Frequently Asked Questions

1) Where are you located?

2) How are your kittens raised?

    Are they alone all day while you're away? 

     How much are they handled?

3) Will my kitten/cat be examined by a veterinarian before placement?

4) Should I use a feline only Veterinarian?

5) Will I have to spay/neuter my kitten? 

6) Do you use a written sales contract with a health guarantee?

7) Do you cage your cats/kittens?

8) Can I let my cat outside?

9) What color kittens do you have?

    What are points? 

10) Do your kittens ever have crossed eyes or kinked tails? (known Siamese faults)

11) My friend told me her friends cat scratches the carpet and pulls out its nails. Do Siamese cats pull out their claws?

     Will they scratch up my home? 

     Do you know of a Vet that performs the laser declaw surgery?

12) How can I get my cat to use its scratching post?

13) Should I punish my kitty when she is naughty?

14) Do you ship your kittens?

15) What do your kittens cost?

16) How long have you been breeding Siamese cats?

 


1) Where are you located?

    We are located on two and a half acres in beautiful New England. Our Cape Cod style home in on a wooded hillside in in central Massachusetts, just minutes from Worcester.

2) How are your kittens raised? Are they alone all day while you're away? How much are they handled?

                              Our girls and kittens have the run of our home. We are home with them 24/7. You can read our online kitten diaries to see how we manage each litter. The birthing room is where I have my desk and computer. Newborn kittens are kept in a nest until they are ready to walk about. Nests are frequently washed and switched out. Then we use portable fencing to limit a safe area while the kittens learn to use the litter box and are weaned to solid food. This is a quick process that usually takes a couple of weeks. We handle the kittens from the day they are born. We weigh them each day to be sure they are thriving and getting enough milk from mom. When they are tiny our touch is very gentle and is mostly a finger stroke and nesting them in our hand.  A cats temperament is part nature and part nurture. We strive to make our nurturing a loving positive experience. Once the kittens are walking about and playing we try to spend time with them each time they are awake. Kittens are growing and like human babies they sleep alot. Their wake sleep cycle is a very active one. Once they master their basic skills and have the run of the house we take turns seeking each other out for interaction throughout the day. I am watching four week old kittens play while I type this. :)

3) Will my kitten/cat be examined by a veterinarian before placement?

     Yes, all kittens are seen by Dr. Schaefer at Apple Country Animal Hospital in Stow and their health is guaranteed. All kittens receive age-appropriate core vaccines before placement. You will be given a health record showing your kitten/cat's current immunizations. It will be your responsibility to continue the series we have begun. Half an immunization series is worthless and puts your kitten's health in danger.

4)Should I use a feline only Veterinarian? 

I have worked with both a feline only practice and small animal practices. My experiences taught me that it is the veterinarian and staff that are most important when it comes to how comfortable a cat is during an exam. I feel it is more stressful for a cat to be in a waiting room with lots of other sick, scared and crying stranger cats. Given the fact that cats can catch illnesses that they have been vaccinated against, I would rather go into an exam room that had a dog in it then one that had a cat. I currently take my cats and kittens to a small animal hospital and have been very happy with the level of care. Dr. Schaefer and Dr. Gould both chose to own Siamese we have bred. You should use the Veterinary practice that you feel provides the best care for your cat.

5) Will I have to spay/neuter my kitten? 

    All of our pet kittens go to homes already spay/neutered. The cost of this surgery is covered in our all inclusive fee. Early age altering (spays and neuters done between the ages of 8 and 16 weeks instead of the conventional 5-7 months) has been practiced for over 25 years in North America. We believe in early spay/neutering. The American Veterinary Medical Association has approved the technique. Several studies have been done, including one by Angell Memorial Hospital in Boston that showed that the lowest incidence of postoperative complications was in the early age group. I am shocked at how many Vets still will not consider pediatric spay & neuter surgery. You can do your part to spread the word. This online article is full of valuable information Early age spay/neuter by Dr. Dave Sweeney

6) Do you use a written sales contract with a health guarantee?

    Yes, A contract is an excellent way to make sure everyone has an understanding of our transaction. 

7) Do you cage your cats/kittens? 

     To answer this question we need to define cage. Per the USDA (Animal Welfare Act and Regulations) definition, a cats primary enclosure must be at least 24 in. high. Cats up to and including 8.8 lbs  must be provided with at  least 3.0 ft\2\.  Some states also have similar minimum size standards. We feel these standards fall short. We do not cage in this way! 

