I once had a Siamese which was unlike any other cat I’d ever had before. I’ve had dumb cats as well as smart ones, but none of them can compare to Selene the Siamese. The things she’d get up to would amaze me. Most people already know that cats are smarter than they seem, but the extent of what they’re capable of is surprising to most.
Are Siamese cats smart? The capabilities and intelligence depend on the cat. Despite this, it is well known that Siamese cats are one of the smartest of cat breeds, as they are very communicative with humans and are able to learn many tricks easily.
Read on to find out what Siamese are capable of learning, and how you can keep them happy.
Ways Cat Intelligence can be Tested
Let us show you first what makes a cat actually smart before talking about Siamese cats in detail.
- Social Ability (such as greeting owners, coming when called…)
- Memory (remembering where a treat has been hidden)
- Trainability (being able to learn tricks easily and in a short time)
It is a common belief that putting a blanket over our pet to cover their head, the faster that they remove it the smarter they are.
Besides this, there is also being able to understand, when it looks in the mirror, that it’s just their reflection – rather than thinking it’s another cat and being scared or attacking.
If your Siamese has ever tried to interact with any type of screen, such as your mobile phone, or by watching videos of birds, the fact that their brain is able to understand these images shows intelligence as well.
The more social the Siamese the smarter they are. This shows they have the capability to understand that their owner takes care of them, and despite their independent nature they are able to grow strong bonds with us.
Acknowledging their owner when being called, instead of ignoring as most cats do, and being able to communicate what they want requires intelligence.
Siamese will often follow their owner around the house, sort of ‘supervising’ everything that they do or trying to get a cuddle instead. It’s easy to have a conversation with them as well, as they always respond without fail.
Siamese also happen to be very outgoing cats, which is why they get on very well with families and retired people.
Cats usually have very good memories, 200 times better than a dog’s, as they are able to recall information in their long-term memory from up to ten years. Relationships with humans and age may affect their memory.
Like humans, cats lose brain cells with age. If you make sure to have your Siamese socialize with humans in their first few weeks of life, they will forever remember this and trust humans.
Regarding their short-term memories, Siamese are much more selective with this and choose only to remember whatever they think is useful, and are able to recall information from up to 16 hours.
Try hiding a treat in front of your Siamese, and they should be able to find it without issue. Some other cats may just assume the treat disappeared. Being able to remember something that they have done, which earned them a treat, means they are smart.
Since the Siamese are so smart, it’s only natural that they can be trained to do many things. However, they are still cats – which means that anything they don’t want to do, they won’t do it.
Most Siamese can be taught how to fetch, walk on a leash, high five, jump through hoops, and use the toilet as well as flush, and many other tricks.
Your Siamese may even be able to play the ‘three shell game’, which is a gambling game where an item, such as a treat, is hidden underneath one of the three cups and mixed around.
The most fascinating part isn’t what you can teach them though; it’s what they can deduce by themselves. For example, it’s very common for Siamese cats to sleep under the cover with their head on the pillow in a bed.
Some have also begun sitting in a chair at the dinner table to indicate that they are hungry.
I think the best example of this is how a Siamese taught itself to nip at the ankles of its owner, who happened to suffer from seizures, in order to indicate that they needed to move to a soft landing.
The particular way your Siamese would learn how to perform tricks can range from one cat to another, but generally, positive reinforcement is always needed.
This is according to the ‘Law of Effect’ by Edward Thorndike. The amount of time also depends on the cat, but the faster they learn and remember the more intelligent.
Diet For A Healthy Brain
In order to maintain and improve processes such as problem-solving, memory, and learning, a supportive diet is necessary. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, taurine, and vitamins all have positive effects on cognition.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential because they cannot be synthesized naturally and must be obtained through their diet.
The Omega-3 fatty acids which support brain development and function are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), alpha-linolenic acid, and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
Arachidonic acid, coming from Omega-6 fatty acids, also supports cognition and development. The acid, AA, is found in animal sources such as meat. It was found that AA and DHA make up 20% of the fatty acids in the brain.
Taurine, an amino acid, is also difficult for cats to synthesize. Taurine can cross the blood-brain barrier in the brain, and so it helps many neurological functions, especially visual development.
Always Keep Your Siamese Cat´s Intelligence In Mind
Siamese can quickly get bored if they don’t have enough stimulation and can become unhappy if their needs aren’t satisfied.
They are great jumpers and love heights, so having perches and/or cat trees are essential as they enjoy keeping active.
They also enjoy interactively playing with their owners with feathers and balls, but something more is needed to stimulate them; ideally some puzzle games, such as treat mazes and hunting boxes.
Some Siamese prefer to make up their own games, such as hide and seek and ambushing family members. They would also wait patiently somewhere high up, just to pounce on anyone who passes.
However, if they are not kept occupied it’s possible for them to get engaged in compulsive behavior. Such behavior includes constantly licking, or even biting, themselves.
They may also partake in sucking on some sort of fabric, like wool, or consuming other non-foods. This type of behavior is more likely to happen before your cat reaches the age of two.
Are Siamese Cats Mean? No, as they tend to be an affectionate breed. They are known for being affectionate and forming a strong bond with their owner, having a tendency to stick with one particular person.
Are Siamese Cats Needy? They can be and tend to follow their owner around and watch or try to cuddle, as they are not as independent as other cats.
Are Siamese Cats Territorial? Yes, more so with their owner than with space. This may be that being highly intelligent, the Siamese is often said to be more like a dog, or even a human child, than a cat.
How long do Siamese live? Siamese cats have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years, but there have been many which surpassed this. Such as Scooter the Siamese, who lived until the age of 30, and was even named the world’s oldest living cat by the Guinness Book of World Records.