Korats are very special cats that are considered as a symbol of good fortune. Many traditions surround them: they are the color of silver, signifying wealth; they are the color of rain clouds with eyes the color of young plants representing good harvests; and with their heart-shaped faces, a pair of cats given to a bride ensures a strong and fortunate marriage. Their eyes are large, expressive and oversized for the face with an intense gaze-they are the color of peridots or lily ponds and sparkle like the dewdrops on a lotus leaf.
They have compact, powerful bodies that are coiled like a spring and covered with a short, tight gun-metal blue coat with a silvery sheen. No other breed has the sweet heart-shaped head of the Korat. There's no changing the color of the breed. Korats are silver-blue and a cat of any other color is not a Korat. In Thailand, the Korat is known as the Si-Sawat cat. The Korat name originates with King Rama V of Siam who asked, when presented with the cat, asked what kinf it was and was told it came from a high plateau in northeast Thailand called Korat.
The Korat is an ancient cat from Siam (now Thailand) and the earliest picture of a Korat-sometimes known as the Si-Sawat cat-is in the ancient book known as The Cat-Book Poems in Bangkok's National Library, believed to have been written in the Ayudhya Period of Siamese history (1350-1767). King Rama V (1869-1910) commissioned the monk Somdej Phra Buddhacharn Buddhasarmahathera to copy the book onto special Khoi paper. It shows seventeen cats, whose ownership brings good fortune and six that are omens of the very reverse. Among the Good Luck cats is the Korat.
It is believed that Korats were shown in England in the late 1800s but they were probably entered as Siamese because that is where the owner imported them from. They were listed as solid blue and judging descriptions can still be found. In 1959, the first known pair of Korats (Nara and Darra), were imported into the United States by Mrs. Jean Johnson-the pair was gift to the Johnsons when her husband retired from the Foreign Service in Thailand. Many Korats have been imported since then and all Korats can trace their ancestry back to cats from Thailand which has earned them the nickname of the Silver-blue cat with the Thai passport!
Energetic, intelligent, affectionate are all words used to describe the Korat-elitist is another word that could be used since they prefer the company of other Korats. They will accept other cats but expect to be the rulers and will ensure they have pride of place by their owner's side. They have extraordinary senses of hearing, sight and scent but are gentle cats moving softly and disliking loud or harsh noises. They form strong bonds with their owners and love to cuddle, settling in as close as possible.
Korats are active cats that love to play but they are very gentle when they are playing with children. They do, however, know that they have been cherished for centuries in Thailand and expect that tradition to continue wherever they are-and they expect "their" human to understand and cater to their strong likes and dislikes. Korats need your companionship and do not like to be left alone for long periods or ignored when you are home. If they are ignored, they are likely to become withdrawn.
Korats are medium to small short-haired cats-females weigh 6-8 pounds and males weigh from 8-10 pounds. They are compact, powerful cats that feel like a coiled spring and are heavier and more solid than they first appear. They have broad chests and well developed muscles. They have a single, short, close-lying coat covering their powerful bodies and allowing the rippling musculature to show.
They are the only breed that has a heart-shaped head-perhaps one of the reasons they are considered a good luck cat for brides! You can see the heart outline by drawing imaginary lines from the rounded chin to the top of the ears and back to the head. A secondary heart is found by tracing the pronounced eye ridges down to the chin. The characteristic glowing peridot eyes are large and luminous but not bug-eyed or over powering. Their eyes appear slanted when closed but are totally round when fully open.
Korats develop slowly and can take up to 5 years to reach full maturity. The eye color also takes time to develop. Kittens start with the blue of all newborns and then change to amber with a green tinge around the pupil in their teenage years. They finally change to the peridot green of the adult when they are 2-4 years old. Like fine wine, the Korat gets better with age.
Some Korats are exceptionally quiet while others have a lot to vocalize about. Every cat has a wide ranging vocabulary from a quiet chirp to a full roar-but they generally speak only when they have something to say or need to alert you to their needs.
Health Issues Common to Korat
All pedigreed cats have some sort of health problem, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Any breeder who claims that her breed has no health or genetic problems is either lying or is not knowledgeable about the breed. Run, don’t walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on kittens, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her kittens are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons.
The Korat is prone to a fatal genetic condition that comes in two forms: gangliosidosis GM1 and GM2. Fortunately, a genetic test is available that can identify carriers before they are bred. Do not buy from a breeder who does not provide a written health guarantee.
Pet Insurance for the Korat
Pet insurance for purebred cats costs more than for mixed breed cats. This is because a purebred cat is more likely than a mixed breed cat to make claims for hereditary conditions that are expensive to treat.
Embrace pet insurance plans offer full coverage for all breed-specific conditions (excluding those that are pre-existing) to which purebred cats are susceptible. The best time to get pet insurance for your cat is when he’s a healthy kitten. You can’t predict what will happen in the future, and pet insurance is the one thing you can’t get when you need it the most.