The 11 Laws of Being a Cat!

cat-2074945_19201. Always give generously. A small bird or rodent left on the bed tells them you care.

2. Climb your way to the top. That’s why the drapes are there.

3. Curiosity never killed anything, except maybe a few hours.

4. Find your place in the sun. Especially if it happens to be on that nice pile of warm, clean laundry.

5. If you’re not receiving enough attention, try knocking over several expensive antique lamps.

6. Life is hard, then you nap.

7. Make your mark on the world. Or at least spray in each corner.cat-1551783_1920

8. Never sleep alone when you can sleep on someone’s face.

9. Variety is the spice of life. One day you ignore people, the next day you annoy them.

10. When eating out, think nothing of sending back your meal twenty or thirty times.

11. When in doubt, cop an attitude.

This blog post was adapted from a PSR newsletter article.

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Adopting an Older Cat

With kitten season coming up again, we would like to point out that, for various reasons, kittens are not for everyone. Adopting an “older” cat is often a better solution, although it usually doesn’t occur to people.

Some people define “older” as 1, 3, 5, 8, or 10 years old. Toluggage-1709863_1920-1 me, it is 16 years and up. Some people are afraid to adopt an older cat because they fear losing their beloved new family member too soon. Of course, there are no guarantees in life, but cats generally live much longer than most dog breeds, especially Siamese cats. Cats over 20 are not hard to find. With appropriate healthcare, just as with humans, animals are getting older. If you think about it a certain way, adopting a 10-year-old cat is not much different than adopting a large-breed puppy.

Adopting a cat past kitten age has many advantages. Older cats’ personalities are already developed and much easier to match than kittens. Kittens are sweet and adorable, but they grow to become big personalities. If you are looking for something specific, you cannot judge by kitten behavior. All of the adult cats waiting in the shelter for a new home were once someone’s kitten.

cat-1040824_1920People often think it is easier to integrate a kitten and that an older cat may come with past baggage, making it difficult to adjust quickly. Usually, the opposite is true. Like many shelter animals, cats just want to belong. A cat growing up with amenities knows a good thing when she sees it and really wants to be a part of it. Older cats also know all about litter boxes and do not need a lot of training. They forgive you if you work late and will not be waiting to greet you from atop the curtain rod.

If your household is quiet and filled with nice furniture and decorations, or if you want a lap cat, consider an older cat. Cats of all ages are fun and loveable, but if you are thinking about adding another member to your family, don’t overlook the adults. Ask yourself if an “older cat,” one that is somewhere between 1 and 18 years old, may be the right match for your home.

This blog post was adapted from a newsletter article originally written by Andrea Stuewe-Lawrence.

16 Gifs Featuring Interspecies Animal Friendship

If you’ve been following our page for the past year, one thing should be clear: PSR’s blogger/social media manager enjoys interspecies animal friendship. From the cheetah whose best friend is a dog to the goat who decided on his own to guide his blind donkey friend, interspecies animal friendship is one of the greatest things in the world. It gets even better when our furry feline friends are thrown into the mix! Here are sixteen gifs featuring interspecies animal friendship to help you get through this week.

1. A Horse and His Cat

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2. If you want your cat and bunny to be friends . . .

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3. Start them early!

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4. Cats are mighty hunters, they promise.

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5. They really, really promise.

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6. And they’re just as good with birds as they are with rodents.

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7. Cats love foxes, both regular . . .

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8. And fennec!

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9. It turns out gorillas are as obsessed with kittens as we are!

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10. This goat knows cat are the best groomers.

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11. And this fawn likes to return the favor!

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12. Even a difference in living conditions can’t keep these two apart.

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13. All this raccoon wants is a hug!

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14. And pigs know cats make the best snuggle buddies.

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15. An owl waits patiently as his cat friend puts each feather in place.

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16. And, of course, the classic interspecies animal friendship!

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So We Meet Again: Introducing Your New Cat to Other Animals

We know you’ve seen it by now: a picture of a dog, a cat, and a rat all living together in dog-833957_1920
perfect harmony. Pictures of
what seems like unlikely interspecies animal friendship abound on the internet and for good reason. Dogs and cats being friends is both adorable and seems unnatural; however, you too can reach this kind of detente in the natural order of things with a little time and effort.

But where do you start in something like this? You may be tempted to release your cat into a room with your other animals and see what happens, but DON’T. This will likely end in a traumatic introduction for both animals. Instead, there are a few preparatory steps you should take.

