A rare breed within the Oriental group, the Seychellois cat is remarkably similar to the Siamese in both appearance and personality. Physically, the Seychellois is identified by distinct white patches caused by the piebald gene and brilliant blue eyes.
When you first see a Seychellois cat you will quickly come to the conclusion that they are essentially a Siamese with white patches. Like the Siamese, they are slender and elegant with a refined look and a well-muscled medium sized body. The breed has a wedge shaped head supported by a long slender neck, and large ears which are wide at the base and form at the top with a slightly rounded tip. The eyes are almond shaped and slant towards the nose. The colour of the eyes is an important aspect of the breed as they must be a clear and brilliant blue.
Seychellois coats are available in three sub-types, which are determined by the degree of white patches resulting from the piebald gene. The white gene variation is graded from 1 (almost solid black) to 10 (almost solid white), and the degree of white is graded as 7, 8 or 9.
- Septieme (French for 7th) is white with colour on the head, tail, legs and body
- Huitieme (French for 8th) is white with colour on the head, tail and legs
- Neuvieme (French for 9th) is white with colour on the tail and head only.
British cat breeder Patricia Turner was inspired by reading the travel journals of explorers who spoke of an apparently native breed of cat with unique white patterned coat variations sighted in the Seychelles Islands.
In the 1980s, Patricia set out to recreate the appearance of the Seychellois cat by breeding bi-coloured Persians with Siamese and Orientals. Eventually she succeeded in creating a cat which fit the description, but the breed was slow to gain traction. In recent years though, bi-coloured Orientals and Siamese have enjoyed a surge in popularity and this has created renewed interest in the Seychellois breed.
Seychellois Cat Personality
Seychellois cats share many of the same personality traits as the Siamese. That is to say they are intelligent, extroverted and social. This is a people-oriented breed who enjoys the company of humans and develops warm and loving bonds with them. While they do enjoy a modicum of “me” time the Seychellois would much prefer to spend the majority of their time around their people – whether that be in your lap, on your table, or in your bed. However, while the Siamese are considered very vocal, the Seychellois tend to be a little quieter with a softer voice.
Did You Know?
Any bi-coloured Siamese or Balinese these days is considered a Seychellois. This means that there are now two varieties of the breed: Seychellois Longhair and the Seychellois Shorthair. This also means that the Seychellois does not get a breed standard all to itself, but one that falls into the same category as the Siamese, Oriental, and Balinese breeds.
In 2005 FiFe (Fédération Internationale Féline) gave the Seychellois championship status, the only major cat registry to recognise the breed. As a relatively new breed, Seychellois cats are not widely recognised and are rarely found outside the UK and Europe.
Caring for Your Seychellois Cat
Like other Oriental cat breeds the Seychellois is a low maintenance cat with few known health issues. Longhaired varieties will need regular grooming to remove loose hair and prevent matting.
The Seychellois can be curious and inquisitive, so it’s wise to protect your valuables and your cat’s health by keeping precious or dangerous items locked in a cupboard away from mischievous paws.
Have you ever met a Seychellois cat? Please share your experiences in the comments below.