Variety is the spice of life and there is plenty of variety available when it comes to part Siamese breeds.
The Siamese caused such a stir when it arrived to our UK shores during the late 1800’s that it quickly became the must-have designer cat. The Siamese, of course, has some distinctive characteristics: The voice, the coloring and the blue eyes come to mind.
Due to its popularity and its very unusual appearance cat breeders quickly realized that by crossing the Siamese with other breeds some very beautiful and smart cats would be produced. Enter the part-Siamese breeds. Purists might stick with the original Siamese but they would be missing out on some beautiful and loving cats.
So what is out there?
Short-hair part-Siamese cats
Take one Siamese and cross it with a Burmese cat and some nine weeks later you get little Tonkinese. They can be easily confused at first glance with the Siamese but their eyes are much paler and green/blue. They are more chunky than the Siamese and generally have darker coats that become darker still where the Siamese has its points.
Points? the word given to the areas on the Siamese where the color gets darker, on the face, legs and tail. The most fun fact is that a litter will have a mixture of kittens: some look like Burmese, others like Siamese and others like Tonkinese! Take your pick.
Another part-Siamese is the romantically named Snowshoe cat. At first glance it looks like the Siamese except that it has pretty white feet and a white pattern on its face.
The Burmese is a major offshoot from original Siamese breeding and are harder to categorize visually, since you can get cats in a variety of colors, any color you want, in fact, including black.
The Havana Brown cat is – yes, you guessed it – the color of Cuban cigars, but with the build of a Siamese.
The Korat is a special and delicate cat reputed to be good luck and therefore given as a gift in Northeastern Thailand. These cats really have the cute factor.
A spotted cat related to the Siamese? Yes, there is one, but the original Ocicat breeders were hoping for a new point color of Siamese and almost ignored the spotted litters – yet they are extremely popular and loveable nowadays in their own right.
Your last shopping opportunity among the part-Siamese short-hairs is a cat that almost does not have any, a rare cross, the Devon Si-Rex = perfect for the owner who appreciates a different kind of cat.
Medium-hair part-Siamese cats
Birman cats are real glamor pusses and come in all the Siamese color points – but with cute white feet. Their fur looks difficult to maintain however with no matting undercoat it is more a case of a quick brush and go.
Another medium-hair has a contested past but is now accepted for the beautiful hardy cat it is – and comes all the way from Russia. The Neva Masquerade is fluffy with a dense fur coat to survive a Russian winter. This cat has both beauty and the exotic looks.
Long-haired part-Siamese cats
The Ragdoll comes in many different colors but one variety has Siamese color points, the ideal cat for the owner looking for a large and somewhat ostentatious cat. The Ragdoll is no shrinking violet!
Finally, there is a cat that people seem to either love or hate. Well, hate is perhaps too strong a word but if you like the sleek, sophisticated, elegant Siamese, this chunky furry ball of fluff is really not for you. The Himalayan is a real chocolate box cover cat and all that fur will not remain attractive without frequent help from you. If you like the idea of a cat that tends towards the quiet and laid back and you love the hairdressing aspect, then this real Hollywood star is right up your street.
This is just a brief rundown from the world of the part-Siamese but I hope it has encouraged you to explore further.
Are they better than Siamese?
I will let you decide, but they are different. I will leave you with the thought that there is a cat out there that is just perfect for you – you just have to find it.