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Siamese cats are one of the most beautiful and ancient breeds of a feline in the world. With a rich history living besides royalty and defending treasure, it is no myth that the lack of grooming needed is yet another appeal to this breed. Known to be hypo-allergenic and the easiest of all cats to maintain – this breed gives owners the best of both worlds.
How to groom a Siamese cat: In this guide, we will look at grooming techniques, best practices to maintain your pet’s coat, ear hygiene, claw trimming, potential diseases, and more. As far as grooming, one of the major perks of this breed is that you usually don’t have to. This makes them an excellent option for those allergic to long-haired cats as they can opt for a Siamese without fur at all.
Now, this isn’t to say they need no grooming to be mentioned. While the grooming is far more minimal than other cat breeds, you’ll want to maintain their coat for healthy shine and cleanliness. As a loving pet owner, you want to take the best possible care of them. This guide will teach you how.
How To Groom a Siamese Cat
To keep your Siamese looking healthy and shiny, you’ll need to brush them at least once a week. If you thought that grooming was solely to do with fur, you are mistaken. Along with any cat breed, you’ll need to clean their ears and trim their nails as well.
Their fur is less thick than other breeds and doesn’t shed as easily. This is a significant selling point for those with allergies. Brushing your Siamese and petting them with your fingers will dislodge the dead fur follicles so that new growth can continue. Even the hair they do have is hypo-allergenic as well-suited to those with fur allergies.
The Siamese owners get the best of both worlds as this is a cat breed that still has fur (and conveniently can come bald too!) Yet they shed considerably less than their Maine and Persian cousins.
Siamese has some of the most striking features to maintain, such as their odd-shaped heads that are linked to their roots to Thailand. Siamese ruled by the side of royalty and defended the royal families’ treasures. You may imagine this breed walking the pyramid beside Cleopatra, but that was a distant cousin of the Siamese.
This breed will be recognized by its long nose and wide-set ears. They usually have cream-colored bodies with brown features on face, feet, and tail. Often, their eyes are a piercing blue, and they’re known for their regal posture and appearance.
To maintain all this beauty, you’ll need a guide that shows you preventative measures and necessary grooming techniques. This guide should do the trick! So first (excuse me), we’ll talk about fur maintenance, then nails and ears. Lastly, we’ll discuss common skin issues this breed has and how we can help avoid the problems early on.
Tips For Grooming Siamese Cat Fur
Let’s begin with the basics. To keep that lustrous shine that most thin-haired cats could never dream of achieving, you’ll want to brush your Siamese about once a week.
Most felines do enjoy being brushed, so this part shouldn’t be too painful for either party involved. You can bond with your pet and allow them to feel loved and cared for. Your part of an animal tribe together in that household and brushing can be an extraordinary time for both of you.
For Siamese and their thin fur, you’ll want a brush with soft bristles that won’t catch too many tangles. This especially goes for the longer-furred Siamese as it may be painful for them if you’re ripping out knots.
The brushing should be done very softly and gradually while moving in the direction of the hair’s growth. Don’t go against the growth or it could be uncomfortable and scare your fur baby off.
Don’t yank at them and take your time. The cat has nowhere to go and will thank you for patient gentleness.
Belly and head will be the most delicate spots, so take extra care. If you find a knot, it’s honestly better just to cut it out than risk hurting them. Try to brush it out but not too a level of discomfort.
After brushing through an area slowly, collect the dead hair that falls out as you brush to prevent it from flying around the room. The last step will be to wipe down the cat with a wet towel or paper towel. They hate baths but usually will enjoy this sensation. It will also collect the remaining flyaways.
This breed does not shed as much as others so don’t stress about the brushing. A little goes a long way with this breed.
Even brushing with your hands and through petting them will maintain their coats as well. This is significantly less brushing entailed than with other breeds. (Sorry not sorry for all the cat puns, they’re everywhere! Entailed was too easy.)
Best Brushes For Siamese Cats
Now you know the basic technique, but how about the tools? Here are a couple of brands all linked up for you to purchase through Amazon. These are from other Siamese cat owners’ recommendations and based on what’s best for their fur type.
- The Hartz Slicker Brush: It’s not the cutest, but it works! It’s very lightweight and far apart enough in bristles that it won’t catch your Siamese’s tangles painfully. You want that distant between bristles even though it seems counter-intuitive for their thin fur.
