The Korat or the Si Sawat cat is part of the group of the oldest stable cat breeds in history, with a beautiful silvery-blue coat where it is normally compared with the Russian Blue cat for its similar appearance but actually, they are a different breed. The Korat is a very valued and loved cat in its origin country, even though this is an ancient cat that is not very well known worldwide due to its late introduction to the world. If you are interested in knowing more about this beautiful cat, I invite you to keep reading.
The origin and name of this cat come from the Korat province, Thailand where its presence goes back many centuries, Korat cat is officially recognized since the 14th century specifically starting in the year 1350 and ending in 1767 when it began to be published the Cat book poems or the Smud Khoi in its original name, where it tells or presents the 17 breeds of cats that are lucky in their country and among those were the Korat where it is described as the bluest cat in the area, the book is currently in the Bangkok National Library. In the culture of the Thai people, these cats have great importance since they are considered as beings that bring good luck and are named Si-Sawat which practically means “Good Fortune Cat”. They considered that it brought good health and prosperity to the home so it became common to give a couple of Korats in weddings, or also to give it as a gift to any other reason with the symbol of wishing them the best, the normal thing for them was not to buy the cats but to receive them as a gift.
As years went by this cat was very local and remained as a natural breed all this time, being unknown to the world until the 20th century in the ‘50s where an American couple lived in Thailand for 3 years and returned to the United States, the wife Jean Johnson had a lot of interest in cats mainly in Siamese cats, 5 years passed and they received a message from a friend from Bangkok where he told them that he sent them a couple of Korat cats as a gift. Jean started to take interest in this cat breed and realized the value that these cats had to the Thai people, because of the meanings of bringing abundance and good fortune, and also that these cats have more presence in the social circles of the high society like the nobility, high officials or important people. Once she received these cats she was delighted and fascinated with this breed, so she started a breeding program to make this breed known, to avoid endogamy she decided to cross the Nara and Dala brothers with Siamese blue cats, and discarded the kittens that had characteristics of the Siamese for the next crosses with other Korats, emerging the first family of Korats in the United States. Years later this breed started to be known more and more cats were exported from Thailand, arriving also in Europe for the first time in the ‘70s, as their fame started to increase and more people wanted them, they were first recognized by The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in 1966 to participate in competitions and officially recognized as a breed in 1969, later it was recognized by The Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFE) in 1972.
The Korat cat breed has always maintained its same aspect and has not been altered despite being an ancient cat, the unique permanence in its country until a few years ago has allowed this to be maintained. This feline has a high life expectancy as they usually live between 15 and 20 years, although there are cases that some Korat comes to live up to 25 years. The size can be from a small to medium sized cat which allows it to be very agile, even though in its appearance it looks like a small breed and is light, really its body is muscular and is heavier than it looks. They get to measure approximately 1 inch and the male weighs between 6 to 11 lbs, the female gets to weigh about 5 to 9 lbs. Something that draws attention to this cat is that it has a heart shaped head with a short neck, brilliant large round-shaped eyes that call a lot of attention but when they are born they tend to be of a blue tone, then they change to an amber tone and when they reach adulthood they change to green. Also a heart-shaped nose with a well-developed sense of smell, large triangular-shaped ears with a wide base and rounded tips. The hind legs are slightly longer than the front ones and the tail is of medium length with a wide base and a rounded tip.
Their coat color is what draws the most attention to this cat and although they have a resemblance to Russian Blue, they have their own characteristics. His coat consists of only a short or semi-long layer of hair attached to the body maintaining the same color tone throughout his body, is soft to the touch, and also somewhat dense. The root begins with a dark blue-grey color and lightens to the tip with a silver-tone giving it a bright effect with light. Also, the color of its paw pads is of the grayish-blue or lavender tone. No other color is allowed in this breed and no other pattern is allowed either. It is not allowed to cross with any other breed. Because they have a single coat, they do not usually shed much fur so this helps people who suffer from cat allergies and are still cat lovers. Within the group of blue cat breeds apart from the Korat and the Russian Blue there are also the British Shorthair and the Chartreux.
