When you adopt a kitten, it is very important to remember that the baby moving into a new home is under a lot of stress and you should be patient and understanding during this rather busy period. All cats, like humans, are individuals, so the reaction to the move and the duration of the adaptation will be different for each and every one of them.
Transporting the kittens in a carrier will greatly reduce their stress.
I advise that you do not carry a kitten in your hands, even if traveling by car. Never forget that the kitten may get scared, or that unexpected events on the road may force urgent and violent reactions. So, put the kitten in a carrier, which you will hold on your lap if you are not the driver.
At the new location.
If possible, provide a calm environment without loud noises and large crowds. A cat needs a room in which there aren’t any holes, like ventilation, or gaps, as there would be under the furniture, from which you couldn’t pull it back.
It is a natural reaction for cats to jump headlong and run and hide somewhere. Also, do not rule out the possibility that the kitten may curl up in the carrier and flatly refuse to leave it. In both cases, you mustn’t forcibly take it out from its chosen refuge. Give it time to recover, sniff the new smells in its surroundings, and calm down. Keep in mind that sooner or later, curiosity, thirst, or hunger will triumph over fear and induce your kitten out of its shelter.
Many cats are very scared of a new environment. Let them discover it in a smaller room, like a small airy bedroom, or any other room which you can close. Put all of their supplies in the room. When you bring your new cat home, confine other pets (and humans!) to a separate area, and carry your new cat into the starter room still in its carrier. Set it down, and open the door. Allow the cat to come out (or not) at its own speed. Leave the carrier in the room so the kitten can hide in it.
Set up the litter box with litter in it according to the label’s instructions. Check and make sure that all possible escape routes (windows, loose vent grills, and so on) are securely closed. Unplug or securely tape down all electrical cords, and remove any small object — pretend that you are child-proofing the place for a 2-year-old!
- The kitten will always try to hide when frightened, so access to its chosen hiding area should be available at all times. Another important factor in the kitten’s adaptation to a new home is the constant presence of a human for the first couple of days. So it is best to move the kitten in before the weekend when you have enough time to care for it properly. For at least the first three weeks you must keep your kitten on the exact same food as the cattery.
Introducing the kitten to other pets.
This is a very important issue that needs to be given special attention. If you already have an adult cat, then both parties should be allowed to come to terms with the presence of a new partner without direct contact. Limit the new cat to “its” own room, from which the “old-timer” will be removed for a certain time. The smell in it will tell the kitten that it will live with a senior fellow cat. Periodically allow the adult cat into the baby’s room so it can familiarize itself with the new smell in the house. At all times during the encounters, you shall keep the kitten in your arms. They may growl and hiss at each other, but that should stop after a few days, once they get used to each other’s scents. Your task is to prevent aggression, which can lead to injuries. But they should be allowed to “yell” at each other, which is their way to establish a relationship.
If you have a dog, you must make sure of its friendliness to other animals. Otherwise, psychological trauma can ensue and no mutual acceptance or good relationship can be established. Animals, like humans, may be extremely jealous and selfish.
The principle of acquaintance is the same whether it be with a dog or a toddler. Only the duration of it may differ. Dogs are more susceptible to any kind of change, so make sure it understands that it is still loved as before by giving equal amounts of attention to both.
If your house has birds, hamsters, and the like, do not forget that your kitten, despite its young age, remains a predator! Whether it be today, tomorrow, or any other day, it will pose a real threat to smaller companions. Therefore, you must ensure the safety of both parties.
Given all of these factors, we can conclude that there is no recommendation for speeding up the kitten’s adaptation. It can only be optimized and made as smooth as possible.
And let me repeat it, for it is important – please be patient and provide ample love and attention! Let friendship and mutual understanding reign in your house.
