What to expect from an 8-week old Siamese Kitten? Gorgon Queen, or Princess?

My wife and I recently bought a siamese kitten (sorry no pics yet) but trust me, she’s cute enought to melt the polar ice caps…She will be ready this Friday (8 weeks).
Small Chocolate Point, saphire blue eyes…just adorable. She’s the product of a two year old mom, so this is only the mother’s second litter. She’s 8 weeks old and so far ultra cuddly…She’s not very rambunctious at all. But I have been told to just give it a little while. Here are some questions:

She will be alone during the day, should we A: Get another Kitten not siamese, for a playmate? (does it matter if the second kitten is not siamese)
B: Leave the tv/radio on low.
C: just don’t worry about it the kitten will entertain herself…?

What about food…she is still on half soft food with a little cottage cheese to mimick moms milk…is there a teenage kitten food?

Cat-nip? Yeah or nay? What age?

Water bottle, good for training, bad for training?

She will be completely an indoor cat. Why not declaw her?

The kitty condo I made…will she actually use it…

Window mounted kitty beds: Yeah or Nay?

And just how loud should I expect this kitten to be if she is not allowed in the bedroom…?

From the alternately proud and frustrated owner of a 6 year old Siamese (who I got when she was 8 weeks old), answers to your questions in order:

  1. If you’re interested in getting another cat, get one now. Siamese tend to be very territorial and bond very hard to their family and generally hate everyone else. Your second cat doesn’t have to be a Siamese, the main goal here is to raise them together so that they’re familiar with each other, since introducing a strange cat later will be difficult at best. Having said that, I only have the one cat, and since cats are not pack animals the way dogs are, they’re perfectly capable of getting along on their own…cats sleep something like 20+ hours a day anyway.

  2. My recommendation on food is to pick one food and stick with it. Changing foods often usually leads to finicky behavior. A high quality dry kitten chow and plenty of water should suffice. IME, wet food tends to give cats really foul smelling poops. A high end food is more thoroughly digestible, so the cat’s poops will be smaller and less stinky. This is key. Combine good food with a good, hard-clumping litter (I use Tidy Cat Antimicrobial for Multiple Cats) in a domed litterbox, and you’ll have next to no smell.

  3. Catnip depends on your cat…give it a try. Not all cats like it, but if yours does, you’ll know. Be forewarned…I always thought that catnip was like kittyweed, and she’d eat it and be all mellow and happy. What I actually get is a beast that rolls around on the kitchen floor and then takes off like a dervish.

  4. I didn’t have much success with the water bottle as a training tool, because she eventually learned that when I was reaching for the bottle, she was being bad and took off. She’d go right back to doing what she wanted when I wasn’t looking, so if you go the water bottle route, you have to be ever vigilant.

  5. You’ll get heated replies on the declawing issue. I think it’s cruel and I find that clipping her nails works just fine. If you start clipping her nails early, she’ll learn that it’s not a horrible torture to be endured…even my demonspawn will sit idly by while I do it at this point. Have your vet show you how, it’s easy enough, you just have to be careful not to nick the quick and make her bleed.

  6. What cats find interesting to play with is highly individual. My cat’s favorite entertainment is anything that wasn’t there 5 minutes ago. She has a really short attention…oooh, look! Shiny!

  7. Cats tend to like being relatively high so that they can be king/queen of all they survey. They also like to look outside, so window beds are usually a big hit…if it’s mounted on a wall that has a baseboard heater, you’ll never pry the cat out of it.

  8. Loud. Buy earplugs. My cat is extremely vocal (and as you know, Siamese have such a penetrating voice) and can’t stand to be shut out of anywhere. Closed doors are forbidden. She’ll hang off the doorknob and yowl.

Good luck! :smiley:

not only are you bringing home a cat, you are bringing home a smart cat.

siamese love to talk and have quite a vocab.

most of the time kittens will sleep while you are away. just be ready for playtime as soon as you walk in. kitty has be sleeping, now you are entertainment. give kitty a good 15-20 minutes (if not more) of play. this will hopefully keep the night crazies at bay.

i like science diet personally, i feed the girls dry food at all times and 1 can on sundays and holidays. very exciting for them.

good luck with your cutie. better get started on the braun books, and get fuzzy.

