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Siamese Cat

Height: 8-10 inches
Weight: 8-14 pounds
Lifespan: 8-15 years
Colors: Seal point, chocolate point, blue point, lilac point
Suitable for: Homes with children, those wanting a lap cat
Temperament: Loving, affectionate, elegant, talkative, intelligent, energetic, playful, codependent

Despite their reputation for being aloof and unaffectionate, Siamese cats are actually some of the most loving and loyal creatures on the planet. They want nothing more than to sit in your lap or play with you.

If you’d like to learn more about these wonderful pets, the guide below will fill you in on all the pertinent details. Be forewarned, though: you may just fall in love with these cats by the end of it.

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Siamese Kittens — Before You Buy

These cats love to play as kittens, and they love to play as adults. They especially love to play at 2 a.m. when the rest of the house is asleep. If there’s a ball to be batted or a feather to be chased, they’re all over it.

Siamese Kittens
Image Credit: webandi, Pixabay

That means you’ll need to invest in plenty of toys or figure out a way to make some yourself. That includes scratching posts — you’ll want multiples of those. Put one in every room, if you can.

Otherwise, they’ll find something else to sharpen their claws on, whether it’s your curtains, your couch, or your legs. Giving them an alternative is certainly a preferable option.

Then again, if you’re someone who prefers kitten-like behavior no matter how old the cat is, then the Siamese is perfect for you.

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

What’s the Price of Siamese Kittens?

Siamese cats are fairly common, which helps drive the cost of kittens down. For the most part, you should expect to pay between $200 and $400 for a purebred kitten.

That price can go up if the animal has premium bloodlines, so if you’re hoping to show your cat, you may need to pay as much as $1,500. However, there’s no reason to pay that much unless you intend to compete with them later on.

If you’re buying from a breeder, it’s important to do your research to make sure they’re reputable. Don’t necessarily go with the first one you find, and be willing to look outside your immediate geographical area to find a good one.

Once you’ve settled on a breeder, check their references and inspect their facilities in person if you can. Make sure the cats are kept in clean, suitable conditions, and see how they respond to humans. If they’re incredibly fearful and withdrawn, it’s a bad sign, especially considering how sociable Siamese are.

Then again, this breed is common enough that you can almost certainly find a kitten through your neighborhood shelter or a local rescue group. Not only will that save you money, but it will also save a wonderful cat’s life.

siamese
Image Credit: klimkin, Pixabay

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3 Little-Known Facts About Siamese

1. Many of These Cats Used to Be Cross-Eyed

Due to a variety of genetic factors, many Siamese cats used to be naturally cross-eyed. It didn’t affect their ability to hunt or function, but it certainly gave them an odd and comical appearance.

Many legends sprung up attempting to explain this strange quirk. One of the most famous suggested that the cats were tasked with guarding a golden cup. In the course of doing their duties, the cats became enamored of the goblet and stared at it so hard that their eyes crossed.

You won’t find many cross-eyed Siamese these days, as breeders considered it an “undesirable trait” and bred it out. That’s a shame, as the only thing that could make these elegant cats more adorable is a little goofiness.

2. These Cats Used to Be Royalty as Well

Siamese were often kept by royal families in their native Thailand. Their distinct appearance played a big part in that, as did their loyal personalities. However, the royals had an ulterior motive for keeping these cats around.

They believed that one of these cats would receive their soul upon death. It makes sense to want to stay on their good side in that case — and it’s not a bad deal for the cats either, as they would then spend their lives being tended to by monks and priests after their royal benefactors passed on.

3. They’re Prone to Compulsive Behaviors

For whatever reason, these cats are more prone than other breeds to exhibiting compulsive behaviors. You may notice your Siamese start to suck on fabric or engage in pica (which means eating things that aren’t food). They may even start compulsively licking or biting themselves.

This behavior often starts around the age of 2, so be on the lookout for it. If you see any of these behaviors, be sure to talk to your vet about them.