Scent is Everything

Humans gain much of our information about other humans from visual cues. While this is partially true for cats and dogs, smell ultimately plays a much more vital role in getting to know one another. When you first move a new cat into your home, isolate him or her in a room away from the other animals. Move objects back and forth between the rooms to start getting each animal used to the other’s scent.

friends-1149841_1920Further enforce this by feeding the animals near each other, but with a door separating them. This will help them associate the other’s scent with the positive result of being fed.

After you’ve been doing this for a while, step up your game a little. Let the animals switch rooms (without meeting) and interact with the objects that the other has been living near for an extended period. This step goes a long way towards making their first meeting a positive one.

Canine Obedience is Key

Many (but not all) dogs are big enough to seriously injure a cat, so it is important to keep your dog’s training in mind during this process. If you can keep your dog in a sitting or down position during his or her first meeting with the cat, things will go much more smoothly. On the other hand, if your dog has trouble controlling his or herself, you might want to invest in a little more training before any introductions are made. Dogs have an incredibly strong prey drive and can find it hard to resist chasing after cats. To keep everyone safe, make sure you have an understanding of how things might go beforehand.

Keep Things Positive

A short, positive interaction is exactly what you want when your dog and cat are first meeting. If this means they briefly sniff one another and then are separated, great! You’re well on your way to fostering an interspecies friendship. Lots of short, positive meetings are the best way to go when introducing cats and dogs. Keeping your dog restrained might be helpful in securing this outcome.

If, on the other hand, things take a turn for the worse, you should be ready to step in and pets-962215_1920break up any conflict. Do what you have to do to get your animals separated and try again later. If this continues to happen, you might need to get an animal behaviorist involved.

If all goes well, soon you will be living in a paradise filled with interspecies animal friendship. We wish you safety and luck in getting there!

Sources: https://www.paws.org/library/cats/home-life/introducing-cat-to-dog/, http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/cats/tips/introducing_new_cat.html

7 Cat-Themed Items to Get You Through the (Non-Festive) Winter

We’ve just entered the fourth week of January and, this year, that means one thing in California: rain, rain, rain . . . did we mention rain? While this weather is a much-needed reprieve from the years-long drought, it can start to have a negative effect on your mood. What’s something that can lift your spirits, no matter the weather? Cat-themed clothing and gear, of course! Having a reminder of the darling kitty waiting for you at home is 100% guaranteed to put you in a good mood in gloomy weather, we promise.

1. Kittens on an Umbrella Boat Umbrella ($25.00)

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Hate having to choose between displaying your love of cats and staying dry? Now you don’t have to! These adorable kittens will get you where you’re going without a drop of rain hitting your head.

2. Black/Pink Cat Scarf ($10.99)

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Looking for something a little subtler? This cute chiffon scarf is the perfect choice. It comes in pink and black, so you can switch things up while still keeping your neck warm.

3. Paw Print Rain Boots ($24.95-$49.95)

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Wear these paw prints everywhere while making paw prints of your own. The range in price comes from variations based on your shoe size.

4. Cat Ears Cape ($29.99)

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If you’re in the market for a winter cape, this could be the one for you. This cape has its very own set of cat ears, comes in navy and gray, and could be the perfect way to spice up your wardrobe!

5. Cat Claws Gloves ($6.59)

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Have you always dreamed of your fingers being mistaken for claws? Now all your dreams can come true! Keep things fierce and keep your hands warm at the same time.

6. Cat Tail Gloves ($24.99)

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Why have one pair of novelty cat gloves when you could have two? The pointer fingers of these gloves not only double as cat tails, but can also be used to successfully operate your touchscreen devices!

7. Crazy Cat Sweater ($16.99-$17.49)

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What’s better than a crazy cat sweater, are we right? You will be easy to pick out of a crowd, keep warm, and show off your love of cats – all at once!

Adopt, Don’t Shop!

So you want to bring a furry new friend into your life, but you don’t know how to go about it. Where do you even begin to look for a kitty? Pet store? Breeder? Animal shelter? Rescue? These are all options, but we strongly recommend against using pet stores or breeders to find your cat soulmate. Since you’re following a blog devoted to adopting out Siamese cats, we’re fairly certain we’re preaching to the choir here; however, just in case you are thinking about going somewhere else, here are a few reasons you should consider adopting a cat from a rescue or a shelter rather than purchasing one from somewhere else.

1. Shelters and rescues are absolutely overrun with wonderful cats looking for their forever families.cat-1575650_1920

Year round, but especially during kitten season, shelters and rescues are at capacity with cats who are searching for their forever homes. These cats range anywhere in age, breed, and personality, so whether you’re looking for a Tiny Tabby or a Geezer Meezer, you’ll be able to find the cat for you. Some of the most charismatic, intelligent, and affectionate kitties we’ve known have come out of shelters or rescues, so there’s really no excuse not to look there first.

