History of the Korat Cat

The history of the Korat cat begins in Thailand in the 14th century. One of the oldest natural breeds in existence, the Korat originates in the northern Thai province of Cao Nguyen Khorat, after which it was also named. In Thailand, cats of this breed are known as “Si-Sawat”, which means “lucky charms”. It wasn’t until the late 1950s that the first representatives of this breed arrived in the United States. After that, it took another 20 years for these sleek beauties to become popular in Europe. In the 1970s, they reached Great Britain and then the whole of Europe. Unlike in the case of the other blue breeds, there are only a few breeders who’ve dedicated themselves to breeding these fascinating felines. The Korat cat is and remains something very special – a silver pixie

Appearance of the Korat cat

The appearance of the Korat cat is reminiscent of Oriental cat breeds. Although they have a muscular build, they also have a very lithe appearance. One distinguishing characteristic of this breed is their heart-shaped head, plus their round eyes appear very large in relation to the face. Their body is slender and of medium length, and their graceful legs have enormous jumping power that allows them to easily reach any destination in one leap! They have a slightly arched back and a tail that’s slightly wider at the base and tapers towards the end. The end of the Korat tail is slightly rounded.

Size of the Korat cat

How big are Korat cats? Well, they don’t reach adulthood until they’re roughly 48 months old at the earliest, so it takes around four years to find out just what size your Korat cat will be. In general, though, with an average shoulder height of 20 to 25 cm – as measured from their paws to the highest elevation of their shoulder blades – they’re classified as being medium-sized cats. The build of the Korat male is more compact and athletic than the physique of the females of this breed.

Weight of the Korat cat

How heavy do Korat cats get? The females of this breed have a more delicate and slender build, and when they’re fully grown, they weigh around 2.5 to 3 kg. Korat males have a stronger build, which makes them somewhat heavier. With their more muscular bodies, the average Korat male typically weighs a little more than its female counterpart, usually bringing roughly 4 to 4.5 kg to the scales.

Coat of the Korat cat

The shimmering coat of the Korat cat is also silky soft. This breed has no undercoat, so their fur lies close to the body. The coat of the Korat cat has been praised in many poems, which describe these felines as being “clothed in a coat of silver”. And it’s true! The Korat coat looks like it was made by mixing together clouds and silver! Thanks to a special type of pigmentation, the extraordinary silver shimmer of the Korat coat can be found in each individual hair. While the hairs are lighter at the base, they become increasingly darker towards the ends.

Coat colour of the Korat cat

Korat cats have silver-tipped, blue-gray fur. They’re now also bred to have a lilac coat, with the special pigmentation included. The lilac colour comes about as a softening of another colouring, namely chocolate. In other words, if pigments are not genetically present, a diluted shade is created, which makes the coat appear lighter

Coat length of the Korat cat

The coat of Korat cats is short to semi-long and wonderfully soft to the touch. It looks like a deep-pile carpet, and with all the individual hairs placed close together, it feels like the Korat cat has twice as much fur as it actually does! But don’t assume that just because they have lots of fur you’ll have to do lots of grooming. In fact, thanks to their lack of undercoat, you can keep the grooming of Korat cats to a minimum.

Coat pattern of the Korat cat

The coat pattern of Korat cats is uniformly blue-grey. According to the breed standard, the fur pattern should be solid. This means that representatives of this breed shouldn’t have any other colours or stripes in their coat. The thing that’s most desirable in Korat cats is the silver shimmering effect that’s typical of this breed. It’s a genetic peculiarity that leads to a colour gradient at the tips of the hair and makes the cat’s coat glow magically. The mutation is responsible for turning the dominant colour black into the diluted colour silver-blue.

Eyes of the Korat cat

Korat cats have oversized, expressive eyes. When their eyes are open, they appear almost circular. Only when Korat cats close their eyes can you see that they have the typical shape of many Oriental cats, that is, the outer corners of the eyes point slightly upwards. If you haven’t already been enchanted by the sleek body of these cats, you’ll no doubt melt away when you gaze into their sparkling golden-green eyes, which form a breathtaking contrast to their shiny silver-blue fur. One look is all it takes for cat fans to fall in love with a Korat!

Special features of the Korat cat

One special feature of the Korat cat is its talkativeness. Korat cats are lovable, charming felines who not only demand attention, but also like to communicate in all vocal tones. These aren’t cats that only meow when they want to be fed: they like to talk all the time! They’re also very lively, need lots of action and want all the attention they can get. These intelligent felines come up with a lot of ideas for how to make themselves the centre of attention! And if someone steals the show, they can sometimes get jealous.

