The Siamese cat is one of the first oriental breeds to gain recognition. They originated from Thailand, and were called Wichian Mat (moon diamond). The cats are known for their distinctive markings, with dark tipped tail, paws, ears, face, and a creamy white body. Legend surrounding the breed states that the cats kept away evil spirits brought good luck to their owner. They are considered to be one of the oldest breeds of cats in history. In the past, only families of royalty owned Siamese cats.
When the cats were first brought to England, they were referred to as 'an unnatural nightmare kind of cat' because people considered their coloring to be odd.
The first documented Siamese cat in the United States was given to President Rutherford B. Hayes as a gift from the American Consul in Bangkok.
Crossbreeding Siamese cats with other breeds brought about the Tonkinese, Himalayan, Burmese, and Balinese cats. Originally the cats were sometimes born with crossed eyes and a kinky tail, but breeders have been successful at breeding out these traits.
The Siamese breed is described as being elegant, slim, and well muscled with a triangular head. They have large, wide ears, and a thin snout. They come in several colors such as seal point, blue point, chocolate point, lilac point, red and cream point, lynx point, and tortoise shell point. It is one of the most popular short-haired breeds of cats, with seal point being the most traditional. Some of these colors are not recognized by the cat breeders association. When they are born, they are solid white. Color usually appears around four weeks of age. Their skin pigmentation and hair color is heat sensitive. Cats that live in cooler areas will have darker coats than those who live in warmer areas. Siamese have beautiful, deep blue eyes. As they get older, their coat begins to darken. It is believed that they are allergy friendly due to their short hair. Some do shed quite a bit, so it is important to brush your cat's coat to keep his fur healthy and shiny.
Siamese cats are very loving cats and very voicy. They meow and 'talk' to their owners for as long as someone is speaking to them, and sound identical to a human baby. They typically bond strongly to one person. They are less active at night than other cats, due to poor night vision. Siamese cats are very outgoing and mischievous, but also get bored easily. They are very people oriented and like to be the center of attention. Siamese cats don't like to be alone. If you are gone a lot it would be a good idea to get another playmate for your cat. They are known to meow constantly in order to gain attention. When a female is in heat she will meow very loudly and can be heard for quite a way. These cats are typically good with children, and when they don't want to be bothered will find a hiding spot. Siamese cats love to play with small toys or strings. They are also jealous cats, and will ignore you if you don't give the attention they ask for.
The lifespan of a Siamese cat is a little shorter than other cats, with an average life of 10 to 12.5 years. According to studies, most deaths are due to tumors. Males tend to weigh a little more than females at 9 - 14 pounds. Females average 6 - 10 pounds. Some studies suggest that Siamese cats are lactose intolerant. They should be fed a diet rich in protein, fiber, and fatty acids.
Several well known famous people have owned Siamese cats such as John Lennon, James Dean, and Elizabeth Taylor. The cats are also featured in several books and movies. Popular fictional characters include Lady and the Tramp, Garfield the movie, that Darn Cat, Bewitched, and many others.
I am fortunate to have a female Siamese cat. She is 10 years old, and a chocolate point. Her name is Koko, after the character in Lilian Jackson Braun's books. If you enjoy reading and like cats you will get a laugh out of these stories. Koko is typically described just like the breed. She is very loud and wants all the attention she can get. She follows me all around the house, and always manages to find a way to sneak up on the couch or bed to cuddle. Koko doesn't really like our dogs, but if that's the only option available to cuddle with then she is on the couch curled up against our pit bull. These are awesome cats, I've had her since she was a kitten and she always brings a smile to my face. You couldn't ask for a more loving, affectionate cat. She loves to play and really enjoys swatting around little fake mice, and the twisty ties off of bread. Out of all the cats I have ever had, she definitely has the most personality. If a Siamese cat manages to wiggle her way into your life, you wont regret it!