So, you have a new Siamese cat – a beautiful blue-eyed ball of white fur – but you may be wondering what you can expect as your little Siamese kitten grows into its full, mature “cathood.”
The Siamese cat is one of the most sophisticated looking cat breeds, with its athletically slender body shape and beautiful white body with dark markings – not to mention its mesmerizing bright blue eyes.
Originating from Thailand (formerly Siam), the Siamese cat was not a popular breed in the United States until the early 1900s. Not many people appreciated the Siamese cat’s unusual appearance:
- With its Triangular face
- “Point” sections of color on its:
By the turn of the century, though, it was a standard fixture in a lot of American homes.
But just because the Siamese cat looks sophisticated and aloof, don’t expect it to act that way. When you bring home your new Siamese kitten, you might be surprised at how affectionate, attentive, and full of personality it is. Below is a timeline of what you might expect at each stage of your Siamese cat’s life.
Phase 1: Kitten (0 – 6 months)
(The infant stage for a beautiful small kitty is always a treat. The Siamese cat is the same way, having many cute prominent newborn features, such as having their ears folded and them not being able to see quite yet. They even get around very well, able only to wiggle around until they find momma cat’s tummy and latches on to nurse.
When your Siamese cat is young, it won’t display the trademark “point” coloring yet. Siamese kittens are born completely white, but by the end of the first week of life, you will start to see faint hints of his adult coloration. But unlike most other cat breeds, those big bright blue eyes will stick around through adulthood.
Around three weeks of age, the points (ears, nose, tail, and paws) will start to darken, but the full colorization won’t appear until around one year of age.
Personality-wise, your little Siamese will be active and demanding, requiring a lot of your time. If you want a laid-back lap cat, then this is not the kitten for you. Siamese is brilliant and has more complex vocalizations than other cats.
Be careful, because your kitten will use this to his advantage, talking to you frequently to get your attention. Your kitten’s intelligence makes him ideal for training, though, so teaching them new tricks or taking them for an adventure on a leash should be no problem.
Over the first few weeks, their growth will be dramatic. By the second week, (You should be seeing that your kitty has gotten more substantial in weight, usually about twice the size from being a newborn.
Also, this is the time that you’ll see their sniffer begin to work as well. These kittens even should be crawling around, which is as adorable as it sounds. Once they have hit the third week in their lifespans, you should see that they are taking their first steps, but they will be a bit jittery in their movement.
Also coming in around this time will be their kitten teeth, and their ears should be coming up as well. He’ll start to show some of his adult attributes. Your kitten’s pale baby blues will gradually darken into the dark sapphire blue Siamese are famous for. Once you’ve hit the fifth week for your feline friend, you’ll see that their personality will be coming out a bit.
This is an exciting time, as you get to see how exactly they act and play, and what kind of attitude they are developing. If the kitty has their mother, then you’ll see it start to come off the milk and focus more on food. If the mother is not around, this should be repeated by the owner.
Once they’ve hit the eight-week mark, the color points will be much more noticeable and getting close to being fully developed. Human contact is also crucial around this time and should even be introduced as early as five weeks and can expand up to 13 weeks. Socialization is vital at this point for a newborn kitty, so you must meet it with playfulness and love.
The vet is vital at this time for shots as well. Another important vet visit should happen by five months of age. Siamese kittens can go into heat as early as five months and will produce large litters. So, if you don’t want extra little kittens to take care of, speak with your vet soon about getting him spayed or neutered.
Phase 2: Junior (6 months – 2 years)
(Around the age of 6 months, you’ll see that these cats will start to become much more full of energy and get around with ease at this point. This is a weird transition period for them, as they aren’t quite an adult, but are growing out of their kitten phases.
Your Siamese kitten will not be officially an adult cat until they’ve reached the ripe age of two. At this stage, their coloring will continue the trend of darkening, and the temperature that their body is at will play a factor in just how dark they become as well. Decreased activity and weight gain will increase his body temperature as well.
Siamese Cat Eating Habits
Siamese cats are notoriously picky about their food. Just like dogs, they will beg for food from their human parents and be fussy about their food. They can become so picky that they will even starve themselves to get the food they want.
