Siamese Breed Highlights

Beautiful Siamese cat with blue eyes lying on the floor

  • Siamese can be quite the talkers, which is how they earned their nickname “Meezer.” They’re always willing to have long, deep conversations with you.

  • This is one of the oldest cat breeds in the world, with mentions of a Siamese cat in Thai manuscripts from 1350 to 1700 AD.

  • The Siamese’s distinctive and recognizable coloring is a result of a partial form of albinism, which also makes their eyes bright blue.

  • Scooter, a male Siamese, held the Guinness World Record for the oldest living cat. He lived with his owner in Texas until he was 30 years old.

  • Siamese kittens are born white and their coats darken with age.

  • In the past, they often had crossed eyes. Many even had crooked tails. More selective breeding has reduced the occurrence of these issues.

Unique Physical Features

Trupanion Cat Breed Guide - Siamese illustration

  • Almond-shaped blue eyes

  • Distinctive coloring of a light body and dark legs, tail, and nose

  • Wedge-shaped head and long, lithe body (in modern style)

Color Patterns of the Siamese

  • Seal point

  • Chocolate point

  • Lilac point

  • Blue point

The point coloration is a light color body with darker extremities. This happens because the outer extremities are a lower temperature than the body. An enzyme involved with melanin production called tyrosinase, present in Siamese due to their partial albinism, is only activated at cooler temperatures. This is also why Siamese cats that live in cooler climates tend to have darker coats than those that live in warm climates.

Unique Personality

Trupanion Cat Breed Guide - Siamese illustration

The Siamese is an energetic and opinionated breed that loves human companionship. Their bright blue eyes radiate intelligence and they love learning new things and exploring their environment. While their good looks might make them appear untouchable, the Siamese is actually very playful and quite a cuddle bug. They’re known as one of the most talkative cat breeds and will chat with you all night long if you let them.

Preferred Lifestyle

Energy Level

Cat breed energy level - high (ninja warrior)

Siamese cats are highly social and enjoy the company of other cats and people. Individuals of this breed become quite attached to their humans, and follow them around like shadows; it’s best not to leave them alone for long periods of time, as they can become depressed or destructive with a lack of social interaction. In fact, many people adopt two Siamese cats at a time so that they can keep each other company. Because this breed is highly intelligent and always on the hunt for entertainment, they’re often labeled as “mischievous.” Make sure you give your Siamese kitten something to do or they’ll find something on their own to occupy their time! These cats require daily play sessions and interactions with their humans to stay happy and healthy, both physically and emotionally. This means they’re not necessarily the most independent cats. Luckily, they are typically good playmates with both children and other pets, especially when introduced to them as kittens.

Average Lifespan
(Range)

8 to 15 years

Average Size
(Range)

6 - 14 pounds

Similar Breeds

  • Balinese

  • Himalayan

  • Oriental Shorthair

  • Snowshoe

  • Thai

  • Tonkinese

History of the Siamese

Light, white-colored Siamese cat laying on fluffy blanket

The Siamese is a descendant of the Wichienmaat, or Thai breed of cat, and is considered one of the oldest naturally developed cat breeds. They’re even mentioned in Thai manuscripts dating back to 1350 AD. In some accounts, they lived as temple cats, and in the poems found in Tamra Maew (the Cat-Book Poems) they acted as guard cats for royal jewelry. Favorites of royalty, they became known as “the Royal Cat of Siam.”

Siamese didn’t make their way to the West until 1878 when U.S. President Hayes was sent a Siamese cat named “Siam” from the American Consul in Bangkok. While the breed was shown in London at the Crystal Palace Cat Show in 1871, they didn’t start to become popular until 1884, when a Consul-General at their embassy in Siam brought back a pair of kittens for his sister. Their reception in the West was mixed at first, as their pointed color pattern and head shape were quite different than the other breeds popular at the time, such as the British Shorthair and Persian. However, as more Siamese cats were imported into Britain and the United States, a breeding program emerged and they became a favorite.

