The Thai cat is a natural pointed cat of Thailand, which prospered in this country for the last seven hundred years. Actually it differs from its cousin the Siamese only by a more compact and sturdier body type. Despite the antiquity of this feline variety it hasn’t enjoyed international recognition until very recently.
Photo: © cattery Magic Cat (facebook.com)
It’s a well-established fact that the Thai people bred pointed cats for at least several centuries. Back then they were called the Wichienmatt and praised as unsurpassed mousers by both commoners and nobility. Travelers from Britain came across the Wichienmatt in the XIX century and immediately decided to bring several of its specimens to their native land.
The Western cat lovers strived to enhance the natural pointed cat of Siam and finally produced the feline, which had more refined and bonier physique and much richer sky-blue eyes. By the 50s of the XX century this stylish, well-shape cat became widely known as the Siamese and fairly quickly it forced the original cat of Thailand out the show ring.
Nonetheless many breeders stood by the old version of the Siamese with more compact, square body. They started to promote the Thai cat as a separate breed in 1950s and by the 1980s there were several clubs in Europe and North America devoted to this ancient cat. In 1990 the World Cat Federation allowed the breed to participate in competitions for championship title and officially renamed it to Thai cat in order to accentuate the difference between the old-style Siamese and the show-type Siamese.
In 2001 vast numbers of authentic Thai cats were brought to the West with the purpose to ensure enough diversity of the breed’s gene pool. Moreover breeders planed to restore the original appearance of this eastern pointed cat since it was still very distinct from other western felines.
Nowadays the Thai cat enjoys moderate popularity in European countries but its position in its homeland seems to be unshakable. This breed is recognized by several cat registries including the International Cat Association.
The Thai cat is endowed with a very appealing personality, which made it a desirable human companion for centuries. This smart, inquisitive and jovial cat stands out for its propensity to develop close ties with its master. It will never cease to entertain you with its skillful acrobatics so it’s infinitely interesting to live with the resourceful and mischievous Thai. Make sure to put away in a secure place everything that you wouldn’t like it to have: this cat is extremely dexterous in manipulating its paws and will effortlessly open unlocked doors and cabinets.
The Thai doesn’t like when some stranger invades its territory so it’s usually aloof and distant with unknown people. It’s accepting of other pets in the house as long as they acknowledge its authority. It will be grateful to have one or several feline companions preferably Thai cats. Another cat may become a pressing necessity if you work full day and can’t dedicate to your pet as much time as you’d prefer. Keep in mind that this breed shares the tendency of the Siamese to be highly talkative and will continually converse with you in a raspy, loud voice.
On the whole, the Thai welcomes any type of attention from its master so this clever cat is highly responsive to training. It will tirelessly retrieve a small ball for you for several hours on end or can be taught to walk on a leash with minimal efforts. This gregarious and cheerful cat can’t stand being alone for long periods of time and won’t make an agreeable feline friend for a too busy person.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· asthma/bronchial disease;
· congenital heart defects such as aortic stenosis.
The Thai cat is an unpretentious breed as far as it concerns its grooming. Its short, delicate coat requires only weekly combing, which helps to spread skin oils and remove loose hair.
The rest is a standard care, which includes regular nail trimming (usually once in two weeks) and teeth brushing (preferably daily). It’s also essential to examine the cat’s ears periodically and clean them as necessary. Start aforesaid procedures as early as possible and your Thai will not be afraid of them in adulthood.