THE KORATCAT

IC Chuasiri v. Baan Thai 

 

Korat female

Owner: Jaqueline Krämer, Remscheid

An elegant, graceful silver-blue cat from Thailand. As written and visual documentation from the different epoches of the Ayudhya-period (1350 - 1767) confirm: The Korat belongs to the oldest breeds on earth. The Thai people refer to the Korat as Si-Sawat cat, the cat that brings good luck (Sawat means good luck and wealth). Good luck cannot be bought, that is the reason why it is still quite difficult even nowadays to purchase a Korat in Thailand. The firm belive of the Thai people in Si-Sawat, the cat that brings good luck, explains the outstanding purity of this breed.

The ctas' similarity to its ancestors' portraits is amazing. Bangkok's National Library possesses a book which shows 17 cats, which bring good luck, and 6 cats which bring bad luck. Thailand's King Rama V. made the order of this book at the end of the last century. The book is a collection of ancient hand-written books. In 1767 the capital of the old Siamese country, Ayudhya, was destroyed by the Burmese people. The King's court escaped to the province of Korat, which from then was the home of the royal Si-Sawat as well. King Rama V. gave his "good luck cat" the name Korat, which was easier to pronounce for the Europeans.

In the Cat-Book of Poems, an old hand-written book, which is located at Bangkok's National Library, is a poetic description of the Korat as follow:

 

The cat Ma-Led has a body colour like Doklao,

the hairs are smooth, with roots like clouds

and tips like silver. The eyes shine like

dewdrops of a lotus leaf.

(Ma-Led und Doklao are old Thai words for silver-grey fruit)

Today's Korat cats still have to perform their tasks when it comes to bringing luck. The Korat is the medium between the sacred rites of Buddhism and the more profane ceremonies , which origins can be found in ancient natural religions.

A rainceremony is introduced by the monk of the Eastern Temple and the holy statue of Buddha. The cat with the coat like sea-foam, meaning a "rain-cloud grey colour", follows, accompained by music. The Korat is carried from house to house and the cat is being paid tribute with a few sprinkles of water by the father of the home. These are the dark sides of stardom. It is more pleasant for a male Korat to be laid in the wedding-be, after having been given as a present to the mother of the bride, as it sybolises a happy marriage. Later, the Korat is put in the cradle before the new-born is laid in it in order to ensure a healthy and happy live for the child. The Korat is able to shed light in the depth of the human soul if it is integrated in the daily routine and seriously loved.

The breed ist still a rarity in Europe, which can be explained by the following: In 1947 an Amerikan couple travelled through Thailand and discovered the Korat at a breeder's. They asked if it were possible to have such a cat, and learned that it would be almost impossible to become the owner of that cat, as the cat is very rare, even in Thailand. Usually, the cats were given to important persons as a symbol of respect. After the couple had returned to USA, they received a message on July, 12th, 1959, that two cats from Thailand had arrived at Oregon airport. The Korats were a brother and sister - Nara and Darra. That was the beginning of Koratbreeding outside of Thailand. In 1965, the Korat Cat Fanciers Association, Inc. was founded in Amerika, "for the protection and development of the Korat, the silver-blue cat with the Thai passport".

 

 
Cat Book of Poem (Thailand)
Picture: Daphne Negus (USA)
 

GIC & GRC Nuad-Meo v. Baan Thai

 

A young Korat stud
Owner: Judy Buckle-Ganoe, USA

Let's have a look at Korats from every side

The Korat is an ancient natural breed from Thailand, which has existed for many, many years. The Korat is a medium cat devoid of extremes. Within this sentence lies the fact of a distictively lovely cat of the purebreed fancy. Would that all who breed this cat honour its birthright by carefully guarding the delicate balance that sets is apart, from its uniqueness depends upon subtilities and any attempt to alter ore emphasise these features can only result in a mediocre cat. The Korat Standard, more ore less the same as it was originally presented, is basically a good one, but containes phrases allowing too much leeway, such as "Hair: short to medium..." or "Neither short coupled like the Mnax nor long like the Siamese...". Such comparisons should not be drawn! A Korat is a Korat and it does not look like...!orats from 

