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 and became the Khaomanee.
Thailand is home to five distinct coat color genes, and, you find cats that have a wild mix of these genes. On a quick walk through a market or a temple will result in
a person seeing cats that are neither Siamese, nor Tonkinese, nor Burmese. Something inbetween.....
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.
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.
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.
Thailand is home to a unique race of cats with very distinctive looks. 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. These beautiful cats 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
The Bangkok Cat
The Bangkok Cat is a cat that has existed in Thailand for thousands of years, and, until recently, was hidden in the ranks of the Burmese, Tonkinese, and Siamese colors. When Nolan Betterly and I first started working together, he sent me a mom and three kittens that led to the discovery of a whole new gene and a whole new Thai cat color. To read more about this discovery, hit the link button!
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.
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, cats that look like nothing you have ever seen before.
In Thailand, the cat westerners call a "Tonkinese" is probably the most common cat. It carries on Siamese gene and one Burmese gene and is somewhere between the two.