The Korat cat
The Japanese have their Maneki-Neko, the Thais have Si-Sawat (color of money). The first name is the Japanese Bobtail described earlier. The second is the hero of today’s article – Korat. This beautiful, silver-blue cat has for centuries been a symbol of prosperity and fertility that every young married couple should have at home. Looking into the olive-emerald, calm eyes of the Korat, it is hard not to believe in its power. However, it is worth getting to know Korat also from the more mundane side. The Korat is an intriguing cat in every aspect.
- Category III: Shorthair cats
- EMS code: KOR
- Other names: Khorat, Malet, Si sawat)
- Country of origin: Thailand
History and origin of the breed
Based on the oldest works of Thai literature, it can be concluded that the Korat cat breed already existed in the 14th century. These cats, most often in pairs, were offered to their fiancées as a symbol of prosperity and fertility. However, it is not known when these cats appeared in the West.
The Korat-like specimen was presented in 1896 at an exhibition in England. Unfortunately, it is not known whether it was a Korat or a blue Siamese cat (according to other sources, this cat belonged to the Korat breed, but the English called it a blue Siamese cat).
The first Korats were imported to the USA only in 1959. They were given to an American couple who returned to their homeland after their husband’s withdrawal from the foreign service. The breed was recognized in 1967, and two years later its club was created.
Korat is a natural race, created without human interference. It is accepted by all major felinological federations, including the FIFe.
The silhouette of the cat is muscular but compact. Therefore, the weight of the Korat is in the range of 2-4 kg (4.4 – 8.8 lb). These cats mature slowly – they reach their full physical and mental development around the age of 5. The eye color, on the other hand, takes on its light green color between the ages of 2 and 4. Before this period, the cat has amber-colored or amber-golden-green irises.
Korat is probably one of the most beautiful cat breeds. The most delightful are the blue fur with silver tips (thanks to this, the coat looks as if it was shimmering with a metallic glow all the time) and very large, emerald eyes. The head is heart-shaped and the ears are large and protruding.
The fur consists of only one layer – the top coat. In the tropical climate of Thailand, there is no need for additional insulation in the form of an undercoat. The skin on the nose, mouth and paw pads can range from dark blue to lavender.
The blue-silver color is the only color variety accepted by the felinological federations in the Korat. There are rarely white markings or barely visible gray stripes. They are classified as faults, which prevent the cat from participating in shows.
The unusual color of the coat does not always accompany the cat from birth. Korat kittens often have a smoky color (ghost tabby marking). Over time, the very dark fur brightens.
Korat displays intelligence in all of its actions. However, it may be accompanied by stubbornness and possessiveness towards the caregivers. It wants to be close to owners, it does not leave them even in the presence of guests. It pays the most attention to 1-2 people from its family, but shows tenderness to all family members.
You have to be aware of the fact that the Korat will follow you step by step. It does not belong to the loners, so it should not be left alone for too long (probably for this reason these cats were offered in couples). When the owners are away, it is best to leave it with a trusted person or a friendly animal. If your cat is left alone too often, it may develop behavioral disturbances, such as outbursts of aggression or separation anxiety over time.
Easy cat adaptation
Korat adapts easily to its new home and quickly befriends its caregivers (provided, of course, the caregivers are aware of its personality and social needs).
It does not like to laze – it spends its time actively playing and learning various tricks. It can even be taught to walk on a leash. In addition, it is easy to raise if its efforts are rewarded with tenderness, caresses and praise. To unlearn the Korat of undesirable behavior, all you need to do is use a firm “No” or clap.
Stubborn and possessive
If we have more than one cat, including a Korat, we must have a lot of toys. Korat, like a child, does not like to share them. In its often donkey stubbornness, it reluctantly gives away its favorite items, which it perceives as its property.
Though it is generally bold, it has a calm soul, which is why it likes a quiet environment. It rarely meows, but sometimes makes other sounds, such as a chirp or even squeak, to emphasize its point of view.
Since the breed was not created by manipulating genes, it is considered healthy. Within it, however, there are neuromuscular degenerations, which may have a genetic basis, caused by the lack of certain enzymes.
These cats also have a low percentage of body fat and may therefore be sensitive to anesthetic medications. Any veterinarian should therefore take this into account before any surgery that requires these medications.
Detailed data / dimensions (size)
- Height at the withers: 25 cm (10 in)
- Weight: 2-4 kg (4.4 – 8.8 lb)
- Lifespan: 10-15 years
Korat cat – interesting facts
- The name Korat comes from the region in Northeast Thailand where the breed may come from.
- The alternative name Si-Sawat is a combination of the words Si meaning “color” and Sawat meaning, inter alia, good fortune and prosperity.
- In recent years, the image of the Korat has appeared on Thai postage stamps.
- The Thais describe the color of the Korat as “gray rain cloud” and its gloss as “sea foam”.