Time to read: 10 mins
Guide to Siamese Cats
Life expectancy: 10-12 years
Height: 10 inches
Weight: 10-15 pounds
About Siamese cats
The Siamese is the 3rd most popular pedigree cat in the UK in 2020 behind the British Shorthair and the Bengal.
Every Siamese have a distinctive look where they have colour on their faces, tails and legs, with the remainder of their body is cream or white. There are however, may different varieties of the Siamese with some being red, caramel, chocolate and in some cases even having tabby features. They’re known for their beautiful blue eyes and large, pointed ears, they have long, thin bodies with lenghty tails and a fine, soft coat. Traditional Siamese cats will have more rounded faces than more modern variations as well as having slightly shorter bodies.
Siamese are affectionate creatures who love a lot of attention and will respond well to affectionate owners who indulge their love of play.
Siamese originate from Thailand – formerly called Siam – hence the name.
The history of Siamese cats is steeped in folklore, having existed for hundreds of years. They belonged to the Royal Family of Siam and were considered sacred even the guardians of Buddhist temples across Thailand.
They arrived in Britain in the 1884 after a British Consul received a Siamese as a gift – he returned with it to Britain and then showcased its kittens at the 1885 Chelsea Palace Show – it really is a breed with a long and varied history.
The original Siamese cat breed colour was the classic seal brown points with a warm cream coloured body but now there are many different colours and features as they’ve been bred.
What to consider when owning a Siamese
Siamese cats are usually outgoing, extrovert and can be extremely noisy. They’re attention seeking(!) so don’t tend to enjoy being left alone, they prefer a playmate to be with them, this could be a good case for getting 2 of them!
Toys and scratching posts are a must for Siamese cats to keep them amused and entertained. Generally speaking Siamese are good athletes, they can jump very high and enjoy being up high, so perches and towers around the house will go down well too. Also, being one of the more intelligent cat breeds they will be able to be taught to fetch and retrieve things if you are patient with them – in some cases they’ll agree to being walked on a lead if you wish to do so.
Another sign of their intelligence is their ability to open doors, cat flaps, drawers and even windows – a common problem for one of the Scratch & Patch team – who regularly find the neighbours Siamese cat squeezing through the microchipped cat flap and closed bathroom window!
Siamese kittens will differ in price depending on their history, where you’re buying and the popularity and rarity of the colouration you may be looking for. Typically you can expect to pay between £400 and £600 for a kitten. You should find breeders who specialise in specific colours and types of Siamese so if you are set on the colour you want you may need to go a little further afield but should be able to find a reputable breeder to help.
It is always advisable to visit the breeder and see face to face the kitten you’re buying so you can check they are in good condition and don’t look ill. Having confidence over this could help you to save money in the long term on things like pedigree cat insurance and vet treatment.
The cost of feeding your Siamese will depend on a number of things but in the past they have had a reputation for being a little delicate or fussy when it comes to the type of feed they need. We now know that this in a myth, and that they do as well on typical cat food brands as they do on the more expensive kinds. You’re probably looking in the range of £20-30 a month to keep them sated. It’s important however to monitor their food intake as Siamese in particular do put on weight quite easily, so keeping a close eye on their food intake is key.
Alongside vet bills should your cat become ill, it’s worth factoring in the cost of preventative care including:
- Flea treatments
- Food, treats and bowls
A Siamese cat could cost anywhere up to £1,300 in the first year alone, these are expected costs, there could be unexpected ones too especially if you choose not to get insured.
Thankfully their short coat does not need too much grooming, but they will enjoy the attention they receive when being groomed so regular grooming can be treated as a socialisation as well as health benefit for them. They generally keep their coats in good condition themselves although it’s always worth checking for common pet parasites and protecting them through vaccinations and health checks.
Siamese health concerns
All cats get sick and require medical attention at some point, Siamese are no exception. In order to keep on top of your cat’s condition, check-ups should be conducted by your vet.
Some conditions to be aware of:
Siamese are best known for being vocal, lively and demanding! A real character of a cat, but they are at an increased risk to certain conditions and problems.
- Lymphoma and intestinal tumours – diagnosed by clinical signs and ultrasound imaging. This is a solid tumour made up of a type of white blood cell that is involved in immune responses. Treatment options are surgery, drug therapy and radiation or chemotherapy depending on where the tumour is.
- Asthma – Asthma is a condition where the small airways in the lungs over-react to the presence of a stimulus such as an irritant or an allergen. The clinical signs are laboured breathing, a persistent cough or bouts of coughing, noisy breathing or wheezing and fast breathing. Diagnosis is usually by blood tests, xrays, bronchoscopy and airway washes. Any breed of cat can suffer from this condition following on from a bacterial infection, virus or trauma but Siamese to seem to be predisposed to it which indicates some kind of genetic component.
- Pica – obsessively eating strange objects like plastic or wool which in turn may cause gastrointestinal upsets, blockages and could result in an enema or surgery to remove the foreign body. Treatment is usually avoidance but some cats need to be medicated to reduce the desire.
- Hip Dysplasia – a condition where the hip joint doesn’t form properly and can cause lameness and pain. This is usually diagnosed by a persistent limp and then xrays. Some cats may be candidates for surgery to repair or replace the joint but in most cases joint supplements and pain relief is the way forward.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy – a progressive decline in vision which can lead to blindness. Owners may first notice signs of this condition when the cat starts to bump into things or becomes disorientated. There is no cure so DNA testing before breeding is the best chance of reducing the numbers of kittens born with this.
If you would like any more information on your Siamese or conditions they may have then please call one of our Registered Veterinary Nurses on the Scratch & Patch Careline.
Pet insurance for Siamese cats
When buying a Siamese it is important they are screened as a kitten. This can be done by your vet or breeder. This helps to ensure they have no underlying conditions you should be aware of. Should it arise that they do have underlying conditions go to our pre-existing conditions pet cover to see if the condition is covered with us.
Cat insurance can allay fears about your finances when you’re concentrated on your pet’s health. When it comes to insurance, it is better to insure your Siamese as a kitten.While you can find insurance for older cats, starting earlier will mean the problems your Siamese cat may suffer from throughout their lifetime could be covered by the insurer.
Find out more about pet insurance for Siamese cats and get a quote today.
Siamese cats of Instagram
Cats on Instagram are big news, there are accounts for every conceivable pet of every conceivable breed. @siamesetroop and @my.siamese.cats are just a couple worth following.