If you’re hearing “We are Siamese, if you please,” playing in your head, you’ve found the right article. Siamese cats are one of the most fascinating breeds due to their high intelligence, big personality, and deep history as the oldest feline.
What makes Siamese cats different? 5 fascinating facts worth exploring include that the Siamese breed is one of the oldest and most popular feline breeds globally. Siamese may be more famous for their sturdy vocal cords rather than their appearance but are typically smarter than the average feline. Siamese cats are recognized by their pointed tails, creamy coats, and tanzanite blue eyes, but there’s much more to this breed than a unique appearance.
If you’re considering a Siamese as a pet, this article should give you a greater understanding of their quirks, history, and habits. This breed has a passion for people and is well-loved by families. They make excellent pets as they’re known not to choose a favorite but to share their affections more evenly with the family than other feline breeds.
What Makes Siamese Cats Different?
Siamese cats are one of the most unique cat breeds, essentially setting itself apart from its hundreds of other feline cousins. Siamese cats are often compared more closely to dogs with their keen way of not just receiving training but training their humans.
In the discussion forums, it’s easy to find a cat-lover arguing that the Siamese deserve to be considered a species of their own. It is supported by many that they are simply nothing like other felines.
Siamese cats are one of the most known breeds around the world and are arguably the most talkative. People say if you want a pet to chat with all day, this is the one for you. They are incredibly alert in comparison to other cats who can sleep through a television show all day long. The Siamese may sit upright and watch the show with you!
Interestingly enough, many articles argue there are only two types of Siamese breeds – Show and Traditional. While many others say, there are 6-8 variations of the breed. In researching the appearance of this breed, I believe it’s fair to say there are more than two variations of this feline breed based on how different their facial structures can develop within the Siamese breed.
Merely looking at the versatility in their faces can indicate how many Siamese disparities there are. Some have giant heads and little ears while other Siamese cats have tiny heads and Dumbo ears. Another strange difference is that in certain Asian countries, the breed has crossed-eyes. This is a Thai variation of the breed and not usually seen in American shelters or breeders.
Siamese cats are a healthy breed with a long life span for a cat of between fifteen and twenty years. This breed even courts the list of many ‘Healthiest Cat Breed,’ lists. They are attractive options if you are considering getting a dog but are allergic or busy and need a slightly less involved commitment. This leads me to my first fact that –
Fact #1: Siamese Cats Are Basically Cat-Dog
Strange as it might sound, many Siamese owners and cat forums say that the Siamese is more dog than a cat. This is a popular opinion, and Siamese owners say if you want a quiet and calm feline, this is not your guy.
Prone to meeting you at the door and following behind like man’s best friend, these babies are certainly a handful. Less so than a dog as you don’t have to walk them, but a Siamese would probably not object if you put a leash on it and took it outside.
Besides the breed’s high vocal extremity and chattiness, the Siamese would be the first to hop on a leash and go for a walk with you. They love to explore the outdoors, and their larger frame makes them less-suited for domestic life. They want to run a little wild and would probably play fetch with you if you threw the right toy.
These Cat-Dogs are endlessly exploring your world, whether your home or not. If left too long, you may come home to cabinets that have been left open, faucets left on, and TV remotes switched to on. They may just be sitting in front of it displaying a clear interest in the program too.
Siamese cats are loving and sincere in the fact that they want to be involved in your life. They will follow you everywhere like a loyal pup and be less elusive than other felines. This is why they are still engaged in the home’s whereabouts, even without your presence being needed there.
Siamese cats want to be under your feet, at your side, in the mirror with you while you do makeup and maybe on your lap on the toilet. Their primary thought, similarly to a dog is – ‘what are WE gonna do next?!’
They are much more trainable than other cat breeds as well, so this is another reason they’re considered to be more dog than a cat. If you want to teach your pet to use the human toilet instead of the litter (which is an up and coming trend in pet households), this would be a great breed to select.
