Siamese Cats: The Ultimate Guide to their history, types, characteristics, temperament, and care

Many animals play significant roles in history. Take the Siamese cat for example. These cats are thought to have originated in ancient Egypt, and they have a similar body shape to that of Bast, the Egyptian cat goddess. But, this is only a theory, and there is no absolute proof that Siamese cats come from Egypt. What we do know for certain is that Siamese cats are among the oldest cat breeds recorded, and that their ancestors were from Siam, now known as Thailand, and this is where they get their name.

History

Where do Siamese cats come from? Records from Thailand dating back to the 1600’s show that even then people kept Siamese cats as pets, and that they were very much prized. In fact, at the time, the only people who were allowed to own these cats were members of royalty, or noblemen. Siamese cats were a big part of palace and temple life, and were considered to be spirit guardians. When an important person died, one of their cats was chosen to be the recipient that would house the soul.

This cat would be pampered for the rest of its life by the temple priests. Now do you see why cats still act like they deserve to be worshipped? The family of the deceased person would pay for the upkeep and care of the cat, as this was thought to bring them good luck in their own afterlife. There are also stories of Siamese cats playing the part of “watch cats,” and they would let the priests know if they heard strangers in the vicinity.

Throughout the centuries, there have been many tales that included Siamese cats among the main characters, and there are tons of Siamese cat legends, including the story about how the Siamese cat got its crossed eyes and kinked tail.

No one is quite sure how Siamese cats arrived in the West. The best records lead to the late 1870’s to the early 1880’s, when a pair were brought from Thailand to England by Sir Edward Blencowe Gould, the then consul-general in Bangkok. It is said that a member of the Thai royal family, possibly even the king, gave him this pair of cats, which he then gave to his sister, Lilian Veley. Pho and Mia, as these cats were called, were shown in the mid 1880’s at the Crystal Palace Exhibition, a cat show.

One of the earliest Siamese cats in the US came to the country in 1879. It was a female named Siam, and a gift to President Rutherford B. Hayes, and the first of many Siamese cats to live in the White House. She was a Seal-Point Siamese cat, and had to endure a two-month trip from Thailand to the United States. Everyone who knew her loved her, but sadly, she became sick just nine months after arriving in the US, and even the country’s best veterinarian could not save her.

Here are a few more historical and interesting Siamese cat facts:

  • When first shown in England, Siamese cats were described as “an unnatural nightmare kind of cat”
  • The name Siamese actually means “moon diamond”
  • The Siamese cat is one of the most popular cat breeds in the world

Queen Elizabeth II was given a Seal Point Siamese kitten as a wedding present

How to Care for a Siamese Cat

Caring for a Siamese cat is much like caring for any other short haired cat, with a few exceptions. For instance, these cats don’t really need to be brushed, because their coats are so short. They have open ears and nostrils that are easy to clean with a soft, damp cloth. It is important that you maintain good dental health for your Siamese cat, as well as for any other pets in the home. In addition to these basics, there are other things that you need to do in order to keep your Siamese cat healthy and happy.

Proper diet

It is important to make sure that you are feeding your Siamese cat a healthy, nutritionally balanced diet. The best diet is one that comes from whole foods, and you can make your own cat food that is healthier than anything that comes out of a can. It is a good idea to talk to your veterinarian or breeder about the best foods for your Siamese cat.

Lots of water

Your cat should have access to fresh water at all times. It is a good idea to keep a water dish in every room that the cat frequents, so there is always fresh water available to her. These are active cats, and they are going to get thirsty frequently. Also, they need plenty of water to maintain good kidney health.

Spay/neuter

One of the most important things you can do for your cat is to have it spayed or neutered. It is important for both pure-breed Siamese cats that aren’t to be bred, and for any other pets you have in the home. This is going to keep them from accidentally reproducing, males won’t spray around the house, and females won’t end up with certain health issues.

Socialization

Siamese cats have a reputation of being nasty with anyone but their owners. Yes, they are extremely loyal pets, but they can also be very loving with other people if they are properly socialized. It is important to start socializing Siamese cats with other people when they are very young, so they are used to having strangers around.

Pet interaction

Siamese cats don’t always get along with other pets, but this isn’t usually a problem if you introduce them to the other pets when they are young. In fact, the younger the better. If you want another cat or a dog, it is a good idea to get it at the same time that you get the Siamese cat, so they can grow up together.

Agility training

Siamese cats are agile, and they are loaded with energy. They are also highly intelligent, so it only stands to reason that they would excel with agility training. Not only is this a great way to teach them basic commands, it is also going to give them the exercise they need so they stay slim and healthy.

