Siamese Breed Profile

The Siamese cat is a distinct Asian breed that originated from the Wichianmat landrace in Thailand, formerly known as Siam. This breed gained popularity in Europe and North America in the 19th century. The modern-style Siamese are characterised by blue, almond-shaped eyes; a triangular head shape; large ears; an elongated, slender and muscular body; and various forms of point colouration. 

Despite little resemblance to the original stock, the modern-style Siamese is still a beloved and popular breed. Meanwhile, the traditional or “old-style” Siamese, with a much rounder head and body, is recognized by multiple registries as the Thai cat. 

The International Cat Association (TICA) describes the modern Siamese as affectionate, social, intelligent, and playful, often enjoying a game of fetch, tending to seek human interaction and other cat companionship.

Siamese Breed History

The Siamese cat holds a significant place in feline history. It is believed that Siamese cats first appeared in the ancient Tamra Maew manuscripts originating from the Ayutthaya Kingdom. In the late 1700s, the Burmese army took the felines as a symbol of wealth back to Burma. 

Today, there are two distinctly different types of Siamese cats: the Modern Siamese and the Old-Style Siamese, Classic Siamese, Traditional Siamese or Applehead Siamese. These cats are distant relatives and have formed sub-breeds due to selective breeding. 

In the UK, some breeders carry on the tradition of breeding Old-Style Siamese cats resulting in a diverse sub-breed of felines. 

ACF AoE & GOLD CH Rislani Koorine
ACF AoE & GOLD CH Rislani Koorine

To learn more about the various changes in the Siamese breed, a copy of the 1936 publication, ‘Siamese Cats‘ is available for further reading.


The Siamese breed is defined by its elongated, tubular, and muscular body, as well as its triangular head that forms a perfect triangle from nose to ear tip. The almond-shaped and light blue eyes, together with the large and wide-based ears located on the side of the head, are distinguishing features. Additionally, the Siamese breed has a long neck, a slender tail, and short, glossy, and fine fur that adheres to the body without an undercoat. 

The pointed colour scheme and blue eyes set it apart from the Oriental Shorthair, while the Thai Siamese has a more traditional cat appearance with rounder eyes, a rounder face and body, and normal-sized ears. The International Cat Association and the World Cat Federation have both accepted Siamese cats with less extreme characteristics and any other cat imported directly from Thailand under the breed name “Thai Other.” 

Lastly, the pointed pattern of the Siamese breed is due to a mutation in tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in melanin production, leading to a form of partial albinism that results in dark colouration around the coolest parts of the cat’s body.

Siamese kittens are white at birth!!

Siamese kittens are fascinating creatures that experience a unique metamorphosis during their initial months of life. They are born with a pure cream or white coat but develop visible points in colder areas as they mature. After four weeks, the colouration of these points becomes distinguishable, making it easier to identify each shade. It’s essential to note that Siamese cats tend to darken with age, and those living in cooler environments often have darker coats than those in warmer regions.

Throughout history, the Siamese breed predominantly had seal (very dark brown) points. However, breeders have since introduced new variations such as blue (cool grey), chocolate (lighter brown), and lilac (pale warm grey) points through selective breeding programs. While these colours were once regarded as inferior, breed associations eventually accepted them, and they are now prevalent in the breed. In conclusion, Siamese cats are an exquisite and captivating breed that is highly coveted by cat enthusiasts globally.

Azov One Last Dance with Rislani Harmonia's litter at 2 weeks of age
Azov One Last Dance with Rislani Harmonia's litter at 2 weeks of age

The Introduction of additional Colours

Siamese cats have a rich history of outcrossing with other breeds, resulting in Siamese-mix cats with points in a wide range of colours and patterns, including Red Point, Cream Point, Cinnamon Point, Fawn Point, lynx Point, tortoiseshell (“tortie”) Point, and Bi-colour Point. While all pointed Siamese-style cats are considered part of the Siamese breed in the UK, the Cat Fanciers’ Association – a major cat registry in the US – only recognises the original four fur colours (seal point, blue point, chocolate point, and lilac point) as Siamese. 

Any Oriental Shorthair cats with colour points outside these four are considered colour point Shorthairs in that registry. 

The kinked tail, once a common trait among Thai Siamese cats, has been largely eradicated by breeders, though it persists among street cats in Thailand.

ANCATS Nat CH & ANCATS SIL DB GD CH & ACF Bronze AoE & Gold Champion Azov Bellagio (Hons) ~ Chocolate Point Siamese
ANCATS Nat CH & ANCATS SIL DB GD CH & ACF Bronze AoE & Gold Champion Azov Bellagio (Hons) ~ Chocolate Point Siamese


The Siamese breed is known for its affectionate and intelligent nature. 

With their social personality, they form strong bonds with their owners and are often described as extroverts. While some may exhibit a loud, low-pitched voice (or “Meezer”) that demands attention, they remain active and playful throughout adulthood, displaying dog-like behaviour.

It is important to note that their strong attachment to people or other cats means they can suffer from depression if left alone for extended periods, which is why they are often purchased in pairs. 

Overall, the Siamese cat is a loving and loyal companion for those seeking a furry friend to keep them company.

General Health

According to Swedish insurance data, research indicates that Siamese and Siamese-derived breeds have a greater chance of premature death than other breeds, with a median life expectancy of somewhere between 10 and 12.5 years. While 68% of cats in this group live for 10 years or more, 42% lived for 12.5 years or more. This research reveals that the majority of deaths were caused by neoplasms, following mammary tumours. 

