The Siamese is perhaps the most recognizable of all purebred domestic breeds. It has been treasured for centuries because of its winning personality and beautiful, exotic, aristocratic physical characteristics. These are slender, graceful cats with finely-chiseled muzzles, elegant necks and long, svelte bodies. Their hind legs are noticeably longer than their front legs, and their paws are small and oval-shaped.
The tail of the Siamese is long, quite slender and tapered and must have no trace of a kink. This is a very fine-boned, refined animal that should exude breed type in appearance and confidence in attitude. They have been described as “living art,” with their combination of great beauty with acute intelligence, sociable curiosity and loving nature.
An ancient breed, the Siamese is considered the quintessential people cat because she loves being with her human companions. The sleek, striking Siamese has deep blue almond-shaped eyes that radiate intelligence and emotion. Affectionately known as Meezers, this breed is sociable, entertaining and playful. The Siamese is tolerant of children 6 and older and enjoys other cats but may not get along with dogs. The Siamese breed was used to create the Colorpoint Shorthair, which is identical to the Siamese except for her distinctive, unique colors.
Siamese cats are known to be affectionate, friendly, loyal and bold. The Blue Point Siamese is said by some to be the gentlest and most affectionate of all the Colorpoint Shorthair varieties, although certainly many fanciers of the other Siamese color varieties might dispute that characterization. Siamese have been described as precocious, gregarious, intelligent and outgoing. They are extremely friendly with people and other pets that they know and like, and they thrive on companionship and affection. They form extremely close bonds with their primary caretaker and do not like to be left alone for long periods of time. They often do better kept in household pairs or small groups, so that they can entertain each other while their owners are away. Some Siamese can have a nervous personality and most do not like sudden changes in their living environment. Siamese can be aloof toward strangers and are often skittish around newcomers to the home.
Other Quick Facts
- The Siamese is great at learning tricks and even better at training his people to do what he wants.
- The Siamese has a distinctive “pointed” coat: a light-colored background with darker points on the ears, mask, legs and tail in seal, lilac, chocolate and blue. Other point colors include tabby, red, cream, silver and smoke.
- Siamese can live to be 15 years or older.
Other names:Meezer,Siam, Thai Cat
Lap Cat: Yes
Physique: Slim muscled body
Average lifespan: 12-15 years
Average size: 8 to 15 pounds
Coat appearance: Glossy, Short, Silky, and Soft
Coloration: Blue, Chocolate, Lilac, and Seal
Best Suited For: Families with children but often bonds with one person.
Temperament: Intelligent and affectionate. Playful and talkative. Extroverts
The sophisticated Siamese looks dressed for an elegant masquerade ball in pale evening wear with chic black accessories and tanzanite-blue eyes. Cats with light-colored coats set off with black mask, ears, paws and tail have been known in Thailand for centuries. Ancient manuscripts depict the cats, but they were not seen in the West until the late nineteenth century, when they were exhibited at the Crystal Palace Cat Show in London. Not everyone appreciated their unusual appearance, but they quickly became fashionable pets. By the turn of the century, if not earlier, they were popular in the United States as well. President Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881) and his wife Lucy were the recipients of a Siamese cat shipped to them in 1878 by David B. Sickels, a U. S. diplomat stationed at the consulate in Thailand. A letter from Sickels detailing the gift is on file at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio.
At first, only the cats with seal points—a dark brownish-black—were shown, but blue, chocolate and lilac-point Siamese were soon developed and accepted in the show ring. Today Siamese come in many different point colors and patterns, including tabby points and smoke points.
The Siamese itself is a natural breed, meaning its original pointed pattern was the result of a genetic mutation. The breed has contributed to the creation of many other breeds, including the Balinese, Oriental, the Himalayan division of the Persian, the Tonkinese and the Havana Brown.
The Siamese is recognized by all cat associations. The International Cat Association also recognizes the Thai, described as the original form of the native pointed cat of Thailand. In Thailand the cats are called Wichienmaat. Some people refer to it as an old-style Siamese. It shares the pointed coat and domineering personality of the Siamese but has a more moderate body type.
Siamese cats are known to be affectionate, friendly, loyal and bold. The Blue Point Siamese is said by some to be the gentlest and most affectionate of all the Colorpoint Shorthair varieties, although certainly many fanciers of the other Siamese color varieties might dispute that characterization. Siamese have been described as precocious, gregarious, intelligent and outgoing. They are extremely friendly with people and other pets that they know and like, and they thrive on companionship and affection. They form extremely close bonds with their primary caretaker and do not like to be left alone for long periods of time.
