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rec.pets.cats: Korats Breed-FAQ

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Archive-name: cats-faq/breeds/korats
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Last-modified: 12 Mar 1997

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                                   The Korat
   AUTHOR Dennis Ganoe, 4/26/94 []
   Copyright (c)1994, 1995, 1996 Dennis Ganoe, All Rights Reserved.

   The Korat (Koh-Raht) is a medium to small, shorthair cat with the
   females weighing between 6 and 8 pounds and the males from 8 to 10
   pounds. The Korat is a very compact cat with a low percentage of the
   weight as body fat. This means the Korat may appear to be a small cat,
   but in reality they are much heavier and more solid than they look.
   They have broad chests with well developed muscles, even the females.
   They have a single close lying coat that is always silver-blue. Single
   coat means they do not have a downy undercoat and the coat lies flat.
   The head is heart shaped. The heart is outlined by drawing imaginary
   lines from the rounded tip of the chin up to the top of the ears and
   then back to the top of the head. The eyes are oversized for the face
   but are not protruding or "bug eyed." The eyes are round when fully
   open but appear slanted when closed or partially closed. They are
   peridot green (in the mature cat) and translucent in all stages of
   development. Korats are slow maturing cats. They can often take up to
   5 years to reach their full potential. The coat will always be
   silver-blue, but the silver tipping will become more pronounced as
   they mature. The eye color, a vivid peridot green, also appears as cat
   matures. The Korat is a cat that gets better and better as it ages.

   The Korat is an ancient cat from Siam (now Thailand) that is written
   of in the "The Cat-Book Poems." This book was written between 1350 and
   1767 AD. The Korat is known as the Si-Sawat cat in its native country
   and the Korat name was originated when King Rama V of Siam was
   presented with the cat. He asked what kind of cat it was and was told
   it came from Korat, a high plateau in northeast Thailand. It is known
   as the good-luck cat of Thailand and a pair of Korats are often given
   to brides on their wedding day to ensure a happy marriage. Korats are
   rarely sold in Thailand, but given to people held in high esteem.
   The first Korat to be exhibited was probably in England in the late
   19th century. It was entered as a Siamese because that is where the
   owner obtained it. It was listed as a solid blue and descriptions of
   that judging still exist today. The first modern Korats were
   introduced to the U.S. by Mrs Jean Johnson in 1959. Her husband
   retired from the foreign service in Thailand and they were presented
   with a pair of Korats as gifts when they returned to the United
   States. Since that introduction, many additional Korats have been
   imported and every Korat can trace its ancestry back to Korats living
   or have lived in Thailand. This why the Korat is sometimes referred to
   as the Silver-blue cat with the Thai passport.
   Shortly after the Korat arrived in the United States the Korat Cat
   Fanciers Association was formed. It is a non-affiliated international
   club dedicated to the protection and development of the Korat. This
   club was instrumental in getting the Korat recognized in all
   associations and helps ensure that the standards for the Korat remain
   virtually the same in all associations.

   The Korat is an active cat with strong likes and dislikes. They are
   quite territorial and consider their "human" part of their territory.
   For this reason they make outstanding companions, always nearby and
   faithful. Korats are very intelligent and take well to most training.
   Korats have been trained to play games such as fetch and can be
   trained to walk on a leash. Korats "bond" with their owner either as
   kittens or as adults. The bonding usually takes place in the first few
   weeks a Korat is in its new home. After the bonding, the Korat will
   want to be with their "person," whatever that person is doing and will
   follow their chosen person from room to room to be nearby. This
   behavior has been known to annoy some people. Bonding with a Korat is
   not limited to humans. Korats will bond to what ever entity they like
   best. This can be an adult, a child, another cat, or a dog. Bonding
   with a Korat doesn't mean it will reject offers of affection from
   others. It simply means they have a chosen preference in
   companionship. Korats have thrived in every environment this author
   has known. They do tend to elevate themselves to the Number 1 position
   in a group of cats and other cat breeds have been known to resent
   Korats in the show ring show all of the above mentioned traits. Korats
   are not generally fearful cats, so most of their show behavior is
   learned. They may learn that aggressive behavior gets them taken home.
   They may also learn that certain behaviors get them special attention
   from their chosen person. Showing a Korat takes time and firm control.
   It takes time to train a Korat to show. The exhibitor must ensure the
   Korat learns the show routine and what is expected of the show cat. An
   exhibitor of Korats must have firm control of themselves, because any
   "pay-off" of unacceptable behavior by the Korat, teaches the Korat to
   repeat the behavior in order to get what he wants most, attention from
   his "person."