- WE WANT TO URGE THAT: You take the kitten/cat to your own veterinarian within the first 72 hours for your own satisfaction and protection. If the vet feels that the animal is ill and that the illness was present prior to sale, we should be contacted at once, before any major treatment is begun (except in an emergency situation) You provide proper housing, diet, fresh water, parasite control, clean litter box at all times. You keep your kitten on the exact same food as the cattery, at least for the first three weeks. The kitten/cat be provided with a scratching post and or cardboard scratchboard, as well as plenty of toys. When confinement is necessary it will be in ventilated, of a reasonable size, and with sanitary conditions. The kitten/cat will receive a yearly veterinary examination, including any care needed to maintain the ongoing good health of this animal. The kitten/cat will not be denied veterinary care at any time. The kitten/cat will not be allowed outside except on a leash (under close supervision), or in a completely enclosed run. The kitten/cat will not be caged. Due to the social nature of our Cats, you must provide frequent and loving attention to the kitten.
It is no secret that the Siamese cat breed is known even to those who are poorly versed in breeds. Due to the blue color of the eyes and the specific color of the coat, in which the pigment is distributed over the body of a cat in a certain way, coloring the face, ears, paws, and tail (the so-called points) and the body remains unpainted. Scientifically, this color is called acromelanism – a genetically determined temperature-dependent type of pigmentation (a type of albinism). It is known that if a Siamese cat is kept in the cold, then the overall tone of its color will become darker than with keeping it in a warm room. This can also explain the fact that Siamese kittens are born completely white since in the womb they develop at a constantly high temperature. Kittens develop points during the first year of life. For this reason, it is sometimes difficult to determine at an early age what color his points are -black, chocolate or blue.
It is noteworthy that the name of the Siamese breed reflects its origin. The first descriptions of cats of this specific color refer to the history of Siam (modern Thailand). Even 600 years ago, Siamese cats were revered in the temples of Siam as sacred, were considered a national relic of the country, were dependent on the royal family, and were direct participants in some royal rituals. Their export from Siam was prohibited. In the 14th century, these cats were mentioned in the handwritten collection “Book of Poems About Cats” (“Tamra Maew”), which is still kept in the National Library of Bangkok. Also, images and descriptions of these cats are found in other ancient manuscripts found in Thailand, where, not only cats with a “Siamese” color are noted, but also completely uniformly colored shorthaired cats. According to some reports, in 1884, several Siamese kittens were presented by the King of Siam to the British consul as a valuable gift. Thus, the first Siamese cats, as an exception, were first exported outside their homeland. The breed quickly won the hearts of Europeans.
Soon, Queen Victoria, who had a passion for Siamese cats, visited the first exhibitions, which affected the unprecedented growth of the popularity of this breed in Britain. In 1901, the “Siamese Cat Club of Britain” was organized, and a year later the standard was approved for it, and the abbreviation SIA was assigned. After a short time, Siamese cats appeared in other countries of Europe and in the United States. Outwardly, the Siamese of those times differed from the modern type – they were shorter, with an uneven profile and a rounded head (apple head). The breeders were faced with the task of giving the cat a more sophisticated look.
The emergence of the oriental shorthair
The Encyclopedia Britannica (11th edition, 1903) mentions fully colored Siamese cats with green eyes. But the monochromatic relatives of the Siamese cats were not so popular. Until 1923, there was a debate about the recognition of the breeding value of cats with a monochromatic color and their show career, until the British Club of Siamese cats announced its refusal to support the breeding of other varieties of this breed, except for blue-eyed ones with a color-point (Siamese) color.
From that time on, green-eyed cats of a single color were finally excluded from the Siamese class and, accordingly, in the future, work was stopped to maintain this direction of the breed. Interest in Oriental cats of “non-Siamese color” reappeared only in the 1960s. Then the breeders, trying to get a slender and graceful cat of a solid color, at the initial stage of breeding began to cross Siamese with the slenderest, fully colored short-haired cats, for example, with the Russian blue. At the same time, in America, by crossing a Siamese cat and a black cat, a chocolate-colored cat named Havana was bred, for its similarity to the color of the fur of the Havana rabbits and the color of the Havana cigars. The monochromatic cats were named Oriental (ORI or OSH).