However, it’s essential to feed your Siamese cat its own designated food, especially cat food that is specifically designed to meet their nutritional needs. Weight gain will show quickly in your Siamese. With their long, lean body, they can easily display a pot belly from over-eating, but their slim legs aren’t created to hold up extra fat.
Siamese Cat Temperament
The Siamese cat breed is famous for its friendly, sociable and affectionate nature. Expect your Siamese to be loving and trusting, and to bond firmly to you as their human parent. They won’t like being alone, however, and may latch onto only one person in the house. (You may find that your feline friend has become quite jealous over certain people or other pets that you may have. Don’t worry, as this is just a part of who they are.
Siamese cats are generally sensitive animals and can have their feeling hurt if they are ignored or upset over something. You should also be prepared for their behavior to be quite unpredictable as well as full of energy. They may not also deal well with strangers, due to how protective and territorial they can be.
They are playful and intelligent, needing a lot of interaction to keep them entertained. Even though they bond more with just one person, they do get along with children, other cats, and even cat-friendly dogs. If they don’t receive enough stimulation, though, they can be prone to mischievous or destructive behavior. Your Siamese cat may be inclined to anxiety and depression, as well, if left alone for too long.
Some Siamese cats are extremely vocal, with a loud, low-pitched noise – known as “Meezer” – that has been compared to that of a baby crying. These Siamese cats are also very persistent and needy, always demanding attention.
Young Siamese cats love jumping. Your Siamese’s long, slender body will enjoy performing high, elegant jumps from lofty heights. He will be fascinated with heights and won’t shy away from climbing on every piece of furniture. As such, make sure you have plenty of perches, high surfaces, and cat trees to keep your cat entertained and well-exercised.
As a highly intelligent, agile, and athletic breed, the Siamese loves to play as well as jump.
Great ways to keep their brains busy and productive are with:
- Puzzle toys
- Body exercises with teaser toys to chase
Phase 3: Adult (2 – 10 years)
As your Siamese cat matures, they will become more relaxed and mellow. However, they will continue to need toys to keep them busy and people to show them attention. Adult Siamese cats are calm and tolerant and will socialize well with new humans and animals in their lives.
Adult Siamese is also quite clingy with their owners and will tend to follow their human parents all over the house. Not known as lap cats, more mature Siamese will, however, want to spend time snuggling with their owners. They may also always seek attention to the point of being needy.
Siamese Cat Health Concerns
As your Siamese cat matures, he will be prone to more health issues. One primary concern is poor eyesight in the dark. Siamese cats struggle with distinguishing details in the night. The pigment in their beautiful blue eyes is the reason for this problem. They lack something called the tapetum lucidum layer on their eyes that helps other cats see better in the dark.
Bad eyesight isn’t the only common health concern for Siamese cats. Other health risks for the adult Siamese cat include:
- Breathing difficulties
- Calcium oxalate bladder stones
- Chronic renal failure
- Crossed eyes
- Feline OCD
- Vestibular disease
- Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome
Phase 4: Senior (10 – 15 years)
Feline Senior Citizen Age is when your Siamese reaches the age of 10. No worries, a lot of cats today are living well into their early 20s.
At the age of 10, your Siamese may not be as fast or jump as high onto that kitchen counter, and it’s perfectly normal.
Your Siamese may:
- Slow down
- Take more naps
- Not jump as high
- Not play with higher elevated places as often
- Not be as playful
New environments may also stress your cat out when they are meeting new people or are in a new location. This may not have been the case early on, but as cats get older, they are less likely to accept new changes.
Siamese cats are quite a unique breed. As they become older in agee, the more vocal they become. During their elder years as well, they become more aware and scared of loud and unfamiliar sounds, as well as strangers. They will, unfortunately, be prone to suffering from various health issues, like diabetes and kidney disease.
Phase 5: Geriatric (over 15 years)
Once a Siamese cat has hit the ripe age of 15, they become much slower and less energetic than they did in their youthful years, just as we do. They can also from losing vision and hearing, as well as not doing as well in outdoor conditions, which is something to keep in mind as they get older.