     Our adult female cats have the run of the house. I prefer to raise kittens in my office where I spend most of my time. I use a kittening, or birthing box, when my litters first start out. Isolating my pregnant queen in my office is a means of giving the queen a safe and comfortable place to give birth and nurse. She is allowed to leave the room when she is ready. Other cats are not allowed to enter until the kittens are more mature. The kittens are housed in a nest in the birthing box until they begin to walk about, usually around 3-4 weeks of age. At this point they are allowed to explore the room. For the safety of our kittens we then set up a run area about six feet by six feet and the office door is opened. The kittens will stay in this area until they are litter trained. This takes about 1 week. Kittens are then socialized with the rest of the household. Our kittens must be mature enough to leave Mom before we will allow them to go to homes.  This occurs generally around 12 weeks give or take a few weeks.  For a more in depth look at the birth and growth of a litter of  our kittens read our kitten diaries

    We will not allow our cats to produce unwanted, unplanned offspring. A stud left to roam free in a home will spray urine inside the home to mark his territory. One breeder told me his stud would spray him in the face whenever he entered his room. Therefore our Studs have their own (12' x 6', 8' ceiling) apartment. We have a walk out basement and their apartments are on that level. Their rooms are designed for their needs. Balor has two large cat condos and a window, with a cat shelf, that is open on nice days. Polo will be moving into his room with one multi level condo and three long shelves in the fall when stress levels are lowest. He is currently comfortable in the enclosure the breeder who owned him before us used. He was not well socialized to strangers and we are working on helping him to be more comfortable out of the enclosure he lived in. He will also have his own window that is opened on nice days. The two opposing walls are open mesh that allows free flow of air and an open view of the entire level.  This level of our home has its own door to go outside.  Yes I allow my stud outside, Balor is harness-leash trained and looks forward to his walks outside. This allows him to maintain his territory. An intact dominate male cat needs to maintain his territory to avoid inappropriate aggression.  He is allowed to interact with the girls when on leash when no female is in heat. Usually his interests run more toward walking his territory. Polo is a love on me kind of guy. He prefers we spend all of our time petting him and rubbing his tummy.   The needs of a stud have to be carefully looked after if he is to remain happy and free of behavioral problems. A photo of Balor's stud room is included in his Blog

8) Can I let my cat outside? 

    The answer to this is yes and no. Any cat purchased from us must be an indoor cat. New England has an ever more present population of coyotes. We also have Fisher and Fox. Tower Hill Botanic Garden reports sightings of  black bear and bobcats. Cats are a delicious snacks for them.  In addition they are susceptible to automobile accidents, diseases like Feline leukemia and FIV are epidemic in the stray cat population. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) the feline equivalent of human AIDS is found in 25% of all stray unneutered male cats.

    You may take your cat outside in a properly fitting harness, on leash and supervised at all times. There are times when no matter how careful you are your cat may slip outside, accidents happen. A cat that has never been out will be terribly frightened and may bolt, running until they are lost. I encourage owners to familiarize their inside cats with the area around their home. By becoming familiar with the sites and sounds they will know they can return to their house and find the door in to their safe refuge. Your cat should never be put on a leash tied in the yard. Siamese are intelligent cats and when left like this can wiggle out of the harness. I have seen it done. Therefore we ask that your cat remain indoors unless it is in a properly fitting harness, on leash with the leash in your hand. An indoor cat is perfectly happy to stay inside if you are there to enrich its life with active play and interaction. Siamese love to talk and be talked to.

9) What color kittens do you have?

    Our goal is to specialize in the seal point Siamese. Seal points are the color most people think of when referring to Siamese. They have dark brown (almost black) seal color points and pale fawn (light tan) bodies that darken as they age. Our Siamese also carry the recessive dilute and chocolate genes. This allows us to offer seal points, chocolate points,  blue points, and rarely a lilac point.  Blue point (bluish light gray) body with slate blue (darker gray) points) is the dilute form of seal point. Lilac (white body with pale chocolate/ pinkish points) is the dilute of chocolate (ivory body with milk chocolate points).

  With the pairing of a seal point  Sire (Bb Dd cscs) and seal point Dam ( Bb Dd cscs)  we know the following percentages are expected.
 56% Seal point
 19% Blue point
 19% Chocolate point
   6% Lilac point 

Statistically a group of 16 kittens would have 9 seal point, 3 blue point, 3 chocolate point and one lilac.

