Siamese Cat History:
The Siamese cats’ colorful background is as unique as this exotic breed of feline itself. In ancient Siam which is now Thailand, the Siamese cat breed was held in such high esteem that only people of royal blood were permitted to own them. However, the Siamese cats were not merely pampered ornamental pets. They were considered sacred, and were used as guard cats in the temples and shrines throughout the land. They were believed to bring good luck and great fortune.
Until the late 1800’s, Siamese cats were found only in Siam. Records say that in 1884 Owen Gould brought a pair of Siamese cats named Pho and Mia to England, and presented them to Lillian, his sister. These two cats are listed as 1a and 2a in the British Siamese Cat Register, however there is no pedigree associated with them, it is simply listed as unknown and that they were imported from Bankok.
Three of Pho and Mia’s offspring were seen as exhibits at the Crystal Palace Cat Show in 1885 and did very well. Soon after that, specimens of the Siamese cat breeds started appearing on the show bench at English cat shows, where they were seen to achieve moderate success.
A few years later the King of Siam gifted a Siamese cat to the American President’s wife, Mrs Lucy Webb Hayes. This cat was called Siam. In 1903, at their first public showing in the United States of America, the Siamese cat breed gained immediate acceptance.
It was in 1924 that the first scientifically planned strains of Siamese cat were bred. These long-haired felines,which were called Malayan Persians, resulted from crossing Persians and inbreeding with them.
Below are a selection of photos of some early Siamese Cats. You can see the difference between the traditional look of this cat, and what has become the modern Siamese.
Below are some photos of early Siamese Cats.
Photos from Siamese Cats By Louise Van Der Meid