Siamese catPerhaps the most recognizable cat breed in the world is the Siamese. It is also one of the oldest, with a rich history as colorful as the cat itself. The sleek, vocal cat with bright blue eyes and striking patterns originated hundreds of years ago in the Kingdom of Siam (now called Thailand), where it was treated with high esteem. It is said the the kings of Siam kept Siamese cats in the royal palace.

Breed Origin

Early recordings of Siamese have been found from as early as 1350 through the Cat-Book Poems where the cat was described and depicted. The illustrations found in the manuscript clearly show cats with slim bodies and legs with pale-colored coats and dark coloring on the ears, tails, and feet.

The Siamese was first introduced in Britain on 1871 during the first modern-day cat show at London’s Crystal Palace. At first, it was disparagingly described as an "unnatural, nightmare kind of cat." Nonetheless, the Siamese rapidly became popular among the British cat lovers. It was then brought in the United States in the early 1900s, where the breed quickly became popular. It is now the most popular shorthair in America, and the third most popular cat breed overall.

Appearance

The strikes the most among Siamese cats, aside from their big blue eyes, is the point-restricted coat pattern for which the breed is famous. The pattern always has a light color on the body, but the face, tail, paws, and the points of the ears have much darker color. This pattern is caused by a gene that reduces the amount of pigment in the hair. It is also controlled by an enzyme that produces deeper coat color in areas far from the heart.

The Siamese is a shorthaired cat with two body types. The show-type Siamese is characterized by a long, elegant, svelte body, with refined tapering lines, and a long, tapering wedge-shaped head. Its ears are strikingly large and pointed, with slanted eyes, and whip-like tail. Meanwhile, the traditional Siamese (also called Applehead) has a medium- to large-sized robust body with muscular build and substantial bone structure. Its head is rounded, ears are medium-sized and rounded at the tips.

Color

Some cat associations usually recognize the Siamese in only four colors: seal point, blue point, chocolate point, and lilac point. Other cat associations, however, accept additional colors like red point, cream point, cinnamon point, fawn point, tortie point, lynx point, and tortie lynx point.

Personality

The Siamese has a knack for communicating with their human friends. It is very vocal, and not recommended for those who prefer the peaceful indoors. It attracts its owner’s attention by giving out a loud and raspy yowl can be a bit annoying, but Siamese fanciers value the breed’s skill at communication. It also prefers perching on the owner’s shoulders rather than on the lap, and is also fond of fetching cat toys. It is also social and dependent upon its human companions, craving for attention, affection, and active involvement in the owner’s life. They actually feel very bad if you leave it alone too often.

Grooming

Despite its constant call for attention, the Siamese needs very little grooming. Their darker coats are very short with no noticeable undercoat. It actually prefers getting rubbed on its back rather than getting combed.