Of those 9 seal points, 1 would be seal point dominate (BB DD cscs), 2 would be be seal (BB Dd cscs), 2 would be be seal (Bb DD cscs), and 4 would be be seal  (Bb Dd cscs) .

 

Actual litter results
Maeve (retired) gave us 17 kittens in her 4 litters.
7 Seal point
5 Blue point
5 Chocolate point
0 lilac

14 females
3 males
Maeve produced many more females then males which is unusual.
Finola (retired) gave us 15 kittens in her 4 litters
9 Seal point
3 Blue point
2 Chocolate point
1 Lilac point

10 females
5 males

 

 

Our retired chocolate point queen Keva (daughter of Maeve and Balor) and our lilac point stud Polo. Have produced only chocolates. This tells us that Keva does not carry the dilute gene.  

Keva is (bb DD cscs) her kittens with Polo (bb dd cscs)  are all chocolates that carry the dilute (bb Dd cscs)

You can see the kittens they produced on our Where are The Now? page

Our current seal point  queens Fenya and Grainne have been genetically tested they have the chocolate gene but not the dilute (Bb Dd cscs). With the pairing of either Dam to our lilac point Sire Polo (bb dd cscs) the colors in their litters will be chocolate and seal.  We should see equal amounts 50% seal & 50% chocolate statistically. Fenya is actually giving us 75% seal and 25% chocolate.

Actual litter results
Fenya has given us 17 kittens in 5 litters.
12 Seal point
5 Chocolate point

11 females
7 males
Fenya is producing many more Seals then Chocolates and more females then males.
Grainne's has given us 9  kittens in her first two litters
4 Seal point
5 Chocolate point


7 females
2 males

 

 

If you are interested in seeing the percentages from all the possible Siamese color combinations we have a Siamese Kitten Color Calculator page. 

    What are points?  Points refer to the ears, face, paws, and tail.

10) Do your kittens ever have crossed eyes or kinked tails?

     Crossed eyes, kinked tails, and white toes are considered cosmetic faults. These cosmetic faults have been present in the Siamese gene pool for more then 70 years. Breeders of Siamese work to eliminate serious health and personality faults from their lines first, then work on cosmetic faults. As with any recessive genes the gene causing  faults can remain hidden and passed on for generations only to resurface again. 

Siamese are known to have Strabismus and Nystagmus. These are both eye conditions that are related to the albinism gene that makes a Siamese look the way it does. The pattern of optic nerve fiber in albino's is reversed and crossed as well as other functional differences that all albinos have. This is not something that can be "bred out" of the Siamese cat.  Even Siamese with normal uncrossed eyes have these reversed fibers. Siamese of today rarely show severely crossed eyes.  Breeders do however see mild cases from time to time. The brain of a Siamese with mildly crossed eyes adapts and the cat has no visual difficulty.  

 Recessive faults only show up when both of the parents carry the fault and both pass the gene onto a kitten. Breeders hope they don't see it expressed but it does happen. Many breeders whose cats carry a fault breed to cats who aren't carriers so no one ever knows the fault is there. We feel it is better to carry a cosmetic fault in loving, healthy, good outcross lines then to carry a medical or behavioral genetic fault in cosmetically perfect lines. 

11) My friend told me her friends cat scratches the carpet and pulls out its nails. Do Siamese cats pull out their claws? 

    This is a common misconception. Catís claws grow in layers. When the outer husk is shed they are not pulling out their claws. Shedding does not hurt the catís paw. 

        Will they scratch up my home? Cats scratch for several reasons. To remove the dead outer husks from their claws, to exercise the muscles in their legs, shoulders, and backs, and to mark territory, visually and with scent from glands in their paws. This scent is not detectable to humans but other cats can smell it. Like children who know no better cats need to be directed and sometimes redirected to scratch on surfaces that both the cat and owner find mutually acceptable. Scratching posts are the most effective way to keep your kitten from scratching good furniture. Not all scratching posts are created equal. Cat owners often make the mistake of buying the least expensive post. These are usually too short and tip over easily. Given a choice of an inadequate post and the back of a sofa, most cats will choose the sofa. A good post needs to be securely anchored so it will not tip when in use. It should also be a minimum of three feet tall so cats can stretch themselves while scratching. It should be covered with a strong rugged material like sisal, or hemp, or if your cat prefers, carpet similar to the one she has been scratching in your family room. I recommend cat condos (furniture). This gives your kitten a place of her own and can have a scratching post built in. Cats like to mark near doorways or transition areas from one room to the next. They are letting everyone know they are about to enter it's territory. Keep this in mind when choosing the placement of your condo or scratching post.

