Although this breed is very old, in the West it was only recently classified as a distinct breed. It is related to the Siamese cat. Thais have been bred for 700 years or more, and the first records are in Thailand's famous Cat Poem collection Tamra Maew. The breed was known as Wichien-maat in Thailand and was first imported to the west the late 19th century.
The breed was named ‘Siamese’ in the west (Siam being the old name for Thailand), and early breeders aimed to breed a Siamese variety with a more striking appearance than its Siam ancestors. They achieved their goals quickly, developing a cat with much deeper and darker blue eyes than their native counterpoints. By 1950 breeders had developed a Siamese that looked noticeably different to the original Wichien-maat cats from which it had been bred.
Although most breeders were interested in the Siamese, in the '50s a group of breeders preferred the older-looking Wichien-maat. These dedicated breeders set about re-establishing the older look; and this is where the Siamese and Thai breeds diverged.
Originally, the retro-look cats were called ‘Old Style Siamese’ or ‘Traditional Siamese’. In 1990 the World Cat Federation recognized the breed and named it the ‘Thai’. Pointed cats from Thailand were imported and used to increase the gene pool of the breed. In 2009 The International Cat Association granted the breed advanced breed status.
These cats have lots of personality. They are the clowns of the cat world and are very people-orientated. They'll follow their owners around the house, helping out and getting under your feet, in the sweetest way possible. They are very playful breed and will play with you all day if you give them a chance. Thais enjoy high vantage points, including the tops of doors, high shelves, or your shoulder. They are very vocal too, like their Siamese cousins, and will greet you at the door with their quiet chittering and quiet yowling.
Any point color, tabby point, tortie point, or torbie point.
- Status: Common
- Place of Origin: Europe
- Rough date of Origin: 1990s
- Hair length: Shorthair
- Activity Level: High
- Vocalness: High
- Child friendly: Good with children
- Playfullness: Playfull
- Grooming Requirements: Once a week
- Weight: 2.5 - 5.5kg
- Size: Medium
- House Cat or Outdoor Cat: Outdoor Cat
- Pet Compatibility:
- Social Needs: