History of the Siamese Cat
The Siamese traces its roots back to the 14th Century in Thailand when it was known as Siam. This elegant breed belonged to members of the Siam royal family who would give them as gifts to visiting dignitaries.
Siamese cats began showing up in Europe and the United States in the late 1800s. The first known Siamese to reach American shores was a gift to First Lady Lucy Webb Hayes from the American consul in Bangkok in 1884. Siamese also enjoyed time in the White House during the Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter presidencies.
Today, the Siamese ranks fifth in popularity among all breeds recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association, the world’s largest breed registry.
A little bit about Colour Points
Many people believe that the Siamese breed has only one colour point – a Seal Point. However, there are actually approximately 17 variations of Siamese colour points.
The traditional colour points are:
- Seal Points (very dark)
- Chocolate Points (light milk chocolate brown)
- Blue Points (grayish blue points)
- Lilac Points (very dilute colouring almost purple in colouring)
The traditional Siamese colour points have been crossed into other breeds and this has resulted in the recognized varieties seen today. The “long hair” version of traditional Siamese colour points are known as the “Balinese” – they have the same four colour points as the traditional Siamese but long coat and a plumed tail.
“Colourpoints” have non-traditional, but recognized colour points. These points include:
- Lynx Points (light gray striped points)
- Flame or Red Points (orange colour points)
- Cream Points (a light version of the Red Point)
- Torti Points (tortoiseshell orange, white and black colour points)
The “long hair” versions of Colourpoints are known as “Javanese” (similar to the Balinese, but with non-traditional points of the colourpoint). The “Oriental” variety is a non-pointed cat with a Siamese body and personality.
RESCUE’s definition of a “Siamese” is a cat with blue eyes and some kind of colour points (ears, face, legs, or tail darker than the rest of the body). As a result we get many different looking Siamese. Many of the cat that grace our shelter are a mix of Siamese and domestic cat. As a result, appearance and temperament vary from cat to cat. Many of the cats that come to RESCUE are Siamese crosses; meaning that they may not have “perfect” points and all of the distinctive Siamese traits.
Siamese Cats FYI
- deep blue eyes
- lean, angular body
- loves people
DID YOU KNOW?…
The Siamese cat is so smart, it can be trained to perform tricks and obey commands! They are great competitors in feline agility.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CHECK OUT OUR CAT CARE HANDBOOK