Siamese cats are one of the original oriental breeds and have been popular as pets for many years. People love them for being very loyal as far as cats go. They are frequently described more like little dogs than like cats. Siamese cats like to be with people all the time and are not cats you can leave at home all day while you are out. Generally speaking, the Siamese breed is healthy. There are, however, a few issues you should look out for, particularly respiratory problems in young kittens.
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Respiratory infections are spread by viruses, bacteria and contact with the mucous of an infected cat. Infected Siamese cats will be sneezing more than usual, have a discharge from the nose or eyes, be lethargic and generally appear depressed. Respiratory diseases can be a major problem as the cat is unlikely to eat because it cannot smell the food. In this case, take your cat to the vet where it can be force- fed. Siamese kittens are more vulnerable to respiratory conditions and should be kept away from strange cats and drafts.
Siamese cats are known to be more sensitive to anaesthesia than other breeds. This is most often caused by an allergic reaction to the type of anaesthesia being used. As there are many different types of anaesthesia, it is unlikely that a cat will be allergic to them all. Vets should be aware of Siamese allergies and should be able to advise how to minimise any risks.
Cardiomyopathy is a heart disease for cats that causes the heart muscle to enlarge, reducing the heart's ability to pump blood. It is most commonly seen in middle-aged and elderly Siamese cats. Signs that the cat may be suffering include reluctance to exercise, collapsing and difficulty breathing, but cats are very good at concealing any ill health. As a result, they are unlikely to show any signs until the disease is quite advanced.
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