Siamese cat quick facts
Length: 11 - 14 inches
Video of the Day
Weight: Females: 5 - 8 pounds, males: 8 - 12 pounds
Lifespan: 15 - 20 years
Coat length: Short
Coloring: Seal point, chocolate point, blue point, or lilac point with blue eyes
Grooming needs: low
Friendliness: Breed alone is not an accurate predictor of individual cats' personalities. However, Siamese cats are generally regarded as social and affectionate.
The Siamese cat, sometimes called "Meezer," is one of the most recognizable cat breeds. They have a distinctive colorpoint pattern, a lean and muscular body, large ears, a wedge-shaped head, and almond-shaped, blue eyes.
But their appearance isn't the only distinctive thing about these cats. They have unique personality traits and tend to be much more chatty than other cat breeds. They are both active explorers and affectionate lap cats. Therefore, consider their personality and care requirements carefully — before deciding to bring a Siamese kitten into your family.
Siamese cat history
The traditional Siamese cat originated in Siam, or what is now Thailand. They are believed to be descendants of Siam's sacred temple cats.
The first Siamese cat was brought to the United States in 1878 as a gift to President Rutherford B. Hayes and his wife from Bangkok's American Consul. They became one of the original pedigreed cat breeds in the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) of the United States. Initially, seal point Siamese cats were recognized by the association. Seal point is the most well-known color for Siamese cats — with a cream-colored body and dark brown points. Though over time, additional color patterns were recognized by the association.
The International Cat Association (TICA) has recognized the Siamese cat breed since the founding of the organization in 1979. The international association also includes the Balinese, Oriental shorthair, and Oriental longhair cat breeds in the Siamese breed group.
Siamese cats have also made their mark on popular culture. They earned a mention in the 1965 Bob Dylan song, Like a Rolling Stone, and the breed has been shown in many movies. A Siamese cat played a role in "The Wizard of Oz," as well as Disney's "Lady and the Tramp," and "The Aristocats."
Siamese cat personality
Siamese cats are both social and talkative. Expect your new cat to meow and talk to you frequently. In addition, this cat breed does not like to be alone for long periods of time. They will often follow you around the home and settle in your lap once you sit down to relax. They will also snuggle up with you at night. If you work long hours or are often away on the weekend, make sure you have a pet sitter, or another pet to keep your Siamese cat company.
They are also very active and intelligent cats with many dog-like traits. You can train your Siamese cat to play fetch, walk on a leash, or perform tricks. Siamese cats also enjoy interactive games and puzzle toys.
They also enjoy high perches. While they are good jumpers, be sure to provide your Siamese cat with shelves and cat trees — so they can reach higher spaces — and have more room to play.
Siamese cat lifespan and health issues
The Siamese cat breed tends to have a long life. Many cats can live into their 20s if they are healthy and receiving excellent care. In fact, the oldest male Siamese cat, Scooter, died at age 30.
They tend not to have health problems, but there are a few conditions to be aware of. This cat breed tends to be more sensitive to anesthesia compared to other cats. Be sure to discuss this with your veterinarian when you take your cat in to be spayed or neutered and in advance of any other surgery.
Amyloidosis is also a concern, but unfortunately, there are no tests available for breeders to screen for this disease. This condition causes problems with organ functions, (most often kidney function) due to a buildup of proteins called amyloids. Some other conditions that may affect siamese cats include:
- hip dysplasia
- chronic coughing
- progressive retinal atrophy
- some types of cancer.
Siamese cat grooming and care
Siamese cats are a shorthair breed with minimal grooming requirements. Brushing or combing them occasionally to remove loose hair is all they need to maintain a healthy coat. However, many cats enjoy the attention and prefer more frequent grooming. Make sure to check and trim their nails each week. Brush their teeth with pet-safe toothpaste. Clean the cat's eyes and ears each week with a damp cloth.
Feed the cat a high-quality commercial cat food, preferably wet food, twice per day. The amount should be recommended by your veterinarian. Make sure clean drinking water is available at all times.
Welcoming a new cat into your home
Siamese cats may enjoy being lap cats, but they also have plenty of energy to spare for playtime. They have been known to turn on water faucets, open cabinets, and jump up onto high perches. Therefore, it is critical that you cat-proof your home. Make sure your curious cat doesn't get into anything that will harm them.
Introduce your cat to a single room in the home. Set up the room with a litter box, food, water, a scratching post, and some toys. Make sure there are no hiding places where the cat might get stuck or injured. Allow your cat to explore and approach you on their own terms.
If you have other pets, allow the animals to meet through the door. That way, both animals are safe and the initial meeting is a positive one. Once they are comfortable, and you are confident they will get along, you can open the door to allow them to explore more of the home.
Don't force the cat to be held or petted. Siamese cats are extremely sociable, so don't leave your new Siamese kitten alone for long. Use positive reinforcement at all times with your new cat and be sure to participate in regular playtime to allow your cat to burn energy while building a positive relationship with your cat.