National Siamese Cat Day: All About The Amazing Siamese Cat

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Happy National Siamese Cat Day! 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. These cats are super special and I’m sure that those of you who have had the honor of living with a Siamese cat feel the same.

Zoloft the Siamese cat wearing a bowtie and sitting next to a sign that says "Zoloft is the Birthday Cat."
And how could I not be? Look at this guy!

Of course, even without Zoloft being part Siamese, they really are great cats. They have their quirks, but for the right human, they’re fantastic companions. Let’s look into what makes Siamese cats so special.

Royal Origins

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 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 than they are today.

Physical Characteristics Of Siamese Cats

There is some controversy as to what exactly a true Siamese cat looks like. Namely, some of the mixed breed cats that are partially Siamese may not considered true Siamese by some. In fact, some cats (such as Zoloft) may be considered a colorpoint shorthair instead.

I’m personally not too picky about breeds so I’m going to lump them into the Siamese group as they’re ultimately descended from purebred Siamese cats and share many of the same characteristics. That said, if you are looking to show a cat, colorpoint cats wouldn’t be allowed to be shown under the Siamese category depending on who is running the show.

Fur Patterns

Siamese cats are visually pretty distinct. While there are four generally 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 short coats. Best of all, they’re not known for shedding a ton so they’re generally pretty easy when it comes to grooming requirements.

A Siamese cat laying down on top of a table.
Don’t worry, he already knows how beautiful he is! Photo by Alex Meier.

The four different coloration patterns of Siamese cats are the chocolate, lilac, seal, and blue point patterns. Seal and chocolate point cats both have darker brown point patterns in their fur, though seal points have brown noses and toe beans whereas chocolate points have pink noses and toe beans. Blue points will have lighter-colored fur with grayish-blue point features, hence the name. Lilac points are similar, though they tend to have lighter features and whiter fur.

What About Colorpoints Siamese Cats?

Besides the four official Siamese patterns, there are the colorpoint patterns. Whether or not they’re true Siamese cats is up for debate, but let’s chat briefly about what they look like as they still maintain a lot of the same characteristics of the breed.

Colorpoints have the same general characteristic pointed coat pattern, but because they were mixed with cats with a tabby pattern, they have more unique markings. Some may have more solid coloration, such as the flame point Siamese cat (also known as a red point), whereas lynx point Siamese cats like Zoloft have more of a tabby pattern. You can see Zoloft has the distinct M that you see in tabby fur patterns.

A cat resting on a blue fake laptop looking toward a real laptop.
And he’s so freakin’ handsome, too.

Coat pattern gets even more complicated as you can find hybrid patterns between the pointed Siamese coat and torties. There are a lot of possible coat patterns that colorpoints will display!

Though let’s be honest here: Zoloft’s coat pattern is the best, from a completely objective standpoint.

Beautiful Blue Eyes

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). Both purebred Siamese cats and colorpoint Siamese cats will have these gorgeous eyes.

That said, just because a cat has blue eyes doesn’t mean they are part Siamese. Birmans, for example, are a separate breed that originated from Burma rather than Thailand. While they look similar, they typically have less pointed features, longer hair, and rounder ears than a Siamese cat would.

Personality Traits

While physical characteristics may clue you into a cat being a Siamese cat, where Siameses are so special is their personality. Truly, they are a unique cat. What’s the phrase? Once you go Siamese you never go back? For some reason, I don’t think that’s quite it, but it’s true that a Siamese will be a special companion that you won’t see with another breed.

Your New BFF

Siamese cats are known for their sociability. They love humans and tend to bond very strongly with their person (or persons). These cats are great for folks who want a best friend. If you are looking for a snuggle bug, they 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.

In fact, Siamese cats are often a bit of a Velcro cat. Zoloft is known to come follow me into the shower. He’ll sit between the shower curtain and the liner. Sometimes he’ll scream at me and sometimes he’ll just hang out until I can resume my duties of worshipping him. Either way, be prepared that they will want to be with you at all times.

That said, a Siamese cat may only bond closely with humans they are familiar with. They may not be quite as warm toward strangers, but colorpoints tend to be incredibly friendly due to the personality traits they inherit from their non-Siamese side.

Little Chatter Boxes

One of the ways their sociability shows up is in their tendency to chat and chat and chat. 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. Thankfully, in many cases, all that they want is to be around you.

Intelligent And Energetic Cats

Of course, Siamese cats aren’t just decorative pets. They tend to be high energy cats so if you want a low-involvement cat, a different breed is a better choice. If you don’t provide them with enough mental stimulation, you may end up with behavior problems.

For someone looking for a cat that can be trained, will play with you, or may enjoy going on walks, the Siamese is an excellent fit. Expect to spend time each day making sure your cat has enough to do so that they don’t decide to get creative with their activities. If you’re looking for something to occupy their time, a puzzle feeder is a great idea. They may also like a toy like the Cat Dancer Deluxe that can be attached to the wall so they can play even when you’re busy.

Is A Siamese Cat Right For You?

Clearly, Siamese cats make great companions. They have a lot of unique needs, however. Failure to meet their play or stimulation needs is likely to result in behavior problems. You should be ready to spend significant time training them and showering them with attention. You’ll also be prepared for them to talk your ear off.

In return, you’ll get a loyal companion who will genuinely want to be around you. You’ll gain a friendship like you’ve never experienced and your life will be forever changed. Zoloft changed my life and I am forever grateful that I got to enjoy the company of a Siamese cat. If you’re prepared for their quirks, I’m sure your life will be so much better much like mine!

Need behavior help for your Siamese cat?

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Joey Lusvardi

Joey Lusvardi

Joey Lusvardi CCBC is an IAABC Certified Cat Behavior Consultant and professional cat trainer based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He runs a behavior consultation and cat training service, Class Act Cats, where he helps cat parents address a variety of unwanted behaviors. Joey is available for in home sessions locally or virtual sessions wherever you are located!