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Cat breeds - Korat breed profile

The Korat is one of the oldest stable cat breeds. Korats have several characteristics distinguishing them as a breed. One is its head, frequently described as "heart-shaped". Korats are known for their relatively large green eyes and are one of a few breeds that have only one color. Korats have extraordinary powers of hearing, sight and scent. They are gentle pets, moving softly and cautiously, disliking sudden, loud or harsh noises. Those destined to be shown must be trained from birth to accept noise and handling, possibly by keeping a radio on in the nursery, and by lifting and posing the kitten as judges do. Korats form an exceptionally strong bond of affection with their owners and respond warmly to cuddling, setting as close as possible. They mix well with other cats but tend to want to have the upper hand and will not let the others keep them from their rightful place at their owner’s side. They have been cherished for centuries in their native Thailand and they naturally expect this tradition to be maintained wherever they go. Korats are active in their play, but are very gentle with children.

Thailand's origin is traditionally tied to the short-lived kingdom of Sukhothai founded in 1238, after which the larger kingdom of Ayutthaya was established in the mid-14th century. Thai culture was greatly influenced by both China and India. Contact with various European powers began in the 16th century but, despite continued pressure, Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country never to have been taken over by a European power. Western influence, however, including the threat of force, led to many reforms in the 19th century and major concessions to British mercantile interests. This included the loss of the 3 southern provinces, which later became Malaysia's 3 northern states.

Thailand was never colonised by a European power. There are two main reasons for this. First, it was left as a buffer state between parts of Asia that were colonised by the French and the British. Second, Thailand had a series of very able rulers in the 1800s.

Korats are one of a few breeds that have only one colour: a silvery gray that often has lavender undertones - generally called blue in the cat world, although it is notably different in viewing from other 'blue' cats.

Their eyes are a shade of yellow from birth (sometimes described as a "pale amber") but change to an emerald or peridot green at full maturity (2 to 4 years). During this change the eyes are green in the centre with a yellow at the edges. It should also be noted that unlike other cats when viewed at night using a spotlight their eyes reflect green rather than the more common red.

Korats are energetic, intelligent, and affectionate companions. They are somewhat clannish and prefer the company of their own kind. They are never outcrossed to other breeds, nor was any other breed known to have been used in their development as a pedigreed breed. Korats are not a parent breed of any other breed.