What is the most universally recognized domestic cat breed on the planet?
The Siamese is one of the oldest recorded cat breeds; ancestors of today’s cats were found in the kingdom of Siam, now Thailand, as early as the 1350s. It is believed that Siamese are descended from the sacred temple cats in Siam and were very highly prized pets. Only royalty or noblemen were allowed to own them, and the cats had a special role to play in palace and temple life as spirit guardians. When someone important died, a cat from their household was chosen to receive and house their soul. This lucky cat spent the rest of its life in luxury, pampered and cared for by temple priests.
Breed Characteristics and Disposition
The Siamese cat is easily recognizable by its distinctive coloring and brilliant blue eyes. Its most striking feature are the “points”, for which the breed is famous: The body of the cat is always a light color while the face, tail, paws and ears are always a darker color. The hair is short, glossy, fine, soft, tight and adhered to the body, so little grooming is required.
Siamese cats can be divided into two body types. The Modern Siamese is a small to medium sized cat with a long, elegant, slender body and a long, wedge-shaped head. The ears are large and pointed, the eyes slanted and almond-shaped, and the tail whip-long and tapered to a fine point. This variety enjoys championship competition status in most of the cat associations.
The Traditional (also known as the Applehead) is a medium to large sized robust cat with a muscular build and substantial bone structure. The head is rounded rather than wedge-shaped, and the ears are medium-sized and rounded at the tips.
Siamese cats are very intelligent, lively, entertaining cats. They have strong personalities and are usually very talkative, often with a loud voice. The Siamese cat speaks both with their voice and with their body. Their meow has been compared to the cries of a human baby. They enjoy being with people and have a great need for human companionship. If you are looking for a pet that doesn’t require much attention, the Siamese is not for you! They also don’t like to be alone, so if you are prone to travel or long days at the office, consider getting two of the breed so they can keep each other company.
Siamese are a generally healthy breed and often live well into their late teens. It is not unheard of for them to live into their twenties. Like all senior pets, we recommend health exams every six months to include labwork to assess liver and kidney function.
Siamese cats are intelligent, energetic and love human interaction, which makes them very trainable.
Environment and Family
Siamese cats are good-natured and have a strong need to bond with humans. They are great family pets and develop powerful attachments to ‘their’ families. This extends to the dogs and other cats that live in their homes, and particularly to other members of the breed. These cats are typically active and playful, even as adults
Siamese have fascinated people around the world since they were first officially exported from Thailand. Their sleek lines, striking color contrast, finely chiseled aristocratic heads, deep blue almond eyes, and short silky coats make them living art. Combine this beauty with acute intelligence, inquisitive personality, and a loving nature, and you have the essence of the Siamese cat.