Thai Cat or Wichian Mat, RTGS: Wichianmat, meaning ‘diamond’ is a modified but older cat breed, related to but distinct from the Western, modern-style Siamese cat.
This natural breed is descended from cats in Thailand, and, among different groups of breeders at different times and places, is also called old-style Siamese, traditional Siamese, and classic Siamese;
within maat; and Applehead, a nickname that originated in the 1950s. According to The International Cat Association: “The Thai is a breed dedicated to preserving the original pointed cat of Thailand as close as possible to its original form.”
Compared to the modern-style, more extreme-specific Siamese, the traditional Thai breed has a more moderate appearance.
- Origin: Thailand
- Size: Medium
- Lifespan: 12 – 18 years
- Height: 21″- 23″
- Weight: 3.5 – 5.5kg
- Colors: Lilac or Blue Point
Thai Old-style Siamese cats – sometimes referred to simply as Thai cats – are charming companions with beautiful features and playful, inquisitive personalities.
Like their Western Siamese cousins, these cats love everyone, including children, other cats, and cat-friendly dogs. In fact, they are so affectionate and social, they hate spending time on their own.
Intelligent and inquisitive, Thai cats are capable of learning tricks, especially when rewards are offered. Whether you want your cat to come when you say its name or use other signals, or if you want to enjoy exciting games of fetch, a Thai cat will be happy.
If you bring a Thai cat into your family, you want to do everything you can to prevent boredom. These cats need companionship and acceptable activities, or they will find their own fun, reach into cupboards, open drawers and examine their contents, and perhaps learn how to open doors and turn on faucets.
Thanks to their determined personalities, Thai cats cannot learn! Channel their behavior into puzzle toys and give them another cat for a friend, and you’ll find that life is a little less colorful.
Despite a mischievous behavior that is sure to put a smile on your face even when your cat splashes in your bath or tries to help you clean up after dinner, the Thai Old Style Siamese is capable of deep relaxation.
When you settle down for a movie or snuggle up in bed at night, they love snuggling, snuggling the entire time.
Talkative and genuinely loving, with big personalities that are hard to resist, Thai cats make wonderful pets for families to share time and attention with.
|Apartment Living: 3||Potential for Weight Gain: 1|
|General Health: 3||Intelligence: 4|
|Child Friendly: 2||Tendency to run away: 3|
|Amount of Shedding: 2||Playfulness: 5|
|Energy level: 5||Fur care: 2|
|Dog friendly: 3||Amount of exercise: 4|
Although the Thai cat has a long and illustrious history, it is a relatively new breed. The first documented references to this breed come from 1330, in the literary work “Poem about cats”. The cats were called the “Royal Cat of Siam” (now Thailand).
At that time, they were considered sacred and believed to bring happiness. That is why they were located only in Buddhist monasteries, royal palaces, and notable estates. Until now, in Thailand, these cats are called Within-mat, menstrual diamonds.
At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, Siamese King Rama V gave many Thai cats to European rulers during his diplomatic tours. Their peculiar appearance immediately attracted the great interest of breeders and in Europe already in 1903, the breed standard was set, which was further modified according to breeding purposes.
This breed was named the Siamese cat. The appearance of the cats soon began to differ significantly from the originally imported individuals.
Later, however, pressure began to mount on the original appearance of cats. Breeders began looking for cats similar to the original breed, and in the 1990s the traditional-looking Thai cats were recognized as a separate breed with their own breeding standard.
It is not surprising that Thai cats are often mistaken for Siamese cats, although their breeds share the same origin. Thai animals are often referred to as “old-type Siamese cats”, bearing a superficial resemblance to Siamese, but being slightly more powerful and more rounded.
According to breed standards, the clear difference from the Siamese is important: Thai cats resemble their Southeast Asian ancestors and the traditional Siamese type with their peaceful nature and docile build.
The Thai is an oriental type of shorthair. He has an athletic build, but unlike the Siamese, he is not overly thin. Their bodies are well-proportioned with a muscular necks, giving them a solid appearance. The Thai head shape is a distinctive feature, with a long, flat forehead, rounded skull, and well-proportioned muzzle.
The chin and tip of the nose are in a straight line and the ears are broad and high on the head. Ears and head shape are the main characteristics that distinguish the breed from the Siamese. The coat of Thai cats is adapted to the climate of their South-East Asian origin. There is only a small amount of undercoat, and the coat itself is soft and silky. The hair is short but does not lie flat against the skin.
Thai cats share the distinctive point coloration of Siamese. Pointed cats have darker colors on the ears, face, tail, and tips of the legs, while the rest of the body is lighter in color. This color is one of the most important distinguishing factors for the breed.
The Thai cat has many endearing qualities that have endeared the Siamese to many pet owners. Selective breeding appears to focus more on changes in composition and new standard colors and patterns.
These are vocal and energetic just like the Siamese. They are each a bit intelligent and quirky too. So, the same instructions about keeping your pet entertained apply here as well.
This can be talkative, though less demanding or strict than other exotic cat breeds. Thai cats will bond strongly with their families.
They are very subjective, preferring to be involved in everything their humans do, in a ‘helpful’ or at least, supervisory way. Don’t be surprised if you have to regularly fish your Thai cat out of your bath or your coffee out of his paws.
Thai cats are also intelligent, clever, and talkative, often telling their owners how they feel. Unlike many cats, Thai cats are particularly fond of travel, although their preference is to lose in the car, which of course is not safe.
Thai cats are generally robust and healthy, although they occasionally suffer from heart disease, gangliosidosis, hyperesthesia syndrome, psychogenic alopecia, and respiratory infections.
Old-style Siamese cats are less tolerant of anesthesia drugs than other breeds, a trait shared with Western Siamese.
