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Siamese Cat Health Problems — 70 Comments

  1. Thanks for this great site.
    I just found my lovely,loving 5 yr old Butch, a “rescue” from Arkansas
    dead on the basement floor. He had crossed eyes and a long lean body, a heavy guy. Happy new 2018 to me
    …NOT. He’s had teeth problems with surgery, oxalate crystal surgery, and most recently what the vet thought was lower “urinary tract syndrome” being treated with anti-stress med. It stopped his almost constant piddling in and out of numerous litter boxes, but now he’s dead.
    Having read your info about the large number of inherited problems with Siamese I am somewhat consoled that he was “fated”
    I have 3 other rescue Siamese…at least one looks like an apple head. The other 2 were rescued from a bad breeding situation. ..neglected, kittens dying…also about 5 yrs old.
    Had I read your site I would never have taken the 2 cousins. Hopefully I won’t have to go through the grief with them as with my lovely Butch. They seem OK so far. ..the apple head is OK but a bit fat.
    Best wishes for this site.

    • Thanks a lot Ger. It is sad to say that through poor breeding this most ancient of cat breeds and one so popular and well known has become somewhat sickly. Sorry to hear of the passing of your Butch at such a young age.

  2. I am very concerned about the overall health of the Siamese breed (which I adore). Our first Siamese, Anastasia, developed FIP before she was 3 months old. I was inconsolable. I later learned that her breeder had been in prison (!) for animal cruelty.
    I scrubbed my home top to bottom 3 times (with bleach) and was advised by an esteemed veterinary college that it was acceptable to get another Siamese. Enter Brigitte. What a card! For her 2.5 years.
    2 weeks ago she plopped on the floor beside me yowling in pain. She had bloody diarrhea and incontinence. Straight to the emergency vet. 3 blood transfusions and CPR the first night She was having a great deal of difficulty breathing after 4 days. My darling, active, naughty baby who had always coughed when she was overly excited.
    Her heart stopped while the internal medicine vet was trying to insert a ventilator after just 5 days of illness. The ventilator was my awful decision.
    First it was not a toxin then it must have been a toxin. Then at the end it was most likely heart worm! No one knows.
    I am again heart broken beyond words. We have a rescued barn cat who is as healthy as a horse–and has lost 2 sisters in 3 years.
    My question is non-specific I suppose–I would like another Siamese but am so afraid of their poor health.
    Any words of wisdom? Hypotheses? Many thanks.

    • Beautiful classic Siamese, not the modern rat-faced type. I love your comment but terribly sad. A bit shocking really. I was going to suggest the Applehead Siamese. My belief is that the modern Siamese is the type of Siamese that is unhealthy but your cats were not the modern type but old-style so I am shocked. It is hard to suggest something. I saw a longhaired Siamese-mix that looked like a traditional Siamese on craigslist. I think a Siamese-mix (one removed from Siamese) would be healthier because of cross-breeding.

      I spoke with some Thai laidies the other day and they said they had never seen Siamese street cats in their country. As you know Thailand is Siam. Cat breeding is very dodgy. The answer is to steer clear of cat breeders especially Persian and Siamese cat breeders.

      Try and find a Siamese-mix rescue cat that looks like a purebred Siamese. Sometimes they do. They look just as good but should be healthier. And you’ll be saving a life. Thanks for commenting Shawna.

        • Yes, I agree that many modern Siamese will live long lives but if a study was done I think that you will find that the average lifespan of purebred modern Siamese is shorter than that of random bred cats and some other pedigree cats.

  3. It is sad but is true, some of the Siamese cat breeders in the USA ARE USING INBREEDING TO PRODUCE TOP SHOW CATS AND THE SAME TIME PRODUCING SICK CATS WITH A LOT OF GENETICS DISEASES.THE ONLY WAY TO PREVENT GENETICS DISORDERS IS TO DO A DNA TEST O MAKE SURE THE CATS ARE HEALTHY BEFORE TO DO ANY BREEDING.

