Showing posts from May, 2008

Long Hair Siamese Cat

A Long Hair Siamese Cat is a Siamese cat but is classified as another breed by some cat associations. This cat is a Balinese cat if the cat is purebred and registered with the CFA. If the UK's GCCF registers the cat she will be a Siamese cat or more accurately fall within the classification of Siamese cats and be given the name "Balinese cat (longhaired Siamese)". TICA register her as a Balinese pure and simple. While continental Europe's major cat association FIFe calls this cat a Balinese and classifies her within the Siamese & Oriental category. To all intents and purposes the cats are the same. A long hair Siamese cat with points outside the classic point colors of seal, blue, lilac and chocolate is a Javanese with the CFA. Yes, it is confusing. It could be argued that a Siamese cat with any number of point types including lynx or flame (a soft red color) should all be Siamese cats. However the cat associations like to differentiate the breeds and/or create

Types of Siamese Cats

Photo: Helmi Flick To the question, "What types of Siamese cats are there," the answer is, an infinite number . Sounds strange but it is true. You would need to classify Siamese cats by conformation (body shape) and by coat color and pattern. The bigger class is body shape.   Body Shape   As I have said in other posts (and I apologize if you have seen something similar in another post), the Siamese cat look/appearance used to be exclusively the traditional looking Siamese . Things were simpler in those long lost days more than one hundred years ago, in the years following the first importation of the first Siamese cats from Siam in the late 1800s. The history of this breed is interesting. There is a large body of Siamese cat lovers and breeders who have stayed loyal to the original and genuine appearance. However from the mid 1900s onwards cat breeders developed a far more delicate (some say more elegant) looking cat with the same pointed coat colors and patterns. This b

Blue Point Siamese Cat

Blue Point Siamese cat - photo copyright Red~Star and reproduced under a creative commons license granted by the photographer The blue point Siamese cat is one of the four classic Siamese cat colors and allowed by the Cat Fanciers Association. Funnily enough the cat heading this post, Pearl, who is 17+ years old (I hope she is OK still as 17+ is a good age for a cat) is a Traditional Siamese cat and astonishing as the CFA do not recognize the traditional Siamese cat. They only recognize the Modern Siamese . Fortunately the TICA (The International Cat Association) do now, after some considerable lobbying, accept and register the Traditional Siamese but sadly call this cat a "Thai". The cat breeders who breed the Thai might not agree that the Thai is a Traditional Siamese cat, however. I think that there are too many cat associations pulling in different directions. There needs to be a firm co-ordinating leadership at the top (just my thoughts). Still, it really won&

Siamese Cat Drawing

Siamese cat drawing (it's actually more than a pure drawing) - the cat is a Flame Pointed Modern Siamese cat - drawing copyright Arna published here under a creative commons license generously granted by Arna. There are some talented artists out there in the wide world and some of them very generously let other people publish their work under a creative commons license. The Siamese cat is particularly suited as a subject for a drawing. The drawing above is of Jasper who is a "colour point shorthair". His color points are red or "flame". Jasper is actually a Modern Siamese cat but the CFA register cats outside the conventional range of colors of seal, blue, lilac and chocolate as color (colour) point shorthair cats. Of course the CFA is based in the USA. Jasper may be living in the UK (but see below). The GCCF run the show in the UK. The GCCF categorize Siamese cats into different groups to the CFA. There is a group for "self-pointed". These are the cla

King Cheetah Pictures

Photo reproduced under creative commons license copyright moo sa - Female king cheetah at Tshukudu Game Lodge S. Africa. King Cheetah Pictures are popular because this is a very rare wild cat. It was thought that the king cheetah was a different species of big wild cat (back in the 1920s when they were first noticed) but it is now know for sure that the distinctly different pattern (more marbled than the pure spotted pattern of the cheetah we are familiar with) is due a simple naturally occurring genetic mutation. Genetic mutation are quite routine and have been seized upon by domestic cat breeders to create new cat breeds. Typical examples are the American Curl , the rex cats such as the LaPerm and the rarer dwarf cats ; there are others. See them all on the main website Picture of Cats . Photo copyright jurvetson - note: I am not sure that this Flickr photographer has the copyright to this photo - sorry but I think that I have seen it elsewhere. If I am wrong I apologize and pleas

Cheetah Food Chain

photo copyright World Resources Institute Staff and published under a creative commons license. The Cheetah food chain is a short one, on the face of it. But before I mention it we must remind ourselves that the Cheetah is an endangered species. The Cheetah habitat has shrunk severely over many years and in the area where there are the most Cheetahs (Namibia) she is hunted and killed by farmers because she is forced to live on farmland. The situation is terribly dysfunctional. Food Chains The term "food chain" indicates a straight line transfer of fuel (biomass) from one animal to another in the form of a chain of events, usually the eating of one animal by another until the top predator is arrived at. Perhaps a more accurate depiction of the events is in the form of a network (food network) as there is in fact more going on that is at first apparent in part because consumers will consume from various sources forming an interconnected network of events. A food cha

