Thai Temple Cats 

The Thai Cat Center

In Thailand, most temples offer refuge to cats. Not all temples, but most temples. Monks feed and care for the cats and cats do what cats do, which is have kittens. So, if you visit the Temples of Thailand, you are going to see some cats! 


As Thailand is home to five distinct coat color mutations(Siamese, Burmese, Blue, Chocolate, and Bankok) you will see cats of every coat color lurking around the temples and each litter of kittens will likely contain a variety of coat colors. 


The Monks feed the cats, or their helpers feed the cats, and how much food the cat would depend on the Temple you are visiting. If the Temple or a particular monk is popular, there will be more food for the cats, and they will probably be healthier. If the temple is struggling, the cats may live on more basic faire. 


As I said, Thai Temples offer refuge for cats that have no home. I would say they are more like animal rescue centers you might find in the West. The monks do the best job they can to provide for the cats. But, they do not medically intervene with the cats. The ones that make it to adulthood, have to be pretty tough physically. Firstly, Thailand is a rough environment. In the shade of a Temple or not, its hot. And, being tropical, diseases can live year round. There is no dormant season. So, a lot of kittens succumb to infectious disease. The ones that live, are strong. They have to be. 


As a western breeder, its a bit rough to see. Western breeders go to great lengths to keep kittens alive. We treat the mothers, the kittens with antibiotics, vaccinate all the time. We try to save every kitten we have. However, when you see the survival of the fittest in the Temples of Thailand, it makes you wonder if we should be intervening as much as we do. The Thai cats that make it to adulthood are healthy. The same can not be said for their western counterparts. 


Im not saying I would be able to not intervene with a kitten, probably not, but, seeing the cats in one of their native environments, and how they breed and live, does raise some questions about how we do things in the west.