SALMON CREEK CATTERY- oriental shorthair cat breeders in New York
SALMON CREEK CATTERY- oriental shorthair cat breeders in New York
Our breeding/nursing moms and kittens have Fromm dry kitten food down at all times (once the kittens are old enough) so they may eat when they please.
We, like many breeders have seen the difference that raw food can provide. We follow as close to natural raising practices as possible. A variety of high quality raw meat that makes up at least 75% of their diet we feel is best. However we understand that our cats go to all types of homes, so we do feed them dry and canned cat food as well to make adjustment to their new home as smooth as possible. We will not allow any of our cats to be fed a vegan diet at their new homes.
We are fortunate enough to have a creek that runs through our backyard that Steelhead and Brown Trout will run up to spawn. We also have the great lake of Ontario just a few doors down the road. We are avid fishermen and catch everything using sustainable methods. That being said, we bring home healthy juvenile fish that are the right size to supplement in. In the summer months we typically feed them fish once or twice a month in place of a raw meat feeding.
Take caution if you choose to do this as well!
Several pet foods are shifting to grain free recipes. We try our best to avoid grain free food, but sometimes we love everything else about the food and it's the best available, then what? We add in oatmeal, groats (or oatmeal seeds) specifically. Why? Wild dogs and cats naturally obtain small levels of grain when consuming their kills. There are recent studies that show grain free diets could lead to increased heart size (not good) in dogs and possibly cats as well. Acana has added a bountiful grains line to their dog food selection. To play it safe we mix in a small amount of groats in our grain free food until further research is conducted.
Are our cats spoiled? One could say, but water can be very important for cats! Cats in the wild don't drink much water, they get much of it from the small prey they eat. If they do drink water, instincts tell them to find a moving water source over a stagnant puddle. Because of this it is very much against a cats natural instincts to drink from a water bowl (which looks like a puddle). If they only eat dry food and only have a bowl of water available, often times they won't drink enough water. This can lead to urinary issues such as kidney failure and UTI's. We use a filtered water fountain to create the movement and cleanliness. Some cats have no issues using a conventional water bowl, in this case please ensure to wash the water bowl every day to prevent buildup.
Below is a link to Petkit UVC water fountain. We have tried a dozen and this one is by far our favorite. Stainless steel liner, Bluetooth connectivity, uv sanitizing light and what minimal internal parts there are, they are completely removable for cleaning. No long tubes or pumps you can't get to that's a breeding ground for bacteria and slime. No more running vinegar through in hopes the parts you cannot see are clean only for your cat to avoid it for days after.
While researching water quality for our cats we discovered that we don't want to drink a lot of tap water either! Our cats are provided with natural spring water only.
We provide loving cats to family homes all over the world at times. Future cat owners come from all walks of life with varying family dynamics. We do our absolute best at exposing our kittens to different situations as early as possible in order to build resiliency. It's easier on the cats and people instead of trying to teach an "old cat new tricks"
We respect the kittens initial bonding time with their mom and try to be the least invasive as possible. We still personally handle each kitten twice daily to check weights.
Quiet time is over, the favorite seat at the milk bar battle is in full swing. So they get to deal with typical loud noises cats could experience in homes. Vacuum cleaners are ran outside their room, kids on the TV watching soap making videos on volume 9000 despite several reminders to turn it down etc. You guys are on your own for exposing your cat to crying babies, we aren't that dedicated (just kidding, we play desensitization videos like banging on the door, street traffic, fireworks, barking dogs, strange cats, crying babies, construction site, cat show sounds etc. Other cats that are in tight with the mom, with a clean bill of health are allowed brief supervised visitation. This will depend on how comfortable mom is. Ours are pretty bonded to each other so they tend to appreciate the assistance.
They are walking now, even if it is like Bambi on ice. Motor skills are improving significantly. With that comes more playing and exploring with their litter mates. Their vision continues to improve into week 4, so we start to include kitten safe toys and other interactive toys. I pick them up and stretch them out, get them used to getting picked up high and held funny.
Now they are starting to really walk around and really get an understanding of their world around them. So we start "harassing" them. We play with the insides of their ears, play with their claws, flip them on their back for belly rubs, and open their mouths to look at their teeth every day. That way when it comes time for you to trim their nails, clean their ears, or brush their teeth that they will just think the humans are being weird again and not fight back.
This is when we encourage friends and family to stop by and see the kittens and get them used to new people, voices, and smells. If mom is trusting I'll let the new humans pet the kittens. They are starting to wean off their mom so they are slowly exposed to a few different wet food brands and goats milk, soon to be fresh goats milk right from our own backyard!
We now take them on short carrier rides to the living room so they get used to being enclosed in the carrier. Mom could use a break for a couple of minutes anyway. Well behaved smol humans are allowed to play with them, usually it's not hard to find volunteers.
Now they have to tolerate vacuuming in their room. Mom doesn't mind so they are quick to learn it's not as creepy as it sounds. If I need to fluff open a new garbage bag, I do it in there. Sometimes the TV is left on Bonanza for them with a sleep timer.
They get exposure to harnesses in preparation for strutting them around the house soon. We get them used to picking their paws up to place through the harness, pulling things over their head. But they are not left alone with them.
This is when they get their first round of vaccines and their immune system really starts strengthening.
They are pretty sturdy on their feet now so release the puppies! I mean Peakanese (same thing really). The kittens are still pretty small, so we start with small well behaved adult dogs. We allow our vetted cats more visitation and play time with them. We introduce the carriers and allow them to play and sleep in them.
With boosters received, they now get to go distract people at our pet friendly stores such as Lowes, Country Max, and Tractor Supply. They get to wear their harnesses for feeding time and other fun activities so they know that not being naked can be fun too. They get to go to the houses of friends and family close by for supervised visitation.
