The distinctive-looking Siamese cat originated in Thailand, an Asian country that was once called “Siam.” The Siamese is an ancient breed that has been around for centuries and continues to be popular with cat lovers today. This breed is known for its communicative nature that makes them an interactive companion for their owners.
The Siamese is a very old breed of cat. Ancient drawings and manuscripts indicate the breed goes back to the 14 century and possibly earlier. No one knows exactly when the Siamese cat came to Great Britain, but some records indicate these cats were given as a gift to an English woman in 1894. The Siamese breed came to America in the 1900s. Since then, Siamese cats have been prized worldwide for their many unique characteristics.
The coat of the Siamese is sleek and short. The head shape is neat and aristocratic, with large, erect ears. The body is long and tubular in shape, with long legs and an elongated tail. The eyes are wide apart and a deep, blue color. The Siamese breed comes in 4 or more coat colors, depending on which cat association is involved. The Cat Fanciers Association recognizes 4 colors, seal, chocolate, blue and lavender point. A recessive gene can turn seal to blue or chocolate to lilac. Siamese cats can also be found in red, cream point, tortie point of mottled red and black or lynx point with stripes of color on the point areas. Other variations in point color and distribution over the body can occur. Siamese kittens are born white due to the heat of their mothers’ bodies and develop their permanent color as they grow.
Siamese cats have a somewhat dependent nature and need a great deal of time and interaction with their owners. They are known for their vocalizations with which they make their needs known. Their “voice” can be raspy and insistent, which may not suit owners that prefer their cat to be silent. They are intelligent, entertaining and love nothing more that to be totally involved in their owners’ lives. Siamese cats may become depressed if left alone too frequently.
4. Health Problems
Siamese cats are often prone to kidney problems. They can also become prone to alopecia, or hair loss, due to excessive grooming when they are bored and stressed. Older cats may acquire vestibular disease, a hereditary problem that affects the vestibular system, which are nerves in the ear, brain and spinal cord. This disease can cause loss of balance, head-tilting, eye-drifting and falling. It is a hereditary disease with no known cause. The disease may require treatment, but often disappears within 1 to 6 weeks. Frequent respiratory infections may also be a problem in this breed.
5. Siamese Cat Care
Siamese cats have smooth, short coats that require minimal care. They generally care for their coats on their own, though an occasional brushing is helpful to prevent hairballs. If hairballs become a problem, offer one of the flavored hairball medications available at pet stores. They require a high-quality pet food. Generally, dry food is suitable, unless your veterinarian recommends canned food for special reasons. Daily tooth brushing will help to keep cats’ teeth healthy, but this must be started when they are kittens. The cat’s nails should be clipped regularly to prevent foot problems. As with other cats, you should clean the litter box regularly. Regular visits to the veterinarian for check-ups and vaccinations will help to keep your Siamese cat healthy and happy for many years. They generally live for 13 to 14 years but many have lived to 20 years.