Siamese cats are popular as pets for their affectionate nature and striking physical features. These felines make a constant companion that will follow you around, meowing about their day. Historically an apple-headed cob-shaped cat, Siamese cats have been bred as show cats bearing longer, elegant bodies and wedge-shaped heads. They also feature color and marking variations that have resulted in over nine distinct cat types. Let’s look at how to identify the different Types of Siamese Cats.
History of Siamese Cats
The Siamese cat is one of the oldest cat breeds in the world. It was first described in the “Tamra Maew” (“The Cat Book Poems”) manuscript in the 14th century as a “cat with black points and face.” Originally from Thailand, it was named after the country, which was previously called Siam. Siamese cats were the preferred pet of many royal families in ancient times. Their elegant aristocratic appearance made them beloved in these affluent families. In fact, many communities that kept them believed that the cats received the souls of dead members of the royal family.
Consequently, Siamese cats lived in luxurious temples with priests and monks catering to their needs. These cats entered the US in the late nineteenth century. In the late 1800s, a US diplomat working in Thailand gifted the First Lady Lucy Hayes, President Rutherford B. Hayes’s wife, a Siamese Cat. British Consul-General, Edward Blencowe Gould was responsible for bringing this cat breed to Europe when he gifted his sister two Seal Points around the same time.
General Characteristics of Siamese Cats
Siamese cats have a long lithe body, long, slim tail, and slim legs. They have striking blue eyes and wedge-shaped heads, although some traditional breeds have rounder heads. According to Britannica, some Siamese cats have naturally kinked tails and crossed eyes but show breeders discourage these features. Siamese kittens are born cream or white, then develop dark color points in the tail, legs, face, and ears as they age.
The points vary in color and bring rise to different types of Siamese cats. Because coat color and patterns are recessive gene characteristics in Siamese cats, they are not apparent in kittens or cross-breeds. They are caused by temperature-sensitive albinism manifestations. Despite their graceful bodies, Siamese cats are agile and muscular. They are very affectionate and loyal and are considered one of the most intelligent domestic cat breeds. They are also very vocal and exhibit a wide range of cries. This includes their distinctive penetrating mating call.
Traditional Siamese Cats
Traditional Siamese cats are the original breed before show breeding. They have a body shape more typical of domestic felines, a rounded head, and deep, round eyes. Nonetheless, they do have some features that distinguish them from other cats, including triangular ears. They include:
1. Applehead Siamese Cat
The Applehead Siamese cat is a traditional variation with a stocky body. It has a round apple-shaped head, smaller ears, and a downward-pointing nose. Compared to other traditional cats, it has a wide body frame, a shorter tail, and is taller. Applehead Siamese cats typically stand at between 10 to 12 inches and weigh 5 to 11 pounds. These cats have very short fur, which is soft and silky, with a thin undercoat. This makes it very easy to groom because they only require light, infrequent brushing, and a rare bath.
However, Appleheads can be obsessive groomers and can give themselves bald spots. This condition is associated with stress, and you can avoid it by caring for your Applehead properly. Applehead Siamese cats are very loving and friendly and will enjoy sitting on your lap and cuddling. They are as vocal as other Siamese cats and love to climb. To meet this need, you can provide them with climbing toys like cat trees and hammocks for regular play and exercise.
2. Old Style Siamese Cat
The Old Style Siamese cat has well-defined almond eyes that are intentionally achieved with breeding. Some also have cross eyes. It has a pale off-white coat with short and silky fur that is easy to maintain. Typically, this cat is larger than its counterparts, standing between 12 to 18 inches. It is considered a medium size and lankier than its Applehead counterpart.
The Old-Style Siamese is very athletic and has large ears, which distinguish it from other felines. It also has a slightly longer face and a nose that points straight ahead rather than downward. Like its cousins, it is very loving and likes to follow its owner around. It is not as loud as the Applehead, but it is still more vocal than other cats. Its larger ears make it vulnerable to ear infections.
3. Classic Siamese Cat
The Classic Siamese Cat was only recognized as a breed by the Cat Fanciers Association and International Cat Association in 2007 and in 2009 as an “Advanced New Breed.” It is the most athletic and energetic traditional Siamese Cat and has a long sleek body to support activity. Physically, it has a pointed face, large ears, an upturned nose, and a relatively long tail. Its large ears make it vulnerable to ear infections. Like other Siamese cats, it is highly affectionate and loves being petted and cuddled.
Modern Siamese Cats
Modern Siamese cats were bred mostly by show breeders with the goal of exaggerating some features. They have wedge-shaped heads and almond eyes, which is why they are sometimes called Wedgies. Compared to traditional Siamese, they have longer ears and bodies and are relatively leaner. They are:
The Modern Wedgehead cat rose to popularity in the 1980s following extensive show breeding. As the name suggests, it has a narrow, wedge-shaped head accompanied by large pointy ears located lower on the side of its head. It is also very athletic, thanks to its lean and long body. Unlike traditional Siamese cats, the Wedgehead has a wide nose that points straight out and slanted eyes.
