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Cat Facts: Siamese Cats

01/05/2018 by Wendy Rose Gould
January 5th, 2018 by Wendy Rose Gould
        

We’d wager that one of your first experiences with Siamese cats occurred while watching Disney’s beloved Lady and the Tramp. The scene where two slinky, mischievous Siamese felines get sweet Lady into trouble while singing, “We are Siamese!” perhaps even formed your opinion on this gorgeous, playful breed. Though there’s some truth to this cartoonish depiction, Siamese cats are far more lovable than the exotic villains portrayed in the film!

Breed Personality and Physical Description

True to the movie, Siamese cats are known for being very, very chatty. In that sense, they’re ideal for people who love vocal felines and enjoy “talking” back and forth with them. That said, if you prefer a quiet abode then a Siamese kitty probably isn’t for you. In addition to being a furry chatterbox, this intelligent cat is also extremely affectionate and fond of its human companion. They’ll follow you from room to room, snuggle up with you on the couch or bed, and will quickly become your best friend.

Modern Siamese Cat

Note that because Siamese cats are so attached to its owner, it has difficulty spending lots of time alone. For that reason, it’s not an ideal breed for someone who travels frequently or is very busy outside of the house. Also, it helps greatly if a Siamese cat has lots of toys and a pal she can hang out with during the day — again, like in Lady and the Tramp (though hopefully they won’t get into that much trouble)!

Physically, Siamese cats are well-known for their exotic, “high end” appearance and agile, athletic bodies. They have gorgeous cream, caramel, and charcoal silky coats and bright blue eyes that make them truly striking. Females weigh between eight and 12 pounds, and males weigh between 10 and 15 pounds.

Breed History

Thailand used to be called Siam, which is where this breed originated. Like Thailand, Siamese cats have a long and ancient history. Their earliest reference occurs in the Tamra Maew manuscripts, a collection of cat poems written during the Ayuttahaya Kingdom sometime between the 14th and 18th century.

Traditional Siamese Cat

In 1878, Rutherford B. Hayes, then president of the United States, brought the first documented Siamese cat, named “Siam,” over to pond. Shortly after, in 1884, a British Consul-General named Edward Gould who’d visited Bangkok brought back a male and female Siamese cat to his sister, Lilian Jane Gould (Veley), who founded the Siamese Cat Club in 1901.

Today’s modern-day Siamese cat has been bred to be particularly long and slender with extra wide ears and an elongated, tapered tail. This differs in appearance from the traditional Siamese cat, which still exists and is referred to as “old-style” or “classic” Siamese, “Thai Cat” or “Applehead” (for its big, round head and plumper frame).

Common Health Issues

Like any breed, Siamese cats have certain health risks to consider. Be mindful of these issues by scheduling annual vet visits and anticipating and treating issues before they become worse. By doing so, you can ensure you cat lives a healthier, happier life!

Siamese cats are prone to asthma and bronchial disease, bladder stones, eye issues like glaucoma and progressive retinal atrophy, and congenital heart defects. Another issue to be on the lookout for is amyloidosis, a disease caused by protein deposits in organs — the liver, specifically, for Siamese. Symptoms include low energy and appetite, abdominal swelling, weight loss, and excessive thirst and urination.

Fun Facts

  • Siamese cats have what’s called a “pointed coat,” which refers to standard points of color in its fur. Typically, their bodies are light in color, and the dark “points” occur at their tail, legs, face, and ears.
  • There are a number of myths and legends surrounding the Siamese cat. One such story says that a royal princess who loved to swim would use her beloved Siamese cat’s tail as a ring holder while in the water. The story goes that the cat would bend its tail to prevent the ring from falling off, which is where today’s modern-day Siamese cat gets its kinked tail.
  • You know that US President Rutherford B. Hayes loved his cat, “Siam.” Other notable people did, too! Queen Victoria was a fan of the breed, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip received a Siamese kitten as a wedding gift, and Elizabeth Taylor loved them so much she had some for herself and gifted one to James Dean.

We are Siamese if you please! Share a picture of your sensational Siamese with us on Instagram by tagging @gohealthypaws. And if you aren’t already a pet parent with us, look into getting a free quote to help safeguard not just your special cat, but your wallet too.






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