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The Korat

The Korat is an ancient cat from Thailand, former Siam, and one of the earliest known breeds in the world, probably the purest.

History

We can find the oldest Korat portrait in the Smud Khoi, a book of cat poems from the Siamese Ayudhya kingdom (1350-1767).

This breed comes from the north-eastern province of Korat (pronounced Koh-Raht), but it wasn't called in that way until King Rama V of Siam knew these cats and their origins. Korats are the national cat for thai people, even though it is the Siamese breed for a great majority in the world.

Korats are believed in Thailand to bring good-luck and prosperity to their owners. A pair of them are often given to brides on their wedding day to ensure a happy marriage. They are also known as the Si-Sawat cat, because it has the colour of a native silver-blue fruit called like it.

Korat were introduced to the USA in 1959 by Mrs Jean Johnson. She came back home after many years in Thailand with a pair of Korats as gifts (Nara & Dara). That's why every korat imported can trace its ancestry back to Korats living or have lived in Thailand.

The Korat Cat Fanciers Association was formed in 1965 as the first international club dedicated to protect and develop the silver-blue "good-luck" cat with the Thai passport. The year after, Korats were recognised and accepted in competition for the first time.

Description

The Korat has a short single coat that is always silver-blue. That means they do not have a downy undercoat. Every blue hair has a silver tip. The hair is closelying, soft and smooth as silk and makes grooming very easy.

Korat is a medium to small cat with smooth curves and a heart-shaped face and head. The body is muscular and supple, but it's heavier and more solid in weight than appearance suggests. Females are often smaller than males, but they also have well developed muscles.

Korat eyes are large and round, and preferably green, even though they need two or more years to develop the colour. Korats have a very alert appearance due to the breadth between and across their eyes. Thai people described these eyes as "dewdrops on lotus leef or young rice".

Korats are slow maturing cats. They get better and better as they age.

Temperament

The Korat is an active cat with a strong temperament, but with a sweet-nature, which make them patient and loving with people. This breed is very intelligent, lively and playful even as adult. Korats want to fully participate in the family's life and love play games such as fetch.

They get along with other pets as long as they get to be the leaders. Korats consider humans part of their territory and love them endlessy. That's why they bond with their owner either as kittens or as adults. In the first weeks in its new home, the Korat will follow the person like best whatever she/he is doing, from room to room to be nearby. It's a characteristic Korat behaviour, whose opens to people, cats, or dogs.

Korats are not generally fearful cats. However, there are some of them who don't like to be shown, especially, if they have not begun as a kitten. The exhibitor must have firm control, because any unacceptable behavior by the cats, teaches them to repeat it in order to get the attention.

Health

There have been rare instances of a genetic neuromuscular degenerative disease called GM1 Gangliosidosis and GM2 Gangliosidosis in Korats that has been also identified in other breeds of cats. The symptoms normally appear before the kittens are four months old, but it is possible that don't appear because some kittens were only carriers and live normal and healthy lives. Since this is caused by a recessive gene, parents that produce affected kittens should be taken out of breeding programs. A free blood test exists at present, but is not widely available.

One of the three blue beauties

Korat, Russian Blue and Chartreux are the only breeds that must be blue. The first two are described as medium, silver-blue shorthair cats with green eyes, but a Korat is generally heavier and has rounded lines, different from longer and straighter Russian Blue ones. The thai has a single coat darker than the dense double coat of the russian, who's more reserved and shy. French Chartreux is a medium to large cat with big paws, dense coat and a powerful head with well-developed cheeks. The cooper colour of eyes are one of the main characteristics of this placid cat.




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