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The Siamese cat breed is one of the oldest recognized and established breeds of cat. The Siamese is from Thailand (originally known as Siam) and was first imported to Great Britain in the mid-1880s. The first known Siamese cat was imported from Bangkok as a gift from the consul of Siam to the wife of President Rutherford B. Hayes and lived in the White House. They were an immediate success, and appeared in the earliest cat shows in both countries.

The Siamese is distinguished by its brilliant blue eyes and its colored "points" (ears, face, tail and feet) which provide a striking contrast to its light-colored body. The show-quality Siamese display a very long, slender body type, and a long, wedge-shaped head with huge ears.

The Siamese personality is vocal, lively, and overtly affectionate. The breed can be very demanding and should not be left alone for long periods of time. Daily play and interaction are critical to a Siamese's emotional and mental well-being. Active feline companionship will help keep a lonely Siamese happy, but there is no substitute for human interaction as well. This breed is not for those looking for a quiet companion -- Siamese are intelligent and if you don't give them something to do, they will find something to do instead!

Siamese kittens were originally recognized in the solid seal, blue, chocolate, and lilac point colors. In some associations, additional colors and patterns are accepted as part of the Siamese breed, particularly outside the US and Canada, while other associations call these Colorpoint Shorthair. Those who are looking for point colors other than these traditional four are encouraged to visit the list of Colorpoint Shorthair breeders. Some Siamese breeders work with a more moderate, rounded type of Siamese, called the traditional, classic, or applehead Siamese, pictured at left. Other than the appearance, the breed's personality and traits are similar to Siamese with the contemporary look.

Those who prefer this look should search for breeders with "traditional type" in their descriptions. The traditional Siamese has recently been recognized as a separate breed in TICA, called Thai, so you can also visit the Thai breed page.

Indeed, old photographs of Siamese cats bear resemblances to both the show/wedge and traditional styles, lending credence to the idea that pregenitors of both body types existed.

The traditional style Siamese breed type lost favor in the 1960s through the 1980s, but by the late 1980s, groups of breeders interested in promoting this type began organizing and promoting this style of Siamese.

Photo © Chanan

Associations: The Siamese cat breed is accepted by all major cat registries. TICA recognizes the traditional type as the Thai, and CFA distinguishes those who do not have the four traditional solid point colors as Colorpoint Shorthair.

Photos © Chanan

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