Dog Allergic to Cat

Pollen - once source of a dogs allergic reaction photo copyright massdistraction A dog allergic to a cat? Yes, just as humans can be allergic to cats, dogs can be allergic to cats too. I am slightly allergic to a stray boy cat that pops in for food. It is the first time that I have sensed this. It is quite uncomfortable. I've only got to look at him, almost, and I start to feel itchy. I always wash after touching him. Dogs allergic to cats cannot rationalize the problem like humans and as far as I can see there is not much one can do about it that is really effective. First though, if your dog is scratching it may be due to a wide range of sources. A dog may even be allergic to us as we produce allergens in the form of skin particles. Cat allergens are skin particles and/or dried saliva left on the after grooming. It may be difficult to track down the source of irritation. There is the question as to whether you tackle the problem from the dog end or the source end (i.e. pro-acti

Animal Clones

Photo copyright imranchaudhry published under a creative commons license fully complied with. This is an image of an image it seems to me and the original might not be the copyright of imranchaudhry - please advise. NEWS AND OPINION: Animal Clones and particularly pet cloning is in the news again. We do like to play around with science don't we and fool ourselves into believing that it is for the good of humankind? I think we need to spend more time and expend more energy on some basic issues like human and animal rights the world over before we play God with pets. We need to get back to some basic and sound thinking on real and pressing matters. Animal clones are being used for medical research but it has now been proposed that animal clones are produced as a replacement for a pet that has died. This post deals with this aspect of the process. We know that animal cloning is about money, profit. As I have said elsewhere it is hard enough to reconcile cat and dog breeding with e

Cat Food Taste Testing

Nick Zamora eating cat food at Thanksgiving. photo copyright neekatnite For Marks and Spencer Cat Food Taste Testing is best carried out by a human. One of their senior food technologists, tests M&S cat food and checks for taste, texture and look (M&S don't employ cats, yet). M&S have brought out an organic cat food range. As the quality of food improves, for humans, the spin off is that cat and dog food improves afterwards. Some cat food is simply lovely to look at and smells great to me. In fact on occasions, when I have got cat food on my fingers I have instinctively licked it off! I'd forgotten that it was cat food. I'd done my own Cat Food Taste Testing. But and this is a big but, are we qualified to judge a cat's food? After all wild cats (and domestic cats are still essentially wild cats) love the look, taste and texture of a barely dead rodent. How can an M&S Chicken and Vegetable Terrine (yes, for cat) match that or get anywhere near that in te

Healthy Green Cat Litter

The more Healthy Green Cat Litter is compacted sawdust. My experiences tell me that compacted sawdust is much better despite not clumping. It is also healthier for the cat, which is something that I hadn't considered until I read an article at Clumping clay litter produces dust when moved. This dust can settle on the cat, which can then be licked off when she grooms. Also during use the dust can be inhaled. Even humans inhale it when cleaning out the litter tray. The dust apparently contains silica which may be carcinogenic. The dust may also clump inside your cat after being ingested. Compacted sawdust also produces dust but I guess it's less dangerous. Compacted sawdust litter is relatively Healthy Green Cat Litter as it can be composted after use or burnt. It is also more absorbent in my experience and reduces odor more effectively. The litter tray requires far less cleaning as it stays naturally cleaner for far longer (almost indefinitely in fact). If you combine

Cats vomiting

Cats vomiting is something that we don't sometimes pay enough attention to as cats sick up hair balls not to infrequently and grass that they have eaten sometimes. It's almost part of being a cat so we get used to it as normal. This might be a dangerous approach if your cat is being regularly sick for no apparent reason. There is anecdotal evidence that the following can cause cat vomiting (upchucking as it is called in the USA sometimes). If the dry food is made up of very small pieces a cat can swallow it whole without masticating it. This might make her sick. Dry food is not as good as wet but more convenient. On a separate issue I have taken my cat more or less off dry food (or I give her much less and she is now more active and has lost weight). I HAVE A FULL PAGE ON CAT VOMITING (CHARMING!) ON A LINKED SITE. CLICK THIS LINK TO READ IT . Cats vomiting can, on perhaps rare occasions, be an early sign of having contracted Dry FIP . FIP is a nasty viral infection that oft

