Whether you are reading this list to find out if a Siamese cat is right for you, or if you already have Siamese cats but just want to find out more about them, you’ve come to the right place. Be warned, this list could make you want to get another Siamese cat!
Let´s start with where Siamese cats came from, which could also be linked to their loyalty and love for humans, as well as some other personal traits that they have.
1. Siamese are one of the Oldest Recognized Cat Breeds
Originating from Thailand, formerly known as Siam. There are two versions of the Siamese cat: The original/traditional breed, which is known as the Thai cat, and the modern Siamese cat.
The Thai cat’s features are considered to be ‘old style’, having a more rounded head and body.
Whereas the modern Siamese has a more triangular head shape, triangular ears, and an elongated, muscular body.
Their first appearance can be found in a book, referred to as ‘Tamra Maew’, The Treatise on Cats, or also the Cat-Book Poems. It is a class of manuscripts which was published in 1330.
The book is one of the world’s oldest books as well and is owned by the National Library in Bangkok. In the book, we can see cats with piercing blue eyes, dark points on their tips, and they are also shown as pets of royal families.
2. Their Original Name is Poetic
So, since the Thai cat is basically the ‘older’ version of the Siamese, they are closely related, yet still distinct from one another. Knowing this, I think that it’s safe to say that the original name counts for them both.
The Thai cat is also known as ‘Wichien-maat’, which roughly translates to ‘Moon Diamond’, or ‘Diamonds and Gold’. Most likely it was their elegance and beauty that had earned them the name right away.
3. The Royal Cats of Siam
When the Siamese cats found their way into the Western hemisphere they were often referred to as the ‘Royal Cats of Siam’, or ‘Palace/Temple Cat’.
This nickname reflected the legend that they were the pets of the King of Siam himself. Not only his pets but also his companions and protectors. (They are indeed protective as you can read here)
They would guard him by his throne, and should anyone threaten the king they would immediately wish they hadn’t, as the Siamese would pounce down and attack.
4. Siamese Cats Appeared at the First Crystal Palace Cat Show
In July of 1871, two Siamese cats from Southeast Asia, brought by a Mr. Maxwell, can be found in a catalog from the first Crystal Palace Cat Show in London.
The male was named Pho and the female was Mia, and they were the first Siamese cats to leave Siam and were known by their names, and also had a litter together later on.
They were brought to America in 1878 and were received by President Rutherford B. Hayed and his wife Lucy as a gift, from the American Consul who was stationed in Bangkok, Thailand.
5. They are Very Loyal
Perhaps it has something to do with their history and origins. Do you think they remember once protecting a King? They sure do act like it.
Siamese cats tend to become very emotionally attached to their humans and are known to be one of the most devoted and loyal of the cat breeds.
Sometimes a Siamese cat will prefer to make strong bonds with one particular person, and even follow them around.
6. They are Great with Children, Families, and Other Pets
Siamese cats are clever, and they are able to understand that a baby or child is part of the family, and may even become their guardian.
Provided that the child is taught how to treat a cat with kindness and respect, it will be returned by the Siamese tenfold.
Siamese cats will not tire from getting plenty of affection and play time from different members of the family. They will also love having their own play pal, such as another cat or dog.
7. The Color of their Fur is not Determined by Genetics
Siamese cats are a natural breed, and the pattern of their fur is not determined by genetics, but rather by a temperature-sensitive enzyme.
When a Siamese cat is born, they come out completely white. Siamese kittens won’t develop their markings until they are several weeks old.
This is because the womb would have kept them very warm, and they would need to be exposed to a different atmosphere for a little while first before any pigment can begin to show.
Siamese cats are essentially temperature-sensitive albinos. When their bodies drop below a certain temperature (100.4-102.5 F / 38-39.2 C, which is the standard temperature of a cat), the albinism is blocked, and the modifier gene, which inhibits pigment in the fur, is activated.
The nose, ears, paws, and tail are usually at a cooler temperature, which is why this is where the majority of pigment lies.
Therefore, Siamese cats which live in warmer climates will have a lighter color fur than the ones which live in colder climates.
