Modern vs Traditional Siamese Cats

by Virginia Wheeldon
(Ontario, Canada)

I am not sure where you get the stat that there are no breeders of modern Siamese that come up when you Google Siamese (first three pages). I googled and found multiple breeders listed on the first three pages.

I have owned both traditional and modern Siamese. I have bred the latter for 25 years. I rarely get requests for traditional Siamese lately, although I did ten years ago. I think the public has come to appreciate the elegance of the Siamese. They want something more than a pointed alley cat.


Hi Virginia.. thanks for sharing your thoughts. Sorry for the long delay in publishing your post.


When I did the search for Siamese cat breeders I was using and looking for free standing breeder websites. The results I got are as stated. Things might have changed and the results would have been different if I had used I was ignoring websites listing breeders because the idea was to find the best individual breeders and a successful website is a decent indication of longevity and success.

If you want to leave a comment and link to your site I would be pleased to put it on the Siamese cat page.

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Modern vs Traditional Siamese Cats

I respect your viewpoint on this subject. Many people do prefer the far more slender, some would say elegant Modern Siamese cat.

I personally don’t because I think that breeders have gone too far, the cat is bred to an extreme, which makes it look unnatural. I like a cat to look like a cat. A friend of mine said that the Modern Siamese is “rat-like” in appearance. I can see what they are getting at. The long, bony face and small slender body and tail does give that impression. If that is the impression given to one person, a person who knows cats, then it should flag up some question marks as to what Siamese cat breeders are trying to achieve.

The introduction of the Thai cat (opens in a new window) is what the Modern cat breeders should have bred to in the first place. If breeders of Modern Siamese cats bred to less extreme levels originally, in other words slightly refined the appearance, then the Modern Siamese would have been more successful in my opinion. The slam dunk crash bang style of extreme breeding does create cats that “stand out” but it is harder to breed cats with fine personalities, great health and truly refined good looks.

The vast majority of “ordinary” cat lovers and keepers, bottom line, prefer traditional looking healthy cats. The are not after exotic cats with unusual appearances. The poll on this site bears that out.

I am not criticizing breeders but human nature seems to compel people to push the boundaries further and further and that, coupled with breed standards that allows leeway, results in things getting a bit out of hand – that is an entirely personal viewpoint which many will disagree with.


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Modern vs Traditional Siamese Cats

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Aug 08, 2011
I disagree
by: Lilly

I currently own a “traditional siamese” cat. he is absolutly wonderful! Although he is sweet natured and handsome, I have always been drawn to the “modern siamese” they are absolutly beautiful cats, and do not resemble rats in any way. I agree however that some breeders take it a bit far. I have done allot of research and spoke to may breeders, The “modern siamese” have different personality traits as well. I feel they are different cats and should there for have different names.

Feb 10, 2011
Traditional :D, Modern :/
by: Soulie

I too prefer the traditional. To me, Modern is starting to become a question of “do I want a rat, or a really large, loud rat that might think of killing smaller rats?”

I’m actually writing a cat into the series I’m working on. She will be a traditional meeze named Madame Douglass.

I love Siamese.

I’d definitely get one if I could.

Sep 18, 2010
by: Michael

Yes, Jo, I think you are right. It is a question of striking the right balance.

Thanks for the comment. I tend to be a person who completely favours what is natural. I like to let nature decide but that said people have the right to breed cats but I think it should only be done if it is done with a very high level of responsibility that is focused on health.

That is my personal view and I don’t expect people to necessarily agree with that.

Michael Avatar

Sep 18, 2010
It All Depends on The Breeder!
by: Jo Singer

While I love all cats, as someone who prefers the “look” of the “modern” Siamese, and who bred them , and Oriental Shorthairs,many years ago, as far as extremes are concerned, it all depends on the breeder.

I find some “modern” Siamese to be far too extreme in appearance, which also, in my opinion puts the cat at risk for genetic and physical problems.

I don’t find the extreme “typiness” for which some breeders strive for in their lines at all attractive. My goal in breeding was a healthy Siamese with a beautifully tapered triangular head, ears that followed the line of the triangle , stunning deep blue eyes,and of course, a head shape that had sufficient room for a large and intelligent brain.

Of course my main goal was to breed cats who had radiant health and a loving disposition. I was fortunate to have some magnificently lovely cats who did well both in the showhall and excelled at home as a pet. All my cats were raised in my home, with free run of the house and never caged.