Considered the current show cat, the Wedgehead has striking physical features. Sadly, cross-breeding it with other cats has left it vulnerable to kidney, heart, and liver disease. Not all wedgeheads will develop this problem, but they have a relatively low life expectancy of 6 to 8 years. They can live longer with proper care, exercise, and a healthy diet. Like most Siamese cats, wedgeheads are highly affectionate, active, and vocal. They require a lot of attention and may become anxious if left alone for a long time.
By Fur Coat
Under modern Siamese cats, these beautiful felines are also categorized by fur coat color. There are five different coat styles in this section, and all of them are modern variations of the Siamese cat. Most of these cats have a base coat color with darker color points in the tails, paws, and face. They are:
5. Seal Points
Seal Points are among the most stunning and unique animals on earth. Their rich coloration has a long history and, although it can be found in other felines, is said to have originated with these cats. Generally, Seal Points have a cream-colored base and darker fawn points on the tail, paws, and face. This is the original color point of the first two Siamese cats – Mia and Pho – that were brought to England in the late 1800s by British Consul-General, Edward Blencowe Gould as explained by Excited Cats.
Seal Point Siamese Cats have dark brown nose leather, and paw pads, and their color points darken with age. They are very elegant and independent, often exhibiting a wide range of expressions. If you have other pets, you may want to reconsider adopting a Seal Point because these cats are very possessive and jealous. They are also very protective of their owners.
6. Chocolate Points
Chocolate Points look very similar to Seal points and have a cream-colored coat with chocolate brown points. In fact, they are a genetic variation of the Seal Point. In addition to a very rare ivory shading, these cats’ color points have a warm tone and are usually patchy. They stand at between 8 to 10 inches and weigh 4 to 8 pounds, making them relatively small cats.
Chocolate Points are very playful, energetic, friendly, and intelligent. They are also very affectionate and gentle and relate well with kids and other animals. Like other Siamese cats, they are capable of learning tricks and following instructions and routines. According to The Discerning Cat, you can teach them to stay, fetch small items, come when called, sit, give paw, and more.
7. Blue Points
Like Chocolate Point Siamese cats, Blue Points are a genetic variation of the Seal Point. Think of them as a diluted version with some brown coloring. Blue Points have a bluish-white base coat color and bluish-gray color points in the face, ears, and lightly on the tail and paws. They have a life expectancy of between 8 to 15 years and can weigh 5 to 11 pounds with a height of between 10 to 12 inches. Blue Points have blue eyes – as do all Siamese cats. They are loyal, loveable, affectionate, friendly, and perennial home pets. They get along well with humans and will have no trouble interacting with visitors, strangers, and other animals. As a very intelligent breed, you can train Blue Points to perform basic tasks, play fetch, respond to their names, and more.
8. Lilac Points
Lilac Point Siamese cats are light grey with predominantly magnolia or light-cream coats. First identified in the 1960s, they are mostly pale blue from the paws to the eyes. They have unusual china-blue eyes (most other types have electric blue eyes), and their paw pads and nose leather have a pale pink undertone. This Siamese cat is considered a diluted version of the Blue Point and Chocolate Point. Lilac Points are friendly and affectionate and love spending time with their owners. They do not like to be left alone for a long time and will follow you around immediately when you get home. Like other Siamese cats, they have very many distinct cat cries and may not be the cat for you if you do not like noise.
9. Red Points
There is still some debate about whether the Red Point cat is a Siamese colorpoint due to disagreements about its pedigree status. Some registries do not recognize Red Points as a type of Siamese cat, while other experts do. Popularly known as Flame Points in the UK (and Red Point in the US and Australia), these rare cats have creamy white coats with dark points ranging from orange and crimson to dark amber. Most red points are reddish-gold points and the characteristic blue eyes. Breeders perfected the Red Point in the 1930s after years of trying. These cats weigh between 9 to 14 pounds and stand at 16 to 21 inches. Like other Siamese cats, they are very active and intelligent. They can learn commands like roll over and sit. Fun fact; 75 percent of all Red Points are male.
10. Cream Point
The Cream Point Siamese was born of cross-breeding Abyss cats with red domestic shorthair Siamese cats. They are widely considered a hybrid because their breeding process is very complex. In terms of color, these cats exhibit cream-colored points on a white cream body. Their tail, mask, and ears are cool cream and appear powdery, while their legs and feet are relatively paler. In most cases, Cream Points have freckles on their ears, paw pads, lips, eyelids, and nose. Temperament-wide, these cats are intelligent and can be taught to follow routines, take instructions, and play fetch.
Did you know that all Siamese cats are born white and only get dark color points as they grow? This gradual coloration leads to the nine Types of Siamese Cats we have just seen, which are then divided into modern and traditional subcategories. As you may have noticed, the differences are primarily physical; all Siamese cats are loyal to their owners, energetic, vocal, and highly affectionate. Each of these cat types would make an excellent addition to your home.