8. Their Fur is Easy to Groom and Maintain
Like most shorthair cat breeds, they are excellent at taking care of their fur and keeping it clean and beautiful. This also means that they shed less.
It is a common misconception that Siamese cats are high maintenance or difficult to care for. Perhaps this is true when it comes to keeping them preoccupied, but definitely not when it comes to grooming.
A good brush once a week would be enough to keep their coat looking glossy and gorgeous. You’ll probably find yourself doing it more often than that though, as the affectionate Siamese usually loves it, and the both of you will most likely have an enjoyable time.
9. They Come in Several Colors
We all know the signature Siamese to be a light cream color, with very dark brown points. This is known as the ‘Seal Point’ Siamese. There is also the Tabby Point Siamese.
The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) also recognizes three other colors:
- Blue Point: a light gray body with cool, steely grey points
- Chocolate Point: Similar to the Seal Point, but with a lighter brown shade
- Lilac Point: a much lighter and warmer shade of grey points
10. Siamese are Known for Living Long
The average Siamese can live between 15-20 years. So long as they are cared for well, and fed properly, there have been many Siamese which surpassed this age. If you’re looking for a close companion to have around for a long time, a Siamese cat would be perfect for you!
One example of this would be Scooter the Siamese, who lived to be 30 and was even declared the new world’s oldest living cat by Guinness Book of World Records.
11. They have Unmistakable Voices
Siamese cats are known for being talkative, very opinionated, and having the ability to keep a conversation going all day long.
They’ll be sure to greet you when you come home, and enthusiastically tell you all about their day. The birds that they saw, how much food they ate, how much they slept, and so on.
Keeping to the theme of nicknames, nowadays the Siamese cat is often referred to as ‘Meezer’. This comes from them being extremely vocal and having a distinct, loud yet low-pitched, and demanding voice.
12. They are Highly Intelligent
Siamese cats are one of the most intelligent of cat breeds, as you will find them in the top 10, in any list, of most intelligent cat breeds that you search for.
This includes the ‘Animal Planet’s Smartest Cat Breeds’ list.
This also means that they can easily learn how to do many tricks, such as high-fiving, playing fetch, walking on a leash, and many other tricks like maybe even how to use the toilet and flush.
If they aren’t provided with enough stimulation, such as cat mazes, teaser games, and other puzzle toys, expect to come home and find that your Siamese has rummaged through anything they can. Don’t be surprised if they have found out how to open doors, cupboards, etc.
13. They are Outgoing and Loving
Siamese cats are known for getting on well with other pets, in families with children and/or elderly. They love playing, especially as kittens, but even as adults they enjoy to keep active.
It shows in their slender and slim build, so having some perches and cat trees would be useful. Siamese will often make up their own games, such as playing hide and seek.
They are even more enthusiastic for cuddles and affection, as they are for interactive playtime. My Siamese would sleep with me in my bed almost every night. Very often her head would be on my pillow and she’d snuggle up under the covers with me.
14. They will Supervise Everything you do
Although they are very outgoing and loving, they do tend to form very strong bonds with one particular person. It is not uncommon for them to follow their owner around, watching and supervising everything that they do. They even try to help sometimes!
You can be assured that a Siamese will never ignore you. I think that this is just one of many examples which makes them excellent companions.
If they’re not just watching, then they’re probably trying to play or get in your lap for a cuddle. Some would refer to this as ’needy’ behavior, and it is partly true because without someone to keep them company they will get lonely and depressed.
The fact that they are so needy for company is the reason that most breeders will only sell Siamese in pairs.
15. They Enjoy Water
All cats are attracted to the sound of running water because it’s their instinct to find fresh water, but most of them hate being wet.
However, a Siamese cat might not have any problem. Aside from the running water thing, they are also extremely curious and playful. So, their instinct is to find out what’s going on, and then find a way to play.
Here is how much they really love water!
16. Crooked Tails and Crossed Eyes
Originally, Siamese cats had a kink in their tail and crossed eyes. The cross-eyed condition is also related to the enzyme that causes their point coloration.
