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Siamese Cats 101 There Are No Finer Cat Than I Am
“We are Siamese if you please. We are Siamese if you don’t please.” Those are some of the most memorable lyrics from the Disney classic “Lady and the Tramp.” Those cats weren’t very nice. In real life, these blue-eyed beauties are well-known for their streamlined bodies, creamy beige coats and distinctive markings as well as being quite lovable and sweet. Hi, Welcome to Animal Facts. Today, if you please, we examine ten facts about the sleek feline companion, the Siamese.
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10. The Siamese is a very old breed of domestic cat, but we’re not exactly sure where it came from. Modern Siamese cats are descended from felines born in Siam, known today as Thailand with roots going back to the 14th century, but the cats’ true origins are cloaked in mystery. In the Thai National Library in Bangkok, there are manuscripts dating from the 1700s containing illustrations of cats that look very similar to modern Siamese cats.
9. When Siamese cats were first shown in England at London’s Crystal Cat Palace in 1871, the world’s first major cat show, they were described as ‘an unnatural nightmare kind of cat’ because of their strange coloring. It was the first time ever that anyone in England had seen a Siamese cat.
8. The cats went on to the United States as a “gift” to President Rutherford B. Hayes’ wife Lucy in 1878, and quickly became a favorite of Hayes’ daughter, Penny and was given free reign of the White House. But, that wasn’t the last time Siamese cats took over the White House. Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter also had Siamese cats leading the free world.
7. So, what’s up with those blue eyes? Those beautiful blue peepers didn’t just happen by chance. The gene that is responsible for the Siamese coat pattern also restricts the amount of pigment found in the eye–thus resulting in the signature pale blue color that the breed is known for.
6. Unlike most blue-eyed cats that carry recessive traits and are prone to hearing issues, the blue-eyed Siamese don’t tend to have any issues with hearing. But, their blue eyes can cause them some issues with vision, especially at night.
5. Ever wondered why a Siamese cat has a white coat and dark-tipped paws, ears, and facial features? It stems from a temperature-sensitive enzyme, which causes the cat to develop color on the cooler parts of its body and stay pale on its warmer torso. As a newborn kitten, all purebred Siamese are entirely white. Around 4 weeks of age, their distinctive markings begin to develop due to a gene that starts production of the heat sensitive enzyme. That’s one “cool” cat!
4. The Siamese is by no means an independent cat and they do not do well in an environment where they will be left home alone, often. Siamese cats are especially social creatures and if they don’t receive the attention they want, they will seek it. Due to their sociability, it is not advisable to leave them alone for too long and probably not the best breed for someone who works all day. They love to be in the limelight and able to sit in your lap for hours, enjoying the pampering. They are ideal pets for people who want constant company.
3. This breed is known for its voice or more accurately how often they use it. Siamese cats love to “talk,” especially to their owners. They can spend all day and most of the night vocalizing their opinions about their food, something they saw out the window or just letting you know that you are slacking on the attention giving.
2. The Siamese has had friends in high places other than the White House. Queen Victoria was quite fond of the breed, and Queen Elizabeth II was given a Siamese kitten as a wedding present upon her marriage to Prince Philip. Elizabeth Taylor owned several Siamese cats, and she gave one named Marcus as a gift to James Dean. Vivien Leigh was a big lover of the breed as well, owning many Siamese cats throughout her life.
1. The Siamese is very intelligent and highly trainable. Siamese cats can be trained to perform tricks and fetch on command and walk on a leash. They enjoy a challenge, so puzzle toys, clickers and even agility courses made in the house are all great options to have on hand. It doesn’t really matter to him what trick he’s doing as long as he’s doing it with you.
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