The Lilac is a very rare cat that occurs only very occasionally. It requires
both parents to carry the chocolate gene and the blue gene. For this cat
to come into existence, four recessive genes must come together and
the likelihood of this is very slim. But, they do exist and are a stunning
addition to the Thai cat palette of colors
The Khoamanee is a really unusual cat. It is white owing to the fact
it carries the dominant white gene. It can be gold eyed, blue eyed, or
have one eye of each color. It is remarkably similar to the long haired
white Angora from Ankara, Turkey. Our current thinking is that the
white Angora was brought to Thailand with the Muslim traders who
established themselves as traders in Thailand hundreds of years
ago. This has not been established for certain, but, it is unlikely
that this unusual genetic trait would pop up in two spots on the earth
at the same time. A more likely explanation is that the traders from
the west brought the white cat with them, it bred with the short
hair cats indigenous to Thailand, and became.... the Khaomanee.
Thailand is home to a unique race of cats with distinctive looks and personalities. In Thailand, it is one breed, that comes in different colors. Depending on their color, they are called by different names, Wichienmaat (Siamese), Thong Daeng (Burmese ), Suphalak, or Korat, etc. These names simply indicate the color of the cat.
The phenomenal Thai cat comes in a kaleidoscope of color, black, brown, pointed, tan, tortoise shell, white, and everything in between. Their eyes can be yellow, green, or blue. Though they come in a rainbow of colors beautiful colors, appearance is not what separates them from other cats. It is in fact their people oriented personality that makes them unique in the cat world. Their the dog like disposition has turned more than one cat hater into a cat lover.
Truly, the hallmark of these cats is their extraordinary personality. They are best described as COGS, dog like cats. They are a dog minus the walk. Indeed, they go for walks, ride in the car, play fetch, will take the elevator to go with you to collect the mail, and are hopelessly obsessed with their owner. In this way, they are most unlike the aloof European cat. Anyone who has had a cat of Thai descent will tell you, if you want a companion, get one of these cats. They provide the best pets services around.
In the west, these different "colors" have become different "breeds". Western breeds that originate from
Thai cats include the Siamese, Burmese, Tonkinese, Havana Brown, Korat, Balinese, Havanese, Burmilla, to name a few.
These cats have been around for a long time. In Thailand, the breed has existed for at least 1000 years, and the are still going strong.
At the Thai Cat Center, located near Washington, DC, we study and breed the cats of Thailand. We study cats in Thailand, cats imported from Thailand, and the cats of Thai origin. If you are interested in learning about the Thai cat, you have found the right site.
In the west, the Tonkinese breed was created by cross breeding American Siamese and American Burmese cats and represent an intermediary between the two breeds. In Thailand, this in-between color is common and naturally occurring and is also known as a Thong Daeng. They are somewhere between the dark brown Thong Daeng and the lighter Wichienmaat. This is perhaps the most common Thai cat color and the color you are most likely to encounter on the streets of Thailand.
The tortoise shell patten is a naturally occurring color in the
Thai cat. They come in a variety of shades, some darker
and some lighter, they have points, and can have eyes that
range from blue to aqua to gold. The Tortie is perhaps one
of the most exotic looking of the color varieties, no two cats
have the same appearance. In addition, there are cats that
display a wild collection of traits, such as spots and points
and blue eyes or tabby patterns with points. These cats do
not fit into the western system of cat classification, but, they
are no less Thai or beautiful.
In Thailand, the color we associate with sable Burmese are known as Thong Daeng. These cats are rich brown, and can have blue, green, or yellow eyes. The coat color ranges from milk chocolate to the near black of dark chocolate. The rich colors always act as a perfect frame for the lighter eyes.
In Thailand, the Thai cats with points and blue eyes are known as Wichienmaat. They can have brown, blue or tortie points, and have eyes that range from chalky blue, to sky blue, to almost violet.
The Korat is a blue grey cat and is a rather rare cat in Thailand. Thai cats usually pick their mates, and, a pair of recessive genes is required to produce this blue grey cat. Naturally, not many appear in litters. When one sees a Thai Korat for the first time, the depth of the coat color is the first thing that catches the eye. The eyes are usually yellow or green, though both can be found in the streets of Thailand. The Thai Korat has a long muzzle and sleek physique and ultra short coat. Whether yellow or green eyed, the Korat type Thai cat is stunning. Occasionally Lighter kittens can be found in a litter of Korats, and, these are called Thai Lilacs or Platinums.
In Thailand, a black Thai cat is known as a Konja, or in some instances a Ninlarat. These black cats have the characteristic oriental physique and often have gold or emerald green eyes. They have an unusually black coat that is such a saturated color it almost shines. When you see a Konja for the first time, one immediately thinks of a panther! Black as night with eyes that almost glow in the dark. Some call these cats the Thai Bombay, as the Konja shares a similar coat and eye color.
Thai Cat Colors
A good place to start would be with seeing the kaleidoscope of colors you find in the temples, markets, and homes in Thailand. Some will remind you of their descendants living in the west, and some will be entirely surprising something new.
The Suphalak is very rare in Thailand, perhaps the most rare of the Thai cat colors. The hallmark of this color is a rich brown coat, just as dark on its body as on its paws, nose, and tail. This cat is as brown as the Konja is black and Korat is grey. In the Thai sun, the coat develops an almost red cast, though in less severe light, the coat remains a more solid brown. The cat is similar in color western Havana breed, but, retains an oriental physique.