Korat Cat

Korat cat
Korat. Photo copyright Helmi Flick
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Nearly all the cat breed photographs on this website are by Helmi Flick a professional photographer of distinction. She mainly photographs show cats with a full pedigree. I am not sure of the pedigree or history of the cats on this page because I don’t know the photographers. That does not mean that they are not purebred or pedigree Korat Cats or indeed fine cats.

Introduction

The Korat is an ancient and natural cat from Thailand (formerly Siam the country of origin of the Siamese cat) with a “silvery sheen”1 originating in the court of King Rama V1. It was known as “Si-Sawat”, a symbol of good fortune.

two korat cats

A similar cat, in terms of its naturalness and colour comes immediately to mind, the Chartreux. The Chartreux is a native of France while the Korat, as mentioned, originally comes from Thailand (see map below) where the cat is associated with good luck. Apparently, a pair of Korats are, on occasions, given to newly weds as a way of wishing good luck (and on other special occasions, I presume). They were also said to have been used to guard homes and villages in Siam1.

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Korat cat - pictures of cats

“Korat” cat be translated as “Good Fortune”. It is said that this cat is sprinkled with water to bring rain; the coat being the color of grey rain clouds. This cat is relatively rare in its native country. My research did not revel reference to this breed of cat on websites about Thailand. The Korat is spoken about in a reverential way by the Thai people in respect of its fine appearance.

The coat is very fine and discussed below. It would seem, and I am speculating, that this cat was kept by the more wealthy people of Thailand. The cats of Thailand are more likely, these days to be moggies, Siamese (Vichien Mat) or Oriental Shorthair for example.

DateEvent
1350-1767Korat cat mentioned in an ancient Thai book, “The Cat-Book Poems”
1959First imported into USA by Jean Johnson
1972First imported into UK
1966Accepted by CFA into full status category (Championship Category)

Korat Cat

Appearance and Character

The coat is special in its make up and appearance. This cat has only one color, blue (solid division, traditional category) – the color you see in these photographs (any slight differences is due to color reproduction). Other cats with a similar single color are the Chartreux, Russian Blue and Nebelung. These are the Grey Cat Breeds. There are no tabby markings. The coat is a single coat (no undercoat), which means easier maintenance and medium in length. Also the fur doesn’t come off quite so easily, making this cat less of a problem potentially for people who suffer from cat allergies. However this would seem to be anecdotal information.

Korat cat - pictures of cats

The roots of the hair are dark blue changing to a darker color in the middle and finally silver at the top. The coat could be defined as, “silver tipped blue”. The Thais, however, describe the color with reference to nature, a reflection perhaps of the good luck they seek in bringing on rain by sprinkling the cat with water. They describe the color as, “rain cloud gray”. The silver aura or the “polished silver dollar” effect (used by the CFA author) is described as, “sea foam”.

There is an interesting difference in the reference to nature in Thailand and the reference to money in the USA. The “halo” effect may be due to the absorption of light by the dark middle area of the hair follicles and the silver tipping.

The silver tipping is more concentrated on the muzzle (the front of the cat’s face) and the toes. The face is said to be “heart-shaped”1. This comes from TICA’s breed standard, “Face is heart- shaped with smooth curved lines..” The eyes the colour of “peridot gem-stones1 – what are they!?

Answer: see picture above. TICA’s breed standard says this about the eyes, “Luminous green color preferred, amber cast acceptable..” The body is semi-cobby, cat fancy language for about average or between slender and stocky in conformation – see cat body types.

The body is compact and muscular. As to character, they have, like other cat breeds, (but perhaps more so) superb hearing and a very sensitive nose. As a consequence they like it quiet. Plus they have all the usual beautiful and natural characteristics of all domestic cats. They are said to be intelligent.

Korat Cat

Breeders

See a full Korat cat world list of breeders on this page. As usual, the listings are from the top non-directory cattery sites on a Google search. If you’d like a listing please contact me. Gentlegift Korats.

This is the only website (2009) listed in the first 3 pages on the above criteria at the time of building this page. This site malfunctions in its operation and it is not clear where the cattery is or whether it is still operating – please advise.

Sources:

  • 1. Legacy of the Cat by Gloria Stephens & Testsu – page 92 – see below
  • Moggies
  • Wikipedia
  • CFA
  • Me
  • Cats of Thailand

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

20 thoughts on “Korat Cat”

  1. My husband rescued a kitten from the engine compartment of a bucket truck Nov 2015. The vet said she is just a random-bred blue. My daughter and I disagree. We believe that Cleopatra, Queen of D’Nial, is a Korat because she fits all of the descriptions we have found on that breed. Plus, she acts like royalty, so therefore, she definitely is descended from a royal breed. LOL! She has the silver tipping on her hairs and the silver points you mentioned. When the sun hits her hair just right, the tips turn rose gold. I wish I were a better photographer so everyone could see. Although the picture is not the most flattering, it does show her silver points.

    Reply
  2. I was given this cat they named Smokey 1 month ago. He is 11 lbs and his hair is almost white at the roots. He is a year old and has a green ring around his iris changing from amber. He is very affectionate, intelligent and demanding. He sleeps right beside me and follows me like a dog. He lives to help. Lol. I understand how rare they are but whatever he is I love him unconditionally as he was born the week my almost 17 yr old at Midnight died October 2015. He has filled a big void, a gift from he rainbow bfidge

    Reply
    • Hi Pheonix. I love your love for your cat. This is beautiful and I can tell it is genuine. I have lightened the image in this reply. Smokey is probably a super looking all grey random bred cat. He looks like a purbred because he is very handsome. Thanks so much for sharing.

      Reply
  3. Hi Michael,

    In the light of your excellent essay and laudable opinion on the havoc breeders have made with the breed, I am dismayed at your opinion that “a cat ain’t a Korat if it ain’t got papers.” First of all, you already know that the Korat is an ancient breed. Therefore there were Korats centuries before there was anything such as papers. Second and more importantly, are you aware that there are more than three hundred thousand Thai people in the United States? Have you ever considered that a few of them might have cats?

    I would like to look at the genome of the cat we got from the shelter this week and see how close it is to a typical purebred. I wish I had the money to satisfy this academic interest. And also to say, “Nya nya! I told you so!”

    Do you know who else was born here? The King of Thailand!

    Reply

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