She will be alone during the day, should we A: Get another Kitten not siamese, for a playmate? (does it matter if the second kitten is not siamese)
B: Leave the tv/radio on low.
C: just don’t worry about it the kitten will entertain herself…?

It’s generally accepted that a cat is the best company and playmate for another cat, especially a social one like a siamese. It doesn’t matter if the other cat isn’t siamese, but it helps if it’s another cat of a sociable disposition. Get it ASAP.

What about food…she is still on half soft food with a little cottage cheese to mimick moms milk…is there a teenage kitten food?

Cow’s milk and milk products aren’t recommended for cats because they are higher in lactose than mother’s milk, and are prone to causing upsets/diarrhoea (this is apparently more common in siamese and other oriental breeds). As a point of interest, siamese/oriental breeds are also more likely to be intolerant of fish/seafood.
Dried food is good. Reputable brands are ones which offer lifestage nutrition (eg they have kitten/adult/senior/light formulations) and have done AAFCO feeding trials (not just AAFCO certified). Dried food is more economical and less likely to spoil. Kitten food is appropriate up to one year of age, after that you can gently change to adult food. When changing foods, do it over a period of a week, gradually mixing the new food in with the old. This minimises the chance of digestive upsets. An 8-week kitten should be fed 3-4 times a day.
Reputable brands IMHO include Hills Science Diet, Purina, Iams/Eukanuba. There may be others in the USA that I don’t know about.

Cat-nip? Yeah or nay? What age?

Up to you, whenever you like. She may or may not go for it.

Water bottle, good for training, bad for training?

Good, but be consistant.

She will be completely an indoor cat. Why not declaw her?

Because it’s painful and unnecessary. Claw trimming is quick and easy, and it’s very easy to train a cat to only scratch on a scratching post you have provided for them (it took my cat all of 2 days to get that hint)

The kitty condo I made…will she actually use it…

Maybe, maybe not - cats are individuals. Good on you for providing play space for her.

*Window mounted kitty beds: Yeah or Nay? *

Yeah, as long as the window will not be left open or is screened.

And just how loud should I expect this kitten to be if she is not allowed in the bedroom…?

Cats are individuals… probably loud enough that you’ll rethink your “not in the bedroom” policy fairly promptly :wink:

Another vote for the no-declawing policy. We found a water pistol to be very effective in teaching not to scratch on the furniture. Plus lavish praise when the scratching post is used. If she doesn’t like the one you have, try another one. It should have at least one part that is high up so she can feel superior and safe. If you can put it near a window so she can “watch tv” all day, that’s great. Ours love to sit in their scratching post/perch and watch birds outside all day.

I don’t have a Siamese now, but have had 3 in my lifetime. They are wonderful, intelligent, affectionate and talkative. Very talkative. Of course, you have to talk back.

At 8 weeks she should be fully weaned and does not need diary products. Many cats get intestinal problems if they are fed much dairy after kittenhood. They cease to make the enzymes needed to digest lactose after that, so they are like a lactose-intolerant person. I’m sure you have taken her to a vet by now, and that he/she will have feeding suggestions for you.

When we brought our first kitten home, she was already able to eat the commercial dry kitten food and thrived on it. When she had kittens, we helped her to wean them by providing baby pablum and soft foods until they were fully weaned. We kept one of the kittens and found wonderful homes for the other three, and to the end of their days the mother and daughter would cuddle up together.

The kitten WILL find things to amuse herself. However, they might be things that you would prefer to have unbroken.

Get another kitten and let them grow up together. Besides being good for each other, they’re FUN to watch. Two cats live in the Bodoni household, one Siamese, one tabby, and they are best buddies. They like to peek around the hall wall at each other, waiting for the other cat to relax its guard, so the watchful cat can POUNCE on the lazy one and start a wrestling match. Plus they do a lot of mutual grooming. It’s funny to see the male go up to the female, wash her face for a bit, and then lower his face, clearly saying “I washed your face, now I want you to wash mine.” And most of the time, she does wash him.