Also, when they get older, you’ll start to see them sleep more, and as I mentioned earlier, become less active and may even become moody. All of this is normal with an aging cat, just as it is with us when we get older as well. As they get older, they will become less sensitive as well to something like startling or loud noises, so it something to keep in mind when you go around it.
Another aspect of an older pup is the fact that they will tend to distance themselves as well. If it seems like they are becoming unattached from you, don’t worry, as it is entirely reasonable for them to become more accustomed to being more alone in their older days.
Instead of allowing them to become distant, though, you can help enhance their areas where they rest and relax and make them as comfortable as possible. Also, you’ll need to make an effort to still spend ample time with them, just as you did with when they were babies. The Siamese cat needs attention throughout their lives, so it is essential to keep this.
Living Beyond 16
Reaching the ages of beyond 16 is truly a blessing for a Siamese cat. At this point, they have entered the twilight of their lifetime, and then some.
Everything mentioned above in senior years is still applied here, just a bit more advanced in some areas, such as the moving and energy levels. Thinking more slowly these days, and they may have an assortment of age-related health challenges. They also probably not as alert or responsive as they once were, and at times she may seem quite confused.
Even if your cat is still in good health, chances are your Siamese is sleeping more often. If they are vocalizing more, and interacting with family members less – this is normal. They may not be as perfectly groomed as they were in their younger years, and even the most well-mannered geriatric cat may occasionally forget to use the litter box.
Keep an eye out for significant or sudden behavior or health changes, but try not to hover, as your Siamese may prefer attention on their terms. At this age and beyond, make every effort to keep your Siamese comfortable, safe, and most importantly, not stressed about a thing.
Their routine in their life should be the same as it was, and it is essential to make sure that they continue a healthy lifestyle as long as they can. Consistency is critical to make sure that they maintain their happiness levels, even at this stage in their lives.
Life Expectancy of Siamese Cat
The life expectancy of a Siamese cat depends on a few factors, but the average of around 15-20 years, give or take. Several health issues may arise though that can factor into them possibly passing away even sooner than the average lifespan. As mentioned, various problems can come up, but they may also live longer as well, so it can go either way certainly.
There is no concrete way to tell just how long your kitty will live for, but you can always have tasks you can do to ensure your cat’s longevity and healthy lifestyle. These factors include:
- Balanced Diet
- Play Time
- Proper nutrition
Now that you’ve got an understanding of the complete Siamese cat timeline, let’s look at a few historical facts and how the cat is viewed in the modern age.
Siamese Cat History
The Siamese cat is one of the first distinctly recognized breeds of Asian cat. Originating from one of several varieties of cat – the Wichianmat landrace – native to Thailand (formerly Siam), the Siamese became one of the most popular breeds in Europe and North America in the 19th century.
Cats that feature a white or even light-colored coat on them and other features such as dark paws have been around for quite some time, even centuries. They are again a native of Thailand as well. It wasn’t until the 19th century that they became a more recognized pet in the west.
Their unique look was not accepted by everyone at this time, but eventually, they did rise in popularity on a global scale. Even President Rutherford B. Hayes and his lovely wife, Lucy were the recipients of a Siamese cat, appropriately named “Siam.” It was shipped to them in 1878 by David B. Sickels, the American Consul in Bangkok. (The breed itself is considered a “natural” breed, which means that it was created from a genetic mutation.
Because of this, there have been even more breeds created from them, some of which include:
- Havana Brown
All current cat associations recognize the Siamese cat. Also, the beautiful cat is recognized as well by the International Cat Association, which describes the Thai roots. These cats are quite popular in their native country of Thailand, as you may have guessed.
Siamese Cat Features
There are two different types of Siamese cats. These two types are traditional and modern. Each type has its own uniqueness to them.
The breed standard and carefully refined modern Siamese cats are characterized by specific features.
These features include:
- Blue, almond-shaped eyes
- Triangular head shape – forming a perfect shape from the tip of the nose to each ear tip
- Elongated, slender and muscular body
- Large, wide-based ears positioned more towards the side of the head
- Long neck
- Slender tail
- Short, glossy, fine fur
The Siamese cat’s most distinct feature is its pointed color scheme. A pointed color pattern is a form of partial albinism, resulting from a mutation in an enzyme responsible for melanin production. This enzyme is heat sensitive and becomes active in cooler areas of the skin, resulting in dark coloration (points) in the coolest parts of the cat’s body.
