Siberians only shed twice a year, in spring and autumn. In those few weeks they need regular brushing. The earlier you start brushing your cat, the more likely it will enjoy this.
For cats that don’t, having one person keep the head busy while the other brushes can work, or giving it something to chew on/ play with. Giving a treat after every brushing is another method, using simple bribery. One of my cats who hated brushing now, comes and asks for it as she knows the treats come afterwards.
Shampoo must only be CAT shampoo, dog shampoo can kill a cat. You can use Pantene Aqua light or a cat shampoo from the pet shop. Normally washing is a task for two, one holding the front legs and the other wetting and washing the cat in a basin or container that has only 5 cm of water in it. Using a hand shower is easier than using a cup to wet the cat, as they have very thick and water resistant fur.
Some cats love being washed, others don’t mind too much, it is generally not that difficult to do and the sooner one does this with a kitten, the more likely the cat will be compliant. Drying is a challenge if you want to use a hairdryer, which are generally quite loud and the cats don’t enjoy this part. There are quieter pet hairdryers available that also do not get as hot, as the human hairdryers can burn a cat.
Contrary to common belief, cats do not naturally drink milk (where would they get this in nature?) but most will drink it when offered.
For new born kittens that the mother is not feeding or for sick cats, I create a mixture I call Gloop, the recipe is below. This can be given via syringe into the mouth or just put in a bowl for normal drinking. This is very high in calories to nourish and put on weight.
Also good in summer as an ice cream when its really hot.
1 tin evaporated milk (not condensed!)
Equal amount of boiling water, in which a teaspoon of honey has been dissolved
2 egg yolks (not the whites)
1 tablespoon full fat mayonnaise (Hellmans)
2 tablespoons of LIVE full fat, plain yoghurt (bio)
1 teaspoon probiotic powder (from pet or vet shops)
Mix the egg yolks together, add mayonnaise and yoghurt, mix well. Add probiotic powder if available, slowly mixing in the evaporated milk, then add the water/honey mix.
Make sure you keep stirring/shaking this during use as all the sediment will drop to the bottom. You can put this into ice cube trays and it will keep for 3 months in the freezer, about a week in the fridge.
Water, food and litter should not be near each other. In nature cats consider there to be possible contamination between these 3 and are uncomfortable when you place them together.
Having food, water and litter in 3 separate rooms is ideal, water and food should however be at least several meters apart if the same room. Siberians prefer running water to a bowl of water and also enjoy drinking out of a running tap. One can get water fountains for cats that they really enjoy.
Generally an unknown fact is that cats like to pee in one litter tray and do their business in another, so the rule for litter trays is the amount of cats plus one. I use and recommend the biodegradable Cat’s Best cat litter and one will find the clumped urine in one tray and the faeces primarily in another litter tray.
Cats are naturally nocturnal, so will always be awake at some point during the night. One can however train cats to sleep in, as I do with my kittens, from around 10 PM to around 6 AM (later in winter). If they wake you at 2 AM, just ignore them. Turn over and put your hand on them gently and go back to sleep. Whatever you do, do NOT feed them or give them a snack or play with them during the night, this will condition them to wake you up at night.