Siamese Cat
Image Credit By: rihaij, pixabay

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Siamese

Siamese cats are known for exhibiting behavior that’s positively dog-like in many ways. They’re extremely affectionate and even clingy, and they demand near-constant attention, whether it comes in the form of playtime or petting.

As a result, they’re not a good pet for anyone who can’t dedicate a ton of time to them. If you’re never home, there are other cat breeds that can handle being alone for long periods, but the Siamese isn’t one of them.

If you leave them alone all the time, they can quickly become depressed and withdrawn. This can lead to health issues and the destruction of property, so it’s in your best interest to spend as much time with them as you can.

They’re also incredibly smart. They can be trained to do all sorts of things — if you’re a capable trainer. They can even be taught to walk on a leash.

Their intelligence isn’t always used for good, though. These are mischievous cats, and they’ll get into all sorts of things if you’re not looking. Don’t expect all your stuff to stay in its proper place — that’s just the price of owning a Siamese.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

These cats can make wonderful family pets, as they’ll happily skip from lap to lap, seeking out all the affection they can get. Again, it’s like owning a dog in a cat’s body.

They’re good with children as well. They love to play and cuddle, and they’ll tolerate a fair amount of misbehavior from kids. Like any cat, though, there’s a point where they’ve had enough, so be sure to monitor your kids around them.

They enjoy being held and handled, so curious tykes can pick them up and carry them around without issue (provided that they’re gentle, of course).

You may need a large family to provide them with all the attention that they crave, in fact. They don’t like to be alone, so they’ll be happy as long as someone else is around. The more people you have at home, the better the chance that your cat will have company.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

As you might expect, given that these cats are considered dog-like, they often get along well with dogs, provided that the pooch isn’t antagonistic.

They actually love to play with dogs, and since they’re a high-energy breed, they’ll be happy to have someone to race around the house with. You may need to put any breakable objects out of reach, or else they could get knocked over while your pets zoom around.

It helps if the two species are introduced when they’re young or if the cat is already established in the household before the dog comes along. You don’t want the dog to view the cat as an intruder into their space.

As with any cat, smaller animals like mice or birds are more likely to be viewed as food than friends. They may not try to eat them, but they’ll most definitely be interested in playing with them, and playing with a cat often ends poorly for smaller animals.

If you pair your cat with the right pet, you can have an adorable friendship on your hands. However, they’ll most likely prefer to spend time with their human roommates instead.

Siamese
Image Credit: webandi, Pixabay

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Things to Know When Owning a Siamese

Many people own Siamese, so there’s plenty of information out there about the proper way to raise them.

In order to make things as easy for you as possible, though, we’ve put together a miniature guide to Siamese ownership below.

Food & Diet Requirements 

Like all cats, Siamese are carnivores. Therefore, their diet should be built almost exclusively around meat.

Any food you feed them should list meat as the first ingredient and preferably as the first several. There are fruits and vegetables that provide important nutrients, but they should be included as bonuses, not as the primary basis of the food.

The more protein inside the food, the better. You can’t just look at the protein numbers listed on the label, though, as some manufacturers pad their totals with plant proteins, which aren’t easily digested by cats. Make sure the protein comes from real meat.

Beyond that, you’ll want plenty of fat, fiber, and water in the food. This will help keep them feeling full while giving them long-lasting energy, and the water is useful for staving off dehydration. This is important, as many cats don’t eat enough.

There’s some disagreement as to whether wet food or dry kibble is best for cats, as both offer benefits that the other doesn’t. As a result, we recommend mixing the two if possible. You can dump out a can and sprinkle kibble on top, which should keep your cat both healthy and happy.

Exercise 🐈

This is a high-energy breed, so they’ll need to burn off that energy in some form or fashion. That means a fair amount of exercise.

The good news is that it’s not difficult to convince them to run around. If you bring out a feather wand, they’ll lose their mind. They can chase it for hours, so you’re likely to get tired before they do.

If they don’t get enough exercise, they’ll take it on themselves to provide it. That could mean just running around the house at high speeds or climbing any available surface, but it could also mean shredding your couch.