Originally the vast majority of Siamese had something called “seal” (extremely dark brown, almost black) points, but occasionally they were born with “blue” (cool grey) points, “chocolate” (lighter brown) points, or “lilac” (pale warm gray) points. At first, anything but “seal” was considered inferior coloring and not qualified for showing or breeding.
Eventually, many of the shades of the Siamese cat became officially accepted by the various breed associations. After this, these then became more prevalent throughout the various programs as well. After this, we saw many patterns being bred, from red and cream point to tortoise-shell point, it started to catch on throughout the community of feline lovers and experts alike.
Most of the Siamese breed that hailed from Thailand would feature a kink in their tail, which was to be considered a flaw by many and still is to this very day. Now, it has been mainly gotten rid of by many breeders but can still be seen in some parts of Thailand.
Siamese Cat Personality
Siamese cats are affectionate, intelligent, and very social. They seek human interaction and are playful well into adulthood. They tend to be more dog-like in behavior than other cats.
Due to their desire to be near people, Siamese cats can suffer from depression if left alone for long periods. They are often bought in pairs to remedy this problem.
One of the most important personality traits of the Siamese cat is that they are very talkative and opinionated. They will “talk” in a loud, raspy voice, and they expect people to pay attention to them. They follow people around and will act like they are supervising someone’s every move.
Longevity and Health
Generally, the Siamese cat has a higher rate of mortality sadly as compared to many other breeds of cats. The average lifespan is about 11 years for a Siamese cat, give or take. This is quite low compared to the other breeds, who most see they’re mid to late teens, with some even creeping in on the ’20s if they have active, healthy lives. There are quite a bit of health issues that are associated with Siamese cats, though, such as tumors and gastrointestinal problems.
The same albino allele that produces their colored points means that Siamese cats’ blue eyes lack something called tapetum lucidum, which is a part of their DNA that helps build and enhance the dim light to other cats’ eyes. This was a mutation that occurred again, and these health problems are not rare for a Siamese cat to sadly have.
Popular Siamese Cats
Owning a Siamese cat will bring you years of joy, as they are beautiful creatures full of personality and an innate desire for attention. Thanks to their distinctive looks and unique character, Siamese cats have long been a fixture in popular culture. Some of the most popular pop culture Siamese cat icons include:
- Si and Am from the movie, Lady & the Tramp. These two devious cats destroy the home of Lady, the dog and blame it on her, all while singing The Siamese Cat Song.
- DC from the movie, That Darn Cat! Syn, the Siamese cat, won a PATSY (Picture Animal Top Star of the Year) award for playing DC in the 1966 humorous mystery movie.
- Tao from the movie, The Incredible Journey. Syn was also the feline star of this 1963 film, which followed the Siamese and two dogs on a journey through the Canadian wilderness.
- Shun Gon from the movie, The Aristocats. Shun Gon is the piano and drum playing a member of the Scat Cat’s Alley Cats jazz band.
- Cat from the movie, The Wizard of Oz. The brief cameo appearance of a Siamese cat happens when Toto spots it and chases after it, causing Dorothy to miss her balloon ride home.
- Koko and Yum Yum from the book series, The Cat Who… In a series of 29 mystery novels, a pair of Siamese cats help a former crime reporter solve mysteries.
- Pyewacket from the movie, Bell, Book & Candle. This Siamese cat was a scene-stealer as the feline familiar of Gillian, the witch. The cat won a PATSY in 1959.
- Bucky from the comic-strip, Get Fuzzy. Bucky is a cynical Siamese cat who sleeps in a dresser and rides in a baby carrier. His favorite thing is insulting his roommate, a dog named Satchel.
- Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat. In this book by Amy Tan, Sagwa is a pearl-white kitten who ends up in a pot of ink, which stains her paws, nose, ears, and tail.
- Skippyjon Jones. Created by author and illustrator, Judy Schachner, Skippyjon is one of the most famous Siamese cats in children’s literature. Skippyjon’s story begins with his mother sending him to his room to think about what it means to be a Siamese cat.