This brush is for cats and kittens, so the bristles are very gentle. The bristles are a bit thin, so be sure to use that gentle touch to avoid scratching the fur-babies.
Another appeal is the small size of this to reach that pesky spot above the eyes and in front of ears that is so tender, under chin, and belly. They’ll love it on their neck and cheeks! You can pick up the Hartz Slicker Brush here.
- Pet Hair Remover Glove (By Mudeela): Another great option is one of those adorable gloves that has bristles on the palm side. Your hand is an actual brush! Your cat will love this and makes it easy to zone out watching TV and petting Mr. Siamese.
It has 255 soft rubber tips so it’s incredibly gentle and almost the opposite of a bristle. Based on feedback from cat owners, cats make fools out of themselves for these brushes. Get one. Your Siamese thanks you!
Also, machine washable, which is a huge plus and easy to remove hair from the glove. You can purchase it through this link.
Cleaning Your Cat’s Ears
This will go along with any cat as they can keep their fur clean but have trouble reaching their ears. It must be difficult with front paws that can’t reach and back legs that are so far.
Cats ears are susceptible, so you must move delicately. Check them about once a week for ear wax and remove. You can use wet cotton balls or just a piece of toilet paper that’s slightly watered.
The technique is to almost brush the ears from behind eyes to the neck, but getting in there a bit deeper on the swipe. Again, don’t go too far, or it could be painful for the cat, just like when you hit your eardrum with a Q-tip.
If you feel there are issues you can’t resolve, contact your local veterinarian.
Safely Trimming Cat Claws
Trimming the nails of a feline is an entirely different beast altogether!
This is a bit intimidating to even the most professional cat-owners, so I want to begin this section by saying, if it’s too much for you, take them to a grooming professional. You don’t want to risk hurting your baby or trimming nails to low.
The trimming will need to be done a couple of times a month, three at the most if your cat’s claws grow quickly. The nail trimming will actually discourage them from scratching up your prized possessions and furniture!
They tear apart your furniture to trim their nails and file them down. It feels good, so if you don’t correctly groom your Siamese’s nails, they may damage your household more. It’s an investment in your belongings and the health of your pet.
You’ll need nail clippers and a file. Here’s the way to do it!
- Starting young as kittens will help them to be comfortable with trimming.
- Put them on your lap or where they feel comfortable near you. Keep them calm and use soothing tones in your voice as well as reassuring pets.
- If they despise grooming, put them in a towel so they can’t escape. Muhaha.
- The important tip here is too not cut too far. Only a trim. Squeeze the cats paw on the pad which will make the claws pop out.
- Clip at a 45-degree angle on the nail or else it could splinter and hurt the cat. Again, if you are uncertain about this part, take them to Petco or a local groomer. They are experts, and you want this done right to avoid a lot of pain for the feline.
If the cutting scares you, use the file to make them into a natural claw shape. Look up healthy cat claws trimmed on google to get a sense of the visual look you’re going for when finished.
If you accidentally hit your cat with the blade or hurt their paw, add powder which will clot the bleeding. Cats heal very quickly, and they should be okay if you apply hydrogen to disinfect and keep an eye on it. If it needs further attention, take to a local vet.
You may not need to clip the back claws as often since the front is used for scratching.
Trimming the nails is an important step, and I want to end the section with – please don’t declaw your cat. It may seem like a simple solution to prevent furniture damage, but it is excruciating for the cat. It cuts down to the cuticle and essentially rips them out, leaving scar tissue in the paws.
Declawing is an unnatural operation that is unfair to the pet. Clipping the nails is a must and please don’t result in declawing unless they are scratching or harming someone, and it seems necessary.
Siamese cats are knowledgeable, so if you want them to stop clawing the furniture, they’re probably seeking attention from you and need some positive reinforcement.
Surprise! Even Teeth Need Grooming
Siamese cats are susceptible to periodontal disease, which means you need to take good care of their oral health. They can develop gum disease just like humans if not properly cared for. Some say you ought to brush the cat’s teeth every day if possible. This could seem eccentric, but having a brush specifically for their use is not a bad idea.
Brushing weekly or monthly is better than not brushing their choppers at all. Cats and dogs alike are prone to mouth diseases from bad hygiene, so this is useful for all pet owners.
