Cat Breeds 101: Suphalak

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Cat Breeds 101: Suphalak
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The Suphalak is an extremely rare cat breed with a solid brown to copper colored coat. Often confused with the Havana Brown and the ebony colored Burmese, these cats are a natural breed of pure Thai origin and the breed standards do not allow outcrosses with other non-Thai cats. When they are in the sun their coat emits an almost reddish cast though in normal light, they look more like dark chocolate. The color of their whiskers is also brown and the nose is of rosy-brown color. The paw pads are light brown having a pink tone while their eyes are a bright golden-yellow color. [1]



Both a description and depiction of the Suphalak first appeared in a collection of ancient manuscripts called the Tamra Maew or The Cat-Book Poems thought to originate from the Ayutthaya Kingdom (1351 to 1767 AD). Over a dozen of these manuscripts are now kept at the National Library of Thailand while others have resurfaced outside the country and are now in the British Library and National Library of Australia. In addition to the Suphalak, the Tamra Maew also described other heritage cats of Thailand. [2] On April 7, 1767, at the end of the Burmese-Siamese war, the Siamese front lost the battle and all the royal treasures were stolen. The members of the royal household along with all nobles were taken captive. When the king of Burma read about the Suphalak in the Tamra Maew, he learned that the cats were “rare as gold” and anyone who would possess them would become rich. He ordered his men to bring all the cats the Burma. Today, the legend still takes round amidst the Thai people as a humorous explanation why the Suphalaks are so rare. [1]

Like other cat breeds from Thailand, Suphalak cats are people oriented. They are intelligent, affectionate and playful often taking on more of a dog-like personality. They are communicative, active and do not like to be left alone or ignored. [2]



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