Korean Street Cat
Korean street cats are feral cats that share the same basic physical characteristics as pet cats, but they lead a mostly independent life outdoors.
Korean Street Cat History
Like all domesticated cats, Korean street cats can trace their roots back to the African Wildcat.
Remains of cats found buried in tombs in ancient Egypt suggest the relationship between humans and felines began thousands of years ago. As civilizations developed, cats became helpful partners in pest control. But before selective breeding began in the 19th century, cats were—and mostly still are—non-pedigreed.
Feral cats are very common in Korea, with populations running rampant in big cities. Historically, many people in Korea had a negative perception of cats. Some viewed them as bad luck, while others considered street cats messy and noisy nuisances. Though attitudes have shifted in recent decades, mistreatment at the hands of humans has left many Korean street cats fearful of people.
Korean Street Cat Traits
Korean street cats come in all shapes and sizes. Signs of a life-long street cat— versus a stray cat who may be lost— include a clean, well-kept coat (thanks to their meticulous self-grooming), protective body language, and lack of eye contact. Because they're intact, male street cats may have thick necks, muscular bodies, and scars from fighting.
Coat and Coloring
Korean street cats' coats can come in all colors, patterns, and lengths.
Distinctive Physical Traits
Korean street cats do not follow a breed standard. So, any combination of features is genetically possible. Some Korean street cats have short or kinked tails. That's why some experts believe cats from Korea contributed to the Japanese Bobtail breed.
Korean Street Cat Temperament
Street cats often live in groups and congregate near food sources and shelter. Though they may live near people, they are not typically accustomed to human contact. Most are fearful of being handled or confined. But some can adapt to interactions with people and learn to live indoors.
Korean Street Cat Care
A Korean street cat's diet typically consists of whatever they can find—scraps from trash cans, birds and rodents, handouts from kind strangers, and so on. If you're leaving food out for a street cat, they will benefit from the same commercially prepared diets as pet cats.
Street Cats are typically fastidious groomers that keep their coats relatively clean. If you've taken in a street cat that will tolerate it, regular brushing and nail trims will help keep them in tip-top shape.
Korean Street cats are susceptible to the same diseases as pet cats—including rabies, distemper, feline immunodeficiency virus, and feline leukemia. They are also at risk for numerous internal and external parasites and health issues associated with poor nutrition.
Reviewed February 23, 2021 by Annette Louviere, DVM