Siamese cats have been called the most popular of all pedigreed cats. They are resourceful, intelligent, and have a rich history.
Often called the most popular of all pedigree breeds of cats, Siamese cats are wonderful pets. Known for their mild character and positive temperament, they are extremely intelligent, take more easily than other breeds to a lead, and are often resourceful in learning tricks and inventing games. They do not prefer the solitary life, and can often grow quite jealous when they feel they are not getting enough attention. Their intelligence and resourcefulness also make them efficient thieves and very adept at getting their own way. They grow very attached to their human guardians, and can seek attention by being quite talkative. Their voice is usually harsh, and a female Siamese in heat can sometimes be heard several blocks away.
There is wide speculation on the true origin of Siamese cats. A common story says that the first Siamese cat to be seen in Britain was brought from Siam (now called Thailand) in 1884 by Owen Gould, a British Consul General in Bangkok. The cat was alleged to have been given to him by the King of Siam himself. Once introduced into Britain, more appeared quickly and the first Standard of Points (official acceptance and description of the breed) was published in "Our Cats" in 1892.
Siamese cats are most often recognized by their cream-colored coats, with darker markings on their mask (facial area), and points (legs/feet, ears and tail). There are several different classes of Siamese cats, ranging from the most common seal point (cream with dark brown points), to a wide variety of point shades and colors such as blue point, chocolate point, lilac point, red point and tabby point.
Siamese cats, as well as other Oriental cats (like Burmese and Abyssinian), are known for having slim bodies, long tails and slender legs. They are usually very elegant and aristocratic-looking animals. Their heads are wedge-shaped, and they have a smooth outline in profile and frontal views. Some Siamese cats have slanted eyes and a kink in their tail. This is considered a fault by Siamese breeders today, but there have been many legends that tried to explain why these characteristics are so common among the Siamese breed.
Legend has it that the kink in the cats' tails were acquired when the Siamese cats of an Oriental princess would put her rings on their tails while she bathed, bending the ends of the tails to keep the rings from falling off. Others say that Siamese cats were used to guard the sacred temple chalice, curling their tails around it and watching it so carefully their eyes became slanted and crossed.
Although Siamese cats have traditionally been considered quite delicate animals, they can be just as fit and healthy as other breeds, depending on their pedigree line. As kittens, Siamese cats tend to develop more quickly than other breeds, sometimes exhibiting an adventurous and fully-developed personality as early as one month. They mature quickly, and reach sexual maturity earlier than others breeds. Females tend to come into season more frequently and with little regard to the calendar. They also tend to give birth a little later than the typical 63-65 days of gestation. They can also be more apt to have larger litters, usually having four or five kittens or more.