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Home > Cats > Cat Breeds > Thai Cat (Wichien Maat): Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Thai Cat (Wichien Maat): Pictures, Temperament & Traits

thai cat sitting on the couch

The appearance of Thai cats can be somewhat misleading since they share such striking similarities with their Siamese cousins. But even though they are remarkably similar in appearance and personality, there are still tons of things that distinguish them from one another—like their “apple head” and sturdy body structure.

Breed Overview


10 – 12 inches


8 – 15 pounds


12 – 16 years



Suitable for:

Active families, multi-pet households


Alert, inquisitive, playful, affectionate, vocal

If you’re trying to decide on the cat breed you want, we definitely think the Thai cat should be among those you consider. Let’s find out what makes this remarkable little chatterbox so fantastic and discover what it’s like to own one.

Thai Cat Characteristics

High-energy cat will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy cats require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a cat to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train cats are more willing and skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Cats that are harder to train are usually more stubborn and will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some cat breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every cat will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds' potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some cat breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other animals. More social cats have a tendency to rub up on strangers for scratches, while less social cats shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your cat and expose them to lots of different situations.


Thai Cat

The first thing you’re going to run into when you look for a Thai kitten is location. Because they are a bit rarer than their Siamese cousins, finding one might be a little more challenging.

Authenticity is paramount, especially if you are looking into a rare breed. To check authenticity, you can ensure that the kittens are registered and have appropriate vet records to support these claims.

On top of the initial purchase, you have to consider other things as well. When you bring your cat home, they will need proper kitten bedding, food, toys, and other supplies to get you started–all of which create additional expenses.

Even though these cats are relatively rare, there’s always a chance that you can find one in a local shelter or rescue. Cats in this situation might be purebred or mixed, adult or juvenile, but one thing is for sure–they’re sure to melt your heart.

Most shelters and rescues are nonprofit, but they will need to make up for vetting and other forms of care such as housing, vaccinations, treatments, and various other healthcare or transport expenses.


Temperament & Intelligence of the Thai Cat

Thai cats have a keen intelligence that makes them both interactive and inquisitive. They love being part of the family, and all of the happenings around the house. You might also find that this cat loves to bird-watch out the window

Ultimately, these cats are easy to train and fantastic to live with. They will integrate into just about any home and adapt very well. So, they make excellent candidates for adoption, permitting that is something you’re willing to do. These kitties are highly vocal, just like the Siamese.

You can call them chatty Cathys if you wish, as they are always carrying on about something. Some people really like this aspect, as they feel like their cat is communicating with them through their own language.

However, this is not ideal in some situations. If you live in a very quiet apartment with close neighbors in proximity or work hours where a cat could keep you up, it might not be the best option. However, many people appreciate the overall interactive nature of the Thai cat.

Sometimes these kitties are too smart for their own good. They need constant stimulation, whether it be from self-play toys, methods of exercise, or human interaction.

Because they have a thirst for adventure and knowledge, a bored Thai cat can lead to destructive tendencies, nervousness, and other rambunctious behaviors. We recommend this breed for people who are home often or have other furry companions that they can befriend.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

Thai cats can make excellent additions to families. They would work well with children due to their activity levels. They would keep each other occupied for hours.

However, we recommend that your kids are old enough to understand the respect between a cat and a human.

Even though these cats are incredible, they are highly vocal, making them incompatible in some situations.

It can get quite annoying if you’re not really a big fan of noise or have close neighbors. These cats are just as vocal as you and I, making them talkative even when you prefer silence.

As long as you are totally cool with that, a Thai cat’s temperament and activity levels make them perfectly compatible with almost any lifestyle.

We want to stress that these cats are insanely social creatures. They must have a buddy to hang out with at all times. This is not a single pet that you can keep in isolation. If you and your family are gone most of the day, these cats will get lonely and even depressed.

We understand that everyone has a work schedule, and not all of us can work from home or be retired. As long as you ensure that your Thai cat has some company, they will stay happy, active, and in good spirits.

Thai Cat
Image Credit: liliy2025, Pixabay

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Thai cats can get along exquisitely with other pets. This is especially true if they are raised together. However, Thai cats can be quite frisky and can be very quick to tell another creature that they aren’t in the mood to play.

We would describe the personality of the Thai cat to be sassy and independent. They are incredibly playful and won’t turn down a good romp with another furry friend in the home.

Because of their assertive personalities, we recommend them for other pets who aren’t aggressive in any way. Some dogs or even other cats might perceive that assertiveness as a challenge, which can cause friction.

However, if your Thai cat is raised alongside your other pets, there shouldn’t be much of an issue. This breed has a decently high prey drive and should never be left alone around caged animals or smaller pets.

