Breed Spotlight: What Is a Siamese Cat?
Siamese cats are one of the best-known breeds of the feline family. Bolstered partly by their Lady and the Tramp fame, they are a lot more lovable than the troublemakers they were made out to be in the Disney film. Whether you’re thinking about adding one to your family or are just intrigued by these unique felines, here’s everything you need to know about Siamese cats!
From Royalty in One Country to Another: History of the Siamese Cat
Siamese cats have a lot going on besides being absolutely gorgeous, including a rich history. They’re one of the oldest and most well-known cat breeds on the planet. From Thailand, which was originally known as Siam (hence the cat’s name), Siamese cats were favored by royalty and even known as the Royal Cat of Siam.
No one is entirely sure when the breed first left Thailand and made an appearance in Britain. There is evidence of the Siamese cat at the first cat show at Crystal Palace in London, 1871, where, rumor has it, they were poorly received. The first documented evidence is from 1884, when two Siamese were gifted to the sister of a British consul general.
Records show that the first Siamese cat in the United States belonged to Lucy Hayes in 1878, the First Lady and wife of President Rutherford B. Hayes. The cats quickly become popular in America and were a top contestant in cat shows by the 1900s.
Today, the Siamese cat is still immensely popular! In addition to being featured in the Lady and The Tramp, they have appeared in:
- The Aristocats,
- The Wizard of Oz
You might also have seen a hint of Siamese in other cats! They were bred to create other breeds, including the:
- Havana Brown
- And more!
Siamese cats are almost instantly identifiable but their colored points, beautiful blue eyes, and large ears. The traditional colors for a Siamese are:
- Lilac point
Some less common colors include:
Their bodies are a lighter shade than their faces, ears, paws, and tails.
This breed is a natural breed, which means it wasn’t bred for specific qualities. The Siamese came about due to a natural, genetic mutation.
Following the breed standards that exist now, most Siamese have:
- An elongated but muscular body
- A triangular head
- A long neck
- A slender tail
- Fine hair
Siamese cats boast of one of the longest life spans of any cat breed, living to about 15 to 20 years old. The oldest one lived to 30!
Why Siamese Cats Make Great Pets
There’s no doubt: Siamese cats make wonderful pets. They are well known for their intelligence and training capabilities, including walking on a leash and playing fetch! In fact, they are one of the most intelligent cats out there. That also means if you don’t keep them stimulated, they are easily bored. Puzzle toys, bird feeders, training, and a lot of playtime are sure to keep them entertained. They will let you know if they’re bored by chatting up quite a storm!
Due to their intelligence and high energy, it is recommended that they have a buddy. It can be another cat, but they also get along with dogs quite well. (And children too!) A companion can be especially important if someone isn’t at home all the time.
In addition to being extremely smart, Siamese cats are also very affectionate. They’re always happy to cuddle or sleep in your bed; in fact, they will also worm their way into every aspect of your life, even watching television with you! As long as you like spending a lot of time with your Siamese cat, it is sure to be happy.
Future Siamese cat owners may also be glad to know that this breed sheds very little and requires very minimal grooming. They may need extra care when it comes to their teeth, though.
While Siamese cats make excellent and loveable companions, future owners should note that due to their high energy and talkative nature, they may not be for everyone.
If you decide to adopt one, you will be rewarded handsomely. They’re known for their conversations, cuddles, and their ability to easily become the center of attention. There is nothing quite like a Siamese!
5 More Fun Facts about Siamese Cats
Siamese cats are truly unique. Here are a few more bonus facts about this cool breed:
- Kittens are born all cream or all white. They get their colored points later!
- Siamese is the breed’s name in Western cultures. Its name in Thailand is wichien-matt, which means “Moon Diamond” in Thai.
- Cats usually only give birth to 4 to 6 kittens, but one Siamese mix gave birth to 19.
- Since they are generally active, when left alone and bored, Siamese cats will often get into mischief or adventures that can include turning on the sinks and finding excellent hiding spots.
- When a Siamese cat breeds with a non-Siamese cat, their kittens will often be pure black or a mix of black and white.
Siamese cats are definitely a unique and popular breed! If you’re thinking of adding one to your family, first check your local shelters, as purebreds are there more often than people imagine. If you’d like to purchase one from a breeder, do your research. Ensure the breeder is certified, a member of associations, and ask to see the kitten’s parents. Always double-check the information you are given, ensuring the breeder you choose is reputable.
Once you’ve adopted, take your new family member in for a vet checkup within the first week or two of bringing it home. Schedule your first appointment with Cinco Ranch Vet by simply calling 281-693-7387.