When Siamese cats were brought to the west, many people found these unattractive and began to breed them out. Despite this, you can still find Siamese cats with crossed eyes and kinked tails.
The reason that they chose to breed these out of them is purely for aesthetic reasons because Siamese cats with crossed eyes have no problems seeing or focusing, so there is nothing to worry about if you have one.
There is yet another legend which explains this. Prepare for another story time.
It is said that many years ago, a war broke out in Siam. Buddha’s golden goblet had been left behind unprotected, as all the men had left to fight in the war, and two Siamese cats were chosen to guard it in the sacred temple. The female’s name was Chula, and the male was Tein.
After some time, Tein left Chula alone to try and find a new priest to care for the goblet. Chula, nervous and uneasy, wrapped her tail around the goblet. It is said that she never took her eyes off of it, which caused them to become crossed.
Chula had a litter of kittens, which all turned out with kinked tails and crossed eyes as well.
17. Famous People have Owned Siamese Cats
Not only have Siamese cats dominated in the movie industry, most likely because they look so elegant and beautiful, but there have also been many famous celebrities who have owned Siamese cats.
Before we had celebrities, Siamese cats were only owned by members of nobility back in 10th century Japan. They would be kept in grand pagodas, and would often be used to guard previous manuscripts.
In no particular order, some famous people who have owned Siamese cats are:
- Frank Zappa (American musician, composer, songwriter, and record and film producer)
- Andy Warhol (American artist, leading figure of pop art)
- Anthony Perkins (American actor and singer)
- Elizabeth Taylor (British-American actress)
- Marilyn Monroe (American actress, singer, and model)
- Kesha (American singer, rapper and songwriter)
- Laurence Olivier & Vivian Leigh (English stage and film actors)
- Monica Vitti (Italian actress, best known for Michelangelo Antonioni from the 1960s)
- Jean Cocteau (French writer, designer, artist, filmmaker, and playwright)
- Syd Barrett (English musician, composer, singer, songwriter, and painter)
- Michael Landon (American actor, writer, producer, and director)
- Dorothy Provine (American singer, actress, dancer, and comedienne)
- James Dean (American actor)
- Ellen DeGeneres (American comedian, TV host, actress, writer, producer, and LGBT activist)
- John Lennon (English singer, songwriter, peace activist, and co-founder of the Beatles)
18. All Siamese Cats Have Blue Eyes
Okay, so this may be an obvious fact to some people, but do you know why all Siamese cats have blue eyes?
As mentioned previously, Siamese cats are temperature-sensitive albinos. Well, albinism extends to eye color as well.
For both humans and cats, there are two layers in the iris of the eye which determine what color your eyes are. These two layers are the stroma and the epithelium.
Usually, cats have pigmented cells scattered in both layers. But for Siamese cats, there is no pigmentation in the stroma.
Most cats with blue eyes would at least have pigment in the lower layer, but here lies the reason that the blue eyes of a Siamese are so seemingly unique.
The reason that Siamese seem to have such a particular and distinct color of blue in their eyes is because of the lack of pigment in both of these layers, not just one.
19. Two Siamese Cats Helped Foil Espionage
The entire plot of the movie ‘That Darn Cat’, where a Siamese cat helps stop a kidnapping, is based on a similar true story that happened in the 1960s.
Two Siamese cats would not stop meowing and clawing at the walls of the building of the Dutch embassy in Moscow, Russia.
Their owner knew right away that the cats must be hearing something that a human’s ear can’t, so they investigated it.
Sure enough, 30 small microphones had been hidden behind the wall, which had been planted by Russian spies.
I’m sure their owner must have been really grateful for being a cat lover.
20. They are very Active
If you’re an energetic person, or one of the members of the family is, that is perfect.
The Siamese cat is an active one and is known for having an unusual amount of energy for a cat. If they are not exercised, they could gain some weight.
Their legs are not made to carry weight so this could be dangerous for their health. So, you get to train your Siamese cat how to walk on a leash, which I’m sure will be fun for both cat and owner.
I do hope that this list inspires somebody to go out and get a Siamese cat for themselves. From my own experience, they really do make amazing companions and have unlimited love. It is indeed true that two are better than one.