About the Siamese Cat Breed
The Siamese is one of the oldest and best-known cat breeds not only because of its rich history, which began in Thailand, but also because of its lovable nature and playful personality.
Siamese Physical Characteristics
Siamese are considered “pointed cats,” says Mary Kolencik, Siamese breed council secretary for the Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA). A defensive enzyme prevents pigment formation in warmer parts of the body, so color is limited to the legs, tail, ears and face because these areas are cooler. These are the “points” of the Siamese. All pointed cats have blue eyes, which are caused by the lack of pigment, and the Siamese in particular are known for their deep vivid blue eyes.
The Siamese breed comes in four colors – seal, chocolate, blue and lilac point.
The breed has a coat of short, fine hair. The fine coat of the Siamese is less noticeable than the longhair breeds, says Kolencik.
Siamese Personality and Temperament
The Siamese is not an aloof breed, but one that demands its owner attention and affection. It is a breed that will share your life and be your companion, says Kolenick.
The breed is very affectionate and can become extremely attached to their owners. Many Siamese will play fetch, says Kolencik, and the breed has been described as “dog like” with their affection.
Things to Consider
Since the Siamese relies heavily on companionship, this is not a cat to have if you’re not home often.
Ideal Living Conditions
Consider getting two cats since Siamese thrive on companionship. They also love sun bathing, so be sure to let some light stream in during the day.
As the Siamese has a single coat, they only need a bath if their fur gets soiled and grooming requirements are generally easy to keep up with. Because of the breed’s love of people, they talk quite a bit, says Kolenick. They will greet you at the door and tell you all about their day. Their loud vocality can be annoying or endearing.
A generally healthy breed, the Siamese does not become more prone than other cat breeds to certain health ailments.
Siamese History and Background
The Siamese is one of the oldest and best-known cat breeds, according to Kolenick. The breed existed when the cat fancy first formed over a century ago. The cats originated in Thailand and were there for several hundred years before being discovered and brought to the United Kingdom in the late 1800s.
At first, the breed was plagued with crossed-eyes, a side effect of the same defective enzyme that causes the pointed color. Tail kinks were desirable and common back then. Breeders worked for decades in order to weed out these particular traits and they are much less common now.
According to the Cat Fanciers’ Association, the Siamese is an original breed existing since 1906 when the association was created. The Siamese is a parent brand to many others due to its popularity, including the Colorpoint Shorthair, the Bailnese, the Oriental, the Birman, the Havana Brown, the Tonkinese and more. Many breeds include the pointed trait, which means there is a Siamese cat in their ancestry.