"The siamese is bossy, noisy, destructive, arrogant, thieving, intolerant,
jealous, greedy, and absolutely ADORABLE..........!"
Siamese have fascinated people around the world since they were first officially exported from Thailand, or as it was known then Siam,
in the late eighteen hundreds. Their long lines, color contrast, aristocratic heads, deep blue almond eyes,
and short silky coats make them living art. Combine this beauty with acute intelligence, inquisitive personality and a loving nature and you
have the essence of the Siamese cat.
Anyone in the market for a Siamese kitten will often have a similar experience. You want a Siamese just like the lovely one you had as a child, or who just passed away at a ripe old age. You go to local breeders, you look in magazines, you attend cats shows, but what you most often find is a cat that looks quite different from the large robust cat you remember. By comparison to the cat you remember, the modern version of the Siamese is emaciated, with large bat-like ears, an elongated head and pencil thin legs. You might ask yourself, "Is this really a Siamese?"
The short answer is 'yes', but this is certainly not the same type as you remember. Chances are what you recall is a large robust cat with a round head, normal looking ears, and lovely blue eyes. What you remember is now called a 'Traditional Siamese, or 'applehead' Siamese, while the one that dominates the show ring now is known as the Modern Siamese.
If you wonder out loud about what happened, different breeders
may give you very different explanations, but the truth is clearly available
in any history book.
Written records reveal that Siamese cats, in their country of origin, were venerated as guardians of the temples.
When a person of high rank died, it was usual to select one of these cats to receive the dead person's soul.
The cat was then removed from the royal household and sent to one of the temples to spend the rest of its days living a ceremonial life of great luxury,
with monks and priests as its servants. These cats were reputed to eat the finest foods from gold plate and to recline on cushions
made of the most opulent materials, which had been provided by the departed one's relatives in an attempt to receive good fortune and blessings.
Once they became temple cats, they were supposed to have special powers and could intercede for the soul of the dead person.
Years ago features such as "Crossed eyes" and 'Kinked
Tail" were looked on as characteristics of the breed and many legends exist
as to their origin.
It was said that a Princess of the Royal House of Siam used her cat's tail as a ring-stand while she was bathing.
The kink in the tail prevented the rings from falling off and being lost. Another legend accounts for both the cross-eyed feature as well as
the development of the kink. Once, when all the men of Siam left their homes to defend their kingdom, just two cats - one male Siamese,
Tien, and one female Siamese, Chula - remained in order to guard Buddha's golden goblet in the sacred temple.
The male cat became pretty restless and, after mating the female Siamese, left her in order to find another priest to look after the temple.
The female, apparently, was so overwhelmed by the responsibility of guarding the Buddha's treasure that she never once glanced away from the goblet,
wrapping her long tail around its stem to prevent theft in case she should fall asleep.
As time passed waiting for Tien to return with a new master, she could no longer forstall the birth of her kittens, who all arrived with the physical
characteristics that she herself had acquired during her period as watchguard - a kinked tail and crossed eyes. Just occasionally, even today,
kittens are born with these features - so the legends are kept alive
The Siamese cat originated from Thailand, formerly known as Siam. These cats were held in such high esteem in their native country that
no one except the King and members of the royal family were permitted to own them. They were originally known as Royal points.
time of arrival in the United States is uncertain. However, in April 1909, The
Siamese Cat Society of America was founded
and the first standard for the Siamese Cat was approved.
The first Siamese to appear in England were a gift from Siam to an ambassador who brought them home.
They began appearing in English cat shows almost immediately, and in American shows by the early twentieth century.
The first cat of record with Siamese markings appeared on an old
engraving discovered by a Mr. Pallas on his journey into
Southern Russia between 1793 and 1794. Another is in the 'Cat-Book Poems' where drawings of cats of various colors and
patterns (including Siamese, tabby, blue, etc) appeared.
Seal points, still the best known variety, were the first to arrive.
With their seal brown, almost black extremities and their
pale fawn bodies, they were sensational. While chocolate points, with creamy white bodies and milk chocolate legs, tail,
mask and ears did appear from time to time, it was the blue point that gained official recognition in 1934.
The blue point has a bluish-white body with slate blue points.
The chocolate point was recognized next. In 1955 the lilac point followed and completed the breed.
The lilac point has pinkish gray points with a white body which makes it most ethereal and delicate in color.
While color is a prominent feature of this breed, structure is
also important. The Siamese is a study in length.
From the start the breed standard has called for a long, wedge shaped head and elongated body lines.
The muscular, tubular body is supported by long legs and graced by a long neck and tail.
Paradoxically the short, close lying coat accentuates the long lines perfectly.
The long Siamese head is delineated by an absolutely straight
profile and well aligned chin.
From the front, the outline of the face presents a smooth wedge with large ears that complete the wedge.
The outstanding feature of the head is the pair of deep blue almond eyes (an eyes width apart) which are set at a slant.
If you have been able to resist all the other attributes of this breed, the eyes will captivate you.
They radiate intelligence and emotion.
This ancient breed, perhaps the oldest of all our cats, is able
to communicate like no other. The Siamese voice is legendary.
They speak both with their voice and with their body. They are the quintessential people cat, for they love to be in your lap,
on your bed, at your table--and in your heart!
Siamese cats require subtle grooming, rather than an intensive effort. Being both extremely shorthaired and of a long elegant style, grooming is used sparingly to enhance the characteristics, rather than to camouflage. Most of the showy characteristics of the Siamese come from breeding and conditioning. Long slender legs and a tubular body, the large ears, chiseled wedge, violet-blue eyes and striking color pattern are the result of breeding, not grooming. A hard sleek physic and a short glossy coat come from proper diet, exercise and inheritance. However there are certain things that breeders can do to emphasis these characteristics.
One of the most popular grooming areas are the ears. Siamese ears should be large and exaggerated. Therefore most exhibitors will trim the inside of the ear to enhance the size. This must be done carefully with a blunt end pair of scissors, or a safety razor. All that is required is to remove the longest hairs, leaving a very short length of hair for the most natural look. Many exhibitors also trim other body areas of the cat, including long hairs on the belly, legs and flanks to emphasize the elegance of the breed.
Many Siamese show cats never need a bath. Usually they will be bathed at the beginning of the week so that the coat has a chance to reclaim its natural oils without the heavy feel that an unwashed coat can have. The preferred shampoos are usually of the human variety, anything that will make the coat lay smoothly without fluffing up. Other options to bathing are a dry bath of baby corn starch, given the night before a show. In this case the exhibitor will rub the corn starch into the coat down to the roots, and allow it to work its way through the coat on its own. This will remove most of the loose hair and extra oil in the coat, but still leave it with enough texture that it will lie nicely for the show.
Brushing of the Siamese must be done sparingly, as too much brushing can damaged the color of the coat. One technique for removing loose hair is to dampen your hands and rub them backwards in the cat's coat. This will remove loose hair without damaging the new coat. The most popular grooming item for brushing is a small rubber brush that can be bought at most pet stores. If this is used carefully once a week during the spring and less often at other times of the year, it can also safely remove dead hair without damage to the coat.
Breeders will also use a variety of products to enhance the look of the coat. These range from witch hazel and bay rum to professional grooming coat conditioners. Most exhibitors find that what worked on one cat does not help another, so finding the perfect product for this year's Siamese show cat can be a challenge.
References and literatuur:
The Complete Siamese
/Histoty of the siamese cats / - Showcats