by Barbara George
Tellington Ttouch Behaviourist
Siamese cats are among the most-recognised cat breeds with their lithe bodies, contrasting points, loud voice and attitude!
These cats are thought to be descendants of the sacred temple cats of Siam, now Thailand. There are Ancient Thai manuscripts with illustrations of similar cats. They were first seen in the West towards the end of the nineteenth century in London at a cat show at Crystal Palace.
The modern Siamese is lithe and elegant with a slim body on long legs, a pointed face with blue eyes and big ears, a long tail and a sleek fur coat. While the body is white or cream, the points – mask, ears, paws and tail – are coloured, either a solid colour or patterned. Kittens are born white and develop their colour markings as they grow with final colour being evident when they are a year old.
Their colouring is interesting in that it is related to their body temperature. The warm parts of the body are light and the cooler parts are coloured. Since they are warm in the womb they are born warm and white, as they grow and their points become cooler than the main part of their body they develop colour. This is useful to remember if your Siamese shows dark fur on his body (getting colder) or his points lighten up (getting warmer); if there is no reasonable explanation then a visit to the vet should be scheduled.
Siamese are intelligent cats with an extra dose of attitude! They have a loud voice and lots to say, and are not shy to say it all! They thrive on company and love to be involved in everything that goes on. If left alone they will find their own amusement so do make sure they have enough mental and physical stimulation to keep them suitably occupied.
Confident and out-going cats, Siamese can still be sensitive and possessive over their chosen humans. They are athletic and can be trained to understand commands, perform cat-acceptable tricks, walk on a lead, and play fetch.
Routine brushing and grooming is necessary to keep them looking smart. Cleaning their teeth is necessary too, as they can be prone to dental issues. Claws should be kept short.
Siamese cats are prone to some health issues; check which are likely to be in the genetic lines of the parents. Dental issues are common; regular checkups are necessary and keeping the teeth and gums clean and healthy is essential. With appropriate diet and care, a Siamese can live between 15 and 20 years.
Siamese cats are not for everyone. They are beautiful, intelligent, loud, curious, social cats that demand your attention at all times. They are talkative and active at all hours of the day and night.
A loving and devoted companion yet a terrorist in the house if bored and lonely. General advice is that if you are away from home for any length of time, get two Siamese cats!
~ Barbara can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org