Key attributes of the Korat cat

One key attribute of Korat cats is their heart-shaped face. This trait might be the reason why they’re still revered as “lucky charms” in Thailand, where they’re often also given as wedding gifts to newlyweds. If you compare illustrations of these cats in early Thai writings with today’s Korat cats, you’ll see right away that these felines have retained their appearance over many hundreds of years. The cat poems “Tamra Maew” from the 13th and 17th centuries describe these pedigree cats as “promising luck”. How fortunate! Especially for the cats themselves, because this description prompted people to treat them very well.

Character of Korat cats

Korat cats are considered to be very loving. They have an affectionate character and generally get along well with other animals, including member of their own breed. These intelligent cats love to learn, and they also learn very quickly. If they feel like it, you can even teach them little tricks. For example, retrieving balls like a dog? No problem for a Korat if they put their mind to it! These felines could easily be mistaken for dogs! They’re very outgoing and adventurous, and some Korat cats will even enjoy going exploring on a cat lead.

Price of the Korat cat

How much does a Korat cat cost? The price of a cat of this breed usually runs between €1,300 and €1,800 and depends on a number of factors, including the pedigree and lineage of the cat. The breeder’s own expenses also influence the price. A Korat should always have proof of being vaccinated and de-wormed. It’s also worth enquiring at your local animal shelter; they often have pedigree cats like the Korat among all the other pawsitively wonderful animals looking for a new home!

Breeding of the Korat cat

For centuries, the Korat cat was bred exclusively in South-East Asia. This only changed when two Korat cats emigrated to America in 1959. These two felines, “Darra” and “Narra”, laid the foundation for Korat breeding on that far away continent. The Korat breed was recognised in the United States in the mid-1960s and in Great Britain in the mid-1970s. In the 1980s, Korat cats also became established in Germany, although they tend not to stand in the limelight as much as other breeds. Korat breeders are few and far between, and there aren’t many of them in this country. Not every breeder will have this breed in their roster; it’s more the favourite of individualists.

Things to know about keeping and caring for Korat cats

Grooming the coat of Korat cats is quite straightforward. A grooming session once a week is usually sufficient. To do this, first remove any loose hairs from the Korat’s coat using a brush and comb. If you wish, you can then wipe and polish the silvery coat with a damp leather cloth to give it a special shine at the end. If your Korat cat’s ears are dirty, you can clean them easily with a tissue or cotton wool pad. Just wet the pad with a little water or baby oil and use it to gently clean the inside of the Korat cat’s ears.

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The Korat kitten

Korat kittens are late bloomers, they only reach adulthood at around five years of age. At the age of three to four weeks, however, the kittens are old enough to get accustomed to a litter tray. As soon as they start to eat solid food, usually at four to six weeks, a litter box should be set up for them nearby. It’s important to clean the box thoroughly, otherwise the Korat kittens will be happy to find an alternative themselves. Praise and cuddles will also help the kittens associate their first trip to the toilet with positive feelings.

Typical diseases of the Korat cat

A typical disease of the Korat cat is a genetic mutation called gangliosidosis. The consequence of this mutation is a neurological disease that can affect the peripheral and central nervous system of cats. A genetic test can be used to detect the genetic mutation if it is suspected. There are two different variants (GM1- Gangliosidosis + GM2- Gangliosidosis), that are passed down as autosomal recessive traits. This means that cats that carry a different gene will not necessarily automatically develop the disease themselves. However, they can still pass the disease on to their kittens. Ultimately, only cats that have at least two of the altered genes in their gene pool can develop the disease.

Life expectancy of the Korat cat

The Korat cat has an average life expectancy of 15 to 20 years. However, how old a cat lives depends not only on the breed, but on many different factors, including whether it’s been fed a healthy diet. As carnivores, their diet will mainly include smaller vertebrates. If necessary, they may also eat parts of the innards, bones or tendons. The crux of the matter here is that it’s usually hard to find frozen or freshly caught small mammals, birds, insects, fish, amphibians or reptiles in the supermarket! So, if you’re asking yourself which is healthier, preparing the food for your Korat cat yourself or buying ready-made food from a specialist shop, here are some ideas for tasty food and healthy treats!

Frequently asked questions about Korat cats