Keep them indoors

Unless you plan on taking your cats out for shows, it is best to keep them strictly indoors. This way, they do not risk all of the bad things that can happen to outdoor cats, from being hit by cars to fighting with other animals to picking up diseases and parasites. An indoor cat is a happy, safe, and healthy cat.

Where to Get a Siamese Cat

If you want to make sure that you are getting a Siamese cat that is healthy and comes from a good bloodline, the best thing to do is to talk to Siamese cat breeders.

Start by looking up Siamese cats for sale, and see if there are any reputable breeders in your area. You may have to broaden your search if there are no breeders close by, but in the end, it will be worth it when you have that beautiful cat in your home. 

There are a number of things that you will want to ask the various breeders, including if they are truly selling pure breed Siamese cats, how much Siamese cats worth, and how much do Siamese cats cost.

Learn more about some facts regarding Siamese Cats in the video below:

You might also get lucky and find a Siamese or a Siamese cross at your local animal shelter. Sadly, thousands of cats are dropped off at shelters all across the US every day, and this includes pedigreed cats that are no longer wanted for one reason or another. By adopting a Siamese cat from a shelter, you are giving a once-unwanted cat a second chance to have a healthy, happy, and long life with a family that loves them very much.

Siamese Cat Standards

When showing a Siamese cat, or any pedigreed cat, there are certain standards that must be met for the cat to qualify for championship status. Let’s take a look at the standards for the Siamese cat.

First, there is the general type standard. The cat should be balanced with the head, ears, neck, body, legs, feet, and tail all in proportion. Their heads should be wedge-shaped, not round or pointed.

They should have clear, blue eyes and an alert and intelligent expression. There should be some width between the ears, and then narrowing to the fine muzzle and a straight profile. They should have a strong chin with a level bite, and a long and elegant neck.

Other standards looked for include:

Ears

The ears should be large and pricked. They are wide at the base, and pointed at the top, and should be balanced triangles.

Eyes

The eyes should be Oriental shaped, slanting at the nose, with some width between them. The eyes should not be deep set.

Body

The body should be a medium size, and it should be long and slim. A Siamese cat’s legs should be slim in proportion to the body, with the hind legs a bit higher than the front legs. Their feet should be small, and oval shaped.

Tail

The tail should be long, slim, and tapered. There should be no kink in the tail.

Points

The mask, feet, ears, and tail should have dark and defined color, and the color of all of the points should match.

Coati

A Siamese cat’s coat should be extremely short. It has a fine texture, and is glossy looking, lying close to the skin.

Colors

The colors will depend on the color standards for the particular type of Siamese cat, and judges will look for dark shading on the sides and back. The bib, belly, and chest should be pale.

Now that you know the standards for a Siamese cat, here are a few more things we think you should know about these lovely cats, including how big do Siamese cats get.

Lifespan

A Siamese cat life expectancy is into the late teens, and it is not uncommon for some. In addition to the average lifespan of a Siamese cat, some can live into their 20’s. Obviously, this is not a normal Siamese cat lifespan, but it does happen.

Height

Siamese cats can grow to be about 12 to 15 inches tall. They are long and lean, and are usually medium size cats.

Weight

Most Siamese cats are slim, and have an average weight of around eight to 12 pounds (females weighing around eight pounds and males weighing around 12 pounds).

Size

These are medium sized cats, and will not grow to be as large as other pedigreed cats.

Intelligence

Because Siamese cats are highly intelligent, they have a penchant for mischief, and you need to find other ways to keep them active.

Grooming

Siamese cats are easy to groom. They do not need to be brushed often, just once a week or so to get rid of any loose fur. They do need dental care, and you should brush their teeth at least once weekly.

Energy

As mentioned above, Siamese cats are full of energy. They can leap onto very tall surfaces, and they can get into plenty of mischief. Make sure that you have plenty of toys around for them to play with.

Siamese Cat Health Issues

Unfortunately, because they are a pedigreed breed, Siamese cats are often prone to more health issues than other cats. For instance, they can develop respiratory problems, especially when they are young. Some of these problems include coughing, feline asthma, bronchial disease, and lower airway disease. Other health issues to watch out for include:

Heart disease

Siamese cats can develop hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and there is no cure. But, there are medications that can help to alleviate many of the symptoms. Another heart issue common to Siamese cats is aortic stenosis.

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)

This is a problem with blindness that is common in many pedigreed animals that have a small gene pool. Health screening has allowed breeders to reduce the risk of PRA.