More intelligent and less distractible than many animals, the Siamese will startle you with the way they seem so present and right there with you. Other cats may stare at a wall for hours or not give you the time of day. But that is not the Siamese way.
You may want to consider the Siamese as a family or household pet if you love dogs but can’t be home as often to let them out. This is a huge perk in the cat versus dog debate.
You can leave litter, food, and water out for a few days and a cat will survive fine without you. You could never do this to your dog as they need to be let out to pee and poop every 6-8 hours. Anything over that is just cruel. So if your schedule is too busy for the dog’s potty breaks, Siamese may be the perfect independent pet solution for you.
Fact #2: Siamese Cats Are Ancient
Siamese cats are one of the first domesticated pets in the history of humankind. Although no one is entirely certain on the date, most exploration dates back to the 14th century in Thailand. At this time, they were bred by the Thai people to be domesticated. Their name used actually to be – Siam.
This date was one of the first recorded of Siam’s being found in the Thai historical manuscripts. This would indeed make them one of the oldest cat breeds on our entire planet.
During this time in history which feels so far away, the Siam’s were bred with crossed eyes and kinked tails that flipped in crooked directions. This was possibly a breeding issue that resulted in bad genetic factors, but it lent it’s hand to its modern appearance and interesting features.
There is an old legend in the Thai community that the Siamese were domesticated so they could guard the royal goblet and other Thai treasures. This would link back to them being known in the present-day to sit and watch your television when you’re not home. This breed is incredibly attuned to their surroundings and less in-their-head than other felines.
Perhaps this is why they were entrusted with protecting sacred jewels and artifacts. Legend says that this is what crossed the Siam’s eyes, but I believe that part of being solely folk tale.
Their keen eyes also lent aid to watching the ill. In ancient times they would put the Siam’s near a person on their death bed. The Thai believed that the Siam would collect the person’s spirit and receive their soul.
After this, the Siamese would be taken to a temple and treated to a life of luxury. Whether the cat was the human spirit or not, they lived it up large!
One of the first recorded literature on the Siamese that gives us a more unambiguous indication of their time in history is their appearance in, Cat Book of Poems, which was written between 1350 and the 1600s. They describe a slim cat with dark coloration on its tail and toes with a light-colored body and piercing blue eyes.
Siamese left Asian society around the time that Europe was at odds with the rest of the world. England was taking over and starting to collect countries like pocket change. It is recorded that during this time, a general in Bangkok gifted a British consul’s sister a pair of Siamese twin cats.
This was around the 1880s, and the cats were exhibited during this decade in London.
After this, the breed gained regional popularity and took on a new path in a new part of the world. By the 1900s the breed had made it’s way to America, even reportedly being gifted to Mrs. Rutherford B. Hayes (the first lady to 19th president of the United States).
Flash forward to today and the Siamese may have a longer name than Siam, but that hasn’t slowed them down any. Siamese cats are often top place in short-haired breeds for cat shows.
Fact #3: You Won’t Find A Chattier Breed:
This little feline didn’t get his nickname of, ‘Meezer,’ by being shy and quiet. These vocal felines are known to be by far the most vocal compared to their cat cousins.
Your Siamese may bark at you a bit when you’re giving him food, or if you’re not giving him enough food. They’ll also let you know if they want more attention and what they think of the attention you’re giving.
Not known for their subtlety, if you’re a direct and blunt person who likes straight shooters (even in their pets), this may be the cat for you.
Some reasons for their intimate nature are arguable because of a few things. These are:
- They are the oldest breed and have been exposed to humans talking for longer than other breeds. Some Siamese Specialists say they are mirroring the humans they love to follow around and learn from. Us talking all day long has led to a more vocal cat breed that has a lot to say too! They have lasted for longer than most other cat breeds so at this point – their chattiness may be a survival technique that they’ve been evolved to maintaining to stay in good favor with the humans who feed them.
- They will get depressed if they don’t have enough attention from their owners. I believe this goes back to them just being smarter than most cats and honestly not as independent. They are more like a dog in their need for affection and time from you. They’ll speak up if they’re not getting it. If your Siamese is irregularly quiet, he may be sad, and you should consider offering him more attention.
