Active: The Thai is an active cat that enjoys attention. They love to entertain, talk to others and show off their athletic ability. While they are quite active, their affinity for their companions is incredibly apparent and they bond very closely with their family members.
Size: The Thai cat is a medium to large cat, weighing between 8 to 15 pounds.
Characteristics: The body and conformation of the Thai is more or less the description of the "traditional" or "old-style" Siamese cat. Their body is moderately long and quite substantial. While they are substantial, they are incredibly graceful. They have medium boning throughout their body but perhaps the most interesting feature of the Thai is their head shape. Their heads are medium-sized wedges with long, flat foreheads. They have rounded cheeks and their cheekbones curve inward near the muzzle. They have medium to large ears that are large at the base and the tips point outward. Additionally, they have medium to large, almond-shaped eyes that are a beautiful, deep blue color. Their tails are long and taper towards the tip.
Temperament: The Thai cat is very intelligent and very people-oriented. They love to be with people and have full conversations with them. When they aren't chatting your ear off, they are climbing and leaping and using their endless energy to entertain. They are very demanding when it comes to attention and affection. They want your attention and they want it now. If they are not climbing to the top of a bookshelf, they will be climbing into your lap for some love.
Care: The short, silky coat of the Thai is very easy to maintain and the Thai does not tend to get themselves particularly dirty. Their coat needs to be combed once a week to remain silky to the touch and full of luster. Additionally, trim their nails and clean their ears as needed. Lastly, it is important to brush their teeth frequently to avoid periodontal disease and keep their pearly whites sparkling!
Coat: Thai cats have very silky coats, with almost no undercoat, making it a pleasure to pet them and give them the attention they deserve. Their coat is short and flat and can come in any pointed color, solid point, tabby point, tortie point, or torbie point.
Origin: While the breed is largely known as the Thai cat breed, in Thailand, it is known as the Wichienmaat cat breed. The Thai cat originated in Thailand and resembles the traditional Siamese cat of the late 19th century and early 20th century. The Thai is known for its unique and beautiful pointed pattern. The Thai can be traced back centuries and was depicted in The Cat-Book Poems that was written sometime between 1350 C.E. and 1767 C.E. The exact dates cannot be determined as new manuscripts were written by hand and when the Thai cat breed came into existence remains vague. But, regardless, it is one of the oldest cat breeds in existence.
In the 1800s, British travelers visiting Thailand found these beautiful Wichienmaat cats and, because they had never seen cats like them anywhere else in the world, decided to bring them home. They gave them the name "Siamese" because they were from Siam. Siamese cats were shown at the world's first cat show in London's Crystal Palace in 1871. The Siamese cat was a polarizing cat breed. While some found their exotic features beautiful and intriguing, others did not share the sentiment. Thai cats were described in Harrison Weir's 1989 book Our Cats and All About Them as having a very short coat. They were also known for their deep blue eyes and medium to large size body with an overall moderate conformation. At the time, a svelte body was desired for show quality Siamese cats. Over time, the desire for an extremely svelte Siamese cat would develop, which would cause a divergence among fanciers. The Siamese breed grew in popularity and soon made its way to the United States and, to the White House more specifically.
One fascinating story in the history of the Siamese cat breed is that in 1878, a U.S. diplomat named David B. Sickels was stationed in Bangkok and sent a Siamese cat to the first lady of the time, Lucy Hayes. In the early 1900s, breeders began to hone the Siamese cat breed to put forth the specific traits that they deemed more desirable, such as a very svelte body, fine boning and longer heads. By the 1950s, after generations of breeding, the Siamese cat breed took on a much more extreme appearance, but not all breeders were happy with this result. Some breeders still favored the more traditional appearance that favored a more moderate conformation. By the time the 1980s rolled around moderate body types for Siamese cats were not being shown any more in cat shows and had decreased significantly in popularity among fanciers. With a significant decline for moderate body style Siamese cats, breeders dedicated to the style began to arise and make an effort to preserve the look. Breed clubs were even being formed in Europe and America to help promote the more traditional body type.
In 1990, the World Cat Federation granted breed championship status to the Thai breed, the new name for the Siamese cat with a more traditional appearance. To grow the gene pool and preserve a healthy genetic line, breeders began importing more pointed cats from Thailand in 2001. Today, the Thai cat breed is accepted by all major associations for championship status as its own breed and enjoys a dedicated following of admirers.