THE KORAT'S HEALTH
The Korat is basically a strong, healthy breed.
It is a "natural" breed, therefore is not influenced by problems caused by too much selection, as for other breeds of cats.
Obviously, regular vet checks are a must for all cats. The vaccination protocol is also very important.
In the recent past, and until 1998, some Korats suffered from a very bad and dangerous genetic disease called Gangliosidosis. Korat breeders have been very determined to find a solution to this terrible problem. They all decided to cooperate in order to allow scientists the set up of a DNA test to identify the carriers.
Since the discovery of a DNA test, all breeding cats have been tested. Those found to be carriers have been used, under control of breed councils and testing of the offsprings, just to keep some important lines alive for a few more generations. After a few years of big frustration and confusion, we can say that there are no more carriers around still in breeding and we can also proudly say that "the beast" has been definitely beated.
For those interested in knowing more about the GM Gangliosidosis, I invite you to visit the following links.
Most of the documents are also available in other languages. If you are interested in getting a version in Dutch, German, French, Italian or Danish, please email me and ask. I'll provide you with a copy of what published here.
MORE HEALTH'S TIPS...
Some suggestions on the care of your new Korat kitten
My kittens were started on both canned and dry Hills Science Diet Feline Growth. As they have become older, they have changed to Hills Science Diet Maintenance and other canned food. We feed a lot of Fancy Feast and some Sheba or Whiskas. They also like my cooking. I mix white rice with either hamburger, chicken or turkey along with carrots and brocoli with a clove of garlic along with K-Zyme for Cats. K-Zyme is a nutritional supplement for cats and includes enzymes for digestion as well as Vitamins and minerals.
Your vet is the best reference for drugs. I have found that Korats respond very well to amoxy and to clavamox for respiratory problems. I have had cats develop an allergic reaction to chloramphenical. Some of the eye oinments cause the eye to develop ore redness. I like terryamycin (best on Chlamydia according to my vet) for eyes and avoid medicine with steriods unless the vet recommends it for a specific problem. Liquid gentocin is good. Must be labeled specifically for opthalmologic use. An ointment containing a combination of neomycin, bacitracin and polymyxin works well. Some eye oinments cause the eye to develop more redness. Discontinue immediately and consult your vet. (Some cats are allergic to neomycin).
Allergy tablets that contain Chlorphenramine (4mg) is great for sneezing and also over-grooming or reaction to medications that causes scratching. Sometimes cats overgroom when they go into a yearly shading or molt and the use of an allergy table will break the itch cycle.
Most Korat breeders that I know prefer killed virus for shots. I use Fel-O-Vax PCT or Fel-O-Vax IV by Ft Dodge. This is a killed vaccine. I feel that a modified live vith Chlamydia vaccine can bring on a respiratory problem or a shot reaction. Since we have started using killed virus vaccine on Korats, we see very little upper respiratory problems.
It is important to have a scratching post. Show it to your cat and if he uses the furniture pick him up and take him to the post, show him how to scratch by using your nails on the post. Praise him as he uses it. Korats love to please and will soon be showing off to you that they know all about their new post. Help him by keeping the tips off the end of his nail at least twice a month.
Korats often remind me of small children. I have been known to say that if I had raised Korats first I might have understood my children better. They love praise and diversion. The more attention and love you give them, the more they return. Punishment is not necessary. However, we have been known to use a water gun to enforce certain rules (off the curtains, off the counter, don't go outside). They soon learn simple commands and that is all you will need. Be firm in the beginning or in otherwords make the rules in the beginning because you are starting a learning behavior that will last the rest of the cats life. Be prepared for a cat that follows you everywhere and inquires about everything you do and also to be rewarded with much love.
Doris A. Langford
JING Cattery - USA