  4. Oh ty. He is 3 1/2 years old. A pure bred blue point traditional Siamese. We are glad he lives with us now. Si many people think he is beautiful. I love his deep blue eyes. He stares deeply in mine and is very intelligent. We had to put down a brown tabby/Siamese mix we had for 19 years a month before we adopted Sebastian

  5. We have been feeding him Wild Calling cat food. They are very limited diet with exocticmeat. Kangaroo, bison, turkey, duck, alligator and rabbit. Our Sebastian is doing well on them so far.

  6. We adopted a 3 year old traditional pure bred blue point Siamese fella. We took him to his vet after he showed me he has a few drops of blood after a bowel movement. Vet said with his itchy ears and that problem, he has food allergies. We have him on a limited diet. Is this a common problem with Siamese?
    Cindy

    • Hi Cindy, I believe that allergies such as this (which can give the cat considerable lifetime discomfort) can be due to inherited, genetic illnesses. But food allergy does not appear to be linked to the Siamese. It can happen to any cat. I don’t believe it is common with the Siamese. My gut feeling is that breeding cats can magnify these sorts of allergy and immune system based problems. I hope you can find a diet that he finds acceptable – so important. Itchy ears are going to be a problem because he may get into the habit of scratching them. This will makes things worse. Best of luck.

      • Thank you so much for responding. I love Siamese. We have 2 other cats that are rescues, but not Siamese. We had Sebastian, our Siamese, on a limited diet of rabbit for a month. Now we moved to alligator. He loves his food and so far, he is good. Had hard stools so switched to a very limited canned diet food. I clean his ears with a solution from the vet.the past few days, his ears do not bother him. I do want to get another Siamese thru rescue as I did with him, in a few years. I love their friendliness and intelligence

        • Yes, Siamese are friendly, loyal and intelligent. They are said to be the most intelligent cat breed or at least in the top tier (if you believe that sort of thing). Pleased that you are managing well.

  7. Question I have s 7 year old snowshoe Siamese who has developed ibd the vet has her on hypo HP dry kibbles and a liquid cortisone she started out st 0.5 got her down to around 0.1.5 but the past couple of days her poo has become soft again going back to the vet next couple of days any suggestions with the ibd treatment she means the world to me thx gord

  8. Is there any history of sight problems in a red-point Siamese? My boyfriend wonders about my cat who sometimes seem nervous to jump. He’s now 3; I got him from a rescue centre 6 months ago. He does seem to use his nose very much. Any observations will be welcome. Thanks.

    • Hi Jenny. Thanks for visiting. The page mentions:

      ‘Chronic open-angle glaucoma: Glaucoma is an increase of the pressure inside the eye due to a build up of the eye fluid. Usually causes irreversible eye damage and pain.’

      So there is a reference to loss of vision as a potential inherited Siamese cat disease. Of course I am not saying that your cat has loss of sight and that the cause is glaucoma. It is just a faint possibility. If there is a loss of vision there are many other causes applicable to all cats, purebred and random bred.

      I guess the answer is to take him for an eye test. Good luck.

  9. I have a 2 year old Siamese seal point. Very playful , family oriented , and was a healthy 10 lbs. a month ago he started over grooming , and bitting at his claws. we brought him to the vet for that initially , and ran some blood test to find nothing. He then lost his appetite and is a struggle to eat. He has since lost 1.5 lbs and we have tried every food to get him to eat. X ray , ultra sound, and blood work show no issues. He is not playful anymore , and appears to be wasting away. After 3 different vets we have gotten nowhere. He also will have a body stiffness almost like a seizure once a month where he is non responsive for 30 seconds Any advise you might have would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Jonathan. I am terribly sorry to hear your story. Just to try and get a full picture, has your cat been given any medication or vaccinations recently? And does he go outside or is a full-time indoor cat? Has he been declawed? Have you bought any new furniture or carpets recently?

      When you respond I’ll try my best to suggest something that may be causing the problem.

    • I am having a similar issue just recently with one of my male Siamese cats. He’s almost 3 and although still active snd eating, he had some kind of either seizure where after he stretched out cried in agonizing pain. His body movements were odd then he sat and had no energy for a while. It happened again then shortly after used his litter box twice. Was lethargic then after 15 minutes seemed back to normal. A week later same thing happened he meowed loudly like in pain. And this was not a cry for attention I know the difference. I’m not sure what to do but will be going to a vet. I’m wondering if any other Siamese owner of the classic variety (they look modern but not extreme wedge face) has had this happen.

