PREOSSIA Old-Style Siamese Breeders List PREOSSIA's History Old-Style Siamese Breed History Our Breed Standard Photos Illustrating Old-Style Siamese (TICA Thai)  Links  Home
PREOSSIA's History

PREOSSIA was established in January 1999, when two fanciers of the Old-Style Siamese decided that a club was needed for people interested in preserving the original native pointed cat of Thailand. They were not interested in the highly stylized and sculpted, dainty feline that most of the Siamese breed had become after a century of selective breeding. But neither were they interested in the opposite extreme, the American myth of a stocky, heavy-boned, roundheaded, fluffy "applehead Siamese." They were interested in learning what the pointed cats native to Thailand were like in the present as well as in the past, objectively documenting the native cats, and finding a way to preserve them.

Before the end of 1999, the two had grown to a dozen. Fanciers of the old type of Siamese who had been associated with other clubs found in PREOSSIA a forum for open, objective discussion and a willingness to work with the mainstream cat fancy that they felt had been missing previously.

It was the dozen founding members of PREOSSIA who christened the club. In 1999, a PREOSSIA member, Beverly McGuire, was the first to suggest the name "Old-Style Siamese" as the official name of the breed as defined, promoted, and preserved by PREOSSIA. Old-Style Siamese had not previously been used in uppercase, as the formal name for any breed.

In 2000, PREOSSIA members, who at first were all Americans, discovered they had much in common philosophically with fanciers of the old Siamese in other countries.

It was partly to show solidarity with PREOSSIA members that a British club for fanciers of the old type of Siamese adopted the name Old-style Siamese Club (OSSC). See

Breeders from countries all over Europe began joining PREOSSIA.

The internationalization of PREOSSIA proved to be hugely beneficial for all concerned. The club's members learned a lot from each other about the status of the Old-Style Siamese all over the world. They learned to work with each other and were also able to exchange breeding cats with each other. This was enormously beneficial to the gene pool of a breed that at one point was nearly extinct in the West. With the imports from Thailand added to the mix, the breed began to have a bright future.

The ties forged between PREOSSIA's members on two continents were instrumental in persuading The International Cat Association (TICA) in 2006 to accept the Old-Style Siamese as a Preliminary New Breed independent of the show-style Siamese. TICA chose the name Thai for the Old-Style Siamese as shown at TICA shows. This was appropriate because the hundreds of independent European registries had been calling the breed "Thai" for sixteen years (since 1990). It was also considered appropriate because the Old-Style Siamese is the native pointed cat of Thailand. It is the Thai Siamese, or Thai for short.

In 2010, TICA granted probationary championship status to the Thai breed. That allowed fanciers to show the Thais in regular cat show classes, competing with all the established breeds. In 2013, after reviewing the Thai Breed Chair's final progress report, the TICA Board of Directors granted permanent championship status to the Thai breed.

You may wonder why it is important to be granted championship status by a major international cat association. There are many reasons. One of the most important is that it means there is an official definition and description of our breed that authors of books about cats can refer to and that has international standing. Also, it means that there is a well organized system in place for training cat show judges to evaluate cats of the breed in action at shows. The chief value of a well executed cat show system is that it allows people to compare their cats to each other, to learn from each other, and to hold regular exhibitions of the breeds for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public.

Achieving championship and participating in a properly organized cat show system is like having a university for learning about the breed. It is also a kind of glue that holds the breed communities together and keeps them focused on the welfare of the breeds. Without the cat show system and a place in the cat show system, it's nearly impossible to preserve individual breeds for posterity.

Earning championship status for the Thai in TICA was the realization of a dream for PREOSSIA members. But there is so much more that still needs to be done. In a way, it was unfortunate that we reached that first big goal because the sense of unity that bound the breed community together was weakened. Many went their own way, stopped working as a team, unable to see that the need to work together does not end. To keep a breed healthy and authentic requires constant surveillance of the breed gene pool, considerable attention to the education of new breeders, and ongoing education of the international cat fancy and the general public in many different countries.

The challenge now is to inspire those who love the cats to become active once again.

We who are PREOSSIANs understand this and will continue to work for the preservation and promotion of this ancient breed.

For questions about PREOSSIA, email the Webmaster.

(c) Text and photos copyright 1999-2020 A.D. by PREOSSIA. Some photos and materials on or linked to this site are copyrighted by individual PREOSSIA members and their friends and are found here with their permission. You may link to this page, but may not copy or reproduce any portion of it or anything linked to it without written consent from the copyright holders.