Picture of a Siamese cat laying down

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Siamese cats are truly one of a kind. With a unique appearance, long necks, tails, and legs, they make fun-loving and affectionate indoor house cats. They also have short coats requiring minimal additional grooming and have a strong yet friendly personality. 

In addition, these cats are highly intelligent, making them comparable to some dogs. The next time you see a Siamese cat for sale, you might wonder if they're the right pet for you. Keep reading to learn more about this intelligent and unique cat breed. 

Siamese cats originated in Thailand, formerly known as Siam.

History & Origin Of Siamese Cats

Siamese cats were exported from Thailand (Siam) in the late 1800s.1 They're the temple cat of the King of Siam and were valued for their beauty, and it's said that they were used as guards for Buddhist temples. However, no one knows the true origins of this breed. 

A manuscript from the 12th Century pictures a cat with a pale coat and black face, feet, tail, and ears like the Siamese cat.1 They entered Europe in the late 1800s in London, shortly before coming to the US in 1879. The first recorded Siamese cat in the US was a gift to the wife of President Rutherford Hayes from the US Consul in Bangkok.1

That Siamese cat was one of the original breeds in championship competition during the founding of The International Cat Association (TICA), which accepts all coat colors and patterns for show.1

Various Siamese cat facts, including weight, lifespan, coat, and eye colors

Physical Attributes 

  • Height: 8-10 inches
  • Weight: Up to 14 pounds
  • Lifespan: 8-20 years

The Siamese cat is one of the most recognizable breeds with dark faces, ears, legs, feet, tail, and striking blue eyes. They have long legs with wedge-shaped heads and muscular, tubular bodies.2 Siamese cats are among many popular cat breeds that don't shed a lot because they have short, silky coats. 

Of course, however, all cats shed! While the Siamese cat has short fur that lies close to the body, they're not a naked breed, so they'll still shed a little. If you have cat allergies, it's important to remember that no cat is truly hypoallergenic. 

There are several types of Siamese cats, such as:

  • Applehead: Applehead Siamese cats have a round apple-shaped head with a nose that points downward and smaller ears. They typically have a stockier build and shorter tails. 
  • Old Style: Old Style Siamese cats are medium-sized and thinner, and longer than the Applehead. They also have larger ears and a more athletic body. 
  • Classic: The classic Siamese cat has a tall body and is the most athletic. They also have thinner bodies, longer tails, and larger ears with upturned noses. 
  • Wedge: The Wedge Siamese cat has a wedge-shaped head and pointy ears that sit lower on their heads. They have lean, athletic bodies and slanted eyes. 

In addition to the type of Siamese cat, there are several color variations, including seal point, chocolate point, blue point, and lilac point, which indicates the color of the darker-colored, mask-like fur on their face, ears, tail, and feet. 

Behavioral characteristics of Siamese cats: highly intelligent, sociable, vocal, active, curious, dependant

Behavioral Characteristics

Siamese cats are friendly, social, and affectionate. They're one of the most intelligent cat breeds and love spending time with their humans, which is why they're often compared to dogs. Siamese cats are companion cats, so don't be surprised if yours follows you around the house like a dog. These cats can appear needy because they want to be held, petted, and cuddled frequently. However, they can be independent at times. 

It's a little-known cat fact that, like dogs, cats can develop separation anxiety. Because of their love for their humans, Siamese cats are prone to develop separation anxiety. Therefore, your vet might recommend anxiety medication to prevent anxious behavior. In general, though, these cats thrive in homes where someone can spend a lot of time with them, so if you're too busy to spend time with your cat, a Siamese cat might not be right for you. 

Additionally, their social dependence on their humans and intelligence makes them prone to misbehaving if you don't provide them with an activity. 

Siamese cats are very talkative, often meowing to their pet parents loudly. Additionally, they have a high energy level, so they're incredibly playful and need attention almost constantly. Because of this, they're not ideal for a first-time pet parent or someone with a busy lifestyle who can't provide them with all the loving attention they need. 

Caring For a Siamese Cat

The Siamese cat is best for experienced pet owners because they depend highly on their human companions. In addition, since they're high energy and playful, they should be kept inside because their curiosity could make them try to escape. 

Siamese cats are considered low maintenance because they have short coats. However, they crave interaction with their human companions and can become noisy and destructive when you don't give them attention. Therefore, they may be considered higher maintenance than other cat breeds. That said, if you can provide your Siamese cat with tons of attention, caring for them is fairly easy. 

Enrichment

Like all cats, Siamese cats need daily enrichment through physical and mental stimulation. Since they're highly intelligent, they'll benefit from training. Believe it or not, Siamese cats can learn the same tricks as dogs, and you can even invest in obedience training to teach them various commands like sitting or coming when called. 

In addition, providing them with cat trees near windows where they can watch the birds can help keep them occupied. These cats are highly spirited and need to be engaged in activities to keep them happy and healthy while preventing behavioral problems like anxiety. In addition, they prefer to play with their human companions instead of being independent. Therefore, you should try to play with your Siamese cat whenever possible instead of giving them independent activities like puzzles. 

Siamese cats can get bored easily, leading to them to claw the furniture or other destructive behaviors. Investing in several types of toys and playing with them daily is crucial for preventing boredom and destruction. 