Additionally, once you bring your furry friend home, their spot at the shelter or rescue is free for another cat. By adopting, you are saving the life of not only your own cat companion, but that of another as well.

2. Cats that come from rescues or shelters are often less expensive.

In general, shelters charge an average adoption fee of $50-$150. This fee usually includes a comprehensive vet checkup, spaying/neutering, and microchipping. While this may seem a little pricey, consider the fact that the average price for a purebred Siamese kitten is $400-$600. Shelters will also often waive adoption fees for older or harder-to-place cats, so it may be that the feline of your dreams could come home with you for free.

3. Mixed breed cats are less likely to have health issues.cats-995916_1920

While there are all kinds of cats at rescues and shelters, many of them are mixed breed. This has its advantages, as introducing different gene pools to one another means greater genetic diversity and less of a chance that your cat will contract certain diseases. Purebred cats are bred within a limited gene pool, and this often means that they have more medical issues down the road.

4. Shelter/rescue cats are regularly socialized.

In any shelter or rescue, there are a number of volunteers or fosters whose main job is making sure their cats receive plenty of positive interaction with humans. Because volunteers come from all walks of life, this means that your furry friend will have met many different types of people by the time they meet you. A well-socialized cat is generally a happy and well-adjusted cat. As long as you take the necessary steps to ease your feline friend into his or her new home, you should have a chatty Cathy or a snuggle buddy in no time!

5. Volunteers/fosters often do a fair bit of training with their animals before they are adopted out.cat-995905_1920

A cat who has lived in a shelter or at home in a rescue has learned the ropes by the time you arrive. Whether this means knowing how to use their litter box or the appropriate reaction to overstimulation, it’s good news for you. Plus, volunteers/fosters have experience working with their kitties and know exactly what to expect from them. This knowledge is invaluable when establishing a new relationship with a feline friend.

Looking for a Bay Area cat shelter or rescue near you? Check out this list.

Ask the Vet: Maintaining Your Geezer Meezer’s Optimum Health

This week, we have another installment in our Ask the Vet series! What’s the question?

luggage-1709863_1920My cat is over 10 years old. Is there anything I should be doing for her to help maintain optimum health?

Answer: Cats over 10 are prone to many diseases that are age related. Although these diseases vary considerably in prognosis and ability to treat or even cure, they all present similarly. I instruct owners to monitor seven basic symptoms: weight loss, increased water consumption, increased urination, vomiting more than once per week, coughing, and changes in appetite. If you see any of these changes in your cat, I highly recommend that you take her to your veterinarian. The diseases your vet will screen for include, but are not limited to hyperthyroidism, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, cancer, and heart disease. The typical diagnostics for older cats include blood work, urinalysis, and whole body x-rays. A diagnosis is very important because hyperthyroidism, which is a fatal disease untreated, can be cured; Diabetes can be controlled with insulin injections (much easier than they sound); The progression of heart disease can sometimes be slowed down with appropriate medications; Chemotherapy can be used to buy time in some cancer patients. Cats in general handle many of the chemo therapeutics well; Kidney disease patients can have their quality of life improved with diet changes, subcutaneous fluids, and appropriate medications; The prognosis for liver disease is based on the cause. It is important to monitor closely for these diseases and catch them as early as possible for the best outcome.

This blog post was adapted from a newsletter article originally written by Sue Marshall, DVM, of Feline Cat Clinic in Pleasanton, CA.

Ask the Vet: Routine, But Not Easy – Part Two

A couple posts ago, we began to talk about what is involved in a “simple” cat spay kitten-569873_1280operation. If you missed it, you can catch up now to learn more about the steps leading up to a spay. We left off at the point where the surgeon has located one horn of the uterus.

The surgeon, using the uterus as a guide, traces “up” to where the ovary is attached to the end of the uterus. This entire structure is then attached to the interior body wall by a short fibrous band called the suspensory ligament. In order for you to get a mental picture of what all this looks like and how it is put together, realize that the most experienced veterinary surgeons perform this surgery through an incision in the body wall that is between one half and one inch long! The uterus is a tube about the diameter of a Bic pen refill, but it can swell and thicken to about the thickness of a pencil when the cat is in heat. The ovary is about a half inch in length, and the suspensory ligament is sometimes less than that. In order to get the ovary out of the body, the surgeon has to carefully pull on this ligament to stretch it enough to pull the ovary up out of the abdomen from its usual location high in the back.

