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OLD STYLE SIAMESE

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There is a lot of information on this page, the reason for this is we have attempted to cover every aspect of buying a kitten. This information has come about from years of experience. Buying a purebred is not as simple as finding a breeder & picking out which cat you like, there are questions to ask & preparations to be made. We feel this page is a very important one & urge all people wishing to buy an Old Style Siamese to read it thoroughly before choosing a kitten. Once you have decided to open up your life to an Old Style Siamese, read up about them. Look on the internet for information, buy a few cat magazines & ask friends. You can also contact the various cat associations. The more information you have, the better. You also need to consider your working hours, if you are out for several hours daily it may be wise to consider two cats. Siamese cats are extremely intelligent animals & don't do well if left alone for long periods.

Choosing a Breeder
It is important you find a breeder you are comfortable with. The breeder should be registered with either a local or international cat club. Don't be afraid to ask questions, such as how long they have been breeding for, if they can provide references. Do they guarantee the health of the kitten & if so for how long? Is it ok for you to e-mail or phone them with any queries once you have the kitten at home? Any breeder worth their salt will be happy to provide you with as much help as is required after you've bought your kitten.

It is highly unlikely that you will ever see an Old Style Siamese for sale in a pet shop here in Australia, however should the impossible happen & you do come across one, DO NOT buy it. You just will not get the help, information, expertise & support from a pet shop that a breeder will give you. You will not be supplied with the cat's papers & you don't know anything about the cat's history. In fact, if you ever do come across a pet shop selling what they claim to be Old Style Siamese kittens we could very much like to hear about it. Under our code of ethics, none of the Australian breeders listed on this site are permitted to sell their kittens to a pet shop.

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Selecting Your Kitten
This is very important and you need to take care when doing this. It is advisable that you contact breeders several weeks in advance as they often have waiting lists for their kittens. You should be allowed to go & choose a kitten when the litter is around 7-8 weeks of age. You can make a selection then and watch what they do as they play. You can also see which kittens are outgoing and those who are a little quieter. Once you have chosen your kitten you should be able to get updates on the progress of the kitten as the next six to eight weeks go along. Try to take a look at the parents, their nature will give you a good indication of what their kitten's nature will be like. Does the cattery look clean, do the cats appear happy & healthy? When you are deciding on a kitten give it a discreet look over, check it's ears, eyes, bottom & nose. Never buy a kitten with discharge coming from the eyes or nose or dirty ears. The kitten's coat should look & feel healthy, you should not see or feel any dry skin or scabs. There should not be a greasy feel to the coat, which could mean the kitten has not been properly groomed by its mother.

Prices of pedigree cats can vary. This is because breeders sometimes sell cats that may have a minor flaw. This could include incorrect eye colour, a slight kink in the tail or something else that makes it less than perfect to breed from & show, but doesn't have any effect on the cat's health or personality. So, if you are buying a pedigree cat just as a pet & you don't plan to show or breed from it, a pet quality cat will be ideal. These are cheaper than show & breeding quality cats. When you speak to the breeder let her know exactly what you want your cat for. If you want to show your cat, you will pay a little more for a show quality cat. Generally breeding cats are the most expensive to buy.

Many breeders will ask you a lot of questions, this is because they have raised these kittens from birth & want to make sure that they are going to the best possible home & that you, the buyer are fully aware of the responsibility of owning an animal that can live for up to 20 years.

Some questions the breeder may ask you are...

Do you plan to for the kitten to be indoors only?
Many breeders won't sell their kittens to people who plan to let their cats outside, unless they are either supervised, in an enclosure or on a harness. Too many cats are killed on the roads, or by other animals.

Will you be breeding from this cat?
If not, the breeder may well desex the kitten before you take it home. This is because breeders put a lot of time, effort & money into their breeding programme & want to ensure that they are only selling a cat for breeding to a person who knows the pitfalls of breeding & will do so in a responsible manner. If you have any concerns with kittens being desexed so early, we recommend you read the following article written by the Winn Feline Foundation. Early Spay Neuter in the Cat. It is a fallacy that a female cat needs to have one litter before she's desexed.