Registration of the new Oriental breed officially began in October 1974, when there were already more than 60 catteries. Felinologists wanted to reveal the full potential of the genetics of oriental colors and introduced cats of other breeds with interesting colors to the breeding work. As a result of this selection, Orientals acquired all sorts of colors with and without patterns, and in 1995 two-color colors, the so-called bi-colors, were recognized in the Oriental breed.
Varieties in color and hair length
There is a variety of Siamese color–point with white, obtained by crossing bi-color Orientals and Siamese. Cats with this color are called Seychellois (SYS). That is, the Seychelloises are bi-color Siamese. Some people mistakenly believe that this name of cats is due to their homeland – the Seychellois. But this is not the case. In nature, cats with this color are not found. This is exclusively the creation of the hands of breeders.
In all countries, felinologists, engaged in the improvement of Siamese by selection, periodically received semi-long-haired color-point cats. Such animals did not represent breeding value and were culled. And only in America, there were enthusiasts who were ready to support and develop this type of Siamese cats. And since 1970, this species of Siamese has been given the name Balinese cat (BAL). Oriental cats also branched off into semi-long-haired relatives and such oriental beauties were called Javanese cats (JAV) Only the CFA recognizes the Javanese cat as a separate breed.
Old type vs new type
As a result of breeding work, the type of Siamese changed and acquired an increasingly sophisticated appearance with a wedge-shaped head, large ears and tall, slender, elegant paws. The old type was pushed into the background and survived only thanks to the enthusiasts and lovers of apple-head cats. Such a cat, whose appearance coincides with the descriptions of the Siamese of the 18th-19th centuries, is today called the Thai cat (encoding THA) in honor of the new name of the state of Siam, Thailand.
We have plunged into the history of Oriental and Siamese cats, but what does the science of genetics say?
Modern Siamese and Oriental cats differ from each other only in coat color and eye color, they belong to the same group, and mating between them is allowed by many felinological associations: The International Cat Association (TICA), World Cat Federation (WCF), Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFE), International Cat Union (ICU) and others.
From the point of view of genetics, Oriental and Siamese cats distinguish 1 gene – “C” dominant (gene for complete body coloration in Orientals) and recessive “cs” (gene for Siamese color). How do these genes work? In the presence of the “C” gene, the pigment is distributed equally to each hair throughout the cat’s body, and then the cat has a color tone of the same saturation everywhere – on the face, and on the back, and on the legs.
Under the influence of the “cs” gene, the color pigment penetrates only those hairs that are in the cold zone of the cat’s body (after all, the ears, muzzle, paws, and tail are always colder than the body of a cat). And where the body temperature of the cat is high enough, the “cs” gene inhibits the active penetration of pigment into the hairs. Therefore, the main tone of the Siamese color is not white, but a lighter color corresponding to the color of the points. If the cat’s muzzle is brown, then the body will be fawn, and if the muzzle is red, then the body color will be a warm white-cream shade, etc.
Gene “cs” is recessive in relation to the gene of solid color “C”, that is, it appears outwardly only if both parents passed on to their kitten one “cs” gene each. And only when two “cs” genes are found together in one kitten, such a kitten will be of Siamese color. Two Siamese parents can have only Siamese kittens, but an Oriental and Siamese cat, and sometimes even two Oriental cats can give birth to both Siamese and Oriental kittens (for this, Oriental cats must be carriers of the Siamese color gene).
Separately, I would like to mention cats with a solid white color. The S gene is responsible for this color, which has a different mechanism of action. This gene blocks the spread of pigment in the coat and, in some cases, affects the penetration of pigment into the iris. So sometimes we can meet white Orientals with green, blue eyes or odd eyes. Siamese white (Foreign White) always have blue eyes.
