Monday 31 March 2008

PA Persian Cat Breeders

Photo copyright Dani Rozeboom

Here's a list of PA Persian Cat Breeders. The picture above is of a Traditional Persian (see details below). The breeders listed breed Ultra Persians (I expect), although I have not checked that out. Ultra Persians have more extreme looks including flat faces.

I don't have first hand knowledge of these breeders and you should always visit a cattery. Some have websites. They give some clues as to the efficiency of the business. They are only clues as a visit is a must. One final thing, catteries eventually stop trading and I have not tested these websites or rung around so some may not be open for business although that is unlikely:

1. Sybil Cattery, Pocono Mountains and run by Sylvia Bruckman. They specialize in bicolor. Visit the cattery for details

2. Byhishands, located New Freedom and managed by Susan Daniels. Website:

3. Karkens, located Fairless Hills, near Philadelphia and managed by Karen and Ken Efaw. No website. Telephone: 215-945-2775

4. Leeblooms, located Kunkletown and managed by Bonny Hadley. No website. Telephone: 484-547-5469

5. Preciosa, located Ephrata and managed by Emily J Fowler . Website:

6. Mcjax, located Reading area and they ship within USA. Managed by Joseph Mcintyre. No website. Telephone: 610-777-2787

7. Davandras, located Levittown and managed by Sandra Rinkevich. No website and the phone number is Telephone: 215-945-1579

8. Persian Dream Kittens, located York and managed by Elena Snyder. They ship in USA. Website:

9. Shadenshadow, located Philadelphia area and managed by Jennifer Smetanick. Website:

PA Persian Cat Breeders - photograph of Faolan a splendid Traditional Persian living with Dani Rozeboom at Cattery Yeri Shaes.

PA Persian Cat Breeders to Home page

Long-haired cat breeds

Photo by Dani of a traditional Persian

In addition to Long Haired Cat Breeds you've got medium-long haired cats and I'll include those in this discussion. The picture above is of Faolan, a truly fantastic Orange Traditional Persian cat who lives with Dani Rozeboom who runs the Cattery Yeri Shaes and who is a fine photographer as well as a website builder (superb websites). A talented woman surrounded by fabulous cats.

One cat comes straight to mind as a cat that has been bred with a round face, extremely stubby nose and sometimes incredibly long fur, the Ultra Persian. This is a cat that the experts say has to remain indoor otherwise his or her fur gets too messy. As for grooming, get a good set of grooming brushes and combs 'cus your goin to need 'em. Obviously, it is essential to groom a long-haired cat religiously. But this begs the question, is it natural for a cat to have such long hair?

If you look at all the small wild cats; two classics are the Scottish Wildcat and the American Bobcat and you see functional hair. Its length is medium, just enough to keep the cat warm and camouflaged by the tabby gene so she blends into the background for survival. That is totally normal.

The long-haired Scottish Fold is less well known than the shorthaired variant but arguably prettier
Owl-faced longhaired Scottish Fold kitten is a beauty. Photo: Irina Lyzhnikova (Ukraine)

The answer then it that it is not natural for a cat wild or domestic to have hair so long that the possessor of it, the cat, cannot maintain it on her own. Under these circumstances the hair becomes a burden for the cat but, yes, great to look at for the human. I don't get it myself.

So, at the top end of long-haired cat breeds we have the Ultra Persian. By 'ultra' I mean Persian cats breed to extreme both in the roundness of their faces and the length of their fur. The Doll Face (Traditional) Persian has long hair too but it is less long and more natural in length (or is that true?)

The next breeds that come to mind quickly is that gorgeous trio, the Maine Coon (one of the most popular), the Siberian and the Norwegian Forest Cat. Although the Maine Coon is the most popular of these (in part probably because this breed is American and America is the largest domestic cat market in the world by far and in part because this breed is lovely, except for perhaps health issues) the other two are also popular cats.

Their fur is more medium long and functional. All three needed long hair due to their origins. Maine in the USA has a cold climate in winter, Norway is very cold a lot of the time and, well, we know what Siberia is like.

Above: Faolan a Traditional Persian Cat of distinction and very handsome he is too. He's got male cat written all over him. Photograph is copyright Dani Rozeboom. You can see more of him here.

The above are the most popular long-haired cat breeds. What of the rest? In alphabetical order here they are (this list might not be totally inclusive but it is comprehensive):

American Bobtail. This cat has medium long hair and "semi-dense" short hair. So, there is a range of coat length for the American Bobtail.

American Curl. Once again this cat has a range of hair lengths from semi (medium) long to short. The fur is silky as there is no undercoat. You can see this clearly in the pictures of Helmi.

Balinese. A long-haired Modern Siamese cat. Modern Siamese have long elegant body conformation and small, long and bony heads.

Birman. Long-haired stocky cat. The hair is not a dense as the Persians.

Cymric. A long-haired tailless cat.

Himalyan. Another relation of the Persian, a shaded, pointed variety

Javanese. Semi-long hair but silky and lying close to the body so less noticeable.

Kurilian Bobtail. This cat breed can short-haired (KBS) and long-haired (KBL).

LaPerm. Can be short or long hair. Long curly coat due to a genetic mutation affecting the fur.

Maine Coon - famous semi-longhaired cat breed. The hair is not dense, quite thin, in fact, and uneven and sometimes shaggy looking. The whiskers can be impressively long and wild. The ears are lynx tipped, a famous characteristic of this cat breed.

Napoleon. A cross between a Munchkin dwarf cat and a Persian, Himmie or Exotic Shorthair - so is long haired when crossed with the first two.

Nebelung. One of the grey cat breeds and a long-haired cat.

Pixie-bob. Semi-long haired cat with short tail due to a genetic mutation.

Ragdoll and RagaMuffin. Both long haired and closely related.

Selkirk Rex. One of the Rex curly haired cats that is either long or short haired.

Scottish Fold - longhaired variant. See above.

Skookum. Long haired, short legged dwarf cat a cross between the Munchkin and the LaPerm.

Somali. Long haired Abyssinian

Turkish Angora and Turkish Van. Both long haired, probably long for the Angora and Medium Long for the Van. Silky soft coats.


What causes Long Hair?

Apparently four independent mutations in the Fibroblast Growth Factor 5 (FGF5) Gene determine the long haired phenotype in domestic cats. There is one gene and four alleles. Each of the alleles make the gene function incorrectly causing the hair to grow longer.

The FGF5 gene signals the end of hair growth when the build up of protein reaches a certain level in the hair follicle. The gene acts defectively and the protein isn't produced allowing hair growth to continue. The hair growth is eventually stopped by another mechanism.

This gene seems to operate in an autosomal recessive manner.

The FGF5 gene regulates hair growth in other species. Wikipedia call it a 'human gene' (this seems to be incorrect or misleading) so I presume it regulates hair growth in humans.

(source for this section: Journal of Heredity ---

Long Haired Cat Breeds to Traditional Persian Yeri

Sunday 30 March 2008


Burmilla Cat
Burmilla cat photograph copyright skoop reproduced under a creative commons license.