Changes Over Time

The original Siamese cats found in Thailand had a less severe look, with a rounder body and head (referred to as an Applehead). During the 1950s and 60s, a more slender and angular look became popular, resulting in what’s now called the “Modern Siamese.” This modern style has a perfectly triangular and long head, tube-shaped body, long legs, and skinny tail. While the International Cat Association (TICA) and World Cat Federation (WCF) now recognize the classic type, there is a campaign within the breeding community to separate these breeds from each other completely. One step towards doing this has already been taken, with TICA and the WCF designating any Siamese cat imported directly from Thailand as the recent Thai cat breed.

Plays Well with Others?

Siamese cats are very playful, active, and require a lot of attention from their guardians. They get along moderately well with other pets and children who are old enough (i.e., 8 years of age or older) to be taught how to properly handle cats and kittens, pay attention to their body language, and not play too rough with their feline friends.

Graphic - multi-color feather toy for cats

Exercise Requirements

Siamese are a high energy breed that requires exercise to stay happy, healthy, and help prevent unwanted behavior. Luckily, they love to play with toys and are quite the climbers. Give them an outlet for their energy by providing them with plenty of high places to perch and jump and having lots of play sessions together.

Mental Enrichment Needs

Siamese are highly active, social, and intelligent; this combination requires that these cats are given daily enrichment activities to keep their minds and bodies active and healthy. This breed is highly trainable because of their intelligence and desire to interact with humans. Meezers, a common nickname for this breed, like to explore and climb to high places. Activities that train new behaviors, encourage exploration of various objects, and allow for problem-solving (e.g., puzzles) will be appreciated by this breed.

Common Behavioral Issues

While not a behavior issue per se, this breed is quite chatty and vocal. Most people who have Siamese companions know and enjoy this about the breed, but if you prefer a quiet cat, this is likely not the best breed for you. Siamese cats enjoy a good conversation, particularly when their humans are present.

Fun Activities the Siamese Enjoys

Trupanion Cat Breed Guide - Siamese illustration

Siamese cats are very active, playful, social, and intelligent, which means they will enjoy a wide range of activities that keep their minds and bodies busy. Here are a few activities Meezers might enjoy:

  • Walking on a harness/leash outdoors, or going for a ride in a pet-stroller (if older).

  • Playing with interactive wand toys that feature prey-like lures; laser pointers and “catnip bubbles” may also be fun to chase.

  • “Fishing” small cat toys (like balls or mice) from a cardboard box with small holes cut into the sides.

  • Trick-training, including playing fetch, giving high-fives, going to a “station”, and other commands.

  • Training to go through obstacle and agility courses.

  • Interactive food puzzles that must be physically manipulated for a treat reward.

  • Climbing cat shelves or tall cat trees, particularly those with a window from which to watch birds and squirrels.

VETERINARIAN TIP

Never leave your cat alone near an open window that doesn't have a secure screen. If it's on the first floor, your cat can get out of the house and get injured, lost or any of the other possible problems that outdoor cats face on a daily basis. If the window is on the second floor or above your cat is at risk of suffering from severe injuries of "high-rise syndrome," and you don't even need to live in a true high-rise building. The injuries of "high-rise syndrome" tend to be worst in falls from between the 2nd and 7th floors!

  • Teach your cat to enjoy car rides with you, and/or go to work with you (depending on your environment, of course).

  • Video games designed for cats to play using computer tablets.

Coat Type

Short

Shedding Level

shedding level - 2 of 5 piles of fur

2 out of 5 piles of fur

Grooming Requirements

  • Low Maintenance
  • Weekly Brushing

The Siamese coat is short and dense, but doesn’t take much to maintain as long as the cat is able to clean itself regularly. Weekly brushing and regular nail trimming will keep this breed looking their best. Introduce your kitten to these experiences at a young age, keeping the experience calm and positive.

