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We bought Misty from Vindex cats in Little Eversden in July 2006 (she was born in March). In 2013 she was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, a kidney stone and a urinary infection. We had to euthanase her in October 2015, some 19 months after diagnosis.
Misty was the last of her litter left: she had a damaged tail: the last section, we were told, had been de-skinned by too vigorous cleaning when she was small. I have seen such de-skinning before in kittens that have been mishandled. If you catch a young kitten firmly by the tail tip, you can pull off the skin. The tail then withers and dies at the tip. It does not seem to inconvenience the cat, but it is a cosmetic fault, and probably the reason nobody had claimed her. I doubt that any normal maternal cleaning could do this!
We had asked Andy Mazur, when we telephoned him, whether his cats were traditional Siamese - we wanted a traditional or old-style kitten, not one of the modern show-style Siamese, whose faces are too long (Misty's eyes never did fit her face, and she had an almost permanent squint as she could not cope with bright light so had to keep her eyes half closed). Andy had said yes, they were traditional. But Misty was a modern show-style. By rights, we should have walked away - Andy clearly didn't know the difference. But Misty just melted in our arms and seemed to say, please take me. We just had to! In an email, several years later, after her demise, Andy denied that they were modern show-style "that's not why we breed them" he said. Yet there are several champions in Misty's pedigree. So he still does not know much about Siamese cats!
I actually asked Andy when we saw Misty, was she the runt of the litter? No, he said, she was actually the oldest! I wonder how weak and unhealthy that made her siblings?
It was clear that Misty had not been allowed to develop properly as kitten. She could not climb at all and, when we took her out with us when we went for a walk, we put her down on the rots of an old ash tree, she fell over, not even being able to cope with the uneven roots! As for running and jumping around like a properly-developed kitten - forget it!
When Misty walked, it was quite evident that her joints were under-developed. One front paw had a visible kink at the wrist joint. All her too-short life she was never a tree-climber and she had very little self confidence. Her trust in us was, however, absolute so when with us, she would tolerate almost anything. We took her in the car - she loved going places and treated the car as her second home - on buses and steam trains. Considering that, when we first adopted her, she was scared at the slightest domestic noise, this shows incredible bravery!
When we first got her, she growled at our other kitten, Xanna, over food. This very quickly stopped however, when she realised there was now no shortage. Food in the cattery had clearly been in somewhat short supply as far as she was concerned. It took Misty not very lng to become very close to Xanna - Misty clearly needed safe company!
Misty was also a very fussy eater. Initially she would only eat dried food. So most of her life she was on dry food: this surely (with hindsight) is a large part of the reason her kidneys failed. Kittens when weaned learn what foods to eat. Wean on a wide variety of food, you are likely to raise a cat that is not fussy. Wean on an restricted diet, and the likelihood is you will get a fussy cat.
Once, if you looked at Vindex's www site you would have seen that he proudly stated "They really are boisterous little hooligans! So much so that, in warm weather, they go outside with their mums and aunties so that they can be taught some manners!"
That boast has since been removed, but the case histories below will prove he still keeps all his cats together.
Queens with litters want to find a quiet place where they can raise their litters possibly with help from their "mums and aunties". But not with the toms. Andy's cats and kittens are so crowded that there must be fighting - which explains the tail damage. No wonder Misty was so terrified when we got her, and no wonder she thought she needed to compete for food. For when we first got Misty, she growled at our other kitten, Xanna, over her food. That growling stopped after very a few meals so was learnt, not instinctive aggression..
Dear Richard and Mary
I do wish I had found this review of Vindex sooner.
We have had three kittens from them in the last year only one at the time being is well.
One died from suspected FIP and now our beautiful replacement one which they gave us at no extra cost has tested positively with the Corona virus and the vet has diagnosed him with FIP.
You mention the fact that the tail of your cat was broken which shocked me because the first pair of kittens we got from Vindex also had broken tails which I thought was something to do with them being Siamese but at the time of getting the kittens I commented on this and then later when we got the third one there was no kink. When I say kink it did appear as if someone had taken a pair of pliers to the ends of their tails and I now suspect this may indeed have been the case. When we went to get the third one I noticed during our visit one of the cats had a floppy ear like it had broken and at the time was sure the cat had been fine on our arrival. I noticed the man squeeze the cats ear and I think he may have broken it there and then but it seemed such a crazy notion put it to the back of my mind but reading your review I am now very concerned for the welfare of these animals. We have loved our cats so much and our children are so very attached to them and now we have to have our second cat put to sleep to stop his suffering.
If you have any suggestions as to how we can stop this man who I worry may be sick in the head please I would very much appreciate your advice.
I came across your article and I do have purchased a kitten from Vindex cats.
My little boy also has a kink in his tail. I noticed this when I picked him up but Andy said it has nothing. When I took him to the vets for a kitten check up the vet said his tail must have been broken. I emailed Andy about this but he said this would have not happened when he was was with him. Well it certainly didn't with me. He offered to take the cat back but of course I felt I couldn't do that to the poor little kitten who was now settled in.
We purchased an oriental soon after from a different breeder. I really notice now how my siamese from Vindex is a lot more timid and frightened plus the quality of his fur is quite poor compared to the others.
I would not buy from them again.
You can see from his website that the poor females are having litters after litters. Seems excessive to me.
We got a kitten from Vindex. He came to us infected with the parasite Tritrichomonas Foetus, he had the most foul smelling diarrhoea. He gave it to our other two perfectly healthy cats. It took us months and months to get them better. They kept passing it back and forth to each other. It was a horrible situation for both our cats and us.
But very sadly much worse was still to come. He had to be rushed to the vet's one night with respiratory problems and we had the devastating news that he had advanced Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and didn't have long left to live. He was only three years old. It hit us very hard, we loved him so much."
What can I add to such a sad tale?
Vindex have clearly been supplying sick and damaged kittens for many years. There is no sign that they are improving. In fact, judging by the number of emails received, problems are getting much worse! It seeems clear that the way they breed and keep their kittens is simply not good enough. We would not recommend them as a source of your next cat unless you want major heartbreak!
It is of particular concern that Andy raises so many kittens with damaged tails. This can be no accident and is surely down to the fact he once proudly mentioned on his www site - now deleted1
If you read this page and find it useful, please contact me. Equally if you have a Vindex cat that has survived for a full life time (as much as 20 years for some Siamese and Orientals in good health) do please let me know. Can all of Andy's cats be unhealthy?