The Siamese cat is easily one of the most recognizable cat breeds worldwide—with a sleek appearance, distinct silver coat, ocean blue eyes, and a unique “Meezer” voice. But just how many years will you get to enjoy with your Siamese four-legged friend by your side? And are there any major health concerns that plague this beautiful breed?
Siamese cats can live for 15-20 years if kept indoors, fed a healthy diet, and brought to the vet for regular checkups. However, common Siamese cat health conditions like amyloidosis, chronic bronchial disease, and cancer can reduce the life expectancy to closer to 10-12.5 years.
The life expectancy of a Siamese cat isn’t too far off from your average domestic short-hair (DSH) cat, but there are some unique considerations for this Thai-native. To learn about how long Siamese cats live, read on!
A Siamese Cat’s Average Lifespan
While many cat enthusiasts tout the Siamese breed as having among the highest life-expectancies of all cats (which is true, to an extent), their average 15-20 year lifespan may not be all that impressive.
The reason for this is quite simple: Siamese cats are purebred. And purebred cats lack the genetic diversity that makes fighting off deadly hereditary illnesses and diseases even more difficult—mixing a cat with another breed can, thus, lessen the risk.
So while living up to two decades far surpasses expectations for most cats, a purebred Siamese may not live as long as a Siamese mixed with a Burmese, for example.
Here’s a look at how the Siamese cat’s average life expectancy compares to that of other breeds—including cross breeds—according to the Royal Veterinary College.
|Breed||Average Life Expectancy (In Years)|
It’s also important to remember that an “average” life expectancy is just that—average. The oldest cat in the world, a Siamese named Scooter, lived for 30 years. On the other hand, a Siamese cat left to fend for herself out in the wild with underlying health conditions may live for just five years.
Want to know a little bit more about the Siamese cat? Then take a look at the video below that’ll introduce you to this stunning breed!
Factor That Impact a Cat’s Life Expectancy
Just because your cat is a member of the Siamese breed, that doesn’t automatically mean that she’ll live for 15-20 years. Other factors that can impact your kitty’s life expectancy include:
- Indoor vs. Outdoor: Indoor cats can live over three times longer than outdoor cats (15-17 years vs. 2-5 years).
- Male vs. Female: Female cats may live 15%—or two years—longer than male cats (15 years vs. 13 years).
- Fixed vs. Non-Fixed: Neutered male cats and female spayed cats live an expected 62% and 39% longer than their non-fixed counterparts, respectively.
The 15-20 year life expectancy for a Siamese cat assumes you’re housing your cat in near-perfect conditions and caring for her well.
What Health Problems Do Siamese Cats Have?
The fact that Siamese cats are purebred predisposes them to many genetic conditions that, otherwise, would’ve likely faded from the gene line after a few generations. Some common Siamese health issues—like convergent strabismus and separation anxiety—probably won’t cut years off your cat’s lifespan. But the following conditions can:
Amyloidosis is a relatively rare medical condition in cats, but one that strikes Siamese cats at far higher rates. As this condition progresses, amyloids (a type of protein) begin forming on organs within the body, sometimes impacting predisposed Siamese kitties as young as 12 months old. Symptoms of amyloidosis include weight loss, anorexia (appetite loss), severe dehydration, and blood clots. A Siamese cat with a severe case of amyloidosis may only live another 20 months.
While cancer isn’t uncommon in a senior cat, Siamese cats have genetic predispositions to many individual types of cancer. These include:
- Lymphoma: A type of cancer that accounts for up to 30% of cancer diagnoses in cats, impacting the white blood cells and weakening the immune system—but also very responsive to chemotherapy if caught early.
- Mast Cell Tumors: A type of cutaneous mass that grows on your cat’s skin or other bodily organs, which can spread if not removed promptly or treated with radiation (or chemotherapy).
- Adenocarcinoma: An intestinal cancer that encourages tumors to grow around the intestines, eventually impacting the functioning of the digestive system enough to shut it off entirely.
Not all instances of cancer in Siamese cats will be terminal. However, there is a possibility that such a diagnosis can lower your cat’s life expectancy, especially if you don’t take your cat to the vet regularly or pursue treatment as soon as possible.
Asthma—a condition that impacts up to 5% of all cats—is another illness of concern if you’re a Siamese cat owner. Allergens like tobacco smoke, pollen, or mold may force the narrowing of your cat’s airways, making it harder for her to breathe and oxygen to get to her organs. The combination of sudden asthma attacks and a lack of treatment (like corticosteroids) can shorten your Siamese cat’s life expectancy or prove fatal.
How to Keep Your Siamese Cat Healthy
Your Siamese cat may be born into a strong bloodline, but it’s up to you as her owner to ensure she lives a long and healthy life! Let’s review some of the best ways that you can do that.
Feeding Her a Healthy Diet
Nothing is more important to your Siamese cat’s health than what you’re feeding her. Fill her bowl with kitten food until she’s a year old, transition over to adult food, and then make the switch to special senior food by the age of seven. Try to choose food that’s high in protein and low in fillers, and stick to 2-3 meals a day—don’t free-feed her to prevent overeating and obesity.
Keep Her Inside
Your Siamese cat may have an itch to explore the backyard, but cats who spend time outside don’t live nearly as long as strictly indoor cats. All it takes is one scuffle with a local tomcat to get a lifelong immunodeficiency disorder like FIV or FeLV, a neighbor leaving out rat poison mixed with cat food to harm the local strays, or one tick carrying a blood-borne illness.
Make Yearly Vet Visits
No matter which breed your cat is a member of, nothing is more important than taking your cat to her annual vet visits. It may be a good idea to increase your vet visits to twice a year if your Siamese kitty has underlying health conditions, is predisposed to certain cancers, or is entering her senior years. Stay up-to-date on vaccinations—including rabies, FeLV, and FVRCP.
Getting Her Fixed ASAP
Getting your Siamese kitty fixed doesn’t only keep her from getting pregnant. It can also protect her from developing certain health conditions—like uterine infections and breast cancer—while also holding off testicular cancer and aggression in male cats.
Siamese cats are among the most eye-catching breeds, but don’t take your four-legged friend for granted. While research shows your Siamese kitty can live well into her teens, that doesn’t come without you taking necessary precautions.
Make sure you’re feeding your Siamese cat a healthy diet, taking her to the vet annually (and when a medical issue arises), vaccinating her on time, keeping her inside, and getting her fixed as soon as possible. Take her to the vet immediately if she’s showing signs of cancer, asthma, or Amyloidosis to pursue treatment options immediately and keep her on track to reach 20.
- Wikipedia: Siamese Cat
- BBC: Oldest cat in the world, Scooter, dies aged 30
- RVC: Longevity and Mortality of Cats in England
- PETMD: Can an Indoor Cat Be a Part-Time Outdoor Cat?
- NIH: Sex Differences in Lifespan
- AVMA: Banfield: Spaying, neutering correlate with longer lives
- Wag!: Crossed Eyes in Cats
- VCA Hospitals: Amyloidosis in Cats
- Prestige Animal Hospital: Siamese
- VCA Hospitals: Lymphoma in Cats
- VCA Hospitals: Mast Cell Tumors in Cats
- Wag!: Adenocarcinoma in Cats
- VCA Hospitals: Asthma and Bronchitis in Cats
- ASPCA: Cat Nutrition Tips