Portraits of Popular Breeds at Home and Abroad: Thai Cat

Cats of this breed are very intelligent, communicative and mainly sociable. They create a really strong bond with people. Besides their nice nature, they are also attractive thanks to their exotic and noble appearance.

Thai Cats were recognized as a breed only short time ago, but it has a long and famous history. It has common ancestors with Siamese cats which come from Siam, today’s Thailand. Formerly, these cats were called royal cats from Siam. 
The first mentions about them come from the oldest book about a cat – Tamra Maew (A Cat Poem).

These cats were considered holy and people believed they bring luck. That’s why they only kept them in Buddhist monasteries and royal palaces. They have an important position in Thailand even today as their presence during the last coronation ceremony in 2018 suggests. They are called “moon diamonds” or “diamond gold” in Thailand. 

Royal cats from Siam are one of the naturally present ancient cat breeds living in Thailand (a natural cat breed is always a cat breed that emerged itself and developed naturally). These cats look exotic, graceful and noble. So, it’s not surprising that they raised interest of breeders as soon as they got into Europe. They started to be called Siamese cats to make it simple. However, their appearance has gradually started to differ from the original royal cats from Siam. That’s why two separate breeds emerged – Siamese and Thai Cats. While the Thai remain similar to the royal cats of Siam, the Siamese are further modernized. Therefore, the Thai are sometimes called the Siamese cats of the original type or the traditional Siamese. 

Compared to the Siamese, the Thai look more subtle and natural with balance proportions. Its hair is short and fine, with slight undercoat. It is shiny and clings to body. The so-called Himalayan colours which means patterns (darker contrastive colours) on the mask, ears, legs and tail are typical for them. “The Thai are unusual not only due to their appearance but also due to their nature. When someone says a cat, people usually imagine reluctance, independence and lurking around the corner and when they say a dog, we imagine a creature that desires company and love. The Thai are an exception. Not only they need people’s attention, they will do anything to win your love and give it back to you even more. They are dependent on their owner and friendly, intelligent and communicative,” says Jana Kadlecová, a Thai Cat breeder, who started her breeding with a cat imported directly from Thailand. 

According to her, the individuals of this breed can get to your heart with their irresistible charm, elegance and devoted behaviour. Jana Kadlecová explains: “The Thai has also something extra besides its beauty and elegance – it’s endearment, communicativeness and sociable nature. They even like human company so much that they often prefer it to other cat’s company”. And she adds: “Therefore I sometimes liken their character to that of dogs. They are very cuddly and playful, but they do not force people to pay attention to them as other oriental breeds do. They can be easily taught some tricks such as fetching.”

The breeder summarizes the characteristics of the breed in these words: “Everyone knows pets become family members. It applies to the Thai in more than 100 %. They love their master and are great babysitters for kids. The welcome their masters by gentle, casual kissing when they come home. They want to know everything and be everywhere. However, it’s important to note that they do not obtrude. They love movement and games, mainly those where they can use their acrobatic talent. Thanks to their nature, they get on well with other pets. And what’s important, the Thai are very healthy, they don’t tend to suffer from diseases and live long (15–20 years).

As you can see, the Thai are special with their appearance as well as their nature and they can be perfect companions. And it’s true for them more than for other breeds, that the choice of a breeding farm (the blood line of the cat) is very important when picking a new family member. In the Czech Republic, the history of breeding them is not so long, but there are some breeding farms. So, the interest in the Thai will definitely further increase.

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