|Colors:||Colorpoint pattern in a range of different colors|
|Suitable for:||Families looking for a cat resembling the traditional Siamese shape|
|Temperament:||Playful, affectionate, loyal, and vocal|
Perhaps you love the colorpoint pattern of the Siamese breed but would prefer a cat with more rounded edges. You need to meet the Thai cat! This breed is really the forefather of the modern Siamese and comes with a colorpointed coat, striking blue eyes, and a vocal nature. But instead of the svelte and angular body shape associated with modern Siamese cats, the Thai cat has a rounded body and distinctive apple-shaped head that gives this breed its nickname: the Applehead.
Many cat breeders now focus on the Thai cat as a popular alternative to the modern Siamese, and if you truly have a hankering for a traditional Thai cat breed that is still bred and loved in Thailand itself, then the Thai cat is the breed for you.
In terms of character, they’re incredibly intelligent and vocal and love to spend time hanging out with their families. They might tap you with their paw to get your attention, or be waiting by the door to give you an affectionate greeting when you come home from work after a long day.
Let’s find out everything you need to know about this graceful and ancient breed.
Thai Cat Characteristics
Thai Cat Kittens – Before Bringing One Home
Thai cat kittens are born snowy white, and you may find yourself being charmed by them before you’ve even made up your mind whether you should bring one home! Signing up for a new kitten is a long commitment. Besides the initial cost of your new kitten, you’ll have to factor in daily expenses for food, litter, and toys, as well as occasional trips to the vet.
Thai cats are quite demanding of your time. If they want something, they will come and find you and not let up until you get them whatever it is that they’re after. So, if you’re looking for a chilled-out and easy-to-care-for cat breed, they may not be the right choice for you.
On the flip side, if you’d love a cat that actively seeks out your company, chats to you, and generally wants all the details about your daily activity, then a Thai cat might just be the perfect companion.
This breed is incredibly loving and loyal. They will adore their entire families but sometimes form stronger bonds with one particular person. This loyalty does mean that they can be territorial. Some Thai cats will not enjoy sharing their home with another cat.
3 Little-Known Facts About the Thai Cat
1. The Thai breed is the original Siamese cat
While most of us are familiar with the appearance of the Siamese breed, this is a result of generations of selective breeding carried out since the 1950s. Breeding to focus on exaggerating the angular features of the more modern Siamese cat also led to them developing certain health issues, including kidney problems, cardiovascular issues, and facial defects.
Sometimes the Thai breed is called the Applehead, originally a derogatory term referencing their round heads, but now used as a general, inoffensive description of this important branch of Siamese heritage. Sometimes, you may also see the Thai being called an Old-Style Siamese.
2. In Thailand, they’re known as the Wichienmaat
In their native Thailand, the Thai cat is called the Wichienmaat. In Thai, this means “moon diamond.” They’ve been adored by humans there for at least 700 years. Poems from around that time reference people breeding Thai cats in the Kingdom of Ayudhia. In the 19th century, the breed was discovered by the British, who were captivated by the cat’s stunning blue eyes and colorpointed coat.
Thai cats come from a population of cats with a genetic makeup unique to this breed. In 1990, the World Cat Federation recognized the Thai breed as separate from the more extreme “show-style” Siamese cats that were increasingly popular but visually different from their ancestors.
By 2001, breeders in the U.S.A. had started to import Thai cats from Thailand to help preserve the unique genetic makeup of this breed. By 2007, the International Cat Association (TICA) granted preliminary new breed status to the Thai. In 2009, they were accepted as an advanced new breed, meaning that breeders in both Europe and the U.S.A. can work together to show their cats under one overarching breed standard.
3. All Thai cats are color pointed
A distinct characteristic of the Thai breed is that all cats have a colorpointed coat. Their base color should be a pale off-white, and their points can be almost any color in the solid, tabby, or tortie categories.
The colorpointed pattern is due to the Himalayan gene, which causes temperature-sensitive albinism. On areas of the cat’s coat where the body temperature is higher, their coat will be pale, as the pigments don’t develop. On cooler areas, or points, like the head, ears, tail, and legs, the true color of the cat’s coat will be visible. All Thai kittens are born white, and their coat color will become visible as they adjust to the temperature while they grow.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Thai cat
Thai cats are intelligent, affectionate, playful, and vocal. If you’re familiar with the personality of the Siamese breed, then know that Thai cats have a similar character. They’re affectionate and loyal, so they enjoy living in a home where they’ll have company for most of the day. Leaving a Thai cat home alone all day can make them stressed and anxious.
Thai cats need a great deal of love and interaction from their owners, more so than the average cat. So, if you’re looking for a low-maintenance breed, you may find these cats too demanding. They love to be close to their owners and will talk to you throughout the day. They’re not overly loud, but they will definitely let you know if they need something.
Are These Cats Good for Families?
