With its exotic appearance, aristocratic nature, and roots in the Buddhist faith, the Siamese cat is a cat breed known worldwide. Here you will learn everything about the history, husbandry, and care of the East Asian cat breed.
History and Origin of the Siamese Cat
The ancestors of today’s Siamese come from the former Kingdom of Siam in today’s Thailand. Here they appeared for the first time 150-200 years ago. The writings of the Tamra Maew, also known as cat poems, do not mention the Siamese cat by name, but the illustrations show clear characteristics of the breed. The cats lived together with the monks in the temples and were said to have the ability to lead the souls of the deceased to the afterlife.
The first Siamese arrived in Europe towards the end of the 19th century when English diplomats took a pair home with them. In 1871, European breeders exhibited a Siamese cat at London’s Crystal Palace for the first time, which caused a great stir. The two cats of the British Consul-General Sir Edward Blencowe Gould named Pho and Mia, given by the Siamese king, were the first breeding pair in Europe. Up until the 1939s, the exotic cats were so rare in Europe that they were even kept as attractions in zoos. Breeding in Germany began in 1927. Many variants of the Siamese cat developed over the decades, with a distinction being made today between the “modern type” and the “traditional type”.
Essence and Character
Siamese cats are an inquisitive and exceptionally smart cat breed. They need a lot of attention and are very affectionate and cuddly animals. The Siamese knows how to assert themselves and demands what they want with their loud voice. Inexperienced or busy people should rather get another breed. Due to their self-confident nature, the cats sometimes appear a bit stubborn and dominant. In truth, however, they are very friendly and like to be playful. They seek physical contact with their bipeds and are extremely communicative. Contact with other cats is also particularly important for the cuddly cat, which is why Siamese are not happy when kept alone.
The Appearance of the Siamese Cat
The unmistakable feature of the Siamese cat is the typical black and white coat coloration, which is due to partial albinism. The dark markings on the ears, tail, paws, and head can take on different shades of color. The four recognized basic types are Seal, Blue, Chocolate, and Lilac, but there are over 100 known color variations. At birth, the Siamese are still light and only fully develop the dark coloration at the age of nine months. Representatives of the breed keep bright blue eyes for life. In terms of head shape, the modern Siamese cat differs with a wedge-shaped head from the traditional type with a slightly rounded head.
Attitude and Care
If you want to get a Siamese cat for yourself and you have become familiar with the peculiarities of the breed, all you have to do is find a reputable breeder. As a pedigree cat, the Siamese cat naturally has its price and you can expect prices around €600. With the breeder, you should definitely make sure that both parents are healthy and that no cat appears twice in the family tree. There are always Siamese dogs in animal shelters that have been given up by overwhelmed owners and are looking for a new home.
Outdoor cat or indoor cat?
In general, you can keep a Siamese cat both as an outdoor cat and as an indoor cat if sufficient exercise and activity are provided. The athletically active cats have a strong urge to move and enjoy jumping and climbing. That’s why indoor cats should also have the opportunity to explore nature safely from time to time. With a little patience and a lot of practice, the Siamese can also be walked on a leash. In the apartment, you should offer enough space and a large selection of cat toys.
How much activity does the Siamese cat need?
Siamese needs a lot of exercise compared to other breeds and will clamor for attention from their humans when they are bored. In order to satisfy their strong hunting instinct and curiosity, you should always come up with new games to keep the little rascals happy. Some members of the breed can even be taught retrieval and other tricks. With the help of professional clicker training, you can even train your cats and keep them busy at the same time. It is also advisable to get a second cat so that the two cats can spend time together.
Grooming and feeding
As short-haired Siamese cats have a very fine top coat and hardly any undercoat, they are sensitive to cold. Especially in winter, you should make sure that the cat is not exposed to cold and damp weather for too long. The fur care is very little and it is enough if you brush the cats from time to time. When feeding, it is best to initially rely on the advice of the breeder and gradually try out what your Siamese likes. If she doesn’t accept food, she will let you know loudly.