The Korat Cat is a symbol of good luck, prosperity and health in its native country of Thailand. Otherwise known as a “Si-Sawat” cat, this remarkable feline’s name literally translates to “color of the Sawat seed”. Korats are often presented in pairs during wedding ceremonies, fertility rites and as a gift for newlywed couples.
In terms of appearance, the breed is similar to the popular Siamese in all aspects, with the exception of being more rare. A look at their emerald green eyes will remind you of fresh dewdrops settling on lotus leaves. Their heart-shaped face will naturally draw you in and the silver-tipped blue coating will intrigue any and all onlookers. The Korat is indeed a treasure to behold, and one of Thailand’s most exquisite imports!
History of Korat Cats
Korats are named after a northeastern region in Thailand where they were believed to have originated. The breed is pure and unblemished, never having been bred or crossed with any other cat for any reason.
The cat emerged during the 14th century according to several ancient literature, including the Tamra Maew, or “Book of Cat Poems” which came from Thailand in the same era. Thai royalty preferred Korats as compared to the Siamese, but the breed is not exclusive to royal palaces and high ranking officials as commoners also owned them.
In 1959, the cats were brought to the U.S. As it turned out, a pair of them were presented as gifts to an American couple when the husband retired from foreign military service. The dark-haired felines attracted the attention of many cat enthusiasts, which resulted in them getting championship status in 1967 by the Cat Fanciers Association.
Size of the Korat
Full-grown adults are small to medium-sized cats, sporting muscular, solid bodies that are quite heavy. They can weigh anywhere from 6 to 10 lbs.
Personality of the Korat
Despite their stocky build, Korats are surprisingly athletic, lively and love to have fun when the opportunity presents itself. They are sociable felines that love to take part in their owner’s activities, whether they’re invited or not. These highly intelligent cats love a good challenge in the form of a mental puzzle or an interactive or fetching toy.
After spending most of their energy playing, Korats love to find someplace quiet and rest until they’re ready to go again. They can produce a number of vocal sounds when trying to express what they want to “say”, and these can range from chirps to yowling screams!
Korats are born with blue eyes, which eventually turn an amber hue with green pupil fringes as they get older. After about two to four years, their eyes will have become a brilliant emerald green. Their trademark coat is ascertained during birth; other kittens may have ghost tabby markings which eventually disappears as they mature.
Full maturity takes a bit longer with the Korat than other breeds, and owners will have to be more patient because the young ones can be quite playful!
The Korat variety is considered a minority breed with a limited gene pool. As such, you may find it difficult to get ahold of one in the United States. If you do find one though, make sure you still go through the motions of ensuring a healthy pet. This means you should visit the breeder’s home and see the kitten’s parents and their living environment. Ask the breeder if he or she has completed genetic testing and if there were any particular health problems with his cats. All kittens must have at least completed the first round of shots and de-worming before they’re given to new owners.
Reputable breeders will have health certificates readily available. It’s always a good idea to take your new pet to the vet within a few days of taking him or her home.
Korat Cat Health
Korats are generally healthy and stand to live a long life, though there’s few notable health problems to take note of. Gangliosidosis, a genetic neuromuscular disease occurs when the cat doesn’t have a particular enzyme for proper nervous system functions. Having low body fat means they’re more sensitive to anesthetic treatment.
Vets must be able to determine the right amount and type of anesthetic needed for this kind of breed before they undergo surgery.
Care of the Korat Cat
Korats are social creatures and as such, they’ll need the proper TLC from their owners. When left alone for long periods of time, they will exhibit strange behavior, which can lead to separation anxiety or aggression.
Make sure to play with your pet from time to time. Switch up the play using toys, puzzles or a game of fetch every now and then. The breed thrives best in constant companionship either with someone who works at home or with another cat. Keep in mind that Korats can be possessive of their toys, so leave plenty to go around.
Litter Box Training
Cats don’t like to do their business in the busiest part of the house, so make sure that the litter box is in a quiet spot. Likewise, the litter box should be kept clean at all times, which means you’ll need to scoop out the waste as soon as you see them and change the litter each day.
Korat Cat Nutrition
Korats have little to no body fat and do the exercise themselves to keep fit. Nevertheless, you should pick out quality cat food that meets all your cat’s dietary needs. Breeders may provide a feeding schedule so your cat won’t get an upset stomach.
The solid grayish blue coat is tinged with silver at the end, lending a luxurious sheen. The combination produces a halo effect that makes the Korat’s coat shinier than it looks.
Korat Cat Grooming
The short coat of the Korat should do just fine with regular light grooming. The breed won’t shed as much hair except as preparation for the winter season. Comb once a week to eliminate dead hair. Check your cat’s ears for wax accumulation, and brush his or her teeth using vet-approved toothpaste. Trim the nails once every few weeks.
Children and Other Pets
Korats are great as family pets but they are easily startled by hyperactive and noisy children. Their sociable nature endears them to their owners and visitors. The breed gets very well with felines of its own kind, but they can live with dogs and other pets easily with little adjustment necessary.