Perhaps the most widely recognised cat on the planet; the Siamese is a breed of true antiquity. Records and manuscripts suggest the Siamese emerged in the 14th century in the royal courts of Siam (what is now Thailand). These cats were presented as gifts to nobles and visiting dignitaries, meaning their prevalence outside native Siam increased. The Siamese made its way to the United States at the end of the 1800s and rose to immediate popularity, appearing in a number of Disney films including ‘Lady and the Tramp’ and ‘The Aristocats.’ The Cat Fanciers Association ranks the Siamese fifth in popularity in the western hemisphere, being the cat breed of choice of many politicians and celebrity figures.
The Siamese is very distinctive in appearance and structure, with a slender body, long, nimble legs and a small, wedge-shaped head. The ears are typically large and round-tipped, the nose is long, the tail is narrow and the eyes are bold and slightly oblique. The eyes are always light-blue in purebred cats. Besides this, the Siamese boasts a fine, close-fitting coat that is soft to the touch and easy to maintain with regular grooming. Colour pointing is observed in the breed on the face, ears and toes, and the Cat Fanciers Association recognises four types, including seal black, blue, lilac and chocolate. The original Siamese had a kink in its tail, something that is now considered a breed flaw, and street cats from Thailand are still found with the trait. Compared with other cat breeds, the Siamese has poor night vision, meaning it becomes more docile at night.
A highly social breed that forms strong attachments to its people, the Siamese is well suited to domestic living, being compatible with children and other house pets. Described by many as affectionate, playful and intelligent, the Siamese thrives when it has a variety of interactive toys and playthings in the home, as well as enjoying plenty of human companionship. The breed is in possession of a loud, deep voice that it communicates with when it wants your attention. If you are looking for a charming, people-orientated cat with an extrovert personality, the Siamese is for you! On average, a healthy Siamese will weigh in the region of 8-12 pounds depending on gender, with a typical life expectancy of 15-20 years.
There are some that claim the Siamese is more susceptible to illness than other breeds, while others claim the Siamese is a long-lived cat that is full of vigour. Health conditions that are documented in the breed include mammary tumours and neoplasms, gastrointestinal problems, as well as various optical complaints. Progressive retinal atrophy is prevalent in the Siamese, as is cross-eye. Siamese cats are also more prone to weight gain.