Siamese Cat 101: The Essential Guide

OriginThailand
SizeSmall-medium size
Height           10 to 12 inches
Weight8 to 15 pounds
Life Expectancy15 – 20 years
Breed GroupPedigree 
Affection Level⭐⭐⭐
Friendliness⭐⭐⭐
Activity Level⭐⭐⭐
Meowing Level⭐⭐⭐
Pet-Friendly⭐⭐⭐
Kid-Friendly⭐⭐⭐
Shedding
Easy to Groom⭐⭐⭐
Easy to Train⭐⭐⭐

Origin

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The “Oriental cat” or the Siamese breed comes from Siam, a country which we now call Thailand. It is believed that in 1880, the Thai king gave the English consul-general a pair of Siamese in Bangkok. Quickly, the receiver of these noble cats rushed home to England in 1884 and the cats immediately became the talk of the town. 

The royal, mystical Siamese cat has been depicted long ago in several manuscripts such as the ancient “Tamra Maew”  which roughly translates to “The Cat-Book Poems”. These scripts are speculated to have been written around 14th to 18th century and that they were originally from the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Furthermore, the poem describes that the Siamese cat is immeasurable compared to gold and anyone who owns him will become wealthy. 

When these cats gradually multiplied in number, a sort of change occurred in his appearance for some unknown reasons. The modern Siamese cats are now slimmer with a more wedge-shaped head. The gradual transformation of the said breed alarmed the breeders that they eventually worked together in 1987 to form the Traditional and Classic Cat International registry in which the aim was to retain the old look of the cat.

On another note, the Siamese breed is known to have crossed eyes and a kinked tail in some cases. According to superstitions, this is because the cats guard the royal goblet of the king. They take their duty so seriously that their tails are wrapped around it so much they get bent and look hard at it until their eyes cross. 

Fortunately, selective breeding lowered the chances of a Siamese acquiring such conditions. 

Appearance 

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The Siamese cat breed is typically long and lean yet his overall physique must be muscular. He is known mainly for his unique color points which usually form a black mask on his face and darker areas on the ears, legs, as well as on the tail. 

The points can appear in various colors which include:

  • Lilac
  • Silver
  • Seal
  • Red
  • Chocolate 
  • Blue

The coat quality of the Siamese is largely caused by a mutation of the enzyme tyrosinase. It is responsible for the production of melanin, but it becomes less active in certain areas- the warmer parts of the Siamese cat’s body. This is why the darker shades only appear in the extremities or colder regions of the body.

Interestingly enough, a Siamese kitten is all white or cream at birth. However, the color points develop over time and they become more prominent with age. A Siamese owner can instantly guess his cat’s color the moment the feline reaches at least 4 weeks of age. 

As for his measurements, an average Siamese is considered to be small to medium. Males are larger than females since they weigh about 11 to 15 pounds ideally and reach certain heights of 11 to 12 inches compared to just 8 to 12 pounds for females whose general heights start at 10 inches. 

Temperament

In the past, this domestic cat was exclusively owned by the royal family and people of higher class. The feline was revered so much that anyone who steals one is punishable by death. Although this gives off the impression that this cat is used to being deeply respected, it does not automatically mean that he is spoiled or difficult to be understood by the general public. 

In fact, the Siamese cat makes a wonderful pet thanks to his several amazing qualities considered to be family-friendly. Let’s learn more about his personality traits.

Affection

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Should you go for the Siamese cat breed, the feline you get would expect you to commit to him on the same level he commits to you. He is deeply affectionate, loving, and trusting of humans he meets as long as they treat him with the right care and attitude. 

Several Siamese owners would sometimes share their observation saying that male Siamese cats are more warm-hearted and devoted to their owners, so if that isn’t overwhelming for you, getting a male would be a perfect choice. 

