The Siamese cat has been one of the more popular Oriental pets to have in the home for many years. Stories of where the cat actually originates from can be quite divers, sometimes even a little fanciful. But it's generally believed this lovely cat that often behaves more like a dog, originally comes from south east Asia – more specifically Thailand, a country which was previously known as Siam.
In Thailand, the Siamese cat is known as “Moon Diamond” which in Thai is Wichian Mat. But these lovely feline creatures are not only popular in the UK but all over the world too, in fact they are third on the list of favourite Oriental cats to have as a pet, with the Persian boasting top place on the list.
Siamese cats are real characters, they are extremely intelligent and like to talk to their owners, often holding lengthy and vocal conversations with them. They are also very beautiful looking creatures that have a lot of style – they also have personalities to match their looks.
The breed has been around for a very long time, in fact there are records of the Siamese cat that go back to the 14th century, with legends of these feline creatures keeping away evil spirits and bringing great luck to their owners having been passed down through generations. It is quite usual to see these beautiful cats hovering and lazing around sacred temples and they are often spotted around Royal households in Thailand.
However, it was not until the 19th century that the breed first appeared outside of Thailand. A Siamese cat was offered as a gift to America's President Rutherford B Hayes and then later a male and female were brought to the UK by the British Consul-General of Bangkok. He offered the breeding pair as a gift to his sister – the cats were called Pho and Mia, and were the two Siamese that were to form the breeding pool for the beautiful Siamese cats we see in the UK today.
However, today there are two very distinct types of Siamese cats. The first is the “show cat” and the other is the “traditional” looking Siamese cat, and although both types are descendants of the original ancestors – more recently breeders have altered the their breeders methods to produce very different looking creatures. This has, at times caused some arguments amongst many breeders which led to many descriptions being used to describe the breed which include the following:
Siamese cats have wonderful, delicate differences when it comes to colouring – which are referred to as “points”. However, when they are first born, Siamese kittens are either pure white or cream coloured. Their darker points develop gradually over the first few weeks as they get older and at around 4 weeks old, you can normally tell which colour the kitten will be when they are mature cats. As Siamese cats age, their coats tend to get darker although cats that live in a hotter climate develop paler coats as they get older unlike the ones that live in colder countries.
The first colour of the breed to be seen were “seal points” which means their points are very dark brown or even almost black. However, a few cats were born with what became known as “blue points” which are grey. Today, there are four colours which are listed below:
Over the years other colours have appeared including the lovely Red Point, the Lynx Point and the Tortoise-shell Point. The variations have been achieved through cross-breeding with other breeds of cats, and again the modern colours have caused many arguments among breeders all over the globe. In the UK all the colours are accepted as part of the breed whereas in the States, they only accept the four original colours.
A lot of Siamese cats born in Thailand had a funny kink in their tails. Today this strange quirk still exists in street cats found over there. Breeders in other countries, however, think this odd kink is a flaw in the breed and have therefore done all they can to breed it out of the cats found outside of Thailand. The other characteristic that breeders have bred out are the crossed eyes which many of the early Siamese cats were born with.
Unlike other cats, the Siamese likes the sound of their own voices but this is not so much a meow, instead the breed makes a very loud, raspy, low-pitched sound which people either love or hate. They are very persistent creatures and will not give up until they get what they want. But with this said, they are incredibly loyal and loving cats that make great family pets.
Because the breed are so playful and curious by nature, they are often thought of more like dogs than cats. Siamese as a breed, are real extroverts with strong, sometimes very demanding personalities. The problem is that unlike other breeds, the Siamese gets bored very quickly which means it's never a good idea to leave them on their own for any great lengths of time.
Siamese cats are prone to two health complaints, the first being mammary tumours – called “neoplasms” and the other being gastrointestinal problems. However, the breed tends to be less prone to some conditions other breeds are known to suffer from and this includes diseases of the lower urinary tract.
If you think you have enough time to devote to a beautiful Siamese cat, there are many breeders or better still, adoption centres around the country you can contact. The thing to remember is the breed is more like a dog than a cat, and although a Siamese can be demanding, they are however, adorable loving characters that make great family pets. On our Pets4Homes website, you can visit our Siamese cat sales pages or Siamese cat adoption pages.