Other names: Meezer, Meeze
In terms of elegance, these cats are unparalleled. They are often referred to as ‘the prince of cats’. The way they tiptoe around, their triangle face and their big pointed ears make them ever so charming, and you could lose yourself in their intense blue stare if you look at them in the eye for too long! If elegance is this breed’s strong suit, their weak point is definitely when they open their mouth to talk to you - or at least that’s what some people think! Their croaky, dissonant voice is nothing like any other cat and leaves no room indifferent: you’ll either fall in love with it, or find it a headache!
Key facts about the Siamese Cat
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Origins and history
As their name suggests, Siamese cats are native to Siam in Thailand, where the breed was considered sacred. A long time ago, they were reserved for Buddhist monks and members of the royal elite. A manuscript from 1350, discovered in Ayutthaya, describes a fair-coated cat with a black face and ears, black legs and a black tail. Other very old manuscripts show that Siameses lived in the temples and palaces of 14th century Asia. There is even one legend that says their squint comes from when they were responsible for surveilling the sacred vases - it is said that after staring at these vases for so long, they ended up squinting!
The Siamese first appeared in Britain in the middle of the 19th century. A consul general named Owen Gould, who was heading up a political business mission in Siam at the time, discovered a royal cattery on one of his visits, where he found many beautiful pointed felines. He fell under their spell, bribed one of the palace servants to give him two kittens and took them back to Britain with him. The following year, a Frenchman followed suit! A minister named Auguste Pavie made a trip to Asia and himself brought back two of these beautiful cats, which later formed a couple.
Unfortunately, despite the efforts of both travellers, the cats fell ill and withered, leading people to believe that the breed was too fragile. In spite of these failures, in 1920, breeders began successfully mating the breed. The Siamese became so popular that it ended up at risk of disappearing again - this time because breeders had started making inadequate pairings, resorting to in-breeding. It wasn’t until 1932 that radical measures were taken and a standard was established, allowing this magnificent cat to become the exceptional breed we know today.
Physical characteristics of the Siamese Cat
Female : Approximately 12 in
Male : Approximately 12 in
Female : Between 4 and 7 lb
Male : Between 7 and 11 lb
Seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, cinnamon, fawn. Caramel and apricot are accepted by a small number of associations, but rejected by others.
Type of coat
The Siamese is svelte, slender and muscular.
Good to know
All Siameses are born completely white. To explain in simple terms, the gene responsible for their colouring is influenced by temperature. Above a certain temperature (36,67°C), virtually no colour is produced, meaning the fur on the cat’s body stays the same colour. Its extremities, on the other hand, being below this body temperature, gradually take on a darker colour.
These cats particularly enjoy being close to their humans and the caresses they offer, especially when accustomed to it from an early age.
They are usually very active and need to be worn out. You must be sure to provide plenty of stimulating activities.
Siameses will of course have a lie-down to regain their energy… but this rest is often short-lived and they will be right back to moving and meowing again before you’ve had time to rest yourself!
As a cat with a high energy level, Siamese cats easily get themselves into all sorts of situations through their various antics, but they always find a way out, learning to handle any situation!
Fearful / wary of strangers
These cats must have positive experiences with different types of people from an early age - this can help to ensure they don’t develop a fear of strangers later on.
In general, they need lots of interaction and attention from their humans. You must be ready to invest time and energy if you are getting a Siamese.
Behaviour of the Siamese Cat
These cats are known for being very loquacious. Their meow is one in a million and they use it profusely to communicate with their human. Trust us!
Need for exercise / Sporty
Siameses need a lot of stimulation to use up all of their energy. It’s important their families have plenty of time for them.
Tendency to run away
You’ll need to be cautious, as their energetic personality could lead them into escapades outside the house to satisfy their curiosity.
Greedy / Gluttony
Being quite active, these felines can sometimes overcompensate with the amount of food they eat. You should be sure to monitor their calorie intake and keep track of their weight.