Lets have a closer look at our Koratcat. Viewing from the side we see a cat of medium size, it stands with relaxes hint quarters, its back held in a curve. The body is distinctively shaped, with a broad chest and good space between the front legs, a well sprung rib cage from where the body starts to taper slightly towards the flank area. The legs have the same hight as the body length. The head seen in profile shows the skull to be flat and occupying 2/3 of the entire length, the face from the nose on the other 1/3. The nose has a lion-like down turn and the tip is dark blue. The chin is well developed, forming a perpendicular line with the nose. The tail is in balance with the body lenght, thicker at the base, tapering to a round tip. The coat, always entirely silver-blue, is short, close lying and fine. Each single hair is light at the root, shading to a deeper blue until just before the tip, which is silver. This produces the overall sheen, especially when the cat is in movement it appears as if a smooth shimmering wave is going over the muscular body. The short hair and curve of the back cause the fur to break along the spin. Though always silver-blue, the blue can vary in hue over the entire coat. Paw pads can be dark blue to lavender.

If we look at the cat's face, immediately our focus goes to the alert eyes with their expression of awareness. The eyes are large and well spaced with rounded aperature, yet eliptical at the outer corners. The colour of a fully mature cat (2 - 3 years) can be from golden-green to peridot-green. These striking eyes with luminous depth seem to have a phosphorescent quality, as if a light were shining from within the eye. The well-defined eye socket bones curving over the eyes, the strong cheekbones curving down to join the well developed muzzle and chin shows us that this is a heart shape. We then note that the broad flat forhead has indentation like a thumbprint just above the eyebrows and the top of the basic skull resembles that the Asian Leopard Cat, emphasizing the heart shape.

Our glance now slides down to the broad chest where we can appreciate the legend that Korats are "Thailand's fighters". This nickname is often reffered to male cats, the females are daintier, yet retain the look of supple strength.

The character of the Korat

Koratcats love people, are affectionate and loyal to their owners. They adapt their intelligence and sensibility to the human being they are with. This can easily be observed with old people and young children. They can play wildly with kids and behave quietly when they are around elderly people. The Korats' love for people is inborn, however they always want to be involved in the lives of their people at all costs. Their curiosity has no limits. They can apport a toy with vigor for hours without getting tired. The Korat enjoys playing fetch so much that it cheers for joy. When you have had your Korat for a longer time and noticed the cat's different vocal repertoire you will be able to understand your cat better and get more easily what your Korat wants to tell you. Of course, you have to love your cat in order to understand you Korat completely.

Apart from the size there is not much difference between a mature Korat and a kitten. Though, kittens have a different eye colour. Eye colour is usually amber after the baby-blue fades and gradually goes to a braethtaking peridot-green. The kitten nose may also have a rosy cast, which disappeares when the Korat kitten matures. Korats only reach her peak when they are fully mature and tend to become even more beatiful when they are older...! Everybody, who takes care of a Korat, should always be aware of the fact, that he shares his live with an extremely beautiful and intelligent animal.

It is also the job of male Korats to "nurse" the kittens!

3 males care for the kittens, while the mother is gone out...

from left to right: GIC Nuad-Meo v. Baan Thai (the proude father)

Dali v. Khe morat & Ti Nung Cha v. Baan Thai
Kittens: Guan-Yin v. Baan Thai (f)
& Chao Fah v. Baan Thai (m)
"King of cats"
"The Korat resembles its original look closely more then other breeds."
More than 100 years ago an unknown Thai poet wrote:
"The Korat has always been a symbol of good luck, affection for people and their admiration."
The Korat's majestic beauty never has been topped! 
- This breed description was compiled by M. & H. Klisman, Berlin -

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