Breed standard: CFA, FIFe, TICA, ACF, ACFA/CAA, CCA-AFC I Size: Medium I Average lifespan: 20+ years I Temperament: Calm, endearing, and playful I Coat: Short I Origin: Thailand.
The Korat is endearing, calm, and playful. It is one of the most beautiful oriental cat breeds.
The origins of the Korat
The Korat and Thai history
The Korat cat breed is very ancient. The breed appeared in a collection of texts, known as the Cat-Book Poems, which was written between 1350 and 1767. In these poems, the Korat is described as a good luck cat. Its coat is described as “soft, with roots in clouds and the extremities in silver”. The Korat is also depicted in a number of ancient Thai paintings next to the Siamese cat.
In Thailand, the Korat is also known as Si-sawat (สีสวาด) and is described as a gray cat with green eyes. The occidental name, “Korat”, refers to the province where the cat breed originated: the Khorat Plateau. The name was given to this cat breed by King Rama V, who really loved this cat breed. In addition, this cat breed is one of the rare breeds that is natural. This cat breed was created through natural selection and not through cat breeders.
The Korat outside of Thailand
There are very few records of the first appearances of the Korat in Europe. The most probable hypothesis is an Asian cat show in the United Kingdom in the 1880s. A source from the time period talks about the presence of an entirely blue Siamese cat at a cat show in 1882. The cat was actually a Korat.
The first couple of Korats were brought to the United States in 1959 from a Thai cattery. The breed has been recognized since 1965 and has been able to participate in cat championship competitions since 1966. Korats continued to be brought to the United States from Thailand to improve the breeding lines.
An unrecognized cat breed
The Korat was brought to the United Kingdom in 1972 and in 1979 in France. With that being said, the breed is not very well-known in Europe. They were not allowed to participate in championship competitions until 1982.
Two types of Korat have since been recognized: the “American” type, which has a rounder head and muzzle, and the “Thai” type, which has a muzzle that is more elongated like most other oriental breeds.
When it comes to France, this breed is not very present. Only 23 Korats were registered to the LOOF between 2003 and 2011.
The temperament of the Korat
What are the main qualities of the Korat?
The Korat is a peaceful and calm cat. They are intelligent cats that need to be stimulated with games and training sessions. They appreciate the comfort of their owner and get very attached to them. This cat is affectionate but also appreciates a calm atmosphere.
Are there any downsides to having a Korat?
Similar to most oriental breeds, the Korat has a tendency to be very vocal. It is normal for this cat breed to meow a lot. It’s important to note that this cat breed does not handle solitude very well. If you have a Korat, you have to train them to get used to your absence from a very young age.
The Korat’s physical characteristics
The Korat has a heart-shaped head outlined by pronounced eyebrows and a pointed chin. The forehead is large. They have round ears and not a lot of hair on the inside of them.
The muzzle is neither too short nor too long and presents a slight stop. Also, the nose widens and bulges at its tip like a lion.
The eyes are characteristic of the breed. They are round and rather spread out. They are big without being huge. In addition, the famous green eyes of this breed does not appear until they are adults. Kittens generally have yellow or greenish amber eyes until they are two years old.
The Korat has a rather muscular body without appearing too massive. Its back and rounded rump make this cat particularly graceful when it moves. They have a “semi-cobby” morphological type. They are both slender and compact.
Their legs are medium-sized and proportionate to the rest of the body. Also, the muscular hind legs give this cat a lot of strength.
The tail is medium-sized. It is rather thick at the base and gets thinner until the rounded tip. In addition, the tail is fixed rather high on the rump.
Lastly, this small cat does not get any heavier than 5 kg (≈ 11 lbs) when they are adults.
Coat, color, and grooming
The Korat’s fur is short and dense. It is also very shiny. The hair are generally lying down on the body of this cat breed. The Korat does not have an undercoat, which makes this cat’s body sensitive to air currents and other variations in temperature. Lastly, the nose and the paw pads are blue.
Only blue is accepted for this cat breed. With that being said, the coat also has silver reflections all over the body. The hair is clear at the root, then blue. The tips of this cat’s fur is silver.
In some litters, its possible for kittens to be lilac or bluepoint. It’s important to note that these kittens are not recognized as Korats. The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) registers them as a different breed. These cats are instead called Thai Lilacs or Thai Blue Points.
Grooming the Korat
In general, the Korat does not need a lot of maintenance. In fact, as this cat breed doesn’t have an undercoat, they do not really molt. It is best to brush this cat softly to keep their fur shiny. It’s also important to clean their eyes regularly to avoid infections.
Did you know?
The Korat is considered a true good luck cat in Thailand. Because of this, a couple of Korats are traditionally given to young married couples to assure the prosperity of their future family. Korats are still very popular in Thailand and having one is considered a sign of wealth.
The Korat at a glance
Size: 25 to 30 cm at the withers (≈ 9.8 to 11.8 in).
Weight: 3 to 5 kg (≈ 6.6 to 11 lbs) The ideal weight is between 3 and 4 kg (≈ 6.6 and 8.8 lbs).
Health: The Korat is a rather robust cat breed. However, they can suffer from many respiratory diseases against which they should be vaccinated at an early age. It’s important to note that the Korat is sensitive to variations in temperature and air currents. The breed can also suffer from a serious genetic diseases, Gangliosidosis. With that being said, this disease is starting to disappear slowly thanks to the actions of cat breeders.
Average lifespan: This cat breed can live from 20 to 25 years.
Are Korats good with children? As these cats are very playful, Korats can get along very well with children once they get used to their presence. They are also affectionate and love cuddles from little ones as long as they are gentle. However, it is important to keep an eye on their interactions and teach children to leave them alone when they express the need for it.
How easy are Korats to live with? The Korat is a peaceful cat that loves living inside close to their owners. They are very loyal and affectionate and never seem to want to leave their home. They are also very playful. In addition, their intelligence allows them to learn new tricks easily. The Korat easily tolerates the presence of other cats in the house, but they tend to be dominant.