The Korat (pronounced koh-raht) is a cat breed that you won’t often encounter. They are rare outside of their native home of Thailand—but if you are lucky enough to meet one, you will never forget it!
This lovable and stunning cat, also referred to as Si-Sawat, stands out with their blue coloration and silvery sheen. They are small yet solid cats that love human companionship.
To learn more about this unique cat breed, keep reading.
|...at a glance
|Affectionate, friendly, demanding
|Coat & colors
Overview of the Korat cat
Korat cats are as smooth and silky as they look. They appear to be alert and ready for anything, carefully watching your every move to see if they can get involved. They have a charming heart-shaped face that has been loved for centuries in Thailand.
These small- to medium-sized cats will wow you with their personalities and sweet disposition, but don’t be surprised to feel like you’re constantly being watched. Korats are intelligent and loyal cats that need attention in order to be fulfilled and happy.
While these cats are smaller in size with a low percentage of body fat, they have a sturdy build and feel heavier than they appear. They typically weigh between 6 and 10 pounds, with males being slightly larger. The Korat has a semi-cobby body type, with tapering at the waist.
From the tips of their tails to their adorable little noses, this breed can be as long as 18 inches. The Korat doesn’t mind being small, though. It just means they can curl up and be the lap cat they desire to be.
Korats have short fur that feels dense to the touch but is quite glossy and soft. They are silver-tipped, blue-colored cats that only come in solid patterning. The silver-tipped color produces a halo effect that stands out in the sun. As these cats move about, it becomes more apparent how gorgeous their coats are.
While adult Korats have solid patterns, kittens may have ghost tabby markings that they eventually grow out of. Paw pads can range from dark blue to lavender, as do the nose leather and lips.
Korat cats are typically healthy, and with proper care, they can live long and fulfilling lives of 10 to 18 years. It won’t take long for a Korat to become your best friend and confidant; you’ll be deeply attached to their love and personality.
As with all domestic cats, obesity is a concern. A well-balanced diet can help keep your cat fit.
History of the Korat: The good luck cat
Descriptions and depictions of the Korat cat can be traced back centuries to the Tamra Maew, or “The Cat-Book Poems.” These manuscripts are estimated to have been written by Buddhist monks between the 14th and 18th centuries and are thought to be one of the oldest recorded literature about cats.
Unlike Siamese cats, which was considered royalty in Siam (modern-day Thailand), the first Korats were common people’s cats and were prized as good luck charms. They weren’t sold to anyone but were rather given as gifts to people during special times. Often, these cats are given in pairs because they do well with a companion.
Korats were given to brides on their wedding day to symbolize a happy and fortunate marriage, and are associated with ceremonies to help bring rainfall. They have always been good luck charms and should be thought of as such even today.
The Korat first came to the United States in 1959 as a pair. Today nearly all U.S.-based Korats can be traced back to these Thai cats, named Nara and Darra.
The breed was first recognized in 1966 by the American Cat Association (ACA), followed shortly by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA). They are still rare to see, but those who do love and respect them deeply.
Korat cat characteristics
Korat cats stand out with a sleek and attractive coat and heart-shaped head. Despite their cuddly attitude, they have a somber look. They aren’t large cats, which makes their constant observance of you more adorable than intimidating.
Their coats are always solid silvery-blue (sometimes considered grey). They have large ears with rounded tips that point in your direction all day. Their green or amber eyes are large and watchful, marking them as a famously curious cat breed. If you want to be left alone, this might not be the cat for you.
The Korat breed is often mistaken for Russian Blue cats. The latter breed originated in Russia and sports a double coat, unlike the Korat’s single layer of fur. Russian Blues tend to have wedge-shaped heads, while Korats’ are heart-shaped. Korats also tend to be more outgoing than Russian Blue cats.
Personality and behavior
Korat cats are extremely affectionate towards their humans. They love to be on your lap, but are happy to sit close by if you’re busy. Like the Siamese cat, they can be vocal when they want something from you—specifically during dinner time.
This breed is incredibly friendly and gets along with strangers and other pets, forming strong bonds with those they love the most. They can tolerate children fairly well, as long as children are taught how to respectfully interact with a cat before introduction.
Korats might show jealousy if you aren’t providing enough attention, or are paying too much attention to other pets in the house. As they were historically given in pairs, adopting two of them may be a good idea if you aren’t home all the time.
Exercise and energy
Korat cats are not overly hyper, so don’t worry about their bouncing off the walls and causing a ruckus in your home. They are very smart, so they will want to stay entertained with games and puzzles; otherwise, they might get bored.
As long as they are with you, they are content. If you can throw a toy and play fetch, point a laser around the room, or attempt a game of hide-and-seek, they will be more than happy to oblige.
Caring for a Korat cat
The Korat breed is a relatively easy cat to care for because they love to be around their humans. They like to be involved in the happenings around the house and want to know what you are up to throughout the day. They typically stay entertained just by following you around.
You will want to have plenty of toys to keep your cat occupied when they aren’t focused on you. Scratching posts can help keep your furniture intact (along with regular nail trimmings). Cat towers placed near the windows let Korats view the outside world safely, and cat shelves allow them to explore different heights in the home.
Ensure that your Korat has a clean space to go to the bathroom so they don’t soil other areas around the house. With a self-cleaning litter box like Litter-Robot, you don’t have to worry about whether their bathroom is up to their high standards. Plus, never scooping again will make your life a lot easier!
The Korat’s grooming requirements are not overly difficult. They only have a single coat, which means that they typically don’t shed a lot. You can get away with a weekly brushing—but during the spring and summer, you might want to bump it up to twice a week.
Even though the Korat is regarded as a relatively healthy breed, you may wish to get written documentation about the overall health of the parents from your cat rescue or breeder. That is because Korats can be prone to a rare genetic condition resulting in enzyme deficiency that affects their nervous system. This is called GM1 and GM2 gangliosidosis. It can be fatal, but you can usually determine if your cat carries the gene through genetic testing.
Loving a Korat cat
Adopting a Korat may not be ideal for beginners because they require a lot of time and attention. If you are someone who can give this to your cat, then you are likely ready to open your world up to this breed.
Ease your Korat into their new home with toys, cat furniture, and (when comfortable) lots of cuddles. Once they step foot in your door, you will fall completely in love!
- The Taming of the Cat | NCBI
- Korat GM1 Gangliosidosis | Veterinary Genetics Laboratory
- 6 Common Cat Body Types | Catonsville Cat Clinic
Photo credit: © Heikki Siltala / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0