The Siamese cat is perhaps one of the best-known cat breeds in the world.
Their ancestors could be found in the kingdom of Siam (now Thailand), as far back as the 14th century where they were sacred temple cats and highly prized pets.
The proof is this cat’s appearance in a Thai manuscript, the Tamra Maew (The Cat Poems) believed to have been written in the Ayutthaya Kingdom (1351 to 1767 AD). This makes the Siamese one of the oldest cat breeds in existence.
The breed became very popular in the 19th century in the West after the British Consul-General in Bangkok brought a breeding pair of cats back to Britain.
In this article, we take a look at Siamese Cat pros and cons so you can get an idea what it’s like to live with a Siamese cat.
Siamese Cat Pros
The Siamese is a beautiful and elegant creature. Modern Siamese cats have blue, almond-shaped eyes; an angular, triangular head; large pointy ears and long, slender yet muscular bodies. You can imagine them adorning temples and gracing regal settings.
There are four major Siamese cat types:
• Seal point—pale fawn to cream-coloured body with dark brown points
• Chocolate point—pale body with chocolate markings
• Blue point—pale body with cool grey-blue points
• Lilac point—silvery warm grey points, lighter than the blue point
These four types of Siamese have similar personalities but four colour variations. The Siamese cat’s coat is pointed, meaning that there is a light background with darker points on the legs, tail, ears and snout. The darker coat areas get even darker as the cat ages.
If you have ever known a Siamese, you will know they’re very affectionate, playful, bright, fun-loving and even trainable. Some people say they’re more like dogs than cats, having a big personality. Our blue point cat, Sufi, liked to play “fetch” and “talked” to us in Siamese—taking an interest in all aspects of our lives: unpacking shopping, cooking, watching TV, reading, etc—she often participated with us. They are usually sociable with humans and other pets. Consider getting your Siamese a companion cat if you are not home much of the time.
Sufi was an expert mother and had one litter of (non-pedigree) kittens. She gave birth in my wardrobe and she made it very clear to our Staffordshire Bull Terrier that she was the boss and for him to keep clear of her babies! Bert, the dog, allowed her kittens to climb up his legs and onto his back! He was very well-behaved as Sufi was supervising!
Our family’s cat, Sufi, lived a full 21 years. We bought her from a pet shop when I was 19 and she lived with my Mum until I was 40 and was the most affectionate, intelligent and wonderful companion. The average lifespan of an indoor Siamese cat is 10-15 years, which is commensurate with many breeds; however this breed can live 12-20 years. In 2016, a Siamese cat called Scooter was crowned by the Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest living cat (then) at age 30!
Female cats (queens) tend to live longer than males (toms) and pure breeds like the Siamese are less likely to live quite as long as mixed breeds, but the Siamese is in the top ten longest living cat breeds.
If you have kids and are thinking about getting a cat, the Siamese would be a good option, as your toddler will likely have the cat around until their 18th birthday!
Ease of grooming
Short-haired Siamese cats are easy to groom, a weekly comb with a stainless-steel comb will keep them happy and in shape. The long-haired Siamese (aka Balinese) takes a bit more attention, with its medium-length silky coat and plumed tail. The average Siamese cat is on the medium-to-large size scale, some 8-15 pounds, (4 to 6 kg) so that is one chunk of cat to groom. Grooming your Siamese stimulates circulation, removes loose hair and debris. Siamese cats shed their hair at moderate levels—good nutrition and regular grooming will minimise shedding in your house.
Siamese Cat Cons
They meow a fair bit!
This con may also be a pro if you like chatting to your cat! If you like peace and quiet you may find the Siamese’s frequent vocalisation a bit too needful of attention! Their meow is a special, unique sound — I grew to love our cat’s meow but I had friends who would mimic the sound rather disparagingly! One publication described the Siamese meow as “more obnoxious than a baby’s cry”!
These cats do not shy away from expressing their feelings, and will miaow and yowl to greet you, when hungry, when seeking attention, when making observations through the window, and pretty much any time!
Many kittens can be “free to good home”, (albeit the moggies not the pedigrees), but a Siamese kitten in 2022 costs on average between £400 and £600 in the UK and $600 to $1200 in the USA. If you wanted to buy a premium origin pedigree cat with noticeable features, one might cost between $1,000 and $2,500 USD! Always visit the breeder you decide upon for the type and colour of your Siamese and see the kitten before you buy one. Your new cat should be healthy and in good condition which will help you save money, in the long run on, pedigree cat insurance and vet bills.
Typical care for your cat that will cost you money include:
• Flea treatments
While they are a generally healthy breed, with a good diet, regular exercise (30 mins twice a day) and annual check-ups, your Siamese cat should meet the standards for longevity discussed earlier. At the same time, you should be aware of certain problems and conditions that the Siamese cat can be predisposed to:
• Hip dysplasia
• Lymphoma and intestinal tumours
• Progressive Retinal Atrophy
• Gum disease
The breeder that you acquire your kitten from will be able to tell you the pedigree health concerns in the cat’s ancestry. If you have chosen a pedigree cat you will likely be very conscientious about their health, whether you are breeding your Siamese or not.
Once your Siamese is part of your family, you may decide to take out an insurance policy. A minimal monthly fee should cover the costs of treating a range of conditions.
Need for Company
As you would gather from their rather noisy nature, Siamese cats are not great left on their own and tend to make deep relationships with their human and pet family. They suffer separation anxiety and can follow you around the house talking! It is best to get lots of toys and even acquire two kittens so they are inbuilt company for each other.
Siamese are highly intelligent creatures and can be destructive when lonely or bored. They may participate in pica, non-food intake, as a sign of their anxiety. The Siamese demands quite a bit of human engagement and care so think about your capacity for cat time and if the Siamese is the best match for you. Sufi (the 21-year-old) lived with Mum who worked from home, so they both had company all the time. Best case scenario for a Siamese!