They often do better kept in household pairs or small groups, so that they can entertain each other while their owners are away. Some Siamese can have a nervous personality and most do not like sudden changes in their living environment. Siamese can be aloof toward strangers and are often skittish around newcomers to the home.
Siamese always have a lot to say, and they usually always have the last word. One of their most well-known characteristics is the legendary ability to vocalize. Siamese are the most extroverted and vocal of all domestic felines. They will hold conversations over almost anything, with food and human attention being at the top of the list. Their loud, long meows sometimes sound like a human baby’s cry. Intact female Siamese have a particularly renowned noisy call when they are interested in finding a breeding partner. In a nutshell, these are cats with loud voices that match their big personalities.
Another behavioral trait of this breed is their tendency to thrash their tail when bored. They can be a bit demanding of attention. They are fastidiously clean and easy to care for as an indoor companion. They crave warm places and are fond of piling up with people or other animals. This is a breed of many extremes and makes a unique, wonderful companion.
Siamese are agile, active, athletic cats. Despite their refined appearance, they are hard-bodied and muscular and can be quite lively and playful. They do well with lots of toys, a scratching post and some cat climbing furniture. This is a good breed for people who want a cat that gives them lots of attention and interaction. Siamese can entertain themselves with toys for hours on end. They also are natural fetchers.
The short coat of the Siamese is easy to groom. Comb him weekly with a stainless steel comb. Trim the nails as needed, usually every 10 to 14 days. Cats can be prone to periodontal disease, so brush the teeth at home with a vet-approved pet toothpaste and schedule regular veterinary dental cleanings.
Children and Other Pets
Siamese with their outgoing, affectionate personalities are a great choice for families with children. They are quick on their feet and therefore know when to get out of the reach of smaller children when they get too boisterous or loud. However, care has to be taken when very young children are around cats and any interaction should always be supervised by an adult to make sure playtime stay nice and calm. With this said, children need to be taught how to behave around cats and when it’s time to leave them alone.
They also get on well with dogs especially if they have grown up together in the same household. However, care has to be taken when introducing a Siamese to dogs they don’t already know just in case the dog does not get on with their feline counterparts. Siamese are incredibly social by nature and have been known to get on with pet birds and small animals. However, it’s always wiser to keep a close eye on any cat when they are around smaller pets particularly when they first meet each other, just to be on the safe side.
Is the Siamese the Right Breed for you?
Moderate Maintenance: Regular grooming is advised to keep its coat in good shape. It stimulates circulation, massages the skin, and removes debris and loose hair.
Moderate Shedding: Expect this cat to shed moderately. By providing it proper nutrition, regular grooming, and keeping the shedding contained to a small area, like a pet bed, will minimize shedding and make it more manageable.
Generally Healthy: It doesn’t have as many known illnesses and conditions as other cats. Best for owners who do not want to worry about long-term medical costs.
Frequent Vocalization: It is known to be very vocal. Owners might be concerned for excessive and undesirable crying or meowing, especially at night.
Attention Seeking: This breed needs lots of attention. Owners who are home often or are able to participate in activities with this cat breed will be delighted. Time alone spent can be 0 to 4 hours per day.
Very Active: It likes to engage in activities. Try to spend 10-15 minutes actively involved with this breed several times a day. Daily exercise will help maintain its body weight and keep its muscles toned and strong.
Good With Others: It is usually good with adults, children (6+), and seniors and can be very affectionate towards them.
Did You Know?
The Siamese is a clever, active cat and is known for his willingness to play fetch and walk on a leash.
In popular culture
- The starring role of the 1965 Disney movie That Darn Cat! featured a Siamese cat named DC.
- In the comic strip Get Fuzzy, one of the main protagonists is a Siamese cat named Bucky Katt.
- In The Cat Who… novel series, a reporter and his Siamese cats, Koko and Yum Yum, solve mysteries together.
- In Lady and the Tramp and Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure, there are two female identical antagonistic Siamese cats: Si and Am.
- In Krypto the Superdog Catwoman’s cat, Isis, is a Siamese cat and antagonist.
- In The Aristocats, Shun Gon is a Siamese with a Chinese accent and a member in Scat Cat’s gang.
- In the Bad Kitty book series, there is a talkative Siamese cat named ‘Chatty Kitty’. Nearly every time she meows, there is a star next to her meowing, which translates it.
- A Siamese cat is featured on the cover art for the Blink-182 album Cheshire Cat.
- In Garfield: The Movie Nermal,a friend/rival of Garfield is a Siamese cat