A distinctive feature of Oriental and Siamese cats is the extraordinary character of these representatives of the feline. They combine a stormy temperament and tender love for people. They need the love of the owner and constant confirmation of this love. They love active games, can enjoy hours of playing with a piece of crumpled paper, can walk on a leash, and fetch a toy. Possessing inexhaustible energy and curiosity, they are happy to take part in all household chores, no matter what you do. These features are inherent in Orientals and Siameses. But at the same time, each cat is a bright individual; each has its own personality.
This article was originally published on catingtonpost.com on Aug 27, 2021
Very often people come to a cattery with a request for a hypoallergenic Oriental or Siamese kitten. All of these people are inspired by articles on the Internet that there are cat breeds that do not cause allergies and that Oriental and Siamese cats top the list of hypoallergenic cats.
Unfortunately, some unscrupulous Oriental and Siamese breeders support this myth without caring about the fate of kittens going to people with cat allergies.
You want to become an Oriental shorthair, Siamese, or any other breed cat owner someday and have this doubt about allergies.
You need to understand the term “hypoallergenic” first.
“Hypo” means less or low. This means that the chances of allergies are on the lower side and not non-existent.
Allergens, which are the main cause of allergies, are kinds of proteins present in feline body fluids like saliva and urine. They are also present in the sebaceous glands and anal glands found on the skin and in cat litter. Protein Fel d1, an abbreviation for Felis domesticus 1, where Felis domesticus is the zoological name for a cat, is the protein responsible for allergic reactions.
So even hypoallergenic felines have some amount of allergens ( Fel d 1).
Many believe that the allergen is dependent on the length of a cat’s fur. That is not true, though more hair definitely accounts for more allergy-causing agents that can hide in fur. A totally hairless cat still may not be devoid of allergens, as cats have the habit of cleaning and grooming themselves. This process leaves the dried saliva, the dander (dried skin peel-offs), and allergens still on their body which may be transferred to the owner while cuddling or playing with the pet, resulting in sneezing, watery, red, and itchy eyes, and runny nose.
According to the geneticist Leslie Lyons of the University of Missouri’s Feline Genetics and Comparative Medicine Laboratory, a person is not allergic to feline hair but rather the allergen or proteins present in feline saliva which are aerosolized in the room and stick to the hair.
The study says that hypoallergenic cats secrete and spread less amount of Fel d 1 as compared to normal cats but still can invoke allergies in allergic individuals. So for the most part, it won’t make that much of a difference if at all.
The protein molecule Fel d1 is an important asthma inducer found on the skin, sebaceous and salivary glands of cats, and sticks to skin and fur during licking by cats.
How to have a cat with allergies?
Scientists are working to block allergy-causing feline protein which is the main cause of allergic reactions through a vaccine. However, this has not been accomplished yet, as researchers have not determined how eliminating the targeted protein might affect cats.
Visiting a cattery for a brief time is not a significant test for determining how a particular breed of cat might affect a prospective owner. The exposure is not lengthy nor intimate enough to be meaningful, since an allergy may not manifest itself immediately. Allergens are often cumulative. Some small, in-home catteries cannot permit visits for such a purpose because they are private homes, and the cats live in the house with the breeders. Visitors might introduce infections or diseases into the cattery. A better solution might be to spend time with friends who have Oriental or Siamese cats or to consult with one’s doctor about such things.
If, after all this information that hypoallergenic cats do not exist and have weighed all the risks, and if you still intend to adopt an Oriental or Siamese kitten, you should ask yourself, “ What will I do with a kitten if an allergy appears and the situation becomes unbearable? ” We are concerned with the kitten itself. Would you expect to return the kitten to the cattery? Please realize that this is stressful to the kitten and requires a significant amount of time for recovery. So please think carefully about wanting to adopt, especially if any member of the family has a pet allergy or immunity issues.
