the help ForestWind Siberians! They are truly the best!
Pros - Engaged, enthusiastic and knowledgeable breeder. Extensive ongoing communication and support.
Cons - None
Before adopting kittens, I researched Siberian breeders extensively since several of our family members have allergies to cats. Although very far away, ForestWind provided a huge amount of information on handling cat allergies, as well as the care and raising of kittens and cats. I learned so much both from their online resources, and later personal communications, that making the trip from the West Coast to Buffalo seemed a small price to pay for selecting and adopting two lovingly raised kittens that would become long term members of our family.
Kate Stryker was very careful in recommending a litter of kittens from parents most likely meet our low allergen needs, and was wonderful about providing additional information on reducing allergens in our home, setting up our home for kittens, the best nutrition, care, and of course, cat toys. Our kittens (now four) are extremely confident, obviously well loved since birth, and continue to delight us.
Two things I really did not expect as a result of our adoption experience: the online ForestWind community, a wonderful resource for information, as well as support and Siberian related entertainment. In addition, I never expected a breeder to show such ongoing attention and care for all the ForestWind offspring. When one of our kittens was two, he had a mystery illness. Kate Stryker was right there, with empathy, suggestions, follow up ideas, and questions on treatment and outcomes (everything turned out to be fine, a scary tiny but stubborn foxtail.) What an engaged breeder! I am so thrilled that we selected ForestWind Siberians.
Pros - Fantastic, social "therapy" cats--perfect for special needs families! Beautiful, friendly, healthy "fur babies"!
Cons - None.
One of our children has multiple special needs, including DS. Due to allergies, and other issues associated with this, I researched the "perfect cat" for over two years. Before finding Forestwind Siberians, I had come "close" to purchasing from another breeder (and was in contact with several others). I was shocked to find that "some" of these breeders home their cats in another location (trailer, off site, etc) where their interaction with humans is limited. While this is certainly not every case, the discovery made me VERY wary, as I needed a sociable, loving pet that would be a companion to my "special" child as well as the rest of us.
Kate Stryker goes above and beyond in homing her kittens! Not only are they her "family", but she has each potential buyer (with allergy issues) go through a physical contact allergy test, and then gets in touch with them again to see if there were any lingering "allergic reactions" BEFORE she even considers the family for adopting a Forestwind Siberian.
Not only was our test successful (and VERY much appreciated on our end!!), but our beautiful pet bonded INSTANTLY with our special needs child--as if sensing where he was needed the most. He is--without exception--the best pet I've ever owned. He loves everyone in the family, but definitely has a special relationship with our one child. This has benefitted our child in so many ways, as well! The bond here is enough to bring me to tears, I am so thankful for Kate's careful selection in matching the right pet with the right family. Since, we've adopted another beautiful Siberian from Forestwind, and couldn't be happier! The care and feeding issues are ALWAYS addressed prior to bringing our new pets home, and this breeder has NEVER failed to respond to any questions I've had in feeding, etc, since purchase.
I simply can not say enough about Forestwind! They've made such a positive impact on our "special needs" family, that I hope more people with these needs learn about how great these cats are for therapy, as well as family members.
Thank you, Forestwind, for completing our family!
Pros - Disclosure, follow-up, ongoing concern
This is the only cat breeder, I as an attorney can recommend. 4 years ago I began searching for a Siberian kitty. Most breeders's websites were barely literate and then I came across Sweet Siberians. Filled with information, I was impressed by the breede's clear love of the cats, concerns for their health and well being. Over the past years, the breeder has remained in constant contact through blogs and Facebook. She always shares tips for caring for the cats, sharing notices that affect their wellbeing, and general enthusiasm that the cats are all in loving homes. She is always open to questions and sharing information..Sweet Siberians receives my highest recommendation.
Pros - Professional, cares deeply for her cats and their families, always available for questions or concerns
We are blessed to have two Forestwind family members. We adopted them about 7 years ago and have enjoyed every minute with them! We adopted them as
retirees and as a "couple". They were very attached to each other prior to their adoption, and Kate worked with us to keep them together. As they approach 10 years of age, they are still very playful, running, jumping, and lots of snuggling. Our male very quickly took on the responsibility of waking up my daughter every morning.
We have not had any health issues - just regular check - ups. Everyone that sees our kitties is taken by how beautiful they are. Kate has maintained contact over the years-- checking up on all of us. I have worked with other breeders in the past, and once they hand you the kitty, you don't hear from them again. Not so with Kate.We are hopeful that there will be many more Forestwind kitties in our future!
