talk to me about Siberian cats. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 03-05-2009, 01:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Our family is thinking about getting a cat. I'm allergic to most cats but I've had some experience with siberians and I don't generally have a reaction to them. I don't really know much about the breed though other than they don't make me sneeze. I like cats but I don't have that much experience with them because of my allergy. I'm more of a dog kind of girl.

What sort of questions should I be asking breeders? What sorts of health tests are recommended? Is there anything about the temperament I should know about. The siberians I know were good with kids. Is that typical?

We have 2 children, 4 & 8 and a 1 yo beagle. It will probably be at least a year before we want to bring a kitten home but I want to start exploring breeders now.

Also recommendations for other breeds that might not make me sneeze would be welcome

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#2 of 14 Old 03-05-2009, 02:02 AM
 
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I don't support breeders. I'm in animal rescue and can't justify supporting the breeding of animals who have millions of their species homeless already.

If allergies are an issue, volunteer at a local shelter and get involved in cat fostering. That will let you know how your body will adjust to a particular cat without making a commitment you cannot uphold.

There are no truly hypoallergenic cats. Pet allergies depend on your immune system, your exposure (sometimes more pet exposure is better), your air quality, the pet's food, the pet's health, the pet's grooming, and more. If you decide to foster or do a trial, get an air purifier and vacuum daily with a hepa filter vacuum. Feed high quality food and have another family member brush the cat regularly.
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#3 of 14 Old 03-05-2009, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I understand your concerns. We gone over the debate over rescue vs breeders many times here. This thread is not the place to hash it out again.

ETA: I know there are no truly non allergenic cats. Hypoallergenic simply means "less likely to produce an allergic reaction". For many people, myself included, the reaction to cats is triggered by the cat glycoprotein Fel d 1 that is found in the cats saliva. It's transferred to the hair and dander when the cat grooms himself. Siberian cats produce significantly less of this protein. When I asked about hypoallergenic cats I was asking about other breeds that have lower levels of Fel d 1. I know from experiance that I can tolerate contact with these cats for extended periods of time. I need the predictability of knowing the cat I bring into my home is from a breed, and exhibits the qualities of a breed, that isn't going to make me sick. The last thing I want is to be in a position where I can not live with an animal I've accepted into my home.

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#4 of 14 Old 03-05-2009, 09:00 PM
 
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Actually you're in luck - they ARE truly hypoallergenic cats, you just have to pay a coupla grand... they're genetically engineered...

http://www.allerca.com/html/hypoallergenic.html
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#5 of 14 Old 03-05-2009, 10:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Genetically engineered?!? Do you have a source for that info? The link didn't say anything about GE. I'm interested in breeds that are naturally low in Fel d 1. GMO-kitties kind of scare me.:

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#6 of 14 Old 03-05-2009, 10:40 PM
 
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This is from the "development" section:
Quote:
Starting with proprietary genetic testing technologies*, the LIFESTYLE PETS team began by focusing on the particular gene that produces the Fel d 1 glycoprotein. The process uses gene sequencing to detect rare naturally occurring genetic divergences in cats. LIFESTYLE PETS then targeted those divergences that could potentially produce kittens with a change in the structure of the Fel d 1 allergen produced by the gene. Using sophisticated bioinformatics to manage feline breeding programs, the final stage resulted in cats with a divergent gene that produces a different version of the Fel D 1 protein that the human body does not recognize as an allergen - and a GD cat that no longer triggers the autoimmune system of people allergic to cats.


GMO kitties!

Just wanted to share the info - I know you're probably not interested in it. Sorry I don't know much about the breed you're interested in.

Editing to add -
I forget everyone here isn't a biologist LOL
This is genetic engineering because they've isolated a gene and selected individuals for their breeding program that have the desirable genetic makeup - this is actually the same as genetic modification of corn (yes, all corn, and in fact all crops) from ancient teosinthe to modern varieties by choosing characteristics that are desirable and breeding only those. However this is not a situation of transgenics - taking a gene from one organism and inserting it into another - which is what most people associate with GMO. GMO is actually quite common and has been done for thousands of years - only recently have we developed crazy technology to make transgenic organisms...

OK back to your regularly scheduled thread now...
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#7 of 14 Old 03-05-2009, 11:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhiannon Feimorgan View Post
We gone over the debate over rescue vs breeders many times here. This thread is not the place to hash it out again.
One sentence clarifying my opinion is a debate?

I've not been here for any past debates.

I feel very unwelcome.
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#8 of 14 Old 03-05-2009, 11:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaWhit View Post
One sentence clarifying my opinion is a debate?

I've not been here for any past debates.

I feel very unwelcome.
She started the thread, and she asked about siberian cats... She is just making it clear that she's heard the arguments and wants to stop the debate before it starts... I'm sorry you feel unwelcome... but I don't think her comment is out of line. I tend to get OT myself and I wouldn't take offense if the OP tried to keep the thread on track so her question gets answered...
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#9 of 14 Old 03-05-2009, 11:30 PM
 
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Back ON topic -
Have you thought about one of the Rex's? I've heard they are less challenging because their curly hair doesn't allow as much fur/dander... Don't know about Fel D 1 glycoprotein stuff, but maybe it would work?

I personally adore Selkirk Rex...
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#10 of 14 Old 03-05-2009, 11:33 PM
 
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Check out this sweetie
http://www.petfinder.com/petnote/dis...petid=12673765

I noticed a few Siberians on petfinder too - no reason a person can't rescue a purebred, right?
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#11 of 14 Old 03-06-2009, 02:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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He's a cutie! Unfortunately I do have a reaction to the Rex breeds. And I might very well rescue a Siberian if the opertunity presents itself. I want to find a cat locally or at least within reasonable travel distance so I can meet and "sniff test" a cat before committing to it. I haven't seen any Siberians available in my area though.

And MaWhit, I'm truly sorry if I made you feel unwelcome. I saw that you have more than 1400 post and assumed that you had been around for a while. MDC is big though so you can rack up posts without ever stepping into some fora. The Breeder/rescue debate is one we see here fairly often and one that can get very heated. Both sides, those advocating for rescues and those supporting responsible breeders feel very strongly. It's important to remember that we all have a strong commitment to animals no matter which side of the fence we sit on. As a moderator here though I'm afraid that I've started to see this particular topic as a bunch of UAVs waiting to happen. Of course respectful discussion is always welcome but belongs in it's own thread.

Back on topic, I'm still wondering what sorts of health tests are recommended for Siberians and if the breed is generally good with kids.

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#12 of 14 Old 03-06-2009, 03:57 AM
 
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Siberians are a relatively rare breed, so it's possible that no one on this forum has experience with them. You could talk to some breeders, there is a listing here:
http://www.breedlist.com/breeders/sib.html
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#13 of 14 Old 03-06-2009, 12:18 PM
 
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I have no experience with cats at all, but from puppy hunting in the past I would say try to find a breed club or association. I did a google search but didn't come up with much, maybe you could email the Cat Fancier's Association?

http://www.cfainc.org/

Or the International Cat Assoc?
http://www.tica.org/

Maybe this will help a little - good luck!
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#14 of 14 Old 03-06-2009, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, those are good ideas!

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