This article was originally published on hubpages.com on May 28, 2021
Today, nobody disputes the fact that gonadectomy (a surgical procedure by which ovaries or testicles are removed) in animals not intended for breeding is neither a tribute to fashion nor a whim. Even though spaying/neutering does not affect the health or psychoemotional state of animals, it remarkably eases a cat’s life after the removal of the obsessive instinct to reproduce, which corresponds to the principles of pet welfare. In addition, gonadectomy is the most humane tool for controlling the animal population.
Although this seems more or less clear, early-age (pediatric) gonadectomy still fuels a lot of controversy.
Early-age gonadectomy is usually done at the age of 8-16 weeks. Until recently, the generally accepted age in veterinary practice for animal spaying has been 6-8 months. There is no scientific justification for this; it is just generally accepted. Cat owners fear that it may be detrimental to the health of the animal, or that anesthesia administered during such a procedure might be deadly for young kitties. This is largely believed because cat owners are intimidated by myths.
Under US law, animal shelters must transfer spayed/neutered animals to new owners. It’s no secret that small kittens are more probable to find a new home compared to adult cats. In this regard, the University of Florida at Gainesville conducted extensive research in 1991, to evaluate the long-term effects of early-age gonadectomy. This study, together with lots of other research, helped refute many common myths and false beliefs surrounding this procedure. The most common myths to spread around are:
Myth 1: Growth delay in kittens after early-age gonadectomy
Gonadectomy, both at 8 weeks and 7 months slows down the growth of bone plates until the age of 14 months. As a result, the growth of long bones takes a bit more time. Today, there is no scientific evidence to prove that this poses any problem.
Numerous studies support this position. In 1987, Leo L. Lieberman, DVM, wrote in his report published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) that kittens after early-age gonadectomy suffered no medical or behavioral side effects at older ages.
Myth 2: Predispositions to urolithiasis in male cats after early-age gonadectomy
The penis of male cats before puberty is infantile, but the urethral lumen and the urinary functions do not change in spayed female cats either in 7 weeks or in 7 months. Vets know that kidney stone problems depend only on diet and genetic predisposition. There is no point in waiting for an older age to spay your pet.
Myth 3: It is hard for small kittens to recover from gonadectomy
Clinical evidence shows otherwise:
- During surgery, bleeding is minuscule and of minor significance.
- Young Kitten tissue is more elastic, which facilitates the vet’s work.
- Fewer stitches and less healing time are required. Moreover, the dose of anesthesia is significantly lower and the rehabilitation period after anesthesia is shortened as well.
As we can see, it is much quicker and easier for young kittens to recover from gonadectomy.
After acquiring extensive experience in breeding pure breed Bengal and Oriental cats since 2010, I can confirm that the overwhelming majority of kittens in my clinic have been neutered before their transfer to a new home. No problems were ever reported with cats that were spayed at an early age. Moreover, I am convinced that when a cat’s body begins to produce sex hormones (usually around the age of 6 months) and starts to demonstrate sexual behavior (spraying, heat, vocalization, aggression, and desire to escape outdoors for mating), after gonadectomy the function of producing sex hormones can pass to the pituitary gland and sexual behavior will be preserved. This can be avoided by gonadectomy before puberty (so-called early-age Spaying/Neutering).
Besides being endorsed by the American Veterinary Medical Association, early-age sterilization, and neutering before adoption have been supported by organizations such as the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights (AVAR), the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the ASPCA, Spay/USA and the American Humane Association (AHA).
The authors of the next 2 articles studied the long-term effects of pediatric gonadectomy and concluded that gonadectomy can be safely performed in cats under 6 months of age. These articles are followed by reports of 2 studies of cats neutered at over or under 24 weeks of age. The authors found no increased risk of disease or other health problems in cats neutered early.
Long-term risks and benefits of early-age gonadectomy in cats (Source).