The Burmilla is a cat breed that I had not heard of until I built the pictures of cats website. It is a rare cat but then again so are a lot of the purebred cats.

I have covered the origins. What about the appearance of this cat? We know the founding cats are Burmese and Chinchilla. The Chinchilla is in fact a Persian cat with a particular coat type.

It is interesting to consider which genes the Burmilla inherited from each founding cat that are presented in the Burmilla's appearance.

The Chinchilla gave this cat its silver shaded coat by way of the dominant silver (I) gene. This cat also inherited the Agouti (A) gene from the Chinchilla. The Agouti gene produces the tabby pattern seen so commonly on a wide range of purebred and mixed breed cats and also wild cats. It provides good camouflage for wild cats. The Agouti gene gives the Burmilla its tipped coat but the tabby markings fade apparently.

The recessive longhair gene is carried by first generation Burmillas. This gene may make its presence manifest later on. This gene is not welcome and breeders try to breed it out of their lines. The cat in picture above presumably reflects the presence of this gene.

The Burmese contributes the dominant short hair gene and the recessive Burmese gene. Breeders strive for a situation in which both copies of the gene for short hair are present (homozygous) as this a short haired cat. Homozygous means having identical alleles for a single trait.

Burmilla cat
Burmilla cat. Photo copyright jtlondon reproduced under creative commons license

Here is a summary of the breed standard:

This cat is medium sized. She should have a good contrast between the silver base color and the shading/tipping. She is of "foreign type". Foreign type means a cat with modified wedge or wedge shaped head, large ears, oval or almond shaped eyes, long body with legs in proportion to body length, slim, fine boned, long and tapering tail. Elegant. Greater depth of flank than in Oriental type.

The Abyssinian and Russian Blue are examples of foreign type. Foreign type cats have wedge shaped heads, large ears, long bodies. They are elegant in appearance and fine boned.

The head is a short blunt wedge. The eyes are large and "expressive". Green or amber (in Reds, Creams and Torties) are accepted. The coat is short, silky and smooth. It is also dense with an undercoat. The tabby markings are faint on the forehead. These markings may also be on the legs and tail (shaded Burmilla).

Source: The Burmilla Cat Club

Cat Breed Characteristics

cat flying through the air in a wood
Cat Breed Characteristics - all cats including Spooky above can jump extremely well (almost all, I mean, my girl cat is too fat). That is a characteristic that transcends cat breeds. Almost all characteristics do. Photograph is copyright Gail S and is reproduced under creative commons license.

Cat Breed Characteristics is a something that interests me. This is a post about the topic at a general level. If you'd like to see all the breeds and read about their origins, history, character and appearance I'd advise clicking here and going to the top of the navigation bar. Or use the navigation bar on this website. There are links to all the breeds.

People outside the cat fancy (cat lovers and cat breeders etc.) might think that the different cat breeds are separated by appearance and character.

The truth is that cat breeders are mainly concerned with the appearance of the cat breed that they are breeding and that the cat is socialized (able to behave well in human company). Cat breeders cannot control or create cats with specific personalities that fit a profile as there is no personality profile. Breed standards almost exclusively deal with appearance.

Their objective is to get the look just right, absolutely inline with the breed standard. As the breed standard can be interpreted fairly widely by a judge the breeders even go beyond the standard and breed cats that have the appearance required but to an extreme degree. In fact there is a desire to ensure that the cat breeds are well defined, one from the other. This can be difficult in a crowded market. The market place in cat breeds is quite full. There isn't much room left for new breeds if any new breeds at all.

cat silhouetted against the sky
Cat Silhouetted against the sky. This picture has nothing to do with this post. I just liked it. The photographer HiggySTFC (photo copyright HiggySTFC) says you can just see the cat's eyes. He/she is facing the camera.

The point is this. The cat breeds are generally well defined in terms of appearance but in personality they are essentially all the same, with some slight general differences. After all there is little difference between wild cats and domestic cats. Domestic cats become wild cats to a large extent when they venture outside (if you let them out).

Take some general differences to one aspect of personality - inquisitiveness. At one end of the spectrum you might have a cat like the Persian, who has almost been bred it seems for indoor living. A cat will find little about which to be inquisitive indoors after a while. It seems to me the cat is forced to be docile and sleepy. At the other end of the spectrum there is the Savannah, a popular cat, a wildcat/domestic hybrid. A big, active, and inquisitive cat; an intelligent cat (it is said that the Persian is the least intelligent domestic cat but I don't really believe that).

It is probably viable to talk in terms of Cat Breed Characteristics with respect to activity levels. The characteristic of activity and inquisitiveness would seem to be one in which there are some differences between some breeds but the wide middle band are all the same. Perhaps though we help to create inactive cats or active cats. The greater differences is between individuals.

If all cats are socialized properly then all the cat breeds will be pleasant friendly cats. You often see a description of a cat breed where the author has stated that the breed is loyal and friendly, for example. Can one cat breed be more loyal and friendly than another and is friendliness a characteristic of a cat breed or the domestic cat generally? Loyalty and friendliness is describing a well socialized cat not a cat breed.

There are other slight differences. Some cats are quieter than others. The Siamese is vocal and the Maine Coon and Siberian have quiet voices, for example. Both are big cats. Both may (with the Norwegian Forest Cat) all come ultimately from the same origins. They are similar longhaired cats.

It is these sorts of differences that come to mind. The overriding view though is that all domestic cats have very similar personalities. Cat Breed Characteristics (in terms of personality) is a bit of a misnomer. This, in fact, must be the case.

Cat Breed Characteristics to Savannah Cat

Saturday 29 March 2008

Non-Shedding Cat Breeds

Non-shedding cat breeds are a myth. It is obviously natural to shed hair. Humans do it as well. One of the biggest downsides of living with a cat is the hair, it's everywhere. You get used to hoovering it up though. Cats can be a bit messy. Some (but few) cat breeds shed less than others.

Cat hair
Cat hair. Image: Cornell University.

The first group of cats that come to mind are the hairless cats :). Simple really isn't it. Even hairless cats have some (but very little and downy) hair. Logic dictates though that if a cat has less hair there is less to shed. There are no non-shedding cat breeds just as there are no totally hypoallergenic cats despite claims to the contrary (although Allerca cats - Life Style Pets Inc. claim their cats, the Ashera GD, Allerca GD and Chakan GD are hypoallergenic).

The hairless cat breeds are the Sphynx, Don Sphynx and Peterbald (semi-hairless). These are all rare cats and realistically indoor cats.

The Rex cats shed less than normal due to the nature of their coat. Cats normally have three layers to their coats, a top layer the guard hairs, the middle layer are called awn hairs and the undercoat which is down hair. Some cats have less layers. The Turkish Angora has no undercoat, for example.

