Until 1939, Thailand was known as Siam and it was there that the Royal Cat’s of Siam originated. Today we refer to this beautiful breed as Siamese cats.
Here are 17 more interesting Siamese cat facts.
1. The Siamese Cat origins
The Siamese Cat is one of the original recognized breeds of Asian cat. As with most cat breeds, the true origins of Siamese cats are not really known, though it is believed they originated in Thailand (Siam) in about the 14th Century.
2. Only the Royals of Siam could own them
Also known as Royal Points, these cats were held in such high regard that no one except the king and other members of the royal family were allowed to own them.
3. When Siamese Cats came West
It is thought Siamese cats were first introduced in the western hemisphere in the late 19th Century. In the early 20th Century, the first Siamese Cat Society was formed in America.
4. The Traditional Siamese Cats
These are also referred to as old-style. They have a lean muscular body and a round head shape which leads to their other name, Applehead Siamese. Though their ears are large, they are still in proportion to the size of their head.
5. The Classic Siamese Cat
This is a cross between the Traditional and Modern Siamese cats.
6. The Modern Siamese Cat
Selective breeding has produced a Siamese cat with more extreme features: a long, wiry muscular body; a slim, wedge-shaped head; piercing blue eyes and oversized ears.
7. The Kinked Siamese Tail and the Tales Behind It
Original Siamese cats had kinks in their tails. You will rarely see this now as the trait has been bred out.
A variety of stories suggest the reason for the tail kink. One tells of a Siamese cat who guarded Royal goblet by wrapping its tail tightly around the stem until a permanent kink developed. This was passed on to her kittens and then their offspring. Another recounts the story of a Princess removing her jewelry whilst bathing. So she didn’t lose it she hung it on her Siamese cat’s tail which formed a hook-like kink as a result.
8. Cross-eyed Siamese
Siamese cats can have cross-eye. Legend has it that staring too closely at that golden goblet that caused the tail kink also caused this affliction.
The fact is, Siamese cats are prone to convergent squint where their eyes seem to look at the bridge of their nose. This is caused by a nerve connection problem and though it can’t be treated cats with this condition don’t seem to be adversely affected.
9. To Make a Point
The dark faces, ears, tail tips and paws of a Siamese cat are known as points. They can be seal, chocolate, blue or lilac. There is also a Lynx Point Siamese.
10. Siamese Kittens Are Born White
At birth, all Siamese kittens are white. Their color develops about a week after they are born. Their color is affected by temperature.
In the womb, the heat suppresses an enzymatic color change which only occurs below 98⁰F. Once they are born, the warmer areas of their body remain white whilst their extremities develop the color dictated by their genes.
Here’s a wonderful clip of a Siamese cat with three new kittens. You can see how their colors develop as the weeks pass by.
11. The Siamese Voice
Siamese cats have rather unique voices and can be very expressive and talkative.
12. Siamese Cats love attention
Siamese cats love company and will go all out to get your attention. They don’t like being left alone for too long and will show symptoms of sadness if they are left for too long.
13. Disney Siamese Cats
Two Siamese cats feature in the film Lady and the Tramp. Their names are Si and Am. They sing the Siamese Cat Song, sometimes know as We Are Siamese.
14. Pet of a Film Star
James Dean owned a Siamese cat named Marcus. He was a gift from Elizabeth Taylor.
15. Pet of a Prime Minister
The British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, owned a Siamese cat called Nemo, who used to travel with him.
17. Presidential Siamese Cats
Amy Carter, daughter of US President Jimmy Carter, owned a Siamese cat named Misty Malarky Ying Yang.
Gerald Ford’s daughter, Susan, had a Siamese called Shan Shein.