Searching for a cat that is both intelligent and beautiful? Well, the Siamese cat should serve your purpose. This breed currently stands as the oldest and the most recognizable breed. These purebred cats have a history of being exported from Thailand (earlier known as Siam) in the 16th century.
The Siamese cats were a sacred breed back then in Siam. The bloodline of this breed has guarded Buddhist temples for generations. As a result, they were bred with utmost care and preserved flawlessly. In fact, they were never sold out to people. Rather it was an honour to receive one of their kinds as a gift.
It was not until 1884 when the Siamese cat breed came out of Siam as a gift to an ambassador from the king. They have a curious personality and loving nature that will make you fall more for them.
How to distinguish them?
The original Siamese cat breed had a pale milky colour along with dark seal-coloured points on its paws, ears, face and tail. But, after leaving the country, their colour got transformed. Other exotic breeds of this cat are also found but they are not officially recognised.
The attractive appearance of a Siamese cat has fascinated sculptors and photographers for a very long time. They are a vocal breed as an after-effect to their relation with the Burmese. These cats would communicate with “not just cat talk, like meow, murr, or any other common cat utterances, but real words”.
|Size||The size of a male Siamese cat breed is 29-32 cm.The size of a female Siamese cat breed is 27-30 cm.|
|Weight||The weight of a male Siamese cat breed is 8-13 pounds.The weight of a female Siamese cat breed is 5-9 pounds.|
|Coat type||The Siamese cat breed has a pointed coat with a light background. These short-haired cats have fine-textured coats where all the hairs lie close to the body.|
|Undercoat||These cats do not have an undercoat.|
|Coat colour||The Siamese cat breed has coat colours depending on the association it belongs to. In general, there are a total of 4 coat colours, namely-Seal Chocolate Blue Lilac The coat colour of a Siamese cat darkens with age. But, the contrast between the body colour and the points (patterns) remains distinct.|
|Coat Pattern||The breed has patterns restricted to different parts of the body. The pointed areas show uniform colours without any barriers or stripes. However, there are a few exceptions- the tabby pattern has stripes and rings and the torties show a well-mingled coat.|
|Eye colour||Purebred Siamese cats have vivid blue eye colour.|
|Life expectancy||The Siamese cat breed has a longer lifespan, compared to other cats. They continue to live as long as 15-18 years.|
|Price||USA: $1000-$2,500United Kingdom: £400-£600India: ₹20,000-₹40,000|
Appearance of a Siamese cat breed
Nothing about the Siamese cat is round. These cats have a sturdy appearance. Their elegant bodies and long legs give us a picture of royalty. These felines are also famous for their high-contrast coat markings and sleek posture. Further, the male cats of this breed are much larger in length, compared to the female ones.
- Build up: The Siamese cat is a refined, svelte breed, where all the body parts are in absolute harmony. It is a muscular, medium-sized breed that has a distinctive combination of fine bones and firm muscles. Its abdomen is tight without any belly pouch. The breed also has a tubular and elongated body. The hips of this cat are wider than its shoulders.
- Head: The breed has a flat skull. Its medium-shaped head is in proportion with the rest of the body. Also, the feline has a straight profile when seen from the top and is in alignment with the chin. After beginning from the nose, the lines move to the tips of the ears forming a perfect triangle.
- Muzzle: The Siamese cat breed has a fine wedge-shaped muzzle that is tapering at the nose. The jaws of this breed are firm, neither over-shot nor under-shot. Also, there is no breakage of the cat’s whiskers.
- Ears: The ears of a Siamese cat complete the wedge-shaped head of the breed. They have large pointed ears that are wide at the base. The lines continue up to the muzzle of the breed.
- Eyes: Siamese cats have medium-sized almond-shaped eyes. They are slanting towards the nose and lie in proportion with the ears. The eyes give an inscrutable expression, without any trace of squint.
- Nose: The nose is straight without any signs of breakage in-between. The tip of the nose lies on the same vertical plane as the tip of the chin.
- Tail: The tail of the breed is long, slender and tapering to a fine point. Also, it is in complete balance with the rest of the cat’s body. The length of the tail is long enough so that it can shoulder blade of the breed.
- Legs: Siamese cats have long and slim legs. The forelegs of the breed are higher than their hind legs.
- Paws: The breed has small paws that are oval and dainty. It has five toes in the front and four at the back.
- Markings: Markings for this breed are found on its face, ears, legs and tail. You will not find any light-coloured hairs on its coat points. The coloured marking around the eyes of the breed is called spectacles.
Body colour for every Siamese breed varies according to its coat. This variation between the coat colour and ‘point’ gives the breed an exotic appearance.
- Blue-point: Siamese with this coat colour have a glacier-white body without any creamy tinge. The points have a light slate-blue shade that is also found on the paw pads and nose leather.
- Lilac-point: These cats have a glacier-white body colour while the points show a pale, pinkish-grey shade.
- Seal-point: The breed has a pale creamy colour along with markings found on the face, ears, legs and tails. The paw pads and nose leather also have a similar seal colour.
- Chocolate-point: For these breeds, the body colour is pale ivory and the point colour along with nose leather and paw pad is milky chocolate.
Temperament and Personality of Siamese cat breed
- For owners who want a long time interaction with their pet, the Siamese cat is just the right breed for you.
- They are very talkative, i.e., they love making conversations with their owners. People say, “They will greet you at the door with meows or chirps, and often respond when you talk to them.”
- As extroverts, they love the company of humans. They enjoy following their human counterparts, wherever they go. Surprisingly, they bond well with one person rather than a group.
- As intelligent breeds, they have a knack for cat toys. They would love to crawl on your lap, sit on your couch or even share the same bed with you.
- Even during their adult phase, these cats enjoy playing like kittens. You will find them running off to execute a ‘next-to-impossible’ plan and amuse their family members.
