FloridaWild Vet Hospital

Siamese and Oriental Shorthairs: Loyal and Chatty Feline Friends

Although I adore all cats, I make no bones about my-addiction to Siamese and Oriental Shorthair kitties. My adoration for these two very intelligent and affection breeds runs very deep. Additionally, these breeds possess a wicked sense of humor. They also have a fantastic knack for finding ways that can sometimes drive their owners up the wall. The Oriental Shorthair was developed using Siamese cats as the foundation breed. To develop a variety of colors, they were crossed with other breeds. Although their body colors may differ, their personalities are very much the same. Opinionated, curious and intelligent, these cats are both fascinating and enchanting.

This said Siamese and Oriental Shorthair kitties may end up surrendered to shelters. Although their owners were dazzled by their charm and beauty, before purchasing or adopting one, these owners probably didn’t do the necessary research to fully grasp the breed’s unique personality to know what they were getting into.

Siamese and Oriental Shorthair cats are incredibly vocal. They will sometimes loudly and incessantly chit-chat to their owners, for hours on end on just about anything that interests them. These are not shy felines; they will make their needs known. And they do expect to have these needs met immediately, or their owner will hear about it.

These cats are as smart as a “button” and are, to boot, curious about everything in their environment. They love to explore into cabinets and closets. And if the owner isn’t paying attention while eating dinner, these cats may brazenly steal food right off the owner’s plate.

Siamese and Oriental Shorthair kitties require a great deal of attention. To help keep these cats happy and emotionally well-balanced, they need lots of mental and physical stimulation. Siamese and Oriental Shorthair cats make fiercely loyal companions. They can become inordinately attached to their owners.

The Siamese cat abounds in history. This unique breed has endured for over ten centuries, and, in Thailand was considered sacred. Siamese cats were often used as temple guardians.

Legends infuse Siamese cat history. One of the more popular fables tells us the reasons why Siamese cats have kinked tails and crossed eyes. There was a pregnant Siamese cat whose job was to guard a sacred golden goblet used by the Buddha.

To prevent losing sight of the goblet, she wrapped her tail around the goblet’s stem and stared at it steadily. Her eyes became crossed from incessantly gazing at the sacred cup, and her tail became permanently bent from holding the goblet’s stem. By all accounts, her kittens inherited these traits, which have passed along for eons to future generations. Today, however, careful, cautious breeders work hard to eliminate these traits since they are now considered faults.

The four colors of Siamese cats or “Meezers” are Seal Point, Blue Point, Chocolate Point, and Lilac Point. Their smooth and silky coats require little grooming. During the shedding seasons, all that is needed is a soft brush to remove dirt and loose hair. To give the coat a shiny texture, a gentle rub down with a chemise cloth is sufficient.

There are two types of Siamese cats: The more massive, round-headed chunkier built “Traditional” Apple-head and the svelte, agile, refined, and elegant appearing “Modern” Siamese.

Both Siamese types make ideal family pets. They get along well with children, and if properly introduced, they get along well with dogs and other pets. Siamese and Oriental cats do crave attention. They love to be in their owner’s lap, and they will snuggle and curl up under the covers for a good night’s sleep.

Even though I cannot rave enough about these elegant cats, I am obligated to add a few words of caution to our readers. If sharing your home and heart with a generally quiet, undemanding, and laid-back kitty, please take my sage advice. The Siamese is not your “cup of tea.” But if you’re up for an exciting adventure, love being showered with affection and also have a terrific sense of humor, the Siamese or Oriental Shorthair kitty is right up your alley.

Photo credits: Seal Point Siamese sleeping: Flickr user Aaron Harvey
Apple headed Siamese: Flickr User: Black Zero
Article by: Jo Singer, MSW, CSW, LCSW, (Ret.)

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