Siamese tend to be VERY smart. Mine tends to notice a connection between cause and effect with only ONE instance. This is one of those good news/bad news things…she’s easy to train, BUT she also learns stuff that we don’t particularly want to encourage! For instance, she made a vocalization that sounds like Mama once, and I praised her highly for it. Now she will call anyone Mama, because she knows that it will get attention. And she knows that when I get out my insulin and a syringe, I’m about to eat something, so she asks me for a bit of whatever I’m having.

Kittens are not affected by catnip. I THINK that they start finding it interesting when they are or would have become sexually mature, not sure.

Get Kitty spayed as soon as your vet will do it. Trust me, you do NOT want to hear a Siamese queen in heat. Siamese have powerful voices anyway, and a queen in heat wishes to advertise her desires to every tom she can.

Please don’t declaw. Start clipping her claws and brushing her fur as soon as she’ll let you handle her without fuss.

And congratulations on your new baby. She’ll change your life for the better. Kittens are fun, and Siamese are fun, and cats are fun. Enjoy her.

My wife and I spoke to the breeder last night, and she has been weening kitty off the cottage cheese, so we will not be giving her any lactose what-so-ever. She has been on Iams/Eucanuba kitten formula for a few weeks, and we did some research on that brand and I think we will stick with it.

Declawing is out, my wife is not willing to put the little girl through the trauma. We plan to start clipping her little nails as soon as we bring her to the vet for her last round of kitten shots (not sure when that is). Also, we will be bathing her as regularly as possible, maybe once a month…Just to get her used to it and to keep her dander down as much as we can…or until I feel like I am getting used to it. I’m the one who is slightly allergic to cats, this is why no kitty in the bedroom…I have athsma as well, so we will be ever vigliant.

I am working on a modified cat condo…one that will look like carpeted steps going up the wall diagonally. So far it looks really nice, I am trying to design the living room cat-architecture so that it goes with our current decor…mainly so it doesn’t look like we are complete servants to the felines…and yes we will be getting another kitten to share good times with…

Thanks Lynn I am happy to know the siamese are good with other breeds, I was just not sure…

We had three siamese…I wish we still did. They were sweet things but make sure you get her spayed as soon as possible, because one round of siamese-in-heat is enough to drive you batty. The vet kept putting us off “she’s not old enough…not old enough…I guess she is old enough!” Sigh.

I don’t understand the rationale behind leaving the tv or radio on for a pet. I’ve never had a cat or dog who seemed to notice they are on…except for the one cat who used to like jumping at mario when people played the game. Other than that they don’t seem to think that there’s anything people-like about either, so how they’d provide company for them is beyond me.

Cats are pretty good about not complaining about not being allowed in your room if they are never allowed in there. You can’t start out thinking oh she’s so cute, I’ll have to give in and let her sleep in here for a while, then expect her to “adjust” when she’s bigger and too annoying for your bed. If you don’t want her in your room that has to be policy from day one, or they’ll understandably be pissed at the change of policy and plague you by howling and scratching at the door for the rest of their lives. Our three are fairly good about leaving the sleeping humans alone, but they have never in their lives (we’ve had them since birth) been allowed to sleep in bedrooms, so they don’t have a basis of comparision to decide them that bunking with us would be any better than sleeping on the couch. However, given that the rooms are “forbidden” they do ocassionally try to sneak in if we leave the doors open while we’re awake. Silly cats :smiley:

Instead of declawing, they make a wonderful product called “soft claws” (or “soft paws” depending on the company). Our girl has an excema-like condition and was scratching herself bloody this fall. We tried these claw caps about a month ago, and there’s been a big improvement already, since she can no longer injure herself with her front claws. They make them in kitten-size as well, and you can by them in places like petco (online and in store). If you want to try them, play with her paws a lot when you get her. Do it every day. Lady had no problems with her feet being held to have her claws trimmed and the caps put on, since people are forever holding her paws so she doesn’t stick her claws in as she kneeds. The other two, who don’t kneed, have always been really skitish of having their claws trimmed and we didn’t even try the caps on them. Anyway, they say the caps last about 3 months, and you get 40 of them so if you do just the front it cost a little under $20 a year, and is far nicer than declawing them.

