The Siamese cat breed is one of the oldest and most popular cat breeds. It is also one of the first distinctly recognized breeds of Asian cat. It is a clever and active cat that is known for its willingness to play fetch and walk on a leash. This breed made its Western Hemisphere debut in Victorian England, and there, it was touted as the Royal Cat of Siam, which is now known as Thailand. Let us find out more about the history and characteristics of the Siamese cat breed.
The Siamese cat is the legendary temple cat of the King of Siam. Aside from its exquisite beauty, it is also valued by the king because the breed was used as guard cats. They would be perched on tall columns around the throne of the king and if anyone threatened the king, they would jump down from the pillars onto the individual.
No one is sure if this legend is true but the cat that was seen by Peter Simon Pallas, a German naturalist and explorer, may have been a Siamese. Pallas’ reports on explorations of the Caspian Sea in the 1700s noted this cat and described it as having ears, paws, and tail, and is quite black. It also states in his note that it is of middle size, has smaller legs than common cats, and its head is longer toward the nose.
In Europe, the first Siamese cats were a gift from the King of Siam to the English consulate general in Bangkok in the late 1800s. Pho and Mia were the names of the first Siamese cats in western cat fancy. They were brought to England in 1884 by Owen Gould as a breeding pair. Pho and Mia were exhibited at the London show held in the Crystal Palace in 1885 by Mr. Gould’s sister.
In the United States, the first Siamese cat was also a gift from the King of Siam to a friend. Siamese cats were then imported to North America from Britain, France, Japan, and Siam in the late 1890s and early 1900s. However, they remained somewhat rare until after the Second World War when they quickly became number one in terms of registrations.
The Siamese cat is recognized by all cat associations. It also had other turns in the spotlight such as representation in family favorite movies like, “The Aristocats”, “Lady and the Tramp”, and “The Incredible Journey”. In the present time, the Siamese is one of the most popular cat breeds registered by the Cat Fanciers Associations.
Characteristics of a Siamese Cat
Average weight: 8 to 12 pounds
Life Span: 11 to 15 years
There are two types of Siamese cats which are show and traditional. The show Siamese cat has a tubular body on long legs, a wedge-shaped head with large, triangular ears, and a long tail. The traditional Siamese cat on the other hand has a rounded head and chunky body. Both of these types have bright blue almond-shaped eyes that are very beautiful. But it does not matter which between the show or traditional Siamese cat you choose because both of them share the same wonderful personality.
The usual Siamese cats we see today have short coats that are glossy and lie close to the body. They have slender bodies and their ears, tail, and feet’s fur have different color than that of the body. Their faces also show a mask of the same deeper point color which is smaller in a kitten and gradually increases as they grow.
Aside from being beautiful, the Siamese cat is also intelligent and it can be trained to walk on a leash. It is also affectionate and it requires its parent to be as dedicated as possible and always make time to play. Also, if you enjoy having someone to talk to throughout the day, then a Siamese cat can be your best friend. It’s because they are talkative in a loud, raspy voice, therefore, if living with a chatty busybody is not your thing, then do not get a Siamese cat.
The Siamese cat is a great choice for families with children and as well as cat-friendly dogs. Just like any retriever, it can also play fetch with you because they can learn tricks easily. It will definitely love the attention it will receive from children who will treat it politely and respectfully.
Caring for a Siamese Cat
Since Siamese cats have short, fine coats, they can be groomed easily. You simply just need to comb their coats weekly to remove dead hair and distribute skin oils using a stainless steel comb. You can trim their nails as needed, usually every 10 to 14 days. Remember to brush their teeth regularly as well or daily if possible to prevent periodontal disease.
Siamese cats are indoor-only cats because letting them go outside puts them at risk of acquiring diseases spread by other cats. Aside from that, they can also be attacked by dogs or coyotes, and they might face other dangers outdoors like being hit by a car.
They also jump high and they love heights, therefore, perches and cat trees should be provided for them. It is also quite a lap cat. In fact, it is an extremely affectionate cat breed that love to sleep next to its parent.
Siamese cats have long, muscular bodies, therefore, weight gain will quickly show in them. If they overeat, a pot belly will immediately show after indulging in a lot of food in one day. Therefore, the nutrition must be controlled carefully because their long and slim legs are not made to hold a fat body. Adult Siamese cats should eat a well-balanced feed which is composed of around 40 percent fat, 25 percent protein, and different percentages of vitamins, fiber, and Omega-3 and 6. You can also visit your vet to get the best advice for specific feeds you can give to your pet.
The Siamese cat is definitely a great and clever cat. If you’re looking for a companion pet that you can always talk to at home, then maybe a Siamese cat is the best pet for you.