You can decrease the amount of husk removal scratching, often mistaken as sharpening of claws, your cat does by clipping your catís claws regularly. Clipping removes the tip of the claw and in the process the dead husk if there is one covering the new sharper nail. It also removes the needle like ripping tool your cat uses and creates a rounded blunt nail that when used to scratch does little to no damage. If their claws are clipped every few weeks as needed cats will have less need to scratch but it will not remove scratching entirely. Cats will still want a good scratch every now and then just because it feels good. Redirecting your cat's attention to a scratching post will keep harmony in your cat and owner relationship.  

Do you know of a Vet that performs laser declaw surgery? I'm sorry, no we don't. We do not agree with laser removal, deep digital flexor tendenectomy, guillotine amputation, or scalpel dissection of the claws of our Siamese. We raise them to be well balanced cats with good scratching habits. Declawing is not permitted in our purchase contract. 

12) How can I get my cat to use its scratching post? 

Your kitten will already be trained to a  scratching post when it is ready to go to its new home. Having a scratching post in your home before your kitten arrives is the best way to reinforce its good behavior. To teach your kitten to use its new scratching post requires some interaction from you. Playing with your kitten near the post with a feather toy and dragging the feather up the post will entice your kitten into the scratching motion. Continue doing this above kitty's head height and allow her to miss catching the toy so that her claws sink into the post. After doing this three or four times she will realize how good it feels. Remember to allow her to catch the toy once or twice so she won't lose interest in the game. As she plays encourage her to climb higher by lifting the toy higher. Play this game three or four times a day and soon your kitten will be using your post all on her own. Some books suggest you press your kittens paws into the post, don't. Cats cannot be forced into any activity and this negative reinforcement will more likely turn kitty away from the post. I have found it effective to use my own hands on the post to simulate scratching. My cats will come running to join me when they hear me making scratching noises on a post. 

13) Should I punish my kitty when she is naughty?

    No, cats are not like dogs. A cat will not understand why you are behaving the way you are.  Punishing a cat will only teach it that it cannot trust you and will lead to far worse behavior problems. Cats who are scared and feel trapped will attack in self defense. Cats need to be encouraged with gentle positive reinforcement. Remember that cats never forget, once you have shown anger to them there is no way of coming back from it. They will always mistrust you. Pressing a catís nose into a litter box mistake will only cause her to find a more hidden area next time. Most litter box problems are due to smelly dirty litter boxes or are medically based, i.e. bladder infection often caused by bacteria in a dirty litter box. The best way to prevent litter box mishaps is to keep the box clean and odor free. Cats noses are more sensitive then our noses a perfumed litter may actually drive a cat away from its litter box. If kitty does have a mishap its important to treat the area ASAP. There are many good products on the market. We use Natureís Miracle  and have found this to be an excellent, effective treatment in removing the stain and odor. Have a tough odor you are not able to get rid of? Soak the area with Natures Miracle and cover it with plastic. For the enzymes to work they need to stay moist for at least 48 hours. Odor removal is important because a cat will return to the same spot to eliminate if the smell is there. Smell it but youíre not sure where kitty went? Use a blacklight. Cat urine will glow a greenish-yellow. Remember all protein stains will show with the use of a blacklight, including some cleaning products. The blacklight is an aid to locating the urine. Your nose is the indicator if you have found the spot.

14) Do you ship your kittens?

    No, We have had four kittens shipped to us counter to counter and our four flew when we moved here. I have learned that "counter to counter" means different things to different airlines. It is my understanding that pets will only fly in the passenger cabin if you are flying with them and the carrier will fit under the seat. There is the possibility they will move them to cargo if anyone complains. With many airlines, counter to counter means the cats go into the pressurized cargo hold that is not the passenger area of the plane, sometimes temperature controlled and sometimes not. When you call an Airline and ask for information regarding the shipping of pets, the information received is inconsistent, unclear, and confusing. Information on the web is as varied as the answers of Airline employees.  Not all of our experiences were positive and as a result, we have chosen not to ship any of our kittens. It would have to be very special circumstances to get us to ship. PetFlight.com has reports of individual airlines and details on pet incidents. For a three month period, prior to my writing this, eleven of the major airlines had a total of 11 pet deaths, 12 pet injuries, and 2 lost pets.

15) What do your kittens cost?

