These are some bits of information and philosophy I have gathered and developed over the years. They are all based on my own experiences and those of other breeders and customers I’ve spoken to. As always when using the internet, do your research and read opposing viewpoints and make your own decision. What has worked for me may not work for everyone. I might have some strong ideas that you are opposed to. Again, follow your own intuition. I just hope I can provide some useful bits here.

DECLAWING

I feel that declawing should only be done as a last resort.

First, consider the many alternatives: keeping your cat’s claws trimmed, applying claw caps like Soft Paws, and offering scratching posts made of varying materials.

If it comes to the point when you are thinking of finding a new home for your cat or if you have health circumstances that prohibit you from being scratched by a cat, then you may want to look into laser declawing. If done humanely, declawing is not the horror operation it used to be. Laser declawing, especially, is very fast, almost bloodless and cats exhibit less signs of pain than with older, terribly invasive techniques. Make sure to mention pain killers to your vet, however. They don’t always offer them. There’s no reason not to make your kitty’s recovery as painless as possible.

Of course, if declawed, your cat should NEVER be allowed outdoors.

SPAYING AND NEUTERING

It is recommended that your kittens be spayed and neutered between five and six months of age. That will give them time to benefit from hormones for bone growth, etc. The new trend is to do this at a very young age. I personally think it is a cruel thing to do to a young animal.

DE-WORMING

Regular dewormings are recommended for young cats. Your veterinarian can advise you on what types are needed and when they should be given. This is true even in very clean environments.

VACCINATIONS

Vaccination protocol has changed a great deal in the past few years. It is not longer said to be necessary to vaccinate older pets. Some vaccinations can be done every two years instead of annually.

I would like to caution that purebred animals seem to be wired a little differently. It is better to only do one thing at a time with your Siamese. Yearly vaccinations should only be given one at a time. And never along with a surgery.

Drug manufacturing companies have finally started making cat and dog vaccines without adjuvants. You are going to have to ask your vet if they use non-adjuvanted vaccines because there are still a few being use. The adjuvant was put into vaccines to keep them in the animal’s system longer to get a better immunity. Then it was discovered that approximately 1 in 5,000 animals were developing site injection cancers after receiving the vaccines containing adjuvants. Leukemia and Rabies vaccines were the worse culprits.

The need for leukemia vaccinations is controversial and many vets now recommend that if your cat is to be an indoor only cat it does not need a leukemia vaccination. However, I still recommend giving your cats leukemia vaccinations. The virus can live on clothing and skin for hours after being in contact with a sick cat. Visitors to your home can unknowingly transmit leukemia to your cats if they are not vaccinated. It is still pretty much a fatal disease.

Not all areas require Rabies vaccinations, and if they do not require it why subject your cat to another vaccination?

As a precaution work with your vet to develop a vaccination protocol. The vaccination sites should be: Leukemia – Left hind leg and Rabies- Right hind leg. Some are now vaccinating in the tail as well.

Each vaccination should be drawn from a one-dose vial to lessen the chances of getting a large dose of adjuvants that are still contained in some vaccines.

There are certain vaccinations that are dangerous and should not be used, including FIP and FIV vaccinations.

Please question your vet about the type of vaccination he/she uses, setting up a site protocol, and what vaccine schedule is right for your cat. Remember that with Siamese and Balinese cats living almost double the age of many other breeds, the time in their life where they become “mature” and need fewer vaccines might be different from other cats.

FLEA TREATMENT

Fleas are called pests for good reason.

Be careful to NEVER use Permethrin, which is contained in most dog flea medications. It could make your cat very sick, and can be fatal. Places like Petsmart treat cats with flea products using this chemical.

Beware, ask questions and read labels.

Many natural products will work fairly well to discourage fleas from taking up residence on your pets. Brewer’s Yeast powder is my favorite. It is especially good to use on kittens who are too young for regular flea treatments. Fleas hate it and will leave. Then the cat or dog licks themselves and gets the brewer’s yeast in their system. This evidently makes their blood taste awful because fleas hate it. I was a sugar junkie as a child and the fleas ate me alive. Now I eat more foods containing B vitamins and am hardly bothered by fleas. Even mosquitoes seldom bother me.

Diatomaceous earth is also recommended to powder your pet down and discourage fleas.

