History of the Siamese
The Siamese cat originated from Thailand, formerly known as Siam.
These cats were held in such high esteem in their native country that no one except the King and members of the
royal family were permitted to own them.
They were originally known as Royal points. Written records reveal that Siamese cats, in their country of origin, were
venerated as guardians of the temples.
When a person of high rank died, it was usual to select one of these cats to receive the dead person’s soul.
The cat was then removed from the royal household and sent to one of the temples to spend the rest of its days
living a ceremonial life of great luxury,
with monks and priests as its servants. These cats were reputed to eat the finest foods from gold plate and to
recline on cushions made of the most
opulent materials, which had been provided by the departed one’s relatives in an attempt to receive good fortune
and blessings.
Once they became temple cats, they were supposed to have special powers and could intercede for the soul of the
dead person.
Years ago features such as crossed eyes and kinked tail were looked on as characteristics of the breed and many
legends exist as to their origin.
It was said that a Princess of the Royal House of Siam used her cat’s tail as a ring-stand while she was bathing.
The kink in the tail prevented the rings from falling off and being lost. Another legend accounts for both the crosseyed feature as well as the
development of the kink. Once, when all the men of Siam left their homes to defend their kingdom, just two cats –
one male Siamese, Tien, and one female Siamese, Chula – remained in order to guard Buddha’s golden goblet in the
sacred temple.
The male cat became pretty restless and, after mating the female Siamese, left her in order to find another priest to
look after the temple.
The female, apparently, was so overwhelmed by the responsibility of guarding the Buddha’s treasure that she never
once glanced away from the goblet,
wrapping her long tail around its stem to prevent theft in case she should fall asleep. As time passed waiting for
Tien to return with a new master,
she could no longer forstall the birth of her kittens, who all arrived with the physical characteristics that she herself
had acquired during her period as
watchguard – a kinked tail and crossed eyes. Just occasionally, even today, kittens are born with these features – so
the legends are kept alive.

Copyright Siamese Cat Society NSW inc 2022