There are countless ways a Siamese cat would think of just to make sure his human knows of his undying love and these are shown mostly by the way he acts or behaves. He is a big fan of physical touches and cuddles, so you might see him getting curled up beside you on the bed. Take note, however, that some Siamese cats want to do things their way, therefore, they are generally not great as lap cats.

To be an owner of such a regal pet, love is shown through words as well. Owners must refrain from using harsh terms as they can easily hurt the cat’s feelings. Although the breed looks standoffish at times, they remain to be highly sensitive creatures.

Friendliness

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Despite the common misconception that cats are “unfriendly” and “mean”, the Siamese begs to differ. He naturally craves human connection and this leads him to be open for interactions with anyone which makes him one of the friendliest breeds there is!

In most cases, he will form a more unique bond with his favorite family member, but he will not cease to enjoy his time with others. It’s good if there are kids in the house. They will keep each other entertained, but just make sure that they are old enough to handle the feline with care and gentleness. 

The attitude of the Siamese cat will change when met by a stranger. Owners say that they would greet unfamiliar guests at the doorway and would perform a sort of approval process before they are allowed to enter his domain. As for dogs, you don’t have to worry too much. Siamese cats are playful by nature and they’d be the happiest to have a large buddy as a playmate.

Activity Level

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Siamese cats, regardless of age and gender, are very active. They would do well indoors, but getting a glimpse of the outdoor environment from time to time will help them in releasing all the pent-up energy. To put it simply, the breed is not a couch potato. 

Taking care of him means thinking of creative ways to keep him entertained. He needs to be mentally and physically stimulated and those are the keys to keeping the family cat happy! It is highly advised that before you bring home a Siamese, you have to be aware of how available you are in terms of schedule, because if you are not at home most times of the day, then you need a pair of this breed or another cat to keep him company. 

This doesn’t mean, however, that just because he has a playmate, they’ll both do well without human interaction for a long time. The Siamese remains in high need of his human or else you’ll go home seeing your toilet papers scattered all over the floor, ripped and chewed by someone who dearly misses you. 

Care

In owning a pet, providing the basic needs is a prerequisite. Anything more than that will be considered a luxury for the cat. The Siamese breed might have been heavily associated with wealthy people in Thailand in the past, but taking care of him is entirely doable no matter what status of life you are in as long as you are capable of owning a pet. 

Let’s take a closer look at his basic grooming requirements, food needs, and exercise.

Grooming

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Due to the extra-short hair of the Siamese cat, grooming won’t have to take too much of your time. In fact, he is considered to be a hypoallergenic breed. However, just like any other cat, he sheds constantly, but at a lower rate. 

Typically, his hygiene requirements would only include weekly brushing using a quality slicker brush like Hertzko, a self-cleaning tool, and don’t forget to regularly clean his ears, teeth, the rim of his eyes, and trim his nails. Be careful not to reach the quick or the flesh part on the nail to avoid a painful nail-clipping experience. You can spot the quick easily by exposing the cat’s nails by pressing his paw pads and directing them to a source of light.

Concerning baths, the Siamese cat breed is known to be very clean. He likes to groom himself every day, so there is not much need for a wash. If he gets so dirty after playing, then that would be the perfect time to give him a bubble bath. Only use pet products to avoid irritating the skin and coat.

Food and Diet

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To make sure that your Siamese cat maintains his good health, always consider adding a sufficient amount of protein to his diet. You might feel a bit concerned with the lack of emphasis on plants and vegetables, but to tell you the truth, cats don’t digest them well. And, meat is their primary diet so why not indulge them with it?

Of course, you have to go for high-quality sources of protein. They have to be rich in amino acids like taurine to lower the risk of experiencing total blindness or heart problems. Don’t forget to consider other essential nutrients as well. If you prefer commercial cat foods, they have to be complete and balanced in nutrition. 

Ensure that your Siamese buddy gets the right amount of not just protein but as well as fats, vitamins, minerals, water, and carbohydrates.

