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Siamese

The Siamese were first bred in Thailand, in the original capital city, Phimai. Pictures of Siamese first appeared in the manuscript “Cat-Book Poems”, written in Thailand sometime between 1350 and 1700. In Thailand, where they are one of several native breeds, they are called Wichien-maat (วิเชียรมาศ, a name meaning “Moon diamond”). In the twentieth century the Siamese cat became one of the most popular breeds in Europe and North America.

That the Siamese has evolved in type from its native beginnings is without question. Generally the evolution has been consistent with the vision of generations of breeders around the world whose cats echo the graceful form suggested in the early breed standards. While some fanciers specialise in breeding ‘pure Siamese’, adhering to the four original point colours of seal, blue, chocolate and lilac, many are producing them in a myriad of designer hues. Others have reverted to ‘traditional’ Siamese, now called the Siam or Thai, which resemble the early type, arguing that selective breeding for refinement has gone too far, resulting in an overly delicate creature which is prone to illness and breeding problems. There is no doubt that in recent years Siamese numbers have decreased at shows, in favour of other breeds. The reason for this is unclear, and perhaps warrants further investigation.

Disease susceptibility

Hypomyelination

Niemann-Pick disease, Gangliosidosis, Chediak-Higashi syndrome

Megacolon

Food allergy dermatitis

Congenital hypotrichosis

Periocular leukotrichia

Vitiligo

References

1. A History of the Siamese Cat © by Diana Arnold, International All-Breeds Judge Feline Control Council (Victoria) Inc

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