Our elegant Griselda, part Siamese, is a sweetie and an excellent mother

GriseldaGadwa

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We have an appointment to get 18-month old Griselda, spayed on Monday, 10-16-23 . We had planned to breed her just once because I thought the experience of having & caring for kittens would round out her personaility. All five of her kittens were adopted in short order. But ..... but I am starting to wonder, could her very sound mothering behavior and the good health of her kittens - one a male calico - possibly indicate that breeding her to the right Siamese male could improve the Siamese breed? I have not mentioned this to any of my members; they would have a fit. Her mother was a calico rescue, parentage unknown. Because Griselda has 4 very long black legs, big ears, a slender build, an extra long black tail, and is quite vocal, our vet thinks the father or perhaps a grandparent was a Siamese.

Though multiple posts on CatSite's kitten forum indicate problems are quite likely if cats are bred young, Griselda was an attentive and conscientious mother. She effectively used a long black leg as a safety bar to keep them from straying and had plenty of mik. She watched them like a hawk when they were older, cavorting about, and had good jundgement as to when it was prudent to carry a kitten back to the family bed by the scruff of the neck. Moved them to a new unaccessible location under a bureau, after several, successive visitors handled them. She clearly enjoyed her kittens. We also enjoyed the process, except for kitty litter duty, after they started eating solid food at 9 weeks or so. On July 17, at 14 months of age, she bore four large, well-co-ordinated female tabbies and one unique male calico, with an orange triangular "flag" over his head and shoulders. The girl tabbies were very cute, but not unusual- looking. The question is, to what extent are Grisleda's mothering skills the result of her genotype? Or are they mostly the result of a secure, calm environment and very good socialization? Or did she perhaps ingest healthful vitamins and trace minerals when she nibbled my botany plant specimens? Waving grass culms and complex infloresces are tempting toys, but she interes with the identrifation work, and besides, we are told that plants can be toxic to cats.

The father, Tigger, is an even tempered, good-natured, sturdy young, orange-stiped tabby, a very well-socialized, outdoor cat, whose mother was a calico. Magda, his owner, breeds German Shepherds in lovely, rural Durham, Connecticut. Griselda and Tigger spent three days together, and both seemed to enjoy the mating, on May 11, 2023. We were surprised that there was none of the ghastly screaming I recall from my childhood, when our female barn cats were bred by an old, scarred, oange Tom, who appeared on our farm only to sire kittens. Like Griselda, Tigger likes dogs, and got along well with Dundee, our Cairn terrier. Magda's preteen granddaughter, Bella, is starting to be interested in boys, and she got quite a kick out of Tigger's and Grisleda's "getting married". She gave them a nice "wedding dinner" in a pink plastic bowl on a pretty plastic place mat! The orange calico "Boy", was returned to Magda, the pick of the itter.

I just read that many purebreed mothers, especially if young, have defective mothering skills. I also read that the founder pool for the Siamese breed was very, very small. Even though I know there are far too many kittens in the world in need of good homes, I am starting to rationalize that maybe if we bred her to a Siamese, her good mothering genes could improve that breed - maybe her descendents (F2 or F3 generation) could be used by professional breeders? Perhaps we should not be so quick to spay. Griselda was in season last week (last kitten given away 6 weeks ago), and she acted less tense and annoying than during her seasons before pregnancy. We live in Connecticut and regularly drive to othr mid-Atlantic and New England states to visit relatives, so beeding would be fasilbe, with Simaese anywhere in this region. .

Wondering what would be most beneficial strategy for catdom & their caregivers. Griselda is a gem and a great mother.....?????
 

GoldyCat

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The breed standards for both CFA and TICA do not allow outcrosses in the Siamese breed. That means purebred Siamese can only be bred to another purebred Siamese, at least for purposes of registration with an association and for improvement of the breed.

Since your cat is not purebred I don't think you'll find any ethical breeder who would be willing to provide stud services for her, no matter how good a mother she is. Good mothers and not so good mothers can be found in any breed, including random bred cats.

Your best course is to go ahead and get her spayed as planned.
 
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GriseldaGadwa

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Understood. I do wonder whether inbreeding does contribute to less than ideal mothering? Is excellent mothering even heritable? Or is it mostly related to "nurture"? I have a question: is there any officially condoned way to introduce missing genes that cause ill-health or undesirable behavior in a particular line? For example, could one introduce genes from a 3/4 Siamese queen, who has produced only Siamese-looking and Siamese-acting offspring, after being mated with, say, three purebred Siamese males of different strains and after at lest three of her F2 females have also produced only Siamese phenotypes, from two matings with purebreds. ? Are there multiple crossovers between chromosomes that conribute to consistency of cat breeds. Something else: I have just joined this forum, and somehow the post happened before I had finished correcting spelling errors or adding the photo. Can one somehow do that after posting, as with Facebook? .
 

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fionasmom

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After a 5 day membership, and 20 posts, you can edit your own posts within a 2 hour window.
 
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GriseldaGadwa

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Thank you. That makes sense. Suki
 

GoldyCat

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When Siamese cats were first brought to England it was a very small gene pool. However, that was 130-140 years ago. In the meantime there have been enough outcrosses to expand the gene pool, to the point that there is now a very large gene pool, and outcrosses were outlawed years ago by most associations.

The question of good mother vs. bad mother is not related to any specific breed as far as I know. I have friends who have been breeding Siamese cats for over 50 years. On the very rare occasions they have a Queen who is truly a bad mother they will have her spayed, no matter how good her pedigree looks.
 

StefanZ

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Re your questions. You are thinking soundly, and if not IFs, you could go ahead... Say, if you had a purebred registered siamese, even if her lineage wasnt brilliant. But it is as it is, so no use of trying to improve the siamese strain. You cant.

POSSIBLY you could be a honest byb, and produce moggies, somewhat look alike siameses... You would probably find some buyers, but its a wrong way to go.

After all, we DO have lotsa of moggies, many homeless, and most of them ARE good mothers if they get the chance.

So, compromise. As your girl is a good momma, you could perhaps let her be a foster momma to rescued homeless kittens? Much work for you, because you must handfeed them... But the rest will your girl help out with....
Just be sure these kittens are healthy; you dont want to bring some disease their biological mother died off, into your resident.
In such a case, if unsure; most rescue handraise them themselves; even if they have a totally perfect foster momma / daddy inhouse. (yes, some males are excellent fosters, they dont need to be biological fathers)


You mention a good momma. This is important, but for a breeder, a friendly father is too important. Kittens tend to get their psyche from the father...
So, its a combo, both momma AND father are essential, to get kittens with good psyche, and becoming caring parents.
 
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