Health

Many Siamese cats have hereditary deformities, but for the most part, they're relatively healthy cats that can live for up to 20 years or more. Siamese cats are prone to several health conditions, and their unique head shape may increase their risk of respiratory illnesses and infections.3 Some health issues to be aware of in Siamese cats include:

  • Cardiomyopathy: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a congenital heart defect that can weaken the heart by causing its muscles to thicken, which may eventually lead to heart failure.3
  • Amyloidosis: Amyloidosis occurs when the amyloid protein deposits build up in your pet's liver and kidneys, leading to high blood pressure, tissue damage, and organ failure.3
  • Hip dysplasia: Some Siamese cats are prone to hip dysplasia, which can cause weakness and limping.
  • Asthma: Because Siamese cats have wedge-shaped heads, they're more prone to asthma, which can cause coughing or difficulty breathing.3
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA): Progressive retinal atrophy can cause poor vision and blindness due to a genetic disorder of the retina.3  

Diet

Siamese cats have long bodies but can easily become overweight if they're overfed. Your Siamese cat should always have access to clean water, and giving them wet food throughout the day should keep them hydrated. In addition, you may want to avoid free feeding them because some Siamese cats are known to over at. Instead, you can limit their meal times and remove the bowl when they're done eating. 

Grooming

Siamese cats don't shed often and have short coats that don't need much grooming. Weekly combing, regular nail trims, and ear cleaning should be enough to keep them looking and feeling their best. However, you can also brush your cat's coat to bond with them since Siamese cats need regular attention from their pet parents. 

Picture of a Siamese kitten in a basket

Siamese Cats: Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Siamese cat a good pet?

Siamese cats are good pets but best suited for experienced cat owners. They're friendly and playful but tend to demand tons of attention. If you're looking for a quiet cat, Siamese cats aren't right for you because they're vocal, often meowing loudly at their pet parents for attention. However, they're generally gentle and get along well with children and other pets. 

Remember, these cats crave attention and companionship, so they shouldn't be left alone for too long because they can develop anxiety and depression. A Siamese cat won't be happy if you work late hours or tend to leave the house for long periods. However, getting two Siamese cats could help solve the problem by giving them a companion other than you to play with. 

Why are Siamese cats so special?

What makes Siamese cats so special is how dog-like they are. Not only do they crave human interaction like dogs, but they're smart enough to learn the same types of tricks. For example, you can teach your Siamese cat to sit, lie down, or even speak. In addition, they have a unique appearance with a dark mask over their faces and dark ears, tails, and feet, with long bodies, making them completely unique compared to other cat breeds. 

Can Siamese cats be left alone?

Siamese cats don't like to be left alone for too long. Because they're companion cats, they prefer to spend as much time with you as possible, so they're best suited for households where someone is home most of the time. 

However, since you'll have to leave your Siamese cat home alone every now and then, they generally do well when left alone for short periods. However, if your cat has a friend, such as a family dog or another cat, they may be less prone to separation anxiety, depression, and loneliness. 

What is the lifespan of a Siamese cat?

Generally, Siamese cats live up to 15 years on average, but some can live as long as 20 years. The Siamese cat's lifespan depends on their overall health and how well they've been cared for. In addition, indoor cats tend to live longer than outdoor cats, so we recommend keeping your Siamese cat indoors as much as possible. That said, Siamese cats love exploring the outdoors, so they might benefit from a catio or outdoor cat enclosure that can keep them safe while they play. 

Final Notes

The Siamese cat price might deter you, but all purebred cat breeds tend to be expensive. You'll love Siamese cats if you're looking for a highly intelligent cat that acts like a dog. Unfortunately, if you're an inexperienced cat owner, caring for a Siamese cat can seem challenging because they're highly vocal companion animals that require extensive mental and physical stimulation. 

Wondering how to better care for your Siamese cat? Try Dutch telemedicine for pets. We can provide advice to ensure your cat lives a happy, healthy life while diagnosing and treating a range of common cat health issues and helping you get cat medicine online. Try Dutch today.
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References

  1. Patterson, Jonathan. "The Siamese Breed." The International Cat Association, https://www.tica.org/breeds/browse-all-breeds?view=article&id=1227%3Athe-siamese-breed&catid=48

  2. "About the Siamese." The Cat Fanciers Association Inc, https://cfa.org/siamese/

  3. "Siamese Cat: What to Know." WebMD, https://pets.webmd.com/cats/what-to-know-about-a-siamese-cat

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Dutch?

Dutch is an online veterinary pet telehealth service, created by pet parents and board-certified veterinary specialists. We use a science-backed approach to provide pets relief for their everyday physical and behavioral health issues. Dutch connects you with licensed veterinarians over video chat and messaging to help you get care for your dog or cat quickly wherever you are — without the stress or expense of a vet visit. We also partner with pharmacies who can deliver prescription medication (in applicable states only) and over-the-counter treatments directly to your door. Dutch isn’t a veterinary practice or pharmacy, but a company that helps facilitate these services for pet parents to make veterinary care more accessible to all.

What is a visit with Dutch like?

When booking a video call with a vet, you'll be asked a few questions about your pet’s health issue. Depending on the issue, you may also be asked to fill out a longer questionnaire about their symptoms and share photographs of them so our veterinarians can better understand what’s going on. You’ll then pick an appointment time that works best for you.

During your video call, one of our licensed veterinarians will talk to you about the symptoms your pet is experiencing, ask you questions, review your pet’s medical history if you’ve provided it, and answer any questions you have. The vet will ask to see your pet and their environment. And they may ask you to perform some simple checks on them if needed.

After your video call, the vet will send you a message with a custom treatment plan to help your pet feel better, including a link to buy any recommended prescription or over-the-counter medications. Place your order and we’ll ship it free.

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The Dutch membership starts at $7/mo for unlimited access to the vet. No more long waits for appointments or surprise bills.

In addition to the base membership plan, our veterinarians may also recommend additional medication (Rx and/or OTC) that you will have the option of adding to your plan at an additional cost.