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Cat Breeds: The Siamese Cat
21 October 2021
Cat Breeds: The Siamese Cat
The Siamese is an old and noble breed of cat having been around for hundreds of years. With their distinctive light colour coat contrasting with their darker face, ears and legs coupled with their piercing blue eyes, they’re a hard breed to overlook. If you did try to overlook a Siamese, they’d soon alert you to their presence as they’re one of the most vocal breeds of domestic cat you can find.
Where does the Siamese cat come from?
The Siamese cat came from Thailand back when it was known as Siam and quickly became one of the most popular breeds of cat throughout the US and Europe in the 19th century. Over the centuries the Siamese cat has been associated with nobility, wealth and luck and even to this day, it’s considered a very regal breed.
What should a Siamese cat look like?
There’s no mistaking a Siamese cat as everything from their coat and colouring, body shape and eye colour are unique to this breed. Their long, lithe bodies are covered in a short glossy coat usually pale in colour. Their masks (their faces and ears) will then be much darker as will their legs and tail. Although the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) recognise other colourings, including tabby and tortoiseshell, it’s very rare to see these coats in the UK. It’s not just their coats that set this breed apart, the Siamese has a very angular head with large ears and striking blue eyes.
Sound also makes this breed as unique as looks as they’re a cat that loves to chat. A Siamese will quite happily follow you round the house trying to engage you in conversation and many owners report their cat will always talk back when spoken to.
What sort of personality does the Siamese cat have?
The Siamese is generally considered one of the most friendly and intelligent breeds of domestic cat and as such, they demand high levels of interaction. Many owners liken their Siamese’s behaviour closer to that of a dog than a cat as they’ll quite happily learn basic commands and love to play.
A common trait of the Siamese is to form a close bond with their human housemates, often favouring one person in particular. Their love of human company combined with their high intelligence means they don’t do well when left alone for long periods of time. They will need either feline or human company or else they might start becoming destructive trying to relieve their boredom.
All this makes them great family cats, they love (respectful) children and will even enjoy playing with cat friendly dogs. After a hard day of playing, investigating and conversation, a Siamese will love nothing more than curling up on an appreciative lap and even sharing their human’s bed.
What health problems are common with Siamese cats?
Whilst many of the original defects like eye squints and tail kinks have been mostly bred out, there are a few health conditions that do seem more prevalent in Siamese than other cat breeds. Responsible breeders will always screen for as much as possible and never breed from any cat with a defect but cancers like mediastinal lymphoma and intestinal tumours appear in Siamese cats more than some other breeds.
Another condition which crops up disproportionately in Siamese is amyloidosis which is when a build up of abnormal proteins occurs in the organs, usually the liver.
As it’s common for Siamese cats to become very enamoured with their owners, they usually have no problem letting you check them over. They’ll enjoy having their easy to maintain coat brushed and this will give you a chance to give your cat a quick health check. With care and regular vet check-ups, there’s no reason your Siamese can’t live well into their late teens or more.