Traditional Siamese Cats
Traditional Siamese cats are not the first to come to mind when thinking about Siamese cats.
Most people think that the slender, elongated Siamese cats so popular today have always looked like that.
However, the original Siamese breed looks very different from the one we know today. Where the Modern Siamese has a triangular head, the Traditional Siamese has a round head (also called apple head). While the Modern Siamese is slim, the Traditional Siamese is robust.
So what happened? Why these differences? There is no definitive answer, but most experts think cat fanciers, breeders, and judges started favoring the look of the most exotic version and eventually the Traditional Siamese was eliminated from competition.
The Traditional Siamese (also known as Applehead Siamese) is very rare to find, but breeders have continued to reproduce this interesting, old cat breed.
Appearance and temperament
The Traditional Siamese cat that is bred today looks very similar to the original cats that were first brought to Europe and the Americas. Traditional Siamese cats have round heads, regular cat ears, and have a very muscular, athletic body. They also have the deep blue eyes and the beautiful pointed color pattern that is typical of the breed.
Traditional Siamese male cats can weigh as much as 11 to 15 pounds while females can weigh between 8 to 12 pounds.
Overall, Traditional Siamese are a very healthy breed and can live up to 20 years (sometimes even longer).
Traditional Siamese cats are very intelligent and enjoy the company of people. Even though they are affectionate, mellow and calm, these kitties also love playing and interacting with their human companions. They make great pets for families with children and seniors. Interestingly, Traditional Siamese are less vocal than their siblings, the Modern Siamese.
Brief history of the Traditional Siamese
The exact origin of the Siamese is not entirely known, but they are believed to have originated in South East Asia. In fact, the ancestors to today’s Siamese cats came from Siam (now Thailand), and that’s where they get their name from. According to many legends, Siamese cats were used to guard temples and were thought to be sacred. Indeed, the royal family kept Siamese cats in the palace.
The first Siamese cats appeared in England in the late 1800s. These cats were a gift from Siam to an English consul who later brought them to England. In 1885, Siamese cats were shown at the London’s Crystal Palace Cat Show, creating quite a stir. Eventually, the Siamese breed became very popular among English cat fanciers; so much so that in 1902 the Siamese Cat Fancier’s Club was established. I must point out that these early Siamese were Traditional Siamese cats.
So when did the Modern Siamese appeared? They made their appearance during the 1950s and 60s. Apparently, judges, cat fanciers, and breeders started to favor the more exotic look with the pointy ears, triangular face, and elongated body. Soon, the only accepted standard for competition was that of the Modern Siamese. At this point, many breeders of the Traditional Siamese dropped from competition and stopped keeping records of their cats. However, they didn’t completely stop breeding Traditional Siamese, and even though rare, you can still find them.
So why did the Traditional Siamese fell out of favor? Some people think that fanciers and breeders of the time thought that a more exotic look would be more valuable. Others believed that a sleek, elegant cat was more beautiful than the stronger and stockier "Applehead" Siamese. At any rate, the Traditional Siamese seems to be making a comeback as more and more cat lovers become acquainted with the original breed.
Books about Siamese cats
Books about cats make great cat lover gifts. To learn more about Siamese cats, you may want to check out the books listed below. Check these Siamese-inspired gifts.
--Siamese Cats by Marjorie McCann Collier, Karen Leigh Davis
--All About Siamese Cats by Barbara S. Burns
--Siamese Cats by Ron Reagan
--Siamese Cats by Perkins and Wendy
--Step by Step Book About Siamese Cats (Step-By-Step Series) by Marge Naples
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