Other names: Wichien Maat, Traditional Siamese
The Thai cat is, as their name suggests, a native of Thailand. The breed is considered the ancestor of the Siamese, with a triangular head, a light body and dark extremities. Talkative, sensitive and very attached to their owners, they demand attention. Intelligent and docile, they’re very endearing and sweet. However, it is better to know how to deal with them so as not to become their slave!
Key facts about the Thaï
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Origins and history
Various legends circulate about their origins and history. The oldest of them says that, on Noah’s ark, a monkey fell in love with a lioness and that of their union would be born the Thai cat, which would have the peculiarity to present the courage of the lioness and the agility of the monkey!
The Thai cat had a place in the Court of the King of Siam, former name of Thailand.
It is said that these cats were used to guard royal treasures and that they would eventually become cross-eyed from staring at the jewels for so long. This peculiarity is nowadays considered a defect, and these cats are excluded from competitions.
Another legend is linked to another of their physical peculiarities, the "break" in the tail. It seems that the Princesses of Siam used their tails to hold her rings. The weight of the jewels thus caused the "break" of the tail.
Be that as it may, it was in 1871 that the King of Siam offered to the Ambassador of England a couple of Thai cats, which is at the origin of their appearance in Europe.
They were bred selectively which gave rise to the breed of Siamese cat, with a finer silhouette than their ancestor.
Physical characteristics of the Thaï
Female : Between 12 and 14 in
Male : Between 12 and 14 in
The classic Siamese reaches their adult size at around 1 year old.
Female : Approximately 7 lb
Male : Between 9 and 11 lb
Blue point, chocolate point, lilac point, seal point
The extremities (nose, ears, paws and tail) must be as dark as possible, whilst the body should be as light as possible.
Type of coat
The Thai is an averaged-sized cat, considered the "ancestor" of the Siamese, while being both stockier and more rounded. They have short and dense hair, light on the body and dark at the extremities (the colour darkens with the age). The head is very triangular in shape, with eyes as blue as possible and ears broad at their base and rounded at the tips. The dark colour can go as far as forming a mask on the face.
Good to know
Their original name, "Wichein-maat" means "Golden Diamond", or "Moon Diamond" in Thai. This shows just how much the breed was appreciated and treated with devotion. Most likely because Thai people thought that the "high-ranking" dead chose the body of a cat to reincarnate. These cats were present in the temples where they were treated with respect.
Truly attached to their human, the traditional Siamese cat is as clingy as glue and loves cuddles.
Very active, this feline really needs to use up energy and will not hesitate to find something to play with. They would prefer regularly playing with their owners. The Thai cat is unusual in that they will play fetch, like a dog.
Known for their lively and playful personality, we can’t really say that this is a calm breed.
The fact that they are so attached to their owners mean they are particularly receptive to training. Because of this, they are considered both intelligent and obedient.
Fearful / wary of strangers
The Thai cat is so keen for attention that they are scared of nothing.
It is better to choose this breed if you are sure to be able to offer your presence and your availability. They will love being with you and participating in your activities, to be by your side and make sure you do not forget about them.
If they become too lonely, they could develop certain behavioral problems, such as not eating and overly-grooming themselves.
Behaviour of the Thaï
Very chatty. This cat can be very noisy!
Need for exercise / Sporty
The Thai is naturally very active, both indoors and out. It is essential to provide your cat with the right environment so that he/she can run, jump and climb.
Tendency to run away
They are very attached to their owners and even known to be walked on a lead. However, if your cat has open access to the outdoors, be vigilant.
Greedy / Gluttony
The Thai Cat is not known to be particularly greedy, which does not mean you shouldn’t offer your cat a balanced diet.
As mentioned above, they are hyper-sensitive and will go on a diet if deprived of your presence. It is therefore essential to provide a lifestyle that ensures long hours spent together. If you have to be away for a weekend or vacation, quickly stopping by and checking in will not suffice to satisfy their needs.
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Thaï and cats
The traditional Siamese will learn to live with other cats as long as you spend time playing and cuddling with them. They’re known for wanting to be the only pet.
Thaï and dogs
As long as they’re the star of the show, they will get on with all animals.
Thaï and children
Their very active nature makes them suitable for playing games with your children, to expend their energy, as long as the children respect the cat.
Thaï and the elderly
As long as they are played with, a Thai cat will appreciate the time an elderly person has to spend with them. However, if you are a particularly calm and tranquil person, this may not be the breed for you.
On average, the price of a Thai kitten is approximately £500, the price often varies according to the breeder and the aesthetics of the cat. For the monthly budget, it will cost on average £25 / month to provide for their needs, by providing a quality diet and ensuring to their good health.
Their short fur is very easy to maintain. A weekly brushing and regular stroking will suffice to remove any dead hair.
During the moulting periods, shedding will be more significant than usual however it is rarely too extreme.
Nutrition of the Thaï
A balanced diet will suit this cat. It is recommended to use an interactive bowl which will satisfy this breed’s active character.
Health of the Thaï
On average, they live for 16 years but this varies significantly depending on the individual and lifestyles.
Strong / robust
Given their short coat, they don’t like the cold and will stay indoors in the winter.
Tendency to put on weight
Their vivacity means they will lose weight faster than they gain it.
The Thai cat has no predisposition to particular illnesses, but of course they can succumb to the same illnesses as all other cats. If they can have access to the outdoors, it is better that they be vaccinated against infectious diseases such as Coryza, Leucose, Rage and Typhus, according to your vet’s opinion. On the other hand, it is important to verify their origins and to inform yourself about the quality of the breeder, because inbreeding can cause hereditary diseases, such as hydrocephalus (an increase in the size of the head due to too much brain fluid). Cases of retinal atrophy and heart failure are also known.
To maintain the breed, Thai cats can only be bred amongst themselves.
Moreover, because of their strong character, it is important that the period of socialization be long. During this period, the kitten will learn the rules of life, first from their mother and then from brothers and sisters. Any serious breeder will refuse to give you a Thai kitten that is less than 13 weeks old. It is in your best interest to accept this waiting time before bringing your kitten home, since the quality of your relationship for the following years is at stake.