Different from the more modern Siamese we recognise today in that the ‘Thai,’ which was named by a German breeder in the 1990s, reflects the structure and appearance of the early Wichienmaat Siamese that originated from Siam, what is now Thailand. When this unique pointed cat was first discovered and eventually imported around the world, breeders and enthusiasts wanted to create a more extreme looking cat, which became the common show Siamese with its narrower features. It was in the early 20th century that breeders were inspired to re-visit the original cat of Siam and breed back its broader features. To do this they needed to import cats from Thailand to widen and strengthen the gene pool. In 2007, the Thai was registered by the International Cat Association under preliminary new breed status.
Unlike the western show Siamese, the Thai boasts broader features and a distinctive pointed coat. It is also characterised by a slightly more sturdy build, long, muscular legs, a small wedge-shaped head, striking blue eyes and a plush, close-lying coat that can be maintained with regular grooming. The coat is typically darker on the tail, feet, ears and face. Pointing can occur in any colour from tortoiseshell to tabby, although white markings are considered a flaw. The head is uniquely shaped, with a flat forehead that slopes to the nose. The body structure of the Thai is athletic yet robust, and the breed is very capable physically.
A highly social breed that forms strong attachments to its people, the Thai is well suited to domestic living, being compatible with children and other house pets. Described by many as affectionate, playful and intelligent, the Thai thrives when it has a variety of interactive toys and playthings in the home, as well as enjoying plenty of human companionship. The breed is in possession of a loud, deep voice that it communicates with when it wants your attention. If you are looking for a charming, people-orientated cat with an extrovert personality, the Thai is for you! On average, a healthy Thai will weigh in the region of 8-12 pounds depending on gender, with a typical life expectancy of 15-20 years.
Besides potential optical complaints such as cross-eye, the Thai is generally very healthy and long-lived.