      • I am sorry to hear about your cat’s ‘seizures’. I have looked at the books that I possess but this a complex matter rooted in some underlying problem by the look of it. The cause of seizures are varied and the type of seizure varies too.

        I must say it does not look like a seizure, more like acute pain causing the behaviour after suffering it. This definitely needs careful diagnosis. The best of luck by the way.

        • Yes probably pain from something else I’m also thinking. I’m starting to think it’s somehow related to urinary tract issues. Hopefully not a blockage. May be bladder or kinder stones not sure.
          I’m not certain he’s drinking enough water, but he is eating more wet food now. But none of the symptoms of these things indicates pain. I have stopped feeding treats although they were supposedly some of the healthy ones.
          It’s possible it could be his kidneys since protein was found in his urine but he’s so young.
          I want to take him to the vet but don’t wanna pay a fortune for blood work, X-rays etc. Not sure what is going on

  10. There’s one thing I haven’t been able to find and I’m curious if you know. One of my siamese mixes has had several issues over years that were attributed to herpes. Now, she has such a severe form of stomatitis she had FME and is still on immunosuppressents daily and deposit shots. Everywhere it says this is commonly linked to autoimmune disease or virus but only lists FIV or FELV. She is negative for both. Is there another specific one causing autoimmune problems? I also have another Siamese mix and I can’t believe all the traits she shares with purebred. From the nystagmus to a mysterious loud breathing problem with occasional asthma attacks (is on meds) to deformation of hind legs (like pigeon toed) to the hypetesthesia though it must be very mild form. Allergy to everything including topicals. Also form of wood sucking except her thing is plastic. Severe separation anxiety as well. Demanding and very social talks loudly constantly. I guess she’s less of a mix than I thought.

    • What about a free-standing autoimmune disease: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a multisystem autoimmune disease. Siamese are more predisposed to it than average. Your Siamese mix is very Siamese indeed. I agree that she’s less of a mix than you thought.

      Thanks for commenting Jacqueline and I am sorry I can’t respond more fully and helpfully.

  11. I have had 2 litter mate apple head seal points since they were kittens. 3 months ago the girl got very sick. They said she had blood clots that caused lameness in her hind legs and also found spots on both lungs that they believed to be cancerous. She was 9 and had to be put to sleep about 2 months ago. Her brother stopped eating and started vomiting after this and I thought he was just depressed from losing his sole mate but after several trips to vet they have now discovered a mass in his lung through a series of x rays. I know he doesn’t have long. They’ve given me a steroid to stimulate his appetite. Should I give this to him to prolong his time with me a bit longer or let him go since he already stopped eating on his own? He has had no definitive diagnosis and I’ve elected to not do further diagnostics. Both cats started coughing about a year ago. I wanted them to live at least 10 more years.

    • Hi Cassandra. I’d let him go. It almost makes me cry to write that. Ultimately it is about what is best for the cat. Sometimes cat owners prolong the inevitable for their own emotional desires. I was one of those people at one time.

      Let him go and cry for him. I’ll shed a tear too.

  12. I have a 2 year old siamese rescue cat. She has had a couple litter of kittens the vet believes. Problem with her is that she is not using her litter box all the time. Sometimes she makes it to the box, other times she goes potty wherever she happens to be. I am going crazy here with this. There is another cat and they get along fine. I have two litter boxes down and one up thinking that may help, but no luck. Is it possible that she could just not be able to make it to a box? Help!!

    • Hello Bev. Thanks for commenting. It would seem that your Siamese cat is not defecating as a marking routine but because for that moment she is may be incontinent. If that is the case she is failing to control her anus and large intestine at that time. That is the way I read the symptoms. If I am correct it the cause may be nervous. She may have suffered an injury to her spinal cord. But that sounds very unlikely. I have check congenital diseases and nothing really matches these symptoms.

