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The Siamese cat is one of the first Oriental cat breeds officially recognized. This breed is a native Thai cat (of Thailand, which was previously known as Siam) that saw tremendous popularity in the US and Europe in the 20th century. Modern Siamese cat has blue eyes in the form of almond, head of triangular shape, large ears and slender body with point coloration. According to TICA, this breed represents social inclinations, intelligence, and playfulness that stays with them even in the adulthood. Siamese cat seeks interaction with humans and other cats as well.
The History Behind Siamese Kittens
The Siamese kittens were described for the first time in “Cat Poems” (“Tamra Maew”), a manuscript written from the 14th to the 18th century. In 1878, the US consul residing in Bangkok sent a Siamese cat to President Rutherford Hayes thus making a nameless cat the first documented Siamese to ever reach the US. In 1884, Edward Blencowe Gould, the British Consul-General presented to his sister a pair of breeding cats, Pho, and Mia. His sister, Lilian Jane Gould, co-founded in 1901 the Siamese Cat Club. In 1885, Pho and Mia gave birth to three Siamese kittens that were later shown at Crystal Palace Show in London. Kittens made a big splash and the popularity of the breed began to grow.
there are two types of Siamese today – a traditional cat and the one for shows only
In 1886, Eva Forestier-Walker, brought to the UK another pair of Siamese with kittens. The imported cats showed longer bodies, appeared less “chunky” in their built and had less rounded heads. Wedge-shaped heads and larger ears made a strong impression on the public. During next years, cat fanciers brought other cats thus making the base for breeding the Siamese independently in Britain. Originally, there were 11 breeding cats brought and today all the Siamese are believed to descend from them (according Wikipedia). In early days, the Siamese were called the “royal cat of Siam” due to reports testifying that cats were kept by the Siamese royalty only. But these are rumors only as there is no evidence of that.
In the 1950’s-1960’s many cat shows began to demand more slender-looking cats. The demand propelled the selective breeding that resulted in fine-boned, narrow-headed cats and thus the breed was elongated, acquiring a slender body, long legs, and characteristic triangular muzzle. In the 1980’s original style cats disappeared from the shows but the type still remains bred by the UK breeders in particular. As the result, there are two types of Siamese today – a traditional cat and the one for shows only.
Temperament and Personality
The Siamese are the cats with attitude. They love fun in any way and are quite adventurous. These cats aren’t placid companions – they love toys and games. They can entertain and are also fond of
owners that can make them a company. Being very athletic and graceful, they tend to play two opposite parts – of a ballerina and that of a clown. They have an “exquisite” walk and do pirouettes with the finesse of a ballet dancer but sometimes they show feeble understanding of geometry and physics when trying to leap and land at the exact spot. When such landing “misjudge” happens, you can see the real nature of the Siamese. They will pretend that this is exactly what they’ve been planning to do and will find an urgent spot that needs licking. Other traits that are worth being mentioned are:
Do not leave windows and the exit door open! Siamese cats may leave you forever!
Extraordinary voice and volubility. Having a wide range of sounds, they are more talkative than any other breed.
- They put their paws into everything: they open drawers, doors, turn on and off switchers, drop things from above and enjoy digging in the garden.
Being kept constantly indoors, provokes over-reacting and
sometimes aggression. They need space and need being occupied with plays or exploring its premises.
- They are very intelligent. Their wiz may become a problem as your kitten will learn eventually how to rotate even a round doorknob!
Do not leave windows and the exit door open! Siamese cats may leave you forever! They are escapists and without proper socialization and habit of living indoors only, they may escape.
They usually don’t like guests as are thought to be monogamous. There is only a boss, his retinue and some two-legged “buzz killers” who break into the boss’ house occasionally.
- Siamese cats have poor night vision and unlike other cats follow a diurnal way of life. This is a great advantage, as all cats om general tend to be noisy during night.
Read our aticles about other kitten breeds:
If you keep a Siamese kitten, it will show its playful nature very early. Knowing about their tendency to run amok especially when left alone, you should consider getting another Siamese as a companion for the whole day.
Where to Buy
Buying a Siamese kitten is almost a lottery if you don’t follow one common truth – only responsible cattery can provide you with the best kitten in terms of health conditions. Buying a Siamese at the local pet store is not an option because pet stores usually deal with breeders with a bad reputation. If you aim at buying a Siamese kitten, prepare to make several visits to catteries in order to learn everything about the breeder as well as about a particular kitten you would like to take with you. Here’s a brief list of things you should be paying attention to when visiting the cattery:
Remember that reputable catteries never place ads in dozens – their names speak for themselves
Explore the environment: how are the kittens kept, fed and socialized? Do they have enough space in their cages? How would you describe the conditions – are they decent, great or poor?