TIBS Lightning Fund

I have made an earlier post about the TIBS Lightining Fund . TIBS is the International Bengal Society and they are organizing funding the testing of Bengal cats to research the genetic causes of HCM (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy - heart disease in layperson terms ) in Bengal Cats (finding genetic "markers" so the cats can be screened in the future). This disorder would seem to be of growing concern for Bengal cat breeders and cat fanciers. HCM is found in many cat breeds and mixed breed cats. It is present in some cat breeds more than others. Maine Coons (perhaps the most popular cat) are known to have a problem and now it seems Bengal cats are going down the same path. On an update about the TIBS Lightning Fund, is it true that the fund has the money to carry out tests but not enough cat breeders coming forward to have to donate blood from an HCM positive cat? This seems to be the case. It wouldn't surprise me as breeders will naturally be concerned about their cats bei

Dog chasing cat

photo copyright jgrantmac People looking for a dog chasing cat picture will in fact see the above, a swan, hissing like a cat, chasing a dog. Confused? Actually this is a serious post but I like the picture. Sometimes cat breeders let other cat breeders keep their stud cats (I guess for a fee). Sometimes breeders have other animals like dogs. This means the breeder is who is going to "loan" the cat to the new breeder with dogs has to decide if it it safe to do so. Stud cats are sometimes (often?) kept in outside cages for practical reasons. Or indoors permanently. Will the new breeder be as diligent as the other in looking after the cat? Will the cat get out and be attacked by dogs? These are considerations for a breeder who will be saying goodbye for a time to a much loved cat. Although cat breeding is a commercial enterprise breeders form close relationships with their cats. I read a sad story of a cat breeder's huskies killing a Bengal cat that had been loaned for br

F1 Bengal declawed and indoors

F1 Bengal declawed and indoors is exactly what happens sometimes and I for one just don't see this as fair and right. I just read a story about an F1 Bengal cat, which are one generation from the wild Asian Leopard cat - plenty of wild blood then - very active and inquisitive. And what has the breeder done - declaw all four feet! That is rank brutality and I'd be surprised if the cat is not damaged emotionally. But wait, what does the "buyer" of this cat do - keeps him indoors all the time. Poor cat. What does the cat do? He tries and succeeds in getting out. What does the human do - go bonkers looking for him (and the cat is not in a good state to survive on his own having been declawed). For me (and many will disagree and that it OK) this is a highly dysfunctional situation. No one seems to be happy in this situation created by us. F1 Bengal declawed and indoors to Bengal cats

Savannah Cats for sale

Savannah cat - photo copyright Helmi Flick - the best cat photographer and one of the best cats. Savannah cats for sale are becoming more and more popular. According the popularity poll on my website they are currently the 9th most popular cat. That is a fantastic result for Savannah cat breeders as this is a very special cat that requires a special human keeper. The Savannah is a large domestic cat, the largest registered by TICA on my reckoning and slightly larger on average than a Maine Coon. The wild parent of the Savannah, the Serval , is of course larger and is sometimes tamed to become a domestic cat (of sorts) herself. Personally I have always thought the Savannah the most exotic and impressive of domestic cats to look at in terms of presence - large and athletic and bigger than many a true wild cat. You can see how this cat compares to wild cats in weight . You'll find many more Savannah cats for sale in the USA than the UK or continental Europe but things are gradually

Cat Ragdoll rescue

Cat Ragdoll rescue - not for these gorgeous cats photo copyright Helmi Flick of course. If you are looking to adopt a purebred cat, Ragdoll rescue may be the way forward. Firstly, the Ragdoll cat is a fine cat. She is a large cat, one of the larger domestic cats . She is better suited to the full-time indoor life, which seems to be "the way" in the USA. I go on about indoor cats, I know, but it would be much better if, while humans are trying to make the world less hostile to the domestic cat, we allowed our cats out in outside enclosures. I just don't see it as natural and fair to keep a cat imprisoned. Ragdolls are not totally placid cat furniture however. Although probably better suited to indoor living they are as inquisitive and as "naughty" (in the nicest possible way) as the next cat. And they shed and need frequent grooming (so fairly high maintenance really). Cats are naturally inquisitive, hence the 9 lives idea. Their inquisitiveness gets them into

Cat Rescue Homes

Cat rescue homes - photo copyright fofurasfelinas - a fine photographer - fofurasfelinas is involved in cat rescue but I don't know if these cats are rescue cats. It's just another fine photograph from her. If someone is searching the internet for Cat Rescue Homes they probably are searching for one of three things (a) a rescue center (operation) in order to see if they can adopt a rescue cat (b) to see if they can get involved in fostering a rescue cat themselves or (c) the whereabouts of actual foster homes were rescue cats are cared for until placed with new keepers by a rescue operation. I have decided that the most likely is (a) and make this post on that basis. I have, even though I say it myself, been very careful in preparing some pages on rescue operations in relation to purebred cats generally and rescue operations serving a particular cat breed. It is very sad that they exist at all. You'd have thought that a purebred cat which would have been carefully bred