      A more straightforward possibility is that she may simply need retraining to use the litter box. She may be ambivalent about using it – meaning careless in using it. You may try repositioning the litter box. Making it as easy as possible to get to and in a quiet place. Sorry I can’t provide a wonder answer which cures all the problems. Good luck.

      • Wow… Ok this may not be due to her having litters at all. If they aren’t getting along this may be due to territory issues and the other cat blocking the litter box. Also the cat my like privacy when using the litter box, may not like the litter box, may not like the litter, or may not like the location of the litter box. It is important to seek an animal behaviorist. Also try feliway and see if that helps the stress level in the house. Also make sure you always have a clean litter box. Cats in general can be picky about having a clean box to go to.

        • Beth I think you are responding to someone’s comment but are in fact responding to me. Anyway your comment is published.

  13. Currently my Siamese (Mina) is at the vet. She has a blockage in her small intestine, we’re not sure if she might have eaten something-she’s only a year and a half. She’ll have this removed once her blood pressure is stabilized, also the vet said that her blood isn’t clotting too well/normally and she may need a plasma transfusion. She said that after this kind of procedure animals resume daily life. I just want to know if this is normal for a Siamese? Especially with her blood. The only other health issue she has encountered has been fogginess of the eyes which clears up with eyedrops.

    • Hi Camelia. I have checked my book on inherited diseases affecting Siamese cats and there is no reference to poor blood clotting so I don’t believe this is particularly associated with Siamese cats. That said there are many inherited diseases and there may be secondary health issues related to some or one. For me there is a general health issue with all the cats in the Siamese cat family of breeds. I believe that this famous cat breed is in general less healthy than most other breeds and the moggie. That is just me talking. I am not a vet.

      The best of luck and sorry I can’t be more specific and helpful.

      • So as advice and I know this is late but maybe some will benefit with more understanding. An intestinal blockage can be for many reasons. It is great that you did bloodwork prior to any surgical procedure. A low platelet count can be normal if doing bloodwork on an automated machine. There can be clumping of platelets as well as cats in general having a tendency of having macro platelets which means they are larger platelets and the automated machine can count them as red blood cells. It is important to have a blood smear checked for confirming an estimated platelet count. A plasma transfusion is a good treatment to help clot the blood. It does not give extra platelets, but it does help by giving clotting factors. It also helps to increase the blood pressure due to being a colloidal fluid. I hope your kitty is doing well.

    • Incidentally, Siamese cats are three times more likely than domestic cats to have adenocarcinomas of the small intestine. This may be a total red herring but I thought I’d mention it.

  14. You forgot to mention that Siamese are also prone to Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex – veterinarians are mostly unsure of what causes this. My poor baby gets ulcers all over his lips and occasionally gets itchy footpads which causes him to excessively pick at them which in turn causes smelly yeast infections. He also has an obsessions with scratching things when he is not happy – mostly an obsession with shoes.

  15. i have a male sealpoint about 14 years old. Oscar is our buddy, spoiled and loves to be cuddled. for a little while, we have noticed some meanness coming from him. this morning, he grabbed my hand in his mouth and bore down hard. never done this before. do older siamese cats sometimes turn mean as the age? his health otherwise is good. do cats get dementhia? on a good point, your article was excellent.

    • Hi Barb, he may be in discomfort causing irritation. That’s my guess. I’d have him checked out. Either that or as you say his character may have changed due to dementia. It is hard to say. Thanks for your kind words and thanks for visiting.

  16. Hello, this page has been very informative. I do have a quick question about my cat, she is not full blooded siamese but instead a siamese mix who is indoor only and about to turn 5. She is black with a red undercoat but displays nearly all the physical and behavioral characteristics of the breed, aside from her color. The past few weeks she has been losing hair on just the back of her ears but the skin is still smooth and she does not over groom and is still very playful and eating normally. No other parts of the body have been affected, just the back of her ears. I feed her a grain free diet and other than her ears her coat is very soft and smooth. Should I be concerned that this is something serious, or would it be hereditary? It seems like siamese cats are predisposed to this but I wanted a second opinion. I really appreciate it and thanks for your time!