Some tips to help those starting out are:
- Use pet toothpaste. Find a local store or search for items on Amazon that have low toxins/natural ingredients.
- Do Not Use Human Toothpaste.
- Get your feline comfortable by putting some paste on your finger, letting them smell it and get used to the idea and then gently rubbing into teeth and gums. Try this before moving up the brush, and they might be more forgiving.
- You can also try putting gauze on your finger if they won’t work with the toothbrush.
- Again, starting them as kittens will make them more comfortable with the process, and they’ll fight you less with time.
- Use a soft cat toothbrush, again well sought out at online retailers or at your pet store. Get the cheeks and tongue gently
- Give them breaks if they’re miserable. Don’t traumatize them.
You can also ask your vet about regular dental cleanings to keep up with their oral health. Veterinary dentists have much more versatile tools than we can access, and can check that your feline doesn’t have an infection or gum disease. These professional cleanings can be a bit expensive, so once every year or so is fine.
If dental problems develop, consult your vet and see if more cleanings are necessary.
Lastly, you can purchase food and water that is made explicitly for oral health. Look for labels that say VOHC, which is the Veterinary Oral Health Council certification that this is oral safe.
This is just another tool to keep your Siamese being the healthiest they can be.
If Your Cat Resists Grooming:
Let’s say you’ve tried all of these tips and your sweet Siamese is just not having it. They are not made for grooming and never will be. Well, there are a few things you can do to make it easier for them.
- Try offering your Siamese a treat or reward after a grooming session. Sometimes these grooming tasks will be unpleasant, so giving them a treat will help them associate the experience with a positive sensation. If their emotions are trauma, anxiety, and fear, it will be much harder to get them to cooperate.
- Good treats are tuna, cheese, store-bought cat treats, or chicken. These human foods should be incredibly sparse as they could give your cat diarrhea or other stomach issues. Make the treats about 5% of their total diet. The rest should be hard food with the sporadic luxury of gravy. Gravy or wet food every day will do the same thing as too many treats.
- Work on your tone and make them feel comfortable. They could be feeding off your energy that this is a stressful task. As a baby, felines are receptive to human emotions, and you may need to trick them with a chipper and loving voice that everything is okay. If you seem alright, they’ll think everything’s okay.
- A good time to attempt grooming is when their sleepy and out of energy.
- If your cat loves effective, include lots of loving and petting. If this isn’t working out, move quickly and efficiently while maintaining a gentle touch.
- Notice body language on your Siamese. If the ears are back, give them a break and back off. You could be grooming too firmly and hard. This could make you a threat to the feline, so don’t put yourself in this position.
If all else fails, bring them to the groomer so a professional can work their magic!
If You Need to Bathe Them
Lastly, I’ll leave you with the tip that bathing is not necessary. That’s why we didn’t go there. You only need to bathe your cat if they roll in mud, poop, or for a flea bath with specialized shampoo. They will try to kill you, so I don’t recommend this unless you’ve got a real water lover on your hands.
Siamese cats do an excellent job of maintaining their fur coat and won’t need a lot from you but steady love and attention to their details. Get the proper checkups and grooming trips if you’re overwhelmed by all of this, and you’re doing more than enough!
Other tips that may make the bathing process less difficult:
- Keep the water low and luke-warm. Not too warm and not too cold. How you would temperate the water for an infant is suitable.
- Put a rubber mat on the floor, so your cat doesn’t slip. They’ll be in a panic as 99% of felines despise the water. This measure could prevent them from hurting themselves.
- Using calming lavender smells and soft speaking tones.
- If bathing is impossible, wet down a towel and bathe them with a 5 to 1 ratio of water and pet-friendly soap.
Temperature Affects Their Coating
The breed comes in a wide range of colors, and it’s not all precisely to do with genetics. Grab your goggles cause we’re about to learn some biology!
A fascinating fact about Siamese is that they are born completely white! Believe it or not, the pigmentation comes later as the external temperature hits their skin. While in the womb, the 100-degree heat keeps that enzyme at bay. But once in this big old circus of a real-world – the darkness emerges.
