When I tell people I have two Siamese cats, their eyes grow large and they blurt out “a Siamese? But they’re so mean!”
While I can understand the misconception, Siamese cats are not actually mean.
The Siamese cat can be a bit more, should we say, assertive towards other cats and strangers. Make no mistake, though. They are also friendly and affectionate. They love their human family and fur siblings unconditionally.
If you learn the correct way to approach one for the first time, you will also be the recipient of that adoration. Let’s take a better look at what I mean.
Are Siamese cats protective?
Because Siamese cats love and cherish their humans, they form strong bonds with them. This strong bond, though, also makes them very protective of their kingdoms.
What does this mean? Well, they can be very wary when anyone they don’t know enters into the castle. When visitors come to call, be they human or four-legged, the Siamese wants to protect their family. It is their number one responsibility to protect the humans they love so much. So they might treat visitors with jealousy and suspicion.
Batman and Robyn are quite used to a full house, so they’re grand with most people. But my aunt had a cat named Mizzy. She was very attached to my aunt, and since lived alone, Mizzy wasn’t used to other people being around.
So when we came to visit, Mizzy would lurk in the hallway outside the living room, growling softly. She was making sure we knew we were on HER turf! Once she realized my aunt was happy we were there, she would relax and become friendlier.
What is behind the Siamese cat’s personality?
Siamese cats are very intelligent and sensitive (I’ve written more about this here). This makes them very aware of their surroundings, and it’s also what makes them so assertive.
There are other genetic reasons why Siamese cats can appear mean. While cats are known for their amazing eyesight, the Siamese doesn’t fit this mold. He actually has bad sight in comparison to other breeds (read more about that here).
The Siamese’s poor vision means he is more likely to be aggressive as a defense mechanism. This also causes a lot of frustration to this intelligent cat. He may act up because he’s having trouble seeing something properly.
If a Siamese seems too aggressive, it may be a result of a traumatic kittenhood. Siamese kittens need to remain with their mother for much longer than other breeds.
Most breeds are weaned and ready to be adopted at eight weeks. Siamese kittens should stay with their mother until they are at least twelve weeks old. Otherwise, the separation anxiety will result in an anxious and extra-assertive adult.
Real bite or play bite?
When your Siamese cat gets a little too carried away, he might give you what (he thinks) is a playful nip on the hand. Take my Batman, for example. He loves to play fetch, but if he gets too caught up in the game, he sometimes bites my hand trying to steal the ball from me. A quick yelp from me, though, and he’ll realize that in my view, the biting is not as fun as he thinks it is.
Is it aggression or attention?
I’ve written before about how intelligent and sensitive Siamese cats are. Not only do they know that meowing and chirruping will get our attention. They also know when we are NOT paying attention.
If she realizes your focus is elsewhere, she will feel justified in bringing it back to her – by any means possible. This includes yowling, swatting or even biting.
Sometimes play biting isn’t aggressive. It’s only a somewhat annoying cry for attention. Still, you don’t want your cats to think that’s an acceptable way to get his attention. Luckily you can curb this behavior.
How do I teach my Siamese to not play mean?
So how do you teach your Siamese how to politely get your attention? More to the point, how do you teach them the wrong way to get your attention?
This is where Siamese Cat Owners are fortunate. Since Siamese cats are so loyal to their humans, they’re very sensitive to our reactions. This means that if you let your Siamese know sad or hurt, they are likely to feel remorseful.
Here is what you should do when your Siamese cat becomes too aggressive:
How do I befriend a Siamese Cat?
Good news for everyone out there who thinks Siamese cats are mean: you, too, can make friends with a Siamese cat. How? Do the same thing as I do when Batman decides to bite: leave them alone and ignore them at first!
Since the Siamese thinks you’re an “intruder” in his kingdom, he’ll need proof that you’re not a threat. Remember that his first responsibility is to protect his beloved humans.
Once a Siamese cat sees that a visitor to his home means no harm, he’ll be much more likely to befriend you. Pretty soon, he’ll be following you around, meowing and demanding a game of fetch!