POISONOUS PLANTS

Any plant in the LILY family is at the top of the list to kill your cat. Just a few nibbles of a lily leaf can cause kidney failure within 4 days. There is no treatment or cure. If you receive a bouquet of flowers it will usually contain a member of the lily family. Put it in a room away from your cats, put it outside, or give it away.

Many houseplants are toxic to cats.

Dieffenbachia seem to be the worse on the list for house cats. Please look online for a list, such as this one, of dangerous plants for our pets.

GROOMING AND DIET

Most Siamese and even Balinese do not need much grooming. They do love the closeness of being brushed. They shed dead hair twice a year and brushing them will keep the mess to a minimum. And keep the hairballs to a minimum also. Your cat’s coat should be soft, shiny and enjoyable to touch. If your cat’s coat is rough and coarse it could be caused by several things. Illness or parasites are the main cause.

DAILY DIETS, SUPPLEMENTS AND VITAMINS

To keep your cat’s coat soft to the touch and glossy looking, it is very important to feed high quality foods to maintain the good health of your cat.

You will want to be reading labels carefully. Much of the pet food available now is full of glutens. Mainly wheat, corn, rice gluten. The only ‘meat’ is in the gravy. Check out a piece of the cat food. If it has small holes and is spongy looking, it is probably wheat gluten.

Cats need MEAT.

We are all guilty of feeding a bag of cheap cat food  grabbed in a hurry on the way home one day. Feeding quality pet foods costs more but in the long run it pays off in a healthier and happier pet.

NuVetPlus is an excellent choice of supplement for your cats and dogs. I am always amazed at the difference in my cat’s coats after just a few weeks of getting this supplement. They shed less, have softer, silkier coats, seldom barf up any hairballs and just seem healthier in general. My cats love NuVetPlus and gobble it down when placed in their food. It is available from NuVetLabs.

DENTAL EXAMINATIONS

Along with regular foods your cat receives it should also get dental health dry food. The special formula helps keep scale from accumulating on your cat’s teeth. Daily brushing is also an excellent way to assure your cat does not eventually need expensive and painful dental work. Yearly examinations are still recommended.

TOYS & ACTIVITIES

It is important for your cat’s physical and mental health to have toys and activities to keep their body and mind sharp. Siamese and Balinese cats are extremely intelligent.

These things do not have to be expensive. Some catnip tied into an old sock, an empty cardboard box, a post with sisal wrapped around it for scratching, etc. Cats go wild when you toss a ping pong ball or two into an empty bathtub. Ping pong balls, tennis balls, small balls with bells inside, all amuse felines. And Siamese are famous for retrieving: catnip mice, paper wads, anything your cat favors. Try several objects. Just remember to put that need supervision as feather toys and toys on strings away after playtime.

Cats love climbing towers. And Siamese love heights. You want to find or make a tower that will allow your cat to get some exercise climbing up it, provide a nice place for a nap, and have a surface it can scratch anytime the mood strikes.  If you have more than one cat the tower will be the focal point of the ‘Nighttime Crazies’.

Here are free plans for a cat tower you can make by Bertus Greef.

Most towers are made for humans, not cats. Most are covered with carpet which can be dangerous to cats. Once they scratch down to the backing the nylon threads will be exposed. If ingested, they can cut the intestine and kill your cat. They are also a nightmare to keep clean. So if you have carpeted climbing towers please remember to keep the strings clipped short.

Sisal wrapped towers may not look fancy in your home but they are safer and more durable for your cat. It is not necessary to spend a lot of money on a tower for your cat. It is a very good idea to look it over well to be sure it is not top heavy. You do not want it to fall over and smash something or someone. For example: two adult cats running at the tower will be around 25 lbs of power in motion. That energy is enough to cause a lot of damage if you do not plan ahead. If the tower you choose is top heavy and not that stable it can always be secured to a ceiling or wall.

Tower-in-a-new-spot
The impatient cats check out their new tower. The tower still needs to be wrapped with more sisal and for the hammocks to be hung.

 

Towers
The Orecatay cat family has several towers that can be pushed around to make different groupings. The round tube seen on the right bottom is a cement form, available at home supply stores. The cats love racing through the tubes at full speed.

 

 

Please take a proactive attitude towards your cat’s health and establish a good relationship with your veterinarian. Ask questions and be informed.

Enjoy your feline companion.