- Studied 1,660 cats adopted from shelters
- Early-age gonadectomy beneficial in male cats
- Asthma, gingivitis decreased in both sexes
- Gonadectomy is safe in cats under 6 months of age
Results of that study also suggest that prepubertal gonadectomy may result in some unidentified protective effect on the urinary tract, compared with traditional-age gonadectomy in some cats.
Long-term outcome of gonadectomy performed at an early age or traditional age in cats (Source).
- Health status of cats monitored for 3 years
- No increase in physical or behavioral problems
- No increase in infectious disease in either group
- Early-age neutering did not increase problems
First of all, let’s clarify the difference there is between Oriental and Siamese cats. Both belong to the group of Oriental shorthair breeds, with identical standards and they both boast Siamese (today Thai) origins, hence the names. Ancient Thai manuscripts show cats of both breeds, which can be recognized by their colors, uniform for the Oriental. Cats were taken to England whence they spread across Europe, and cat lovers began working on the selection.
Until 1923, breeding solid-colored cats was disputable, as the British Siamese Cat Club was against is, supporting only the Siamese and blue-eyed Himalayan cats, whose markings are the same.
Eventually, uniform color cats were completely excluded from the Siamese branch and breeding vanished, only to reappear in the 60’s. At the time, breeders were going for slim, monochrome shorthaired cats, like the Russian blue, or the Havana, whose color match that of the Havana rabbits, or cigar. These mono-color breeds were eventually dubbed Oriental.
There is also the Seychellois cat whose bi-colored hair, was obtained by crossing bi-colored Orientals and Siamese. Their name has nothing to do with the islands and means nothing in terms of origin. Such coloration in cats is only obtained by careful breeding and does not naturally exist. Oriental breeds registration with the Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFe) officially began in 1974, when there already were 60 nurseries.
So how can you tell if a cat is Siamese or Oriental? The answer is simple: colors, hair, and eyes. The Siamese has a point coloration, that is a pale body and dark extremities–face, ears, feet, tail, and in the case of a male, scrotum. It also has blue eyes. On the other hand, the Oriental has a solid color and green eyes. As was earlier mentioned, the rest of the criteria are identical: a strong slim body with refined bones. The neck is long, ending with a wedge-shaped head and two rounded ears. It has a long flat and sharp nose and lacks dimples. The tip of the nose and the point of the lower jaw are on the same line. It has elongated, almond-shaped eyes set somewhat obliquely. The coat is short, shiny, tight to the body, and has no undercoat, the tail boasting the longest one. Mating Oriental and Siamese is legitimate and kittens are categorized depending on their phenotypes — the physical manifestation of the genotype. Therefore both species can be born from the same litter.
Of course, the hallmark of both Oriental and Siamese cats is their specific character. Such cats are not the rambling type but instead prefer to remain close to their “human partner,” which doesn’t exclude a rugged temperament. This cat is genuine royalty and loves to be the center of attention. The love of them must be confirmed over and over again. They easily grant their time and affection and require the same in return.
Thus they will greet you from work, follow you around, will match your schedule, and recognize the mood in which you are. It is important that they feel like a member of the family.
They love active games like playing with a piece of crumpled paper or bringing back an object, but can also walk on a leash. They are curious and energetic and will take part in all of your activities.
Yet, if these are inherent characteristics of both species, never forget: each cat is different.
Siamese cats are originally used to battle snakes in their homeland. They will efficiently get rid of them, their quick responses helping them avoid the bites, but do not kill and ‘show off’ as other cats would.
These cats are easy to maintain, needing no less and no more than balanced food. The main difficulty is their sensitivity to cold. Drafts in the environment should be avoided as much as possible.
Being an owner and breeder of such cats, I can say that they are smart, easygoing, active, loving, and sociable. Give them your love and care, and they will give you their all in return. Once an Oriental cat lover, always an Oriental cat lover…
Olga Shatokhina 2013.