THE THREE TYPES OF SIAMESE © Diana Fineran
By Diana Fineran
The Traditional Cat Association, Inc.
18509 N.E. 279th. Street
Battle Ground, WA. 98604-9717
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The Traditional Siamese and the Classic Siamese are the two body types that came out of Siam (Thailand). The Extreme Wedge Siamese is a man made, genetically engineered, derivative of the two original Siamese. Intense inbreeding was used to manufacture the Extreme Wedge Siamese, which was brought into existence to satisfy the political forces at work within the breed. This took time. SLOWLY the breed was changed. The very first Siamese exported out of Siam was the Traditional Siamese. As more cats were exported as second body type became recognized and that is the Classic Siamese. Old books and old photographs prove this. I would say sometime within the 1950's the Extreme Wedge began its metamorphosis into what it is today.
Until I came along in 1987 the only Siamese recognized world wide was the Extreme Wedge Siamese. After great amounts of research, study and looking at many, many photos, I realized there were three body types world wide for the Siamese. At first I thought there was only two, the Traditional Siamese and the Extreme Wedge Siamese. As I gathered more and more information and received testimonials from owners, I came to the conclusion that there was a third body type and that became the Classic Siamese. This took me some time - two years in fact- to reach this conclusion. I had to have proof and I found it.
The next step was to give the Traditional Siamese and the Classic Siamese the support and recognition they deserved, after decades of languishing in oblivion almost to extinction. I am the first person to write a breed Standard for the Traditional Siamese and the Classic Siamese. I hold Federal Copyrights to these Breed Standards and many more that I have written. Both Standards were reviewed and accepted by the membership of TCA, Inc. at the time I created them. Every attempt has been and is still being made to make these Breed Standards available world wide to keep the breed uniform. Please write to me about this. As we all know each cat association seems to deem it fit to have different breed standards for each breed. I find this nothing but nonsense. Uniformity is the right way to go for the breed.
To answer the questions why and how the Siamese breed was changed, I offer this explanation: Some say it was fads. It was really much more than that. Over time and as the Siamese breed became ever more popular, more and more people became involved in breeding them. Shows were invented, bringing competition about. Certain breeders came into power in the resulting cat associations. Human ego, greed and the desire to win blue ribbons no matter what it cost the cat caused the degrading of the Siamese breed. These power hungry egomaniacs re-wrote the Breed Standard, ignored the Breed Standard, became judges to have a direct effect on the breed, and in general, pushed out any others who would not follow their dictates. They promoted the cats in their own catteries to the exemption of any other body type.
Through all of my reading I have not found any good reason as to why the Extreme Wedge Siamese was created. The Traditional Siamese and the Classic Siamese are healthy, genetically sound, long lived cats. The Extreme Wedge has a destroyed immune system and genetic predisposition to illness. Only a very few blood lines of the Extreme Wedge are healthy. Most live to be 2 to 5 years old and die. Multiple testimonials are in my files about kittens born, but who could not survive one day of life. Others tell me the Extreme Wedge has a hyperactive, nervous personality. How can anyone justify doing this any breed or to any animal is beyond me!
Traditional Siamese breeding stock is rare world wide. There seems to be more Classic Siamese. I love them both and find each to have the wonderful, endearing qualities that draw us to them and grips us for life.