Siamese Cat Extravaganza- Jewel of the Orient
Siamese Cat, traditional siamese, applehead siamese, modern siamese
by Robert Hudson
Once thought to be the cat of Siam royalty, the Siamese cat has had a long time appreciation from its’ native country and cat fanciers around the world. This breed was the foundation for other Asian cats such as the long haired Siamese known as Balinese.
The story goes that a King of Siam, (modern day Thailand) King Chulalongkorn, or Rama V, the great-grandfather of current King Maha Vajiralongkorn, in the latter half of the 19th century, gave a Thai cat to a British diplomat on the last day of the envoy’s mission. This cat created a resurgent interest in the breed throughout Europe.
There used to be 23 cat breeds native to Thailand, but now it is down to five. Interest in the Siamese and other native breeds in Thailand is declining in favor of modern exotic breeds from outside the country.
In 1878, U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes received the first documented Siamese to reach the United States, a cat named “Siam” sent by the American Consul in Bangkok.
When a member of the royal family of Siam died, it was believed the Siamese royal cat would then receive the deceased soul. The cat would be moved to a temple with servants, spending the rest of its life in pure luxury.
Two variations of the Siamese cat
Siamese cats are a natural breed. This means it was a natural mutation on the streets of Thailand. There are two recognized types of the Siamese breed. The Traditional and the Modern. There is only two. Some click bait pages claim there are multiple types. Depending on the site you are looking at, there may be 5, 10, or even 15 types. What they are citing is simply color variations or synonyms of the same variation. The real difference is body type and the shape of their head.
Both have a shorthair coat. The modern has a wedge shape head, more slanted eyes, and larger ears that are more to the side of the head. They also have a very slim, elongated body with a long and very skinny tail. The traditional type has a round shaped head, smaller ears that sit more on the top of the head and their body is a little bulkier than the modern.
At one time the traditional Siamese often had a kinked tail. This was eventually bred out of the breed and considered a deformity, but the native street cats still carry the crooked tail gene. Names for the traditional variety are “Old-style Siamese”, “Classic Siamese”, and “Applehead” (originally a derogatory nickname coined by breeders of modern-type Siamese). These are all one and the same, not separate variations.
Siamese cat colors
The four point colors are: seal point, blue point, chocolate point, and lilac point. Seal point is the original coat color. Additional color points were introduced by cross breeding and ending up really looking nothing like a Siamese. The points are the face, ears, tail, legs and paws, while the rest of the body remains white or cream. The same colors apply to either the modern or applehead. Some breeders may offer additional diluted colors.
All black Siamese cats
Is there such a thing as an all black Siamese cat? No. The breed has a gene that prevents them from being all black. Siamese cats have a pointed coat, which makes them unique in the cat world. This is due to a specific gene called the Himalayan gene – also referred to as the pointed gene. This gene affects how pigment works at different temperatures. It makes the cat exhibit albinism, but only at higher temperatures.
Around the cat’s torso, chest, and stomach, they are hotter. Therefore, none of the cat’s pigment can express in these areas, which makes them white or cream-colored in these areas. However, they are cooler around the ears, face, tail, and limbs. Their pigment can be expressed in these areas, which makes their coat “pointed.” Kittens are born all white and points darken as it gets older. An adult cat will darken overall as it reaches its’ senior years, but never losing the contrast between points and torso.
Arthur the Modern Siamese
This handsome boy is Arthur, a lilac point pure Modern Siamese cat. He is 9 months old. I saw a photo of him in the Facebook group WE ARE SIAMESE and contacted Allie, his cat mom. “I’ve had cats my whole life but he is my first Siamese cat and he is the friendliest cat I’ve ever been around. He entertains me by bringing me random things like door stops, blankets and toys. Arthur loves to play fetch and when he is happy his tail and fur on his back spikes up. He is an amazing boy,” she told me.
Siamese cats are social creatures and do not like to be alone. Without interaction with other cats or humans, the cat will become depressed and may develop behavior problems. Siamese cats are often adopted as pairs for this reason.
Grace the Applehead
In the same Facebook group I met Grace, an Applehead Siamese who just turned 10 years old. “Her name is Grace and she just turned 10 on the 1st of April. This is a picture of her a few days before her birthday last year. She is the sweetest little kitty. I am her favorite person, But she also loves her Daddy, ” Kim Muncie told me.
Applehead Siamese cat vs Modern Siamese cat
The only difference between the two breed variations is appearance. There is no difference in health, care, or traits. The biggest source of confusion is web sites descriptions of the varieties and names. I recently found one web site that described ‘applehead’ and the ‘Siamese’ as the two varieties showing a pic of a traditional applehead and a long haired Himalayan cat as the ‘Siamese’.
Siamese cat faces
They are at higher risk of neoplastic and gastrointestinal problems, but have a lower risk of feline lower urinary tract disease. Their Eyesite is rarely talked about on the internet. Modern Siamese cat and traditional Siamese cats’ blue eyes lack a tapetum lucidum, a structure which amplifies dim light in the eyes of other cats.
This means they have limited vision at night and in low light levels. This makes them vulnerable to predators and avoiding cars on the road. A good reason to keep them indoors. Most blue eyed white cats are deaf or have reduced hearing. The Siamese is not affected by this.
The Siamese cat is very active, athletic, and vocal. Many people have described them as being more like a dog than a cat. They get bored, do not like to be left alone, and many like to play fetch. They enjoy interacting with people and are known to shadow their human around the home. Interactive toys, puzzle/hide a treat toys are well received and teaser wands will captivate them. Most like to climb and jump so a cat tree is a must have. They are also very trick trainable.
The Siamese cat has a unique sounding vocal range that can be loud and seemingly never ending at times. A loud, low-pitched voice—known as a “meezer” – from which they get one of their nicknames, is unmistakable. The nickname meezer is derived from the ‘mese’ part of Siamese.
They have a strong bond with humans and may favor one member of the household over the rest.
Siamese cats have been used to create several new breeds, expanding point colors to more breeds. Here is four of them:
If you desire a cat that loves affection, will entertain you and play games like fetch, and earnestly talk to you, then the Siamese cat is the perfect cat for you. What is your experience with Siamese cats? Please share in the comments below.