Siamese Cat: Breed Info, Care Guide, Personality & Facts (With Pictures)
|Colors||Seal point, chocolate point, blue point, lilac point|
|Suitable for||Families, seniors, apartments|
|Temperament||Affectionate, vocal, intelligent, agile, playful, demanding|
Siamese Cats are one of the most popular cat breeds in the United States, and with their gorgeous pointed coats, slender and graceful bodies, and striking blue eyes, this is hardly surprising! They are also one of the most vocal and expressive cat breeds, known to follow their owners around the home and talk almost constantly.
Siamese Cats originated in Thailand centuries ago and only made their way to the West in the late 19th century. They are a naturally occurring breed, and their now widely revered coat is the result of a genetic mutation. This gorgeous coloring has led to the Siamese being used in the development of a handful of other breeds, but they are the first breed to have this uniquely beautiful coloring.
If you’d like to know more about this wonderful breed, read on for an in-depth look!
Before you take the plunge and bring home a Siamese kitten, you should know that these cats are rather attention-demanding and don’t enjoy being left at home alone. This is why most people keep Siamese Cats in pairs, as when they are kept alone, they can be quite the handful to entertain. They love to play and are curious about whatever it is you’re up to at home and will give you their vocal opinion about everything! This can be too much for some people, and if you are looking for a quiet lap cat, the Siamese is probably not the right choice for you!
3 Little-Known Facts About the Siamese Cat
1. Crossed eyes and hooked tails were once a common trait
It was once a common sight to find Siamese Cats with crossed eyes and crooked tails, although these genetic defects have now largely been eliminated by careful breeding. These defects were the result of a unique genetic mutation, but ancient legends described a different reason: Siamese Cats were traditionally tasked with holding a valuable vase and having their tail wrapped around it. Their eyes fixed intently on it for hours left them with a permanently hooked tail and crossed eyes!
2. They don’t have great night vision
Unlike most other cat breeds, known for their incredible night vision, Siamese Cats are not blessed with this unique trait. The same pigment that is responsible for their beautiful blue eyes also causes weaker eyesight in the dark. Plus, their eye lacks a layer of tissue that reflects light through the retina, further reducing their night vision capabilities.
3. They were highly valuable among Thai royalty
Siamese Cats were once treasured by Thai royalty because of their beautiful, unique appearance, but also for another more important reason. These royals believed that after they died, their Siamese Cat would receive their soul, and the Siamese was thus kept in luxurious conditions — just in case!
Related Read: Applehead Siamese: Facts, Origin & History
Temperament & Intelligence of the Siamese Cat
The Siamese Cat is intelligent, friendly, and perhaps most notably, highly talkative! Many describe the Siamese Cat’s personality as dog-like, as they are attention-demanding and can be exhaustively clingy at times. They are extremely fond of their human family and become highly attached to their owners — a trait that is not ideal for owners who don’t have much time to dedicate to them. They can usually be found following their humans around the home, giving them advice about what they should and shouldn’t be doing in their high, raspy voice. They are vocal about almost everything and will be sure to let you know when they are hungry, happy, sad, and everything in between.
They are highly intelligent cats that are easily trained, and with this intelligence comes a love for anything mentally stimulating. They love to play interactive games with their owners, on their own with stimulating toys, or with their Siamese partner. This is one of the most important aspects of this cat’s personality, as they get bored and lonely easily and should never be left alone for too long. They need plenty of entertainment.
Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪
Siamese Cats are great family pets, and their dog-like character makes them great playmates for children. They enjoy being cuddled, petted, and played with, and they’ll spend hours with children playing games. In fact, large families are preferable for these social animals, as they’ll get plenty of the attention and interaction that they crave.
Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets
Siamese Cats are generally great with other cats — especially other Siamese Cats — and are usually friendly with gentle, cat-tolerant dogs too. Of course, early socialization with both your Siamese Cat and dog will help a ton. Any smaller pets like mice or hamsters in your home are likely to be viewed as prey, though, and should be kept far away from your Siamese!
