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Siamese Cats Cross-Eyed

Why Are Siamese Cats Cross-Eyed

Siamese cats are a standout breed. Their bright blue eyes and shiny coats make them a favorite.

But one feature gets people talking: their cross-eyed look. This is not just for show. It’s all about their genes and how they have survived over time.

Did you know Siamese cats are born with ‘convergent strabismus’?

This makes their eyes turn inwards. To see clearly, they cross their eyes, just like a normal cat would line up their retinas.

This unique trait shows just how adaptable the Siamese breed is. So, let’s unpack this mystery.

Are All Siamese Cats Cross-Eyed

It is a common myth that all Siamese cats have crossed eyes. This is not true. While it’s true that some Siamese cats do have crossed eyes, this trait, known as strabismus, is not found in all of them.

In the past, many Siamese cats had crossed eyes because of their unique genetics. This was tied to their origin. However, the number of Siamese cats with crossed eyes varies, and some don’t have this trait at all.

Breeders have made efforts to remove this trait from the breed because they consider it undesirable. So today, you will find many Siamese cats without crossed eyes.

But, if a Siamese cat has an injury or illness, its eyes might cross. Some Siamese cats still have crossed eyes.

Interestingly, when Siamese cats cross their eyes, they see better. This is because crossing the eyes aligns their retinas like in normal cats, which sends a clearer image to the brain.

10 Incredible Facts About Siamese Cats

Here are ten interesting facts about Siamese cats, particularly those that are cross-eyed:

  • Genetic Connection: Crossed eyes in Siamese cats come from their genes. It’s the same gene that makes their coat colors so unique.
  • Eye-Catching Eyes: Siamese cats usually have bright blue eyes shaped like almonds. This gives them a cool look.
  • Cool Cats: Did you know a Siamese cat’s fur changes color with temperature? The cooler parts of their body have darker fur!
  • Kitten Gaze: Lots of Siamese kittens are born with straight eyes. As they grow, their eyes might cross. But don’t worry, this usually doesn’t last. Their eyes often straighten out as they get older.
  • Not All Cross-Eyed: While many Siamese cats do have crossed eyes, not all of them do. Some Siamese cats have eyes that line up perfectly.
  • Show Cats: In cat shows, crossed eyes are seen as a flaw in Siamese cats. However, many people who love Siamese cats find this trait adorable and unique.
  • Healthy Cats: Generally, having crossed eyes doesn’t cause any health problems for Siamese cats. It mainly changes how they look, but doesn’t affect their vision or overall health.
  • Breeding Matters: When breeders choose Siamese cats to breed based on their fur colors and patterns, it can lead to more cats with crossed eyes.
  • Social Media Stars: Siamese cats with crossed eyes have become very popular on social media platforms like Instagram. This has helped people appreciate and understand this unique trait.
  • Friendly Felines: Whether they have crossed eyes or not, Siamese cats are known for being friendly and talkative. They love spending time with their owners and enjoy being part of the family’s activities.

Historical Background

They come from Thailand, which was once known as Siam. People often link these cats with being cross-eyed, a trait steeped in history and biology.

From Thailand to the World:

Siamese cats first appeared in ancient Thailand. The “Tamra Maew” or Cat Poems, a set of writings from anywhere between the 14th and 18th centuries, provides the first written proof of the breed. The poems describe Siamese cats as having a light body with darker points, similar to Siamese cats today. They also show the cats as being cross-eyed.

Changing the Look:

When Siamese cats were brought to Europe and America in the early 20th century, they became a hit. But people saw their crossed eyes as a defect. So, breeders started to selectively breed these cats to remove this trait. By the mid-20th century, most Siamese cats in the West had normal eyes.

Still, you can find cross-eyed Siamese cats in Thailand and other parts of the world where breeders have not tried to remove this trait. Some cat lovers even prefer the cross-eyed look, seeing it as a nod to the breed’s ancient and exotic roots.

The Science Behind the Cross-Eyed Phenomenon

flame point siamese cross eyed

Siamese cats are special, and their unique look comes from their genes. These genes react to temperature, which is pretty cool.

When Siamese kittens are born, they are all white. This is because they are warm inside their mother’s belly. But as they grow up and move around in cooler areas, their fur starts to change color. The parts of their body that are away from the heart, like the ears, paws, tail, and face, get colder and turn darker. This is why Siamese cats have a light body color with darker “points.”

But here’s the fun part. The gene that changes the fur color also affects the eyes. That’s why many Siamese cats have crossed eyes. Some people think this helped the cats see better in low light, which would be a big help if they were hunting.

But not everyone likes the crossed eyes. In fact, according to cat show rules, it’s a flaw. Because of this, many Siamese cats today don’t have crossed eyes. They have been bred to have straight eyes instead.

Impact of Cross Eyes on Siamese Cats’ Behavior and Health

Cross Eyes on Siamese Cats’ Behavior and Health

Siamese cats are often cross-eyed, a condition called strabismus. This quirky trait makes them stand out, but it also affects how they act and their health.

How Cross Eyes Change Behavior:

Cross-eyed Siamese cats see the world a little differently. Their eyes don’t line up right, which can change how they interact with things around them. They might seem clumsy like they are bumping into things or misjudging distances. However, these cats are smart. They can rely more on their sense of touch and hearing to get around.

Even with this challenge, cross-eyed Siamese cats adjust pretty well. Over time, they learn how to deal with their vision issues and go about their daily lives. Their unique way of seeing things can make them more careful and observant. This adds to their well-known curious and loving nature.

