Always a popular cat breed, the Siamese cat originates from Siam (present day Thailand) where it was revered by monks and held in such esteem by families of royal blood. There are all sorts of belief surrounding this exotic breed of cats, from harbingers of good fortune to palace guards that can ward off evil spirits.
The Sapphire-Eyed Goddess
One popular myth about the Siamese cat is the story of Mun-ha, the head monk of the temple of Lao-Tsun and his cat, Sinh. One night, while Mun-ha was deep in meditation in front of the Golden Goddess of the Sapphire Eyes (Tsun-Kyan-Kse), marauders attacked the temple and killed Mun-ha.
At the moment of his death, an astonishing transformation occurred when Sinh placed his paws on his master’s robes and looked up at the golden goddess. His eyes turned sapphire blue like that of the goddess and his fur turned a velvety brown color of rich earth while the fur of his paws remained white, a symbol of purity.
For seven days and seven nights, Sinh remained in that position, one paw on his master’s robes and eyes staring fervently at the goddess. On the seventh night, Sinh died, taking with him his master’s soul to nirvana.
The Siamese Cat Today
Today, a veil of mystery continues to hover around the Siamese cat history, despite the fact that it is one of the most popular breeds of cats. Its popularity has a lot to do with its physical beauty: graceful, sleek, well-balanced and elongated. The Siamese kitten is a picture of grace and elegance even at a young age.
But while our image of Siamese cats today is that of an elongated, long-legged cat with dark points, the breed did not always look like that. Siamese cat breeders have a lot to do with the look of the modern Siamese cat.
In an effort to develop a Siamese cat with a more elongated face and therefore more elegant appearance to please the judges in conformation shows, Siamese cats were cross-bred and inter-bred until the desired look was achieved. As a result, there are currently two categories of Siamese: traditional Siamese cats and the so-called modern or “show” Siamese.
When looking at Siamese cats for sale, one of the most important factors you should consider is temperament. Observe the Siamese kitten or cat carefully to judge its nature and moods.
Siamese cats are typically robust and energetic, something that they channel by being exceptionally skilled in communication (read: loud). If you want a cat that is quiet and mild-mannered, then a Siamese cat is not for you. Siamese cats are highly sociable. They love to play, make all sorts of noise, and interact with humans and other animals.
The Siamese cat seems to think that the world revolves around it. This might be a trait inherited from its ancestors who were pampered pets in royal palaces. Therefore, it is safe to assume that the cat may want to stick with you all the time because it likes the attention.
All Siamese cats have a cream colored base fur. Its color points are what separate it from all other cat breeds. These points are typically found on their muzzles, paws, lower legs, tails, ears, and in males the scrota.
Originally, the Siamese cat has only one color point – that is, the seal point, which is an extremely dark brown or dark color. Later, however, blue, chocolate and lilac points appeared in the breed.
The eyes of the Siamese cat are always a bright blue like the sapphire eyes of legend. They are almond shaped and just the right side of narrow, no doubt giving rise to the expression “cat-eyed stare.”
Some Siamese cats, especially true from native Thailand, have kinked tails and crossed eyes, which are considered genetic defects not acceptable for show. There is a fascinating story that explains why Siamese cats have these “flaws” but that’s for another time.