- Average Height: 8 to 10 inches
- Average Weight: 6 to 10 pounds
- Coloring: Bluish-gray
- Coat Type: Single coated short fur
- Average Lifespan: 15 years
Key Personality Traits:
AffectionateDeterminedEnergeticGood with Cats/DogsGood with KidsIntelligent
In his home country of Thailand, the Korat is a living symbol of luck and prosperity. He is quieter than the Siamese, to whom he is related, but he definitely will let you know what he’s thinking. His compact, muscular body wears a short, easy-care coat in bluish-gray tipped with silver. Want to make Lady Luck your friend? Meet the Korat, a symbol of good fortune in his native Thailand. And it’s easy to see why. His blue-gray fur glistens like silver, his bright green eyes symbolize prosperity, and his heart-shaped face is said to bring happiness to brides.
The medium-size Korat is muscular but compact, weighing 6 to 10 pounds. The breed is slow to mature and may not reach his full physical and emotional development until he is 5 years old. For instance, the eyes do not achieve their luminous green color until the Korat is 2 to 4 years old.
The demanding and intelligent Korat rules his household with an iron paw sheathed in velvet. He loves attention and likes to think of himself as the one in charge, whether of other cats, dogs, or the people in his family. Expect him to be closely involved in everything you do, from reading the paper to preparing meals to paying bills. When you are home, he will always be near — if not on — you, and he won’t like being left alone for hours on end.
The Korat is well suited to any home with people who will love him and give his gorgeous coat a weekly combing. Keep him indoors to protect him from cars, diseases spread by other cats, attacks from other animals, and simply to prevent his curiosity from leading to the end of his nine fortunate lives.
Other Quick Facts
- The Korat shines like silver and is distinguished by a heart-shaped head; huge, luminous eyes of peridot green or amber; large ears flared at the base, rounding at the tip and set high on the head; and a medium-length tail that tapers to a rounded tip.
- The Korat is never outcrossed to other breeds and has not been used to create any other breeds.
- The name is pronounced ko-RAHT, not KO-rat.
The History of the Korat
This silvery-blue beauty is an ancient breed from Thailand. Pictures of the Korat, also known as the Si-Sawat, appear in a book about cats that dates to Thailand’s Ayudhya period (1350-1767). In it, the Korat is described as a cat that brings good fortune. The cats were never sold, but a pair of Korats was a favored gift. Centuries-old paintings of Korats look much like the breed as it is today, and all modern Korats have family trees with roots in Thailand.
In the late 19th century, some solid blue “Siamese” cats were exhibited in England but were probably Korats. It wasn’t until 1959 that a Korat lived in the United States. Nara and Darra arrived with a couple who were given the cats after retiring from U.S. Foreign Service work in Thailand.
The Cat Fanciers Association recognized the breed in 1967, and all cat registries now recognize the Korat.
Korat Temperament and Personality
The Korat rules his household with an iron paw sheathed in velvet. He loves attention and likes to think of himself as the one in charge, whether of other cats, dogs, or the people in his family. He can be a bit stuck up, preferring the company of other Korats to that of any other pets, but he’s affectionate with his people and calm with children.
Expect the Korat to be closely involved in everything you do, from reading the paper to preparing meals to paying bills. When you are home, he will always be near — if not on — you, and he won’t like being left alone for hours on end. Nor is he fond of loud noises or a lot of commotion. This is a gentle cat who likes to snuggle.
The Korat is less talkative than his Siamese cousin, but he definitely knows how to express himself both verbally and with body and tail language. You will know if he doesn’t approve of what you’re doing or how you’re feeding him. A quiet, happy chirp indicates his satisfaction.
Gentle he may be, but the Korat is also energetic, playful, and highly intelligent. Challenge his brain by teaching him tricks (try clicker training!) and providing him with puzzle toys that will reward him with kibble or treats when he learns to manipulate them.
Always choose a kitten from a breeder who raises litters in her home and handles them from an early age. Meet at least one and ideally both of the parents to ensure that they have nice temperaments.
What You Need to Know About Korat Health
No matter how well breeders screent their lines for issues, all cats have the potential to develop genetic health problems. Breeders who claim that Korats have no known issues are either dishonest or unknowledgeable—take that as a red flag to look elsewhere. All reputable breeders will offer a health guarantee on kittens.
The Korat is prone to a fatal genetic condition that comes in two forms: GM-1 and GM-2 gangliosidosis. 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.
Beyond genetic conditions, you as the owner also have a huge role to play in your Korat’s health. One of the most common (and avoidable) health problems cats face is obesity. Keep your Korat at an appropriate weight by feeding him a balanced diet, and his overall health will benefit as a result.
The Basics of Korat Grooming
The Korat has a single coat with hair that is short, shiny, and fine. The coat is easy to groom with twice-weekly brushing. You’ll need to brush the Korat more often in the spring when he sheds his winter coat.