Once the ovary has been exteriorized (pulled up out of the abdomen), the artery and vein that supplies it, and that run parallel to the suspensory ligament, must be ligated (tied off) to prevent bleeding after the ovary is cut loose. Usually one or two clamps are first placed between the ovary and the body and the ligature then applied between the two or over where one of these clamps was placed after the surgeon removes it. Most ligatures are made of a sterile absorbable material, but some veterinarians use metal clips or even stainless steel suture to tie things off.

When the surgeon is confident that the ligature(s) are secure and the blood vessels won’t begin to bleed, the cut end of the ovarian artery/vein pedicle is gently released to pull back into the abdomen.

Now the surgeon traces back down the “arm of the Y” to where the two arms join at the body of the uterus and finds the other uterine horn that runs up to the other ovary. The same procedure is performed to exteriorize it from the abdomen, ligate the vessels, and cut the ovary and uterine horn free.

In technical terminology, a spay operation is called an ovariohysterectomy. This means that both ovaries and the entire uterus are removed. You want to remove the uterus and both ovaries for a number of reasons. If you don’t remove the ovaries, the cat will continue to go into heat, howling and rolling on the floor for weeks a couple of times a year. So it’s pretty obvious why we want them out, but why remove the uterus? We do this because, once the ovaries are out, the uterus becomes both a useless organ and poses a risk to the cat. The uterus is a hollow tube that can now become infected. If a pyometra (infected uterus) develops, the cat will become very ill and could die.

Now with both ovarian arteries and veins ligated and cut, the surgeon moves down to where the horns meet to form the body of the uterus, the “stem of the Y.” Ligatures are placed around the base and the uterus is cut free and removed. Again for reference, this part of the reproductive tract is located low in the abdomen near the pelvis between the bladder and the colon. In most cats, this is three to four inches away from where the ovaries attach.

breed-1005404_1920The cut in the linea alba is closed with sutures. Some surgeons use an absorbable material so that the stitches will dissolve in time, while others prefer to use a non-absorbable material that will remain relatively inert. Depending on the size of the incision and other factors, the surgeon may place additional sutures in the tissues below the skin to pull the incision together. Finally, the skin incision is closed. If needed, stitches are placed in the skin or the incision is glued closed.

But we’re not done yet. The cat still has to recover enough from the anesthesia to be able to regain protective reflexes such as the ability to swallow. A veterinary technician or nurse must monitor the patient as she wakes up until this reflex returns. When it does, the endotracheal tube is removed and the cat is allowed to rest and recover.

Later that day, you get to come by and bring the little girl home. In most cases, the cat gets to eat some dinner and sleep off the rest of the effects of the anesthesia. By the next day, she should be up and around asking for some good petting and attention. If there are any skin sutures, these are removed in a week or two.

This blog post was adapted from a newsletter article originally written by Dr. René Gandolfi of Castro Valley Companion Animal Hospital.

 

6 Holiday Items to Give Your Festivities a Feline Twist!

Happy Holidays! We at Pacific Siamese Rescue sincerely hope you have a lovely few weeks celebrating and ringing in the new year with your loved ones. Does it feel like there’s something missing from the festivities? Let us help! Here’s our list of six holiday items guaranteed to get any cat lover in the holiday spirit.

1. Cat Christmas Stocking ($5.99)

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Do you want Fluffy to be in on the Christmas morning activities? Buy him a stocking and load it up with treats and toys! These stockings also come in a canine variety in case you want to include Fido as well.

2. Siamese Cat (In a Scarf) Christmas Ornament ($19.99)

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This adorable (and cozy) Siamese cat ornament will display your love of Siamese cats and PSR, while still being sweet and festive. Look at those blue eyes! How can you resist?

3. Cat-Themed Ugly Christmas Sweater ($21.99)

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We know you’ve got a bunch of ugly Christmas sweaters, but do you have one with a CAT on it? No? You need one! Alternatively, if you’re looking for a last minute gift for a man in your life (or if you are a man, or just want a different cut of sweater), you’re in luck.

4. New Year’s Party Hat for Your Cat ($12.99)71ikpe9qchl-_sl1200_

Are you still looking for the perfect party hat for your cat to wear on New Year’s Eve? Why not these? Your feline friend is sure to be the most stylish animal at the party.

5. Cat Holiday Wreath ($19.99)

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Nothing says winter like a nice festive wreath! Show off your holiday spirit by hanging this cute cloth cat wreath from your front door.

6. Cat Menorah ($39.99)

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Are you looking for a menorah that will stand out from the rest? Have we got the one for you! Show off your cat-loving Hanukkah spirit with this adorable cat menorah.