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Korat Cat VS. British Shorthair Cat

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Korat Cat VS. British Shorthair Cat.

What are the differences between these two cat breeds?

Move over, rabbit’s foot. The Korat is a living goodluck charm in his home country of Thailand, where he is also known as the SiSawat cat. The silverblue cats with emeraldgreen 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 koraht) or simply a selfblue Siamese—meaning solidcolored—is not known.

You may not realize it, but you probably grew up with the British Shorthair. He is the clever feline of Puss in Boots and the grinning Cheshire Cat of Alice in Wonderland. The British Shorthair is native to England. With the rise of cat shows during the Victorian era, cat fanciers began to breed the cats to a particular standard and keep pedigrees for them. At the earliest cat shows, British Shorthairs were the only pedigreed cats exhibited.

All others were simply described by coat type or color. Two world wars devastated the breed, and few British Shorthairs remained after World War II. With the help of other breeds, the Shorthairs, as they are called in Britain, were revitalized. The American Cat Association recognized the British Shorthair in 1967, but the Cat Fanciers Association did not accept it until 1980. Now, all cat associations recognize the breed.


With his silvertipped blue coat and huge green eyes—“as sparkling as the dewdrops on a lotus leaf”—the Korat is one of Thailand’s most beautiful exports. He is noted as well for his heartshaped head, large ears, and alert expression. A Korat’s eyes are blue at birth. As he matures, the eyes turn to amber, the pupil surrounded by a fringe of the green. By the time the cat is two to four years old, the eyes have become the brilliant green for which the breed is known.

The short single coat has hairs that are a light blue at the roots, then deepen, ending in a silver tip, producing a halo effect. Unlike some breeds, the coat has its silverblue color from the time kittens are born, although kittens may have what are known as “ghost tabby” markings. These should disappear with maturity. The Korat’s nose leather, lips, and paw pads range from dark blue to lavender.

With his short, thick coat, round head and cheeks, big round eyes, and rounded body, the British Shorthair resembles nothing so much as a cuddly teddy bear. His body is compact but powerful with a broad chest, strong legs with rounded paws, and a thick tail with a rounded tip. The coat comes in just about any color or pattern you could wish for, including lilac, chocolate, black, white, pointed, tabby, and many more. The bestknown color is blue (gray) and the cats are sometimes referred to as British Blues. The short hair does not reach full physical maturity until he is 3 to 5 years old.

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