By Sheelagh Le Cocq
A number of breeders have contacted me to say that they do breed Traditional and Classic Siamese. That is to say, big hefty kittens, not the fragile little waifs that are so prevalent today. One breeder had a 16-week-old female kitten that weighed in at four and a half pounds.
Breeders seem to come in several categories:
- Those who breed Traditional and Classic Siamese unconditionally and are happy to publicize the fact. They will place kittens on the active register providing they are satisfied with the new home.
- Those who breed Traditional and Classic Siamese unintentionally, or who have them turning up in litters of more modern kittens. These breeders may be prepared to put kittens on the active register, but they do not want publicity, in most cases because they show, or are connected with the show fraternity and fear repercussions. Their names will not be appearing in the Newsletter.
- Those who sometimes have Traditional and Classic Siamese kittens but who certainly don't deliberately breed for that type. They will NEVER put these kittens on the active register and definitely want no publicity. It's almost as if they are ashamed to admit that their (usually) ultra-moderns throw old type kittens! They will sell as pets only, as not everyone wants to breed, it may be helpful to us while kittens are scarce, to have this source available.
A word of warning when buying a kitten from breeders in groups 2 and 3. As these breeders also breed Moderns you need to do your utmost to ensure that the kitten you buy is the correct type. Some may, unintentionally, some deliberately, pass off a Modern type kitten if they are keen to make a sale. Those who do it deliberately know that by the time you realize that your old fashioned kitten has grown into a long thin leggy adolescent, he or she will be part of your family and you will not want to take it back at any price! Be careful in choosing your kitten, listen to the breeder, many of them have vase experience. But beware those who just want to make a sale. Use your won
Initiative and judgement. Try not to book a kitten at too young an age. By 12 Weeks what you see is what you should get.
Please note that although we are getting a number of breeders on our lists it does not mean that they have kittens immediately available. Good breeders don't over breed and it may mean putting your name on a waiting list. Six months to a year is not too long to wait for the right kitten. They are, at present, a rare commodity and all good things are worth waiting for.
A modern kitten will be thin with a long body and long legs, a pointed face and huge ears. A Traditional kitten will have a "square" shape, shorter, thicker legs, and a rounder face. They also often have huge feet, which seem to grow in proportion to their size, so that 6they always have outsize feet. There will be nothing "dainty" about a Traditional kitten, certainly not the males who should look like mini adults from quite early one. While some chunkier kittens do get slightly thinner and longer, a thin tube kitten will never make a chunky Traditional
Several people have become very impatient because it is not possible to buy "old fashioned" kittens as easily as it is to buy a "modern" or because there is no countrywide list of breeders to choose from. It has taken many, many years to change from the beautiful old type that we remember and love. It will probably take at least 10 years of dedicated breeding to return to the way they were. It can't be done overnight and will be a long-term commitment by keen breeders. Our main problem is that we are short of breeders. Whilst there are a number of people around the country with one or two queens, they have no contact or breeding policy and breed solely because they like the Traditional type kitten. There is also no overall plan to bring back the good old bloodlines (which do still exist). People are usually breeding to the nearest non-modern stud, when with a bit of thought and organization, much better type kittens could be produced. It will take time and patience and must not be rushed if we are to come out at the end of the day with superb traditional cats. It is not worth taking short cuts by introducing other breeds.