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Persian cat vs. Siamese cat- What are the main differences?

Persian cats are a popular breed of house cats. They are known for their long, thick fur, which requires regular grooming, and it’s essential to brush your Persian cat daily to avoid mats and tangles. Persian cats also have large, round eyes and flat noses. They come in various colors, including white, black, blue, cream, and red, weighing between eight and twelve pounds.

In contrast, Siamese cats are known for their slender build and triangular face. They have long, pointy ears and blue eyes. Siamese cats are also vocal, often meowing excessively. Siamese cats usually weigh between 4 and 8 pounds and live for 10-15 years. Siamese cats have short fur that is easy to care for – a weekly brushing should suffice. These intelligent and curious cats are playful and affectionate, making great companions.

What are the Main Differences?

Persian CatsSiamese Cats
Origins in Persia – Iran Origins in Siam – Thailand
Stocky Build Long slender bodies
Thick Silky Fur Pointed angular heads
Sixty-One Coat Colors Crook in their tails
Flat, Round Face Colorpoint coats
Laid Back Personality Coats affected by temperature
Slower Development Blue eyes
Quiet Crossed eyes
Affectionate with family Trouble seeing in the dark
  Very Vocal
  Curious and Smart

Origins and History

The Persian cat originated in Persia, now known as modern-day Iran.

In 1626 an Italian nobleman named Pietro Della Valle brought these cats into Europe. These beautiful cats had silky, shiny gray fur at that time, but as selective breeding came into play, they are now available in many colors and patterns.

These cats were shown at the Crystal Palace cat show in 1871. Persians were popular pets and had a special place because of Queen Victoria’s fondness for the breed.

Selective breeding has molded the Persian to its present-day appearance. Modern-day Persian cats have been bred to have a round head, short face, snub nose, chubby cheeks, small, rounded ears, big eyes, and a sturdy body with a thick, silky coat.

Persians were imported to the United States in the late nineteenth century. The Persian cat is one of the most loved cat breeds globally and is prized for its beautiful appearance and sweet personality.

Siamese cats originated in Siam – Thailand, now Manuscripts from the ancient Siam capital of Ayudha first mention the Siamese cat around 1350.

Siamese cat laying

Siamese cats were exclusive to the royal family and the higher class in Siam’s society. It was considered a great honor to receive a Siamese cat, and it was punishable by death to steal a Siamese cat. Moreover, these cats were said to have guarded sacred Buddhist temples.

Siamese cats were once known for their crossed eyes and crooked tails. A legend says these cats were pets of the king of Siam. These felines were to guard the royal goblet and sat staring with their tails wrapped tightly around the cup. Thus, the reason for their crossed eyes and crooked tails.

These two features have been selectively bred out. However, some Siamese cats can still have crossed eyes and kinked tails. These traits disqualify these cats from TICA shows.

These cats began being shipped to Great Britain in the late 1800s. In 1871 the New York Times stated that Siam’s King Chulalongkorn sent some Siamese cats to Europe as emissaries representing his kingdom. Other sources stated that the British consul in Bangkok, Mr. Owen Gould, was the first to bring the Siamese cat into Europe. Mr. Gould brought a pair of cats for his sister – Mrs. Veley, who co-founded the Siamese Cat Club.

The European debut of the Siamese cat was made at the Crystal Palace Cat Show in London in 1871. The first appearance of the Siamese in the United States was a gift to the first lady Lucy Hayes, wife of President Rutherford Hayes, from a US diplomat in Bangkok in 1879. After that, Siamese cats were called the royal cats of Siam or the Temple cats.

Appearance

Persian cat sleeping

Persian cats’ appearances can be deceiving as they look delicate, but they have thick necks, muscular bodies, strong legs, and round paws. Their tails are short compared to the length of their bodies. In addition, they have large, round heads, round eyes, short noses, and small rounded ears.