   Is that a Russian Blue? (What is the difference between a Korat and a
   Russian Blue?)

       The Russian Blue and the Korat share a great many words in common.
       Both are described as medium, silver-blue shorthair cats with
       green eyes. A Korat is generally heavier for the same size cat
       than a Russian Blue. Korats are stockier and a bit chunkier than
       Russian Blues and the Korat has rounded lines where Russian Blues
       have longer and straighter lines. The Korat has a single coat and
       the Russian Blue has dense double coat. The Korat is gun-metal
       blue which is darker than the usual Russian Blue color. Both
       breeds have silver tipping on each hair. The Korat's eyes are a
       peridot green and the Russian Blue has emerald green eyes. The
       head structures on the two breeds are distinctly different and the
       personalities are very different.
   Is the Korat prone to any particular illnesses?

       Korats are not prone to any particular illnesses. However, there have
       been rare instances of a genetic neuromuscular degenerative
       disease that has been identified in the Korat as well as other
       breeds of cats, called GM1 Gangliosidosis and GM2 Gangliosidosis.
       The symptoms of this disease normally appear before the kittens
       are four months old, therefore most Korat owners would never know
       that it exists. The kittens that are not affected show no outward
       signs even if they were a carrier, and they live normal and
       healthy lives. Only in a breeding situation should this be of any
       concern. Since this is caused by a recessive gene, parents that
       produce affected kittens should be taken out of the breeding
       program. A blood test exists at present for the disease but is not
       widely available because it is presently experimental. Perhaps in
       the future it will be more widely available.
   How are Korats in single cat households?

       Korats will bond more closely to their human if they are the only cat
       around, but some cautions should be observed with a single Korat.
       The need for companionship is so strong in the Korat that a single
       Korat should not be left alone for extended periods or ignored
       when the caregivers are present (see Training, below). This may
       cause the Korat to become aggressive or, more likely, very
       withdrawn. Either of these conditions prevent the Korat from
       exhibiting its true nature. If the Korat is left with only other
       cats, because of their need for companionship, the Korat will bond
       with one of the other cats. When multiple people and/or cats are
       present, the Korat will bond with the individual they "like" best
       or whomever they spend the most time with, be that cat or human.
   Are Korats quiet? What are their voices like?

       Korats vary widely in their vocalizations. Some will be exceptionally
       quiet and others will scream. Every Korat is capable of an
       incredible variety of sounds, from a quiet questioning chirp, to a
       full voice roar. They generally "speak" only when they have
       something to say, or to alert you to their needs.
   Are they outdoor cats?

       Most breeders do not let their cats go outdoors at all. In fact, Korat
       breeders require a sales pledge that, among other things, requires
       the new owner to ensure the cat is kept indoors except under
       direct supervision.
   How much does a Korat cost?

       Generally, pet quality kittens start at $400 and the price may change
       depending upon the quality of the kitten. Some breeders will sell
       show quality kittens as pets when an exceptional home is found and
       breeders will often place an older cat for a nominal charge when
       they are completed with their breeding life. Even older Korats
       will bond to their new owners. These older cats are usually 6-8
       years old and have earned their "retirement."
   How long do Korats live?

       It is not exceptional for a Korat to live 15 years or more given good

   The Korat is recognized for championship status in the following
     * Cat Fanciers Association (CFA)
     * The International Cat Association (TICA)
     * American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA)
     * Cat Fanciers' Federation (CFF)
     * Federation Internationale de Feline (FIFe)

