Siamese Cats - Living Cat Art.

Siamese Cats - Mysterious, Graceful, Affectionate and Visually Pleasing

Three Siamese Cats

The true origin of the Siamese breed remains unclear.

The breed almost certainly originated in Southeast Asia, and it is believed that the cat was kept and cherished by the King of Siam (Thailand), and considered sacred.

When a person of high status died a cat was chosen to receive the departed's soul.

The scared cat was then housed in a temple to live a luxurious life, receiving may gifts from the deceased's family and feeding from gold plates. The cat even had its own human servants.

Evidence of the breed's existence in pre 18th century Siam comes from a collection of illustrated poems written between 1350 and 1700, showing several cats, including a seal point Siamese.

These Palace or Temple cats are believed to have had yellow eyes, not the beautiful blue eyes of the cats as we know them today.

It is not known exactly when in the past mutations occurred causing the distinguished eye color.

Siamese Cats In The West

In 1884 Mr. Owen Gould the British consul-general, was given a pair of Siamese as a parting gift by the King of Siam - King Chulalongkorn, the son of the king featured in the musical The King and I.

Siamese cat with blue eyes.

Naturally these unusual and striking felines raised considerable interest. So much interest that Mr. Gould was granted permission to exhibit the cats at "The Great Exhibition" held at the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London England.

This exhibition was attended by heads of state and dignitaries from around the globe, thus spreading the news of the new oriental breed far and wide and Siamese kitties soon became very much in vogue.

In 1901 Owen Gould's sister, a Mrs. Veley, co-founded the Siamese Cat Club.

In the following few years a couple more pairs of adult cats and some Siamese kittens were imported to England. It was from this very limited pool, that the Siamese breed as we know it in the west, was evolved.

Photographs from the time show the cats to have been the Traditional Applehead variety, and to have had kinked tails and crossed eyes (both now considered faults, but at the time thought to be a normal characteristic of the Siamese breed).

Although most press reports of the time praised the charming new cats, one correspondent described them as "an unnatural, nightmare kind of cat".

Interest in the Siamese breed grew rapidly, and the fame of the Siamese soon spread to America, where it was greeted with great enthusiasm.

American cat fanciers avoided no expense in importing examples of the beautiful breed.

It is reported that wealthy cat fanciers were willing to pay up to $1000 to import a single Siamese from Britain.

The Official Siamese Breeds

Siamese Feline

What is an official Siamese breed? The answer depends on different countries, and different cat fanciers associations.

Some favor the Seal Point over the Blue Point, or the Chocolate Point over the Lilac Point, etc.

How many Siamese colors are there? gives a great answer to that question at this page - Siamese Cat Colors.

But to really make things interesting, there are two distinct varieties...

The result of thousands of years of selective breeding, coupled with the pressure of modern day competition means that there are now two distinct varieties of Siamese.

As the Siamese evolved over the years, some fanciers and breeders showed a preference for cats with triangular heads and long slender bodies. But some breeders prefer the cats that are much closer to the Siamese cats as they originally were.

Siamese Kitten and Cat Names
Having difficulty choosing a name for your Siamese? Here are some suggestions for finding Siamese cat names that are just right.

Egyptian Mau Cat : The cat of royalty.
Is the Egyptian Mau Cat the oldest of all domestic breeds? Is this the same naturally spotted cat that was revered and even worshiped by the Ancient Egyptians?

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