The Siamese – Thai for ‘moon diamond’
Siamese cats were first officially exported from Thailand, once known as the exotic Siam, in the late 1800s.
The Siamese are said to be descendants of the sacred temple cats and the first Siamese to appear in England were a gift from Siam to the ambassador, who brought them home. Siamese are considered to be one of the oldest breeds of cat.
The Siamese people are more familiar with are termed the ‘modern’ Siamese. They have an elegant, slim, stylish, flexible and well-muscled body. The head is triangular-shaped with a thin snout. The eyes are almond-shaped and oblique, the ears large and thin. The kittens are born pure cream or white at birth then develop colour-points in the first few months. These point colours are seal (brown/black), blue (grey), chocolate (lighter brown) and lilac (warm grey).
The Thai or traditional Siamese shares the colour pattern of its modern relative, however it has a more compact body, an apple-shaped head, full, rounder cheeks, a shorter snout, smaller ears and almond-shaped but not oriental eyes.
Siamese are intelligent, inquisitive and loving in nature. They have a legendary loud low-pitched voice and are great communicators. It has been compared to the cries of a human baby and they can be persistent in demanding attention.
Siamese like to be totally involved in their owners’ lives. They do not like to be ignored and need to be the centre of attention. For those Siamese that have very sensitive and nervous temperaments, they do not cope with being left for long periods during the day. These individuals may not adapt to changes of environment or to strangers. It is not unusual for this to manifest into periods where they may not eat or drink, making them prone to health problems.
This article is dedicated to ‘Ming-Lu’, a well-known and special Siamese patient of Totally Vets, and her mum Marion Roddick. ‘Ming-Lu’ sadly passed away in March 2010.