Things to Know When Owning a Siamese Cat
With Siamese Cats being such social and friendly cats, they are truly a joy to own. They are popular cats around the world, and there is a wealth of information out there on how to care for them, but here are a few additional pointers.
Food & Diet Requirements
Siamese Cats are, like all cats, obligate carnivores, so animal-based proteins should make up the majority of their diet. They do not need carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables, but these can be included as extras. In general, fruits and vegetables should make up no more than 10%-15% of their diet.
Dry food or wet food are both great options, as long as they have meat listed as the first ingredient and are free from too many grains. A good option is to feed them dry food as a basis and give them wet food every 2-3 days to add variety and moisture to their diet. Most cats naturally moderate the amount of food that they eat, but they can still get overweight if they eat the wrong food with too many filler ingredients or if they have free access to food. We recommended feeding them twice a day and removing any uneaten food afterward.
Siamese Cats are energetic, agile, playful felines that need plenty of exercise to burn off energy. Luckily, these cats love to play, so exercise is not an issue. Any interactive toy will get them excited and running around, and you’ll likely tire long before they do! This is why it’s also a great idea to have another Siamese cat around, as they’ll play together endlessly and provide one another with exercise.
With their high intelligence, Siamese Cats are generally easy to house train and can even be taught a variety of tricks. They have dog-like personalities and are eager to please their owners. If you use reward-based training methods, they can be quickly housetrained and can also sit on command and even dish out high fives! Training is a great way to bond with your cat, and because they love attention and interactive time with their owners, they generally love the training process.
Siamese Cats have short, dense coats that are a breeze to keep groomed. They are fastidious self-groomers and will generally keep themselves clean, but a light brushing once or twice a week will help. Their nails are also kept short on their own, and a scratching post is usually enough to keep them sharp, but they may need trimming occasionally.
Periodontal disease is fairly common in cats, so the most important part of grooming your Siamese is keeping their teeth healthy. Dry food can help remove plaque and tartar, but you should still brush their teeth regularly to help prevent dental issues. Beginning this process as kittens will help get them accustomed to it.
Health and Conditions 🏥
Siamese Cats, unfortunately, suffer from more health issues than most other cat breeds. This is largely due to issues from selective breeding, a process that favors appearance over health. One of the most common health problems is respiratory and dental issues due to their wedge-shaped heads.
Siamese cats are also prone to eye problems, caused by the same genetic defects that gave them crossed eyes in the past and resulted in poor eyesight in the dark. They are also fairly prone to liver disease, abnormal kidney function, and congenital heart defects, among other things, so pet insurance is highly recommended when owning one of these cats.
- Renal amyloidosis
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Aortic stenosis
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- Feline asthma
- Eye problems
- Feline hyperesthesia
Male vs. Female
There are a few major differences between male and female Siamese Cats, although males are slightly taller and heavier. Males are also known to be a bit more affectionate and clingy than females and generally more attention-demanding, whereas females are happier doing their own thing. Females can be fairly independent at times and less likely to make fast friends with strangers. However, this should all be taken with a pinch of salt as Siamese Cats are social, friendly animals in general.
Related Read: Are Siamese Cats Hypoallergenic?
The Siamese Cat is a friendly, social, and intelligent feline that is great for families but makes a wonderful companion for singles too. They love affection and love to give it too, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a more loving feline.
That said, they can be attention-demanding, and this can prove too much for some owners. If you’re looking for a cat that’s happy to laze on the sofa with the occasional petting, the Siamese Cat may not be the right choice for you. They are also more prone to health problems than many other cat breeds, which is an added expense that you’ll need to consider.
Siamese Cats are wonderful animals to care for, as evidenced by their high popularity, and if you’ve got the time and attention to give them, they are rewarding companions indeed.
Featured Image Credit: rihaij, Pixabay