The Siamese cat is the oldest domestic feline and was bred as an aristocratic cat. Ancient manuscripts of Cat-Book Poems have helped to confirm that the breed has existed in Siam (now known as Thailand) for centuries. Back then, the Siamese cat was considered sacred. Only Buddhist monks and the royal families were allowed to own the cat. Thus, acquaintance with this breed was rare in the rest of the world.
It was only during the 1800s that the charm of the breed begun to spread. Siamese Royalty began giving the cats to visiting European dignitaries; and the breed was also first exhibited in the London’s Crystal Palace in 1871. The popularity of the Siamese spiked in Europe, producing also the first Siamese breed standard in Great Britain in 1892.
Siamese cat was introduced to the United States between late 1880s to early 1890s. Even though the breed faced all threats and difficulties posed by the Great Depression and World War II; its popularity had not dwindled. Till date, it is still one of the most popular Shorthaired breed. While the Siamese breed is recognized by all cat associations, the accepted colors and patterns varies among the registries, even those in the same country.
Physical appearance and attributes
The Siamese breed is a medium sized cat with fine boning. The males usually weigh between 7 – 9 pounds, while the females are between 5 – 7 pounds. It has a svelte body that is long and tubular where the shoulders and hip are of the same width. Adding strength to the beautiful lines are well-toned muscles that give the entire body a firm touch. The Siamese cat walks elegantly with its long and slender legs that are well proportioned to its body. The length extends well into its dainty small paws. Elegance is also displayed in its substantial tail that tapers into a fine point.
Siamese cat has a distinct wedge shaped head and a fine muzzle to complement. Viewed in profile, either a straight line can be traced from the forehead to the tip of the nose or two straight planes are evidenced by a change in angle midway down the eyes. Another imagery plane is created by the straight alignment from the tip of the nose to the tip of the chin. Siamese breed has strikingly large ears that continue the lines of the wedge. They are wide at the base and slightly flared. Its medium-large oval eyes are set with an oriental slant towards the nose. They charm and mesmerize with a vivid yet calming blue. Depending on coat color and pattern, green and gold is also acceptable. The exotic head is carried on a long, slender neck.
The hair is very short, lying close to each other and to the body. Longhair variety has a slightly longer coat of hair. The breed is born with white coat where the pointed coloration would come on as it grows. The intensity of the coloration increases as the cat ages. The pointed pattern that appears on the head, feet and the tail is the defining trait of the Siamese breed. Variations of colors include seal point, blue point, chocolate point, lilac point, red point, tortie point and lynx point
Personality and temperature
The Siamese breed is an extremely astute cat. It plays with high agility that comes with its athletic form. This cat with its highly vocal nature would make its presence known wherever it is. It shares its instincts without hesitation and loves to be at the center of attention. In fact, it is known to be the most talkative of all cat breeds.
Especially fond of its favorite people, it returns double the affections shown. That also comes with a strong sense of attachment that will constantly bring itself to stay close to its chosen human. It does not tolerate solitude, and thus is a very sociable cat. It lends itself to all forms of interaction and play, especially fetch. Cuddles, shoulder rides and lap lounges are its other favorite activities. The Siamese can get along well with children that know how to treat it with care.
Care and health issues
A healthy Siamese can live up to an average lifespan of between 15 – 20 years. Health concerns include amyloidosis, a disease that is caused by the presence of a protein called amyloid deposited in the body organs. Congenital heart defects as well as asthma are a few other concerns. It is important that the cat is obtained from a qualified breeder that will provide a written health guarantee. This would indicate that the cat has undergone the necessary health checks and tests.
The short, fine coat of the Siamese requires only a weekly brushing to remove dead hair and to help distribute skin oils. Other basic care should include nail trimming whenever necessary as well as regular ear checks for infections. Brushing the teeth frequently with vet-approved products is also a must to prevent periodontal disease.
The ideal home
The Siamese breed is suitable indoor living. However, an adventure zone is certainly needed for this agile cat. Spaces would need to be equipped with interactive toys, cat trees and cat gym sets. The Siamese breed needs a lot of attention and would not be able to tolerate solitude for long. Thus, the family would need to be prepared for not just a chatty cat, but also one that would incessantly cry out for your attention.
This breed is capable of developing a deep bond with its favorite human and is said to possess a double portion of affection, love and devotion compared to other cat breeds. It can get along well with children and other cat-friendly dogs. Hailing from the royalties, the Siamese breed is certainly a precious and endearing breed to have in the home.