Beyond that, the only other grooming to stay on top of is regular nail trimming and ear cleaning with a vet-approved, gentle ear cleanser. Brushing your Korat’s teach frequently will also help with his overall health and keep his breath fresh.
Start brushing, nail trimming, and teeth brushing when your cat is still a kitten, and he will accept these activities later on.
Choosing a Breeder for Your Korat
All pet owners just want their cats to be happy and healthy. That starts with doing your homework before bringing him home.
For all the information on history, personality, and looks of the Korat, or to find breeders, visit the websites of the Cat Fanciers Association, Cats Center Stage, the Fanciers Breeder Referral List, and The International Cat Association.
The bottom line is this: You should be putting as much effort into researching your kitten as any major purchase. When it comes to bringing home a kitten, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
So, what should you look for in a breeder? Here are some signs you’ve found a good one:
- The breeder abides by a code of ethics that outlines their responsibilities to their cats and to buyers
- The breeder has performed the necessary health certifications and genetic tests
- The breeder raises the kittens in the home and have been socialized early in life
- The breeder does not allow credit card transactions on her website
- The breeder does not have multiple litters on the premises
While there is no guarantee you’ll be able to discern a disreputable breeder from a good one, researching the breed, checking out the facility, and coming equipped with the right questions can help you avoid a disastrous situation. When in doubt, use your veterinarian as a resource. Vets can often refer you to a reputable breeder or rescue organization where kittens are much more likely to be raised in a healthy way.
Patience is also a virtue when researching the best breeders. You may have to wait six months or more for the right kitten to become available, and for good reason. Many breeders won’t release kittens to new homes until they are between 12 and 16 weeks of age.
Adopting a Korat from a Rescue or Shelter
The Korat is an unusual and uncommon breed. It is unlikely that you will find one in a shelter or through a rescue group, but it doesn’t hurt to look. Sometimes a pedigreed cat ends up at a shelter after losing his home to an owner’s death, divorce, or change in economic situation.
Still, it’s worth a shot. Here are some tips you may find helpful when looking to adopt the right cat from a rescue group or shelter.
Use the Web. Sites like Petfinder.com and Adopt-a-Pet.com don’t just make it possible to search for Korats in your area, they also allow you to narrow down your search based on certain criteria like age. If you’re looking for an animal rescue group in your area, head to AnimalShelter.org.
Beyond those websites, it may also benefit you to think of some more unconventional sources. For example, newspapers often have “pets looking for homes” sections you can review. Or, use the power of your own online network! Post on your social media channels about your desire to adopt a Korat, and you may be surprised who can offer you help.
Reach Out to Local Experts. While it may seem like a no-brainer, talking to pet pros about finding a Korat to adopt is still a smart strategy. These pros include vets, cat sitters, and groomers—all professions with an ear to the ground who may have insight into how to find an adoptable Korat better than anywhere else.
Talk to a Breed Rescue. Networking can help you find a cat that may be the perfect companion for your family. Most people who love Korats love all Korats. That’s why breed clubs have rescue organizations devoted to taking care of homeless cats. Start with the Fanciers Breeder Referral List. You can also search online for Korat rescues in your area.
Regardless of which route you take, also ensure to sign a tight contract with the seller, shelter, or rescue you’re working with. This contract should spell out responsibilities on both sides.
When the day finally comes and you’re ready to bring home your Korat, make sure you take him to the vet as soon as you can. Your veterinarian will be able to spot problems and work with you to set up a preventive regimen that will help you avoid many health issues.
Are Korat cats rare?
Korat cats are considered a highly rare and ancient breed of cat whose lineage traces back nearly 800 years ago. Originating in Thailand, they have only been in the United States for a few decades. They are also difficult to come by in their homeland, so expanding their gene pool is challenging.
Are Korat cats hypoallergenic?
Korat cats are not considered hypoallergenic. In fact, it is misleading to label any cat as purely hypoallergenic, as it is the dander and not the hair of a cat that leads to allergic reactions in humans. However, there have been some anecdotal reports that Korats are generally more tolerated among people allergic to cats, though that is not scientifically verified.
So, if you’re allergic to cats, adopt a Korat at your own risk.
How long do Korat cats live?
The typical lifespan for a Korat cat is similar to the average age of most cats, which is around 15 years old. They are prone to a fatal genetic condition that comes in two forms: GM-1 and GM-2 gangliosidosis, but with proper screening and good breeding practices, you should be in the clear from worrying about it. Otherwise, keeping your Korat in a clean living environment and at a healthy weight will help him lead the longest life possible.
How much does a Korat cat cost?
The cost to bring home a Korat cat varies widely based on location, age, and pedigree. For a kitten that comes from a reputable breeder, you can expect to spend between $400-$800. However, some breeders who offer a superior genetic line may charge upwards of $2,000 for a Korat kitten.