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The Thai cat is a natural breed closely related to the modern-day Siamese. The ancient breed has been around since the 1800s but only received pedigree status in 2009. What's more, the breed was previously known as the Old-Style Siamese or Traditional Siamese. However, pedigree organisations later renamed them to show that they are a distinct breed to the modern-style Siamese cats.
Meet the Thai CatThai cats have the same colour-pointing as the Siamese but in a more moderate way. They also have a more natural and robust structure than the slim figure of the selectively bred Siamese. In terms of personality, they are friendly and chatty and enjoy nothing more than the company of their humans. While most cat lovers in the western world choose the more popular Siamese, Thai cats are well-loved in Thailand, where they're called "Wichien Maat", meaning "moon diamond."
Thai cats are medium-sized, commonly weighing between eight and 15 pounds, yet they can be bigger or smaller than this average. They have all the characteristics of a pointed cat; blue eyes, dark extremities, and pale body, but these features are noticeably less extreme than the Siamese.
Thai cats have a stocky yet athletic build and are well proportioned. Their heads are wedge-shaped with a long, flat forehead and almond-shaped blue eyes. Their ears are also different to the Siamese, as they are set high and wide.
This Thai breed has a short, soft coat with either minimal or no undercoat to keep them cool in the hot climate. They shed a lot during the moulting season, but even then, they don't require much grooming, if any.
Thai cats can have any point colour, but the most common is black-brown with seal-point or blue with blue-point. Regardless of the hue, they will have darker colouring on the ears, face, tail and feet, and lighter shading throughout the rest of the body.
Tortie point, tabby point, chocolate point, lilac point, and redpoint are also possible. Furthermore, some Thai cats will have a missing point staining, appearing pure white. However, these are much less common.
Some Thai cats are born with a curved or kinked tail due to a recessive gene. This mutation is typical with this breed and does not cause them any pain. However, these cats may get caught in things like tree branches as they cannot uncurl their tail to release themselves.
The temperament of a Thai cat
Thai cats are sociable, friendly and people orientated. They love to be close to their owners at all times and are not afraid to demand attention from them whenever they please. They are very chatty, like the Siamese, and will use their voices to let you know how they feel, what they think, and tell you about their day. What's more, if you chat back to them, they will hilariously continue the conversation.
When they're not following their owner around, they will be exploring something, whether it's watching birds from the window or climbing up onto the fridge. They are playful, adventurous and have no fear of climbing and jumping. Therefore, we recommend getting plenty of cat trees and creating high perching spots for your Thai cat.
They are confident felines and do not act too shy around strangers. Because they want all the attention, they prefer to be the only cat in the house. However, Thai cats enjoy the company of young children and become great playmates with them.
10 reasons to add a Thai cat to your family
- They are the best companions - For Thai cats, their owners are the centre of their universes, and their dream is to be the centre of yours, too.
- They will happily chat with you - You may not understand what they are saying, but that doesn't bother a Thai cat. They will tell you about their day regardless, and their eyes will light up when you start replying to them.
- They have majestic colouring - Cats with the colour-point gene are very desirable. What's more, Thai cats can have any shade of pointing.
- They have beautiful blue eyes - While the hue may not be as intense as the modern style Siamese, Thai cats' eyes still give a striking expression.
- They are natural - One advantage Thai cats have over their Siamese siblings is that they developed naturally, rather than being selectively bred.
- They look like they are wearing a face mask - Some Thai cats have very dark markings covering their entire faces.
- They are friendly towards kids and strangers - Despite having a strong bond with their owners, Thai cats are also welcoming and affectionate to guests. Plus, they enjoy play sessions with children and often become great friends with kids.
- They are playful and snuggly - Thai cats offer a great source of entertainment and affection with their adventurous nature and their tendency to seek out cuddles.
- They are holy cats - Throughout history, Thai cats lived at Buddhist monasteries and royal palaces to bring happiness. They are cherished in their homeland, and their Thai name Wichien Maat means diamond.
- They were gifted to European rulers - Another interesting part of their history is that king Rama V gave these cats to European rulers as gifts. This is how they first came to Europe and Britain.
Best homes for a Thai cat
Thai cats need a home where they can enjoy companionship every day. If everyone is out working, they will get very lonely, so they are best suited to a family that is not too busy or always out and about.
They are also best suited to homes with no other pets. Some Thai cats are known to compete for their owner's attention if another animal is around. However, this is not always the case, and if you raise two Thai cats from the same litter together, they will likely bond deeply.