What are Siamese Cats?
Delightful and charming, cute and clever, the Siamese cats are much-loved with a popular following.
They are instantly recognizable with their sparkling blue eyes, characterized by their darker points on their head, tail and legs. If you have one, find a veterinarian here.
There are many interesting facts about this unusual breed, from their Asian origins to their silver screen appearances.
Here are 30 Fun Facts About Siamese Cats
- Siamese cats are one of the oldest breeds in the world, originating from Thailand (Siam) where they are known as ‘wichianmat’. This literally translates as ‘moon diamond’ or ‘diamonds and gold’.
- It’s thought that this breed can be traced back to around the 14th century from an early book about cat poems!
- During ancient rule in Siam, Siamese were used to guard Buddhist temples and have long been adored by Thai royalty.
- The typical weight of a female Siamese is 8-12 pounds, compared to 11-15 pounds for males.
- They’ve even graced the White House! Famously, first lady Lucy Hayes (married to former President Rutherford Hayes), was gifted ‘Siam’ the Siamese in the 1870s, from a US diplomat placed in Bangkok.
- In the 1880s, Siamese arrived on British shores for the first time, but they did not make a great first impression. Society publication Harpers Weekly described them as “an unnatural nightmare of a cat”!
- One of their many celebrity fans is comedian Ricky Gervais. Ollie is his much-adored Siamese-mix, who was given to him by British TV personality Jonathan Ross.
- April 6 is officially National Siamese Day!
- Siamese kittens are born with completely white fur. Only later do their colors develop.
- The reason for their dark-tipped features is due to a temperature-sensitive enzyme in those body parts, which tend to change in early kitten-hood.
- Siamese are friendly animals, and get along well with other cats and dogs.
- They are often used in mixed breeding alongside Burmese, Tonkinese and Himalayan cats.
- The largest littler in the world comes from a Siamese-Burmese mix, who delivered 19 kittens, and features in the Guinness Book of Records.
- These creatures need a strict diet, and many are lactose intolerant.
- They love nothing more than a game of ping-pong!
- No stranger to Hollywood, they have featured in ‘Lady and the Tramp,’ ‘That Darn Cat,’ and the 2004 movie Garfield.
- As far as cats go, these are one of the chattier breeds, happily talking away to their owners, for as long as they will listen!
- Extroverts to a fault, Siamese love the company of others and don’t cope well on their own for long periods of time
- When Queen Elizabeth was married to the Duke of Edinburgh, a seal point kitten was given as a one of her gifts! He was named Corsham Royal Boy.
- Hollywood actor James Dean was also gifted a Siamese by close friend Elizabeth Taylor. She was growing worried that he was becoming “sad and lonely”, he named the cat Marcus after his uncle.
- This low-maintenance breed requires little grooming; a weekly brush is enough to keep them looking good.
- Siamese are real sticklers for routine and don’t like change. This includes the way furniture is laid out, and any alterations to their regular mealtimes.
- The average life expectancy for a Siamese ranges from 15 to 20 years.
- This attention-seeking breed enjoys being the center of attention, so it’s no surprise that they were showcased at the world’s first major cat show in London in 1871!
- Sources suggest that early Siamese cats were known for their kinked tails and crossed-eyes. Through selective breeding, these were eliminated.
- There are many different colors of Siamese, including; seal point, blue point, chocolate point, lilac point, cream point and red point.
- There are three types of Siamese cat. The Applehead Siamese which is stocky, the Old-style Siamese which is medium in stature, and the Classic, known for its athletic frame.
- Katy, a five-year-old Siamese is known as one of the largest of its breed, weighing a whopping 50 pounds!
- In popular culture, Bob Dylan references the breed in his classic hit ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ in the lyrics citing “Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat.” Much speculation suggests this could be a reference to cat fancier Andy Warhol.
- This breed can command prices of up to $600 for a kitten. There are also many Siamese cat shelters offering adoption, such as the Siamese Cat Rescue Center.