Pros - Communicative, involved, positive, hardworking, trustworthy
Kate from ForestWind Siberians is incomparable in her excellence. We had a challenging process pre-adoption in two aspects:
1. Kate is very enthusiastic about the low-allergen aspect of Siberians, which is the reason we chose the breed to begin with. She shipped a fur sample to our apartment despite the fact that she was on the road... and it got stolen from our neighbors. She shipped a second fur sample... which also got stolen from our neighbors. Third time -- same thing. We finally ask her to send to my work, and it arrives without issue. Kate paid for ALL the shipping on this, despite repeated offers for us to pay the shipping.
2. Kate had a serious injury not long after our kitten was born. She was having continual shoulder issues which were extreme enough to cause her to lose sleep. Despite this, she kept in regular contact, even taking photos of our kitten and creating a Facebook page specifically for us and other adopters of our litter to interact.
Through all these challenges, Kate was involved, communicative, and upbeat, making sure we were informed and happy through every step of the process. When we went to get our kitten, she met us at the airport, stayed with us to see the transition through, and gave us a plethora of information, free food, and our kitten's papers. She talked us through the process of bringing a kitten on a plane, and saw us off to make sure everything went smoothly.
Kate has continued to be involved in the lives of us and our kitten, inviting us to join multiple Siberian-specific Facebook groups she moderates, and putting us in touch with other breeders and raw food suppliers to give us the most positive experience possible. I would absolutely recommend her to anyone -- she's down to earth and accommodating, and makes you feel like part of her family, even past the adoption.
Pros - beautiful cats, very caring, great communication
Cons - none
Two years ago we purchased our Siberians, Simba and Sophie, from Forest Wind. They are both amazingly friendly and well socialized kitties! We had done research looking for the best breeder and we picked right! Kate had great communication with us. She responded to all our emails and sent pictures. When it came time to pick up Sophie and Simba, Kate clearly communicated that it would depend on how well the kittens rebounded from their surgeries (spayed and neutered). The week they were ready to be picked up, my husband and I had a trip planned. Kate had no problem holding them an extra week for us. She actually even drove and met us much closer to our home. Kate loves her cats. That is evident by all her communications and actions. She even gives the kittens some transitional food, a blanket with their mother's scent and a toy when they leave her home. I would highly recommend Forest Wind to anyone looking for a great Siberian!
Pros - Healthy, affectionate, wonderfully raised kitties
Cons - None!!
When we decided we wanted to add a fur friend to our family we did a long research and despite the fact we had breeders closer to where we live, we opted to chose ForestWind Siberians cattery after we came in touch with Kate.
The way ForestWind runs their cattery is just the right way of doing it, according to my opinion at least. They raise their cats in loving environment, keeping them part of their family at all stages of their lives. They have the well being of their cats at heart and at the center of it all and they chose the family to whom they are going the give their cat carefully. My ForestWind Minou is healty, beautiful and with a temperament to mach! She was perfectly raised and we could notice that immediately when she came home. You can tell when a pet has been raised with love and care. She was curious, confident, loving and adapted to the change of home and family in a minute!
Furthermore Kate is always available to offer her broad knowledge and experience throughout the life of her cats at the new families. Whenever i have questions or doubt ( and believe me I have many!!! ) i always refer to her and she is always so incredibly available to provide support. Kate offers many ways to remain in touch and to be in contact with other Siberians families to increase our awareness on the best way to raise a healthy and happy cat.
I would chose ForestWind Siberians with close eyes again and again, knowing I can't go wrong!!
Pros - Honest, ethical, excellent communicator, patient, knowledgeable and socially responsible breeder
Cons - She's too far away!
When my husband and I decided we were ready to welcome a kitten into our house again, it was years after our 17 year old alleged Maine Coon cat had died, We had purchased our first cat from a breeder, unresearched, when we visited the first time and fell in love. I wanted to rescue the kitten from a bad situation - dirty, unkempt, and, as it turns out, probably not even fully Maine Coon (the breeder also raised Himalayans and our kitten was likely an "oops"). After going through that experience (bringing home a sweet kitten with ear mites, etc. from the get-go) and still remembering the first lecture that our vet gave us, I knew I wanted this time to be different. Having two teenage girls was a complicating factor... they are continually raising $ for SPCA and animal rescue and wanted to rescue a kitten tomorrow. The rescue vibe is very strong here; it is, after all PETA's hometown. I proceeded to research breeders online for a few months before beginning to contact people. I learned what I could before even writing the first email.
