Siamese cats, with their blue eyes, are some of the most adorable cats in the world. However, after interacting with a Siamese cat, you might find yourself concerned with their sometimes aggressive behavior. Compared to other cats, Siamese cats may seem less affectionate, disinterested, and sometimes downright mean. I did some research to see if Siamese cats truly have an aggressive personality or if they are simply misunderstood. So, why are Siamese cats mean?
Siamese cats are generally more aggressive and territorial than other breeds. Anger can be attributed to a lack of attention, hunger, hormonal changes, fear of a new environment, and compulsive actions. They normally show aggression to other cats, not humans. Anger can be attributed to a lack of attention, hunger, fear, and compulsive actions.
First, I think it is only fair to say that not all Siamese cats are aggressive. Many factors affect how aggressive Siamese cats are, including breed personality traits, environment, owner response, genetics, and rearing. Siamese cats have distinctive personality traits. It’s often about learning how to read Siamese cat body language and learning how to react accordingly. It’s also important to consider the environment that you set up for your Siamese cat.
Are Siamese Cats More Aggressive
Yes, Siamese cats are more aggressive than other cats. They tend to be a very demanding breed, and it is essential to know that going into any situation involving a Siamese cat. The goal is first to understand where this behavior may stem from and how to interpret it. Second, it is crucial to understand that there are, often, ways to work with and improve any undesirable behavior.
Siamese cats are very high-strung, energetic, and needy. In their mission to seek attention, they can often come off as aggressive. Siamese cats are extremely intelligent and will do what they feel they need to, to get the care they desire. Whether that comes in the form of biting, latching on, tripping people, or wreaking havoc with your belongings, it’s all acceptable in a Siamese cat’s book.
While Siamese cats are generally family-friendly and playful with children, they are a bit of a one-person pet, meaning they aren’t usually too thrilled with guests. Siamese cats form strong bonds with their owners, so they can often be territorial and jealous of new arrivals, whether it be people or animals.
Something else to consider is genetics. Siamese cats are born with visual deficiencies. Their pretectum and superior colliculus are crossed. In simple terms, Siamese cats have crossed eyes. Believe it or not, the ocular abnormality affects not only their vision but their behavior. Among other factors, perceived aggressive behavior in Siamese cats can be attributed to neurology, due to abnormal ocular wiring. To understand how this abnormality affects behavior, we first have to understand precisely what the colliculus and pretectum do and their roles in a cat’s body.
The colliculus is responsible for controlling eye movements in correlation to objects in the cat’s surroundings that the cat may find of interest. Because of this abnormal crossing of the colliculus, Siamese cats often have what’s called nystagmus, which is a rapid eye movement either up and down or side to side. They can also have reduced vision and abnormal depth perception, which can lead to dizziness or can cause coordination issues. Difficulties in vision, alone, can make a Siamese cat frustrated.
The pretectum regulates reactions to changes in light and changes in the circadian rhythm or sleep cycle.
The pretectum is also tied to the part of the nervous system that regulates responses to touch and changes in temperature. Lastly, it also affects the brain’s process for responding to mechanical, chemical, and thermal stimuli. When the nociceptors (nerves that respond to painful stimuli) are stimulated, it can cause a range of behavioral responses, including pain and a distorted ability to interpret the surrounding environment.
So, when we look at aggression in Siamese cats from a genetic viewpoint, we begin to understand that it could be defense aggression due to pain or fear because of the diminished vision or abnormalities in the neurological wiring.
Why Do Siamese Cats Bite So Much
When Siamese cats are young, like all young mammals, teething can cause them to bite. Of course, as their adult teeth come in, this ceases to be the reason for biting. As kittens, they also learn their behaviors and “manners” from their mother. This being said, Siamese kittens need to remain with their litter and mother for at least 12 weeks. Being removed too early could result in biting or aggressive behavior.
Another reason a Siamese cat might bite is that it is playing. Siamese cats are playful and love to chase things. They may even be trained to play fetch. Your Siamese may be trying to get you to play. Determining whether your cat is play biting is about reading body language and context (i.e., was the cat playing right before the biting began?).
Siamese cats also get defensive for many reasons. As we talked about before, Siamese cats may be more sensitive to pain. If you are petting or playing with your Siamese, it may be feeling pain and may bite to tell you to stop. Since they can’t use words to tell you when something hurts or to stop, biting is one way to get their point across.
It may also bite if it is afraid. With its visual deficiencies, it may be easy for a Siamese to see something that spooks it.
If your Siamese cat bites you, making a high pitched “ow” and ignoring the cat afterward may help it understand that it has hurt you. Siamese cats are brilliant and sensitive to feelings. Learn more about why Siamese cats bite.
Are Siamese Cats Bad
No, Siamese cats are not bad. However, Siamese cats take a lot of work and understanding. Interacting and raising a Siamese cat is very similar to interacting with and raising a toddler.
Siamese cats are very playful and energetic and are an excellent pet for families with children. If appropriately introduced or raised with other pets, they will get along with other pets in the home. Siamese cats make great playmates for other pets and children, provided they are appropriately introduced, and they are played with respectfully and gently. Speaking of playmates, Siamese cats do get bored easily and can get into mischief. Like toddlers, they can also be moody and demanding. They are very opinionated and a bit bossy.
