Wednesday 2 April 2008

Bombay Cat Breed

Bombay Cat
Photo copyright Brother O'Mara

The Bombay Cat Breed is one of many modern cat breeds designed to satisfy a domestic cat market for exotic cats. There are quite a few others. One of the classic all domestic cat designer cats is the Toyger (toy Tiger), designed to resemble a Tiger. The objective of the Bombay cat breeders is to produce a cat that somewhat resembles a black panther another large wild cat. The process started in 1953. See a cat history time line of the starting point of the cat breeds.

Some of the exotic cats are closer to the wild than others. An example is the Savannah, particularly the early generation cats as they are wildcat hybrids. These cats really do have wild blood in them.

The Bombay is all domestic cat being a cross between a Sable Burmese cat and a Black American Shorthair. Add to the mix some careful breeding and you have a jet black cat resembling a Black Panther. The breed was created in 1953. The Bombay Cat Breed is not recognized in the UK. She received full Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) recognition in 1976 (full status).

Some people (perhaps a growing number, I don't know) don't like the idea of breeding designer type cats when there are very many cats in rescue centers some of whom are pedigree or purebred cats. There are also too many feral cats. These were once homed domestic cats. What happened? Well the question of feral cats has very little to do with cat breeders, the vast majority of which are very caring and professional. It is the responsibility of cat keepers.

As I understand it the Bombay cat carries a genetic disorder that results in some kittens being born with head defects. These kittens are killed. This defect comes from the American Burmese (contemporary Burmese) cat not the UK Traditional Burmese. When you add this disappointing deficiency in breeding to the idea (which is behind this breed) of creating cats almost as objects and you have a less than ideal situation.

I wonder whether the cat associations do enough to manage the catteries? And the various cat associations sometimes, it seems, pull in slightly different directions, which makes overall management harder to come by. Am I correct?

Anyway this is a difficult cat to photograph Helmi Flick says. This is because this cat breed is both shy and black. Shyness makes it more difficult to create poses through cat wrangling (Ken Flick does this). And the silky smooth black coat makes lighting and focus harder for the photographer.

This breed can be confused with a mixed breed black cat as on the face of it there is little difference. One difference will be the coat; very silky for the Bombay. I discuss the black cats generally and some genetics on this page: Black cats.

Bombay Cat Breed to Bombay Cat (for more on this cat).

1 comment:

  1. What happened? Well the question of feral cats has very little to do with cat breeders, the vast majority of which are very caring and professional.


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