The word Kattai can be translated from the Tamil language as „short“ and indeed, these dogs have short legs and relatively long body. The legs might be short, but they are very strong and these dogs have quite big paws. The Kattai dogs also have almond shaped eyes, thick tail, powerful body and relatively big ears.
The average height of Kattai dog is between 10-15 inch, which is 25-38 cm and weight is usually between 12-15 kg, which is 26-33 lbs. Females are naturally slightly smaller and lighter than males.
The coat of Kattai is short and closely fitting to the body. The short coat is great for living in hot Tamil Nadu region. The Kattai can be found in many colors and color combinations, including white, black, crem, fawn, brown, reddish or brindle.
The Kattai dog has many skills, it is a great alert watchdog, talented small game hunter and also friendly family companions. It is a good family member, that makes a good playful partner for older kids, but of course, the kid should be old enough to know how to treat dogs properly. They can also live with other dogs in the family without problems, especially if socialized from the puppyhood. The Kattai is quite loyal to its owner and family and they love receiving affection from its people.
This is also very adaptable dog, capable of living on farms, but also in small apartments, as long as it is with its people. If they are living in apartments, it is important to provide them with regular exercise and daily walks and playtime are absolutely necessary.
On the other hand, these dogs are aloof, alert and reserved with strangers, which makes them very good watchdogs, as they will most likely alert you by their loud barking, when they will hear or see something suspicious around your home. It can take a while before a Kattai will accept a stranger as a friend.
These dogs are known as lively, energetic and very intelligent. And it is true, they are intelligent, but also pretty independent and they love to make their own decisions, which is why they are not total pushovers to train. They will learn all the basic obedience commands easily, but they will not always obey them, which is very typical for independent dogs. Just like with any other breed, you will have best results with consistent and patient, firm, but also kind training full of rewards and praises for good behaviour.
The history of this breed is covered by mystery, as there are no historical records or writings about this dog breed. In recent history, these dogs were most often used for guarding farms in Tanjore and Nagapattinam regions of Tamil Nadu, where they were highly valued for their loyalty and alertness. There are even sculptures in Tanjore temples depicting dogs similar to Kattai, so it is believed, that this is very old dog breed, but the ancestry is and probably always will be uncertain.
Not so long ago, this was pretty popular breed in Tamil Nadu, but these days it is quite the opposite and Kattai dogs popularity is declining, as foreign breeds are preferred. Even today, if you will like to see Kattai dogs on your own eyes, you should visit the Tanjore region, where it can be found in highest numbers.
Health and grooming
The Kattai dogs are very healthy, hardy and adaptable. It is not uncommon for them to live well into their late teens and there are some reports about 20 years old Kattai dogs, which is just incredible age for any dog breed. They do not suffer much from any genetic health problems, but they can have the same doggy problems as other breeds, such as allergies, infections or eye problems.
The maintenance and grooming is extremely simple. The short coat does shed some deal of fur, but it is nothing terrible and even without any grooming at all, the Kattai coat will still look very good. You can brush it from time to time to keep the coat in best possible condition, clean and shiny. Just like with all dogs, you should regularly check the dogs ears, eyes, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.