With striking periwinkle-blue coats and playful personalities, Korat cats never fail to make an impression. This ancient breed originated in Thailand, treasured for generations as “good luck cats” thanks to their luminous fur and lively spirit.
In this extensive guide, you’ll learn all about Korat cat history, characteristics, care, health, and finding a reputable breeder. Discover why these charming blue-grey felines have enthralled cat lovers for centuries.
The Origins and History of Korat Cats
The Korat cat gets its name from the province of Korat in northeast Thailand where it originated. Known as Si Sawat in their native land, Korats have existed in Thailand for hundreds of years.
In fact, the very first description of the breed comes from “The Cat-Book Poems,” a manuscript written in 1350 AD during the Ayutthaya Kingdom. This treasured work declares Korats as possessing “colours like raincloud with silver linings” and voices that “sound like that of a dying frog.”
Historically, Korats were treasured as companions but also symbols of good fortune. Their luminous silver-blue coats were associated with prosperity. Traditional Thai culture held firm beliefs regarding cat color – more saturated blue Korats were considered extremely fortunate.
Korats were rarely sold. Instead they were given as special gifts to esteemed individuals. In Old Siam, Korats were frequently offered as a pair to newlyweds by families of the bride and groom, bestowing blessings and fertility upon the union.
Outside of Thailand, the Korat remained relatively unknown until the mid 1900s. In 1959, the Korat was first imported to the United States by a Siamese cat breeder. Not long after in 1966, the Cat Fanciers Association officially recognized the breed.
Over the next decades, Korats gained fans across North America, Europe, and Oceania. But the exotic breed is still considered rare outside of Thailand. Their eye-catching appearance and lively personality continue attracting cat lovers worldwide.
Now let’s dive into details on Korat physical features and personality.
Korat Cat Characteristics and Personality Traits
Beyond their stunning blue coat, Korats share many attributes that make them such endearing companions. Here are the key characteristics and personality hallmarks of this charismatic breed:
- Coat color – Single solid shade of silver-blue ranging from light blue-grey to deeper slate grey
- Coat texture – Short and glossy but with a soft, silky feel. Hair is single coated.
- Coat pattern – The silvery tipping gives a halo effect on hairs. Roots are lighter than tips.
- Eyes – Glowing green, described as “luminous.” Overlarge and expressive eyes.
- Body – Semi-cobby but athletic. Muscular and surprisingly heavy for size.
- Ears – Large, with rounded tips and tufts at the base. Set high on the head.
- Paws – Small and oval shaped. Toes form tight curves and tufts between toes.
Overall, the Korat projects an aura of understated elegance. Their eyes shine like jewels against the shimmery blue coat.
Personality Traits and Temperament
Despite (or perhaps due to) their aristocratic background, Korats tend to be charming, confident and playful. Here’s an overview of their personality:
- Intelligent – Bright, responsive cats who enjoy learning tricks. Eager to participate in activities.
- Playful – Korats stay kitten-like well into adulthood. They delight in all kinds of toys and games.
- Affectionate – Loyal, people-oriented cats who form close bonds. They crave interaction.
- Adaptable – Korats transition well to new environments with their confident nature. Not easily stressed.
- Vocal – Partial to “talking” with a musical voice. They have a story to tell!
- Active – Full of energy and curiosity. Daily play sessions are a must.
Overall, the Korat is a lively yet loyal breed devoted to its family. Their sparkling intellect and enthusiasm for play make them highly engaging companions.
Now that you’re enchanted by the unique Korat, let’s go over care and costs of these magnificent cats.
Korat Cat Price- What to Expect with Care and Expenses
While certainly more involved than owning your average house cat, Korats make delightful pets for the right owner. Here’s what to expect when welcoming one of these special kitties into your home.
One-Time Initial Costs
Adoption or Purchase Price – $400 to $800 through a breeder; $50 to $200 through a shelter or rescue.
Supplies – $150 to $300 for basics like litter box, food bowls, scratching posts, toys, grooming tools, cat trees.
Spay/Neuter – $200 to $500
Microchip and Registration – $50 to $100
Initial Vet Visit – $100 to $300 for the first round of vaccinations and establishing care.
Total Initial Costs – Roughly $1000 to $2000 to adopt and get started.
