are siamese cats from thailand

Siamese, popular short-haired breed of domestic cat originally from Thailand, a country whose official name was Siam until 1939. The Siamese is a lithe long-bodied cat with slim legs and a long slim tail. It has a long wedge-shaped head and blue eyes.

Temperament edit “Meezer” of a Siamese cat

Siamese cats are known for their social nature and are typically very intelligent and affectionate. Many people who love interacting with others are referred to as “extroverts” at times. Often they bond strongly with a single person. [6] Myrna Milani says that Siamese cats are less likely to hunt and more likely to be diurnal than other cats. They also tend to stay close to their owners. [16].

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History edit

The first recorded mention and illustration of the Wichienmaat (Siamese cat) is found in an ancient manuscript collection known as the Tamra Maew (The Cat-Book Poems), which is believed to have come from the Ayutthaya Kingdom (1351 to 1767 AD). The National Library of Thailand currently houses more than a dozen of them, while the British Library and National Library of Australia currently house others that have resurfaced outside of Thailand. The Tamra Maew describes not only the traditional Siamese cat but also other heritage cats found in Thailand, such as the Konja or Korn Ja (Black cat) and the Korat cat (Malet), which is still bred in Thailand for preservation and has gained popularity abroad. [2].

At the end of the Burmese-Siamese war, on April 7, 1767, the capital city Ayutthaya was sacked, and the Burmese army set fire to everything that they could find. Siamese noblemen and members of the royal family were taken prisoner when it returned to Burma. Buddhas were dismembered for their gold, and all of the regal goods were taken. According to a Thai legend, the poem intended for the Thai cats in the Tamra Maew was discovered and read by King Hsinbyushin of Burma. According to the poem, Thai cats are as uncommon as gold, and anyone who owns one will become extremely wealthy. Along with the other treasures, he ordered his army to gather all Suphalak cats and return them to Burma. This legend is still told in Thailand today as a lighthearted justification for Thai cats’ rarity. [citation needed].

Manuscripts known as “Tamra Maew” (Cat Poems), thought to have been written between the 14th and the 18th centuries, describe and illustrate a number of Siamese cat breeds, including the pointed cat known as “Siamese” in the West because of its unique markings. [2] In 1878, U. S. President Rutherford B. The American Consul in Bangkok sent Hayes a cat named “Siam,” which was the first Siamese cat ever documented to arrive in the United States. [3] A breeding pair of cats, Pho and Mia, were brought back to Britain in 1884 by Edward Blencowe Gould (1847–1916), the British Consul-General in Bangkok. This was done as a gift for his sister Lilian Jane Gould, who married Lilian Jane Veley in 1895 and went on to co-found the Siamese Cat Club in 1901. Three Siamese kittens, Duen Ngai, Kalohom, and Khromata, were born in 1885 to Goulds’ UK cats Pho and Mia. The kittens were displayed alongside their parents at the London Crystal Palace Show that same year. Despite drawing attention with their unusual looks and distinct behaviors, all three of the kittens passed away shortly after the show; the cause of death was not recorded. [6].

By 1886, Eva Forestier Walker (who changed her surname to Vyvyan after marrying in 1887)[7] and her sister Ada had brought another pair (with kittens) to the UK. These Siamese imports had larger ears, a less rounded head with a wedge-shaped muzzle, and longer, less “cobby” body types than the British Shorthair and Persian cats that most Britons were familiar with. These variations, along with the pointed coat pattern that Westerners had never seen on cats before, made a big impression; one early viewer called them “an unnatural nightmare of a cat.” A limited number of cats were imported by fanciers over the ensuing years, creating the foundational breeding pool for the breed in Britain. About eleven of these original imports are thought to be the ancestors of the majority of Siamese in Britain today. They were dubbed the “Royal Cat of Siam” during their early years in Britain due to rumors that Siamese royalty was the only people who had previously owned them. [8] Subsequent investigations have not revealed any proof of a formalized royal breeding program in Thailand. [2] Medium-sized, somewhat long-bodied, muscular, elegant cats with somewhat wedge-shaped heads and ears that were relatively large but proportionate to the head’s size were the original Siamese imports. The cats weren’t excessively large or small, but they also weren’t small either. [citation needed].

  • After being crowned, King Prajadhipok is seen with the court ladies, holding his regalia and what is now thought to be a Thai cat, which represents “domesticity.”
  • Born in Hong Kong in 1895, Wankee emerged as the inaugural UK Siamese champion in 1898.
  • With its requirements for a “dainty, long, and svelte” body, a long head that “taper[s] in straight lines from the ears to a narrow muzzle,” “ears large and pricked, wide at the base,” and a “long and tapering” tail, the 1960 show quality specimen was setting the stage for the modern Siamese.
  • A classic seal point Siamese prize winner. Note the darker colours at the extremes, e. g. face/ears, tail and legs.


Do Siamese cats come from Thailand?

They originated in Siam (now called Thailand), which also gives them their name. According to legend, these cats were used to guard Buddhist temples and were considered very sacred. The fact that they were so highly prized is also proven by their native Thai name — wichien-maat, which means “moon diamond” in English.

Is Thai cat and Siamese the same?

As breeds, the Thai and the modern Siamese share common ancestry, the point colouration gene, and the outgoing, people-loving, vocal personality made famous in the West by the early 20th century imports. They differ only in “type,” meaning the conformation of body and head.

What cat breed is native to Thailand?

The Thai cat breed originated in Thailand, where it is actually referred to as the Wichien-Maat, which translates to “moon diamond.” This breed is also commonly referred to as the Traditional, or Old-Style, Siamese.

Are Siamese cats Vietnamese?

BANGKOK — The siamese cat is one of many felines indigenous to Thailand. It is also one of the world’s most recognizable breeds, with its blue eyes, creamy coat and black “mask,” ears, legs and tail.