The Siamese cat is a very popular short hair breed that originated from the region of present-day Thailand many centuries ago. Affectionate, people-oriented, and chatty, it is characterized by a long, slim body (about medium size), thin tail, blue eyes, and huge triangular ears. Most of these kittens are born with white or cream fur, while the most prominent feature of this cat, the dark color points around the face, legs, and tail, only develop later as the cat matures. This coloration is the result of the black pigment eumelanin, which due to genetic reasons becomes concentrated around the cat’s extremities.
It is difficult to put a precise number on the many different types of Siamese cats. Generally, at least two of them are recognized: the traditional Siamese and the modern Siamese. The traditional Siamese, also known as the Thai cat or Wichien Maat, was developed in an effort to preserve and maintain the Siamese in its original form as closely as possible due to the incursion of the modern type. Some people recognize at least three different types of Siamese cats in their traditional form: apple head, classic, and old-style. Because these variations aren’t always well-defined, it can lead to a lot of confusion on the consumer’s part. This article will cover (in no particular order) some interesting facts about all the different types of Siamese cats while trying to define them as clearly as possible.
Classic Siamese Cat
The classic Siamese is perhaps the most athletic of the traditional versions of the Thai cat. It is characterized by a long, lithe body, deep blue eyes, a more rounded head, and dark points around the face and extremities. It also doesn’t have a noticeable dip in the nose compared to the other traditional versions.
Old-style Siamese Cat
The old-style Siamese cat is another one of the traditional Thai variations. It is characterized by medium body size, big triangular ears, and very obvious cross-eyes, which should help with identification. The head is wedge-shaped but still, a bit rounded in appearance. Its face is a little longer than other variations on this list as well. The face, tail, and bottom of the feet are very dark, almost black in appearance.
Applehead Siamese Cat
The main features of this variation are the round apple-shaped head and a downward-pointed nose. This easy means of identification sets them apart from the other two traditional Thai cats. Appleheads also tend to have larger size bodies, shorter tails, and comparatively smaller ears. Dark brown or black color points adorn the face and other extremities. Their eyes are a bit crossed as well.
Modern Wedge Siamese Cat
The modern Siamese was created after years of careful breeding to enhance the most exaggerated features of the breed. As a result, it bears only a small relationship to the traditional version in terms of its appearance. It is characterized by a very strong triangular wedge-shaped head, a very long and lean body, slender legs, and a wide nose that points upward instead of down. The long and exaggerated ears are also generally situated a little lower on the head. While they are still affectionate and people-oriented cats (some say they are quite talkative and chatty), the modern version is vastly preferred in the show arena. This can make them quite pricy to purchase. Unfortunately, one downside is that they tend to be more vulnerable to heart and kidney diseases. If you plan to purchase the modern Siamese, then you should talk with your vet to learn some basic facts about its health situation.
Light-Colored Siamese Cat
The light-colored Siamese is the product of extensive selective breeding throughout the 1960s and 1980s, enabling you to choose a color that suits your personal preference. Few of these particular coat colors appear in the traditional Siamese cat. Many have wedge-shaped heads like the modern Siamese.
- Cream Point – This color scheme is almost completely absent of any dark patterns at all. Most of the shiny fur is cream-colored or light orange. Kittens are born completely white but start to show colors at around three or four months of age.
- Chocolate Point – The chocolate point is characterized by a cream or ivory body with milk chocolate-colored points on the extremities. Otherwise, they look similar to other types of Siamese.
- Lilac Point – The lilac point is characterized by a white body with pink or grayish points on the extremities. The lilac point is considered to be a diluted form of the chocolate point.
Dark-Colored Siamese Cat
As the name suggests, these cats are darker than your normal Siamese. The colors were the result of selective breeding in the latter half of the 20th century. There are three different versions.
- Seal Point – The seal point is characterized by dark brown markings over parts of the body and brown or black points on the extremities. However, the seal point is not completely dark. Much of the body is still covered in large sections of pure white or cream-colored fur.
- Blue Point – The blue point variation is characterized by a light blue or white coat and gray or dark blue points on the face, ears, and tail. The almond-shaped eyes tend to be deep aquamarine.
- Red Point – Unlike most other variations of the Siamese, this one does not have the typical black and white mix. Instead, it is characterized by cream white fur with various shades of red, amber, or orange markings around the extremities and parts of the body. They are considered to be quite rare and not accepted by every cat association.
Lynx Point Siamese Cat
The lynx point Siamese can be defined as a color point cat with tabby patterns showing around the extremities. The tabby pattern consists of a darker striped pattern on a lighter background. It can come in red, brown, blue, gray, or cream. This pattern starts out lightly and doesn’t become apparent until the kittens start to really grow. As the result of extensive selective breeding, the lynx point is not accepted as a purebred Siamese by most cat breeders and organizations, but that shouldn’t necessarily dissuade you from purchasing one.
Often considered to be its own separate breed, the Balinese is essentially a long-haired version of the Siamese. It is otherwise characterized by the same cream fur (soft and silky to the touch), dark brown or black points, and triangular ears. The long hair is its main means of identification. It is the result of a genetic mutation in the purebred Siamese cats. Seal, blue, chocolate, red, lilac, and cream points are all accepted.
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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
How many types of Siamese cats are there?
That depends on how you count them. As mentioned previously, there are generally considered to be the modern Siamese and the three traditional types of Siamese cats. There are also at least six types of Siamese cats with unique point colorations. The long-haired Balinese is sometimes counted as its own separate breed instead of a specific type of Siamese. There is plenty of uncertainty here, and not all types are accepted by breeders and organizations as distinct or desirable, because they don’t conform to the breed standard. If you have any questions, then you should talk to breeders in your area to learn some facts about the different types.