Siamese Cats

I have always been fascinated by Siamese cats. They are very personable and (I whisper this in front of my other cats) smarter than domestic kitties.

My first chance to have a Siamese came 9 years ago. I had lost one of my kitties to an oral tumour in November of the previous year and the house did not feel full anymore, despite having two other cats. One Sunday in June, my husband and I were deciding how to spend our day. We noticed an ad in the newspaper for Siamese kittens. I had a feeling the time to fill the gap had come. When I called to see if we could go by, I asked specifically if she had a blue point male. I was told there were two in the litter.  I told my husband we would just have a look, all the while packing the cat carrier and stopping at the bank. This would be the first cat I had ever paid for with anything other than love!

When we arrived in Seaforth, the home was a Siamese cat’s delight. There was a momma kitty and 6 kittens, along with a neutered flame point male adult and a cat tree that was 10 feet tall – this should have been a sign that Siamese cats like to climb! We sat and watched the kittens playing in the sunroom; chasing each other and pestering their mother.  My husband was being accosted by the flame point adult, but I was mesmerized by the kittens. There were 2 flame point and 4 blue points. As I quizzed the woman, asking about momma kittie’s health history, vaccines, and if she and the dad were Feline Leukemia tested (the health of my 2 at home was more important than getting a new kitten). After a while, we noticed a kitten by himself playing with the stove poker and being quite entertained.  I picked him up and he cuddled into me on the couch. My heart was lost at that moment.

We paid our money, finished our gingerbread and packaged the little guy up. He was quiet on the way home (the last time that would happen). After having him examined and Feline Leukemia tested the next day, he was introduced to the family. Zeke bonded immediately with our 10-year-old shorthair, Lenny. Zeke followed Lenny everywhere; slept curled next to him, ate when he ate and chased his tail mercilessly. When Lenny died 3 years later, Z was heartbroken.

Z is now 9 1/2 years old and a very loving kitty.  He is very chatty and is quick to tell you what he wants. During colder months, he will tap on your upper lip to get you to lift the covers to go under. He will pace between you and the sofa to get you to sit with him, and he purrs like no one else!

This started out as a Siamese tutorial but I cannot help but tell everyone how happy Z has made me.

So a brief description of Siamese cats:

*Siamese are usually very affectionate and intelligent cats, renowned for their social nature. Many enjoy being with people and are sometimes described as “extroverts”. Often they bond strongly to a single person. Some Siamese are extremely vocal, with a loud, low-pitched voice, which has been compared to the cries of a human baby, and persistent in demanding attention. These cats are typically active and playful, even as adults.

The pointed pattern is a form of partial albinism, resulting from a mutation in an enzyme involved in melanin production. The mutated enzyme is heat-sensitive; it fails to work at normal body temperatures, but becomes active in cooler (< 33 °C) areas of the skin. This results in dark colouration in the coolest parts of the cat’s body, including the extremities and the face, which is cooled by the passage of air through the sinuses. All Siamese kittens, are pure cream or white at birth.

Originally the vast majority of Siamese had seal (extremely dark brown, almost black) points, but occasionally Siamese were born with “blue” (a cool grey) points, chocolate (lighter brown) points, or lilac (pale warm gray) points. These colours were at first considered “inferior” seal points and were not qualified for showing or breeding. All of these shades were eventually accepted by the breed associations and became more common through breeding programmes specifically aimed at producing these colours. Later, outcrosses with other breeds developed Siamese-mix cats with points in other cat colours and patterns, including Red (flame) point, lynx (tabby) point, and tortoise-shell (“tortie”) point.

*Thanks to Wikipedia for putting this far more eloquently than I could.

Written by Connie Boudreau, Veterinary Assistant



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