Korat temperament is known for being a calm, affectionate, and playful cat. This feline is suitable for environments with few people since they have a very sensitive sense of hearing, so they don’t tolerate much the rough noises or strong movements, so it is not very recommended for children, as long as you teach them how to treat your pet, or simply keep it away. Also, they don’t get along well with other animals, and even less with dogs, but if they are raised together from puppies and strengthen good socialization in your cat, they can adapt. Likewise, it is never out of place to have a companion of the same breed to share and not let him be completely alone. Although, this cat is suitable for older people as they tend to like to be in quieter and calmer environments.
It’s a cat that likes to spend time with his owner, show him affection and play with him when he wants to, usually creating unique bonds with his favorite person and showing it in his own way. He is a very intelligent cat so it is good that you make games that stimulate him more and he learns many things. Even though he is an agile cat that likes to exercise, be curious and make his adventures, he usually tolerates well the time alone, he is independent and if you leave him games or scratchers on different floors he can entertain himself on his own way, but never neglect the time of affection and interaction with you that he needs. Also be sure that if your pet wants something or doesn’t want a thing, he will let you know, they are not very communicative but he will look for a way to express what he wants or feels through meows or some noise that he expresses.
Care and Feeding
The Korat breed care is the same as any other cat, do a couple of brushes a week to remove its dead coat and bathe it every couple of months, or only when you see it very dirty using shampoo especially for cats that do not have chemicals that harm it. Keep their eyes and ears clean by using special cat products or a slightly wet gauze applied very gently to avoid discomfort or injury. Always check their teeth to maintain good oral hygiene using a special cat toothbrush and toothpaste. As they have a single layer of fur they usually do not tolerate cold well, so avoid having your cat spend the nights outside or in cold weather, leave it indoors in a warm place with its own bed or with a cat blanket. Always leave a clean litter box within reach if he spends a lot of time indoors, changing it regularly to avoid bad smells.
Feeding is extremely important for any animal, its feed must be of the best quality and you can vary between wet and dry food. It is also advisable to ask your breeder or veterinarian what type of food is best for your pet, and how much you should give him/her, since it also depends on the age, weight, and physical activity your cat is carrying. It is always important to have a balanced and healthy diet for kittens so that it can develop well to avoid any type of illness, also to keep its coat healthy and wear that bright color is base on which kind of food it receives. Also keep in mind that if your cat doesn’t have an active life, is lazy and you don’t stimulate it to any physical activity it can develop obesity, along with entrance and possibly depression, so it depends on you how you want your new companion to live and take their lifestyle. Don’t forget also to leave him his plate of clean, fresh water every day.
Health and Breeding
Just like other domestic cats, they can suffer from certain diseases but in itself, it is a very healthy and strong cat by nature with longevity that proves it. It has been known that the Korat breed can suffer from a genetic disease known as Gangliosides that affect the neuromuscular system and is usually recognized between 2 and 4 months of age, some of the symptoms that are usually shown are tremors and loss of mobility. It can be detected by a blood test, which is why it is advisable to have the test done as early as possible to prevent the disease. You can also have the possibility of just being a carrier and being asymptomatic, allowing them to have a good quality of life.
It’s important to maintain regular visits to the veterinarian every 6 months to check and discard any disease or condition, keep their respective vaccines up to date, and perform deworming at the veterinarian’s criteria.
Because it is a breed that was introduced late to other countries, it is not very well known worldwide, so getting a Korat breeder can be a bit difficult. If you decided that you want to have this cat whatever your reason is, you must acquire it through a reputable breeder that is affiliated with the associations or that assures you that it is someone responsible and really dedicated to the breed. Once you have got your Korat kitty by means of a breeder you must make sure that he has all the legal documentation, that he shows you how he was raised and cared for the kitties if it is an appropriate environment, that they were fed correctly, as well as that they are healthy including all their vaccinations, were dewormed by a veterinarian and if their parents are cared for correctly, especially that they don’t give you your new pet too young because it must be weaned and have learned everything necessary from its mother to be a good kitten. Don’t forget to ask them to show the pedigree to make sure it is a purebred cat and also to prove that it doesn’t have any hereditary disease.
If after reading all this information you decide to have a Korat kitten as a new member of your family and you are sure that you can give him a good life, fulfilling all its responsibilities let me tell you will have a partner in life for a long time, who will show you in the best way, creating unique bonds full of much love and affection. Although it is difficult to find a Korat, you will not regret having this cat in the end. If you have any questions or if you think I’ve missed anything please let me know in the comment section down below.