How Much Time Do You Spend At Home?
If you are out for long hours daily the breeder may recommend you get a second cat. This is because a cat left for long hours daily will get lonely & could even become destructive.

Old Style Siamese are very rare in Australia & there are only a handful of breeders. Be sure to take a good look at both the kitten & the parents. It will pay to be familiar with how an Old Style Siamese kitten looks. Make sure it really is an Old Style Siamese you are buying.

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Here is a photo of an Old Style Siamese at 12 weeks of age, even at this age it is obvious by her head & body shape that she is an Old Style Siamese cat. If it doesn't look like an Old Style Siamese as a kitten, it won't as an adult. The photo to the right is the same cat at 8 months old, as you can see she has grown a lot but she still has the same head & body shape. She's just larger & more mature looking in the face.

We recommend you look at other clubs specialising in Old Style Siamese & pay attention to the photos on these pages & also read their breed standard. This way, when you find a breeder you will have enough knowledge to know that what you are seeing is in fact an Old Style Siamese & not a more moderate Siamese the breeder is calling an Old Style Siamese.

One final comment, responsible breeders go to a great deal of effort to keep their cattery disease free so please show a little respect when you go to visit a kitten & don't go directly from one cattery to another. This is especially important when you are handling young kittens as their immune systems are not fully developed.

Questions for the Breeder
When you go to choose a kitten it is important to ask her what you get for your money. The most common questions are...

  1. Is the kitten desexed?

  2. Does the breeder regularly check her cats for infectious diseases such as FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency virus) & FeLV (Feline Leukaemia).

  3. How many vaccinations has the kitten had? When is its next one due? You should get a signed vaccination certificate from the breeder. In Australia vaccinations should have been performed by the vet & NOT the breeder.

  4. Does the kitten come microchipped?
    By law cats sold in NSW must be microchipped. If you don't live in NSW & your cat doesn't already come microchipped we recommend you have this done as soon as possible. In Australia it is the only way to permanently identify your cat.

  5. Has the kitten been regularly wormed?

  6. Does the kitten come with official cat club registration papers?
    If so, do you get the papers when you pick up your kitten or when you show proof the kitten has been desexed?

  7. Does the breeder offer any kind of medical guarantee for the first few days after you have taken the kitten home?

  8. Is the breeder registered and if so, with whom?
    We strongly advise against buying an Old Style Siamese cat from a breeder who isn't registered either with a local cat club or an international one.

  9. Is the breeder willing to provide you with help & advice AFTER you have taken the kitten home?

  10. Is the kitten you're buying pet, show or breeding quality?

Things To Buy
Before your kitten comes home you will have to buy a few items.

  1. A cat bed, with or without a blanket

  2. Cat toys, most cats love toy mice, but even basic home made toys can provide hours of entertainment. Anybody who has owned a cat knows how much pleasure they get out of hiding in paper bags & cardboard boxes. They also enjoy batting around a screwed up piece of paper.

  3. Food bowls. Stainless steel, china or glass are preferable to plastic bowls. You will need at least two. One for food & one for water. Clean fresh water MUST be available at all times.

  4. Litter tray. I like to buy the small "kitten" sized trays to start with. I feel the larger ones can be a little too overwhelming for a small kitten. You can upgrade to a larger one once the kitten has grown. It is best to start by using the same cat litter the breeder used. If you want to change this, do it gradually over a few days by mixing in a little of your preferred litter. There is a lot of controversy over clumping litter and it is not our place to pass judgement on such matters. It is up to you to become informed & choose which kind of litter suits you best. That said, if you are planning to use clumping litter, at least wait until the kitten has grown up. Clumping litter should NEVER be used with kittens. Most people I speak to think "Breeders Choice" cat litter is the best. It is safe to use, holds in smells & good for the environment.

