Things About Siamese Cats You Should Know
Choosing the Right Cat
The first thing most people do when considering a new pet, is to Google the information. Haunting the pages of experienced owners, I have talked myself out of owning (for now) pigs, sugar gliders, tarantulas, mice, rabbits, goats, chickens, and horses. I'm not trying to sway your opinion of Siamese cats, but I do want you to make an educated decision and do what's best for everyone.
I know the lure of big blue eyes might be enough to sucker you into a 15-20 year sentence, but it's important that you're happy so your bundle of kitty will be. Trust me, the last thing you want is an angry Siamese!
Example of a Justifiably Angry Siamese
Do you plan to play dress up with your Siamese cat?
Number One: The Siamese Wail
Unless this is the first article that you've read about Siamese cats, you probably have learned about the vocalization skills they possess. Please listen––I don't want you to take this lightly. Let me help you understand just how infuriating and wonderful their little voices are.
When we first brought our baby kitten home, we thought she was broken. It had been years since I'd owned a Siamese and I'd forgotten just how talkative they are. When I would hold her, she would look deeply into my eyes and bellow inches from my face, with no regard to her fishy breath assaulting my nostrils. I almost brought her to the back to the vet because I was afraid she was sick.
If you believe cats are quiet and stick mostly to themselves, prepare to be astonished. Siamese are regular 'chatty Cathys', and enjoy nothing more than to tell you about their day. Most of them never tire from describing all of the naps they took during the day, all of the kernels of food they ate, all of the bugs they saw, all of the thoughts they had, all of the furniture they destroyed––in great detail.
They genuinely love the sound of their own voices. The good thing about this is that you will always have someone to 'talk' with. I know this will make me sound like a crazy cat lady (which I guess I am when it comes to Rain, my cat), but she will carry on a 'conversation' until I get bored and wander away. When she is in a good mood, her meows are sweet and subtle. If she is angry, they are brain-splitting sharp.
And now the truth––the Siamese caterwaul is very loud. Especially if they really want something. There is no wall, door, or fence than can effectively block the sound from traveling directly into your ear canals. If you believe that you will be able to sleep through it, you're sadly mistaken. It's more obnoxious than a baby's cry, your neighbor's mower early Saturday morning, or even your mother in law's laugh.
Number Two. Siamese Cats Don't Like to Be Alone
If you want a cat because they are independent and will be happy without you, then a Siamese may not be for you. The ones that I have known (I've owned three), absolutely loved to be cuddled, held, and fussed over constantly. Rain will not go longer than an hour without sitting in my lap, or sauntering into whatever room I'm in to make sure I'm still her faithful servant.
Our family's Siamese cat when I was growing up, China, is now 15 years old. Over the years, she has put me in my place many times. But no matter how much I bothered her, she would always sit in my lap and treat me to her thunderous purr. Children are not the gentlest creatures towards pets, so the fact that China still loved me so much is no small feat for a feline.
The idea that they are aloof and standoffish is very wrong. Rain and China do not like being alone. When we get back from vacation, Rain smothers us in affection. She smothers us anyway, but she especially has a difficult time when we aren't there.
If you want a cat that doesn't particularly care whether you exist or not, don't get a Siamese. It seems like they need more love and affection than most dogs I've met. If you aren't willing to give what your cat believes is enough attention, you will certainly pay the price in bad cat behavior.
Number Three: Siamese Cats Cannot Be Trained
Here is the biggest secret of them all: Siamese cats are extremely difficult to train. I have literally tried everything. Maybe this is a Siamese thing, or maybe it's a cat thing, and I'm crazy for even trying to train an animal that believes it is superior to...well, basically everything.
When I tried the water bottle tactic the 'experts' advised, she just squinted her eyes and continued doing exactly what I didn't want her to do. No matter how long I 'stuck to my guns', she held out longer. I finally gave up, knowing that I'd been defeated yet again by a cat.
I tried 'swatting' at her, because I thought if I mimicked her behavior she would get the point in her native language. Nope. She just looked at me like I was insane and learned that it was okay to swat me. Big mistake.
When I began reinforcing positive behavior with kitty cookies, she believed what I really wanted was for her to annoy me as frequently as possible for another treat.
I even tried confining her as a punishment. She just went to sleep and was annoyed when I woke her up to 'free' her.
The only thing I've found somewhat effective is cuddling her when she doesn't want to be cuddled, or in a way that she doesn't approve. That means I give her tons of hugs and sing her songs about how lovely she is. It's guaranteed to win me at least 10 minutes of alone time.
Basically, Siamese cats are wonderful. If they could talk, they would probably tell us they are God's greatest gifts. I wouldn't disagree.