Liver disease and pancreatitis

Both of these diseases are common in Siamese cats. Unfortunately, pancreatitis is often fatal, and there are not many things that can be done to treat this disease.

Siamese Cat Cancer

There are some forms of cancer that Siamese cats are very prone to, much more so than other cats. When looking at Siamese kittens, look for a breeder that has no history of cancer in their cats, and whose cats live long and healthy lives.

Siamese cat squints

In the past, many Siamese cats were cross-eyed. This condition is been mostly bred out, but it still happens once in a while. It does not affect a cat’s health, but it makes them look like they are squinting.

All in all, even though Siamese cats are prone to the above conditions, this is generally a healthy breed. You just need to know about the conditions that your cat could develop, and how to make sure that you choose a healthy cat from a reputable breeder.

Are Siamese Cats Hypoallergenic?

Let’s start by saying that there is no animal in the world with fur that is totally hypoallergenic. Even cats with the shortest coats, such as the Siamese cat, will shed, and they have dander, which is what many people are allergic to. But, you don’t have to forego having a cat just because there are allergy sufferers in the home. Many people who are allergic to cats don’t seem to have reactions to Siamese cats, or at least their reactions aren’t nearly as severe as they are when they are near other types of cats with longer fur.

Siamese cats have extremely short coats, and therefore do not shed nearly as much as cats with longer fur. This means that there is not going to be as much of a cat hair problem in your home, and there is going to be a lot less dander as well. This doesn’t mean that someone isn’t going to have a reaction to a Siamese cat, but the chances of it happening aren’t as likely as with other types of cats.

Grooming a Siamese Cat

Fortunately, there is not a lot of grooming involved when you own a Siamese cat. These cats have very short coats that don’t need much more than to be brushed once a week or so. You may need to bath your cat once in a while, so you might want to start when it is a kitten, so it is used to it and doesn’t try to kill you when it is larger and stronger. Finally, it is important to clean your cat’s teeth regularly. Again, you should start doing this when they are a kitten, so they get used to it. This is a great bonding experience for you and your cat as well, because they are going to learn to really trust you.

Siamese Cat Characteristics

Now we are going to take a look at the characteristics that make up a Siamese cat, from their appearance to their personality. Let’s take a look at the appearance characteristics first.

Ears

The ears should be large and pointed, wide at the base, and balanced triangles.

Eyes

The eyes should be slanted at the nose, and have width between them.

Colors

There are different types of Siamese colorations, but all should have a dark back and sides, and a light belly and chest.

Patterns

The pattern will depend on the type of Siamese cat, but most have similar patterns when it comes to the ears, face, tails, and legs

Now we are going to take a look at other things that you should know about Siamese cats, including more characteristics and how to care for them.

This video below will help you learn about Siamese cat's personality:

Nutrition

Your Siamese cat should have both wet and dry food, and both foods should be nutritionally balanced. If you are unsure about what to feed your pet, talk to your veterinarian or breeder. You may also want to consider feeding your cat a whole food diet that you make yourself, and you will know each ingredient that goes into it.

Temperament

Contrary to popular belief, Siamese cats are not mean or evil. Yes, they can be mischievous, just like any cat, and they do have their moments when their tempers flare, but this is going to happen with any other type of cat. Siamese cats are loving and loyal, and they are great pets to have around children.

Friendliness

Yes, Siamese cats are friendly. In fact, they are likely to follow you from room to room so you are never out of their sight. They love children, and they are usually friendly with anyone who comes into the home. The trick is to socialize them with a lot of different people while they are still kittens.

Other pets

Introducing pets is never an easy task, but it can be done, and it is no different with a Siamese cat. Just like socializing them with people, it is best to introduce your Siamese cat to other pets while they are still young. There have been many Siamese cats that have made dogs their best friends.

Attention

Siamese cats need a lot of attention, and they are not shy about letting you know it. They will cry and howl until you give them the attention that they crave, and if you stop, they will ask for more. If you are working a lot, it is a good idea to make sure that you have another pet to keep your Siamese cat company while you are not at home.

Adaptability

Most cats do not care for change, and this is no different with the Siamese cat. If you are going to be moving, or making other changes to your home and lifestyle, it has to be done slowly so your cat will get used to the changes.

Why are Siamese Cats so Vocal?

Siamese cats are well known for their vocal abilities. These are loud cats, and they are not afraid to “talk” to their owners in very loud tones. They have deep vocal tones, and are also known to use body language to communicate with humans. So, why are these cats so vocal anyway? There are actually several reasons for this, including:

For no reason at all

Siamese cats seem to like the sound of their own voices, and will meow for no reason other than to just be heard.

