This beautiful cat is one of the most popular pets in the world. In this post, you’ll discover the ultimate list of interesting facts about Siamese cats, a breed with a very distinctive appearance!
The first Siamese in the U.S. was sent to the President in 1878
The first Siamese cat that made it to the United States was sent directly to the most important man in the country, U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes, in 1878. It was the American Consul in Bangkok named David B. Sickels who sent it as a gift for the First Lady. This wonderful first cat in the United States adjusted remarkably well and joined a number of other animals at the White House as well, including two dogs, a goat, and a mockingbird. Unfortunately, the cat that as named “Siam,” became ill just a year after and died in the autumn of 1879.
The King of Burma started collecting Thai cats because of a poem
The Ayutthaya Kingdom abruptly ended in the year 1767 after the capital city of Ayutthaya was sacked that year by the Burmese army. The Burmese did, however, secure some copies of the famous book with cat poems.
This book eventually made it all the way to the King of Burma, a man called Hsinbyushin, who started reading about this particular cat breed. This particular poem made a reference to Thai cats being as rare as gold, so he ordered his army to collect as many of them as possible.
This story is still popular in Thailand and explains the magnetic power these wonderful creatures have and why they have become some of the most popular pets in the world today!
There’s a reason why these cats have a distinctive pointed pattern
One of the best-recognizable features of this type of cat is their pointed color pattern which is considerably darker in various parts of their body, including the face, feet, ears, and tail. The reason is that these cats suffer from a condition called partial albinism which causes a mutation in tyrosinase, the enzyme responsible for the production of melanin. This particular enzyme is heat-sensitive and only becomes active in parts of the skin where the body temperature is cooler (< 33 °C). That’s why the tips of the body of these cats are much darker.
The color of these cats changes as they get older
Another one of those fascinating facts about Siamese cats is that they aren’t born with this pointed color pattern. The Siamese kittens are completely white or cream-colored and only develop this pointed pattern as they grow older. If we say older, we simply mean after a couple of weeks though because 4-week old kittens should already have developed a clear pointed pattern.
Numerous cat breeds are derived from the Siamese
Have you noticed some other cats with a distinctively darker face in combination with a much paler body? Then chances are high that this is a breed developed from the Siamese cat! A grand total of 17 recognized breeds are derived from this amazing cat, and some of these are the Bengal, Balinese, Burmese, and the Himalayan cat to name a few!
The breed was derived from an old cat breed from Thailand
The Siamese cat is one of the best-recognized cat breeds in the world. It was derived from the so-called “Whichien Maat” cat or simply “Thai Cat,” the new name of this ancient cat breed. This also means that its name is derived from its country of origin, Thailand, which used to be called Siam. The country’s name was changed to “Thailand” following a revolution in 1932 in which it became a monarchy.
It’s one of the breeds mentioned in old Thai Cat-Book Poems
One of the most fascinating facts about Siamese cats is that they are one of the cats mentioned in ancient Thai literature. This book is called the “Tamra Maew” or the “Cat-Book Poems,” and features illustrations and descriptions of various types of cats. It’s believed that this book originates from the Siamese Ayutthaya Kingdom which lasted between 1351 and 1767, something that clearly indicates that this cat breed has been popular for a very long time in Thailand.