Korat: Cat Breed Profile

Characteristics, History, Care Tips, and Helpful Information for Pet Owners

Korat cat portrait

Jacques Julien / Getty Images

The Korat, also known as the Si-Sawat, is a stunning cat breed originating from ancient Thailand. Known by its distinctive silver-tipped blue-gray coat and heart-shaped face, this cat has won countless admirers for its looks as well as its unique personality. 

The Korat is a small cat with a sturdy, strong build and lively, alert expression. Its large, prominent green or amber eyes amplify this breed’s expressiveness. Though rare outside of its native Thai home, there's lots to learn and love about this affectionate cat breed.

Breed Overview

Weight: 6 to 10 pounds

Length: 15 to 18 inches

Coat: Short

Coat Color: Blue-gray with silver tips

Eye Color: Green or amber

Life Expectancy: 15 to 19 years

Characteristics of the Korat

Affection Level High
Friendliness High
Kid-Friendly Medium
Pet-Friendly Medium
Exercise Needs Medium
Playfulness High
Energy Level Medium
Intelligence High
Tendency to Vocalize Medium
Amount of Shedding Low

History of the Korat

This breed originated in ancient Thailand, otherwise known as Siam. Ancient literature indicates that the Korat may have been around as far back as Thailand’s Ayutthaya period, which spanned from 1350 to 1767. The most notable ancient book, The Cat-Book Poems, was found depicting cat breeds thought to bring luck to their owners. Among the cats listed was the Korat. Because of this, Korats were often given as gifts to brides to bring luck and happiness to a new married couple.

The Korat first came to the United States quite recently. In 1959, the first Korats, Nara, and Darra were imported from Thailand to the U.S. To this day, most Korat’s lines can be traced back to their Thai roots.   

Korat Cat Care

The Korat cat is extremely intelligent, playful, and affectionate. These smart felines can form a close bond with their people and love to be an involved part of your daily activities. Because of this, they do not like to be left alone for long periods of time. They are social cats and love to be with their special person. These cats should have a companion to keep them company, whether that is you or another animal. Being left alone can lead to separation anxiety and an unhappy Korat. 

Exercise is important for any cat, and the Korat is no exception. However, unlike some cats, the Korat loves any game they can play with their people. Playtime is bonding time, and these feisty cats soak up every minute of positive interaction with their human companions. Many Korats even enjoy a game of fetch! The Korat’s high intelligence makes them training easy as well. To keep them entertained and challenged, try teaching tricks and giving them puzzle toys.  

Keeping your Korat well-groomed will ensure that they remain healthy and clean. With their single-layered, short coat, grooming is a breeze. A weekly brushing or two should be sufficient to keep their glittering silver coat shiny and in good condition. Be sure to also regularly trim your Korat’s nails, brush their teeth, and keep their ears clean.  

It’s worth noting that this blue cat breed is also generally considered to be low-shedding. Simply stroking the fur of a well-groomed Korat is unlikely to produce the usual flurry of cat hair that can be problematic for many allergy-sufferers. 

Common Health Problems

The Korat is typically quite healthy, but before purchasing a Korat from a breeder, be sure to see a written document of the health of both parents. 

They can be prone to GM1 and GM2 gangliosidosis. This is a genetic condition that results in an enzyme deficiency affecting the nervous system. It is fatal but can be discovered by means of genetic testing. It is important that a Korat cat is tested for this disease before breeding.

Diet and Nutrition

Providing your Korat with high-quality food will help ensure a long and healthy life. Every cat will have its own likes, dislikes, and dietary needs. Consult your veterinarian for more information on the diet that best suits your feline.

Keep in mind that while this breed can struggle with a low percentage of body fat, you should also avoid encouraging excessive weight gain or obesity.

Pros
  • Extremely intelligent

  • Very loving and can form a strong bond with their people

  • Low grooming requirements

Cons
  • Can develop separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time

  • May become vocally demanding

Where to Adopt or Buy a Korat Cat

Finding a purebred Korat may be a bit trickier than some other breeds, but a thorough search is worth your effort! A Korat may even find its way to an adoption center near you, so always be sure to check rescues before heading to a breeder.

The following links will help you find shelters, rescues, and breeders in your area: 

More Cat Breeds and Further Research

Every cat breed has its own unique features and typical personality traits. With careful research, you can find the cat breed that most closely fits the type of feline friend you are looking for. 

After being sure that you are ready to bring home a cat, definitely do your homework on each breed's personality and needs so you can provide the right kind of home.

If you’re interested in similar breeds, check out: