The elegant Siamese has royal rootsDennis Steenbakkers
Siamese cats are still very popular with cat lovers. And that is not surprising, because they are beautiful, sweet and cosy. Want to know more about this cat breed – about care, character and diseases? Here we tell you all about it!
In this blog:
- The origins of the Siamese
The character of the Siamese
The appearance and coat of a Siamese
The care of the Siamese
Diseases and disorders of the Siamese
How old does the Siamese become?
Buying a Siamese kitten
The origin of the Siamese
The Siamese is one of the oldest cat breeds recognised. Because as early as the early 14th century, this cat breed was already seen in Thailand. It used to be called Siam, so hence this cat is also called a Siamese. The first cats were brought from Thailand to France and England in the late 18th century.
The appearance of the Siamese did change somewhat over time. This is due to the fact that breeders increasingly breed for extreme characteristics. That is why today’s Siamese has longer and thinner legs, very large ears and a long skull with a long nose as well. This makes this cat look special and beautiful. But this way of breeding is not good for the cats – they develop more and more diseases and disorders. But we will tell more about that later in this blog.
Character of the Siamese
Siamese are social cats that focus on the group they live in. That’s the other cats and animals in the house, as well as their owners. They also love attention and are not afraid to ask for it. They are smart, find everything interesting and are sensitive to all kinds of stimuli. That is why Siamese do not like loud noises, for example.
Siamese love to cuddle, like to chat and love to play. They also have a lot of energy, so these cats need stimulation in the form of playing with their owner, with their peers, intelligent cat toys and a challenging scratching post. Since Siamese cats do not like to be alone, it is especially good with this breed to adopt another cat.
Fun fact: Siamese love to chat – with you, with their peers but also with themselves!
The appearance and coat of the Siamese
Siamese are long, muscular and have a triangular head. Their eyes are almond-shaped and often light blue. Their ears are large and set wide on their heads. Furthermore, this breed has a long neck, a long and slender tail and a short fine coat. A Siamese is medium-sized and can weigh 3 to 5 kilos.
The colour of a Siamese’s coat is special. This is because these cats have partial albinism, which means they have no pigments on large parts of their body. As a result, they are largely white or cream-coloured. Kittens of this breed are also born completely white. But as they grow up, the points (the muzzle, tip of the tail and paws) become darker in colour. In terms of patterns and colours, many things are possible according to the breed standard. But the most common colours are:
The care of the Siamese
Although the coat of a Siamese does not call for it, a this cat breed can really appreciate a weekly brushing. They find it cosy. Their ears do require attention, as they are large and can easily get dirty. Other than that, this cat breed needs love and lots of attention. And a safe home, good food, fresh water, protection against parasites, vaccinations and regular visits to the vet for check-ups. Also:
Diseases and disorders in the Siamese
Siamese are popular and there is a lot of breeding with this breed. As a result – and because of inbreeding – this breed suffers from hereditary conditions and diseases much more often. One of the most annoying conditions is amyloidosis – which is a disease that causes chronic kidney failure but can also cause intestinal, kidney and liver problems. And as we mentioned at the beginning, Siamese are bred for increasingly extreme external features that make their skulls too long, as well as their legs. And that development causes problems with joints, birth and teeth.
These diseases are most common in Siamese:
- Hip dysplasia (HD) – which is a developmental disorder of the hips
Dystocia – which causes difficult births of kittens
Mast cell tumour – this form of cancer develops in specific immune cells
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) – this condition causes steady deterioration of the eyes and eventually blindness
Amyloidosis – this disease causes deposition of protein in organs, such as the kidneys, for example
Cataract – which is an eye disease (cataracts)
Malignant Lymphoma – this is a form of lymph node cancer
Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) – due to this disease, Siamese cats develop cysts in their kidneys
Tooth resorption – FORL, Tooth Resorption – teeth dissolve
Corneasequester – this is also a condition of the eyes
Patella luxation – this condition causes loose kneecaps
Urolithiasis (bladder stones) (FLUTD) – causes stones in the bladder and urinary tract problems
Asthma – which causes shortness of breath and breathing problems
Diabetes mellitus – this is a form of diabetes
How old does a Siamese get?
Because Siamese often suffer from various disorders, you can expect a life expectancy of 8 to 12 years at most. But of course, there are always exceptions.
Some fun facts about Siamese!
- These celebrities have a Siamese cat: John Lennon, Andy Warhol, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Ricky Gervais and Taylor Swift.
Siamese used to have squinty eyes and crooked tails. Now, thankfully, they don’t.
In 1970, an English Siamese gave birth to as many as 19 kittens, which is a world record.
Buying a Siamese (kitten)
Do you want a pedigree cat and think a Siamese would suit you well? Then you can start looking for a kitten. But do so from a recognised breeder affiliated with a breed association. And always pay attention to the following things:
- The papers must be in order
The kittens must be well socialised
And of course dewormed and treated against fleas
The mother cat must always be present
Do you have doubts about the health of a litter? Then report it to the Animal Shelter and don’t buy the kitten. And did you know that there are also many nice cats waiting for a new owner in the shelter? You can always have a look there too. And never buy a cat or kitten from Marktplaats, Ebay or a breeder!
Disclaimer: Petrebels does not consist of veterinarians or behavioral experts: all content, information and tips on this blog are intended to inspire and inform you. Does your cat have complaints or problems and do you have doubts about your cat’s health? Then always go to the vet or a behavioral expert.