Thai cats originated in Thailand, and they are renowned for their colorful coats, beautiful eyes and intriguing personalities.
This breed of cats is classified as Burmese, Siamese, Korat or Suphalak accordingly to color.
These cats have been associated with good luck since they first appeared some 1000 years ago in Thailand’s temples and royal courts, where they were revered for their calm demeanor.
The many different colors and patterns result from the interaction of different genes controlling hair color and length, so no two Thai cats are the same.
These are relatively large cats, with well-proportioned bodies and powerful muscles. And like all Siamese-type cats, Thai cats are highly social and inquisitive, and also quite talkative, so they need lots of love and attention.
Should you Purchase Pet Insurance for your Thai Cat?
Thais tend to be fairly healthy cats, with average lifespans of 10-13 years. As always with purebreds, however, it is crucial to purchase your cat from a reputable breeder; and even the best screening procedures cannot guarantee that a Thai cat will not at some point face one or more of the following conditions:
- Aortic stenosis: A congenital defect may cause the buildup of excess tissue near the aortic valve in a cat’s heart, as a result of which the muscles of the heart are forced to work harder and become unnaturally thick. A cat suffering from this disease may be lethargic and weak, and may even faint. Diagnosis usually depends on an echocardiogram and electrocardiogram, though N.C. State College has recently developed a genetic test (see ncstatevets.org/genetics). Fortunately, a variety of drug and surgical options are available that can be very effective in controlling the symptoms.
- Feline Asthma: Thais are also somewhat more liable to develop asthma than most cats. Rapid diagnosis is important in order to prevent the occurrence of pneumonia and other life-threatening respiratory illnesses. Asthma can often be controlled in cats using drugs, but it may be necessary to identify causes in the affected cat’s environment.
- Liver Amyloidosis: This condition occurs when a cat’s body makes an abnormal protein, amyloid, that builds up in the body. Amyloidosis is particularly serious when it affects organs like the liver, but it can be difficult to diagnosis since the symptoms—such as anorexia, vomiting and buildup of fluid in the abdomen—can be caused by any number of problems. Diagnosis depends on thorough urinalysis and blood work, and may require a liver ultrasound or biopsy. The disease can frequently be managed with blood transfusions or with surgery to remove damaged parts of the liver.
- Strabismus (crossed eyes): Siamese of all types may be born with or may develop crossed eyes. Strabismus may cause no problem for a cat, or it may be symptomatic of a serious neurological condition, or of such illnesses as leukemia or meningitis. Diagnosis requires a thorough ophthalmological examination or X rays of the skull. Treatment is based on identifying the underlying cause.
The fact is that pet ownership is a responsibility, and owners of special breeds like the Thai owe it to themselves and their cats to be prepared for these and other illnesses.
For those who are not independently wealthy, pet insurance is the best way to ensure that your feline friend will be taken care of no matter what.