1. They’re one of the oldest cat breeds
It’s thought that the Siamese cat was first domesticated about 600 years ago in Thailand, according to an old Thai manuscript titled “Tamra Maew” (The Cat Book Poems). Although there are rumors that Siamese might have been the pets of royalty, owned by Buddhist monks, and given as wedding presents and gifts to foreign dignitaries, much of their past is shrouded in mystery. This Thai-origin breed of Siamese is often referred to as Traditional Siamese (read more here on different types of Siamese cats).
They were also one of the first cat breeds recognized by the Cat Fancier’s Association in 1906.
2. They’re very talkative
Siamese cats are known for their chatty (and often very loud) behavior. It’s not unlike a Siamese to follow their owner around the house with a constant stream of meows. The Wedge Siamese is particularly known for its loud, child-like, screaming meow.
3. They’re often cross-eyed
The beautiful blue pigmentation you see in many Siamese cats’ eyes is the same reason why so many of them are cross-eyed. Fortunately, in recent decades selective breeding has gotten rid of this genetic trait in many Siamese cats.
4. They have partial albinism
Although albinism (a disorder causing lack of pigmentation in the skin, rendering it white) is rare in most species, it’s quite prevalent in the Siamese cat and is responsible for those lovely cream-white portions of most Siamese. They’re considered to only be partially albino, though, because they still have coronation in their “points”, or extremities such as their tail, face and paws. This is because the gene that causes albinism in the Siamese is only activated at high temperatures, which occurs in their mother’s womb. While most of the Siamese kitten’s body warms up enough to trigger the albinism, the extremities stay too cool and retain their pigmentation.
5. The U.S.’s first Siamese cat was owned by a President
That’s right, the first known Siamese to come to the United States was gifted from a U.S. diplomat in Thailand to President Rutherford B. Hayes’ wife. Named Siam, the cat was free to roam the white house.
6. They’re nicknamed “Moon Diamond”
Siamese cats are highly regarded in their origin country of Thailand, and have the nickname of “wichien-matt”, or “Moon Diamond”