- The energy residing in them makes them highly sociable cats. Further, their sense of humour is enough to give you tons of laughing elements.
Health Issues of the Siamese cat breed
Siamese cats are also affected by genetic disorders. Disease like liver amyloidosis (deposition of an insoluble protein called amyloid in the liver) is very common in this breed. Some of the other common health problems of the Siamese cat breed include:
This health issue involves an enlargement of the heart muscles which in turn decreases the functioning of the heart.
Symptoms of cardiomyopathy:
Like humans, even cats are victims of diseases that occur from cold. This malady is often referred to as ‘bronchitis’. It is better to keep your cat indoors if the ‘cold’ symptoms are serious. In case you find that the condition is worsening, contact your vet immediately.
Symptoms of Bronchitis for cats:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Open-mouth breathing after a physical exercise
A common habit of cats is to lick them as a part of the cleaning process. But sometimes, this cleaning can cost them their life. While licking their coat, hair gets stuck onto their tongue which they try to remove by coughing. But instead, they end up swallowing it. These hairs accumulate in the intestine and poison the cat.
Symptoms of Hairballs:
Also known as ‘crossed eyes’, this disease is a birth defect found in most breeds. In some cases, you will also see them flickering their eyes from side to side. This phenomenon is called nystagmus in Siamese cats.
Symptoms of strabismus:
- Un-coordinated eye movement
- Turning to one side
- Difficulty in walking
- Eyes facing abnormal directions
Dental diseases are common among most pets. Such problems in Siamese cats start with food residue that is left inside the mouth, hardens into tartar. Also, untreated gingivitis (inflammatory disease that affects the tissues around the teeth) can undermine a cat’s overall health.
Symptoms of different dental diseases for cats:
- Pawing at the mouth
- Chewing slowly
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath
Try keeping your cat engaged in various activities. Without them, it can become prone to depression and insecurity. Remember, ‘An active cat is a healthy cat!’.
Grooming and Shedding of a Siamese cat breed
Although short-haired, the Siamese cat breed sheds too! This shedding is more often during the summer and spring seasons. Short-haired cats like the Siamese breed also require regular grooming. This helps in retaining their lovely, sleek coat.
- Use a steel comb brush to groom your cat. Brushing them weekly maintains the condition of the coat. Later, you can rub it off using a leather glove or a silk scarf. This will give them an unruffled gloss on the cat’s skin.
- Grooming a Siamese cat also prevents the formation of hairballs and removes dead hair follicles from its body.
- Trimming nails isn’t much necessary if the cat uses a scratching post. But, if you find them to be very long; clip off the extra nail.
- Use mineral oil and cotton to clean the ears of the cat. Make sure you don’t probe in too deep.
- Use a damp cloth to wipe off the eyes and the tear stains of the cat.
- Brush their teeth using a vet-approved toothpaste to avoid bad odour coming from their mouth.
- Avoid bathing kittens. Instead, you can use dry shampoo to clean them. After the kitten grows up, wash them only if they are very dirty. While using liquid shampoo, make sure it does not enter the eyes of the cat.
With weekly brushing and combing, shedding can be controlled in them.
Training a Siamese cat breed
Cats are no trainees. “They are not going to sit, roll over, play dead, fetch the stick, stay. They will look at you like, excuse me? What?”. Owners who have lived with cats know that they are only capable of learning commands like ‘down’ or ‘no’. But, for a breed like Siamese, training may not be an issue.
As super-intelligent cats, they will understand you just by looking at your face. In fact, they learn short commands like ‘food in the dish’ or ‘do you want brushings?’ without you teaching them. But besides these, Siamese must be given necessary litter box training for it is not very nice of them to poop or pee wherever they like. Infants can be kept in a cage with a litter box to reinforce this behaviour.
Feeding a Siamese cat breed
- As active cats, this breed requires a sufficient amount of food for its diet. A total of dry, wet and fresh food is required for the proper nutrition of the feline.
- They should be given food in small amounts, at least 4 times a day. A minimum of ½-¾ cups of food should be enough to satisfy this hungry breed.
- Siamese cats drink a lot of water. Therefore, clean drinking water is important for the breed.
- The food provided to them should be rich in carbohydrates, protein and fats. Also, a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals will make the food much healthier.
Facts about Siamese cat breed
- They were exhibited in 1871 at the modern-style show which was held in Crystal Palace, London for the first time. Later, they were gifted to the wife of President Hayes in 1879.
- This cat breed is known to be the mother breed for many felines- Tonkinese, Havana, Oriental longhair, Ocicat and Oriental Shorthair.
- They have been enacted in different movies like The Wizard of Oz. It was actually a Siamese cat who was responsible for Dorothy, missing her balloon ride back to Kansas.
- They were mentioned in a classic ‘Like a rolling stone’ by Bob Dylan in 1965.
- These cats have a record for being World’s Oldest Cat. A Siamese named Scooter lived the longest life as a cat, i.e., 30 years.
Siamese cats always have a real need to be part of the family. These are no friends with loneliness. Instead, they prefer spending time with their owners as much as possible. Prolonged hours of loneliness can make them frustrated and destructive. Even with children, these cats are exceedingly active.
Q. What is the main difference between a Siamese and an Oriental cat?
Siamese cats have patterns on limited parts of their body while the Oriental cat breed is full of patterns.
Q. Are Siamese cats social breeds?
Siamese cats are very social and accustomed to children and other members of the family. Therefore, they can adjust easily unless there is a way to make them feel jealous.
Q. Are Siamese cats outdoor cats?
Siamese cats prefer both outdoor and indoors. During sunny days, they can be left outside to play or roam with you on the streets. But, these cats are better indoors. They enjoy living with their owner happily rather than running about on the lawn.