I declawed both my cats, but I still wouldn’t do it until I’ve tried everything to keep them from scratching (I gave it several years before I had it done). I certainly wouldn’t do it with a kitten that hasn’t had a chance to learn. Give it two or three years, and then if you still feel you have to have it done, try to get her laser-declawed (where they simply cut the nail permanently rather than remove the toe).

Bathing from a young age will definitely make her more tolerant to it. One cat that I’ve had since kittenhood simply dislikes the process. The other I adopted at 1.5 years. She’s terrified of it.

I’ve heard (anecdotal, no proof) that too much wet food (like every day) can cause teeth and gum problems. I feed Whiskas packets on occasions, and they go nuts over them. Otherwise I just feed them dry food.

I definitely recommend two cats. The cat I have that’s lived here longer became very, very clingy when my first cat died. I got a second cat to help her as much as myself. They’re like sisters; most times they play, sometimes they fight. Leave them to sort out their own roles as long as one or the other isn’t physically or emotionally harmed. Getting two kittens right away works best.

I use SoftPaws as an alternative to declawing, and they work well for me. You have to replace them when they fall off- in my house, that’s one or two claw caps a week from each cat. I like them a lot. Plus, they come in cheerful colors, which is darned cute.

Sooo…now it’s 10 years since you brought home your kitty! We’ll be bringing home ours (8wk old chocolate or seal point. I keep going back and forth) on Saturday. I know it’s been a while but how was she as far as chewing stuff? Any memories you’d like to share?

Unfortunately Antiquarian hasn’t posted here in nearly 10 years. However, I’m sure other Dopers who belong to kitty overlords will soon be here to share anecdotes with you.

Cats become lactose intolerant, so taper off the dairy. If kitty is still on soft food, soak dry food for the first week, and then gradually dry it out. Open feed has always worked for everyone I’ve known.

Another 8 week old kitten will keep the little one busy, and maybe slow down the what-is-there-around-here-to-wreck syndrome.

Declawing is generally regarded as cruel - if you have ever seen it done, there is no question.
If you must (after trying all forms of scratching posts, etc):
There are 3 basic approaches:
Traditional - Over-sized nail shears, removing the first knuckle. Yes, cutting off the tip of your finger is what declawing is like. The video of this has kitty gassed, and large male Vet exerting serious effort. It is not pretty.
Laser: Self-cauterizing, some think this is ultra-cool. It is NOT. This creates a fourth-degree burn - bone is burned. We are now using a torch to cut off that finger tip.
Scalpel - tradition surgery, opening the sin and cutting the tendons holding the first knuckle.
Least traumatic. Call around and ask flat out: how do you declaw - do not make it multiple choice or suggest a preference. Of thay simply say “cut” ask what tool. Let them keep trying until they indicate shear or scalpel.

Sideways Nail Trimmers

I’ve tried a bunch of different options, ones made specifically for cats included, and these are the best thing I’ve ever trimmed a cat with. I’ve started trimming my cats as soon as they come home (sooner than that with one) and they all accept it now. It is important to get at least one nail trimmed each session and never to let them go when they are struggling–if they learn you will let them go when they struggle they will never sit still for trimming.

YIKES! I haven’t watched any of the videos but declawing is NOT in Drea’s future. My partner and I have been clear on that from the start. Thanks for the head’s up though. We’ve made a couple of scratch posts for her. By the looks of things, we could probably use two more! She sure is a cutie, though! Totally worth it!

Wow! Hadn’t seen those anywhere! We’ve had one nail trimming session so far (she’s only been here a week and a half). We did nearly all of them while she was asleep. Luckily, the breeder we got her from raised her “under foot” and played w/ her belly and paws, so no troubles there. I’m still a little squeemish, though. Keep a good thought for me!