Estimated Annual Ownership Costs
Food – $150 to $300. Feed high quality cat food formulated for the breed.
Litter – $100 to $300. Use clumping, low-dust litter.
Grooming – $20 to $100. Costs for nail trims, brushes, bathing tools.
Routine Vet Care – $200 to $400. Annual exam, vaccines, parasite prevention.
Medical Insurance – $300 to $600 per year. Recommended given potential health issues.
Other Supplies – $50 to $200 for replenishing toys, litter, beds, etc.
Total Annual Costs – Approximate average is $1000 – $2000 per year
As a moderately rare breed, Korat ownership comes with higher upfront and yearly costs. But for most devotees, their wonderful companionship outweighs the expenses.
Next, let’s go over some common health concerns to be aware of with the breed.
Korat Cat Health and Genetic Conditions
Due to their limited gene pool, Korats may be susceptible to certain hereditary health conditions. Reputable breeders will screen for these. Be aware of:
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – Genetic heart condition causing enlarged heart muscle. Can cause heart failure.
- Progressive retinal atrophy – Degeneration of the retina causing vision loss and blindness.
- Feline central corneal thickness – Abnormally thick cornea. Causes eye pressure and vision issues.
Other conditions seen occasionally in Korats include hip dysplasia, allergies, and reproductive issues.
With proper care and annual vet visits, most Korats enjoy excellent health well into their senior years. But due to potential costly conditions, purchasing pet insurance is wise.
Finding a Reputable Korat Cat Breeder
Because the Korat remains an uncommon pedigree, finding a well-bred kitten may require patience and diligent searching. Here are tips for identifying an ethical Korat cat breeder:
- Specializes in Korats – Run, don’t walk from any breeder offering multiple trendy hybrid cats.
- **Asks many questions ** – A quality breeder will screen buyers to ensure a good home.
- Runs genetic health tests – Seek proof of testing for cardiomyopathy, PRA, CCT, etc.
- Offers guidance and support – A responsible breeder will be a resource for the life of your cat.
- Keeps small “catteries” – Quality over quantity. Breeders with just a few breeding cats offer better socialization.
- Shows cats through TICA – Titles indicate health, sound structure, and good temperament.
Be prepared to get on a waitlist. This demonstrates commitment on your part while allowing the breeder time to properly place each kitten.
Patience pays off by finding the most ethical Korat breeder possible. Your cat will likely enjoy better long term health as well.
Bringing the Spirit of Thailand Home – Caring for Your Korat
Once you’ve found the perfect Korat kitten to adopt, it’s time to provide them a loving home that meets all their needs. Here’s a closer look at some aspects of caring for your Korat cat.
Personality and Temperament
The Korat’s playful, confident nature shines through in all life stages. Here’s what to expect as your Korat matures:
- As kittens – Extremely active, curious, and mischievous! Provide ample toys and supervised exploration.
- As young adults – Retain much of their kitten energy. Expect high activity levels and propensity for climbing, perching, pouncing and investigating.
- As mature adults – Settle slightly but still remain energetic and engaged. Likely to initiate play and “talk” to their owners. Bond closely.
- As seniors – Gradual slow down but Korats maintain interest in toys, activities and spending time with family. Still communicate vocally.
Korats stay spirited and youthful well into their senior years. Daily interactive play helps them channel that lively energy in positive ways.
Thankfully, the Korat’s short single coat requires minimal upkeep:
- Brushing – A weekly brushing to remove loose hair is plenty. The coat rarely tangles or mats.
- Bathing – Only bathe occasionally as needed. Korat hair repels dirt and oil fairly efficiently.
- Nail trimming – Trim nails every 2-3 weeks to prevent accidental injury from getting snagged.
- Teeth brushing – Helps prevent dental disease. Introduce tooth brushing slowly.
- Ear cleaning – Check and wipe ears weekly for cleanliness and health.
Take grooming time as an opportunity for calm bonding and pampering. Korats appreciate the extra attention!
Exercise and Activity Requirements
The active Korat thrives on both physical and mental stimulation. Cater to their needs through:
- Interactive play – Wand toys that make “prey” move entice their hunting instinct. Puzzle toys and treat mazes engage their bright intellect.
