Wednesday 20 July 2011

Siamese Cat Tips

Siamese cat tips should be commonsense, really. We should do our best as good cat guardians and caretakers to make life as good as possible for our Siamese cat. That means satisfying his or her needs.

Siamese cats are like any other domestic cat in respect of fundamental needs such as safety, food and warmth etc.

The best cat food possible should be purchased - see best canned cat food and best dry cat food. Feeding an exclusively dry cat food diet is not recommended despite what you veterinarian might say.

The area where the Siamese cat is a bit different and to which some thought should be applied is company.

The Siamese cat temperament is said to be sociable. They like being around their human companion. The Siamese likes to be on your lap or on and in the bed. Note these points though: individual cats vary in character. Not all Siamese cats will be highly sociable. Also the cat breeds that are close to the Siamese, the Oriental Shorthair, the Javanese, the Balinese and the Oriental Longhair will have in general the same personalities.

The Siamese cat is also said to be intelligent. Perhaps in general more intelligent than the average domestic cat.

These personality traits lead to one overriding Siamese cat tip: they need you to be around, to interact with them, to play with them, to talk to them and to be stroked and petted by you etc.

So if you are away a lot and live in an apartment, it would seem that you might not be the ideal candidate to be a Siamese cat caretaker.

The best human companion for the Siamese cat would be a concerned and considerate retired couple!

Dark Siamese Cat

We know that Siamese cat pointing is caused by a process that is sensitive to heat. Where the skin is cooler there is a production of pigment and where warmer the production stops or is less. At the body temperature of a cat (i.e. in the mother's womb) the temperature is such that the entire cat is creamy white. This is why newborns have no pointing.

This begs the question whether in certain environments that are cold the Siamese cat becomes darker all over. And whether in hot climates the Siamese cat is lighter.

The photograph below by AJ Franklin on Flickr caught my eye because he is a traditional Siamese cat with a dark body area. This area is normally lighter - cream coloured.

Dark Siamese Cat

The dark brown of the central areas of the body are probably caused by natural genetic variations that exist in individual cats and possibly because this cat, Oscar, lives in a cooler climate. Perhaps he goes outside a lot and outside where he lives is cold?! Don't know. But we rarely see a Siamese cat that is this dark....Update: The photographer lives near Houston, USA. Houston is hot and warm in the summer and not a cold area. Must be an individual trait.

Perhaps this is normal for the Siamese cat - I suspect it is. An old photo of an early traditional Siamese (the original shape) looks very similar:

Siamese cat 1911 Photo, R. C. Ryan

Perhaps modern Siamese cat breeders have selectively bred out this natural trait as they have the kinked tail and the squint.

Tuesday 19 July 2011

One Seal and One Blue Point Siamese

IMG_3591 by Insomniac86
Seal and Blue point Siamese - photo by Insomniac86 on Flickr.

This is a nice photograph of what I believe is a seal point Siamese on the left and a blue point Siamese on the right. The photo provides a nice reference point for the blue point against the seal.

These are two very good looking Siamese cats. They are modern Siamese in body conformation (oriental body type) although I have seen more slender.

Mountain Lion Behavior

Mountain lion behavior is of interest to a lot of people in the United States because the mountain lion, aka cougar or puma, is a neighbor to people over about one third of the USA. This large wildcat has been pushed out of the eastern side of America and has gradually, over the 20th century, been forced into the west (2011).

Urban sprawl resulted in people settling on its territory (from the cat's perspective) and this sometimes forces cat and human together, the consequence of which is to the detriment of the cat - it is usually shot if it poses even the merest hint of a threat to people's wellbeing. Tough on the cat, I think. They were there first. And actually they are said to be quite shy and will probably avoid people and can be frightened off. Nearly all attacks on people have been on unsupervised children and they are very rare indeed.

To behavior then....The mountain lion is also found over much of South America still. This shows you how adaptable they are in regards to habitat. They can live in rainforests and high mountains up to 5,800 meters.

Across all these habitats you will find cover that allows them to stalk prey. In Florida, for example, they use cypress swamps and "cabbage palm woodlands" (if they still exist).

Mountain lions are good swimmers and climbers. When chased by people hunting them with dogs they seek refuge in trees where they are shot.

The mountain lion hunts at day and night, peaking at dawn and dusk (crepuscular). They hunt in all weathers except heavy rain. When hunting they travel a lot (e.g, 32 kms in one night). They will wait at one location for prey (for an average of 42 mins).

