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Is there any cat breed that’s more recognizable than the Siamese? With its “pointed” coat (pale body with dark face, ears, feet, and tail), striking blue eyes, and sleek, elegant physique, the Siamese is hard to mistake. And if you’ve ever spent any time with one in person, you know the Siamese is one of the most talkative cat breeds. Here are some more interesting facts about the captivating Siamese cat.
The Siamese cat’s distinctive coat colorings originated with a genetic mutation that occurred in Asia over 500 years ago. Pointed fur occurs when the cool parts of the body become more darkly pigmented than the warmer parts of the body. Pointing also accounts for the blue eyes.
Historically, the country of Siam (now called Thailand) was very protective of the breed and allowed very few Siamese to leave the country. Although some Siamese (probably smuggled) appeared at a cat show in England in 1871, the first “official” Siamese cats arrived in England in 1884…a pair given as a gift by the King of Siam himself.
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The first Siamese cat came to the U.S. in 1871, as a gift to the wife of President Rutherford B. Hayes from the U.S. Consul in Bangkok. The Siamese is the genetic source and general inspiration for many newer cat breeds, including the Balinese, Javanese, Birman, Oriental Shorthair, Himalayan, Burmese, Ocicat, and Havana Brown.
Siamese and some other oriental cat breeds can exhibit an odd behavior called “pica.” Pica is a compulsion to eat non-food things. In Siamese cats, this usually manifests itself as sucking or chewing on fabrics, especially wool.
The Siamese is one of the most affectionate, intelligent, social, and playful breeds of cat. They can be very demanding of your time and attention, following you around and meowing, so it’s best to make sure your Siamese cat has a feline (or other animal) companion and lots of toys if she will be left alone for long periods of time.
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