Again, as with children, Siamese cats require gentle, but firm discipline. You have to lay down some ground rules and be consistent.
Though Siamese cats tend to be a bit stubborn, you and your Siamese will come to an understanding with a bit of time.
Do Siamese Cats Like To Be Held
Siamese cats are very affectionate cats and love to be with their owners. They want to be close to their owners and do like physical affection, such as being held or being pet. The best thing to do is to let them come to you. For the most part, Siamese cats like to be held.
Determining whether your Siamese cat is in the mood to be held is, again, about reading its body language. Twitchy tails and low growls, or hissing, means, “No, leave me alone.” A tail sticking straight up with a crook in it, purring, an inquisitive meow, or staring up at you “adoringly” may mean they are in the mood for cuddles. If you are unsure, let them initiate being held and proceed with a bit of caution.
Sit down somewhere comfy and let them come to you. Because they are such an affectionate breed, chances are, they won’t turn down a snuggle session.
One thing to keep in the back of your mind is the Siamese cat’s tendency to be a little more sensitive to pain. If a Siamese is sitting on your lap and you are petting it, there may be a point where it will tell you it has had enough. As we determined earlier, biting is a form of communication in which a Siamese will tell you to “stop.” This is a form of aggression called petting-induced aggression.
Petting-induced aggression can happen as a result of too much petting. Essentially, repetitive physical contact can cause pain due to a malfunction or abnormality of their pain receptors. As previously noted, the crossing of the visual cortex in Siamese cats can also affect the part of their neurological system that responds to pain.
Due to this, a Siamese cat may only tolerate a certain amount of physical contact, such as holding or petting.
At What Age Do Siamese Cats Calm Down
Siamese cats are a naturally energetic breed. With that being said, they will always maintain somewhat of a spirited and frisky attitude, and won’t necessarily “calm down” in a traditional sense.
However, Siamese kittens tend to calm down a bit after 18 months. Then, as the cat reaches its senior years, it will inevitably start to calm a little more.
Even though you can’t change their personality, there are few ways to help your Siamese calm or, at least, redirect its energy. Make sure they have adequate playtime and have lots of intriguing items to keep them occupied, including toys, boxes, tunnels, and various other objects that stimulate their mind and keep them active. Directing their attention to appropriate play items helps give them a healthy outlet for their lively and bubbly energy.
Music or calming background noise is another tactic to try with your Siamese cat. Pick a calming channel on your favorite music app and let it play, or check out YouTube. There are several calming and anti-anxiety music videos made for cats on YouTube. There is even one made especially for Siamese cats. Just search “Relaxation Music for Siamese Cats” and, voila, there you have it; a calming collection of music tailored to calm your Siamese. Of course, there is no guarantee it will be one hundred percent effective with every Siamese, but it is worth trying.
Different Siamese Cat Behavior Problems
Now that we have gained a little more understanding of the personality and genetics of a Siamese cat, we should touch on specific behavior problems you may notice in your Siamese cat.
- Social Anxiety – Siamese cats can be possessive and territorial. Once they have established “pride” and territory, they aren’t typically open to new members invading their territory, whether it’s visitors or new pets. They can get jealous and won’t hesitate to let you know how they feel. It’s ok. Give them space and let them control the interactions and what level they are comfortable with. Respect their boundaries and make sure they know yours, and that there are behaviors, you won’t tolerate.
- Separation Anxiety – Siamese cats form a robust relationship with their owners, so it is expected that they may develop some separation anxiety when you are gone. They don’t like to be alone for long periods and, as a result, may cause trouble while you are gone. Siamese cats are notorious for getting into things and knocking things over, whether out of spite or boredom. Make sure any valuable collections or items are tucked away and not left on display, where your Siamese can get to it.
If you are thinking about purchasing or adopting a Siamese cat, consider making it two.
It helps if they have a playmate to keep them company. Another option is to have someone your cat trusts check in on it during the day while you are gone. Relaxing music also helps to provide a calm atmosphere for your Siamese while you are gone.
- Siamese “Insomnia” – Some Siamese cat owners have expressed concern over the fact that their Siamese cat seems to bounce off the walls at night, metaphorically and literally, when it should be time to sleep. This is, in part, because they are an intrinsically hyper breed. If you have been gone all day, all of that pent-up energy is likely to get even more enthusiastic at night when you are home.
As mentioned before, the visual abnormalities in Siamese cats also cause disruptions in the part of their brain that regulates circadian rhythm, or the body’s natural sleep cycle. This could also be the culprit for elevated levels in activity you see from your Siamese at night.
5 Tips For Dealing With A Mean Siamese Cat
- Turn on a radio or tv- soothing music and calming sounds can help calm your cat mellow out.
- Make sure they are spayed or neutered, or if they are female, breeding also helps temperament.
- Let them socialize on their terms – Give them time and space to adjust. Don’t force anything. Like a roommate, you need to respect their “bubble” too.
- Give them a routine and make sure they understand how things operate in your home. They are just like children in this aspect. You have to lay down boundaries and let them know the rules.
- Scratching posts and toys – Distraction is a useful strategy in redirecting energy. Tossing a Ping-Pong ball or having the cat chase a toy teaches it appropriate behavior. Here are more tips for stopping your Siamese cat from scratching furniture.