Siamese cats are beautiful and dynamic cats, and they make wonderful pets and companions for people. While they’re currently one of the most recognized cat breeds, they used to be undesirable and had to work their way into becoming the beloved pets they are today.
Siamese cats have an old and rich history with humans and getting to know more about them will only make you appreciate this breed even more. Here are some of the most fascinating facts about Siamese cats.
Top 10 Siamese Cat Facts
1. Siamese Cats Are One of the Oldest Cat Breeds
Siamese cats originate from Thailand and are believed to be descendants of the Wichienmaat cat, a cat native to Thailand. Records of Wichienmaat cats can be found in documents dating back to the Ayutthaya Kingdom, which reigned from 1351 to 1767 AD.
Siamese cats were first introduced to Europe in 1871 and the United States in 1879. With their long relationship with humans, it’s no surprise that Siamese cats were involved in the breeding programs of many other cat breeds. Breeds with Siamese cats in their ancestry include Balinese, Bengal cats, Birmans, Himalayans, and Ocicats.
2. There Are at Least Four Different Kinds of Siamese Cats
Siamese cats are known for their signature dark points against a pale body. You can find as many as 30 different kinds of coat types in Siamese cats. However, the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) recognizes just four coat types.
The most well-known Siamese cat coat type is the seal point. Cats with this coat type have a fawn or cream body and seal point markings on their face, ears, paws, and tail. Other accepted coat types include chocolate point, blue point, and lilac point.
3. Siamese Cats’ Coloring Is a Gene Mutation
Siamese cats get their signature appearance from a gene mutation. They carry the Himalayan gene, which causes partial albinism. The mutation affects an enzyme called tyrosinase. This protein is involved in producing melanin, which affects the darkness of a cat’s fur.
Kittens with two Siamese parents will inherit the genetic mutation and develop their darker pigments. However, if they have one non-Siamese parent, they have a 1 in 4 chance of developing the darker point markings.
4. Siamese Cats Have Temperature-Based Pigments
Another interesting fact about a Siamese cat’s points is that they’re developed by temperature. The coat colors are partially influenced by the Siamese allele, which inhibits colors from developing throughout the cat’s entire body.
However, certain areas of the body with cooler temperatures prohibit the gene mutation from affecting them. These areas include the ears, paws, tails, and nose, which is why these parts have darker points on a Siamese cat.
5. All Siamese Cats Are Born White
Siamese cats are born with albinism, so kittens start as pure white. Once a kitten’s body temperature is regulated and reaches the average cat’s body temperature of 100.4°F-102.5°F, it starts to develop its point markings. Any areas that don’t reach this temperature become darker.
Another cat breed that has a similar gene mutation is the Burmese cat. However, its gene is less efficient, so the point markings aren’t as outstanding or noticeable as the Siamese cat’s markings.
6. Siamese Cats Are Known to Be a Friendly Cat Breed
While not all Siamese cats will have personalities aligned with the breed’s temperament, most Siamese cat owners state that their cats are very social and affectionate. They love being around people and don’t
do well when they’re home alone for long hours.
Most Siamese cats love receiving attention from their family members and are known to wait by the door every time they hear their owners returning home. They’re an excellent cat breed for first-time cat owners. Cat owners just must keep in mind that Siamese cats can live long lives and should be prepared to care for them for between 15-20 years.
7. Siamese Cats Can Be Very Vocal
Siamese cats aren’t the quietest breeds and often use their voices to get people’s attention. Cat owners may find themselves having “conversations” with their Siamese cats as they respond to words by meowing.
Some people attribute their chatty tendencies to their intelligence. Siamese cats are extremely smart and may learn to manipulate their vocal cords to create different sounds. They’ll also catch on quickly if loud meowing or yowling rewards them with attention or treats. So, it’s important not to encourage this behavior if you want your Siamese cat to refrain from making loud noises.
8. One of the Cats with the Longest Lives Is a Siamese Cat
Some cats can live past 20 years, and a special few live for 30 years and beyond. Scooter is a Siamese cat that was born in 1986 and lived for 30 years. At one point, he was the record holder for the Guinness World Record for Oldest Living Cat.
Scooter lived in Mansfield, Texas, and lived with his owner Gail for his entire life. He lived an active life and traveled to 45 out of the 50 US states. He was known as a friendly cat and enjoyed meeting new people.
9. Siamese Cats Used to Be Treated as Royalty
It was once believed that Siamese cats would embody the souls of family members of Siam royalty once they died. So, many Siamese cats were treated with respect, and some would live in temples and be cared for by monks.
Along with living with royalty, Siamese cats have also made homes in the White House. Shan and Misty Malarky Ying Yang are two Siamese cats that enjoyed living in the White House for several years.
10. Crossed Eyes and Crooked Tails Used to Be Common Traits of Siamese Cats
Legends of the earlier Siamese cats say that Siamese cats used to be in charge of guarding a royal goblet. They would guard and keep their eyes on the goblet for so long that their eyes would become crossed.
Of course, modern science attributes the Siamese cat’s crossed eyes to genetics. This trait is connected to the albino allele found in Siamese cats. Crossed eyes and crooked tails were some of the first issues that Siamese cat breeders encountered. However, these traits were eventually diminished with selective breeding, and they’re less commonly found in the breed.
Siamese cats are fascinating cats that developed an old and rich history as they lived alongside humans. They were once treated as royalty, and they’re still regarded as wonderful companion pets today. They have fun personalities and often bring smiles to people’s faces with their affection and playfulness. We know that this cat breed will continue to live alongside people for many more years to come, and we look forward to discovering more fascinating facts about them along the way.
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Featured Image Credit: Webandi, Pixabay