There's several types of litter out there, but we don't use any of them (accept some new cats until they get adjusted). We found something that won't cause respitory issues (like a lot of clay litters), intestinal blockage (kittens are attracted to clumping cat litter and will often times consume it), and it's better on the environment!
We use kiln dried pine equine pellet bedding. We get it from Country Max here, 40lbs for about $6 or 15¢/lb in 2023. There is also Feline Pine which is marketed as cat litter, but it's about 40¢/lb. Pine pellets do not cause any respitory issues, kittens won't be eating caking agents in clumping litter that can cause intestinal blockage, and frankly it does a better job for cheaper.
What litter box will it work in?
When paired with the Arm and Hammer sifter litter box found here you will have a cheap and effective duo. Once the cats urinate on the pellets it turns to wood or sawdust.
How to clean pine pellet litter
When it's time to clean the litter box, scoop out the presents (find a scoop that the pellets fit between the slots), then dump the litter into the sifter layer below. Lift it up from the bottom slightly and shake. All the sawdust will fall through to the bottom layer, throw that out and put it back together and you're all set. Our litter boxes don't smell and it's healthy for our cats. We take our cat waste material and compost it for ornamental plants.
Here is a YouTube video (not ours) explaining it. Watch here.
If you only have a cat or two, I have seen people choose to not sift the sawdust out daily (in this case any regular litter box will work fine). They continue to scoop solid waste daily, but at the end of the week they just throw out all the litter (since it's all turned to dust now) and start over. This saves a lot of time, but it's not for us.
Used cat litter, even if biodegradable should never just be thrown outside. Cat feces can contain harmful bacteria that could spread to local wildlife or humans if spread on plants you consume.
Pregnant women are told they should be especially careful when handling dirty cat litter on the small chance you could become infected with toxoplasmosis. Did you know that your chances of contracting toxoplasmosis from cat litter aren't high. You're actually more likely to get it from raw meat or even gardening.
For the solid waste, we use a litter genie with biodegradable bags from Amazon here once full, it also goes into ornimental compost.
Read more about pine pellet litter from betterwithcats.net here.
If you use a litter robot or automatic litter box, the pine pellets probably won't work. We decided to keep manually cleaning the litter boxes to keep a closer eye on our cats health. Digestive issues are often a first sign that your furry friend is feeling under the weather. Unfortunately the automatic cleaners have the same problem as toilet training your cat, you lose this diagnostic tool in exchange for convenience.
Human food (especially highly processed food) can be full of unhealthy things for cats. It also teaches them bad habits like counter surfing and stealing food off your plate. Our cats don't struggle with obesity or stress eating.
Here are also some common household food items that are poisonous for cats.
Learn more about toxic human food for cats from Daily Paws here
Just one bite of some of these can be enough to kill your cat!
Learn more about dangerous plants for cats from Hills here
In their raw, concentrated form is a big no!
Learn more about the dangers of essential oils and cats from Hills here
The D's stand for:
If you look in the ingredients list and see animal meal, bone meal, or any protein ingredient that does not list the source animal (such as beef, pork, chicken) will contain this nasty "meat". Where does it come from you ask?
It is not fit for human consumption because of the risk factor, so they add chemicals and dyes (sometimes kerosene!) to the "meat" so that it's obvious if it was used in human food.
In our house, if it's not fit for human consumption, it's not fit for our cats consumption either.
Known brands as of 2023 that use Denatured meat.
There are over 300 toxic substances known to cats.
At surface level, making your own food seems like the easiest way to know what your cat is eating is indeed healthy. However, there is much more to it because science. Some cats have become very ill or even died from eating homemade food that did not offer complete nutrition.
Bio availability or diegestiblity are the key terms here. Just because you include all the right protein, vitamins, nutrients, and grains does not mean that your cat will benefit from it, or even be a healthy cat.
Plus if we were to feed our cats homemade recipes, it would make the transition into a pet home even harder. Now the new owners would have to search for a food brand and worry about switching their cat over. With a good commercial product we can send you off with food to get you started, but also let you know where to buy it from. Moving to a new home is stressful enough, we don't need to change their diet at the same time.
To learn more about nutrition in food and cats check with PetMD here
Or check out Spruce Pets take on homemade food here
What mammals (male and female) eat, obviously plays a huge role in their health. What you may not know is health (even males at time of conception) of the parents plays a huge roll in the health of the next generation.
Over the years, there has been several studies done with breeding animals to see what is actually passed down to the next generation. The current health of the both animals will help to determine which genes are passed on to the next generation. For example, let's say the male (or dad) is overweight at time of mating, but is otherwise healthy. It is more likely that the kittens in not only that litter, but those kittens kittens and beyond will be negatively impacted by their dads (or grandpa's) love for treats.
Pottenger in the 1930's
This study started off by accident, but produced very important results. They fed some cats cooked meat, and some cats raw meat, and observed the differences over several generations. Even though both groups were eating the same food, just prepared differently, there were several noticeable differences even in the first generation. If they switched to raw food after the first generation, the negative effects of the cooked food were still seen several generations later.
Now there were some control measures wrong with this study, but for 100 years ago it was pretty thorough. I would not use this study as evidence of raw meat being superior, but it does show what your cat eats today will effect future generations.
Read more about this study from Vets all Natural here.
Since we are in the art of breeding family members, it is very important to us to have the healthiest cats possible because the future of the breed depends on it.
If this is new to you? Don't feel bad! We only recently discovered this in humans. Live Science explains it better here.
In the science world, multiple studies showing the same results would typically be needed to develop an idea into a viable theory. Feel free to look into these topics yourself to learn what others have discovered.