The Devon Rex does not have guard hairs so the coat feels soft (guard hairs are what you'd expect, harder to protect the fur). The coat is curly and sparse and low shedding. Not only does this make this breed one of the best in terms of shedding she is also better for people allergic to cats. Another cat with the Rex gene mutation causing the curly coat is the Cornish Rex. There are two other well-known Rex cats, the Selkirk and the LaPerm but these are not low shedding cats, although the Cornish Rex apparently is low shedding as she is missing both the guard and awn hairs (see below). Another Rex cat incidentally is the German Rex.

The Devon Rex can become hairless (rarely) due to a disorder called Hypotichosis at 6 months old. If that was to be the case you would have found a cat that is nearly one of the mythical Non Shedding Cat Breeds. In my opinion the cats with no undercoat (single coated cats) shed less. They are also much easier to comb and flea comb. Moggies can be single or double coated. The difference is quite noticeable. An example of a purebred cat with a single coat is the Oriental Shorthair. There are others.

One last point, a good healthy diet will result in normal shedding and regular grooming will help remove the dead fur. This will minimize shedding or put it another way you are controlling the shedding to a degree. Cats like being groomed provided it is done gently and it is a great way to bond. My cat asks for it and she gets it. There is one well known tool that gets at the loose hair in the undercoat that I have found is routinely recommended at that is the FURminator deShedding Tool with 1-3/4-Inch Edge for Cats. Used regularly it should help minimize shedding.

Non Shedding Cat Breeds to Cornish Rex

House Cat Breeds

House cat breeds - Doll Face Persian - photograph copyright Dani Rozeboom. Dani runs a cattery, Yeri Shaes (named after a superb Persian named Yeri). She has an enclosed garden as far as I can tell. Dani is a fine (one of the best) cat photographers and her cats are fabulous.

Please use the navigation bar on the main site to see a list of purebred cat.

A search for House Cat Breeds probably means the person is looking for a domestic cat that is suited to permanent indoor living. Keeping cats indoors in far more common in the USA than the UK (and perhaps on the Continent in Europe). Although some people assume that it is OK to keep a cat indoors, I discuss whether this is OK.

It is almost accepted by many that their cat will never go out and I guess cats get used to it. The best solution, though, is an enclosure and they aren't that expensive. I let my cat go out (without an enclosure) because she is old, nervous and a bit scared and therefore doesn't go far. There is also a large garden for her to go into.

As to suitable cats for indoor living one cat springs to mind and one group of cats come to mind as unsuitable. The former is the Persian. The Persian is meant to be on the low end of the cat intelligence spectrum (the Sphynx at the top end). I am not sure if this is true, I somewhat doubt it, but it does seem to be inline with the sedate "doing nothing" type nature of the Persian that makes her suitable to be one of the house cat breeds.

Other house cat breeds that come to mind as being similar in character are the Himalayan (pointed Persian), the Ragdoll (known for an accommodating and docile character) and the RagaMuffin (a Ragdoll with a wider range of coat types). Another for this list would be the Sphynx.

Although the Sphynx is intelligent and quite lively this cat breed is naked and rare and this cat stands out from the crowd very noticeable. These factors make this cat less than suitable roaming outside where (s)he would be in danger. It's warmer inside too (in most countries). Sphynx cats feel the cold a bit more.

A final cat that comes to mind is a designer cat that the breeders claim is suited for the modern age. Modern age living means being at home less and having less space; and includes apartment living. This cat is an exotic cat - the Toyger. She is an ordinary domestic cat in terms of mentality but a fantastic looking cat. The best examples have a superb and eye catching appearance. These then are the most suited cats on my assessment. Of course all the cats between those mentioned and the most active will also adapt to indoor living but I personally think it a bit cruel.

Indoor living forces inactivity. If you add convenience cat food like dry food (high in carbohydrates and frankly not that natural for a cat) you are heading for potential health problems for your cat. This may come from becoming overweight, unless you are careful.

Of the cats that are probably unsuited are the more active and inquisitive cats (a Shpynx is inquisitive but the other characteristics override this). Such cats are the wildcat/domestic cat hybrids. These are definitely unsuitable; too demanding and active. An example would be the Chausie and the Savannah. The Bengal is in this category (strictly speaking) too but as breeding has developed this cat breed can now be considered a middle of the road domestic cat, almost but not quite. The Bengal is still very active, inquisitive with particular characteristics.

One last point. People searching for house cat breeds might simply be looking for domestic cats. If that is the case just start here and pick one.

House Cat Breeds to Persian cat

Friday 28 March 2008

Burmilla Origin and History

Burmilla Origin and History -- I'll open up with a post on the origins and history of this cat in a style that I hope suits visitors. There is often a lot written on the Internet but for me in any event a lot of it is a little verbose. Here's the history in detail of the Burmilla:

1981 - Miranda Bickford-Smith buys a Chinchilla Persian for her husband. The cat's name is Jemari Sanquist.

Burmilla cat
Burmilla cat copyright jtlondon under CC

1981 (early) - Before Jerami is to be neutered he meets by accident a lilac Burmese female (not sure where this happened) called Bambino Lilac Fabergé. One website says that both the Chinchilla Persian and the Burmese female were waiting to be breed in the same building ("nearby rooms"). A cleaner inadvertently left the door (doors?) open and voila. Sounds a bit hazy that.

1981 - September 11th - Four black shaded silver females born to the above accidental mating. They quickly developed a foreign type and a short dense coat. Thérèse Clarke (who recounted the story in detail and from which in part this post is taken) says that she was impressed by two of the offspring, Galatea and Gemma. Three things struck Thérèse, their type (required appearance for a breed), temperament and "spectacular" look. These factors prompted Miranda and Thérèse to start a cat breed.

1981 - Jemari Sanquist (the original Chinchilla Persian) was then mated with another of Miranda's Burmese queens (breeding female cat).

Burmilla cat
Burmilla cat copyright jltondon

1981 - 27th March - A single male was the result of the mating. His name, Jacynth. He was to join Gemma later and together they founded the Kartush line (the breeding line founded by Thérèse).

{Note: the hybrid created by mating a Chinchilla and Burmese will result in silver cats with shorthair. These cats will carry recessive genes that may present their phenotype. These genes are the Burmese "self" gene and the Chinchilla longhair gene - "self" means a solid color -Burmilla Origin and History}.

1981 (2) - the name was sorted out. The two people who looked after Miranda's cats suggested the winning name, Burmilla. The first 4 letters fairly obviously represent the first four letter of the word Burmese. The last four letters represent the last four letters of the word Chinchilla.
That was quite easy really wasn't it! (it always does in retrospect).

1983 - It was agreed between the founding Burmilla cat breeders, Miranda and Thérèse that they would develop the breed in different ways. Thérèse focusing on the Burmilla as seen in Gemma and Jacynth (the founding cats) within the Cat Association of Britain (wound up 2004) and Miranda developing the "Burmilla and its related breeds" within the GCCF.

1983 - Burmilla Breed Standard drafted and accepted by GCCF

1984 - (Jan. 21st) Burmilla Cat Club founded (Thérèse co-founder)

1984 - Two Burmillas imported into Dennmark and the breed promoted in the continent by Birgit Behammer

1985 - Miranda founded The Asian Group Cat Society

1994 - FIFe recognize Burmilla and breed standard drafted (not sure when)

1995 - GCCF recognize the Burmilla

2003-8 - Burmilla Origin and History moved on and the Burmilla Breeders Association of Australia formed and the Burmilla breed is bred in Australia.

