The Korat is an ancient breed of cat that has its origins in Thailand. References to the Korat can be traced back some 700 years, although the breed itself may be older than that. The Korat’s name is drawn from its origins in the Thai province of Korat. In Thailand, the Korat is typically seen as a sign of good luck. However, since keeping animals as pets inThailand is very rare, most Korats in their native country are scavengers. Importing them can be a challenge due to their low numbers and quarantine issues.
The breed was first introduced to America in 1959, and to Australia some ten years later. Worldwide, Korats remain extremely rare. Many organisations have been set up around the world to help preserve the breed. Members of these associations help to look after Korats, and to further the longevity of the breed.
The appearance of the Korat
The Korat is known for its distinctive colouring, which is an unusual silvery blue similar to that of the Russian Blue. However, they are distinct from Russian Blues in several ways. Unlike Russian Blues, Korats have bright green eyes, and are significantly smaller in size. They also have prominent, high-set ears. In addition, their coat is typically silver at birth, and takes on its blue hues and silver points as the cat matures. It can take several years for a Korat’s final colouring to emerge.
The Korat is a short-haired breed, and requires minimal grooming. Brushing every now and then is usually sufficient. However, hailing from sunny Thailand, Korats not only have a short coat but a thin coat. As such they are not suited to cold climates, and may need to be kept warm over the winter months.
Korats are known for their strong and forceful personalities. They are wilful and single-minded, and can be demanding. These traits are also typical of the Siamese cat, a close relative of the Korat. However, despite their pushy reputation, Korats are friendly and playful. They tend to bond well with their owners, and often like to remain close to them. However, in some cases this can become an issue, as Korats typically seek to take an ‘alpha’ position in a household, asserting their dominance over other pets and even over family members. They need attention and affection, and are best suited to homes where someone is regularly at home. They generally enjoy the company of other cats or dogs as well.
Factors to consider when buying a Korat
Korats are fiercely intelligent, and are born hunters, so owners should take care when it comes to allowing their pet outside unsupervised. If Korats are to be allowed outdoors, it’s recommended that they be confined to an enclosure or run. Korats do become bored easily, and may participate in destructive behaviour when they have nothing to occupy their mind. In addition to adequate attention, Korats should be provided with toys and other items to keep them distracted.
If you’re particular about pedigree, your Korat should have a pedigree originating from Thailand, and this should be confirmed when purchasing the cat.
There are stringent guidelines associated with breeding a Korat. Only blue animals are considered Korats, with non-blue kittens not considered to be Korat cats. All Korat kittens are also tested for a condition known as Gangliosidosis. This condition results in neurological deficiencies, and may result in death. This condition is recessive, and is most dangerous when a ‘carrier’ cat breeds with a cat that doesn’t have the affected gene. As part of the breeding guidelines associated with Korats, all Korats must be tested for this disease. This is true throughout Europe, the USA, and Australia. Kittens that test positive for this disease are put down. These guidelines are designed to help gradually breed out the disease from the Korat population.