- Aerobic exercise – Watching the zoomies is cute but not enough! Schedule daily vigorous play sessions to satisfy their energy. Teach them to fetch.
- Environmental enrichment – Ensure access to cat trees, perches and scratching surfaces. Rotate novel toys to prevent boredom. Consider a catio or leash walks.
- Positive training – Korats excel at learning commands, tricks and games that challenge their smarts. Use rewards like treats and praise.
Maintaining an active lifestyle is key to Korat happiness and preventing destructive behaviors. A bored Korat can get into mischief! Proper outlets keep them content.
Korats require tailored nutrition to fuel their energetic bodies:
- High protein – Choose a premium brand cat food with at least 30% protein from quality sources. Supports muscle maintenance.
- Meat as first ingredient – Seek a diet with real meat rather than meal, by-product or plant protein.
- Moderate fat – Korats are active but not ultra-high energy. 15-20% fat suits most.
- Adequate taurine – This amino acid is essential for heart and eye health. Check label.
- No grain fillers – Grain-free formulas minimize calories from carbohydrates.
- No free feeding – Set meal schedules and portion control to prevent overeating.
Consult your vet for the ideal nutrition plan to keep your Korat healthy and energetic. Proper diet supports their activity levels.
Korat Cat Breed Sumarized Tips
- Puppy-proof your home by removing electrical cords, string, small items. Lock up chemicals and medications. Secure screens.
- Stock up on necessary supplies – food and water bowls, premium diet cat food, scratching posts, safe toys, comb and brush, litter box and litter.
- Cat-proof one room at first to help your Korat slowly acclimate before giving full home access.
- Be prepared for an active kitten! Have interactive toys on hand to stimulate body and mind.
- Establish a routine for feeding, play, grooming. Cats thrive on predictability and structure.
- Get kitty comfortable with being handled, brushing teeth, and nail trims. Reward with treats.
- Schedule that first vet visit within days to get your Korat checked and finish vaccines.
- Enjoy getting to know your Korat’s unique personality. Bond through play and quiet quality time.
Preparation, patience, and interactive care sets you both up for an enjoyable lifetime together.
Frequently Asked Questions About Korat Cats
How can I confirm if my cat is a full Korat versus just a lookalike?
DNA testing through a vet can verify Korat lineage. True Korats only come in a range of silver-blue with luminous green eyes. No other coat colors exist naturally in the breed.
Why are Korat cats considered “good luck cats”?
In Thailand, the depth of blue coat color was associated with prosperity and fertility. The more saturated blue hue, the more luck the Korat would bestow. Their vocal nature and loyalty also brought fortune.
Are Korat cats very rare?
Outside of Thailand, Korats are still quite uncommon, ranking in the bottom half of registered pedigreed cats. But their popularity is growing thanks to their stunning appearance.
What health problems are Korats susceptible to?
Genetic issues include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, progressive retinal atrophy, and central corneal thickness abnormality. Buy from tested lines. Also monitor for spinal and hip issues.
Do Korat cats have any special care needs?
Korats are a highly active breed requiring ample playtime and stimulation. Be prepared to spend quality time bonding through games and activities.
What is the best way to find a Korat kitten?
Patience and diligent networking is key to connecting with an ethical breeder who health tests. Expect to wait on lists for the right litter. Shelter adoption is unlikely but always an option.
Are Korat cats expensive to own?
Yes, their rarity and potential health issues make ownership costlier than your average house cat. But to admirers, their wonderful temperament and stunning beauty are priceless!
Living with the Legendary Korat Cat
After centuries of myth and lore in their native Thailand, Korats now seek to win the hearts of admirers worldwide with their luminous coats and lively spirits.
While their unusual appearance attracts initial curiosity, the Korat quickly captivates new owners with an engaging personality that energetically declares “adopt me!”
Rather than resembling the aloof statues of ancient Siam, today’s Korats present as intelligent, exuberant felines devoted to their families. Shower them with interactive play, proper care and your own sweet talk, and the Korat will reward you with good fortune in the form of unwavering affection.
I hope this guide has illuminated everything it means to share life with one of these treasured cats. Feel free to reach out with any other questions as you embark on your journey of discovering the delightful Korat!