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Home > Cats > Siamese Cat Health Problems: 8 Vet Reviewed Concerns & Care Tips

Siamese Cat Health Problems: 8 Vet Reviewed Concerns & Care Tips

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Dr. Tabitha Henson

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Siamese cats are strikingly unique when it comes to looks. They also have unique personalities and temperaments that make them interesting household pets. Fortunately, most Siamese cats can become happy and healthy felines. Unfortunately, there are a few health conditions that this breed is susceptible to developing. Here are eight common health concerns that every Siamese cat owner should be aware of.

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The 8 Health Concerns for Siamese Cats

1. Dental Disease

Like most cat breeds, the Siamese cat is susceptible to developing dental disease as they age. Dental disease is extremely common. The disease usually develops when teeth are not properly cared for as time goes on. Food gets stuck in the teeth and gums, breaking down and creating tartar and plaque.

If left unchecked, tartar and plaque can cause infections and disease within the teeth and gums. Two of the most common types of dental disease that cats experience are gingivitis and periodontal disease. If either problem is allowed to persist, it could result in the loss of teeth and even bloodstream infections.

seal point siamese cat making funny face
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

2. Amyloidosis

This is a disease that some Siamese families genetically inherit. It develops because the amino acid sequence within the amyloid protein is defective, and the sequence is deposited in the body. In the case of the Siamese cat, amyloidosis (this doesn’t seem like the appropriate link?) tends to attack the liver. The amyloid protein gets deposited in the organ, where it can disrupt proper functionality.


3. Cancers

The Siamese cat is susceptible to multiple cancers, especially in their older years. Lymphoma is a type of cancer that tends to be more predominant in Siamese cats than in other cat breeds. It develops when the body’s lymphocytes become abnormal. Fortunately, it’s treatable, especially if caught early.

Siamese cats also happen to be susceptible to thymoma, which specifically affects the chest. Mast cell tumors are another concern, which is an aggressive type of skin cancer that should be treated as soon as possible. It’s a good idea to have your Siamese kitty screened for cancer regularly once they enter adulthood.

siamese cat bed
Credit: liliy2025, Pixabay

4. Convergent Strabismus

Convergent strabismus is the technical term for crossed eyes. This condition is often apparent at birth, but sometimes, it does not develop until later. It’s usually genetic, so Siamese cats can inherit it from their bloodline. The good news is that convergent strabismus is usually harmless and does not pose any serious health threats, no matter what age the cat is.

Normally, the condition is obvious when present. However, a veterinarian can do some testing, complete a blood chemistry profile, and even order a skull X-ray to secure an official diagnosis. If your kitty’s convergent strabismus is inherited, which is likely for a Siamese cat, treatment is not necessary.


5. Feline Asthma

Just like humans, Siamese cats can develop asthma which can in turn, affect their ability to lead a happy and healthy life. Most cats develop asthma between the ages of 4 and 5. Asthma tends to develop in cats when they regularly inhale allergens that trigger their immune systems. When a cat develops asthma, signs of trouble may show up in the form of wheezing, coughing, vomiting, and breathing with the mouth open.

Treatment can be provided by a veterinarian to help keep asthma symptoms to a minimum as time goes on. Usually, a vet will prescribe corticosteroids to help reduce lung and bronchial inflammation. Sometimes, a bronchodilator is used along with the corticosteroids to help relieve the airways.

siamese cat
Image Credit: Timur85, Pixabay

6. Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Also referred to as PRA, progressive retinal atrophy mostly affects the Abyssinian and similar breeds, like the Siamese. PRA is a group of diseases that are inherited and affect the retina of the eye. PRA tends to lead to vision problems and eventual blindness as an adult.

A cat with PRA may show signs such as dilated pupils, visible eyeshine, and accidents that seem to be due to vision impairment. Unfortunately, there is no treatment or cure for PRA. However, there are a few things that your veterinarian can do to help ease your cat’s discomfort as they age. Selective breeding is the most viable option for preventing the development of PRA in Siamese cats.


7. Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a health condition that many cat breeds are susceptible to developing, including the Siamese. This condition develops due to malformation and/or degeneration of the hip joints. As the condition progresses, the hips can no longer function properly. This causes pain and can literally lead to immobility.

Hip dysplasia tends to affect female cats more often than males. Signs of hip dysplasia include the cat having difficulty sitting, lying down, and getting up, as well as a swaying gait, decreased range of motion, and lameness in the hind limbs. Sometimes, surgery is necessary for treatment purposes. If surgery is not required, various outpatient treatment options may be recommended by your veterinarian.

applehead siamese cat sitting
Image Credit: Tatiana Chekryzhova, Shutterstock

8. Niemann-Pick Disease

This is a fatal disease that was once only seen in children. However, a form of Niemann-Pick disease has been discovered in the Siamese cat, and since then, this cat breed has served as a genetic model for researching this disease in both cats and kids. This condition is a recessive genetic disease that affects organs like the organ and spleen.

As Niemann-Pick disease develops, it affects the nervous system, so signs typically include a loss of balance, uncoordinated walking, head tremors, and splayed legs. Sometimes, treatment with a compound named cyclodextrin can result in noticeable improvements. However, the treatment is not likely to cure the disease.

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Conclusion

While Siamese cats are susceptible to several different types of health conditions, these cats can live long and healthy lives with regular veterinarian and preventative care. It is important to learn as much as possible about a Siamese cat’s background and bloodline before adopting one so you have insight into whether there are any specific conditions that you’ll need to watch for.


Featured Image Credit: Stock-Asso, Shutterstock

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