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The Chatty Siamese Cats

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We Are Siamese, If You Please...

We are Siamese if you don't please... Remember the two Siamese cats in Walt Disney's Lady And The Tramp?

Even many who know little about cats often recognize a Siamese. This is a breed with a long history and a very distinctive look.

In my part of the world, every pointed cat is mistaken for this breed. What's a pointed cat? well, it's a cat that is all white except for his face, all four legs, tail, and ears. It's not exactly white, but off white. With blue eyes.

I thought my first pet cat was a Siamese. She came into my life when I was 8 (she was born in my brothers' room) and died of old age at 14. She was a seal point with a mitten on her front paws (I'll describe colors in details in genetics page) and she had a bobtail.

Definitely not a Siamese at all.

Siamese cats commonly has a creamy colored base coat with colored points that may be seal, blue, chocolate, lilac and, later, red, lynx and tortie. The major US cat registry recognizes only the first four. Bright colored eyes and short coats are a hallmark of the breed and for many years a kink in the tail was an indication of being a ‘real Siamese.’

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Today the standard for the modern Siamese awards the majority of the points at 30 each to body type and color. The head earns 20 points, eyes 10 points and coat 10 points. The show standard calls for long tapering lines, stressing the long body while maintaining the medium size.

Siamese cats are well known for their social nature and their voice. They are the extroverts of the cat world and can be very vocal when they want something, whether it is dinner or attention! There is little doubt when a Siamese is unhappy! They are different than many cats in that they are less apt to see well at night. They are dependant on people somewhat more because of this trait.

These are highly trainable cats as felines go. Who can forget Tao from the Incredible Journey? Or Si and Am from Lady and the Tramp; or Syn from Disney’s “That Darn Cat!” These are but a few of the Siamese who have been in the public eye and it takes training to get a cat to perform for the camera, illustrating the willingness to work with people that makes them so popular.

The Siamese has also been a foundation breed for 10 other breeds including the Balinese, Burmese, Himalayan, Ocicat and Javanese. The Siamese typically stays playful long into adulthood.


Breed History

Because these cats are adored by the monks and kept by the royalty in Thailand, they gained their name from the original name of Thailand, Siam.

The distinctive feature of the Siamese cats is their pointed color, thanks to a mutation in Asia 500 years ago. Born in the hot climate, they naturally have a light and svelte body compared to the heavy, cobby British and Persians.

The Siamese many picture are different than the modern Siamese on the show table. This was a distinctive cat with beautiful markings. They have long been known as a “tough” cat. In the early 1960s a longer, thinner body type was being selected in the shows, leading to the long bodied cat seen today.

The standard has actually been rewritten to accommodate this long lean body type and by 1986 the traditional or “applehead” Siamese were no longer shown. Some of these cats were not registered anymore but some found that not everyone wanted the modern Siamese. Those “old fashioned” cats were favored with many people who had a Siamese growing up. Today there is the modern and traditional – two looks in the same wonderful cat.

Whether you are fond of the modern cats or the heavier bodied cats that some say are impure, the Siamese is surely distinctive in the beautiful color and charming personality. They are a low maintenance breed as far as grooming. With an ancient history, an influence throughout the cat world and a solid future, the Siamese remains a favorite among those whom are chosen as the favorite person of a Siamese.



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