Sources: The Enchanting Story of the Burmilla By Thérèse Clarke and other websites

Burmilla Origin and History to Pictures of cats home page

Cat Breed Selector

Abyssinian Cat rescued
Abyssinian cat - Rico - a rescued (National Abyssinian Rescue, U.S) Aby and a charming and handsome boy cat photographed by his foster mum editrx (photograph copyright editrx). The Abyssinian is probably the best cat breed. Rico is three years old in this picture and small, weighing just 5 lbs.

What is a cat breed selector? Can you have such a thing? I'm not sure you can. I don't think that you can have a computer program that selects a cat breed for you as there are probably too many variables. In any event you need to look at the cat breed to get a good idea of appearance, which means looking through lots of pictures of cats. The idea of pushing buttons and getting the name of a breed at the end of it is, probably, unworkable.

As a substitute you can do some quick and easy research, by first looking at pictures of cat breeds. You have got to make sure that the cats that you are looking at are of the correct type (i.e. correct appearance for a cat of that breed). A lot of cats of a certain breed are not very typey (you can see some of these on the big picture websites such as Flickr and Photobucket for example, you can also see some great typey cats).

Fortunately you can see probably the best pictures of cats of the best cats on this and its main website. That's the best cat breed selector you can get. The cats that Helmi photographs are normally show cats photographed at shows. You couldn't get better than that. Helmi works and lives in the USA, the biggest domestic cat market in the world by far.

I'd have a look at all the cat breeds first, they're on three pages listed from A-H, J-P and R-T with easy access from the pictures to lots more information and more photographs. These pages on each breed contain information about health issues as well, where appropriate. Some breeds have genetic disorders and some have propensities to disorders.

Once you have seen the breeds and whittled the list down you can read about health issues on one page, which includes a summary of the most common illnesses and genetic disorders.

If you're looking for a large cat you can see what I think is the biggest cat breed and the smallest cat breed.

If you're looking for the rarest of the rare cat breeds and/or all the cat breeds, I discuss that on this page.

If your looking for a cat breed that became a breed because of a genetic mutation look at these cat breeds: Dwarfs, Scottish Fold, The Rex cats - start at the Devon and end at LaPerm, Hairless - The Sphynx, Peterbald and Don Sphynx, Tailless cats - start at the Manx and go from there (you can see all the genetic mutation breeds in the photographs in the alphabetical listing mentioned above).

That pretty much covers all you need to know and see. One last thing, I argue my case as to the best cat breeds as well - see if you agree. This page is a manual cat breed selector.

From Cat Breed Selector to Abyssinian cat

Thursday 27 March 2008

Raw Diet Cat Food

Raw Diet Cat Food with the proper supplements is arguably best for a cat. Why can't we buy this? Cats have a greater need than dogs and other omnivores for protein in their diet. Cats are obligate carnivores. Cats are adapted through evolution to a low carbohydrate (CHO) intake. Their saliva doesn't start the digestion process as it lacks the required enzyme. Their intestine and pancreas is the same.

There are limitations to substituting plant origin food for animal origin food which are being ignored by the big manufacturers. Cats in the wild eat high protein, moderate fat and minimal CHO. Commercial cat food can lead to protein malnutrition. Cats can't adapt to lower amounts of protein in food. For cats, protein in food is required for energy as well as structural purposes.

Making your own cat food. Photo in public domain.

Cats have a need for increased amounts of amino acids such as taurine, arginine, methionine, cysteine. A cat's natural diet contains these. Taurine is essential to a cat. Some is lost into their bile. Long term (several months) deficiency of taurine can lead to blindness. You can test levels of taurine in blood.

High amounts of CHO may have a negative impact on cats. Cats cannot use starch. Abnormally high levels of CHO are used in dry cat food to make the manufacturing process work.

High levels of CHO reduce protein digestion and increases fecal pH (more alkaline). A cat's liver doesn't contain an enzyme that metabolizes (breaks them down to be digested into the body) sugars. Cats prefer foods flavored with animal products and not sweet flavors unlike people and dogs. Carnivores rely mainly on fats to provide energy.

A cat has specific and unique vitamin needs. She requires higher levels of B vitamin (thiamin, niacin). Anorexic cats can suffer from thiamin deficiency. A cat eating high levels of sea food (high in thiaminase) can suffer from thiamin deficiency. The symptoms are sever muscle weakness. B vitamins are found in animal tissue. They are added to commercial cat food demonstrating how artifical it is.

Commercial cat food has added vitamin A but caution is required in supplementing this vitamin as it can be toxic at incorrectly high levels.

Cats drink relatively small amounts of water getting it from the prey eaten. This reflects their origins in desert regions. Cats eating a dry cat food (kibble) will drink half the amount of water than if eating wet cat food. They do not compensate adequately by drinking water. Wet cat food can increase dental tartar however. My thought: balance between the two but raw diet cat food plus correct supplement is best. Mimic as near as possible prey. Why isn't this available commercially?

An estimated 25%-33% of cats are obese. Obesity can bring health problems such as diabetes. There are several reasons for this. One reason being scrutinized is the quality of cat food. High CHO cat food plus inactivity (indoor cats) means the cat is consuming too much energy producing food and not burning it off. CHO that is not used by the cat is stored as fat. The weight loss diets are not necessarily healthy either as the high fiber content can impair protein digestion.

The more I read the more I am convinced a Raw Diet Cat Food is best but how to prepare it and do we have time?

Source: Debra Zoran DM "Timely Topics in Nutrition - The carnivore connection to nutrition in cats". This source has been greatly reduced in size and content in this post. But the tenor of the source and essential information has been preserved as accurately as possible. I have only referred to limited parts of the original text.

Wednesday 26 March 2008

Smallest Cat Breed

Above: Singapura photo by Helmi Flick. The smallest cat breed is fairly easy to find. First, it is commonsense that the vast majority of domestic cats are going to be of a similar size. The mixed breed cats are all medium sized cats with what I would term "normal" (i.e. to be expected of a domestic cat) appearance. They are well balanced cats, they haven't got wedgie heads or extra long legs.

Although some purebred cats will be a bit on the bigger or smaller side they would normally find that happy middle ground. However, the cat fancy demands that cats be of type (the right appearance for a particular breed) and over a long period of time this objective has separated out cat breeds in terms of size making them more distinct.

That said, one cat is known to be probably the smallest cat breed and it is the Singapura, otherwise known as the Drain Cat (see one in a drain). Thus cat is meant to be native to Singapore but they are very few in Singapore as it happens (if any). This cat is probably a hybrid cat created by the cat fancy. You can read more about this breed on the main website.

Although the Singapura is probably known to be the smallest cat breed there are others that might pose a good challenge to that title. In fact there is more than one. The group of cats called Dwarf Cats would probably produce one or two individual cats that are small enough to be a the lower end of the spectrum of cat size.

