There are many types of Siamese and choosing is a major decision since the one you choose will be with you for years to come – and they are different. Here are some of the differences to help you navigate the Siamese cat maze.
Do you know that Siamese cats come in different body shapes?
They do, and you have a choice of body shape. If you are a a bit on the older side (just a bit, mind you) then you’ll remember the more chunky Siamese. If you liked this cuddly cat, make sure you approach a Traditional, Classic, Thai or Applehead Siamese breeder for your dream kitten. If you’ve fallen for the Modern style with the extra large ears, small head, elongated body and thin tail, you’ll be looking for a Modern Style cat breeder. This is a rather simplistic explanation and you can spend days reading up on the differences – but at least this is a good start.
Are you confused by words like color points, pedigree and conformity – so much so you don’t even know what questions to ask the breeder?
Here is a handy little list to help you out.
– Points, for example, as in seal point or chocolate point. A point describes the Siamese’s darker extremities, or ‘points’ – ears, tail, legs and snout. Breeders call the snout the mask)
– Flame point? This describes the color of the point in this case ginger or red. Chocolate point? You guessed it. Brown.
– When it comes to types of Siamese do they only vary in the color they come in? No actually, you can get these color points but in a long haired Siamese! They are given a different name the Balinese and Javanese but they are still Siamese!
– Another word you will come across is pedigree, which applies to breeding: a pedigree cat’s ancestors and matings will have been recorded throughout the generations, and you’ll have proof of that from the cat’s pedigree papers, which you’ll receive from the breeder when you purchase your kitten.
– Cat shows: these are competitions where cats compete for prizes, rather like a pageant or beauty contest. They are great places to get to know breeders and their cats before you shop for that special kitten.
– Good conformity: this refers to whether the cat or kitten looks how it should according to the cat club that the breeder belongs to.
Having sorted out some of the words lets learn about the way they should look.
Do you have your heart set on a Blue point Siamese kitten?
You’ll only have the breeder’s word that this is what you’re actually getting.
Make sure you know what your favorite color actually looks like before you shop. Photos from breeders’ websites will help you, especially photos of kittens so you’ll be able to compare. Kittens don’t develop their final colors for many months so don’t expect to see miniature adults! Another way to make sure you get the color you want is to check the pedigree papers of both your kitten and the parents. No pedigree papers? Run!
Want to know more about the long-haired Siamese?
For years they’ve been shunned, but that has changed.
Long-haired Siamese: the Balinese and Javanese. From the start of Siamese breeding, long-haired Siamese occasionally turned up in the litters. The breeders kept this quiet and sold them as house cats rather than Siamese – they were seen as odd and bad for the breed (as though their precious Siamese had mated with a plain old stray). Eventually long-hairs started to be appreciated and now these great-natured, beautiful cats with easy-to-comb coats are much sought after.
What about colors? Aren’t they confusing?
Of course they are, even for the expert. In the USA, Siamese come in Seal (very dark brown – almost black), Chocolate (brown), Blue (grey) and Lilac (pale grey) points. All the other colors are simply called Color point short-hairs – this is where you’ll find all the complex color mixes as well as the red/ginger points, tabby markings and Lynx markings. In the UK, all the colors are simply described as Siamese.
You can also shop for cats that look and act like Siamese but are a single color all over – white, black, brown and blue. If you like the idea of these you will be looking for Foreign Solids, Oriental Short-hairs, Smoke Orientals, Shaded Orientals – and that’s just a start but it gets real confusing. As you’ve just seen, not only are there plenty of different colors and shapes, but they even have different names depending on the country. Confusing? You bet.
A few words of warning: pedigree prices for barnyard mixes
Generally speaking, a cheap Siamese is probably not a pedigree one. If it’s a purebred, the breeder will charge full price. After all, there are waiting lists for these cats so why sell at a discount? Also to breed cats professionally and ethically takes care, knowledge and money. The breeders’ kitten prices reflect these costs.
So what else do we need to look out for apart from the cost of the kitten, that indicate poor breeding practices?
– large numbers of breeding queens (females) with kittens on show during your visit to the breeder. You cannot care for loads of kittens all at once and the risk of infection is increased.
– Kittens sneezing, kittens with discharges from the nose or eyes or smelling unpleasant
– mother cats and kittens in cages rather than in the home. Caged kittens will not be socialized or tamed.
– hard-sell, where the breeder wants to sell but doesn’t care about vetting the buyer
– kittens that have not been vet checked or vaccinated
– kittens under 12 weeks old – they’re not ready to leave their mothers yet and a reputable breeder knows this.
– trying to sell the kitten as a pedigree but not providing the pedigree papers, if it is a pedigree then both the kitten and the parents will have papers.
There are many types of Siamese to choose from and these initial explanations will at least get you started: the more you know, the more confident you’ll feel about the buying process. And – isn’t planning half the fun?