Siamese cats, with their striking blue eyes and sleek, svelte bodies, have captivated cat lovers worldwide for centuries. These feline beauties are more than just a pretty face; they boast a rich and fascinating history that stretches back to ancient Siam, now known as Thailand. In this article, we cover the history of Siamese cats, exploring their royal connections, their introduction to the Western world, and the development of various Siamese cat breeds. From their mysterious origins to their enduring allure, the Siamese cat's story is one that blends regal elegance with a touch of enigmatic charm. So, join us as we unravel the captivating tale of these exquisite feline companions.
Myths About Siamese Cats
Siamese are one of the most well known and popular breeds of cat across the world. Their exact country of origin is not known however they are thought to have come from Siam now known as Thailand. This article gives a very brief over view of the breed and some of its history with many wonderful pictures of these beautiful cats.
It is believed that the cats belonged to the Royal Family of Siam and were used as guards of the ancient temples. Legends tell of the way the Siamese became cross eyed with kinked tails (now considered a show fault which breeders try to eradicate but this is not a health issue). The story goes that two Siamese were sent to find a goblet belonging to a King. When they found it one was left to look after it while the other returned to tell the king of its whereabouts. The one who was left was so scared of losing the goblet it stared at it and wrapped its tail around the base tightly. This caused the cat to become cross eyed and have a permanent tail kink and is passed on though its descendants. Other stories tell of the tails of Siamese cats being used as ring holders by the Royal Princesses and that is how the kinks arrived.
The History of Siamese Cats
The first Siamese were imported into the UK in 1884 by Mr Owen Gould as a gift for his sister Lillian. This was a breeding pair named Pho and Mia. They had a litter of kittens named Kalahom, Karomata and Duen Ngai. They were first shown at the Crystal Palace cat show in 1885. Sadly they died after the show but more Siamese were then imported into the UK. The breed became ever more popular and the Siamese Cat Club (still exists today) was founded in 1901. We have a great range of pictures of past Siamese below.
Colours of Siamese Cats
The years have gone by and the breed has changed considerably. The seal point was the original and probably also the most well known colour. More colours began to arrive as did more patterns. Today there are more than 34 different colours and patterns in the breed (you can view these in our Siamese Cat Breed Profile). These include the better known colours seal, chocolate, blue and lilac points. In addition their are profiles on caramel, cinnamon and fawn points. The profile also includes tortie points, red points and tabby points.
Traditional Siamese Cats vs Modern Siamese Cats
There has also been some division within the breed as far as the type of Siamese. There are now 2 distinct types of Siamese cat the traditional Siamese cat which has a more rounded head and stocky body shape. The modern Siamese cat which has a wedge shape head and a much sleeker body shape. Because of the diversity of the Siamese cat many breeders prefer to specialise in a particular type or colour of cat. Traditional Siamese cats are rarely shown with GCCF anymore due to the vast difference between modern and traditional type and the fact that the G.C.C.F judge them against each other makes it very difficult for a traditional to compete. However traditional Siamese can be shown under T.I.C.A and F.B and are judged separately from the modern Siamese as the Thai Cat.
They continue to grow in popularity year on year and this is much to do with their fabulous personalities. There have been many Siamese owned by the rich and famous including Harold Wilson British Prime Minister and James Dean Hollywood Actor. They have appeared in books and films one of the most famous of these was Walt Disney film Lady and the Tramp. Sadly Si and Am the cats in the film were portrayed as nasty cats and many people believe this is what they are like in reality which is quite the opposite.
There are many other breeds which are derived from the Siamese. They have long been admired for their distinct pointed pattern, blue eyes and fabulous temperament. Permitted out crossing with other breeds have created some new breeds too. Some of the breeds who’s roots go back to the Siamese are as follows.
Siamese Cats Of Distinction
Our Siamese cat gallery below is a selection of Siamese pictures of many fantastic Siamese cats that are found behind many of the show and breeding cats of today. This will be a trip down ‘memory lane’ for some of our more seasoned breeders and a real eye opener for our novice breeders. We have some fantastic cats from the past who we may find at the back or perhaps just a little further back on our pedigrees and we also have some cats that many of us will still find at the front of our pedigrees. We hope you enjoy our gallery as much as we enjoyed putting it together.
This gallery has been put together with the help of many of our breeders and judges and Siamese Cat Breeder would very much like to thank them all for their contributions. We have some rare photographs of some fantastic cats but we would very much like to extend the gallery. If you have any photographs of cats that you feel should be included on this page please contact our webmaster who is eagerly awaiting your photographs.
Submit Photos to our Siamese Cat Picture Gallery
We would love to hear from anyone who has any suggestions and more importantly pictures of Siamese cats from the past that deserve a place on this gallery. The gallery is open to any Siamese cat that has played an important role in the pedigrees of today or indeed was a fabulous show cat and ambassador for the breed.