There are number of dwarf cat breeds. The founding breed is the Munchkin, a not uncommon cat. The other dwarf cats are quite rare or very rare. These are the Napoleon, Skookum, Kinkalow, Lambkin, Genetta, Knook, Minskin and Bambino. There is one other the Dwelf but there is only a drawing of this cat breed the last time I looked.

These cats are normal cats with short legs due to the dwarfism gene. This will automatically make the cat smaller. I'm guessing here but cat breeders of dwarf cats will probably breed from smaller normal cat breeds (crossed with the Munchkin) as a dwarf cat looks more interesting if she is small. I expect all the dwarf cats to be on the small side.

The Miniature cats and Teacup cats are obviously the smallest but these are not recognized cat breeds. They are normally Persian cats (Traditional Persian) bred small through prolonged selective breeding. I cannot include them in this post as the smallest cat breed.

Finally some cats that are normally mid ranged in terms of size can be smaller and more delicate. The Devon Rex comes mind as such as cat, especially when bred to an extreme. Some of the Modern Siamese and Orientals are also lightweights and smaller than average.

You can see the full range of cat breed sizes on this page: Largest Domestic Cat Breed. The smallest wild cat species is the rusty-spotted cat by the way.

Photograph: Singapura cat copyright Helmi Flick  - please respect copyright. Helmi is a professional photographer.

Smallest Cat Breed to Home page

Tuesday 25 March 2008

Cat Breed Quiz

bengal cats

Looking for a cat breed quiz? There are two on this page.

Visitors' answers can be seen by clicking on this link. My answers are at the base of this form. Prefer wildcats? See:

First Cat Breed Quiz

Here are my answers:

1. No. All cat breeds are one species of cat, the domestic cat, scientific name: Felis silvestrus catus or sometimes referred to as Felis catus.

2. Over 100 but many are rare and very much on the fringes. The CFA recognise about 40.

3. The Abyssinian cat. See Agouti Ticked Coat and Abyssinian Cat.

4. Maine Coon  Cat

5. F1 Savannah Cat "Magic" and she is a Savannah cat recognized by TICA.

6. Toyger

7.  More breeds because it is more adventurous. The CFA is quite part of the establishment.

8. Egyptian Mau. Amongst the first cats to be domesticated from the African wildcat.

9. Yes, the CFA calls them (at 2011) "Household Pets". I don't like the description. Some of these cats are stunning.

10. Persian. The "Ultra Persian" or contemporary Persian cat with the obligatory flat face. See traditionals and the arguments.

11.  Bengal cat.

12.  Chartreux.

13.  Four. See Grey Cat Breeds.

14. Yes, both are oriental in body shape. See Modern Siamese cat and Oriental Shorthair cat.

15.  F1 Savannah cat, top quality - A1 Extremes.

Second Cat Breed Quiz

Here are 20 cat breed questions and the answers for anyone who'd like to use them for whatever purpose:

1. What is the difference between a mixed breed cat and purebred cat?

2. When is a cat a pedigree cat?

3. Name three hairless or near hairless cat breeds.

4. Name two cat breeds that originate in Russia.

5. Name two cat breeds that originate from Japan or near Japan.

6. Name three natural cat breeds ("natural" means that the cat has evolved naturally).

7. Which three cat breeds are amongst the most popular?

8. Name two cat breeds that like or have an affinity to water

9. Name one cat breed with a very wedged shaped head and one with a very rounded shaped head.

10. Which cat breed is arguably the best indoor cat?

11. Name two cat breeds that could be said to be the rarest, one of which claims to be rarest.

12. Name the cat breed, native to America, that is one the biggest cat breeds.

13. Name two tamed wild cats that can be domestic cats.

14. Name two wildcat/domestic cat hybrid cat breeds.

15. Is it true that the CFA (the Cat Fanciers Association - the biggest) prefer "pretty" or more groomed Maine Coon cats to more natural Maine Coon cats?

16. Name the cat breed famous for a ticked coat.

17. Name three cat breeds with short or no tail.

18. Name two dwarf cat breeds.

19. Which is the founding dwarf cat breed?

20. Which gene causes the tabby coat?

Bengal cats

Cat Breed Quiz Answers:

1. Mixed breed cats do not have a controlled parentage as set by the cat associations. The parentage makes for the cat type (appearance). Mixed breed cats are what the name states, a mixture of various cat breeds. Mixed breed cats can be shown at cat shows and can have a recorded history (a pedigree) however. The breeding of purebred cats is controlled by the cat associations to ensure good type and health but the gene pool will necessarily be smaller in order to ensure that the cat looks like the cat breed she is meant to be.

2. A cat with a recorded parentage going back several generations as stipulated by the association concerned.

3. Sphynx, Don Sphynx, Peterbald.

4. Peterbald, Don Sphynx or Russian Blue.

5. Japanese Bobtail, Kurilian Bobtail.

6. Chartreux, Norwegian Forest, Maine Coon, Abyssinian (some doubt this).

7. Persian, Abyssinian and Bengal (also Maine Coon and Siamese).

8. Bengal and Chausie.

9. Sphynx or Modern Siamese
(wedge), Persian (rounded).

10. Persian (the modern or ultra Persian has to stay indoors)

11. Sokoke claims to be one of the rarest. The California Spangled, and the dwarf cats (other than the Munchkin) are rare.

12. Maine Coon.

13. Serval and Safari.

14. Bengal and Chausie (another is the Savannah).

15. Yes.

16. Abyssinian.

17. Japanese Bobtail, American Bobtail, Kurilian Bobtail, Pixie-bob.

18. Napoleon, Kinkalow, Munchkin, Skookum, Bambino are just 4, there are more.

19. Munchkin.

20. Agouti.

Photographs of Bengal cats:
  • Top: copyright tunick
  • bottom: copyright _imax (both reproduced under creative commons)

From Cat Breed Quiz to List of cat breeds A-H

Monday 24 March 2008

Pictures of Different Cat Breeds

abyssinian cat

Pictures of Different Cat Breeds are available in alphabetical order, listed over three pages, with links to more details and more great pictures on the main website on these pages:-

Cat Breeds A-H
Cat Breeds J-P
Cat Breeds R-T

Enjoy these pages. They are designed to provide easy access to a list of breeds so you can make comparisons quickly. The photographs on these three pages are not thumbnails so you don't have to click through on the links if you don't want to.

Sure there are a lot of pictures of different cat breeds on the Internet. But I hope that you will agree that the ease of reference in combination with the best cat photography by Helmi makes the pages listed above some the best on the 'net as a starting reference point to the cat breeds.

The list is comprehensive but there are still one or two breeds to go before the list is complete. That said some cat breeds are so marginal or simply variants on existing breeds to make it doubtful if it is worth dealing with them as different breeds. There are also complications on breed classification and naming across the registries and between the UK and USA for instance. It is probably better therefore to stick more or less to the mainstream breeds.

