One of the first cat breeds native to Asia to be recognized officially, Siamese cats are believed to be in existence since ancient times. Descriptions and illustrations that fit the distinct looks of what we today know as Siamese cats have been found in ancient manuscripts dated 14 to 18 century Thailand. The exotic beauty and unique character of the Siamese cats made sure, however, that the breed found its way to other parts of the world. In the late 1800s, the first Siamese cats arrived in the West, first in the United States of America where a Siamese was a gift for the president of the country, and somewhat later to the United Kingdom and beyond, mostly through diplomats that have been stationed in Thailand.
Since their initial exportation from Siam (now Thailand) in the 1800s, the Siamese has been winning the hearts and running the lives of the people who love this ancient breed. These cats are thought to be the descendants of the temple cats of Siam, and thus have an air of “sacredness” about their origin. To be fair, their stunning looks and exceptional temperament don’t hurt their centuries-long popularity. either.
Acutely intelligent and highly inquisitive, there are few cats who exhibit the degree of loving devotion seen in the Siamese.
Acutely intelligent and highly inquisitive, there are few cats who exhibit the degree of loving devotion seen in the Siamese, but be warned. These cats have a tendency to bond deeply with one person for life. Once that bonding is complete, the Siamese is there to advise you — vocally — on every aspect of your life. (Unfortunately, they can also take a dislike to some member of the family or to one of your acquaintances and be quite obvious in their disdain- they are not shy about showing their feelings, good or bad.)
Siamese cats are legendary for their voices, that caterwaul across the range from gentle chirps to outright shrieks. If a Siamese has something to say, he will be heard. These are highly social cats that do not like to be left alone, a fact they will share with the neighbors at the top of their lungs if you “abandon” them for too many hours at a stretch. The Siamese is also a very high-energy cat who is on the go from the start of his busy day until they decide it’s quitting time. At that point, they will happily settle in bed, but they are just as likely to serve as an insistent alarm clock for their humans equipped with an agenda in mind.
If you are looking to get a Siamese cat as your companion, you should be aware that this breed is considered generally more demanding and more aggressive than other cat breeds. This relates to their territoriality and relationships with other cats in particular, so if the other kitties in the home are not to your Siamese liking and their personalities don’t match, the Siamese will not hesitate to express their dislike. Similarly, their neediness can make them moody and even mean- they know what they want and don’t care how they go about it- but a lot will depend on their upbringing. If you neglect their needs and fail to create a nurturing environment for your Siamese, their behavior can take a turn for the worse- so make sure that you are pampering your kitty as she deserves.
The Siamese is a sleek lined, small to medium sized cat with aristocratic and well-defined features. Their almond-shaped eyes are a deep blue, and beautifully contrasting colors mark the “points” of their silky, short coats. Their heads are wedge-shaped and long, topping tubular, muscular bodies supported by fine, graceful legs. Both the tail and neck are elegant, creating the breed’s overall pleasingly linear profile. The profile is totally straight, and the chin especially well aligned. Large, thin ears complete the wedge shape of the head. Once known for both kinked tails and crossed eyes, those traits were seen as a fault, and have been largely eliminated through careful selective breeding.
The best recognized of the Siamese colors is the Seal Point, with its pale fawn body and striking black extremities. In 1934 the blue point gained CFA recognition, followed by the lilac point in 1955. There is also a chocolate point, although that variation appears less frequently. Currently, however, color pointing in the Siamese can be found in the following shades: Seal, Chocolate, Blue, Lilac, Cinnamon, Fawn, Red, Cream, Apricot, and Carmel. The points can additionally be patterned with Tabby or Tortie patterning.
The tight, glossy coat is short and fine, adhering close to the body and requiring little in the way of special care. Unlike long-haired cat breeds, the Siamese won’t require hours and hours of meticulous brushing and untangling of the hair knots and mats. Many owners find that nothing more is required than a good rub down with a chamois cloth to remove loose hairs from the coat, a process the convivial Siamese enjoys enormously. Still, every cat should be brushed a few times a week to minimize shedding and to maintain a healthy coat, so don’t skimp on the beauty routine even if your kitty’s coat is amongst those considered low maintenance.
In addition to caring for the coat, you should also make sure that the grooming of your precious pet includes oral care and neat nails. The nails should be regularly trimmed or filed down, not just to protect your furniture and legs of unsuspecting passersby, but to prevent potentially painful conditions such as torn or broken nails. Similarly, your cat’s teeth should be regularly cleaned- even though they’ll most likely protest. Brush their teeth with special cat-friendly toothpaste and toothbrush at least once or twice a week and take your pet to regular vet check-ups to make sure that any plaque buildup is dealt with in time before it causes teeth loss and other issues.
Photo credit: vivver/Shutterstock
Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).
More by Amy Tokic