Wednesday 27 February 2008

Traditional versus Modern Cats

There isn't a Traditional versus Modern Cats debate, but there is, I believe, a large body of people who would, if asked, agree that cat breeding in some areas has gone too far.

I guess everything in business and in life generally has to progress. It is the nature of mankind. When progress relates to technology (machines) mankind does quite well. The things he/she creates generally improves life. Although we do so at the expense thus far of the environment (nature). Nature will always suffer at the hands of man but it will always fight back and win ultimately.

Mankind tends to go too far in every endeavor. He stops just past the point when he should have stopped.

Can breeding is not of course the making of machines. It is the creation of a fellow creature. A creature that I say is of equal value to any other animal (including the human animal). I know Americans tend to be more religious than Europeans and religious people tend to believe that humans are superior because they were made by the hand of God in one act.

This arrogant belief can lead (despite the teachings of the Bible) to maltreatment of animals, including cats.

It can also lead to a distorted approach to our treatment of other animals including the breeding of cats. It can lead to the suspension of respect for the cat as an animal of equality and to do things in breeding that is exclusively for the benefit of the breeder and not the cat.

One such example is the breeding of cats that look interesting to us (meaning in our interest) and to the detriment of the cat (less than good health). I am talking of the Ultra Persian.

The Persian is not meant to look like the animal that has been breed and modified by mankind over many decades. If left alone the Persian would not look like he does today and he would not have tear duct overflow and poor sinuses. He wouldn't have a coat so long he has to live on carpet and not grass and earth for fear of spoiling his coat.

People agree with me, not with my argument perhaps but with the preference I have for traditional cats or to put it in a better way, more natural cats.

Table - Traditional versus Modern Cats - showing voting preferences of visitors to the website:-

Prefer Traditional Siamese: 82%
Prefer Modern Siamese: 18% (153 votes)

Prefer Traditional Persian: 74%
Prefer Ultra Persian: 26% (124 votes)

The preference for natural looking cats extends to the Traditional Siamese. The poll that has been conducted on the website clearly indicates this sensible preference (see above).

Although cat breeders like to think that they have the welfare of cats at heart, this is not always the case (but it is the case often nonetheless). The health of the cat must take precedence over everything a breeder does. Modern Siamese are less healthy than Traditional Siamese. They die younger, on average as I understand it.

Another example is the explosion in the incidence of heart disease in Bengal cats because breeders as expected (and perhaps understandably) kept quiet about it to protect their business.

It begs the question whether one can mix cat breeding and business at all. There should be a Traditional versus Modern Cats debate at the highest level of the cat fancy and the breed standards reviewed to allow breeders to gradually retrace their steps without losing competition titles.

Photo of Ultra Persian at a cat show copyright ~Sage~

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