If you think the Siamese breed is a bit too extreme, but you love some breed features, you will absolutely love the Thai. The Thai cat breed was recently renamed, but it is an old cat breed known for hundreds of years. These cats were called by different names. Some include Applehead, Traditional Siamese, Classic Siamese, Wichien Maat (original Thai name), and Old-Style Siamese. This might be an excellent introduction to the Thai breed since they are closely related to the Siamese. Here’s what cat lovers need to know about the Thai.
Cats from Thailand (former Siam) started getting imported to Europe and the US in the 19th century. The Thai and Siamese histories are the same at that point. After World War II, the real difference started when cat breeders decided to form a breed with slightly different characteristics than the modern-day Siamese has. In the 80s, cat breeding clubs across the US and Europe decided to preserve the “traditional” Siamese characteristics, hence the name - Old-Style Siamese. They focused on creating a new breed with moderate features closer to cats still found in their country of origin. They disliked how the “new” Siamese breed developed, so they focused their efforts on creating the Thai. The “new-old” breed received international recognition in 1990.
Cat Breed Characteristics
The Thai cat breed has the characteristics you would traditionally associate with this animal. They don’t go into extremes like the Siamese. The Thai’s head is modified but still has a wedge shape. It has an elongated flat forehead and a nose with a slight concave curve at eye level. Here are other characteristics we will focus on.
These cats have an incredibly soft coats. Mind you, it is a common characteristic among cats, but it is still incredibly soft. The Thai’s coat is short and flat-laying. Unlike the modern-day Siamese, the Thai doesn’t carry the longhair gene.
Another important physical characteristic of this breed is its color. The Thai comes in in all possible point colors. The tabby, tortie, solid, and torbie points are included.
The Thai cat breed is not the largest breed in the world. In fact, it is considered a medium-sized breed. Most adult cats weigh 8 - 15 pounds.
The most crucial part of any cat breed is not its physical appearance but its temperament. That might sometimes be overlooked in cat shows, but this is really important for all future owners. The Thai are very people-focused. They love having company, so don’t be surprised if your Thai cat follows you everywhere you go. That also makes them pretty great with kids. These cats are curious and reasonably active. They love climbing, so safe, climbable furniture would be a great thing to have. The Thai is also very vocal, so this is not the breed for you if you don’t want a talkative cat.
The Thai is generally considered a healthy breed. These cats usually live 12 - 16 years. Unlike many other cat breeds, the Thai doesn’t seem prone to breed-specific health issues. However, some problems can still bother them. Those issues are;
- Crossed eyes and kinked tails - This is primarily an aesthetic issue and shouldn’t impact the cat’s overall health.
- Amyloidosis - This disease causes the amyloid protein to deposit in the cat’s organs, mainly in the liver and kidneys.
World Cat Finder Team