ForestWind Kate is one of a select few breeders. My requirements were simple: I wanted an ethical and honest person who raised cats in her home environment (not in cages) and was knowledgeable about genetics and socially responsible about building a HEALTHIER cat line instead of a show quality line or a line based on certain appearances. It was relatively easy to narrow down to a very few breeders that cared about genetics openly enough to post about it and discuss it openly online. From those half dozen, nationwide, I then chose based on the personal response I received from the breeder and the environment of the home. This may be unfair as I'm pretty confident all the breeders in my small group have great Siberian kittens.
After a few email exchanges and a personal phone call, however, I knew where I was getting our kitten. She is wonderful at communicating, honest, ethical, and very very clear about her priorities: the health and welfare of her kittens. This is her first priority whether they are at her house, or have moved home to live with me. Our ForestWind Ulia (ourname Zibellina, nicknamed "Bunny") is a seven month bundle of joy, with a temperament that all our visitors notice and ask about. We are waiting for our second ForestWind furbaby to arrive soon.
Through two kitten negotiations and now two years of dealing with ForestWind (mostly "research" and moneysaving) I have learned this about cat breeding:
- it is one of the hardest 24/7 jobs there is
- in order to have confidence in your lines and build healthier Siberians it takes time, knowledge, and lots of extra work and $
- there are no guarantees. Kittens are not widgets rolling off an assembly line. One can't predict how many, when, or what will arrive, nor how fast they'll grow and flourish.
Given these constraints, Kate makes it all seem easy. The challenges that these breeders face is no small job. Working with her, and learning from her, has been lovely.
Thank you ForestWind for all your hard work in growing Siberian cats, the breed, in addition to the ones that grace my household.
Pros - Very experienced and knowledgeable, always available for questions, places emphasis on cat health and personality
I was deciding between a few different breeders (ForestWind, plus a couple that are closer to me), and I am always so glad I chose ForestWind. I chose Kate, despite the 7-8 hour drive to Buffalo, because her breeding program inspired so much confidence. It's obvious that she is vigilant about cat health, and she puts her cats through extensive health testing to ensure that the kittens grow up healthy and strong. She has detailed info on her website about the testing she does, which put my mind at ease. She also holds the kittens until they are at least 12 weeks old, and in some cases longer if the kitten needs more development time. This also reassured me; another breeder I was looking at was going to send a kitten home at 8 weeks, which to me was a red flag. The kittens need time to socialize with their mother before they feel truly confident on their own.
Kate provides extensive information on how to transition your kitten, which was invaluable to me as a first-time cat owner. And her advice worked -- my Joey transitioned wonderfully and he is the sweetest, most confident cat I've seen. He was raised with a foster family that is friends with Kate, and they did such a great job socializing him in his first months of life. I was a dog person growing up and have been shocked at how friendly and dog-like he is, from Day One. He greets me at the door every day when I come home, without fail; he taught me how to play fetch (yes, he taught me!); he talks to me every night with his kitty chatter; he sits on my lap and purrs every night; and he follows me from room to room. He is my best little buddy.
And Kate has been so helpful with all of my questions. She is up into the wee hours of the night responding to questions from her kitten families (which I know because I get responses from her at 1am a lot of the time), and she is very active on our Siberian Cat Chat Facebook group. I'm talking every night, she's on there commenting on people's photos and answering questions. And if she doesn't know the answer to a question (which is extremely rare), she'll spend time researching it and then come back with a treatise. E.g., "what do you think of this brand of food" -- and Kate will come back with a detailed analysis. And even though they are not the official breeders and owners of the program, Joey's foster family who raised him keeps in touch with me to this day. They are so sweet and check in on him and send me pictures of his siblings.
I really couldn't be happier with my experience. Kate really goes above and beyond, and I've seen her make big accommodations for other cat families when they have a need. E.g., a cat had to be re-homed recently because of issues specific to the family, and Kate took care of it. Any breeder would have been justified in saying "I'm sorry, I can't help you," but Kate really cares about her cats and cat families and wants to make sure everyone is taken care of. Another example is that a person in our cat chat group recently lost a kitten (from a different breeder) to FIP. It was a big topic of discussion in our group for a few weeks, and Kate devoted extensive time to counseling the kitten family, even though the kitten came from another breeder and Kate had nothing to gain from it -- the kitten family was clear that they would adopt from their same breeder again because the breeder was replacing the kitten free of charge. It's really comforting to know that if anything ever happens with my little buddy, Kate will be there. I have total confidence in that, and that's priceless.
In short, I highly recommend ForestWind!