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The Thai Cat

| January 3, 2011

The Thai Cat: LesBeauxChats Purcell sealpoint Thai, owned by Rika Meyer.


Thai cats are highly intelligent, social, energetic, sensitive, curious and have excellent communication skills. They make human, feline and canine friends for life and become close companions. They thrive on attention and interaction.

They are self cleaning and do not need any grooming although they love to be brushed.
The Thai are moderately typed pointed shorthair cats and recognized in all pointed colours and colour varieties without white. They have blue eyes, a warm beige body and dark coloured extremities but are not extreme in any way. This is the cat that gives away your age when seeing him takes you on a trip down memory lane. “This is what Siamese used to look like!” older people say when they meet one of these beautiful cats today. “He looks just like the Siamese cat we used to own when I was a child” is a common remark from cat lovers upon meeting a Thai. Because of his ancestry, it is rare but possible to find a Thai with a kink in the tail or a squint, although not accepted for show purposes or breeding. For the same reason it is common to find that the coat colour of the Thai may be darker than the coat of the modern Siamese.
These eye pleasing cats are also known as old fashioned Siamese, traditional Siamese, old style Siamese, old school Siamese, original Siamese, classic or (incorrectly) applehead Siamese. Their
sensitive and affectionate Siamese-like characters encouraged one or two new owners to lovingly nickname the breed unofficially as Thaimese. Renowned for their good health, gentle old style appearance and loving, people orientated character, Thais make excellent pets and show cats. They are very popular in Europe and in North America. With only two breeders in South Africa at the moment, they are rare but becoming more popular by the day.

Thai Cats

First 2 pics from left both LesBeauxChats Purcell, sealpoint neutered male Thai owned by Rika Meyer; 3rd pic from left LesBeauxChats Dubai II, sealpoint Thai male kitten owned by Tracy Winde; 4th pic LesBeauxChats Purcell and his German Shepherd friend Icon owned by Rika Meyer.

Ratings out of 10
Children 8
Other Pets 8
Grooming 9
Affection 9
Playfulness 9
Attention Needed 3
Health 9
Independence 7
Activity Level 8
Vocality 8
The Thai has a long and interesting history. For at least 7 decades the Thai people cherished their pointed cats, called the Wichienmaat. In the nineteenth century British citizens discovered the Wichienmaat in Thailand (then Siam), took them to Britain and named them Siamese. Western breeders developed this natural pointed breed of Siam by setting a standard and by breeding them to become more striking in appearance. They bred cats with much deeper eye colour and an increasingly stylized heads and bodies as well as a paler coat colour and bigger colour contrast between the points and the coat. By the 1980’s moderate type Siamese were no longer competitive on shows. Slimmer, finer boned and more extreme looking Siamese became more popular. Major cat organizations altered their standards and or interpretation thereof to favour the new look Siamese. At the same time the first breed clubs promoting traditional looking Siamese appeared in North America and Europe.
The WCF gave championship status to the breed in 1990 and changed the name to Thaikatzen/ Thai to differentiate between the traditional and the modern show style Siamese. TICA granted Advanced New Breed Status to the Thai in 2009. In South Africa the gene pool is currently developing from old fashioned registered and unregistered Siamese.
Both the traditional looking Thai with his overall softer and gentler contours as well as the the extreme looking modern show Siamese descend from the same historic ancestors. They still share mostly the same character, although their phenotype differ hugely.

Thai Cats

Pics from left LesBeauxChats Qatar sealpoint Thai female kitten owned by Faizal Hassen; LesBeauxChats Abu Dabi neutered male kitten and LesBeauxChats Qatar female kitten both sealpoint Thai kittens owned by Faizal Hassen; LesBeauxChats Qatar sealpoint Thai female kitten owned by Faizal Hassen; from left in front LesBeauxChats Thai litter with 3 sealpoint kittens Abu Dabi, Dubai II, Qatar and and 1 bluepoint kitten LesBeauxChats Oman.

Nothing about the Thai is extreme. The WCF Show Standard of Points requires a medium sized, muscular body, neither sturdy nor too long. The slender, elegant body is balanced on medium length legs with rounded paws. The medium length tail is slightly tapering.
The unique head shape has gently rounded contours. The profile is slightly curved, with a gentle break at eye level. The chin and lower jaw are strong and the muzzle rounded. The ears too are of medium size. They are broad at the base with slightly rounded tips and set wide apart. The intense blue eyes are large and set at a slant, the upper lid is almond shaped and the lower lid is slightly rounded.
The coat is short and glossy, close lying to the body. It has a silky texture and no undercoat.
Any changes of type suggesting hybridization by foreign breeds (for example a woolly undercoat, pronounced cheeks, a definite stop, round eyes) are undesirable and should be considered as severe faults.
The Thai may make some people feel as if they have just met an old friend after many decades. For others from a younger generation, this might be the pointed, shorthaired, blue eyed look that pleases their eyes because of the unique gentle, moderate, under-typed and in-extreme appearance. These old style cats have been around for centuries, imported, exported, renamed, developed, excluded, included and luckily for South Africa, also brought back to the cat world. Long live the Thai.

Copyright & Credit:
Breed Profile
: Thea Lamprecht – WCF SOSH Judge and AICA President –
Photos copyright & courtesy: Thea Lamprecht and Rika Meyer


Category: Feline Resources

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