This is where having extra people or pets in the house comes in handy. It can be daunting for a single person to have to provide a Siamese with all the play that they require, so if you can divvy the task up among several members of the household, both you and your cat will probably be happier for it.

Siamese can be prone to obesity, so keeping them active is as important to their physical health as their mental health.

Training 🧶

Siamese are extremely intelligent animals, and they can be trained to perform all sorts of neat tricks.  That said, it won’t be easy. This is an extremely independent breed, and if they decide that they don’t want to be trained, you’re not going to have any success training them.

It’s best if you try to train them to do things that they show a natural proclivity for doing. For example, if your cat likes to jump after feathers, you can train them to jump through hoops. If they don’t like to jump, though, you’re entering a world of pain if you try to force them.

Positive reinforcement is always best, so reward them with a treat or praise when they perform the trick. Never punish them, as this will only push them away (and invite payback when you least suspect it).

There are a few negative behaviors that can be common to the breed that you may need to train out of them, including aggressiveness, excessive vocalization, and extreme neediness.

cute Siamese cat
Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock

Grooming ✂️

This short-haired breed sheds less than many other cats, so their grooming needs are minimal. You’ll still need to brush them every week or so in order to keep their coats shiny, but that’s more of a cosmetic thing than anything else.

They also need their nails trimmed regularly. This should happen every 2 weeks or so, although you may be able to go longer if they use a scratching post religiously.

Beyond that, the biggest grooming concern is their teeth. You’ll need to brush them regularly to stave off periodontal disease, which is common in cats. It’s best to introduce them to a toothbrush as kittens, as that makes them more likely to tolerate it once they get older.

Feeding them a bit of dry kibble can help as well, as the texture helps clear away plaque and tartar. The benefit that kibble provides is minimal, though, so you’ll still need to use the toothbrush.

Health and Conditions 🏥

All breeds are prone to certain health conditions, but Siamese may be more vulnerable than most. Much of this is due to aesthetic choices made by breeders over the years, as they favored adorable features over healthy ones.

For example, the breed has a wedge-shaped head. This can make them more susceptible to respiratory and dental problems, much like how a Bulldog’s head shape leaves the dog vulnerable to a variety of issues.

They also have a love/hate relationship with food. This breed is more likely to be a picky eater than most other cats, so malnourishment is a concern; however, they can also be prone to obesity, so you’ll want to keep your cat in the “Goldilocks” zone, nutritionally speaking.

They can be prone to leg and joint problems, as their long, slender legs aren’t made to support much weight (another reason that obesity should be avoided at all costs).

The bottom line is that if you own a Siamese, you should set money aside for vet bills. Specifically, be on the lookout for the following issues.

Minor Conditions
  • Megaesophagus
  • Feline hyperesthesia syndrome
  • Convergent strabismus
  • Nystagmus
  • Feline asthma
Serious Conditions
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Amyloidosis
  • Thymoma
  • Lymphoma
  • Mast cell tumors

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Male vs Female

Males tend to be a bit larger than females, which usually translates to an inch or two in height and a couple of pounds’ worth of weight.

Boys are also known for being more affectionate than girls. Male Siamese are likely to permanently affix themselves to your lap, drinking in all the affection that you can offer.

Females, on the other hand, often want you to come to them — and they’ll give you an earful if you don’t. They won’t drown you in unsolicited attention, though.

The ladies are more likely to play hard-to-get as well. This makes them less likely to introduce themselves to strangers, but once they decide that they like someone, they can lay on the charm pretty thick.

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Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a cat that behaves more like a dog, then the beautiful Siamese may be the perfect pet for you. These animals provide all the typical cat behaviors that owners love, but they’re also extremely outgoing and affectionate, just like a dog.

That’s not to say that they entirely offer the best of both worlds, though. They can be notoriously difficult to train, despite their affectionate nature, they’re not people-pleasers. They’re also prone to a variety of health problems, which can make them expensive to own.

The high price is worth it, though, as these elegant and playful cats will never fail to bring a smile to your face.


Featured Image: Iakov Filimonov, Shutterstock