For those who aren't aware, April 6th is National Siamese Cat Day. I did a brief overview of Bengal cats a few weeks ago so I figure today is a great occasion to dive into another cat breed!
I will start by admitting my bias in writing this blog: My own sweet cat/the love of my life, Zoloft, happens to be a Siamese mix. Because of that, I'm very partial to these cats!
Of course, even without Z being part Siamese, they really are great cats! They have their quirks, but for the right human they're fantastic companions.
Siamese cats originally come from Thailand. They were a particularly popular pet among royalty and legends exist that they were even used as guards for the king! Their origins likely date back to at least the 18th century, though there is some uncertainty as to when exactly the breed arose. We do know that in the US, Lucy Hayes (who you may know as the wife of Rutherford B. Hayes) is credited as popularizing Siamese cats following receipt of one as a gift. The popularity of these special cats gradually spread after this until they became much more commonplace like they are today.
Blue Eyes and Soft Fur
Siamese cats are visually pretty distinct. While there are four general recognized coat patterns, all Siamese cats have light colored bodies with darker "tips" on their tails, paws, noses, and/or ears. They tend to be about average sized compared to other types of cats and have a short coat.
We can't forget about the Siamese's other distinctive feature: their gorgeous blue eyes! It's easy to get lost staring into their baby blues (though I don't recommend it: staring can be seen as a sign of aggression to cats!) and even Siamese mixed cats will sometimes retain this distinctive characteristic.
Little Chatter Boxes
Siamese cats are known for their sociability. One of the ways this shows up is in their tendency to be little chatter boxes! Siamese cats like to talk up a storm. Sometimes it's to let you know they need something and sometimes it's just to remind you that they're there. If you're looking for a quiet cat, these aren't going to be a good fit.
They also have a very distinct meow. It's sometimes likened to a crying baby or described as being a low, sad meow. They can also be VERY persistent in the meowing so be prepared to give them what they want or you may end up with a cat that keeps pestering you!
Your New BFF
Of course, the tendency to chat means that these cats are quite affectionate and friendly. These cats are great for folks who want a best friend. A Siamese cat will follow their humans around like a little magnet and will often snuggle up with you... whether you like it or not! Expect a Siamese cat to demand attention from you if you're not giving them enough.
Of course, Siamese cats aren't just decorative pets! They tend to be very high energy cats so if you want a low involvement cat, a different breed is a better choice. Someone who is looking for a cat that can be trained, will play with with you, or who may enjoy going going on walks, the Siamese is an excellent fit.
Clearly, Siamese cats make great companions! If you're thinking of adopting one, Class Act Cats' clicker training package is a great investment as these cats need a lot of mental stimulation. Failure to meet their play or stimulation needs is likely to result in behavior problems so getting started with training early can help prevent bigger problems that result from boredom later on. It's better to start your relationship with your new best friend on the right paw!
About the author: Joey Lusvardi is a feline behavior consultant and cat trainer based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He runs a behavior consultation service, Class Act Cats, where he helps cat parents address a variety of unwanted behaviors. He is available for consultation in the Twin Cities or virtually wherever you are located.