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Excerpt from Siamese Cats
The Siamese cats' colorful background is as unique as this exotic breed itself. In ancient Siam (present-day Thailand), Siamese cats were held in such high esteem that only persons of royal blood were allowed to own them. However, the Siamese cats were not merely pampered ornamental pets. They were considered sacred, and were used as guard cats in the temples and shrines throughout the land.
Until the late l800's, Siamese cats were found only in Siam, but at that time the ruling potentate gave some to the English royal family as a mark of his esteem. Shortly afterward, in about 1880, Siamese cats began to appear in English cat shows, achieving moderate success.
A few years later the king of Siam gave some Siamese cats to his American friends. In 1903, at their first public showing in the United States, the Siamese cats gained immediate acceptance.
It was in 1924 that the first scientifically planned strains of Siamese were bred. These long-haired animals, called Malayan Persians, resulted from crossing Persians and inbreeding them.
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