Varieties of Siamese cats

Varieties of Siamese cats

The Siamese is the most popular of the pedigree cats, with body fur of pale cream and darker coloured face, ears, paws and tail. The head is wedge-shaped with a long nose, big ears and bright blue almond-shaped eyes. The kittens are nearly white when first born, with the darker colouring (known as the points) only showing after a few weeks.

The points colourings range from seal brown to cream. The Siamese was said to have come from the Royal Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, nearly a hundred years, ago. However, Siamese expert, May Dunnill, in her Siamese Cat Owners’ Encyclopedia, states that they may have descended from a cat seen in the 1700s by Peter Simon Pallas, a German explorer and naturalist, in the area of the Caspian Sea. This cat was said to be the progeny of a black cat and had a light chestnut-brown body colour, black at the back and paler along the sides and belly, with a black streak running along and surrounding the eyes, ending at the front of the forehead. The ears, paws and tail were black and ‘the head longer towards the nose’ than that of the common cat. Mrs Dunnill adds that a picture in Pallas’ book shows a cat with the Siamese coat pattern.

The Siamese is the most dog-like of the cats and arguably the most dependable. He loves his owners, gets on well with other pets, and is miserable if left alone. He comes when called, can be trained to walk on a lead and is keenly intelligent. He is also adept and persistent at obtaining his own way, ‘calling’ in his distinctive voice until he gets it.

Siamese have a reputation, undeserved, for destructiveness – a gentle tap on the paws of an offending kitten and the provision of a scratching post will prevent this. They are gentle with children and adore being groomed. Just watch that tail bush out with pleasure! Kittens can be a little timid until you have won their love and confidence. You could even find one hiding in the chimney!

Red-point Siamese

These cats have been bred for at least fifteen years and received official recognition by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in 1966. A first step in their production was a cross between the seal-point Siamese and the Red Tabby Short-hair. The points colour is red-golden, to my eye a glorious marmalade.

Tortoiseshell-point Siamese

This variety was officially recognized in 1966 but has been in existence for at least fifteen years. The tortie points were originally produced by a cross between seal-point Siamese and Red Tabby Short-hair. Tortie points when suitably mated can’ produce any colour Siamese.

Seal-point Siamese

The seal-point was first introduced in Britain in 1884 and is now the most popular of all pedigree varieties. The kittens are born white, or cream coloured, with the points appearing in a few days. Body colour is cream, with dark seal-brown points. The Siamese has typical foreign characteristics, a long svelte body on slim legs, small oval feet, wedge-shaped head with straight nose, large pricked ears, deep blue eyes and long tapering tail. Squints and badly kinked tails are not allowed.

Blue-point Siamese

Cat requirements are as for other Siamese. The body colour should be glacier white and the points blue. Many cats of this variety show a suffusion of fawn on the body colour and this is considered to be a bad fault.

Chocolate-point Siamese

Typical Siamese characteristics are required as for other coloured varieties of Siamese, I.e. long lithe bodies, wedge-shaped heads with fine muzzles, large pointed ears, dainty small feet and oriental-shaped eyes of vivid blue. The body colour should be ivory with points of milk chocolate.

Lilac-point Siamese

This variety is increasing considerably in numbers and proving to be very popular. The type is as for other Siamese with body colouring of frosty white and points of delicate lilac grey. The pads are pink and the nose a faded rose, with eyes of vivid blue. The coloration is due to the presence of the genes giving chocolate and blue, and in some lights the points appear to be pink. There is also a cream-point Siamese which is relatively new on the scene and which has been produced by breeding from red-points carrying the blue gene.