Now, the amount of food your Siamese cat should eat depends on several factors. The general rule is 1/3 to 3/4 cup per meal, twice daily if he’s an adult. Consult the vet if you are unsure how much to feed your pet.

Tip: Use Sorlakar stainless steel bowls for your Siamese cat as they have antibacterial qualities and they are just generally safe for cats to use. They are easy to clean and durable!

Exercise

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Keeping your Siamese cat healthy and active is key to a happy and long life. Try to give him many opportunities to play so his mind, heart, and body can be filled with vigor and excitement. One good thing about having a cat as a pet is that they don’t have any specific exercise requirements. As long as there are trees for them to climb on, food puzzles, or toys to play with, their bodies will stay athletic and in shape. 

Let him do what cats do, which is to act on their prey drive. Siamese cats love to run around or pretend that their toy is a mouse they would need to catch. Purchase interactive toys from K-berho for a more fun experience!

If you take your cat outside for a peaceful walk, do so with him on a leash. This prohibits him from running away and you are, at the same time, given the ability to control his movements. 

Training

Photo from: meso_minju (IG)

Don’t forget that this cat is highly intelligent. He’s dog-like in character, therefore, he’s easy to train. You can play a game of fetch or teach him tricks as long as there are positive reinforcements included. Ready your treats every time he shows good behavior or if he’s doing what you say. It is important to condition him into associating rewards with good manners.

In case your Siamese cat misbehaves, harsh punishments are a no-no. This might cause a strain in your relationship with your cat. Direct him if he’s struggling to follow your orders and be patient with him as he learns. 

By the way, remember not to just use treats as a form of reward. Your Siamese cat is highly prone to obesity. If he overeats even for just a day or two, weight gain can be noticed. So, what you can do is use pets and praise interchangeably with cat treats!  

Health Problems

You can expect your Thai cat to reach 15 to 20 years as long as he’s well taken care of. It’s fair to say that he’s generally a healthy breed. Impressively, some other Siamese cats live more than the set average lifespan. 

Although this may sound like music to your ears, the breed remains to be at risk to certain health or genetic predispositions. These include the following:

  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
  • Convergent strabismus
  • Cancer 
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Dental disease
  • Feline hyperesthesia syndrome
  • Glaucoma
  • Heart problems

Some of the health issues the breed is vulnerable to can be avoided if you go for responsible breeders. They run certain health tests to ensure that the parents are healthy before they get mated. Be observant of your furry friend’s behavior and determine if he’s uncomfortable or in pain. If he is, bring him to the vet for immediate diagnosis and treatment. 

Pros and Cons of Having a Siamese Cat

Pros

  • He loves to be around his owner
  • He’s playful
  • Loyal and devoted
  • Low-maintenance
  • Easy to train
  • Highly sociable
  • Highly vocal

Cons

  • He can be vengeful
  • Can be too loud
  • Prone to jealous 
  • Can be unpredictable
  • Prone to destructive behavior

Do Associations Recognize the Siamese Cat?

Yes! He was officially recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Organization in 1906 and he is considered to be one of the original breeds of pedigreed cats. Other groups acknowledge him as well such as The International Cat Association (TICA) and World Cat Federation (WCF).

Cost

Depending on the quality, a Siamese kitten can be purchased for only $400 to $1000. This can be even pricier if some other factors come into play such as gender, demand, location, and breeder’s reputation. Adopting a Siamese cat is a cheaper option if you are on a budget. You would only have to pay $75 to $100 to cover the expenses whilst he was being cared for in the shelter.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Siamese Kitten

If you are convinced that the Siamese cat would be the perfect feline your family should have, the next step after in-depth research about the breed is to look for the best place to get him from. But first, determine whether you want to buy or adopt. An adoption is a noble option since thousands of cats await their new owners! You will also give room for a new rescue cat should you adopt.

If you are struggling to look for legitimate places, we have made a list for you to consider. Thoroughly inspect each of them before you make a deal!

BUY

ADOPT

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