Highlights of the Siamese Breed
There are many excellent websites and other sources that will give you information on breed standards, origin, and colorpoints. For a starting place, we suggest you look at www.meezer.com, www.breedlist.com, www.fanciers.com, and www.cfainc.org.
There are some key personality traits that make the Siamese breed unique and distinctive. Most people immediately focus on the fact that they look beautiful, but please consider all of the below traits as you are deciding whether to make one of these cats your companion for many years to come. To delve into any of the below topics in detail is beyond the scope of this page, but we want you to be aware of the most prevelent Siamese traits when you consider adopting a Siamese cat.
This is a highly intelligent, curious, and motivated breed. The Siamese cat is known for opening doors and cupboards, stealing items from around the house and hiding them away, and having the knack for getting into mischief if not properly supervised. They require a lot of human interaction, toys, and stimulation to keep out of trouble. This is NOT a cat for someone who lives alone and works 10-12 hours a day. A second (or third, or forth) feline companion can go along way towards entertaining your Siamese, but is no substitute for time spent with "their" humans.
Energetic, and with a keen sense of fun, many Siamese easily learn to play "fetch" like a dog and will enthusiastically invent new games for hours to share with their people. Most Siamese are not content to sit serenely on the sofa and passively observe what’s going on — they want to be right in the middle of everything, helping and supervising whatever you are doing. This behavior extends far past the typical kitten age, and it is not unusual for a Siamese in her teens to joyfully romp after a string or toss a catnip mouse in the air.
Siamese have a very distinctive voice, and they all "talk", although some do so much more then others. They are frequently compared to a crying baby, but many will hold regular conversations, with varying tones and volume. This is a trait of the breed — many people love it, but it drives others to distraction.
Because they do become very emotionally attached to their humans, Siamese are among the most loyal and devoted of the cat breeds. Although this is an positive when it is your cat, it poses a bit of a challenge when a cat suddenly (and usually through no fault of his own) finds himself in Rescue. These cats may be slow to trust - they are not going to hand you the instant unconditional love that, say, a golden retriever puppy would. However, with patience, persistence, and time, you can win their heart and love. These cats are incredibly grateful to be given a "second chance" and you will not be disappointed.
This breed is blessed with a very long lifespan, and it is not unusual for a Siamese to be healthy and happy into their late teens or early twenties. This is important to keep in mind when adopting for several reasons. First, this cat potentially is going to be around a very long time — are you prepared to make a lifelong commitment to him/her? Second, there is a substantial cost that one incurs in routine veterinary bills, care and upkeep, even without any of the unforeseen health problems/emergencies that can develop. Are you willing and able to accept this responsibility? Lastly, many middle aged Siamese are passed over in the shelter or given up when their elderly owners pass on and there is no one to care for them. People say a 8 or 10 year old cat is "too old to adopt". Well, that Siamese may easily have another 5 or 10 years of love to give, so please don’t be too quick to dismiss any cat that is over age 3 and is looking for a home.