Famous Owners of the Siamese

  • Clark Gable (Actor)

  • Kim Novak (Actress)

  • Jane Fonda (Actress/Activist)

  • Elizabeth Taylor (Actress)

  • Syd Barrett (Musician)

  • Famke Janssen (Actress)

  • Frank Zappa (Musician)

  • Fred Astaire (Actor)

Famous Siamese

Syn, the cat who starred in That Darn Cat! and played Tao in The Incredible Journey won a PATSY Award, which is like the Oscar for animals, in 1966.

Siamese in Books, Music and TV

  • The troublesome kitties from The Lady and The Tramp
  • The kitty from the original film, That Darn Cat!

  • Tao in the film The Incredible Journey

  • Shun Gon in The Aristocats

  • Pyewacket in the film Bell, Book & Candle

Non-Endorsement Statement: The social media posts displayed here do not imply any endorsement of these people or products, nor does it imply they endorse Trupanion or our product.

Common Health Conditions for Cats

Use the chart of Trupanion claims data below to find out what health conditions happen most frequently for cats. Every cat is unique, but understanding what health conditions are likelier to occur can help you be a more prepared pet owner.

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Here's what our
cat-loving members say about Trupanion

Trupanion member Rexford

Rexford

Gwynn Oak, MD

Condition: Urinary obstruction

The Trupanion policy paid: $19,031.43

"When my cat, Rexford, became ill, it was a great relief knowing I had Trupanion. It allowed me to focus on Rex and get him the care and treatment he needed without worry. Rexford required multiple surgeries and extended hospitalizations; to know that we had the support of this wonderful company was such a comfort. I will never have a pet not covered by Trupanion."

- Juliana H.

Trupanion member Gator

Gator

Calgary, Alberta

Conditions: Ear infections, diarrhea, enteritis, allergic reaction to medication

The Trupanion policy paid: $4,672.13

"Gator struggled with a weak immune system, ear infections and chronic diarrhea. After months of medical intervention, she was healthy enough for her spay. At the beginning of the procedure she had an allergic reaction to the medication and her airway swelled. She had to receive emergency drugs and luckily she recovered! We cannot thank Trupanion enough for being with us. I will always have Trupanion for my cats."

- Heather M.

Trupanion member Mason

Mason

Peyton, CO

Conditions: Giardia, Pancreatitis, infection, lymphoma

The Trupanion policy paid: $17,057.92

"Mason got what seemed to be a UTI but ended up being an intestinal disease. He has also been treated for giardia, trichomonas, irritable bowel disease, pancreatitis and a UTI. Throughout this entire ordeal, Trupanion stood by us all the way. Trupanion continues to pay for Mason’s care and when I call, I get such personal service! I even got a handwritten card from the staff, expressing their thoughts for Mason!"

- Carrie B.

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Sources
The information in the Trupanion Breed Guide is robust and always expanding. You can learn more about this breed by exploring this list of all the resources used in its creation:

https://tica.org/
https://cfa.org/
https://www.wikipedia.org/
https://cattime.com/cat-breeds
https://www.youtube.com/user/AnimalPlanetTV
The Original CatFancy Cat Bible, by Sandy Robins. i-t Publishing, LLC, Irvine, CA. 2014, 544 pp.
Encyclopedia of Cat Breeds, 2nd Edition, by J. Anne Helgren. Barron's Educational Series, Inc., Hauppauge, NY. 2013, 384 pp.
The Complete Cat Breed Book, Kim Dennis-Bryan, editor. Korling Kindersley, New York, NY. 2013, 256 pp.
Cool Cats: the 100 Cat Breeds of the World, by Desmond Morris. Ebury Press, London. 1999, 256 pp.
Beyond Squeaky Toys, by Nicole Nicassio-Hiskey & Cinthia Alia Mitchell. Smart Pets Press, LLC, Lafayette, OR. 2013, 160 pp.
Brain Games for Cats, by Claire Arrowsmith. Firefly Books, Buffalo, NY. 2016, 96 pp.
Getting Started: Clicker Training for Cats, by Karen Pryor. Karen Prior Clickertraining, Waltham, MA. 2001, 81 pp.