Photograph heading this post - the top breed probably at the moment - the Abyssinian cat - photograph copyright isbye

Pictures of Different Cat Breeds to one of the top breeds - the Abyssinian

Sosgatinhos (S.O.S kittens)

Sosgatinhos (S.O.S kittens) is a rescue center in Sao Paulo, Brazil run by Leila Galvão. It is very brave of her to do this and wonderful. I admire you Leila. I also admire the photography of fofurasfelinas (and I can spell her flickr name without copying and pasting :). Her real name is Giane Portal. She lives in Porto Alegre, Brazil, about 400 miles south of San Paulo. She is a designer by profession

Fofurasfelinas is certainly one of the top 5 (at least) cat photographers on Flickr and there are lots of cat photographers. It also means that she is one of the best amateur cat photographers in the world. There is no doubt about that. She is also probably one of the best cat photographers, amateur or professional in the world. And I know cat photography.

Anyway she is supporting the work of Sosgatinhos and so I am as I use fofurasfelinas's photographs on my website under creative commons.

My site is for cat charities and I have some charities marked out. When the money comes through (I've made about $400 so far) I will send some to Sosgatinhos to try and help Leila keep her charity afloat. Good Luck Leila. Love to the cats and thanks.

Read more about Sosgatinhos (as written by forfurasfelinas) on this page (takes you to the Flickr site)

Sosgatinhos (S.O.S kittens) to pictures of stray cats

What Breed is My Cat?

Selkirk Rex. Photo in public domain.

What Breed is My Cat? This is a question asked by people who think they may have a purebred cat or are unsure about cat breeds generally. There are many visitors on the main site PoC, who ask about their cats. Here are just two examples:
Two more recent examples of visitor's submissions to the main website  (at June 2010) ask if their cat is part Egyptian Mau or purebred Egyptian Mau. It seems that this is one of the breeds that people believe most represents their cat. There actually may be something in this if we look at it dispassionately as the Egyptian Mau was originally (in about 1,500 BC or so) a domesticated African wildcat. It is reasonable to assume that the genes have travelled far and wide and dispersed with other mixed bred cats over the centuries. Also people with cats that have nice spots see the Egyptian Mau in their cat. The Egyptian Mau is in the top ten most popular cats and a naturally spotted cat. However, tabby spots are very common. The tabby spotted coat is perhaps the most natural cat and commonly occurring cat coat as it comes from the wildcat. Just because a handsome domestic cat has spots does not mean that it has Egyptian Mau or Bengal cat in its makeup. Here are these recent posts (June 2010):
In fact, there are very few (in the world scheme of things) purebred cats in the world. If you lived with one you'd almost certainly know about it because your cat would have usually been bought from a cat breeder. The breeder would have proved the cat was purebred by demonstrating parentage (pedigree) in certificates. The cat would be registered with a cat association who keep records of pedigree and provide these certs. The cat may also have the look and feel of a purebred cat. Not all purebred cats, however, are registered. Sometimes breeders don't bother if the cat is not sufficiently of type. These are sold as pets sometimes and even relinquished to rescue centers. A classic example is the case of the RagaMuffin cat and the Princess.

If your cat was adopted from a rescue center the center should know the breed, if purebred and should have papers to prove it. You can read about mixed breed cats (Moggies) and their place in cat world on the main site on this page. The moggies page also explains the difference between purebred and pedigree. There are in fact a number of purebred cat rescue websites.

If you are unsure whether your cat is a cat breed it is more than likely that your cat is a mixed breed (or random bred) cat. Mixed breed cats are as fine and beautiful as purebred cats and often healthier because they come from a wider gene pool. Cat breeders of purebred cats must get the appearance just right and in achieving this goal risk breeding too tightly. This has the potential to bring in genetically associated conditions (see Genetic Diseases of Purebred Cats).

If you still think your cat is purebred you will have to obtain some evidence that is more than simple appearance. Apperance alone is not enough to judge whether a cat is purebred but it does provide clear indications. Some cats shout out, "I am purebred". But without papers you cannot say that they are really.

It may be that your cat is between mixed breed and purebred (a purebred mix). As mentioned a purebred cat has to have a parentage as laid down by the registries and indeed should be registered. But what if your cat is nearly perfectly purebred but just missed out in her parentage (lineage)? It will look like a purebred cat but perhaps not exactly right in terms of appearance (type). This is not uncommon judging by searches on Petfinder for example. In this case you will be living with a mixed breed cat like the rest of us (including me) albeit one that has the appearance of purebred cat which means they are more expensive. It can be hard to tell if your cat is a genuine purebred but if the cat is registered (and therefore a pedigree cat as well) you can find out. A visit to the main cat registries (CFA, TICA, ACFA, ACA) would be a useful start.

It is possible to get confused. Some coat types can be confused for cat breeds. Calico and tabby come to mind. These both describe a coat type not a breed of cat.

By the way, I think that there are too many cat associations, which causes confusion and the names of the breeds vary sometimes from one association to the next - more confusion. This doesn't help in answering, "What Breed is My Cat".

You can do a visual check by scrolling down the list of pictures of nearly all the cat breeds starting on this page. This exercise won't tell you if your cat is purebred, but it may indicate it. As mentioned, your cat's lineage will need to be as required by the associations to be a purebred cat.

The bottom line is that documentary evidence is required and if it is not there the cat is almost certainly not purebred and it could be argued that even purebred cats without documentary evidence are not purebred and therefore not a breed of cat.

From What Breed is My Cat to Pictures of Cat Breeds

Alexa Toolbar

The Alexa Toolbar is a free download from the Alexa website. Alexa is part of Amazon the mega sized online shopping business. The figure that you see and which is used by Alexa to rank the site is the site's position in relation in the world. It is based on the number of visitors to the site plus how many pages that they visit. This site is ranked about 300,000 at March 2008 (at Oct 1st 2008 it is ranked 120,000 - going up). This means it is the 300,000th site in the world in respect of the above criteria. Yahoo is no.1. Google is about 3 or 4. Wikipedia is about 8 or 9 and so on. The big social networking sites are ranked high as expected.

This site's ranking is quite good, at March 2008, considering it is built by a single person with no outside help except SBI, who host the site. This site is a sub-domain.

The Alexa method of measuring ranking is not that accurate for sites outside the top 100k. It is very hard to get inside 100k. There are about 100m+ sites in the world, could be near 200m if you include the blogs which are growing fast (200,000 daily).

The highest ranked cat sites are around 150K (Messybeast being one). The biggest market is the USA. If you all have the Alexa toolbar and visit this site or the main site, the ranking will improve and I can sell more advertising and give away the revenue to cats.

The toolbar is useful and simple. It is benign and won't hurt your computer. It gives you an idea how popular a site is (i.e. visited) which can help in making decisions on buying from the site as an example.