For attention

When a Siamese cat wants attention, they will let you know about it in no uncertain terms.

For food

When your Siamese cat is hungry, they are going to cry out to let you know that their dish is empty and that you need to fill it, now.

For help

If your cat is sick or injured, they are likely going to cry out to let you know. If this happens, contact your veterinarian for immediate diagnosis and treatment.

Siamese Cat Colors

There are four different colorations for Siamese cats: Seal Point, Chocolate Point, Lilac Point, and Blue Point.

Seal Point

This Siamese cat has a fawn colored body with dark markings.

Chocolate Point

This cat has  cream colored body with chocolate colored markings.

Lilac Point

These cats have pinkish/grey markings with a white body.

Blue Point

This type of Siamese cat has a white body with grey markings and a hint of blue

When it comes to Siamese cat names, you might want to choose something that goes along with its coloration.

Different Types of Siamese Cats

There are many different types of Siamese cats, and all of them are absolutely beautiful to look at (not to mention great pets and loveable companions). Let’s go into greater detail about the various types of Siamese cats.

Seal Point Siamese Cat

This is what is known as the original color for Siamese cats. They have light colored bodies with dark brown points. They are lighter as kittens, and darken as they get older.

Chocolate Point Siamese Cat

This type of Siamese cat has more white than others, but the points are extremely dark, like dark chocolate. They are lighter as kittens, and darken as they get older.

Blue Point Siamese Cat

These cats are related to the Seal Point, and have deep grey bodies with a hint of blue, and silvery points.

Lilac Point Siamese Cat

These cats also have some Russian Blue in their genetics, and are the palest of all Siamese cats. They have a pinkish-grey coloration from the ears to the paws, and the eyes are pale blue.

Lynx Point Siamese Cat

These cats are also known as Tabby Points, and are related to the wild lynx, with stripes, and also referred to as a Siamese Lynx Cat. How much are Lynx Point Siamese Cats worth? They can cost hundreds of dollars. Are Lynx Point Siamese cats rare? Not particularly.

Flame Point Siamese Cat

These cats have a reddish-gold point, and they have pale blue eyes. Their coats are creamy white. Are Flame Point Siamese cats rare? No more so than other Siamese cats. The Flame Point Siamese personality is just like that of any other Siamese cat.

Tortie Point Siamese Cat

This type of Siamese cat has a coat that is much like that of a tortoise shell in color. They have spotted faces that can be a combination of blue, seal or caramel colors.

Applehead Siamese Cat

This is considered to be the traditional Siamese cat. It is heavier than other varieties, and has a rounder head with rounded eyes.

Wedgehead Siamese Cat

This type of Siamese cat has the look of the modern Siamese cat, with an angular head. When it comes to Applehead vs. Wedgehead, it is all a matter of preference for the pet owner.

You can also find Siamese cat mixed breeds. Within these Siamese cat types you will find black Siamese cats, white Siamese cats, and even fluffy Siamese cats.

The Cost to Buy a Siamese Cat

The initial cost to buy a Siamese cat depends on a number of factors, including where you located, if the cat or kitten is show quality, genetic lines, and the individual breeder. You can expect to pay anywhere from $400 to $700 for a Siamese cat, but the price can be higher if it has won certain awards, has great genetics, etc. For instance, the Lynx Point Siamese cat price could be high because they are rarer than a Chocolate Point.

There are also going to be extra costs involved in buying a Siamese cat. For instance, if the cat or kitten must be shipped from out of state, you can expect to spend an additional $200 to $400. If you are going through an adoption center, there is going to be an additional application fee on top of the adoption fee, which is usually $10 or higher.

Don’t forget about the recurring expenses of owning a Siamese cat, or any other cat for that matter. These costs can include, but are not limited to, ongoing veterinary care, food, cat litter, cat toys, and other cat accessories. Your monthly cat budget should be a minimum of $30 to $50. If you are going to own a pedigreed cat such as a Siamese cat, you may also want to consider purchasing pet insurance. Yes, this is going to be another monthly expense, but it is a lot less expensive than a lot of veterinary bills should your cat become sick.

Conclusion

There are few cats that are as loyal and loving as the Siamese. Don’t listen to the stories about these cats being temperamental and hateful. Sure, they have their moments, but what cat doesn’t? Just because you saw the bad Siamese cats in “Lady and the Tramp,” you don’t have to worry about your Siamese cat constantly getting into trouble as long as you give them plenty of love and attention. They will also need ways to work off excess energy, so playtime is going to be loads of fun.