"The Siamese cat combines the grace of the panther, the fleetness of the deer, the softness of down, the strength of the tiger, the affection of the dog and the courage of the lion...they are a continual study in symmetry, grace and elegance." Marge Naples, This is the Siamese Cat, 2nd edition 1978.
The Siamese is the parent breed for the Siamese Breed Group which includes the Balinese (truly a long haired Siamese), and the Oriental Shorthair and Longhair which share the same body type, but come with a different "paint job". Siamese are graceful, lively, long, slender, strong, muscular, demanding, talkative, and very intelligent. They are very social and people oriented. They must have people around to thrive.
The actual origins of the Siamese have been lost, but it is fairly certain that it is Eastern in origin. Manuscripts from Ayudha, the ancient capital of Siam (now Thailand), record native cats. One of these manuscripts, Cat Book Poems dating from 1350, pictures a pale-coated cat with a black mask, tail, feet and ears. The Siamese made its debut in Europe in 1871 at the Crystal Palace Cat Show in London. In 1879 the first Siamese arrived in the USA as a gift to the wife of President Rutherford Hayes from the US Consul in Bangkok.
The original Siamese shown were seal points, but as blue, chocolate and lilac colors appeared, they were accepted for show. In the seventies tabby points and red and cream points made their appearance on the show bench. 1989 saw the acceptance of silver tabby points and smoke points. Around the same time particolor points were accepted for show. TICA currently accepts all colors and patterns of the pointed category for show.
The Siamese is the perfect pet for someone who wants lots of interaction and activity. They are wonderful with children and other pets. They are very loving, loyal, intuitive, demanding and social. It has been said by many who have owned Siamese that one should have two - so that they can entertain each other while their owners are away. Otherwise, one must be prepared to drop everything upon returning home in order to spend half an hour or more "hearing about the day". Siamese are very intelligent and have a lot to say...they always have the last word.
They are very playful, entertaining themselves for hours. They have their favorite toys and never tire of playing throughout their lives. They are natural fetchers and will fetch as long as someone is there to toss! They are very amusing pets.
They love to pile up in a heap, whether it is in a lap or in front of the fridge to soak up the warmth or in a kitty kozy. They are as likely to crawl under the covers and snuggle as they are to curl up in a warm windowsill. They LOVE warm places.
The Siamese, like the other breeds in its group, is a long elegant cat that is defined by extremes - long tubular body, long well-angulated legs, long tapering tail, long triangular head, huge triangular ears. Nothing about the Siamese is round. It is angular in every way. In contrast with all of the long physical features, its coat is very short, glossy and sleek, and lies close to the body with a very fine texture.
One of the most striking features of the Siamese is its medium-large expressive almond eyes in a deep rich blue color. Eyes set in an oriental slant are like no other breed of cat (outside of the breed group). Eyes create the expression that says "Siamese". The almond shape gives the "oriental" appearance to the face. Together with the ears, the eyes create the unique look or "essence" of the breed.
The contrast between the point color - the color of the ears, mask, legs and tail - and the paler body color makes for a very striking and attention-getting pattern. Together with the long tapering lines, svelte and lithe body, solid weight without bulk and refined boning, the Siamese is a work of art, distinct from all other breeds of cats.