From Alexa Toolbar to American Bobtail

Sunday 23 March 2008

Intelligent Cat Breed

Chausie cat and Macaw

One domestic cat that is an intelligent cat breed is the Chausie. This is a cat that is similar in appearance to the Abyssinian as she is a wildcat (Jungle cat)/domestic cat (Abyssinian) hybrid. Indeed the Jungle cat is similar in appearance to the Abyssinian so they are perfectly matched. The intention is to produce the look and physical attributes (to a certain degree) of the wild cat with the socialization skills and personality of a domestic cat. This is the objective for all breeds of this type.

Abyssinian Cat
Abyssinian cat photograph copyright key lime pie (Anna Wiz)

At the first generation level hybrids such as the Chausie can be a bit of a handful.

My research indicates that all cat lovers thinks that their cat is an intelligent cat breed. My research also indicates that of all the cat breeds it is the wildcat/domestic cat hybrids that are more likely to be more intelligent, on the face of it. But let's be honest it is all guesswork.

We are not conducting scientific tests. It is simply that people who have lived with certain cat breeds (and there aren't many who have lived with wildcat/domestic hybrids) are able to make a gut feel judgment about intelligence which is supported by the behavior of the cat, for example, if the cat is easier to train or dog-like in behavior. Some intelligent cats learn from the person keeping the cat and can become a little sneaky - a demonstration of intelligence.

Jungle Cat photograph copyright bv_madhukar reproduced under creative commons.

The Chausie is a cross between the Jungle cat and Abssinian as mentioned. Wild cats are more finely tuned in respect of survival skills and this it seems gives the impression that they are more intelligent. They may be more intelligent. This in any event is the consensus. This intelligence is passed on to the Chausie.

There you have it - an intelligent cat breed. If you were searching for one your search is over. It is advisable to read about Helmi's experiences of living with a Chausie - they are enlightening.

The other wildcat/domestic cat hybrids are the Bengal and the Savannah. The Safari and Serval are tamed wild cats. They're smart too.

Update: I was going to leave it there but since posting this I have noticed the Wikipedia article on cat intelligence. This is a nicely written article but all it is saying is that there are no scientific certainties as to the most intelligent cat breed. I agree with that and have used experience gained through reading many articles from breeders and cat fanciers to gauge that it is the wildcat hybrids that at least give the impression to us that they are more intelligent.

It is, however, worth remembering that the variation between individual cats in intelligence will be greater than between breeds. We don't, after all, normally think of a nation of humans as being more intelligent than another.

That said, I have met and seen a Sphynx boy cat (a young cat) at a cat show and I sense that the Sphynx may be more intelligent than some other cat breeds. He was very active, alert and climbed the cage like a monkey literally, using those long limbs and fingers to clamber all over the place. It is perhaps the degree of inquisitiveness and alertness that indicates intelligence. This is demonstrated by the wildcat hybrids and by Casper the Sphynx cat in the photograph above (copyright Michael at Pictures of

See another post on intelligent cat breeds and a list of the most intelligent and least intelligent cats breeds.

There is also the alpha male and alpha female indicators. I think that cats that are inclined to be alpha cats will generally be more intelligent. They have to be to be alpha cats. Once again the wildcat hybrids have this propensity.

Heading Photograph of Chausie cat this is the cat that lived with Ken and Helmi Flick - photo copyright Helmi Flick

From Intelligent Cat Breed to Chausie cat breeders

Domestic Cats

If you surf the Internet as I have to learn more about the domestic cat, almost all of the information relates to the science of the domestic cat. This is useful as we can learn about a companion who is treasured by so many. How often, though, do we see something on the most important topic of all our relationship with domestic cat? 

California Spangled. One of the world's most expensive cats at the time.

There is a convention when writing about the cat to say "it". Most cat breeders say "it" when writing or talking about cats. We call human babies in the womb, "it" sometimes. We do this because we don't know the sex. 

Domestic cats play a major role in the lives of many millions of people. To describe them as "it" is disrespectful in my opinion when we know the sex. If we treat another animal as a companion (and companionship is at the heart of the relationship) we should call our companion as "she" and "he". 

This is a break with convention but then convention is a reflection of a general attitude and there are many conventions that are based on ill informed views. When my Missie was killed on the road some 14 years I cried. It was the first time my then wife had seen me cry. 

When my girlfriend's father lost his dog he cried, it was the first time she had seen him cry. Our relationship with our pets is fundamental to our being. They are more than a substitute human partner. We sometimes form a relationship with them that is better than with a human. And why not? Some people joke about this but they lack enlightenment. 

We are two different animals but highly compatible, that is why the cat domesticated herself some 9,000 years ago. This wouldn't have happened but for a high degree of compatibility. The relationship is clearly more than purely functional as was the case perhaps in the beginning when the domestic cat was mouser. 

It truly is possible to form a loving bond with a domestic cats.  My cat actually asks me to show her some love. She will lie on the ground and call to me to cuddle and kiss her and talk to her in a friendly voice. She loves that, it is comforting to her. She is seeking the comfort zone, a condition we all seek human animal or not. 

 She accepts my love but doesn't return it in a way that a human might expect or demand. She doesn't come up to me and lick my hand or rub against me unless she wants something. She doesn't know the meaning of love in human terms. But do we? Do we gloss up the idea of love? Is it simply lust which turns to practicalities seven years later? I don't think that we are any different fundamentally. This may be hard to digest. 

We both have the same fundamental will to survive and our actions are dictated by it. We certainly both have very similar anatomies. When we talk about cats we refer to the same characteristics time a time again. Cat fanciers do most of the article writing on the Internet. A lot of the cat fanciers are breeders and they treat cats in their charge as human children. 

There is definitely an element of the mother/child relationship in cat breeding. It is this relationship that often motivates a person to go into the cat breeding business. It is though more of a hobby bringing in a few pennies. The majority of cat breeders are women. Not many years ago it may have been considered "girlie" for a man to like cats. Times have changed. People are more enlightened. There is a lot of "front" or pretend going on in life. 

Men like cats and need cats as much as women. Is it really possible to have a relationship in the conventional sense with a domestic cats? No, but convention is a stupid thing very often. I don't think our relationship with cats is merely one in which we humans use cats as a creature to reflect out feelings or as a human substitute. 

Sometimes this happens yes. But there is no reason why the relationship with our cats can't be exactly what it looks like, a friendly supportive relationship which helps both parties get through life. Is there a communication barrier to the relationship that scuppers it entirely. No. There are countless thousands of successful human to human relationships in which either party could not initially understand the other because of a language barrier. 

Once you know a cat communication becomes automatic. Natural and normal communication becomes established. Obviously this is not through a conventional spoken language but body movement says a lot and a cat's meow can communicate too. I know when my cat is annoyed or angry at me and when she is distressed or contented. 

She asks for her meals and her grooming and attention. She asks to be let out and let in. She tells me when she wants fish or will accept canned food. She will tell me when she wants to be put down (when I have picked her up) or helped up. All the basics are there, it just takes a bit of enlightenment. The relationship between human and cat is reinforced by the behavior of the cat. Yes it is the cat who more often reinforces and enhances the relationship in my opinion. 