- They also could have a predisposition for chattiness because of their eye color. This sounds crazy, but with a closer look, it makes sense. The light color of their eyes means their vision is less acute than other cats. Certain outdoor hues may camouflage for the Siamese and be less visible. Since this makes them more susceptible to predators, they genuinely need to be inside and domesticated. Their history of domestication has left them weakened, and it is argued that their loud voice is a countermeasure to that visual shortcoming.
Fact #4: Siamese Cats Are Royalty
Not only are they ancient, loudmouth, cat-dogs. They’re also royalty. Yes, you read that right.
Hundreds of years ago, Siamese were the official cat of the royal families in Thailand where they originated. This was because people were so struck by their beautiful appearance and larger build than ordinary felines.
It was believed that they were destined by the gods to rule at the royal family’s side. Along with the myth we discussed of the Siam’s collecting a dying person’s soul – they would then be pampered for the rest of their days by monks and priests. All of whom believed that the cat was the human soul which was lost to them.
Before it’s time in the White House, Siam’s also graced the castles of European nobility by the time it arrived in Europe in the 1800s. In 1871, London officially publicized this breed as – The Royal Cat of Siam.
In addition to being loved by the Royal families, they also considered them guards. You see the ancient art of two tall cats, sitting perched at either side of the throne. This is the guard cat of Siam. Besides their mysterious beauty, the King of Siam trusted the felines to jump down from the pillars and attack any unwanted individuals.
Known for being easily trained, it was not difficult to teach the Siam to attach on command.
Through the art of ancient Thailand, some argue that Siamese used to be even larger in size. It is recorded by those in the palace that if a Siamese jumped on you, he would knock you to the floor. Sharp teeth and claws with a large muscular bob-cat body to boot. Protecting their king was what prompted them to attack anyone who potentially would cause harm to the King of Siam.
Siamese took a small quiet period in history on their way to crossing the globe. But by the late 1800’s/ early 1900s, this breed quickly became noticed as a favorite feline variety.
Fact #5: Siamese Cats Are Born Completely White:
This one you may think is fake, but it’s the Siam’s truth! You can thank temperature-sensitive enzymes for this one. This affects the Siamese’s genes so that they are born rather white and pink, and the darker spots appear later.
All cats are a bit cooler around their nose. This goes for the paws, ears, and tails as well, which is the highest concentration of pigment. In Siamese, this is why their faces will turn browner later while the rest of their body remains a creamy white.
This process begins immediately after their born and will be visible to the human eye over the first few months of the Siamese’s life. After leaving that 100-degree womb of warmth and comfort, their fur starts changing before our eyes. The genes of the mother will affect the pigmentation in the offspring’s fur.
So if you ever need to make a bet that Siamese cats are white, bet on the youngsters.
Fact #6: Most Popular Cinematic Feline
I started this article singing Siamese songs to you, (well typing but you know you heard the song in your head too). The catchy tune comes from childhood classic, “Lady and The Tramp,” in which we get a closer look at the Siamese’s playful and trickster personalities.
Siamese started growing in great popularity across the film industry by the late 1950s and after World War II. The breed has been seen in the spotlight in movies such as, “The Incredible Journey,” “The Aristocats,” and most recognizably by children in the “Lady and The Tramp.”
There’s also a movie called, “That Darn Cat!” which is exclusively about Siamese cats stopping a kidnapping. It is based on similar scenarios in a reality where Siamese truly saved the day with their cunning wit.
In real life, two Siamese cats assisted in espionage during the late 1960s. Inside of the Dutch Embassy within Moscow, Russia, two Siamese cats made a significant discovery. As the men discussed essential mattes, the two Siamese began scratching at the wall.
The Dutch official thought that perhaps they were picking up on a frequency which humans could not hear. They took apart the wall and discovered 30 small microphones hidden behind the wall to eavesdrop. There was later a movie based on this real-life event.
