How Did Siamese Cats Get Their Name and When Did They First Come to America From Siam?

The Siamese cat is one of the most recognized breeds of Oriental cat.

siamese cat on a couch

Siamese cats originated in Siam, now known as Thailand, and is also how they got their name.

It is believed that the Siamese cat descended from the sacred temple cats of Siam.

The Siamese cat has become one of the most popular breeds in Europe and North America, and there are several native breeds in Thailand.

There, they are called Wichien-maat, a name meaning “Moon diamond”.

The first American to own one was reportedly Lucy Hayes, wife of President Rutherford B. Hayes, in the 1870s.

The cat was a present from David Sickels, the ambassador to Siam.

Mrs. Hayes named it, sensibly enough, Siam.

A mere Siamese cat wasn’t the most exotic feline in the White House. Teddy Roosevelt kept a lion; Martin Van Buren, a pair of tiger cubs; and Calvin Coolidge, a bobcat named Smokey.

Political animals are the best animals.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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