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The breed dates back to between 1350 and 1767, known as the Ayudhya Period. This lively, gregarious and "cobby" cat is surprisingly heavy for its size. Should you choose to adopt one of these adorable felines, you’ll find out very quickly that it will want to be around you at all times. Although a "purebred," the Korat is a natural breed that has subsequently largely escaped the many health problems that can plague purebreds. Even so, the modern Korat cat of today looks very similar to the earliest pictures of the breed. Korats remain a rare breed even in Thailand.

The Korat cat, an ancient breed also known as the "Si-Sawat," is believed to have come into existence sometime during the Ayudhya Period in Siam, which is now Thailand. The Korat is pictured in an ancient book of verses and paintings known as the "Cat-Book Poems," which exists in Bangkok’s National Library.

It first appeared in Britain and was called a "Blue Siamese" in 1889 and 1896. However, these cats didn’t conform to what judges expected of a Siamese cat, so they were disqualified by 1901. A Russian Blue breeder by the name of Mrs. Constance Carew-Cox bred a large number of these so-called "Siamese" kittens, with her female Korat, "Dwina," while another, "Blue Siamese" male "Nam Noi" was shown but disqualified as a Siamese but was accepted in the "Any Other Blue and Russian" Class, placing first!

The Korat made its first appearance in America in the 1950s. A pair of Korats was imported by Cedar Glen cattery to the United States for breeding, and in 1966, the Korat qualified for championship status. Today, the breed is registered in all major cat registries. The Korat remains rare in the United States and throughout the world – even in its native Thailand.

The Korat has a very unique appearance particularly because of the color of its fur. It is called "silver tipped blue," and actually creates a halo effect that appears to shimmer around the body of the cat. The effect occurs because the single coat is short, with roots that are of a light silver blue, which then darken to a deeper blue. They then finish off with tips that are silver, a trait especially true of the hair on the muzzle and the toes. This is the only accepted color for a Korat, as are the green eyes of adult cats. Kittens can have amber or golden green eyes that change colors as they reach adulthood, which culminates at two to four years of age.

The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy, the organization that registers pedigrees in the United Kingdom, also recognizes differing Korat-type cats other than the solid blue. They call lilac Korats "Thai Lilacs," and Siamese-type color-pointed Korats "Thai Blue Points." Only blue kittens/cats of fully registered parents or third-generation supplementary registered parents can be fully registered, however.

Occasionally, the Korat can have bold or faint white markings or spots, or even very faint gray stripes. These markings can become more distinct with age, and are seen as flaws for show cats. However, they don’t affect cats’ personalities or health.

Personable and active, Korats are very gentle with children and can live in households with other pets – although your Korat will always want to be in charge. In fact, it will simply assume that that’s the case, and why not? Although less talkative than the closely related Siamese, this cat is very capable of making itself understood through both body and vocal language. If your beloved is quiet and happy, its distinctive "chirp" will tell you so.

Gentle but athletic, the Korat is playful, very intelligent, and energetic. Provide your pet with "puzzle toys" that can be filled with kibble or treats so your pet can learn from automatically reinforcing rewards. This will help exercise its very active intelligence – and give you some time to rest up for even more energetic play later!

Some have compared the Korat physically to a "tightly wound spring" because of its compact, muscular body that tapers at the waist. Indeed, it is always ready to "explode into action" – and that’s true in terms of temperament, too. Make sure you visit your breeder early to get to know your pet before you take it home; ideally, you should get to meet at least one if not both of the parents, too.

The Korat is very healthy and hardy as a breed in most cases, given that it’s a natural breed rather than a "selected" one. However, it does have one fatal genetic condition particular to the breed, known as GM-1 or GM-2 gangliosidosis. Make sure you get a written health guarantee from your breeder that your kitten does not have this condition. Otherwise, Korats live long, healthy lives, from 10 to 15 years, with regular veterinary care.