Pedigree Cat Breeds - Korat

© Jenanca Korats
The Korat is the blue cat of Thailand. It is known in the west for its possible geographical origin (Korat is a north eastern province of Thailand) but its Thai name defines its colour. 'Si-sawat' means greyish blue, the hue of the Sawat seed. Since its arrival in 1959 (USA), 1972 (UK), the type, characteristics and temperament of the breed have been preserved by a policy of no outcrossing. There has never been any attempt to create different colours and all lines can be traced back to original Thai imports. Breeders take a pride in their Korats - as an 'ancient natural breed.' Indeed the current show standards require the Korat to be as it was described in the Cat Book Poems written hundreds of years ago:- 'The base of each hair, Is the colour of a cloud' and Korat eyes are 'Like dew when dropped on the leaf of a lotus', only the style of the language has changed!

© Jenanca Korats

An adult Korat can be breath-takingly beautiful. The SOP calls for large, luminous, green eyes and these often seem over-sized for the heart-shaped face. If the blue coat has an abundance of silver tipping then there is a halo effect as the light gleams on the silver sheen.
The males show muscular power and, though the females are often smaller and dainty in appearance, both sexes surprise those who lift them as they are far more solid in substance than appearance suggests.
Choosing a kitten for show bench looks though is just about impossible with this breed. Korats are slow maturing, and kittens and adolescents are often ugly ducklings, with dark, rather fluffy coats and amber coloured eyes; the mature 'swan' taking three/four years to blossom.
Do not choose this breed for its looks alone. The Korat is not for you if you are desirous of the merely decorative. They wish to be involved in the lives of their people and are truly companions. There has to be a reciprocal commitment on the part of the new owner.

© Jenanca Korats
All of us who have owned them know how our lives were changed when Korats arrived. Their natural intelligence, liveliness and playfulness is their charm and the new owner must know of this, and be ready to give time and love, which will then be repaid a hundredfold.

Korats love to play. They like to have a store of small toys to give a variety of activities. Some will retrieve small objects and carry them around - though they don't necessarily remember where they dropped them last. Balls provide lots of fun, so do things on strings that can be jumped for. Korats are lithe and active athletes. Enthusiastic climbing comes instinctively too, a strong tiered climbing/scratching post is recommended.

As a breed they are perhaps not quite as vocal as the Siamese, but certainly 'speak.' Indeed they have quite an extensive vocabulary from a low growl, that is a warning to strangers, to some really blood-curdling shrieks (especially on-call females - not for nothing did a friend call hers The Banshee). Vocal communication with owners seems to come very naturally. I had one three month old kitten rush to tell me that I had just removed the litter tray she wanted to use.

Korats do enjoy going outdoors, but need a safe area in which to do so. They are the colour of dry tarmac, with the inevitable consequence. However, many are indoor only and have no problems as long as their need for activity and play is catered for. Indeed, in one respect they are particularly suited to this as they have a short, fine single coat and shed very little hair.

A Korat turned 24 in USA and it's known here that many have reached their late teens, a good life expectancy. In some books it's been reported that they are particularly susceptible to respiratory infection. In the bad old days before flu vaccination possibly, but its risk from any infection seems to be no more likely than it is for any other breed. Anyone buying a Korat should have an active, healthy, loving companion for many years to come.

Profile written by (Click to view profile):
Jen Lacey - Jenanca Korats, Thai Blue Point & Thai Lilac

Photos & texts on this page © 2007: Jen Lacey - Jenanca Korats, Thai Blue Point & Thai Lilac

*Breed standards may vary according to cat governing body

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