Thai cats can make a great addition to your family. They love attention, so it may be useful to have a few people around to help keep them entertained! Thai cats have a loyal streak, so even if you have a large family, you may find that while they enjoy the company of everyone, they bond particularly strongly to one family member. They won’t have any problems letting everyone know that their food bowl is empty or that they need someone to play with them, though!
Their curious and playful nature means they can be a great choice of breed for children to play and interact with, as long as the kids have been taught how to appropriately interact with cats. Whether your kids want to play games with your cat or teach them basic tricks, a Thai cat will be up for the challenge!
Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?
These playful cats love companionship, although in true contrary cat style, they can be territorial! This means you may have problems introducing a new cat into a household with an existing Thai cat. Bringing a Thai kitten into a house where there’s already another cat is usually a little easier. However, this will all depend on the personality, sex, and age of each cat.
When adding a new cat to your family, always take time to introduce them slowly to other pets, and make sure each cat has their own area of the house that they can retreat to and that they don’t have to compete with each other for resources like food and the litter tray.
Thai cats can adapt well to living with a dog, especially since this means they’ll always have company! Again, introduce them slowly, keep initial meetings short, and make sure both animals have their own areas of the house where they can relax on their own if they want to. Thai cats love climbing, so you may find that they decide to hang out on bookshelves or their cat condo when they need a break.
Things to Know When Owning a Thai Cat
Bringing any new pet into your household is a decision that shouldn’t be rushed, and perhaps this is even truer with a Thai cat. In terms of the amount of attention that they need, they’re definitely above average compared to other cat breeds. Besides ensuring that you can afford their food and medical bills, be sure that you can dedicate enough time to these sociable cats. Before you decide on anything, here’s more information to help you out.
Food & Diet Requirements
Thai cats are active and energetic, so selecting a good-quality cat food with a high percentage of protein will help your cat build lean and healthy muscle while still retaining the athletic body that the breed is known for.
Always choose a food that’s formulated for your individual cat’s age and activity levels. An active kitten will require a different blend of calories and nutrients than an older indoor cat. If you’re unsure, head over to our cat food reviews or ask your veterinarian for advice.
Thai cats are energetic and active and love to play. Whether your cat lives indoors or is allowed outside, you’ll want to make sure that you provide plenty of opportunities for them to play and exercise. Thai cats love climbing, so if you don’t provide items for them to climb on, you may find them exploring your shelves, wardrobes, and the top of the refrigerator!
Keeping a variety of toys on rotation will also keep your Thai cat engaged and interested. Kicker toys, remote-controlled toys, and catnip-filled soft toys all go over well with a Thai cat!
As an intelligent breed, Thai cats need to feel mentally challenged. Using positive reinforcement is a great way to teach your cat new tricks, and even children can get involved. You can train your cat to walk on a leash and harness, come when called, high-five, roll over, and more.
Thanks to their heritage, the Thai cat has a soft and short coat designed for living in a tropical climate. Their undercoats are thin. You’ll only need to give them a quick weekly brush to keep them in top condition.
Health and Conditions
The Thai cat breed can suffer from a few different health conditions, which we’ve summarized below. Any reputable breeder will be able to talk you through these, as well as provide information about any health or genetic tests that they carry out on their cats.
Male vs. Female
If you’re convinced that the Thai cat is the perfect breed for you, then perhaps you’re already researching breeders and talking to your family about your new addition. You might have a preference for a male or female kitten, but it’s always recommended to choose your cat based on their personality first and their sex second.
Another factor to consider is that there aren’t many breeders actively specializing in Thai cats. So, you may need to wait for a litter of kittens to become available, and place your name on a waiting list before they’re even born. That means you may not get a choice of what sex your kitten will be.
The Thai cat breed is an ancient cat that has long been revered in their native Thailand. While they may be the forefathers of the more modern Siamese breed, in appearance, they look quite different. This breed is also known as the Applehead or Old-Style Siamese.
Thai cats are smart, sociable, vocal, and playful. There will never be a dull moment in the home of a Thai cat. Whether they’re reminding you that they would like some food (right now) or seeing if they can reach the top of your highest bookcase, these cats will make you laugh.
They’re also incredibly affectionate and loyal. They crave the attention of their human family, so they don’t cope well in a house where they’re left to their own devices for much of the day. If you think that you have the time and energy to devote to a Thai cat, they will pay you back one hundredfold. These cats are much rarer than their more modern Siamese cousins, so you may need to be prepared to wait for your new kitten.
If you’re the owner of a Thai cat, we’d love to hear more about them, so get in touch using our comments section!
Featured Image Credit: liliy2025, Pixabay
- 1 Thai Cat Characteristics
- 2 Thai Cat Kittens – Before Bringing One Home
- 3 3 Little-Known Facts About the Thai Cat
- 4 Temperament & Intelligence of the Thai cat
- 5 Things to Know When Owning a Thai Cat
- 6 Final Thoughts