Prey size ranges from a mouse to a moose. Pumas kill any animal that is vulnerable. Prey size varies with location. In South America there will be competition from the jaguar. In most of North America deer make up 60-80% of the mountain lion diet (ave weight of prey: 39-48 kgs). In South America pumas feed on small to medium sized prey (1-15 kgs). Sometimes mountain lions indulge in surplus killing of sheep, for example. This puts them in conflict with farmers who shoot them. Enlightened ways to deal with this while not killing the cat are sometimes devised. Kill success rates depend on how close the cat can get to the prey, which in turn depends on cover.

A mountain lion attack involves launching itself at the prey, knocking the prey off balance, holding the prey with its claws, killing the prey with a bite to the neck (small animals) or throat (large animals). The act of killing can be slow or fast.

Preying on large animals is dangerous for the mountain lion as it might be injured such that it can no longer hunt. This can lead to starvation. Killed prey are dragged into cover for eating. The mountain lion usually plucks bird's feathers before eating. Pumas have been seem to cover prey with leaves etc. People who sleep out in the open are sometimes mistaken as dead prey and covered with leaves etc for eating in due course! Pumas scavenge too.

The mountain lion like most cats is a loner and makes sounds that are similar to those of the domestic cat. The puma cannot roar. See lots more about the mountain lion on this page.

Michael signature

Monday 18 July 2011

The World's Healthiest Cat

The Siamese cat was one of the first cats of the cat fancy. The cat fancy by the way is the group of people who breed purebred cats and show them at cat shows that they organise. They also formed cat associations to manage the cat fancy. There are too many of them.

When the Siamese was first introduced into the cat fancy in England from far away Siam it caused quite a stir. This was an unusual looking cat. It was a cat that was considered "exotic" in the same was the wildcat hybrids are now.

The truth is the Siamese cat is still exotic. In its pure state of seal pointing and standard conformation it is a very beautiful cat. All the selective breeding to add different color pointing and to make the cat thinner and "more refined" have probably failed. The beauty is in the original appearance.

Of course I am a purist. And I like things that are natural. But that is because natural is best. Nature can do the job better than us.

The Siamese cat today has many "body types" and pointing colors and even patterns that go far beyond the simple elegance of the original cats that lived with the King of Siam in the late 1800s.

Above video: I just woke up and it looks like it! But the info is I think useful and carefully prepared.

The body shape has been altered and molded through selective cat breeding as if it were an automobile that needed to be remodeled every few years to keep the customers interested.

We now have the super slender modern Siamese cat that the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) recognize. The CFA have rejected the original, traditional, Siamese cat as being too mundane. They have re-written the history books and say their version of the Siamese is the original. Wrong, sorry.

The cat fancy in their enjoyment of creating a cat that they feel is refined and elegant have taken their eye off the ball. They have compromised health. Overbreeding can have a negative impact of health. This is a bone of contention. How to get the cat fancy to focus more on health and less on appearance? Health sells cats because people are concerned about their cat's health even from the simple standpoint that it is cheaper to maintain a cat that is healthy!

Why don't the Cat Fanciers' Association create a cat breed that is marketed as the world's healthiest with no hidden inherited diseases? We have the longest domestic cat (the Maine Coon), the biggest domestic cat (F1 Savannah Magic); it is time to look under the bonnet and create the healthiest and most economical cat.

Michael signature

Sunday 17 July 2011

A Ban on Testing of Household Products on Animals

In the UK we seem to be gradually, oh so gradually, going in the right direction in respect of animal testing. At one time testing cosmetics on animals was allowed. That seems barbaric and ridiculous now. Cosmetic testing was effectively banned in the UK in 1998 because the government refused to issue licenses. That paved the way for a Europe wide ban in 2003.

Note, though, that cosmetics that have been tested on animals because they are in circulation or manufactured elsewhere are not banned in the EU.

Now the government in the UK has commited to banning testing household products such as washing up liquid, glue, nappoes (!), paint, bleaches, cleaners, fly and wasp sprays etc. on animals.

There are alternative ways to test without harming animals. Animals are force fed high doses of substances or the substances are rubbed on their skin. It is quite horrible and totally unacceptable. A ban is overdue.

See: Animal testing for cosmetics and animal testing in cosmetics and cosmetics animal testing.

Michael Avatar

From A Ban on Testing of Household Products on Animals to Home Page

Cats and Dogs to Live Longer

The strange and perpetual desire for people to live longer has thrown up its latest possibilities, which are going to be tested on dogs and cats perhaps. It's just another form of animal testing it seems to me.

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