So while I agree with you about the Siamese (and I will add Orientals here too) who are bred to extreme and which I find most unattractive, a well balanced, typey Siamses or Oriental with lovely sculptured lines is a cat that takes my breath away.

For example check out:

and the Orientals at

that to me typify the magnificence of these breeds.

13 thoughts on “Modern vs Traditional Siamese Cats”

  1. I am a proponent of the traditional Siamese. What bothers me is the propensity of people to genetically manipulate a breed to develop ‘extreme’ traits. I do not agree with that practice with Siamese OR Persians. The modern Persian has been KNOWN to have difficulty eating certain types of kibble. Face is too flat. That breed is an absolute abomination. If you breed for extreme traits, they should be traits that would not affect it’s ability to survive on it’s own. When you start playing in that field, you are in the wrong. Period. I question whether the modern Siamese could survive on it’s own due to the extremely slender and fragile appearance.

  2. I just HAD to chime in again! While all cats are beautiful- and I mean that to the extreme- I have never met a kitty that I thought was unattractive.

    This said, I so prefer the appearance of the “modern” Siamese and of course the Oriental shorthairs. But I cringe when I see some of the extremes that a handful of breeders have created- not only do these kitties look like aliens from another planet- they are not the healthiest of the bunch.

    My lilac point Oriental, Dr. Hush Puppy, in my opinion is what a siamese should look like. But I couldn’t show him in a CFA show as a Premier (neutered) because of his coloring. He looks like a Siamese rather than an Oriental- and if he had been bred to a Siamese- all the kittens would be “Siamese” in appearance.

    I wanted to add a photo here of one the most lovely Blue Point Siamese males- who was top cat in the country many years ago. This photo was taken in 1969 and not the best quality.

    But not only is he beautiful- he was exceedingly healthy and was immune to FIV- and became a blood donor at Sloan Kettering for scientists doing research into HIV and FIV.

    His name is Felitan Frodo- the sweetest kitty that I was unable to accept as a gift from the breeder- and if I did, he would have been neutered.

    So as a very pricey stud kitty-just as any pet kitty in a loving home he had run of his home most of the day- wearing a diaper to prevent him from spraying everything in sight. He was awesome.

    • Dr. Hush Puppy is not that extreme. Slender yes but not overdone.

      I believe the standard Siamese should be what is called “old-style”. This is a little more slender than Hush Puppy.

      You can see the various types on this page (why are there so many types of Siamese? There shouldn’t be. I think this is a disjointed cat fancy.

      • I don’t think that pic is of Dr. Hush Puppy.
        But, I’m shocked by it.
        I’m certain someone would call animal control here to pick up a sickly looking cat, not at all realizing that he was a top cat.

  3. If the long bodies, legs, whip like tails & large ears seem sickly, inhumane & unnatural, how would you explain the African serval & the cheetah?

  4. Thank you so much for putting it in perspective and standing up for the original Siamese cat! (or Thai cat if you want to call it that now.) They are a beautiful and special breed and in my opinion the modern skinny cats are truly an abomination. Of course, every individual cat is a beautiful creature, I am not blaming the cats themselves, but they are sickly, unbalanced and truly ugly. Imagine if some other creatures bred people that way! For a particular and extreme appearance, despite bad health and short lifespan. Would you stand for it? I want to say that PETA should get involved and shut down the extreme modern “siamese” catteries. In my humble opinion it is animal abuse and torture in the extreme, to breed a sickly cat with a short lifespan. End of story. Long live the traditional, original, appleheaded Siamese!

  5. When we first saw the modern Siamese at cat shows in the 1980s,I thought they were strange-looking. (Our first Siamese, born in 1974, was a very traditional type.) But in 1989, we got a modern wedge-style Siamese. He was the sweetest, most companionable cat we ever had and after looking at him daily for a while, we came to love the long nose and big ears. Now I prefer the modern look. I do not find it freaky or anorexic. I think those of us who love Siamese can agree to disagree without all the name-calling and derogatory descriptions.

  6. EXTREME modern? No, outrageously hideous! Just like the American imbeciles who ruined the Arabian horse and turned this ancient breed into a freakish seahorse who is all extreme bulging forehead and tiny muzzle and screw the rest of the anatomy.

    You “modern” Siamese breeders ought to be f-ing shot for creating a ratlike enormous eared freak with a pointy vermin face and anorexic body that looks like a skeletal alien wearing a traditional Siamese costume. IDIOTS.

    • I have got to say, I agree with you although I would not put it in that language! A lot of people strongly dislike the very odd looking modern rat-faced Siamese.


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