The Siamese is probably one of
the most well known and a favorite cat breed among cat lovers
over the world. They are the ultimate in feline beauty-with
piercing blue eyes and dainty and fine boned build. They are
a contradiction in terms of being both elegant with gorgeous
coloring and mischievous and energetic.
A Brief History of Siamese
There have been many theories
concerning the origin of the breed and there is too much uncertainty
as to how they came into being. There is however some evidence
that the Siamese existed in Thailand (formerly Siam) somewhere
between 1350 and 1767. The legend says that Siamese cats were
sacred cats and guarded Buddhist temples. Siamese kittens were
prized and it was considered a great honour to be given one.
Theft of one of the Royal Cats of Siam from the Royal Court
was punishable by death.
While the true origin of the
Siamese may always be a conjecture, we do know when the breed
first began to appear outside of Siam, or Thailand as it is
called now. The breed was first seen outside their Asian home
in 1884, when the British Counsul-General in Bangkok, Mr Owen
Gould, brought a pair of the cats back to Britain for his sister,
Mrs Veley who went on to co-found the Siamese Cat Club in
1901, and were shown at the Crystal Palace in 1885. During
1886, another pair of Siamese cats and two kittens were imported
by a Mrs. Vyvyan and her sister into Britain. These cats along
with several others brought into Britain in the following years
comprised the base breeding pool for the Siamese breed. They
began appearing in the United States in the early 1900's.
The original Siamese colour was
the classic seal brown points with a warm cream coloured body
but breeders in the west developed more colours by introducing
other breeds of cat into the breeding schedule. The original
Siamese had eye squints and tail kinks, which are now considered
serious faults but once these ‘faults’ were so
common there are fables, so tell of their origin.
One story tells of a valuable
missing goblet and two Siamese cats that were despatched to
look for it. When they found the goblet one cat stayed to look
after it while the other went back with the good news. The
guard cat was so worried that the goblet might go missing again
that she wound her tail tightly around the goblet and held
it so tight that the tail became permanently kinked. All the
time she was waiting for the other cat to return she stared
at the goblet so it didn't disappear and her eyes developed
a squint. Another story tells of a princess who was so scared
would be stolen she entrusted them to her Siamese cat to look
after. The rings were placed on the cat’s tail but when
the cat fell asleep the rings fell off. So the princess tied
a knot in the tail of the cat so that the same thing could
never happen again.
As a result of thousands of generations
of selective breeding and the pressures of competition there
are now actually two subbreeds of Siamese - the traditional
or 'appleheaded' Siamese, and the modern or “wedgehead” Siamese.
The Applehead Siamese looks much the same as the Siamese
originally imported from Siam (now Thailand). They are
much sturdier, with a round head. Their eyes are shaped
like almonds on the top half, and rounded on the bottom
half. There is a slight break in the nose below the eyes.
The ears are medium sized and the muzzle is blunt, though
The Wedgehead Siamese is the result of
intent to encourage an elongated look. This look began
to emerge in the 1950's and 1960's, and gained in popularity
until this look dominated the show circa. Wedgies have
a long, slender, tubular body, long legs, small oval
shaped feet, long graceful neck, long whip like tail,
shaped head (hence the nickname) large ears set far
apart on the head, and slightly slanted vivid blue
cats have long, thin and tapering to fine point tails, and
often have a kink in their tails, because the original breeders
saw that as a unique feature of the breed.
The overall look of the Siamese
should be a well-balanced appearance. The coat is always shorthaired
although in some groups the Balinese is called a longhaired
Character and Temperament
The Siamese are an extremely
social type of cats. They want to be with you every minute
and will expect you to share your food, your bed, your life
with them, and will follow you from room to room. They often
will engage themselves in crazy antics to get the attention
of their people, and often attach themselves to one human in
a household. Siamese are immensely loyal to their chosen human
and they may not tolerate rivals for their affection. Siamese
are known to be excellent with children as they somehow sense
the innocence of a child and will tolerate their prodding and
pulling as the child learns proper handling. They will comfort
you when you are sad or sick. Because of their terrific personality
and affectionate nature, the Siamese have a large following.
The Siamese cannot be left alone
for long periods of time. They need companionship whether that
is from their owner, another cat or even a dog. They love company,
so two Siamese cats will keep themselves content when you are
The voice is one of the traits
the Siamese cats are known for. They are outgoing extrovert
and can be extremely noisy when they really want to make a
They are also known to be dog-like,
and tend to settle best with cats of their own type such as
Burmese or Orientals but being territorial tend to bully less
domineering breeds such as the longhairs.
The Siamese cats are highly intelligent
and need to be kept amused. Toys and scratching posts should
be provided for their amusement and they can be easily trained
to use a cat scratcher.
The gene that is responsible
for the pigmentation is heat-sensitive so all Siamese kittens,
although pure cream or white at birth, develop visible points
in the first few months of life in colder parts of their body.
By the time the kitten is four weeks old the points should
be clearly distinguishable enough to recognise which colour
they will be.
All Siamese have a creamy base
coat with coloured "points" on their muzzles, ears,
paws and lower legs, and tails. The darker Siamese have a darkening
of their back and hindquarters as well. Originally Siamese
were all chocolate pointed, but now they have been bred in
all of the standard cat colours including red, lilac, blue,
chocolate, tabby and torty or tortoise-shell. The Cat Fanciers'
Association refers to the red, tortie, and lynx points as Colorpoint
Shorthaired, but in all other respects they are the same as
the traditional brown, chocolate or black Siamese cats.
Siamese are known to be one of
the longest-lived cat breeds. With proper veterinary care,
nutrition and exercise a Siamese can live to be anywhere from
13-20 years old. It is not uncommon for a Siamese to even live
past the age of 20.
The Siamese is a medium sized
cat with the males a bit larger than the females. Males weigh
from 10 to 15 pounds and females weight between 8 and 12 pounds.
The average litter size for Siamese
is about six kittens but much larger litters of ten or more
are not uncommon.
Cares for Siamese cats
Siamese cats are hardy cats with
good appetites. They are active cats and will require 80 Kcals
of food per kg bodyweight per day. This type of cat rarely
overeats and will soon tell you how much food she requires
each day. It must be noted that Siamese should not be fat.
A high quality food recommend by the breeder is best.
The Siamese cats are not hypoallergenic.
Their fur is very short and they only shed about twice a year,
but most people are allergic to a cat’s dander and not
their fur. Cat dander is actually a mixture of proteins found
in the skin glands, saliva, and urine of animals.
Even though they don't shed excessively,
they do enjoy being combed or brushed. Grooming is easy due
to the short coat. Brushing or combing two times weekly is
all that is necessary.
As with any purebred animal,
there may be some genetic problems such as heart problems and
kidney disease that can show up. From the age of about eight
years it is advisable for them to have an annual health check
to check teeth and liver, and kidney function.
This breed has several distinctive
genetic faults, all of which are cosmetic and require no medical
treatment. These include crossed eyes and a kinked tail. These
are not desirable traits however they are not detrimental to
Sexual maturity comes at an early
age for most Siamese, therefore it is recommended to have them
spayed or neutered by the age of 6 months.
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