The Siamese Cat
©2009 Kimberly Hartfield
The graceful Siamese cat is famous for its light fur marked with darker color points. The Siamese cat is a breed of shorthaired cat that originated in Thailand, formerly known as Siam, which probably led to its proper name. The characteristic coloring of the Siamese, a light body with darker color points on the face, ears, tail, lower legs, and paws, is caused by a recessive gene. The color pigment varies with the temperature, with the fur on cooler areas of the body, such as the ears and paws, being darker than the fur on warmer areas, such as the belly. Siamese kittens are born almost white, due to the warmth of the uterine environment, but their fur and color points darken as they grow older. Siamese in cooler environments tend to be darker in color than those in warmer climates. As the Siamese cat ages, its pale body color may darken a good bit due to poor circulation. While the original Siamese cat came in only in the seal point color, which is a deep brownish black, the Siamese of today can be found in a wide variety of pointed colors, including blue, chocolate, lilac, red, cream, and tortie points. There are also lynx and tabby point variations of these.
A fine, sleek fur lays close to the body of the Siamese cat. The ideal Siamese is graceful and slim, with well defined muscles, with the tail being long and thin. In contrast to the early round-headed Siamese, the Siamese today has a longer head tapering to a fine muzzle. The ears are strikingly large for the head, with the blue eyes slanting toward the nose. Squinted or crossed eyes, like the kinked tails that were popular in the past, are considered defects, today. Its great leaping ability and its loud voice are typical characteristics of the Siamese cat. It loves people, being very affectionate, and will often talk with its owner.
The Siamese cat’s easygoing temperament and loving nature make it a perfect family companion, though it is not always known for its acceptance of other pets. It usually does better with a companion pet if raised together from a young age. Since the Siamese has a rather loud voice, noise could be a problem if you live in an apartment or particularly close to neighbors. The Siamese has a short sleek coat, so they are quite easy to maintain, usually taking care of their grooming needs themselves.
The Siamese cat is a medium-sized breed with a muscular body, slim stature, and dainty paws. They have a long, slim tail, large ears, and a fairly pointed muzzle. Siamese males weigh in at about 10-12 lbs, and the females, being considerably smaller, weigh in at about 8-10 lbs. The Siamese breed comes in many colors, with the most common color being the traditional brown seal point. Though the most popular is the traditional seal point, Siamese have several recognized colors, and some variations of those. Siamese cats have a long, sleek, medium-sized body with well-defined muscles. Its back legs are a bit longer than the front legs, with this cat’s rump standing slightly higher than its shoulders. A long, slender neck gracefully holds the tapering, triangular-shaped head, which has a noticeable bone structure. Medium-sized, almond-shaped eyes slant toward the long, straight nose. The eyes are blue. Large ears are wide at the base and pointed at the tips. The long, slender tail tapers to a fine point.
The Siamese is generally a healthy breed, with no more susceptibility to disease than any domestic breed. An indoor cat can live as long as 15 years with good health care. Vaccinations are necessary if your cat goes outside or is exposed to other cats in a communal environment, even a vet’s office. Good pet quality Siamese can be bought for around $200 or so, with show quality ranging from around $600 – $2000 depending on the individual characteristics of the kitten. They can be purchased from catteries, pet stores, and home breeders, with show quality papered animals usually coming from an experienced breeder with a good cattery. You may find wonderful pet quality kittens in pet stores and from home breeders, but home breeders are usually more cost efficient. Sometimes adult Siamese cats, and less often, kittens, can be obtained at animal shelters for a minimal cost, though these are usually spayed and neutered.