This breed may be the world’s most recognizable cat.
Aside from becoming unforgettable in Lady and the Tramp, these cats are unmistakeable with their light coats and dark extremities. Siamese are unique cats with their long and angular elegance and coat coloration.
The main coat of the cat is light, and the facial area mask and extremities are dark; this pattern is known as “seal point” coloration. Other colors include chocolate, blue and lilac seal points; and sometimes cinnamon, fawn and cream have been recognized. The cat’s muscular body features a long, wedge-shaped head, long legs, neck and tail, large ears and almond-shaped blue eyes that are slanted.
The average life expectancy of a Siamese is between 15 and 20 years, with some cats living a few years beyond the maximum average. Males weigh around 9 to 15 pounds, and females average between 6 and 12 pounds.
While the origin of the Siamese cat is still considered a mystery, a manuscript discovered in ancient Siam (now Thailand) called the Cat Book Poems described a pale cat with a dark facial mask, dark feet, ears and tail. The manuscript dates between 1350 and 1700 AD.
The Siam, later called the Siamese, was revered by royals and rumored to be sacred by religious groups of the time.
Another unconfirmed theory describes a member of the royal family crossing an all-white cat with a stray cat to create the coloring pattern. Whichever theory is correct, there is no mistaking the unique markings of a Siamese.
Siamese cats began being exported and quickly became popular in countries around the world. The breed was first seen in Europe in 1871 at a cat show in London and later appeared in the United States in 1879 as a gift to the wife of President Hayes.
The Siamese Cat Club was formed in 1901 in the United Kingdom, and the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) recognized the breed in 1906. The Siamese breed is considered one of the original pedigreed cat breeds.
Siamese cats crave attention and affection from their owners and like to stay close by. They are intelligent and inquisitive cats that have such striking voices and body movements that they are referred to as the most talkative cat breed. They are great with other pets and children and have been known to stick to one family member as their “person” for life.
Siamese cats can be demanding and leery of strangers. Many owners have said that their cats greet strangers at the door and perform a sort of approval process before the visitors can be let freely about the home.
This is an active cat breed that needs stimulation or lots of toys to keep occupied. They are people-oriented and do not like being left alone for extended periods of time.
To get an idea of how talkative these cats are, check out this video of Sweet Pea the Siamese and her owner having a conversation:
Siamese cats are active and muscular, and they do not have any specific exercise needs. They do like to play fetch, so stock up on cat toys and have some fun.
Common Health Problems
While this cat breed is considered extremely healthy with no notable genetic diseases, there are some problems common for Siamese cats:
- Respiratory problems (chronic bronchial disease)
- Crossed eyes
- Kinked tail
- Bladder stones
- Eye problems (glaucoma and retinal atrophy)
- Heart problems
Is the Siamese the Right Cat for You?
Before buying or adopting a Siamese cat, consider the breed’s high energy, velcro-like closeness and dislike for being alone. These cats are leery of strangers and might interrogate your visitors, but they are also great with other pets and children.
If you work long hours, consider getting two Siamese cats so they can entertain each other when you’re gone. Rest assured they will fill you in on the day’s events when you arrive home.
In addition to time and affection, you’ll also need to provide cat toys to keep your Siamese happy. If you’re able to meet the demands of this breed and embrace a cat whose owners call the experience “never a dull moment,” the Siamese might be the perfect cat for you.
I can’t end this breed profile without adding the video below. You had to know this was coming:
Adopt, Don’t Buy
If you consider getting a Siamese, please check adoption resources — even purebred cats can end up in shelters and rescues. Try Petful’s adoption page. (Select the “Cats” tab.)