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Is the Thai right for you?

The basics:
Though the Thai may look somewhat like a Siamese, this is the breed dedicated to preserving Thailand’s native pointed cat. They lack the Siamese’s extremes, but still possess an inquisitive, affectionate, and social nature, as well as the striking pointed coat. Childlike in their curiosity and devotion, it was an easy decision for breeders to make an effort to preserve this sweet-natured cat.

Immortalized in poetry the Thai, or Wichienmaat, has been cherished by the Thai people for at least 700 years. Imported to Europe in the 19th century, Western breeders sought to standardize the Thai, and to make their appearance more extreme. The breed that resulted from these changes became known as the Siamese. The breeds really diverged in appearance in the 1950s, and by the 1980s, breeders had stepped up to preserve the Thai in its native form.

Appearance / health:
The Thai is a medium to large cat, muscular, but long and lithe. The legs are medium length with moderate boning and medium sized, oval feet. The tail is long and tapering. Overall, the cat has a very balanced, moderate appearance, neither thin nor overly muscular. The head shape distinguishes it from other foreign-type breeds. It’s described as being a modified wedge with a long, flat forehead and rounded contours. The cheekbones curve inward where the muzzle begins. The muzzle is distinctly wedge-shaped, slightly long and tapering. The nose is nearly straight with a very slight slope between the eyes to just below the eyes. The nose may be straight, or slightly convex. The ears are medium in sized, with a large base and oval tips, and may be lightly furred. The almond-shaped eyes are medium-large and come in brilliant shades of blue.

The Thai is very short-coated with minimal undercoat. The fur lies smooth to the body, and has a very silky texture. The Thai is a pointed cat, with a body that is usually white to off-white. Points are present on the face, ears, feet, and tail. Points may occur in all possible point colors, and may be solid, tabby, or tortoiseshell.

Behavior / temperament:
The Thai is a very social, affectionate, and people-loving cat. They’ll greet you at the door when you get home, and they’ll follow you about the house for the rest of the evening. Inquisitive and intelligent, they like to get involved in what you’re doing. They’re described as having a bit of a sense of humor, which means you probably should too! Like the Siamese, the Thai has the gift of gab. Though not necessarily loud, these cats are chatty! They’ll particularly enjoy if you talk back.

This is also an active cat, and their curiosity will lead them to all corners of your house. They enjoy finding a high perch, and to experiment with their ability to teeter on unstable surfaces. The Thai may not be for you if you’re in the habit of collecting small, breakable things that you like to display!

While the Thai’s coat is easy to maintain, this is a cat with high emotional needs, and you shouldn’t choose one if you don’t have the time to give. They crave a close friendship with their people, and don’t like to be left alone for long periods of time. The love you give your Thai will always be returned, and if you’re looking for a steadfast friend, you’ll find it in the Thai.

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