Asia is home to some unique cat breeds that have existed on the continent for centuries.
Yet for all the time they have been on this earth, these Asian breeds are still mostly uncommon outside their home countries and very rare in the United States.
Perhaps with more awareness, they may someday find their way to your home to be your next feline companion.
Korats are the luckiest cats in the world! Originating from Thailand, their Thai name, Si-Sawat, translates to “the color of money.”
This ancient breed was first documented in the manuscripts from the 14th century as a symbol of good fortune, and is still considered a good luck charm today.
The Korat is known for its short shimmering silver-tipped blue coat, emerald green eyes, and unique heart-shaped head.
Five heart shapes are associated with the Korat—face, top of the head, nose, chest, and, of course, its own heart. Its coloring is not only associated with money, but with the color of rain clouds and young plants, which makes them lucky for farmers.
The heart shapes may be why the Korat is also associated with prosperity for newlyweds—Korats are still given as wedding gifts in Thailand today.
Korats continue to be revered in Thailand and they seem to know it. They expect their owners to recognize how important their needs are, and seem to get along best with other Korats.
Yet far from being snobby, Korats make affectionate and playful pets and are very gentle with children. Vocalization varies among the breed—some are quiet, others very chatty.
But be assured that if your Korat speaks, it has something very important to say!
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Also known as the Li Hua Mao, the Dragon Li is the official cat of China. This is one of the oldest cat breeds in China and may have descended from the Chinese mountain cat, with little intervention from humans. The Dragon Li has been around since at least the Shang Dynasty, dating back to 1300 BC.
These cats have been highly respected and revered in China for centuries. In China today, people even hold weddings for their Dragon Li cats.
The Dragon Li is a medium sized shorthair cat with a wide diamond-shaped head and large eyes. Its coat is typically brown mackeral tabby, with soft and sleek fur.
It is a highly intelligent breed with good hunting skills. It may even be possible to train your Dragon Li to fetch your morning paper! But what it is most notable for is its personality, which is sociable, relaxed, and happy.
They will even get along with dogs in a household. But although they are friendly, they are not particularly affectionate—they may not require constant cuddles, but they also do not get along well with clingy young children.
The Kurilian Bobtail evolved naturally on the Kuril Islands, an isolated archipelago situated between Japan and Siberia. These cats are known for their excellent hunting skills and are highly valued by the islanders as mousers.
They are often kept as domestic companions, but have highly developed survival skills and can live on their own.
Their solo hunting skills allow a Kurilian Bobtail to catch its own salmon weighing up to 10 pounds. Yet they are also known to hunt in packs, and a pack of these incredible hunters can bring down prey the size of a small bear.
Kurlian Bobtails were once unique to the Kuril Islands but are slowly spreading. They are currently one of the most popular breeds in Russia, but still very rare in the United States.
The Kurilian Bobtail is a strong, hefty, muscular breed with a soft and silky double coat that can range from short to semi-long.
Their coats come in all sorts of colors, but a particularly beautiful variety sports a silver-tipped coat. Its best known feature is its naturally occurring bobbed tail, which is unique to each cat.
No two individual Kurilian Bobtails have the same tail.
Keeping a Kurilian Bobtail as a pet is certainly not inviting a vicious wild animal into your home. These cats are highly adaptable, friendly, and playful, and get along with children, dogs, and other pets.
They have an independent nature, given that they evolved to survive and adapt on heir own, but that means that if you are the owner of a Kurilian Bobtail, it is with you because it wants to be.