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The Siamese Cat

| January 4, 2011
The Siamese Cat - Feline Profile, Character and Care

Ashways Vega - Blue Point, Owner: Roeleen Bloemhof. Breeder: Enid Ashley

Triangular face, dark mask, tall ears, and hypnotic, slanting blue eyes. These are the striking features of the well-known Siamese Cat. The Siamese is the most recognised of all cat breeds. It must be said early on that there is much more to this cat than just its elegant good looks.

The Siamese is a complex, intelligent, and graceful cat that will offer beautiful companionship for life. If you want or are looking for a Siamese, be sure to choose carefully. Finding the right Siamese is a bit like finding the right car or the right online bingo site, it requires patience. Patience will allow you to find the one best for you, but once you find ‘the one’ you’ll have a long-happy friendship with a beautiful cat.

Character: They are the kind of cat that you either adore or hate; they can be noisy and demanding and have a real need top be part of the family. A Siamese does not like to be left on its own, so for anybody who is out at work all day, and only wants one cat; this is not the breed to select. If you want a cat that will give you life-long devotion, however then the Siamese is for you!

Care: Brush daily to remove dead hairs.

The Siamese is one of the oldest breeds of pedigree cat, and over the years many stories have been told about it, for the most part romantic fables, but perhaps there is an element of truth in some of them. Certainly, they add to the charm of this most exotic oriental and somewhat inscrutable breed….

HISTORY and ROMANCE with legends and Myths

Of all the pedigree varieties, the Siamese is the most instantly recognizable. Long, lithe and elegant, with its distinctive darker ‘points’, it has always had great appeal.

Early Siamese tended to have eye squints and kinked tails, now regarded as serious faults, but with careful, selective breeding they have been mainly eliminated from the modern cat. Yet, these characteristics were one so prevalent that fables exist to this day ‘explaining’ how they were acquired.

It is said that Siamese cats were once sacred cats, guarding the Buddhist temples. One day, a valuable goblet went missing and a pair of the cats was dispatched to find the stolen treasure. After a long journey, the goblet was discovered and the female cat stayed to guard it while her male partner went back to tell the good news. So worried was she that the goblet might go missing again, that she wound her tail tightly around its stem and it became permanently kinked. For days and nights she sat watching over the prized goblet, never letting her eyes wander away, and by the time her partner returned, her eyes had developed a squint. Later she produced a litter of kittens – all of which had kinked tails and squints, because of her vigilance in guarding the lost treasure.

Another fable relates to a Siamese princess who, fearing that her rings would be stolen, entrusted her Siamese cat to guard them, placing them on its tail for safekeeping overnight. One night, the cat fell asleep, and all the rings fell off her long slender tail and were lost forever. The princess decided to tie a knot in the tail to stop this ever happening again. And this could be another reason why Siamese have kinked tails.

Siamese kittens have always been highly prized. It was considered an honor for any foreigner to be presented with one of the Royal Cats of Siam, and it was an offence punishable by death for one of these cats to be stolen from the royal court, let alone be taken out of Siam. But, westwards they eventually came, and after many generations of selective breeding are now, along with Persian Long-hairs and Burmese, among the most popular of pedigree varieties.

Siamese were originally a pale milky colour, with dark seal-colored points on the paws, face, ears and tail. They have been known in this form for more than 200 years. In the late nineteenth century a blue-point was recorded in the United Kingdom, but it is likely that this recessive colour had been around for some time before this. Perhaps it was not so highly priced in Siam (today Thailand), and was ‘swept under the carpet’ as the rich seal-point variety was more highly prized. Over the years, dedicated breeders have worked hard to produce other colour variations in Siamese, but their names vary between the United Kingdom and North America.

We now have, not only Seal- and Blue-points, but Chocolate and Lilac (aka in USA as frost point), as well as the Red, Cream- Tortie- and Tabby points (aka in USA as Colorpoint Shorthairs)
Character and Temperament

Siamese are typical of the Oriental group of cats and, like their near relations the Burmese, are a vocal breed with outgoing personalities. They are the kind of cat that you either adore or hate; they can be noisy and demanding and have a real need top be part of the family. To aficionados, these are the plus points and they would not wish for the Siamese to be any other way. A Siamese does not like to be left on its own, so for anybody who is out at work all day, and only wants one cat; this is not the breed to select. If you want a cat that will give you life-long devotion, however then the Siamese is for you!

Type and Standard of Points.

Regardless of coat colour, the type of the cat should be the same, although standards do vary a little between those required in the UK by the GCCF and those of the various American cat fancies. (also note that the Oriental is a Siamese showing full body colour not hiding its colour under a white oat and in all aspects are further fully the same.)

In general, the Siamese should be a medium-sized cat; long, slim, lithe and elegant, but with a definite muscular feel to it. Despite its fine bone structure (compared with the more heavily built British Shorthairs) it should be sturdy and feel much heavier than it appears. At the other end of the scale, it should never be obviously overweight to the point that it feels flabby, although some neuters can be prone to fat and a careful watch should be kept on their diet.

Looking at the cat face-on, the head should give the appearance of a triangle topped by large, low-set, wide-spaced ears, tapering down to a pointed muzzle.

In general, the Siamese should be a medium-sized cat; long, slim, lithe and elegant, but with a definite muscular feel to it. Looking at the cat face-on, the head should give the appearance of a triangle topped by large, low-set, wide-spaced ears, tapering down to a pointed muzzle

In profile, the nose should be straight without any sign of a break or stop. The jaw should be firm without being either under- over-shot. The eyes should be almond-shaped with the typical Oriental slant giving that inscrutable expression and certainly without any trace of a squint. Whatever the coat colour, the eyes should always be of deepest sapphire-blue. The tail should be long, slender and tapering to a whip-like end; an kink or malformation is considered a serious fault. The tail should always be in proportion to the length of the cat – a rough guideline is that it should just reach the tip of the shoulder blade.

The quality, texture and the restrictive pattern of coat are what make the Siamese different from other shorthaired varieties. The coat should be short, sleek and fine-textured, with the fur lying close to the body. The colored points should only be seen on the mask area of the face, the ears, legs and tail. It is considered a fault for the cat to be mis-marked with lighter colors in these areas, especially around the eyes; these are commonly called ‘spectacles’. Conversely, darker shading is frowned upon on the otherwise paler parts of the body.

The Siamese coat pattern is restricted to the cooler parts of the body and so, if a cat has had an operation such as spaying it is quite likely that the post-operational shock will cause the coat to temporarily darken in that area. For the same reason, Siamese living in warmer climates tend to have paler coats than those living in cooler regions. The pointed areas should always show a uniform colour with no barring or stripes, except in the case of Tabby-points, where rings or stripes are required, and the Torties, which should show a well mingled coat (only in points).

Compatibility: Ratings out of 10

Children 5
Other Pets 5
Grooming 2
Affection 9
Playfulness 10
Attention Need 10
Healthiness 5
Independence 1
Activity Level 10
Vocality 10
Intelligence 10

Cream Point Siamese

Cream Point Siamese

Chocolate Tortoise Point Siamese

Chocolate Tortoise Point Siamese

Seal Point Siamese

Seal Point Siamese

Lilac Point Siamese

Lilac Point Siamese

Seal Tabby Point Siamese

Seal Tabby Point Siamese

Blue Point Siamese

Blue Point Siamese

Copyright & Credit:
Breed Profile and
Photos copyright & courtesy: Roeleen Bloemhof ,  Mistbesque Cattery www.mistbesque.co.za

Category: Feline Resources

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