Ask about the vaccination process and whether the breeder can
provide you a vet certificate stating that this particular kitten is healthy.
Visit the cattery several times in order to bond with a particular kitten. It will begin to recognize your smell and will reveal its character.
Ask about the parents of the kitten – who they are, what their character is like and what genetic “particularities” they have.
As for the search of breeders, consider visiting these sites:
NationalSiamese.com/listings – list of NSCC members breeding Siamese
CatChannel.com – look for Siamese breeders classifieds (there are not so many ads but all of them are worth your trust)
BreedList.com – an extensive list of breeders according to dozens of states
Remember that reputable catteries never place ads in dozens – their names speak for themselves.
Colors and Patterns of Siamese Kittens
The Siamese kittens according to the National Siamese Cat Club are all born white. Later they acquire certain coloring pattern, which is solely inherited. Actually, any color of cat’s coat is inherited but some of them have been greatly influenced by the gene mutation.
As for the Siamese, they have a gene that is responsible for partial albinism that limits the area of coloring to cat’s facial mask, tail, and legs. This mutation also affects enzymes responsible for the pigment production in the fur but their amount is directly affected by the temperature. With temperatures reaching 98 degrees Fahrenheit, enzymes produce no noticeable coloration of the hair shaft on the body. This enzymatic reaction combined with several modifying genes produces various patterns seen in the Siamese. Why are all Siamese kittens born white? When being nurtured by cat-mom, the fetus is kept in the womb with the temperature exceeding 98 degrees Fahrenheit. This is why the color production is inhibited. When kittens become approximately one week old, they begin to change their coloring but until that, their enzymes remain dormant.
However, you can check kitten’s pigment on pads, nose, and see the color that will be prevailing the first few weeks
According to the Cat Fanciers’ Association breed standard, there are following standard kitten colors:
Seal Point. Original color that was exported directly from Siamlong ago. Color shows a darker richer brown, which appears almost black. Brown fades to cream but with the age gets a bit darker.
Chocolate Point. Such kitten looks like pure milk chocolate but this coloring is more visible on the legs, ears, tail, and face. However, this coloration shows it slower than other do.
Blue Point. Slate-blue points based on a bluish-white body – it looks like silver.
Lilac Point. Another interesting coloring that reveals its many sides: points are grey-pinkish but laid against marble-white body. Kitten’s paws and nose are pink. Lilac kittens remain light when getting older, unlike many other types.
The CFA says that it may take almost a year before your kitten’s true color reveals itself. However, you can check kitten’s pigment on pads, nose, and see the color that will be prevailing the first few weeks. The pigment develops within 12 days. There is also a blue-eye type of kittens, which is rare to find. Such Siamese has the inherited partial albinism gene that prevents initially blue eyes from darkening with the age. Such kittens are met very seldom, which makes a simple gene defect a valuable rarity.
Care Tips and Recommendations
We are not going to beat about the bush speaking of care tips. We present you 10 steps that you should be aware of:
Your cat will sharp its claws and do some stretching as well
Decide if a Siamese cat is right for you. Look through its personality again, watch different videos in the Net, ask other owners about everything you want to know about this breed.
Plan your budget. It means you put in not just the purchase but all consecutive expenses as well – food, apparel, veterinary visits, vaccination.
Get all the supplies needed: litter and litter box, a bed, bowls for water and food, scratching post.
Be specific when choosing cat’s food. Your Siamese requires much protein and thus you should be examining every package you are about to buy: the protein-fat-carbs ratio, the content, other ingredients.
Wash the bowls every 3-5 days, refill the water bowl two times a day and develop your cat’s eating schedule.
Play with your Siamese: balls, mice will help to develop vital instincts and abilities. But don’t give your kitten any strings, yarns, ribbons, sharp or too small toys as these objects may be easily swallowed.
A scratching post is an entertainment and a grinding tool at the same time. Your cat will sharp its claws and do some stretching as well.
Litter training is necessary as it is a good habit. Training is easily done – you put your kitten into the litter box and his instincts will tell him to dig.
Cleaning the litter box must be done every time your kitten “eases” himself there. Once a week, wash the box with a whitener diluted with water in 1 to 10 ratio.
Take your pet to the vet’s in order to do check-up routine and get the necessary vaccines once-twice a year.
Such things as washing and training – they are optional. They do not affect the kitten’s lifespan.
As the conclusion, we would like to stress your attention on the fact that every kitten grows into a truly unique cat. For sure, the Siamese have own habits which are common within the breed, but it is namely your influence that makes particularly your cat yours only – with its own traits and features.