Siamese

Siamese cats are social, affectionate, clever animals who make loving and loyal pets. Read more about this bold breed.
By Hilary Braaksma
September 04, 2020
Siamese
Coat Length
Pattern
Other Traits
Temperament
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Siamese

height
  • 8—10 inches
weight
  • 6—14 pounds
life span
  • 15—20 years
good with
  • children
  • seniors
  • dogs
  • families
temperament
  • sociable
  • affectionate
  • neurotic
  • bold
intelligence
  • high
shedding amount
  • infrequent
playfulness
  • high
activity level
  • active
vocalness
  • howler
coat length
  • short
colors
  • chocolate / brown / sable
  • cinnamon
  • lavender / silver
  • fawn
  • blue / gray
  • black / ebony
  • cream / beige / tan
  • lilac
  • white
patterns
  • color point
other traits
  • hypoallergenic
  • easy to train
  • easy to groom
  • friendly toward humans
  • highly territorial
  • high potential for weight gain
  • good for first-time pet owners
  • strong loyalty tendencies
  • good lap cat
  • tolerates being picked up

The Siamese cat is a bright, intelligent cat with a unique appearance and charming personality who draw admirers wherever he goes. These cats love the attention—human affection is one thing this breed can’t get enough of. Siamese kittens typically cost between $250–$1,000 and are a fairly popular breed. Siamese was the 13th most registered cat breed with the Cat Fanciers’ Association in 2018.

Appearance

Siamese cats have a lean, lengthy frame with slim but muscular bodies. They have long, thin limbs and tails, and a high-contrast colorpoint pattern. Their colorpoint coats give the illusion of mystery, with darkened masquerade-like fur near the face, ears, legs, and tail. This breed will always have blue eyes, which adds to their striking, elegant appearance.

This breed has a short, light coat of fur that doesn’t shed a lot. Because of this, Siamese cats are considered one of the most allergy-friendly cat breeds.

These sophisticated kitties are typically 15–20 inches long, 8–10 inches tall, and 6–14 pounds. The Siamese comes in four color types: seal point (fawn or cream body with dark seal colorpoint), chocolate point (ivory body with dark brown colorpoint), blue point (light silver bodies to a dark, grayish-blue colorpoint ), and lilac point (light cream bodies with a pinkish-gray colorpoint), the CFA says.

Temperament

The Siamese cat’s personality is friendly, affectionate, and social. This beautiful breed is also one of the most intelligent. Siamese cats are loving and trusting with humans, and thrive with lots of positive human interaction. Siamese cats are talkative with their people, sometimes to the point of being downright noisy.

Being so into their humans, it’s a given these cats love to cuddle and be held. These intelligent felines also need space to do their own thing at times—although, to a Siamese, “doing your own thing” usually means hanging out a few feet away rather than right on top of you.

These cats are certainly loving and clever, but there are some more “catty” aspects to Siamese cat behavior. This breed can be aggressive, though almost never with humans. Other cats are usually on the other end of the Siamese cat’s mean streak—especially those who share the affections of the Siamese cat’s chosen humans.Speaking of chosen humans, this breed is known to bond very tightly with one specific human, which is great for pet parents who want their own little sidekick. They don’t always “choose” just one person, however, and can be equally affectionate with multiple members of a household.

Living Needs

The playful and intelligent Siamese cat needs lots of one-on-one interaction to keep them entertained. This breed’s exceptional intelligence means you’ll need to provide lots of affection, lest they feel neglected. Some owners even go as far as buying Siamese in pairs to provide a playmate. 

But even if they have other pet friends, these people-oriented pets can’t handle being left alone long. The Siamese thrives in a home where people spend a lot of time—going without human interaction can leave these kitties depressed and anxious. If you happen to leave your Siamese to his own devices a few hours too long, don’t be surprised to come home and find vases knocked over and toilet paper rolls shredded.

Siamese cats usually insist on being constant companions, according to The International Cat Association. If you’d rather not share the more intimate moments of your life with your pet (like sleeping arrangements and bathroom time) this breed may not be a good fit.

Along with their emotional sensitivity, this breed is also sensitive to some physical elements—especially cold. Be sure to provide them lots of cuddles, warmth, and maybe even a little sweater if you live in a cold climate.

Care

These cats don’t need a ton of grooming, which is a shame because they absolutely love it. Weekly combing, regular ear cleaning, and nail trimming are all Siamese cats require. But you can go ahead and brush this cat’s coat just for fun—you know he loves to be doted on.

The Siamese is an active breed that requires lots of opportunity for play and movement. Stock up on interactive cat toys, cat trees, and other fun gifts for your cat.

“Siamese are very dog-like in that they crave interaction and play with their humans,” says Nicole Goudey-Rigger, owner and CEO of Pets a Go Go in Stamford, Conn.

Because of their big brains, Siamese cats are pretty easy to train. That doesn’t necessarily mean they can be taught to do anything—with their intelligence comes a serious side of stubbornness. They want to please you, but they prefer to do it their way.

“They are stubborn enough to accept negative repercussions to their actions to accomplish their goals, like spraying with water to curb climbing behavior,” adds Goudey-Rigger.

Siamese cats are social pets who really enjoy the company of humans. They can have an attitude with other pets who inspire jealousy, but early socialization can help their mean streak.

Feed your Siamese high-quality cat food and monitor food intake to help prevent obesity, which they are prone to. Check-in with your vet to know how much and how often to feed your individual cat.

Health

Siamese cats are generally healthy pets and have an impressive lifespan of 15–20 years—some even live past that.

The Siamese cat’s greatest health risks include amyloidosis (disease of the liver), asthma, and several kinds of cancer, according to the Harlingen Veterinary Clinic. Reputable breeders will screen for health issues in your kitten, but it’s important to have them screened regularly into adulthood. Some health problems can go undetected until later in your cat’s life.

Take care of your Siamese cat’s health and wellbeing by scheduling regular vet visits and taking the advice of your cat’s veterinarian.

History

Siamese cats are considered one of the oldest existing Asian cat breeds, having originated in Thailand (formerly Siam). Dating back to the 14th to 18th centuries, Siamese cats have been depicted as being highly prized by the royal families in their native land.

This stunning breed was introduced to the United States and the United Kingdom in the late 19th century, where opinions were mixed. While some loved the striking appearance of the Siamese, others considered the breed “an unnatural nightmare.”

Eventually these affectionate pets dropped their scary stigma. Today the Siamese is considered an attractive and popular breed.

Fun Facts

  • Famous Siamese cat owners include James Dean, President Rutherford B. Hayes, Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol, Elizabeth Taylor, John Lennon, and Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Siamese cats have been used to create other breeds of cat, including Himalayan, Burmese, and Tonkinese.