Today the Siamese breed is one of the most popular as registered by the CFA (Cat Fanciers Association). It will be interesting to see what future cinematic depictions this breed is thrown into on the screen.
Fact #7: Siamese Are Great with Children:
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering if this is a good cat for not just you but the whole family. Since this breed is so incredibly intelligent, playful, and attuned to bring present almost like a human – they make wonderful family pets.
Along with being a great Dog-Cat that you can take on walks and to the local forests, but they will share their affections with the household. Siamese cats need a lot of attention, more than other cat breeds most say. This makes them great for a large family because they’ll always have someone to spend time with and give affection to.
These social cats thrive off of your stimulation and versatility in their routine. Nothing eccentric, but the simply variation of play partners is enough to stimulate this thoughtful breed. Your Siamese may keep the baby entertained by pushing his toys around the room like a pup.
If you are a small family and no one is going to be home for long days, you may want to consider a dog or other cat breed. They will get lonely and depressed if you’re not there because they are so connected to you and intelligent. They know if they’re being left alone too long. So this is not the best idea if you have a busy schedule.
For the right family, the Siamese cat will provide countless years of love, laughter, and companionship.
Thoughts from Siamese Cat Owners:
It’s best to hear it from the horse’s mouth. In this case, that would be the cat-loving Siamese owners and what they think of the breed. The opinions from popular cat forum and pet owner discussion boards are:
- “They are monkeys in cat suits. Vocal monkeys in cat suits.”
- Very dog-like. My Siamese would go for walks with me and the dogs in the woods. If I patted my chest, he’d jump up on my shoulders. Very sweet to us but terrorized the other cats in the neighborhood. Great hunters, naturally!”
- “As far as voices, you could certainly say their loud voice is the hallmark of a Meezer! So quick to express his opinions. My other Siamese is much quieter, but when he does talk, you know what breed he is!”
- “Vocal tone is a little annoying, but I think it is in most cats actually.”
- “Such little lovebugs. Always in your lap and snuggling. Will headbutt you and give you cheek rubs if they need more attention.”
- “Fair warning that if you’re not enamored with this breed, you will be after researching the other ones and seeing how remarkable they are.”
- “Yes I have seven! Known as the Siamese Mafia. Wouldn’t take any other breed.”
If all of this just charmed your tail off and you feel even more smitten by these kittens – that’s probably a good indication that this breed is well-suited to you and your family.
Tips If You Want a Siamese Cat
Final thoughts are if you want a cat to sit quietly on the window sill and sleep all day, this is probably not the breed for you.
They do not disappoint their reputation. The endless-chatter is no exaggeration, but if you want a breed that is present and smart as can be, this may be your go-to baby.
If this sounds like too much responsibility for you, then the Siamese will most likely wear you out! In this case, opt for something less demanding than this Cat-Dog. Perhaps a quieter cat breed or even a less demanding species altogether, such as a turtle or fish.
Pets are a huge commitment and need lots of love and affection to thrive properly. Recognizing how unique and captivating this cat is will help you discover if it is a good fit for you. If you think you are up for this ancient and royal breed, check your shelters first to see if they have any that need a good home. These pets are being put to sleep if not selected, so they need your money much more than expensive breeders do.
A final thought worth mentioning is that you should adopt, not shop. Those animals at the SPCA or local shelter are sitting on borrowed time. They will be put to sleep if no one adopts them as these shelters are so overrun with animals in need. They don’t have space or finances to take care of all of them and sincerely need you to come and adopt.
If you go to a shelter and see the perfect Siamese that connects with you immediately or any other breed for that matter, take the leap. The shelter needs your money more than the breeders do and that animal needs you most of all.
I urge you to spread this message to fellow loved ones who are considering getting a pet as it’s something that needs more publicity.
Siamese cats are undeniably fascinating, so at least I can promise, you’ll never be bored! There is so much to love about this breed, and if you can deal with the chattiness, they will be life-long members of the family and are known to love their owners to pieces.