Are Siamese cats aggressive or predisposed to being mean?

Siamese cats are neither aggressive nor predisposed to being mean on my research and personal experience but Dr. John Bradshaw in his book Cat Sense states that a Norwegian study, “confirmed that Siamese and Persian cats do indeed behave in characteristic ways in their owners’ homes. Although the cats’ personalities were recorded by the owners themselves (which in itself could have introduced some biases) rather than through direct observation, the Siamese were reported to be more contact-seeking, more vocal, and more playful and active than standard moggies. One in ten Siamese were regularly aggressive towards people, compared to one in twenty moggies and one in sixty Persians”. On that statement we can say that Siamese are more aggressive than average.

Male Flame point contemporary Siamese from Ukraine
Flame point contemporary Siamese from Ukraine. Photo and breeder: Frangipani Balinesecattery.
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However, there is one important factor about the quoted words: the study is based upon owners’ feelings and observations about their Siamese cat’s behaviour. This is dependent on expectations and is subjective. Dr. Bradshaw admits that the findings are susceptible to being unreliable. Having done further research on the Siamese cat’s personality there is no information which supports aggressivity in this breed.

Madness if the Siamese was anything other than friendly

And it would be madness if after decades of selective breeding if one of the iconic cat breeds was unfit to be a cat companion because they were aggressive and mean! Come on it would be crazy. But I’ll carry on and add some more evidence that Siamese cats are friendly and vocal.

Also, it is slightly unreliable in itself to label all Siamese cats with the same personality, for the time being I’ll proceed on that basis.

Gloria Stephens – cat show judge

Firstly, a well-known cat show judge, Gloria Stephens, in her book Legacy of the Cat makes no mention whatsoever of Siamese cats being aggressive; quite the contrary. She writes that Siamese cats and those in the Siamese cat family such as Oriental Shorthairs are vocal and loud but “they want to be as close as possible, and the need for closeness verges on the desperate”. This statement does not point to aggressiveness. It points to friendliness and affection.

Personal

Also, I think you will find that first-hand experience provides similar descriptions of the character of this popular cat breed. My mother had a Siamese cat for many years and she was nothing but very friendly.

Slender Siamese based on elegance of slender women
Slender Siamese based on elegance of slender women. Image: MikeB based on (1) photo in public domain and (2) photo by Chanan.

Contributors on Quora.com

On the Quora.com website several Siamese cat owners provide descriptions of the character of their cats and once again they report that their cats are very affectionate and friendly.

For example, Justin Lloyd, a software engineer, reports that he lives with two Siamese cats. He, too, had heard that they are mean, aggressive or temperamental. His wife picked out a Siamese cat at a shelter. He was not too pleased about it. However, he quickly learned that their six-month-old Siamese cat is extremely affectionate and loving and “a total doll”. She is inseparable from their other Siamese who is a chatterbox and who “loves and adores anyone who comes into the house.”

Another contributor on that website, Phoenix Hunter, quite wisely, I think, blames the film Lady and the Tramp for “this silly myth”. That film portrays Siamese cats as sly and conniving if that is a fair description. She loves the Siamese cat particularly the seal-point traditional variant. She said that: “they are extraordinarily affectionate, intelligent, athletic and playful, intuitive and stunningly lithe and beautiful, in my opinion.”

Desmond Morris author and zoologist

Dr. Desmond Morris in Cat World appears to have used a researcher to trawl through all the various descriptions of the Siamese cat from reference books and I would expect from the Internet and he came up with the following: “Terms used to describe this breed include: unpredictable, demanding, noisy, thieving, mischievous, determined, lively, active, agile, demonstrative, domineering, graceful, loyal, affectionate, devoted, intelligent and resourceful.”

Try and merge all those words together in your mind and I think you come up with quite a good description of this cat breed, but there is nothing in there to suggest aggressiveness or meanness.

If you want a quiet cat then don’t pick a Siamese but if you want an interactive pet who is loyal and loving then this breed is an excellent choice.

2 thoughts on “Are Siamese cats aggressive or predisposed to being mean?”

  1. I have an 11-year-old Burmese mix who definitely has Siamese traits. I would characterize her as assertive. She is the alpha cat, talks up a storm, and definitely likes people.

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