Common Misconceptions about Cats
The internet and anecdotal stories, even past experience may not accurately represent cats. Here we will try and dispel the most common myths and present you with our opinion of these misconceptions. Hopefully, we can clear these little matters up.
Did you know that Siamese cats are mean? We were in a cab not too long ago with one of our queens and her litter of two-week old kittens. The driver says to us: “Oh…that’s a Siamese. They’re so aggressive.” What followed was a fifteen minute lecture on why Siamese cats have a bad reputation that is completely undeserved. (Hopefully, the driver has a better idea of what Siamese cats are really like now.) We’re going to share some of that lecture with you.
You wouldn’t believe how often we hear statements such as: “Siamese cats are aggressive,” or “Siamese cats attack children,” or even “Siamese cats are one-person cats. They don’t like anyone except their owner.” These statements and any similar statements are complete RUBBISH! Siamese cats have been negatively affected by stereotypes, like so many other groups, both human and animal.
Yes, okay – some Siamese cats can be mean. We’ve known one or two. We have a theory about how these cats became aggressive. Here goes:
It all started with Lady and the Tramp. Si and Am were portrayed as aggressive creatures that were a threat to the baby, yet with the curiosity and independence that the Siamese are famous for (and that we love them for). After this movie became popular, people wanted Siamese cats with Si and Am’s personalities. Reputable breeders continued to choose their breeding cats based on what the breed should be like, but it is possible other, less reputable, breeders sought to give people what they wanted – cats with not-so-lovely temperaments. Temperament is partially inherited, so if a breeder is choosing parents with bad temperaments, the kittens will have similar dispositions.
It’s really a shame. Siamese cats are excellent with children of all ages, including infants. When a friend of ours brought her 6 week old son to visit, they sat by his side the whole time, never once posing a threat. They will allow children to “maul” them, as long as the child is not harming them. They are sweet, social animals, although they can have an attitude if you ignore them. They are not inherently mean or aggressive.
Another part of our theory has to do with their social nature. Siamese cats crave attention. They need it! Repeatedly denying a Siamese cat of attention, is the equivalent, in our opinion, of denying them food or water. Attention from their human slaves is just as vital! When you deny an animal of a vital necessity, they will eventually turn on those closest to them. It’s animal nature.
About Siamese cats being a one-person cat: all of our cats have a preferred human, but they all love everyone else who lives or comes into our home just the same. If you’re willing to pay attention to them, they’ll love you for it – and if you’re not, they’ll demand you do anyway. Siamese cats are extremely social by nature. They enjoy the company of humans and other animals and thrive in situations where they are not alone.
In conclusion, Siamese cats are not mean. They are some of the most social, loving, devoted pets you will ever meet. You’re even luckier if you get the pleasure of having one live in your home. They are no more a threat to children that any other animal and can be an excellent pet for a child. If you still disagree, come and Meet Our Cats. They’ll change your mind!
There are two colour misconceptions that we commonly hear. One involves the Chocolate Seal Point Siamese and the other involves colour personalities.
First, there is no such thing as a Chocolate Seal Point. There are Seal Points and Chocolate Points, but they are completely different colours. A Seal Point's points are very dark (seal) brown, and can almost appear black, especially from a distance. A Chocolate Point's points are a lighter brown...more the colour of an Aero chocolate bar. Please see our Point Colours page for more information and photos.
There is a lot of confusion between Seal and Chocolate Point Siamese. Many "Chocolate Points" out there are actually Seal Points that have been accidentally "misrepresented" as Chocolates. This usually happens with backyard breeders who know absolutely nothing about the breed and are just seeking to make a quick buck. “Chocolate” is a more sellable term than Seal, unfortunately. True Chocolate Points are rare outside reputable breeders’ catteries (and even within them sometimes), whereas Seal Points are the MOST COMMON Siamese coat colour. If you’re getting a Chocolate Point from a sketchy breeder, it’s likely a Seal (although not always).
The other misconception about Siamese colours is that each colour has different characteristic personality traits. We have no scientific research to say that this isn’t true, but from personal experience, it isn’t. We find absolutely no correlation between colour or gender (see below) and personality. Each kitten has a unique temperament. To say that all Blue Points are chatty, or all Seal Points are snooty, would be stereotypical, and simply not true.
We often hear people tell us that there are huge differences between the temperaments of male and female cats. The funny thing is: one person will tell us that males are friendlier than females, and the next person will tell us the exact opposite! This has happened to us with many different personality characteristics.
We find that once spayed or neutered there is very little difference between the temperament of male and female cats. We tell everyone the exact same thing: choose a kitten based on the personality of the individual, not by gender. If you step outside your personal experience, you may be delightfully surprised at the cat you have the privilege of getting to know.
There are a few concrete differences between male and female cats. The first is that male cats tend to become a little larger than females. Female Classic Siamese cats should weigh between 7-11 lbs at their adult weight, whereas male Classic Siamese cats should weigh between 8-12 lbs. Male cats, if left intact (which none of our cats are), will develop jowls – a secondary sex characteristic. Jowls make the face look fatter and less sleek than an altered cat.
All cats can spray. Unfortunately, that’s the truth of it. It is a risk you take when you bring a cat into your home. Spraying is usually hormonal or territorial behaviour. In altered cats it is often triggered by stress.
There is good news though: spaying and neutering your cat is very effective in reducing the risk that your cat will spray. Intact males are the most likely to spray, and have a very strong scented urine. Intact females are the next likely to spray, but the scent isn’t quite as strong.
There is very little difference in the likelihood of spraying in spayed females and neutered males. This is even more reduced by the fact that we have all of our kittens altered well before they reach sexual maturity, which prevents them from ever experiencing the hormonal drive to spray.
If you have an altered cat that sprays there are solutions to the problem! The very first step is to take your pet to a veterinarian to rule out any physical causes of the behaviour. Spraying can be a sign of stress, illness or even pain. If your cat is deemed healthy, you can still fight spraying behaviour and win. You can get help at Feline Confessions.
About Cats and Human Pregnancy
Getting rid of a cat because you’re pregnant is about the silliest excuse in the book. We’re sorry if this is harsh, but here’s the truth of it:
The scare about cats and pregnancy is built on inaccurate information and a few rare cases of a human fetus becoming infected with toxoplasmosis (which can cause serious side-effects and long-term damage). It is human nature to be afraid of what we don’t understand and unfortunately for many cats, they have to suffer because of it.
“Cats only shed the toxoplasma gondii organism for a few days in their ENTIRE life so the chance of exposure is small,” according to Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. On top of this, your cat can be tested to see if he or she is carrying the organism and treated if positive.
If you really want to be on the safe side, get someone else to clean your litter box. Cats do not carry the organism on their fur. Also, stay away from gardening and any other contact with soil.
You are more likely to pick up a toxoplasmosis infection from contact with soil than you are to pick it up from a cat.