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Siamese Cat and cats
As long as introductions are correctly made, the Siamese can happily live with other feline fellows.
Siamese Cat and dogs
Dogs often mix well with the Siamese. You will probably see them playing together and maybe even sleeping side by side.
Siamese Cat and children
Being so energetic and active, they make great companions for children, who love their playfulness. You can expect lovely play sessions between the cat and the child!
Siamese Cat and the elderly
Siameses may not be the most suitable cats for someone who is calm and needs quiet and tranquility, due to their frequent vocalisations and their high energy levels.
The average purchase price of a Siamese is between £400 and £800, with this varying depending on the lineage, breeding, age or even sex. For your monthly budget, you should allow on average £25 per month, to provide a quality diet and ensure they stay healthy.
The Siamese generally only needs a weekly brushing, although daily brushing might be necessary during moulting.
You won’t have to pick up hair too often as these cats shed moderately.
Nutrition of the Siamese Cat
Because of their high energy levels, these cats require a diet adapted to their needs. Your veterinary team can advise you on quality food that will provide your cat with a balanced diet.
Health of the Siamese Cat
The Siamese has a life expectancy of between 15 and 20 years.
Strong / robust
Siameses have a short coat with no undercoat, so they are not equipped to face the cold and extreme temperatures.
Tendency to put on weight
Because they are almost constantly moving, these cats burn a lot of calories. However, you should consult your veterinary team to calculate their nutritional needs, to ensure they don’t become overweight from overly large portions.
- Progressive retinal atrophy: this is a hereditary disease causing the more or less rapid onset of blindness. The cat may get the disease late in life and gradually become accustomed to its disability, but atrophy can also occur at a very young age, causing the cat to go blind in the first months of their life
- Renal amyloidosis: another hereditary disease, this is pretty rare but unfortunately always fatal. The disease progresses quickly and symptoms, which are comparable to those of renal failure, usually appear between 1 and 5 years of age. There is currently no screening test as the genes causing the disease have not yet been identified
- Some individuals may suffer from the same diseases as other domestic cats, such as oral diseases.
Frequently asked questions
What is special about Siamese cats?
Siamese are definitely one of a kind. They are one of the only cat breeds to hail from Asia, and they have very unique colouring (darker spots on their face, ears, tail, and feet). They are also very unique in their character: They are quite extroverted and love to play and interact with their humans. Considered to be “dog-like”, they get very attached to their owners and can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long. They are very chatty, and have very distinctive, high-pitched meows.
Are Siamese cats aggressive?
Siamese cats are at higher risk of becoming aggressive if they are not properly trained. Indeed, Siamese cats are very energetic, very sensitive, and very loving towards their humans. This combination results in some individuals pawing or even biting for attention. Another common character trait of this breed is jealousy. However, if you provide your Siamese with enough physical and mental exercise, socialisation, and training, your cat can grow up to be a very well-behaved pet.
Do Siamese cats like to cuddle?
Siamese cats are very affectionate with people and love to cuddle. In fact, they’re a very demanding, needy breed of cat, so you should be prepared to give them lots of attention.
Check out the 5 most affectionate cat breeds
At what age do Siamese cats calm down?
Usually, cats mature at around 8 to 12 months of age. But Siamese cats mature a lot more slowly. It’s only around 2 years of age that they start to calm down, so be prepared for a very energetic and possibly capricious kitty in their first few months at home.
Find out how to best train your kitten
Why are Siamese cats so crazy?
Siamese cats are sometimes described as having erratic behaviour. This is because they are an extroverted breed and are also very sensitive. They need attention, mental stimulation, and proper training. However, another reason why your Siamese might be acting “crazy” is that they suffer from Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome. This is quite common in oriental breeds and can cause hyper-sensitivity to the skin. This means your cat could act out when being touched. Other symptoms include self-mutilation, excessive licking, crying or random bouts of running.
Learn more about feline hyperesthesia