This is a picture of a modern Siamese cat. Some people don’t like me using the word “modern” in relation to this cat breed. For them, the elongated face of the Siamese cat combined with the super-slender figure is normal. This is what is expected of the Siamese cat. The world has come to regard this appearance as normal for this cat breed. But the norm has been changed over around 90 years of selective breeding. At the beginning, before breeders got their hands on this cat, Siamese cats looked exactly like any other random bred cat except for their pointed coat. And now they look peculiar and I know cat breeders don’t like me saying this but it’s true.
The breeding went too far and the breed standard encouraged breeders to go too far. In fact, one encourage the other in a kind of downward cycle which led to what you see in this photograph. I’ve described the head of this cat as looking like a gargoyle and there is a certain similarity. I’m not alone in disliking the extreme breeding of cats. The beauty of domestic cats is in their evolved anatomy. Nature created this body over millennia and it is highly functional. Perhaps their beauty is in the functionality of the domestic cat’s body. Mess around with that and you lose what nature gave it but the human knows best. Humans think they can improve and refine nature. Fair enough, and who am I to criticise?
There are two major cat breeds which have been selectively bred to extreme. The Siamese is one of them and the Persian is the other. They’ve both got the longest list of inherited genetic diseases of all the cat breeds, incidentally. Just a thought. But if you selectively breed (which is inbreeding) to extreme you get inbreeding depression which is essentially a suppressed immune system and a tendency towards illness with a consequential shortened lifespan.
The head is backlit which shows the ear flaps as semi-transparent which reminds us of the very thin anatomy of a cat’s pinnae. This is why domestic and stray cats’ ears can be frostbitten in very cold weather. They can get very cold. They can be sunburnt easily, too, which is why you see the occasional picture of an earless cat. The ears have been amputated.
P.S. Interesting point: you don’t see Siamese cats in Thailand as street cats or at temples. You’d have thought that they’d be everywhere in Thailand (formerly Siam). But no. What happened? When the first Siamese cats were imported from Thailand were they as rare in that country as they are today? They were said to be cats for royalty which implies that they were rare then and have been ever since. And back in those days (late 1800s) the Siamese cat had a kinked tail. That’s been ironed out by the breeders too.
Some more on Siamese cat health