The Korat Cat Breed Title

Photo Credit: heikkisiltala via Flickr

Are you a little down on your luck? Perhaps a lucky kitty could help turn things around! The Korat may not look like much at first glance, but they are a unique cat breed with an intriguing history to match. They know just how to capture your heart too!

The Cool Colored Korat

Cute Korat Wikimedia

Photo Credit: Heikki Siltala via Wikimedia Commons

The Korat has a trait that is very rare among cat breeds -they are found with only one coat color. The coat is a Silvery blue color. The hairs begin with a lighter blue shade at the roots, progressively getting darker until the very tip of the hair, which is silver. This gradation of the hair color gives the Korat a bit of a “halo” effect. The silver on the Korat’s coat is most prominent on its muzzle and toes. There are some that claim that the Korat is found also in black and with markings, but these cats are not allowed to be shown at cat fancier shows.

Coat color is not the only unique feature of the Korat cat breed. They also have large, striking green eyes. The Korat’s body has 4 distinctly heart-shaped areas:

  1. The shape of the face.
  2. The shape of the nose.
  3. The shape of the head (when looking down on the cat).
  4. The tuft of the chest.

These cats are on the smaller size but don’t mistake that for weakness. Korats are solid muscle! They are sometimes referred to as being “a well-coiled spring.” A lot of their weight is held in their muscular chest and shoulders. Their bodies taper down around the waist and they appear to have short necks.

The Korat is a very healthy breed in general. However, it is important to have their health checked before bringing them home. They do have the potential for a genetic disorder known as either GM-1 or GM-2 Gangliosidosis. These disorders will begin to manifest themselves as neurological problems and can be fatal. Tests for both of these disorders exist.

One Lucky Kitty

Slate

Photo Credit: Mary-Lynn via Flickr

Though you may not be familiar with the Korat cat breed, there is nothing new about it. These cats were first discovered in Thailand, just like Siamese cats. Also like the Siamese cats, the Korat was written about (and drawn) in The Cat-Book Poems which has manuscripts from between 1350 – 1667 AD. The Korat is listed among one of the 7 “lucky cats.” In the Thai language, the Korat is called “Si-Sawat” which literally means “the color of money.” Traditionally, these cats are not sold, but rather given to new brides to bring them good luck in their marriages. While only the ruling class were allowed to own Siamese cats, Korats were found amongst commoners as well. It is possible that  Korat cats were present at the first cat fancier show in London in the late 1800’s. However, they were probably mislabeled as Siamese at the time. The Korat cat breed didn’t become official with the cat fancier organizations until after they made their way to the US with breeder Jean Johnson in 1959. She had a difficult time getting a pair of cats because the Thai people did not believe in selling the cats. She had to wait until someone decided to gift her the pair. In order to keep the gene pool healthy, Johnson crossbred the Korats with Siamese cats. It is rumored that this is how the blue point Siamese came about. Since the breeding stock has become more available, cat fancier associations no longer allow outcrossing of the breed. Today, a Korat cat is still a fairly rare find outside of Thailand.

Master of the Household

My sleeping partner

Photo Credit: Fotorus via Flickr

There is no mistaking the personality of a Korat! These kitties become very attached to their humans. They want to be as close to you as possible and will want to curl up in your lap. They are not as talkative as Siamese cats are, but they will still want your attention whenever they can get it. It is best not to leave a Korat at home alone for long periods of time.

A Korat will get along the best with his/her human companions and other Korats. These kitties are in charge and they will let the other pets in the home know that. As long as the other pets know that the Korat is the boss, they will get along famously.

Korats are very intelligent and playful, but not excessively hyper. They have very keen powers of hearing, sight, and smell. Games like fetch are welcomed by these cats! They can be very gentle when they play with children.

If you are considering adding a Korat to your family, please check out the adoptable Korat cats on PetFinder!

Have you ever had the opportunity to meet a Korat?

Sources and Digging Deeper

Korat – Cat Fancier Association

Korat  – TICA

Korat Cat – Pet Finder

Korat  – PetMD

Korat – VetStreet 

Korat – Animal Planet

GM-1 or GM-2 Gangliosidosis- Korat World