Health Effects of Cross Eyes:

Cross-eyedness in Siamese cats usually does not cause serious health problems. But, it’s important to keep an eye on your pet’s health. While strabismus itself doesn’t hurt or bother them, it can be a sign of other health problems. These could include an ear infection, brain disease, or injury. Regular check-ups with the vet can catch any health problems early. This helps make sure your Siamese cat stays healthy and happy.

Modern Breeding Practices and Cross-eyed Siamese Cats

Why are siamese cat cross eyed when they

Genetics at Play:

Crossed eyes, or strabismus, in Siamese cats, come from a specific gene mutation. Interestingly, this same mutation gives these cats their distinctive coat color. It all boils down to the albinism gene, which messes with the optic nerve wiring, making the eyes cross. Although this doesn’t usually affect the cat’s vision too much, breeders saw it as a flaw.

The Role of Modern Breeding:

Modern breeding techniques have been instrumental in phasing out the crossed-eye trait from Siamese cats. Breeders, wanting to stick to the standards set by cat fancier associations, started to breed Siamese cats that didn’t have crossed eyes.

So, most Siamese cats you see today won’t have crossed eyes. But, you can still occasionally find this trait in cats that come from traditional Siamese lines.

Controversies and Future Trends:

The selective breeding practices used to get rid of the crossed-eye trait in Siamese cats have stirred up some debates. Some people worry that this kind of intense selection could reduce genetic diversity, which could make the breed more prone to health problems. On the other hand, there’s a rising interest in preserving and cherishing the traditional Siamese cat, crossed eyes and all.

Environmental Factors

Environmental Factors cross-eyed Siamese cats

Here are some Environmental factors of cross-eyed Siamese cats mentioned below:

  • It’s in the Genes: The main reason for cross-eyed Siamese cats is in their genes. They inherit a trait that causes an eye condition called “convergent strabismus“. In simple terms, their eyes turn towards their nose. This is a genetic factor and has nothing to do with the environment they live in.
  • Making Up for Retinal Issues: Siamese cats have crossed eyes to make up for a flaw in their retina, the part of the eye that senses light. They have a condition called Strabismus, which makes their retinas misaligned. To see normally, they need to cross their eyes.
  • Melanin Shortage: Siamese cats are known for their unique blue eye color. This comes from a gene mutation that blocks the development of melanin, a pigment that colors the eyes. This mutation gives the eyes a cross-eyed look. Again, this isn’t affected by environmental factors.
  • Eye Nerve Structure: The way Siamese cats’ eye nerves are organized might add to their cross-eyed look. In other cats, the eye nerves are arranged differently, which puts less strain on the eyes and avoids the cross-eyed look.
  • Environment Doesn’t Matter: It’s important to clarify that there’s no direct link between the environment and Siamese cats being cross-eyed. Their crossed eyes are purely due to their genes and the way their eye nerves are organized.
  • Health Issues: Crossed eyes are common in Siamese cats but can also lead to some health issues. Strabismus may cause vision problems and trouble judging distance. These issues aren’t caused by the environment, but changes in their surroundings might make the symptoms worse.


To wrap it up, Siamese cats often have crossed eyes because of a gene that changes their optic nerve.

This trait comes from their roots in Thailand, where people saw it as a lucky sign. Even though it might look strange, it’s completely normal and doesn’t harm their health or happiness.

These cats keep winning hearts with their standout looks and unique character, crossed eyes included.

Their special eye feature gives them an extra dash of charm, making Siamese cats stand out in the world of cats.

FAQs About Why Are Siamese Cats Cross-Eyed

What causes crossed eyes in cats?

Crossed eyes, also known as strabismus, in cats, can be caused by several factors. These include hereditary conditions, nerve damage, muscle disorders, or injuries to the eye. In some breeds, like Siamese cats, crossed eyes are a common genetic trait. It’s always recommended to consult with a vet if you notice any changes in your cat’s eye alignment.

Why are Siamese cats so special?

Siamese cats are special due to their striking appearance and unique personality. They have beautiful blue almond-shaped eyes, a slim body, and a coat with distinct color points. Personality-wise, they’re known for being affectionate, vocal, and social. They love interacting with their humans, making them great companions.

Does the Siamese have bad eyesight?

No, Siamese cats don’t generally have bad eyesight. However, like any breed, they can develop eye-related health issues. Regular vet check-ups can help ensure their vision stays in good health.

Why are Siamese cats so expensive?

Siamese cats are often more expensive because of their unique and captivating appearance, as well as their distinct personality. The price can also be influenced by factors such as pedigree, age, and whether the cat is of show quality. On average, a Siamese cat can cost anywhere between $200 and $2,500.

Are Siamese cats smart?

Yes, Siamese cats are considered highly intelligent. They are known for their curious and social nature and can learn new tricks and communicate with their owners using their unique voice. Their intelligence allows them to quickly learn and even open and rummage through things due to their natural curiosity.

what percentage of Siamese cats are cross-eyed

Exact percentages are hard to find, but historically, many Siamese cats were cross-eyed. This trait is less common today due to selective breeding, but some Siamese cats still display this characteristic. It’s a genetic trait associated with the breed.

Is it normal for Siamese cats to be cross-eyed?

Yes, it is quite normal for Siamese cats to be cross-eyed. This unique trait, scientifically known as convergent strabismus, is a result of their genetic composition. Historically, this trait was prevalent among the breed, but modern selective breeding has resulted in Siamese cats both with and without this distinctive feature. The cross-eyed condition helps align their retinas, allowing them to see clearly despite the misalignment.

Why do Siamese cats have blue eyes?

Siamese cats have blue eyes due to a gene mutation that affects the pigment in their eyes. This mutation affects an enzyme involved in melanin production, making it temperature-sensitive. The cooler areas of a Siamese cat’s body, like their extremities and eyes, receive less pigment, resulting in their striking blue eyes.

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