  5. Last but definitely not least, you will need a scratching post. Cats scratch for several reasons. Clawing is part of the cat's grooming regime, old layers of the claw are shed. Cats also have scent glands in their feet & when they scratch they put their scent on the object. When a cat has just woken up it may go over to its favourite scratching spot. This is done to stretch the muscles of the shoulders & back.

Finding a Vet
It is important to find a vet both you & your cat trust. You will build a relationship with your vet that will last for years & years. Ask friends & neighbours who they use. Your breeder may be able to recommend a vet in your area. When you find a vet, ask if they have an after hours number. If they don't, can they recommend an alternative vet for after hours emergencies? It's always wise to get this information before the event. Hopefully you will never have any reason to call an emergency vet, but it's always prudent to be prepared. Don't choose a vet by price alone, the cheapest vet isn't always the best choice.

Taking Your Kitten Home
You are now about to go home with your new kitten, but before you do, have you found out the diet that the kitten has been having and will need to have for a while when you get it home? What type of litter it has been used to. Almost all breeders will give you a starter kit to go with your kitten. It generally includes a small sample pack of the food the kitten has been used to eating, a diet sheet & any other information you need to know relating to the kitten's care. Also make sure that there is an agreement that the breeder will take the kitten back should it not work out with you. This is highly unlikely in most cases but it can happen and you need to be sure that this is agreed to. Ensure you have a proper cat carrier to take your kitten home in. You will use this quite often as you take your cat back and forth to the vets over time.

Now that you have your kitten home there are a number of things to remember. Firstly the kitten will be very disorientated as it has been taken from a known environment into an unknown one. Your kitten may be quite timid for a few days, this is normal. Make sure that you have the kitten in one quiet room of the house to start with so it can get used to that room and then allow it to explore from there. If you are able to, have the kitten with you for the first few nights as it will need company to help it get over the shock of suddenly being on its own. At times our bed looks like a menagerie with our animals on it, but we have had very little problem settling new kittens in because of this. If you are not able to do this, put a small cuddly toy in its box so it can use this as a comfort during the night. A hot water bottle wrapped in a towel & a ticking clock can often help settle your kitten down. Your kitten may not eat for the first 24 hours so don't be to worried if this happens. It will soon get over its reluctance to do so. I have found that small juicy tidbits like cooked chicken meat are very good for this especially when given on my knee. Never give your cat cooked chicken bones. Don't give your cat food straight from the fridge, warm it up a little in the microwave first, but be careful it's not so hot the kitten burns its mouth. If you wish to give your kitten milk you can buy specially formulated "cat milk" from the supermarket. This is lactose free. Cats often have a problem with the lactose in cow's milk & it can upset their tummy. If you have any problems, your kitten's breeder should be more than willing to offer you over the phone support.

Kittens can get into all sorts of trouble so it is important to cat proof your home before the new arrival. Make sure the toilet seat & lid are down at all times. Many kittens have drowned in the toilet. If you have houseplants, make sure they are non toxic to cats.

<a href="http://www.cfainc.org/articles/plants.html" class="link">Information on plants that are toxic & non toxic to cats.

Make sure cupboard doors are closed at all times & never leave the washing machine or dryer door open. Keep medicine & poisons in a child proof cupboard.

A Few Extra Tips
Hopefully your cat will live for a good 15-20 years, it is a long commitment but one that is incredibly rewarding. As the cat's owner it is your responsibility for the cat's life to ensure...

  • The cat is vaccinated annually
  • The cat receives proper vet care when it gets sick or injured (if in doubt, check it out with the vet)
  • You maintain a proper worming & flea regime

As more & more cats are kept indoors it's prudent to learn how to trim a cat's claws. If you are not familiar with this process ask your vet or your kitten's breeder to show you how it is done.


Further Information
  Information on plants that are toxic & non toxic to cats



Patrick Robinson & Julia Wilson
The Old Style Siamese Association of Australia

Last Update: 06/02/07 16:13 Views: 5466

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