    • Hi Jessica. I have a strong feeling that this not a “health problem” judging by your comment. It might be hereditary hair loss at this specific place but I don’t believe treatment is necessary or should take place. I’d just leave things as they are and observe. You are a very good cat caretaker and observant. I think your assessment is correct (predisposition). Your comment indicates that she is healthy. Thanks for visiting and asking and the best of luck to you both.

  17. Hi
    Please can you help ,I have a 17 year old Siamese chocolate point cat ,and I have just noticed he has a white spot on his eye or it looks like a white spot,could this be a cataract.
    Thank you
    Debbie

  18. Mine has always has blue eyes that always seem to move side to side continuously – just recently his third eyelid has come 1/2 way across, vets have checked him and he seems ok apart from this, they said tummy upset or worms, but been wormed and it’s now three weeks, he seems fine but I think he is slowly loosing weight but he is eating he also seems slightly quieter than normal

    • Hi Alison, jerky eye movements indicate a problem with the inner ear.

      The above link also refers to the nictitating membrane (the third eyelid). When it closes over, as you doubt know, it indicates general ill-health. There is more on this on the page that is linked to. I’d doubt that this was caused by worms as you say. My understanding of the Siamese cat is that they do quite often suffer from general health problems especially when they get older and the purebred Siamese cat has a shorter lifespan than the typical moggie. I am referring mainly to the modern incarnation of the Siamese.

      This page on Siamese cat health is about as extensive as can be. Oriental SHs and Siamese can suffer from gum disease more than average for example.

      The best of luck to you both.

      • You seriously have no idea what you are talking about and you are giving medical advice to people over the Internet without holding any sort of medical license which is totally illegal. The nicatating membrane or 3rd eyelid can indicate illness and often does. The loss of weight even when eating can indicate parasites. Even though the cat has been dewormed, the cat still can be infected with these worms, especially if not treated with the right dewormed or hasn’t been dewormed correctly. This owner should seek their veterinarian for additional advice. I only know this because I do hold a medical license. This site is incredibly flawed.

        • The information provided on the page is referenced and comes from excellent sources. Any comments I make with the other person is done in full knowledge that I am unqualified medically but I am thoughtful and I am qualified in terms of a long term, educated cat caretaker.

        • I don’t think you have read my comment properly. I said:

          “When it closes over, as you no doubt know, it indicates general ill-health. ”

          That is what you have said too! The remainder of my comment is written in general terms and very carefully to avoid providing hard medical information.

  19. My Siamese female cat will be 22 on August 7th. Over the past few months, she has developed a raised “tumor-like” area next to her right eye. At times, she will be rubbing up against objects and appears a bit irritated with this area. She is eating and drinking well and her elimination is unchanged. She otherwise, appears healthy for her age. What do you think this is? Thanks Barb

    • Hi Barb, I can’t really help unfortunately but it is quite possible that it is what you have described it as: a tumor. It seems like it is itchy. It is possibly a skin tumor. I think you’ll have to taker her to the vet to have a biopsy done on it to find out what it is. Good luck to you both. You Siamese cat has lived to a grand old age. This is unusual in Siamese cats.

  20. E have a female siamese that just had a second litter of eight kittens. all are healthy and are over eight weeks old and were all given away after eight weeks old. My question is the motherhas a lot of milk left and she is sluggish and lays most of the day. What happens with the milk left in her and can it effect her health. Thank you. Vic

    • Hi Victor, your question is unusual. I have never seen it before for a cat! My immediate thought is that the unused milk is reabsorbed into the body. I don’t believe it will affect health because this is natural. This is the way nature works. And nature works for survival and good health. If you see signs of infection for other reasons obviously you’ll need to take her to the vet. Thanks for visiting and asking. Good luck.

  21. Our Traditional Siamese has gained excessive underbelly weight right after she was spayed. Is this an area of concern? What do we need to do?

    • Hi Paul. I think it not untypical of spayed cats in general. The answer is the same as if it was us: less food and more exercise. It is said that spaying does not make a cat fact and lazy but it may slow down the cat’s metabolism. Becoming overweight is about feeding more than she needs and a lack of exercise. It seems that you’ll have to feed a bit less and try and play a bit more with her. Those simple steps may be difficult. Good luck and thanks a lot for visiting and asking.

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