Meezer Musings: May 2022
A Question of Breeding

Welcome to May's Meezer Musings!

Despite it being the end of May (and very nearly June!) the weather here has been unusual for the time of year. Although we have had some fine days, for the most part this month has felt more like April, as depicted below by the wonderful AmyLyn Bihrle - although in our case the skies have been decidedly grayer - and colder!

(For those of you for whom the opposite is true, and temperatures are soaring, there are some Topical Tips for protecting your cats from the heat further down the page.)

Having talked last month about Rescue I thought that this time we'd consider the other side of the 'where can I get a Siamese cat' question, and take a look at breeders.

I'd be the first to say try and adopt where you can, because there are so many wonderful Siamese cats in shelters and rescues in need of loving, forever, homes. They may not be purebred, pedigree Siamese cats but they share the coloring and many of the character traits that make Siamese cats - Siamese cats!

But there are times when providing a loving, forever, home for a Siamese kitten is also a fine thing to do, as long as that kitten is sourced from a bona fide, honest, reliable breeder.

So let's talk about breeders. Breeders sometimes get a bad rap, so the first thing to say is ...

Not All Breeders Are Bad

Good breeders of pedigree cats have a deep understanding of the breed standard (what that animal is supposed to look like) and the characteristics, history and health of the breed.

They take the time to attend and participate in cat shows and meet up with other breeders to exchange knowledge and advice. Through their understanding of genetics, they're always aiming to improve looks and health.

The health and welfare of their cats should be any breeder's highest concern. Most Siamese breeders raise their kittens in their homes alongside their families, so that the kittens are well-socialized, good-natured, and robust enough to withstand normal family life once they join their new owners.

Raising pedigree Siamese is an expensive undertaking as the cost of veterinary attention, as well as feeding and caring for litters of kittens, is high. Good breeders won't sell their kittens until they're at least twelve or thirteen weeks old and have had either their first, or both, sets of vaccinations.

Good breeders are usually extremely choosy when selecting the families they sell their kittens to, and, having agreed to sell, will pass on their knowledge, advice and help to those who buy from them.

Without them, it's entirely possible that there would be no Siamese cats as we know them today.

Close-up of Siamese kittenImage: © iStockphoto | TranceDrumer

But Sadly, Not All Breeders Are Good

When I set up this site I was in two minds whether to have a breeders' listings section. I can't personally inspect every cattery, but I had many emails from people wanting to know where they could find Siamese kittens, so I decided to include one.

I don't support backyard breeders, kitten farms or any form of breeding that's done just for the money without any regard for the health and well-being of the animals concerned, and there have been a few times when I've received complaints about certain breeders. If I find evidence of mistreatment or negligence I remove those breeders from the listings.

Nowadays I only list breeders who have their own websites or some form of social media presence, as I feel that those who do are more likely to act professionally in other ways. And it's one way I have of being able to tell whether the breeder is still in business or not.

However it's really important, if you're interested in buying a kitten, to do your own research. I've written elsewhere about how to buy a Siamese kitten so please read those guidelines first!

And do consider the adoption and rescue of older cats, too.

Meezer Memories

Melissa from Nashville, Tennessee submitted a lovely memorial to her much-loved 'soul kitty', Salem, a strikingly beautiful tortie point.

Full of love and fun and mischief, and fiercely loyal, Salem gave eighteen years of joy to Melissa and her husband. She was also, as many Siamese cats are, a wonderful nurse.

Do head over and read her story.

Topical Tips for Summer Heat

Most of us in the northern hemisphere are heading towards the summer months. Cats usually enjoy warm weather and are fairly heat-tolerant, but can suffer from dehydration and heatstroke when temperatures soar.

With that in mind, here are ten tips for keeping your cat cool, healthy and happy in the summer months.

  • Supply plenty of fresh cold water. This is always important, but in hot weather water evaporates very quickly. Check bowls regularly; clean them out and fill them up. Some cats like ice cubes added to their water, some don't, so to experiment, provide a choice of iced and non-iced water. Don't use too much ice though - one or two cubes is plenty to keep the water fresh without over-chilling it.
  • Feed wet food. Some cats don't drink enough, which can be a problem in hot weather. If you usually feed dry foods, consider switching to wet meals and adding water to them. Many cats love licking gravy, and adding water is a sneaky way of getting more fluid in.
  • Provide shade and airflow. Indoors (and outdoors, if your cat's allowed out) make sure there's a cool, quiet, shady area they can retreat to. Keep curtains closed or shades drawn when the sun's on the windows. Rooms with ceiling fans for airflow are helpful too.
  • Make cool spots. Many cats love lying on cool, tiled kitchen floors when it's hot, others choose to curl up in sinks, showers or baths. Laying wet towels down in these areas can help. It's possible to buy self-cooling mats for pets, but you can create cool spaces yourself by placing ice packs in cotton pillowcases in places where you cat likes to lie, or filling water bottles with ice cold water and placing them in cardboard boxes for your cat to find and use if they need to.
  • Avoid too much play. Exercise generates heat, so keep play to a minimum in hot weather.
  • Groom cats daily. In long-haired cats especially, matted fur can trap heat. Fur with no tangles allows air to flow freely through the coat. Daily brushing (for all cats) removes excess fur and helps to keep them cool.
  • Check your outside buildings. Inspect sheds, greenhouses, and summerhouses before closing them up. Cats often creep inside for shade, but will dehydrate and die very quickly in hot enclosed spaces without water.
  • Avoid parked cars. Never leave cats alone in parked cars. On trips to the vet or on vacation, make sure the cat's in a secure cat carrier, use air-conditioning if you have it, open the windows if you have to park, and stay with the cat to keep an eye on it.
  • Check for dehydration. Pinch the skin at the back of your cat's neck - it should spring back immediately. If it doesn't, chances are they're dehydrated. Dehydration can be serious so always seek veterinary advice.
  • Watch for signs of heatstroke. Panting, drooling, vomiting, listlessness or lethargy, dilated pupils and a rapid heartbeat are all signs of heatstroke. If you notice any of these things take your cat to the vet immediately. You can help to cool your cat down on the way by sponging their heads and coats with cold, damp, towels.

Tail End ...

While I was over on Etsy looking for a link to AmyLyn Bihrle's lovely picture above, I stumbled across this cutie! A teeny-tiny needle-felted Siamese cat from FloraAndFaunaFelts. (If you're unfamiliar with UK currency, a twenty pence piece is just a little bit larger than a dime.)

Created in the UK, it seems it's a one-of-a-kind item so if you'd like it you need to hurry - although I expect that the owner of the store would be happy to make one for you if you ask them nicely!

And with that, we reach the end of May's Meezer Musings. I'm going to take a break in June as I'd like to use the time to update the Breeder Listings and Rescue pages - a project I've been wanting to do for some months, but which, for personal reasons, I haven't had time to do.

I'll be back at the end of July, and meanwhile I hope you enjoy the upcoming summer months (or winter ones, if you're in the southern half of the planet!)

Caroline

Missed a Meezer Musings? A list of previous newsletters can be found here.


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