The average price of a registered purebred pet kitten runs from $600-$1500 depending on the breed. Show quality and breeding kittens will run higher. 

 

I price my kittens to offset the Veterinary and dietary expenses I incur with raising kittens. We have to take into account our fixed expenses as well as the variable expenses associated with keeping breeding cats. There can be high unexpected emergency vet expenses, ultrasounds, hysterotomy. Emergency c-section surgery for Finola was $2200.00. I keep a spread sheet for each litter.  Kittens eat about the same amount of food as an adult cat. A 3.5 oz bag of Royal Canin Baby cat costs about $20.00. ( I just paid $21.00 at Petsmart 10/17/14) We also purchase special Royal Canin Queen food for our moms. An expectant mother cat must also eat this and continue to eat it until the kittens are weaned. She can eat up to twice as much her usual meals during her pregnancy (~65 days) and up to three times as much while she is nursing kittens(~52 days) This doesnít include kitten formula, one can of KRM costs $25.00.  Then there are Veterinary visits. All kittens are vaccinated ~ $75.00 (Feline Rhinotracheitis-Calici-Panleukopenia Vaccine) and fecal tests, our cats have never had worms or parasites. Vaccines are necessary protections.   Kittens are also spay/neutered prior to placement; $55 pre surgery blood work up, here is the 2009 spay estimate from my vet. cost range $361.00-$396.00.  I sign one of these for each kitten I drop off to be spayed.  Add in Vet visits for the Mom and Dad, genetic and health testing.... All of our cats have PCR (~ $100 per cat) tested negative for Bartonella. A stealth pathogen that the ASPCA estimates is in 40% of all cats that pass through the shelter system. It is a zoonotic infection they can give to you. Its effects are awful I've contracted Bartonella in my 20's from a feral kitten I helped rescue. My Bart symptoms went misdiagnosed for decades. Our cats have also tested negative for herpes virus (Rhinotracheitis). We have also done many genetic tests through the UC Davis feline genetics lab. There is also the extra expense of keeping the birthing room 15 degrees warmer. Also there are expenses for special equipment, birthing box towels, heated nests, syringes/bottles, training litter pan; registering the cattery name, cats, and litter; and promotion (this website). 

 

There are also expenses for starting and maintaining a breeding program. Books and textbooks for reference can easily cost into the hundreds of dollars, suggested breeders booklist. Purchasing your first  registered breeding queen and stud, and later purchasing a cat from new lines to outcross. Add to that an initial veterinary exam about $300 per cat. This includes a physical exam, testing for parasites, blood tests to detect FIV and feline leukemia....... Temporary isolation quarters for any cat entering the household. They must be kept in quarantine, away from other cats for up to 2 weeks. This allows for the incubation period of any illness they may carry. Micro chipping for identification. Building or having a carpenter build a stud apartment. Cleaning supplies and urine neutralizing enzymes, I also use Comfort Zone with Feliway in multiple areas. Initial purchase of one for one month is $40.00 with refills costing $20.00. Then there is the cat furniture (condos, trees, scratching posts, etc) and toys for happiness, exercise, and training. I'm still operating in the red and with emergency vet expenses Maeve's Murphy LitterFinola's c-section litter, Maeve's Pyometra, and Tasa's C-Section Litter adding to the deficit.....Also add to this the cost of replacing these queens if they can not conceive again....

 

            I could go on but I hope you get the picture. When you purchase a kitten from me or any other ethical breeder you are helping with some of the expenses of breeding so we can keep the breed going. We call ourselves ďhobbyĒ breeders* but in reality it is more of a passion. Anyone who has a passion for their hobby can tell you the costs are high but the rewards are worth it.

16) How long have you been breeding Siamese cats?

We purchased our first Siamese breeding cats in 2003. All of our litters have a photo diary. You can find all of our litter diaries on our Kitten Diaries page. There are just about 30 litters total. We only have one litter at a time. Queens average between 9 months to a year between breedings. rest time is calculated from the number of kittens in her previous litter. Waiting too long can cause pyometra.

* A hobby breeder can have no more then three breeding females. If more then three females are owned then they are required to be licenced by the the MDFA under regulation 330 CMR.-Licensing and Operation of Pet Shops

                


All images, text, and all other contents of this site are protected by copyright law.
The contents of this site may not be reproduced, distributed, exhibited, published, or used in any form, in whole or in part, without prior written permission from the copyright holder.

All images, and text copyright © Black&Tan, 2000-2017 | All Rights Reserved | Contact