Thai Cats & Thai Cat Breeders
Thai is a newly classified but old cat breed, related to but distinct from the modern Western Siamese cat. This natural breed, descended from the landrace of cats of Thailand, has also been variously called Old-style, Traditional and Classic Siamese.
Cats that were imported from Siam to Western countries in the 19th and early 20th century were broader in features than the modern Western Siamese. While the Thai, known in Thailand as the wichien-maat, has common ancestry with the Western Siamese, generations of separate breeding of these two cats have spearheaded the development of two distinct breeds. The International Cat Association (TICA), approved the look of the Old-style Siamese to be shown as Thai in the Preliminary New Breed category, February 17, 2007. This approval was for a cat that represents the early 20th-century Siamese and can still be found in Thailand catteries, and was shown beginning in 1993 in Europe. Around the world, registered Siamese and imported wichien-maat cats have played a pivotal role in the development of the Thai cat. Breeders internationally banded together to save the old-style look and promote the authentic cat, whose roots can be traced directly to Thailand (formerly called Siam). As of May 1, 2010, the Thai has Championship status in TICA, enabling it to compete along with the other breeds of pedigreed cats.