Siamese cats are one of the oldest breeds of cats and have kept their popularity for decades. They are renowned for being very vocal with a distinctive yowl. They are so popular, they even have their own special day. April 6th is Siamese Cat Day!
Siamese cats have a short coat with a distinctive ‘colourpoint’ appearance which means that their extremities (ears, face, legs and tail) develop a different colour to the rest of the body. They have blue eyes.
The more ‘traditional’ Siamese has a fairly standard cat shape to the body, whereas the more modern Siamese has been bred to have a very pointed nose, large ears and a slender body with slim legs.
There are 32 different colour and pattern combinations of Siamese. The main recognised patterns are:
- self (no pattern)
The most common colours available are:
Temperament and personality
Siamese cats are very vocal and sociable. They demand a lot of attention so are not the best cats to be left alone all day. They are very intelligent cats and respond well to training. They need plenty of stimulation to keep them occupied, otherwise they can be destructive.
Being a short-coated breed, Siamese cats require little in the way of grooming. However, as with all cats, they will benefit from a brush through once a week and daily tooth brushing.
There are a number of different hereditary problems which Siamese cats are prone to, with some lines being more affected than others. These include:
- Feline asthma
- Cancer such as mediastinal lymphoma and intestinal tumours
- Pica (eating non-edible items)
- Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) – which can lead to blindness
- Hip dysplasia
- Niemann-Pic disease
- gangliosidosis (GM1)
- systemic amylodosis
There are genetic tests available for PRA, mucopolysaccharidosis and gangliosidosis so all breeding stock should be tested for these. It is worth asking the breeder what other health conditions related cats have suffered to try and choose as healthy a line as possible.
The more ‘extreme’ types of Siamese are more likely to have health problems related to their conformation – such as breathing issues, dental problems and eye problems.