Domestic cats always demonstrate some desirable human qualities, qualities that we often wished we had. One is patience. My girl often gets her way through sheer patience and persistence. I have learn from that. A cat is unerringly polite, this creates stability in the relationship. A cat knows her place. At cat has no concept of ego and hierarchy, whereas dogs have.This also helps to keep the peace. Some think that male humans are more naturally inclined to form a relationship with a dog because dogs are pack animals and cats are solitary. 

 This implies male humans are more inclined towards being pack animals, which is generally true but not always. Women prefer cats because cats are more individual. Cats are also physically softer in appearance, some cat breeds having been developed to be cuddly fluffy dolls almost. This begs the question as to whether the development of the cat breeds has been colored by the fact that the majority of breeders are women. 

Dogs are often overtly physical which appeals to men. From the pet's standpoint dogs may prefer the company of male humans as they are more likely to make orders and dominate, which suites a pack animal. Cats being individuals are less likely to "take orders" in fact cats never take commands. The best way to get a cat to do something if she is not trained is to tease it out of her. Force a cat to do something a you will lose. So, which type of human and which breed of domestic cat are best suited to this relationship? 

Humans need to have a sensitivity towards animals generally, quite obviously, and then cats in particular. Humankind and more particularly mankind can too often hate cats. A hatred of cats can only be born out of ignorance. This is founded in what we learn as children. If our parents hate cats it is likely that we will and we will be fed misinformation by our parents as they were by their parents. Sometimes a person may say that they hate cats because they are allergic to them; 10% of people are. This is clearly no good reason to hate an animal. 

 It can result in injury and cruelty to cats of which there is a substantial amount in the world. You will rarely find an unpleasant person who likes cats. A person who is cruel to animals is almost automatically a bad person. The manifestation of human cruelty to cats is a reflection of anger in that person. Anger born out of a disaffection and dislike of the world in which that person lives. This can be corrected. When a person is cruel to a cat I become angry. 

I feel like doing to the person what thy have done to the cat. From domestic cats' point of view what kind of human do they find attractive? Obviously a kind person who understands them. They see us as cats, large cats. Our size prevents or obstructs some naturally occurring events. It is difficult for a cat to head but our heads or push his face into ours to exchange scent. He'll pop up onto his hind legs to gain height and head but your hand instead. Or he'll brush against your legs. Or better still jump up onto a counter and do it for real from there. 

 A cat is looking for a human who understands cats and can who can behave like a cat, it's as simple as that. Women want and deserve the same degree of understanding from men. From the human's standpoint what kind of cat do we find attractive? As the French say, chacun son truc (each to their own views). However, there are some differences between the domestic cat breeds, although these are exaggerated sometimes. 

A lot of the articles on the Internet are by cat breeders or people who are in the cat fancy and who are partial to a certain breed of cat. That breed is, in their eyes, extremely intelligent and loving etc. The differences in personality between individual cats is greater than the differences in character between the cat breeds so a discussion on cat breed characteristics is a little irrelevant. There are cultural differences between different nations of humans but we are all fundamentally the same and the differences between individuals is the biggest factor in the decision to form relationships. 

 The differences in cat breeds generally come from wild/cat domestic cat hybrids, which is to be expected. Although there is a great similarity between domestic cats and wild cats there are some underlying differences which are presented in the first to 3rd generation cats, By the 4th generation such hybrids are true domestic cats but with character differences. It is said that they are more intelligent, sneaky have some strange behavioral traits (to us not to them). They are more likely to want to be the boss in a multi-cat house. 

The kind of relationship you'll have with a breed such as a Savannah, Chausie or and early generation Bengal is more interactive something akin to the Richard Burton/Elizabeth Taylor relationship:). The relationship can become strained and indeed some people's dream of "owning" an exotic cat becomes a bit of a nightmare. It is remarkable how many purebred cats are abandoned to cat rescue. 

This can only arise out of a misunderstanding as tot the demands and in choosing a cat for the wrong reasons. A step further would be the tamed wild cats, the Safari and Serval, both small wildcats and big domestic cats. This is a different relationship entirely and requires considerable investment in time and money on behalf of the person adopting. At the opposite end of the spectrum you have the more sedate cats, the archetype being the Persian. 

This cat breed is pretty much breed for indoor living due to her long coat and placid demeanor. For people who want a less demanding cat companion and one who can accept being alone more, this cat breed is the answer. The more natural Doll Face (traditional) Persian is lower maintenance too being less likely to have tear duct overflow (squashed face syndrome - my phrase). The likes and dislikes of domestic cats are based on the same principles as our likes and dislikes of humans. Our first physical impression is important to us. 

The rise in popularity of the exotic cats is due to an impressive appearance. That said people will, in the end, chose the soundest cat, the cat with the best overall balance of characteristics and these are possessed by the Abyssinian and Siamese. When I say Siamese, I mean the traditional Siamese as a large majority of the public prefer the more balanced appearance of this cat. This applies to cat breeds generally. The extreme looks are created for cat breeders wishing to win shows. 

The judges work in league with the cat breeders showing their cats to gradually drift to ever more extreme appearances. Cat shows are a little like fashion shows. Women don't wear the extreme clothes seen at shows, but the shows dictate the trends and goals of the fashion business at that time. Some cats are only grey (gray) in color, these are the Nebelung, Russian Blue and Chartreux. I would have thought that men fancy this cat more than women judging by the clothes that men wear. 

And women who dress more flamboyantly might find cats such as the Bengal more attractive; plenty of bling and a more assertive character too. I think it fair to say that women may prefer male cats and visa-versa. Is this true? Not sure, but the natural order of things would support this. Although an analysis of female human behavior indicates that it is not a straightforward matter of women liking men, far from it. And I am not talking about gay people here, just the complexities of human relationships that will have a bearing on human to cat relationships. 

A survey indicated that women prefer cats to men. The human/cat relationship is generally more stable and enduring than the human to human version. The average marriage in the England is about 9 years. Most people who keep domestic cats keep them throughout the cat's life and cats in general live longer than 9 years. There are less arguments, more routine (cats love routine) and more predictability in a cat/human relationship. This stems from the cat. 

A cat is supremely predictable and fairly undemanding (I thinking of mainstream mixed-breed cats here). This oils the works of the relationship. The ride is less bumpy which helps build a loving and solid relationship that can transcend a simple friendship between two different types of animal. When the relationship reaches this state it is very rewarding. Certainly as rewarding as a marriage (provocative and controversial view perhaps - disagree? - tell me). But no substitution for a marriage. 

There has to be a limit to the interaction between cat and person due to the different lifestyles and language barrier. It could be argued that the inexorable rise in the popularity of domestic cats is linked to the consistent decline in the concept of marriage and the rise in single mothers in the UK. In the US cats outnumber dogs and the numbers are big. 

The rise in cats over dogs is probably related to the decline in marriage too. People live quicker and more demanding lives. Often both parents work. The idea of the women living in the shadow of the man is long gone thankfully. This inevitably means less time for a cat or dog as a companion. Of the two, cats are less demanding. Voila, cats are the new companions of divorced women........more ramblings to come.

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