The Korat is a natural ancient breed of Thai origin. It is affectionately known as Si Sawat in Thai and gifted in pairs to newlyweds to ensure a happy and prosperous future. Traditionally it is not sold but only given as gifts.
The Korat is highly treasured in Thai for its beauty. These sweet-tempered cats were described in ancient Thai manuscripts of Ayudha period (1350 – 1767 AD), these tell of a blue cat having ‘hairs so smooth, with roots like clouds and tips like silver’ and ‘eyes that shine like dewdrops on a lotus leaf’. The clear, luminous eyes of the Korat are part of its mystique.
Originating hundreds of years ago in Nakhon Ratchasima Province of Thailand (typically called “Korat” by Thais), still possesses the same heart-shaped head, compact, muscular body, blue, sliver-tipped coat and sparkling green eyes that intrigued and enchanted its countrymen all those years ago. The coat of some Korats, however, is of a deeper hue so as to be almost indigo. These rare and very special cats are known as ‘black pearls’.
Then, as now, the Korat has a gentle nature with a marked dislike of noise. It is an intelligent cat that forms strong bonds with human. Their intelligence and hearing sensitivity have the Thais place them in temples as serious ‘cat-scratches’ capable guard cats to watch the valuable treasure housed there.
The first Korat to be shown in Britain was most likely in 1896 when a blue cat was entered in the Siamese class at the National Cat Club Show. Disqualified by judges who said the cat was ‘blue instead of biscuit-coloured’, the solid blue cat did not conform to the judges’ perception of a Siamese cat, and this cat breed did not make its appearance in cat shown by 1901. It was not until 1959 that the Korat was registered, when a pair named Nara and Darra were acquired from a breeder in Bangkok and taken to America. In 1966, through the efforts of a Maryland breeder, the Korat was finally accepted into championship status.