   Korats are easy cats to take care of because they will usually tell
   you what they need. They are not finicky eaters, but it is recommended
   that owners feed only high quality dry food and/or canned food.
   Although Korats like people food, it is not formulated for them and
   should be minimized.
   Korats have a low body fat percentage, but they can become overweight.
   If fed too much, a Korat will develop "fat pads" along their
   underside. These can be mistaken for mammary tumors as they have the
   same look and feel. If any doubt exists, have the cat examined by a
   When having your Korat spayed/neutered or when have any operation that
   requires anesthesia, it should be remembered that Korats have little
   body fat to absorb the anesthesia. Non fat-soluble varieties should be
   used when operating on Korats. This is the same as other "low fat"
   animals like Greyhounds, Whippets or Siamese.
   Korats reach sexual maturity relatively early, 6-8 months in most
   cases. Neutering a male cat at this age is appropriate, as is spaying
   the female. A male cat will begin spraying, or marking his territory
   upon reaching sexual maturity. Korat females, when they come into
   season, will call for available males, and will also mark their
   territory with urine. Spaying and neutering can alleviate the desire
   to spray.
   Training a Korat is relatively easy. Fetch the toy is a game that most
   Korats readily adapt to. Training a Korat can be done with both
   negative and positive reinforcement. Negative incentives should be
   limited to a loud "NO", a clap of the hands, snap of the fingers, or a
   squirt bottle of plain water. Because of the Korats gregariousness,
   the ultimate in discipline is to quietly place the cat in a separate
   room for a short time (15 min) and then just as quietly let it out. Be
   sure no toys or other amusements are available in the "time out" room.
   Positive reinforcements are the usual games and treats and a simple
   petting session for something well done.

   The standards for Korats is almost identical for every association.
   The differences are in CFA and TICA a non-visible tail kink is
   allowable whereas in the other associations it is disqualifiable. In
   Thailand, a kink in the tail of a Korat is considered a sign of extra
   "good-luck." When Korats are judged, CFA judges tend to ignore a
   non-visible tail kink. TICA judges who notice the kink will usually
   not final a Korat.
   The Korat is a medium sized, semi-cobby shorthair cat. The body is
   well-muscled with a broad chest and good development. The Korat has a
   single close-lying blue coat with each hair tipped with silver. The
   more silver tipping, the better. The head is heart shaped with large
   luminescent green eyes. The heart is outlined by tracing from the
   strong chin up the cheek bones to top of the ears and then returning
   to the top of the head. A second heart can be traced from the chin to
   the eyebrows and back to the bridge of the nose. The profile has a
   slight stop (not a break) with a gentle lion-like downward curve just
   above the nose leather. The eyes appear over-large for the face, but
   are not protruding. The eyes are round when fully open but have a
   slant when closed or partially closed. The ears are large and set high
   on the head. The tail is moderate in length, wide at the base and
   tapering to a rounded tip.
   A non-visible tail kink is allowed. The front legs are slightly
   shorter than the rear legs with oval feet. There are 5 toes on the
   front feet and 4 toes on the rear feet. Nose leather is blue and paw
   pads are lavender-pink or mauve.
   Disqualify: Any other color than Silver-Blue, white spots or lockets,
   wrong number of toes on the feet.
  Point Distribution (CFA):
        HEAD                          25
             Broad                    5
             Profile                  4
             Breadth Between Eyes     4
             Ear set/placement        4
             Heart Shape              5
             Chin and Jaw             3

        EYES                          15
             Size                     5
             Shape                    5
             Placement                5

        BODY                          25
             Body                     15
             Legs/Feet                5
             Tail                     5

        COAT                          10
             Short                    4
             Texture                  3
             Close-Lying              3

        COLOR                         25
             Body                     20
             Eye                      5


     * CAT FANCY - Feb. 1994
     * CAT FANCY - Feb. 1990
     * The Korat Story, c by Daphne Negus, TX 320-928
  Breed Clubs:
     * _Si-Sawat Society_ (CFA), Jackie Taylor, (614) 759-0929
     * _Korat Cat Fanciers Association_ (non-affiliated), Tom Pirkle,
       (407) 582-5322

   Disclaimer: These breeders have been recommended in good faith by the
   author of this article. However, you are still responsible for
   verifying that a particular breeder meets your needs and to your
   satisfaction. Additional breeder listings can be found in "Cat Fancy"
   and "Cats Magazine" in the US and Canada, and in "Cat World" in the
     * Dennis Ganoe & Judy Buckle-Ganoe, Dennigan and Gentlegift Korats,
       (503) 657-9281,
     * Doris Langford, Jing's Korats, (503) 693-7460
     * Ray Ratliff, Soigne Korats, (706) 935-5571
     * Cheryl Coleman, Mowl Sima Korats,
     * Marcia Epstein, Canada,
     * Camilla Baird, Primprau's Korats, the only Danish Korat cattery,
     * Donatella Mastrangelo, Jadeye Korats, Italy,
     * Else-Carine Risberg/John Ypma, Klahz Korats, Canada,
   Korat FAQ
   Dennis Ganoe,

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