What Makes a Siamese Cat So Different?

By Susan Miller
Copyright 2008 - 2013

The traditional Siamese cat or Apple Head as sometimes recognized is one of the oldest breeds of domestic cats. It still looks to this day as the breed originally would have looked when it was first imported from Siam. The breed is still a lovely muscular athletic looking cat with a beautiful round head and striking blue eyes.

The breed has managed to maintain the contrast between the point and body color that is so characteristic of this breed. The traditional Siamese cat is also know as old-style or classic Siamese cat as well Apple Head. The other kind of Siamese cat is known as the show-style or modern Siamese cat and looks a bit different with shorter hair, thinner bodies, long snouts and big ears. This article is about the classic or Apple Head Siamese cat.

The Siamese are very calm, loving cats by nature and can reach an age of between 15 to 20 years, although it has been known for some to live longer than 20 years. Many legends surround the origin of this breed especially the crossed eyes and kinked tails.

There are legends that most people will have heard if they have taken an interest in this breed of cat and those legends are that the Siamese cat was considered sacred and guarded Buddhist temples, with only royalty and priests keeping the cat.

It was in the west in the late 1800s that the first Siamese cats appeared. At first sight, they were described as a nightmare kind of cat and unnatural although later they became popular. They were at the beginning very delicate and prone to health problems. It was the early breed that had the kinked tails and crossed eyes that today are considered to be faults but through careful breeding over the years, this has disappeared.


Traditional or Apple Head Siamese Cats

The traditional Siamese cat is purebred and these are descended from original cats imported from Siam. Ones that you may find in shelters although looking Siamese may not be the traditional Siamese cats. There has been enough purebred cats interbred with domestic cats over the years and the gene that creates the pointing pattern may be found in a large number of cats that may look Siamese, but may have very little Siamese blood in them.

The traditional Siamese cats are very healthy with extremely good appetites and are not delicate cats at all. If you talk to breeders, they will recommend that you feed them a high quality dry food, letting them feed when they like without becoming overweight. Cats that are middle age between 5 and 10 years are more likely to have weight problems; this can be easily solved by switching to low calorie food.

There is very little grooming required as the cat will normally keep itself clean. You may want to groom it now and again to remove any excess fur but the breed does not shed fur excessively.

The Siamese cat will reach sexual maturity at a very early age the female can have her first heat at the age of 5 months, you need to consider having your cat spayed or neutered at approximately 6 months or maybe earlier. The male cat if neutered early will not generally spray, which is not a pleasant experience especially in your home.

They are very friendly cats and love people. If a stranger to them comes into the home, they will more often than not go up to them demanding to be stroked. They will even go to people who may not like cats or are allergic to them because many have a perverse nature about them.


Show-Style or Modern Siamese Cats

They make extremely good family pets and are excellent with small children, especially if they are treated with respect, which is correct for any animal as far as children are concerned. They will sometimes tolerate children playing in a certain way that they will not with adults.

It is very rare to be scratched when playing with a Siamese cat as most of them learn to sheathe their claws when playing. They are very good with the older generation because of their mellow temperament and make fantastic companions and lap cats.

Not only are they good with children, if you introduce them when they are young they will become great friends with dogs or other animals. The older cat can become a great teacher for a young puppy entering the home as a pet and will probably help to teach him the house rules.

A cat by itself will be fine, although they may demand more attention from you when you get home as they can get lonely by themselves. If it is possible, two Siamese cats that are roughly the same age will become great friends, will play together, and can often be found sleeping together. But they will still crave your attention as well.

Traditional Siamese cats are very intelligent and some may be easier to train than others as they all have a different personality. If you say, “no" once, they may stop their mischief while one who has a mischievous personality will only do their mischief when you’re not there. If taught at an early age they will go for a walk on a harness and lead. They are also very clever in teaching the humans how to play with their toys.

They are normally very good and will not scratch furniture. But they do like to use a scratching post and most breeders will recommend that you have one with easy access for the cat to use, which is far better than using your sofa.

Siamese cats are known for having a voice that sometimes can be extremely loud; sounding like the cat is in agony, which of course it is not. This may be their way of talking but if you are on the phone and they do this, the person at the other end may think there is a baby crying.

Traditional Siamese are not outdoor cats and there are many breeders who when selling you a kitten may ask you to sign a contract to confirm they will only be indoor only cats.

Overall, the classic Siamese cat, male or female, is a superb cat to own and can become a great companion or family pet. From their unique color points to their distinct voices, their health to their longevity, or from their high intelligence to their friendly and loyal nature, they are truly different from all other domestic cats.

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