Sunday 26 June 2011

Types of Siamese Cats

Although cat breeders probably won't like to admit it or discuss it, there are many types of Siamese cats in terms of body shape and many types of Siamese cat in terms of pointing color and pattern. Yes, the points (the dark extremities) can be patterned - tabby and tortoiseshell for instance. Once upon a time there was probably one color for the pointing - dark brown/black called "seal" pointing. Perhaps chocolate was also an early color for pointing. Would this be diluted seal?

The original Siamese cat from Siam was a normal shaped cat. Over 100 years and more of selective cat breeding in the West (UK and USA) there are three main types of Siamese cat and they are: the original or traditional Siamese cat (think normal looking cat body shape), the classic Siamese cat which is also said by some breeders to be a new breed called the Thai cat and the modern Siamese cat (think skinny cat that is called "oriental" in cat fancy language). The Thai cat or classic Siamese is in between the traditional and modern in body shape. There are gradations of cat body shape in between these three standards.

Back to pointing. The more traditional cat associations including the Cat Fanciers' Association only recognize: blue, lilac, seal and chocolate coloured pointing while the more adventurous cat associations such as TICA accept a wider range - All pointed colors. This included lynx pointing (pointing broken up by the tabby gene) and tortie points etc.

When the Siamese has lynx pointing the cat hardly looks like a Siamese as the tabby coat encroaches onto the body breaking up what should be a smooth coat.

The long haired Siamese is called a Balinese. The Oriental Shorthair is a sort of multi-coated modern Siamese - same body type but a very wide range of coat colours and patterns.These are not strictly speaking types of Siamese cats because they are not Siamese cats but some associations treat them as Siamese cats.

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