It is in their nature to hunt, and the females might actually be more prone to this. So, as long as you keep a healthy distance between rodents, reptiles, fish, and other small pets, you should be just fine.


Things to Know When Owning a Thai Cat:

Food & Diet Requirements

Thai cats don’t have any particular dietary restrictions. However, like all felines, they benefit from a protein-rich diet that contains all essential ingredients for optimal health.

If you’re trying to find a proper diet plan for your cat, consider all of the different foods you can offer. You could try commercial foods consisting of wet food, dry kibble, and partially fresh options.

You could also try homemade options like raw or home-cooked cat foods. If you choose to make your own cat food, it’s best to run the recipe by your veterinarian to be sure you are matching all nutrient profiles.

A Thai cat playing with a white mug
Image Credit: Ekaterina Kolomeets, Shutterstock

Exercise 🐈

Thai cats are naturally energetic and always ready to play. These kitties benefit from having interactive and self-play toys in the home.

They also are very eager about scratching surfaces. Having tons of different options will keep your furniture protected and safe. Thai cats also like to climb. Having perches, bridges, or wall posts might be a fun activity to help them stay occupied.

After all, most cats adore being up on counters and other places you’d prefer them not to be. This breed definitely can be a trouble-child, as you can expect.

However, with enough options, they might just leave your belongings alone. You won’t have to coax your Thai cat to play. However, they will need roughly 15 minutes of exercise per day to stay happy and healthy.

Training 🧶

Thai cats are actually incredibly intelligent felines with boisterous personalities. You can easily litter train them as kittens and they will catch on likely in the first few uses.

When it comes to more advanced training, it can depend on the individual cat. Some of them are willing and eager, while others are less interested and more stubborn to your desires or commands.

But don’t let their unwillingness fool you, these cats are more than capable of learning just about anything you would want to teach them. You might be impressed with how quickly your Thai cat picks up on concepts, remaining insanely curious and vigilant.

Grooming ✂️

Because Thai cats have short fur, they do most of the grooming work themselves. These cats are highly tidy as most felines are, continuously bathing themselves.

However, it’s best to acclimate them while they’re young to tolerate baths. You can plan to bathe them every four to six weeks or simply as needed.

Because they can be quite scratchy, you can always find nail covers or give them a nice trim to keep your arms from getting torn up during play.

Suphalak Thai cat
Image by: Nattakorn Suphatheera, Shutterstock

Health and Conditions 🏥

Thai cats are generally pretty healthy. They have favorable lifespans and don’t run into too many health issues in their bloodlines.

However, certain feline issues may plague an individual cat, but there are no breed-specific ailments to speak of. To keep your cat safe and healthy, we recommend starting routine vet care as soon as you bring them home.

During the first year of life, it is imperative to get them to the vet to make sure that they are growing on par and have all of their vaccinations and parasite treatments.

After that, you can schedule them for annual checkups, bringing them in between if anything seems off or their behavior changes.


Male vs. Female

When it comes to personality, your Thai cat will be completely different from another Thai cat simply based on the individual.

However, females tend to be more selective about who they show their affection to. Males are a little bit freer with that sort of thing.

Also, as we mentioned above, females tend to be a little more prey-driven than males. So, while the males might be the real lovers, the females are the breadwinners, in a manner of speaking.

When it comes to physical appearance, females are smaller than their male counterparts with sleeker frames. Males tend to outweigh their opposite by roughly 2 to 5 pounds.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Thai Cat

1. Thai cats are actually older than their Siamese cousins.

Siamese cats are considered an ancient breed, so it might surprise you to learn that the Thai cat is older.

After World War II, the two breeds really started branching off into separate categories. Even though the Thai cat is extremely old, the breed standard wasn’t set until 1990.

2. Thai cats developed naturally without human help.

As their name would imply, these cats originate in Thailand. A breeder did not develop these kitties through a selective process. They just came to be by themselves.

Once they started developing a set appearance, breeders then took the reins and created a breed standard. So even though they came from Thailand, they were redeveloped in Europe and America.

3. Thai cats have a few nicknames.

Thai cats originally had a different name—Wichien Maat. They might also be referred to as old-style Siamese or traditional Siamese cats. You might even see the breed called apple head Siamese, as they have a slightly different facial shape that sets them apart.


Final Thoughts

Even though these cats are not nearly as popular as their Siamese cousins, they still make an excellent choice for any cat lover. They mesh well with most situations unless you prefer not to have such a vocal or attention-seeking kitty in your home.

The vocalization comes very naturally to them, and some people absolutely adore the conversation their Thai cat brings. If you’re looking for a peppy, vigorous cat to share some love in your home, Thai cats definitely fit the bill.

Featured Image Credit: liliy2025, Pixabay

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