Siamese Cats. Is the Right Cat for You?
Siamese Cats may be the world’s most recognizable cat breed. While the origin of the Siamese Cat is still considered a mystery, a manuscript discovered in ancient Siam (now Thailand) called the Cat Book Poems described a pale cat with a dark facial mask, dark feet, ears and tail. The manuscript dates between 1350 and 1700 AD. By the turn of the century, if not earlier, they were popular in the United States as well. President Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881) and his wife Lucy were the recipients of a Siamese cat shipped to them in 1878 by David B. Sickels, a U. S. diplomat stationed at the consulate in Thailand. A letter from Sickels detailing the gift is on file at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio.
The Siamese itself is a natural breed, meaning its original pointed pattern was the result of a genetic mutation. The Siamese is recognized by all cat associations. The International Cat Association also recognizes the Thai, described as the original form of the native pointed cat of Thailand. In Thailand the cats are called Wichienmaat.
The main coat of the cat is light, and the facial area mask and extremities are dark; this pattern is known as “seal point” coloration. Other colors include chocolate, blue and lilac seal points; and sometimes cinnamon, fawn and cream have been recognized. The cat’s muscular body features a long, wedge-shaped head, long legs, neck and tail, large ears and almond-shaped blue eyes that are slanted. The average life expectancy of a Siamese is between 15 and 20 years.
The positive traits of Siamese Cats.
There are many good reasons to own a Siamese cat. Siamese cats are known to be very affectionate cats. They love to sit on your lap and will even climb into bed with you at night. Siamese cats are very beautiful. They don't require much grooming. Their hair is very short, and while they do shed it's not as noticeable as with some breeds. Siamese cats crave attention and affection from their owners and like to stay close by. They are intelligent and inquisitive cats that have such striking voices and body movements that they are referred to as the most talkative cat breed. They are great with other pets and children and have been known to stick to one family member as their “person” for life. Also siamese cats are active and muscular, and they do not have any specific exercise needs. They do like to play fetch, so stock up on cat toys and have some fun.
While this cat breed is considered extremely healthy with no notable genetic diseases, there are some problems common for Siamese cats:
- Amyloidosis, a disease that occurs when a type of protein called amyloid is deposited in body organs, primarily the liver in Siamese
- Crossed eyes
- Bladder stones
- Eye problems (glaucoma and retinal atrophy)
- Asthma/bronchial disease
- Congenital heart defects such as aortic stenosis
Is the Siamese the Right Cat for You?
Before buying or adopting a Siamese cat, consider the breed’s high energy, velcro-like closeness and dislike for being alone. These cats are leery of strangers and might interrogate your visitors, but they are also great with other pets and children. The active and social Siamese is a perfect choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs. He will play fetch as well as any retriever, learns tricks easily and loves the attention he receives from children who treat him politely and with respect. The short, fine coat of the Siamese is easily cared for with weekly combing to remove dead hair and distribute skin oils. Brush the teeth to prevent periodontal disease. Daily dental hygiene is best, but weekly brushing is better than nothing. The Siamese is highly intelligent, agile, athletic, and loves to play. Keep his busy brain active with puzzle toys and his body exercised with teaser toys he can chase and a big cat tree he can climb. On the other hand because of their intelligence and stubbornness, Siamese cats are very difficult to train. For example, a Siamese may ignore unpleasant experiences such as being squirted with water, which makes it difficult to deter them from bad behavior.
Choose a Siamese cat if you look forward to spending time with and interacting with your cat. This is a loyal and loving feline who will pout and pine if given little or no attention. In the right home, however, he thrives for years.
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