Move over, rabbit’s foot. The Korat is a living good-luck charm in his home country of Thailand, where he is also known as the Si-Sawat cat. The silver-blue cats with the emerald-green eyes are said to date to the 14th century based on their depiction in ancient literature. They were popular gifts, always presented in pairs, and had special meaning when given to brides because of their association with prosperity and fertility. The name Korat comes from the region in northeast Thailand where the cats are thought to have originated.
It’s unclear when Korats first came to the West. A cat that resembled a Korat was exhibited at a show in England in 1896, but whether it was truly a Korat (pronounced ko-raht) or simply a self-blue Siamese—meaning solid-colored—is not known.
The first known Korats imported into the United States arrived in 1959. Appropriately, they had been given as gifts to an American couple who were returning to the U.S. after the husband had retired from the Foreign Service. The Cat Fanciers Association recognized the breed in 1967, two years after Korat breeders founded the Korat Cat Fanciers Association to promote the breed.
Wherever they are found, all Korats can climb their family tree all the way back to Thailand. They are a natural breed and have never been outcrossed to any other breed as part of their development or to create another breed. They are recognized by all the major cat associations.