The Thai is a relatively newly recognized breed of cat, similar to but distinct from the modern Siamese cat, who has been around for hundreds of years. The Thai, known in Thailand as the Wichien-Maat, is a natural pointed cat. The breed was imported from Thailand (then Siam) in the 19th and 20th centuries and recognized in the first part of the 21st century.
The Thai is extremely similar to their Siamese relatives in terms of personality. These cats are highly social and interactive. They make excellent pets for people who have time to shower them with love and attention. The breed is very people-oriented and thrives in human company. They tend to bond strongly with their human companions and may seem “high maintenance.” They can become lonely and withdrawn if left on their own for long periods, so consider two if your house will be empty for long stretches. Despite their people-centric nature, Thai are very active, playful, and curious cats who are excellent at amusing themselves, though they’d prefer a game of fetch with their favorite human to playing on their own.
Siamese cats are simply a streamlined, modern version of the ancient Thai cat. As such, the resemblance is strong, though Siamese cats have a narrower range of look due to their selective breeding. Thai are small, slender, medium-long cats. Their most distinctive physical trait is their unique head shape. The forehead is long and flat and the head is fairly wide with rounded sides. The cheeks are round and the muzzle is wedge shaped and tapers toward the nose. The ears are broad and sit high on the head.
Thai cats are shorthaired, and available in tabby, tortie, and torbie points of any color.