Some individuals are born with crossed eyes, which usually do not cause problems other than peripheral vision problems. Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) can affect vision, especially as cats age.
Thai cats are active and intelligent, so they need constant stimulation and space to explore. They are not suitable for keeping indoors but can be kept in apartments if they have access to a protected balcony or terrace.
Sociable Thais pine if kept on their own, but they form strong bonds with other cats and humans. These cats love to include their human companions in their daily lives, through games, cuddles, and long, engaging ‘conversations’! The best conditions for a Thai cat are those where their human partner can provide them with lots of attention, company, and distractions, so that life doesn’t become dull.
Due to inbreeding in the early history of the Siamese, Thai cats can develop some genetic diseases and defects. These may include recessive genes that cause the tail to develop, as well as hydrocephalus. Thai kittens with hydrocephalus have a very short life expectancy – a few days after birth. There are no clues yet as to the cause of this genetic defect, but it is unpleasant. This means that even if your cat does not suffer from a specific malformation or genetic disease, it can pass it on to its offspring. If both parents of a kitten carry the same recessive gene, their kittens will suffer from that particular genetic defect.
Thai cats can suffer from retinal degeneration, where the retina is slowly destroyed by metabolic disturbances in the surrounding tissue. Eye problems appear in the second year of life, causing sudden night blindness in the first case. Partial albinism, which is caused by a disturbance of melanin (pigment) metabolism, is the most likely reason why Thais squint more frequently, although as a rule, these cats do not cause any permanent problems.
Endocardial fibroelastosis that occurs in Thai cats is characterized by the thickening of the inner heart wall. This can also overlap the heart valves and often leads to heart failure. As with frequently occurring ductus arteriosus, the actual cause is not yet known. Persistent ductus arteriosus is a lack of closure of the short-circuit connection between the aorta and the pulmonary stem in newborn kittens that causes weakness or cardiac failure.
Thai and Siamese cats are also susceptible to various cancers, congenital blood disorders, and metabolic disorders. Examples include excessive storage of non-degraded metabolic products such as amino acids or polysaccharides. Accumulation of gangliosides in the brain leads to progressive brain damage and central nervous system damage at an early age in affected animals.
However, just because Siamese suffer from certain genetic diseases does not mean that your Thai will too. Genetic tests are being developed that can detect the disease early. Removing affected animals from the gene pool will also help prevent genetic defects from being passed on to future generations of cats.
Best Food For
- Royal Canin Fit 32 Adult Cat Dry Food
- Petcrux Lavender & Lemon Flavored Smart Clumping Cat Litter
- Parapet Real Chicken & Chicken Liver in Gravy Cat Wet Food
- Applaws Chicken Breast with Liver in Tasty Jelly Pouch Cat Wet Food
A Thai street cat’s diet usually consists of whatever they can find – scraps from the trash, birds, and rodents, handouts from kind strangers, etc. If you are leaving food for a street cat, they will benefit from the same commercially formulated diet as domestic cats.
Give your cat a quick once-over with a soft brush or a quick rub with your fingertips a few times a week to remove dead hair that might otherwise get on your clothes and furniture. You can add shine to your cat’s coat by following with a quick polish using a soft silk scarf or chamois.
Since Thai cats are prone to periodontal disease, consider teaching them how to brush their teeth using cat-approved flavored cat toothpaste.
Thai cats are extremely active, and without regular nail trimming, their families find them swinging from drapes, clinging to beds, and tearing apart various objects that attract their attention. Trimming a cat’s toenails isn’t difficult, but it’s a routine that’s best started at an early age.
As an intelligent breed, Thai cats need to be mentally disturbed. Using positive reinforcement is a great way to teach your cat new tricks, and kids can get involved too. You can train your cat to walk on a leash and harness, come when called, high-five, roll over, and more.
You don’t need to encourage your Thai cat to play! These cats love to zoom up and down their cat tree, and they really enjoy stretching on the scratching post.
Leaping into windows and hiding while waiting for another cat to pass by – and then jumping into a surprise attack – are two other pastimes they enjoy. With lots of interaction and plenty of toys, you can satisfy your cat’s need to expend energy and be entertained by their antics in the process.
Thai Old Style Siamese cats can easily learn how to walk on leashes; If you want to help your feline friend enjoy the outdoors safely, walking is another way to stay active while having fun.
Adopting a Thai cat
Are you interested in adopting a Thai cat, Thai cat mix, or any pet? Check out our shelter partners to find your new best friend.
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See More Cat Breeds For Further Research
Thai Cat Price In India
The price of a Thai cat in India varies depending on where you buy it, but a Siamese cat in India usually costs around Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 40,000, and the Siamese cat price in Kerala, Kolkata, Chennai, and Delhi is also similar.
Is Thai cat and Siamese the same?
Thai cats have broad, apple-shaped heads, not sharply pointed or wedge-shaped like the modern Siamese. Thai cats also have shorter bodies than modern Siamese, while still being taller than Western domestic cats. They have large ears like modern Siamese but are stockier and more muscular.
Are Thai cats friendly?
Affectionate and loyal, these cats enjoy the company of their humans and lots of social interaction. Some even call Thai cats “Velcro cats” because they are always close to their families. They are also known as quite a chatterbox.
Are Thai cats rare?
This breed of Thai cat is now considered a lucky cat in modern Thailand. They have grown in popularity among the middle and upper classes and people see them as a rare breed. Thai Siamese cats are truly different and unique compared to Western inbred Siamese cats.
Why are Siamese cats so special?
Siamese cats are known for their attractive features and loving nature. If you are looking for a constant companion, Siamese may be the perfect match for you. These fashionable cats love to play and spend time with their families, and they always have something to say.