Moreover, the Siamese breed has a higher risk of morbidity, including gastrointestinal and neoplastic problems but with a lower risk of feline lower urinary tract disease. 

However, the median lifespan of Siamese cats in England is estimated to be longer, at approximately 14.2 years.

Unique Genetics

Siamese cats have an intriguing genetic makeup that results in unique physical traits that distinguish them from other cats. An interesting observation can be made about a particular albino allele that produces coloured points, which also leads to a lack of tapetum lucidum in the blue eyes of these felines, which is responsible for amplifying dim light.

This genetic mutation also has neurological implications for Siamese cats, as the abnormal wiring between the eye and brain can lead to crossed eyes. Because of the selective breeding of Siamese cats over time, the characteristic crossed eyes have become far less common.

However, this lack of tapetum lucidum in their eyes can decrease their night vision even in uncrossed-eyed cats, making them more vulnerable to hazards in urban areas.

Overall, this trait has made Siamese cats more reliant on humans and has become a desirable characteristic for many owners.


Siamese cats are a unique breed that requires special attention to their health needs. 

It is important to note that, unlike many other blue-eyed white cats, Siamese cats do not have reduced hearing ability. 

However, they are more susceptible to certain health issues such as lung infections, feline OCD, Vestibular Disease, and Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome. 

It is crucial to note that Siamese cats, along with Abyssinians, Somali, Oriental Shorthair, Oriental Longhair, Balinese, Javanese, and Peterbald breeds, may develop Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), a disease that causes blindness. Breeders should perform a DNA test on your kitten’s parents to confirm the absence of the rdAc-gene mutation. Photoreceptors in the retina are responsible for vision, and when these cells degenerate, blindness may occur. It is common for PRA to cause total blindness around 4 to 5 years, but it can be diagnosed later.

Breeds derived from the Siamese

The Siamese cat has played an instrumental role in the development and creation of several popular cat breeds through approved experimental breeding programs. Among these breeds are many that are widely-known and cherished today.

Balinese – Natural mutation of the Siamese cat; a longhaired Siamese.

Bengal cat – This interspecific hybrid cat breed was created by breeding an Asian leopard cat and a Siamese cat together.

Birman – After almost all the individuals of the breed died out during the years of World War II, French breeders reconstructed the breed through interbreeding with various other breeds, one of them being the Siamese. Modern Birman cats have inherited their pointed coat patterns from the Siamese.

Burmese – is a breed of domesticated cats descended from a specific cat, Wong Mau, who was found in Burma in 1930 by Joseph Cheesman Thompson. She was brought to San Francisco, where she was bred with Siamese. While technically not derived from Siamese, the breed was considered a form of Siamese for many years, leading to crossbreeding.

Burmese – is a breed of domesticated cats descended from a specific cat, Wong Mau, who was found in Burma in 1930 by Joseph Cheesman Thompson. She was brought to San Francisco, where she was bred with Siamese. While technically not derived from Siamese, the breed was considered a form of Siamese for many years, leading to crossbreeding.

Havana Brown resulted from crossing a chocolate-point Siamese with a black cat.

Colourpoint Shorthair – a Siamese-type cat registered in CFA with pointed coat colours aside from the traditional CFA Siamese coat colours; originally developed by crosses with other shorthair cats. Considered part of the Siamese breed in most cat associations, but considered a separate breed in CFA and WCF. Variations can include lynx points and tortie points.

Himalayan – Longhaired breed originally derived from crosses of Persians to Siamese and pointed domestic longhair cats to introduce the point markings and the colours chocolate and lilac. After these initial crosses were used to introduce the colours, further breed development was performed by crossing these cats only to the Persian breed. In Europe, they are referred to as colourpoint Persians. In CFA, they are a colour division of the Persian breed.

Javanese – in CFA, a longhaired version of the Colourpoint Shorthair (i.e. a Colourpoint Longhair). In WCF, however, Javanese is an alias of the Oriental Longhair.

Neva Masquerade – derived in Russia by naturally or selectively crossing Siberian cats with Siamese cats, or related colourpoint cats. It bears the Siamese colourpoint gene, but the original foundation stock is unclear.

Ocicat – a spotted cat originally produced by a cross between Siamese and Abyssinian.

Oriental Shorthair – a Siamese-style cat in non-pointed coat patterns and colours, including solid, tabby, silver/smoke, tortoise-shell and bi-colour.

Oriental Longhair – a longhaired version of the Oriental Shorthair.

Ragdoll – selectively bred from “alley cats” foundation stock in the USA. It bears the Siamese colourpoint mutation gene.

Savannah – The Savannah is a domestic hybrid cat breed. It is a hybridization between a serval and a domestic cat (The first was bred with a Siamese).

Snowshoe – a cream and white breed with blue eyes and some points that were produced through the cross-breeding of the Siamese and bi-coloured American Shorthair in the 1960s.

Thai Cat – also called the Wichian Mat or Old Style Siamese, the original type of Siamese imported from Thailand in the 19th century and still bred in Thailand today; and throughout the first half of the 20th century, the only type of Siamese.

Tonkinese – originally a cross between a Siamese cat and a Burmese. Tonkinese x Tonkinese matings can produce kittens with a Burmese sepia pattern, Siamese pointed pattern, or a Tonkinese mink pattern (which is something in between the first two, with less pattern contrast than the Siamese but greater than the Burmese); often with aqua eyes.

Toybob – cat breed with Russian origin. It bears the Siamese colourpoint mutation gene.

Mekong Bobtail (Thai Bobtail)