The Korat is the blue cat of Thailand. It is known in the west for its possible geographical origin (Korat is a north eastern province of Thailand) but its Thai name defines its colour. ‘Si-Sawat’ means greyish blue, the hue of the Sawat seed.
Since its arrival in 1959 (USA), 1972 (UK), the type, characteristics and temperament of the breed have been preserved by a policy of no out crossing. There has never been any attempt to create different colours and all lines can be traced back to original Thai imports. Breeders take a pride in their Korats as an ‘ancient natural breed.’ Indeed the current show standards require the Korat to be as it was described in the Cat Book Poems written hundreds of years ago:-
‘The base of each hair, Is the colour of a cloud’ and Korat eyes are ‘Like dew when dropped on the leaf of a lotus’, only the style of the language has changed!
An adult Korat can be breath-takingly beautiful. The Standard of Points (SOP) calls for large, luminous, green eyes and these often seem over-sized for the heart-shaped face. The blue coat has an abundance of silver tipping and there is a halo effect as the light gleams on the silver sheen. The males show muscular power and, though the females are often smaller and dainty in appearance, both sexes surprise those who lift them, as they are far more solid in substance than appearance suggests.
Choosing a kitten for show bench looks though is just about impossible with this breed. Korats are slow maturing, and kittens and adolescents are often ugly ducklings, with dark, rather fluffy coats and amber coloured eyes; the mature ‘swan’ taking three/four years to blossom.
Do not choose this breed for its looks alone. The Korat is not for you if you are desirous of the merely decorative. They wish to be involved in the lives of their people and are truly companions. There has to be a reciprocal commitment on the part of the new owner. All of us who have owned them know how our lives were changed when Korats arrived. Their natural intelligence, liveliness and playfulness is their charm and the new owner must know of this, and be ready to give time and love, which will then be repaid a hundredfold.
Korats love to play. They like to have a store of small toys to give a variety of activities. Some will retrieve small objects and carry them around – though they don’t necessarily remember where they dropped them last. Balls provide lots of fun, so do things on strings that can be jumped for. Korats are lithe and active athletes. Enthusiastic climbing comes instinctively too, a strong, tiered climbing/scratching post is recommended.
As a breed they are perhaps not quite as vocal as the Siamese, but certainly ‘speak.’ Indeed they have quite an extensive vocabulary from a low growl, that is a warning to strangers, to some really blood-curdling shrieks (especially on-call females – not for nothing did a friend call hers The Banshee). Vocal communication with owners seems to come very naturally. I had one three-month-old kitten rush to tell me that I had just removed the litter tray she wanted to use.
Korats do enjoy going outdoors, but need a safe area in which to do so. They are the colour of dry tarmac, with the inevitable consequence. However, many are indoor cats only and have no problems as long as their need for activity and play is catered for. Indeed, in one respect they are particularly suited to this as they have a short, fine, single coat and shed very little hair.
A Korat turned 24 in the USA and it’s known here that many have reached their late teens, a good life expectancy. In some books it’s been reported that they are particularly susceptible to respiratory infection. In the bad old days before flu vaccination possibly, but its risk from any infection seems to be no more likely than it is for any other breed. Anyone buying a Korat should have an active, healthy, loving companion for many years to come.
Jen Lacey – Jenanca Korats
Note from Daphne Negus Back in the mists of time of Korat history in the Western world – a letter came in from Thailand commenting: “It’s a good thing you called them Korat as Nakorn Ratchasima would have given you a lot of problems”. ..For those of you who may not be aware, those are both names for that city.
STANDARD OF POINTS
Foreign type of medium build, firm, lithe and muscular, never large or coarse. The body to be of a medium length, with a medium tapering tail. Females are more dainty in appearance, but should not be undersized. The two most distinctive features of the Korat should be its large, green eyes and the coat’s silvery sheen. The Korat can be a very vocal cat but this does not usually indicate aggression.
When viewed from the front the head is heart-shaped, with breadth between and across eyes, gently curving to a well-developed, neither strongly pointed nor square muzzle. Forehead large, flat.
Short and with slight downward curve. In profile there is a slight stop between forehead and nose.
CHIN & JAW
Large with rounded tip and large flare at base, set high on head, giving an alert expression. Inside ears sparsely furnished.
EYES, COLOUR & SHAPE
Large and luminous, particularly prominent. Wide open and oversized for the face; eye aperture, which appears as well-rounded when fully open, has Asian slant when closed or partially closed.
Colour: brilliant green, but amber cast acceptable. Kittens and adolescents up to two years have yellow or amber to amber-green eyes.
Medium sized body, strong, muscular and semi-cobby. Medium bone structure, males powerful, females should be smaller and dainty. Back carried in a gentle curve.
LEGS & PAWS
Legs should be well-proportioned to body and paws oval. Five toes in front, four behind.
Tail medium in length, heavier at the base, tapering to a rounded tip.
Single. Hair is short to medium in length, glossy and fine, lying close to the body. The coat over the spine is inclined to break as the cat moves.
Perfect physical condition, muscular, alert appearance.
Any shade of blue all over, tipped with silver, the more silver tipping the better. Without shading or tabby markings. Allowance should be made for ghost tabby markings in kittens. When the coat is short the silver sheen is intensified. Silver tipping develops throughout kittenhood and adolescence to full intensity at about two years old.
Nose leather and lips, dark blue or lavender. Paw pads, dark blue ranging to lavender with pinkish tinge.
SCALE OF POINTS
|Breadth between Eyes||4|
|Ear set and placement||5|
|Shape and placement||15|
|Legs and paws||5|
Withhold all Awards for:-
- White marks or spots.
- Weak chin and/or uneven bite.
Withhold Certificates or First Prizes in Kitten Open Classes for:-
- Scattered white hairs
- Incorrect eye colour
- Any tabby markings in coat
- Any defect as listed in the preface to the official SOP booklet
THAI BLUE POINT
Off white with some shading on back and sides to tone with the points.
Any shade of blue, tipped with silver. Soundness to the roots is irrelevant. Tabby markings, whilst undesirable, may be evident, but should not unduly penalise an otherwise good exhibit. Nose leather, eye rims and lips blue. Paw pads blue, which may have a pinkish tinge.
In kittens the mask may be incomplete.
A clear blue.
Lilac of a warm pinky-beige tone, tipped with silver, the more silver tipping the better. When the coat is short the silver sheen is intensified. Soundness to the roots is irrelevant, it is the lilac colour with an overall silver sheen that is desirable. Tabby markings, whilst undesirable, may be evident, but should not unduly penalise an otherwise good exhibit. Nose leather, eye rims and lips lilac. Paw pads, lilac with a pinkish tinge.
A clear green in adults. Kittens and adolescents up to two years may have yellow or amber to amber-green eyes.
For Korat & Thai Standard of Points click here
For Guidelines and Notes on SOP click here
For Korat & Thai Registration Policy click here
For Notes on Registration Policy click here