You’ll see the dark spots come across the Siamese’s paws, nose, ears, and face. This is because those areas are cooler in temperature on the cat, so the enzyme becomes activated in these areas. The dark coloration may emerge in the first one to three months of the Siamese’s life.
Siamese cats have a unique modifier gene, which is what inhibits the pigment in the fur. This results in a kind of albinism, but it only can exist in that higher temperature. I told you fascinating stuff, right?!
Exercise May Affect Fur:
Funny enough but exercise may be affecting your cats’ fur. If it seems lax or dull, get them outside in the sunshine. Put your Siamese on a leash and explore the great outdoors. More of these adventures might by the exact dose of life their grooming routine has been needing.
Because of their athletic bodies and long legs, they need this time to recoup in movement. Don’t let your cat be crammed in a small space where they can’t run and leap to extreme heights as they’re known to do.
You can also get more toys around the house for them to chase after. Siamese cats adore playing fetch with you and can keep the family entertained for hours with a game of chase. This is enough to liven their spirits and keep them fit for life.
Skin Conditions that Occur in Siamese:
Siamese cats are susceptible to respiratory issues, eye diseases, and kidney stones. More closely related to their skin conditions, are if you notice your cat doesn’t want to groom. This is a sign they are of ill health or nauseous and don’t have the energy to groom. Not a good sign.
Skin infections are usually caused by scratching and bacteria that can come from the litter and be left under their skin. The outer layer takes on bacteria, which results in the infection. You may notice a sore spot, inflamed section, red spots, or damage to the skin.
Other things to look out for are:
- Obesity in your Siamese. This is rare as they’re very athletic and long-bodied. But if they can’t groom themselves due to girth and width getting in the way of proper maintenance, you’ll need to put them on a diet. You can also get them a toy to fetch or more means for exercise and play.
- Ringworms are common in pets and need to be prevented with medicine and annual checkups. It will spread rapidly and leave bald patches or shedding around the paws, ears, and face. If it is ringworm, you can catch this as a human. Have your vet prescribe medicine and antifungal shampoo/wash.
- Parasites are another primary reason for skin inflammation. This includes fleas and ticks, which need to be treated with monthly flea treatments. Put it on the neck where they cannot reach or lick the poison. Keep away from other cats or in separate rooms with litter and food for at least the night. Once the critters are taken care of, the sores should disappear too.
- Arthritis and stiffness may make it too difficult for your Siamese to groom in old age.
- It also could be an allergy to their food. Try a different breed or take out one factor at a time and give it time to show clearly what the impact is.
Keep an eye on these warnings, and if the problem progresses, it could be something worse, such as bladder disease or skin cancer.
Skin Cancer in Siamese
The good news here is that it’s relatively rare in cats, Siamese alike. The bad news is that when skin cancer occurs, it’s quite aggressive in this breed.
It usually starts in Siamese due to a cell pigmentation issue around their ears, nose, and face. If your cat has light gums or eyelids, this is a sign that they lack high melanin levels. You won’t want to let that cat out in prolonged sunlight. This could expedite cancer growth and fuel the fire.
If your baby is an outdoor baby, keep a close eye on them to see if anything gets red or inflamed. If something looks off or to be causing pain in your Siamese, take them to the vet for a check-up.
There is pet-safe sunscreen which you can use for your outdoor felines. This is an investment that could lengthen their lives, improve the quality of that life, and save on incredibly expensive cancer treatment bills.
If noticed early, you can have a skin surgery to remove the pre-cancerous tissue. If you noticed too late, there’s not much you can do but to keep them comfortable and relaxed.
I hope this guide has been useful to you and comprehensive for the Siamese breed. They are a wonderful and playful breed that will not take much grooming. This guide has been in-depth, but if we were discussing other breeds, the grooming would need to be done daily instead of weekly/monthly.
Schedule yearly or bi-yearly visits to the vet to keep your pet in tip-top shape. If your Siamese is a kitten, you’ll need to do monthly checkups until they are 3-4 months old. Then a couple more through the year. By age one, one check-up a year should be fine.
If something doesn’t look healthy on your cat, it could be an indication of poor grooming. Take measures listed in this guide to give your Siamese the very best home possible.
Siamese cats are intelligent, loving pets that would make the right family incredibly happy. Adopt at your local shelter and don’t shop for this breed. Save them at the SPCA or local pound to find the newest member of your family!