AT A GLANCE: The Siamese cat
- Vocal, graceful, and intelligent
- Medium, svelte but muscular build
- Short and fine coat
- Chocolate, seal, lilac, or blue point
Physical characteristics of the Siamese cat
The Siamese cat has a medium, long, and slender, yet somewhat muscular build. Females can be rather petite, often weighing 8 pounds or less, while males tend to be larger. The Siamese’s physique is quite angular with a triangular head and pointed muzzle. The ears are proportionally large and stand erect and pointed, while the eyes have an almond shape and slant upward. The coat is short, smooth, and glossy.
Siamese cats can be found in several colors, but the most common combinations include seal point, blue point, lilac point, and chocolate point. Pointing is a term used to describe the contrasting fur colors. The body is paler in color, which blends out to the points or tips, including the feet, tail, ears, and mask, which are darker. Pointing is a characteristic feature of the Siamese cat.
Personality and temperament of the Siamese cat
Not only do Siamese cats have exceptionally good looks, they are also incredibly affectionate and friendly, making them excellent companions. They will readily climb in your lap, sleep next to you, and follow you around the house. But, keep in mind that while they will give you a lot of attention, they will demand it from you as well. The Siamese cat is social and thrives on human interaction. They can easily become lonely, so they do best in environments where their owners are frequently home. Siamese cats generally get along well with other cats, dogs, and strangers.
Siamese cats are intelligent and extremely vocal, often voicing their opinions about any and everything. This can be endearing at times, but a nuisance at other times. Be prepared to keep this cat entertained and happy, or else you may not hear the end of it.
Common health concerns for the Siamese catWhile the Siamese cat is generally a healthy, hearty cat, it is important to keep in mind certain ailments that this breed is prone to:
Lymphoma is a cancer that has an incidence of 200 per 100,000 cats. Siamese and other oriental breeds are predisposed to the mediastinal form that typically affects cats younger than 2 years old.
Cats, in general, are susceptible to upper and lower respiratory illnesses, such as asthma and bronchitis. One particular disease, known as reversible obstructive airway disease, is 5 to 15 times more likely to be seen in the Siamese cat. These diseases are often chronic and develop over a long period of time. There are many causes for lower airway diseases, such as allergies, but many inhalants, including essential oils, cigarette smoke, air fresheners, or hair sprays, may exacerbate the disease.
Other health concerns may include:
- Diabetes mellitus
- Periodontal disease
- Congenital hydrocephalus
- Congenital vascular ring anomaly
- Congenital pyloric stenosis
- Fungal infections
- Dental disease
- Chronic kidney disease
Caring for the Siamese catWhen given adequate amounts of time and attention, Siamese cats are relatively easy to care for. They do not require extensive grooming or maintenance—a quick brushing once per week should do the trick. However, in order to keep their intelligent minds busy and sharp, they need frequent human interaction in the form of playing, cuddling, chatting, or even walking on a leash, which they can be trained to do. If not kept busy, they can develop inconvenient behaviors such as scratching furniture, inappropriate urination, or increased vocalizing.
The Siamese is the perfect cat for you if:
- You have a family with at least one person who is home often
- You have other pets at home
- You are looking for a highly intelligent and interactive cat
- You prefer smaller, leaner cats
- You would like a cat with minimal grooming requirements
- You can tolerate excessive amounts of meowing