Their coats are long and thick with fine hair. They have fluffy ruffs around their neck and a thick fuzzy rough between their front legs. On their toes and tips of their ears, they sport tufts of fur and full, fluffy tails.

Some Persians have extremely flat faces called Peke-face. Others have what are called doll faces. These Persians are more like the old-fashioned way Persians once looked, and these cats may not have the breathing problems a flatter-faced Persian might.

Persians stand out for their infinite variety of coat colors and patterns. There are seven solid color divisions—white, blue, black, red, cream, chocolate, and lilac. There is silver and gold color division such as chinchilla, shaded gold or silver, blue chinchilla, or blue shaded gold or silver: shaded smoke, tabby, calico, particolor, and bicolor divisions. Then there is also a Himalayan color division, which means color point coats such as a Himalayan cat would have. Their eye colors can be deep blue, copper, green, or green-blue. Eye color depends on coat color.  

The first one has a round head and looks like the Siamese cat initially imported from Siam. However, this cat has a sturdier build and eyes shaped like almonds with a slight break in the nose, the ears are medium-sized, and the muzzle is similar to domestic shorthair breeds.

The wedge-headed Siamese resulted from the breeders’ intent to get the elongated head. This look began to emerge in the 1950s and 1960s. The modern Siamese has a triangular or wedge-shaped head, from which the breed gets one of its nicknames – Wedgies.

The modern Siamese cats have large, triangular ears set far apart and slanted blue eyes. They have a long, slender body, long legs, a graceful neck, and a long, whip-like tail.

Siamese cats’ coats are known as pointed. This is because the ears, face, legs, and tail have darker coloring than the body. These points can come in many different colors, chocolate, seal, lilac, red, silver, and blue. The unique points are temperature sensitive and the result of a mutation of the enzyme tyrosinase. Tyrosinase is essential to melanin production, which is what gives hair and skin their color.

The mutated enzyme is less active when the Siamese cat’s body temperature increases. So, when parts of the Siamese cat’s coat are warmer, the fur color is lighter because melanin isn’t produced. On the colder parts of the cat’s body, the fur darkens as melanin is being produced. Their extremities are usually colder, so they remain a darkened color. Siamese kittens are born white or creams colored until about four weeks when their points develop.

Personalities

The Persian cat is known for being quiet and sweet. Persians love sitting on a lap, getting the love they deserve. Persians are affectionate but reserve their attention for family members and a few guests they trust. Persians don’t care for loud, busy homes but can adapt as long as they have a quiet place to retire when it gets too rowdy.  

Persian cats have large, expressive eyes and a soft, pleasant, musical voice. Persians are vocal to let their simple needs be known, regular meals, playtime, and lots of love, which they return tenfold. The textbook Persian cat is unlikely to climb up your curtains, jump on your kitchen counters, or perch on top of your refrigerator. However, there are exceptions to the rule.

Siamese cats’ personalities are one of the breed’s most praised characteristics. Siamese cats are brilliant, affectionate, outgoing, extroverted, and energetic; they love to play with people and animals. They are a perfect choice for those wanting a busy pet.

Siamese cats are super bright and need stimulation. They love to follow you and be a part of your daily activities. They hate to be ignored so you should offer lots of toys. Cat trees, perches, and scratching posts can be helpful as well. Siamese cats can be trained easily to use these items. Siamese cats can also be trained to fetch, walk on a leash and do tricks. They are exceptionally social and will make sure they can spend time with you. They can get depressed if they can’t have human companionship for too long.

Siamese cats are demanding and often voice their opinions using a range of meows and chirps to get their point across. The Siamese cat voice is one of the most well-known facts about this breed.

The Siamese is a loving, talkative, and social cat that makes a great pet.

Conclusion

So, what do you think about the differences between the Persian and the Siamese? Which cat breed would you choose? They seem different enough that the choice shouldn’t be hard. If you want a rowdy, vocal cat, the Siamese seems the best choice. On the other hand, if you want someone quieter and more docile, the Persian seems the best fit. Let us know by leaving a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.

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