Cat Inbreeding

This is a follow up to an earlier post on cat inbreeding . We noted that cat breeders practice inbreeding at least sometimes, perhaps a considerable amount of the time to breed in the best appearance and I hope the best character. The downside is that you also breed in the defects associated with recessive genes that would otherwise go unnoticed. What happens in the wild? Inbreeding is rare in the wild . Wild animals avoid inbreeding in a common sense way by dispersal. Moving away from the population from where they were born. In scientific terms it is called "natal dispersion". This means travelling to a place away from where the animal was born to a new place to reproduce. The change being on a permanent basis. It seems that the reasons for dispersal are (a) inbreeding avoidance (b) competition for resources- looking for a less competitive environment and (c) competition for mates. ( src ) We don't have to look far for the benefits of inbreeding avoidance. For humans ma

Learning to build websites

Learning to build websites takes time. I'm still learning but I only started 10 months ago. In fact I learn something new each day. But it's more than just about learning to build websites. You have to make sure that what you say on the site is of a high quality and that means knowing your subject. And you also have to build quite a large website (that's my own view). But the most important factor of all in this process is to know how to get your website seen by the search engines. Because without it being seen and listed in the first one or two pages of the search results, you are pretty well wasting your time. Sounds a bit daunting doesn't it? But you know there is a website hosting company which holds your hand, so effectively, throughout the process that you not only get seen by the search engines you can earn money while you're building the site. Sounds like utopia doesn't it? It just happens to be hard reality and I know because I've been through the

Cat Inbreeding

Cat inbreeding for cat breeders must by force of necessity be part of the process of developing purebred cats that are sufficiently of the right type (appearance). It happens a lot and cats become ill sometimes because of it. That is part of the breeding process. Close breeding creates the situation where it is possible for defective mutated recessive genes to come to the fore and produce disease. A case in point might be the Bengal cat . Does this breed suffer from cat inbreeding? Such a fine looking cat but they have a predisposition towards contracting HCM, a heart disease . And importantly, the Bengal cat breed started off with a relatively small number of cats, such as as Tory of Delhi, Millwood Finally Found, Centerwall ALC, etc. Apparently lots of Bengal cats have high inbreeding coefficients (20%). Even if a breeder uses 0% inbreeding over 4-5 generations the process will result in cats with 20% inbreeding coefficients over the entire pedigree of the cat. Does this mean that

Animal Welfare

Photo copyright Feral Indeed! I'd like to honor 3 fine and famous women who are beautiful inside and out involved in animal welfare. The first is Doris Day . She has had a life long love of dogs which extends to all animals. She is the president of her charitable foundation, the Doris Day Animal League. She has Sir Paul McCartney and his ex-wife Heather Mills as advisory members of the board. I doubt they attend meetings together. I'll admit I quite fancied Doris. She had (might still have) a gorgeous figure. She seemed so sweet and nice on the screen and it seems she is actually sweet and nice. Although we are all human and she can't be nice all the time. One thing I particularly like is that they describe their mission as working to improve the lives (my words) of "non-human animals". This is very enlightened and I would have thought goes against the grain a bit in the USA which is a deeply religious country. Religion can clash with Darwinian evolution and the r

F2 Savannah Cat

F2 Savannah cat Motzie. Image: public domain. There are links below to plenty of F2s! Whatever the generation, what a cat; the look on this cat's face is so alert and intelligent. The F2 Savannah Cat is one of the largest domestic cat s if you place no restrictions on your assessment of size in terms of cat associations recognition (except for the Serval which when domesticated or tamed is the largest or of course the F1 Savannah cat - see e.g. Magic ). The F2 Savannah is probably the most "impressive" looking domestic cat of them all. This is a complete giant of a domestic cat and I don't use the word in the sense of large as this cat is not that large. No, I mean in the sense of the wow factor. There is quite a lot of talk on the internet about the Ashera GD , Life Style Pets Inc. hypoallergenic cat that looks like an early generation Savannah. People say she is! There is talk of the best Savannah catteries supplying Life Style Pets Inc. ( Allerca cats ) with

Siamese Cat Coloring

Flame Point Siamese Cat – photo ©bonsaibutterfly Siamese Coloring depends on whether your talking about the Traditional Siamese cat, the Modern Siamese cat, a type in between and whether the cat is purebred or not and whether you're concerned about complying with cat association standards.  Non-purebred   There are many lovely Siamese cats that miserably fail cat association standards and have slightly dodgy pointing etc. These are Siamese mixes, non-purebred. These cats commonly have the classic seal pointing (dark brown, black looking). The original Siamese cat imports to the West were seal point. Most people seem also to keep the Traditional Siamese. Sometimes the pointing is not pure (broken). Purebred   But you've really got to start at the top and that is the Cat Fanciers Association's breed standard. The CFA doesn't recognize the original type of Siamese cat, the one we know. For them the Siamese cat is the super slender and long cat with a thin head. This cat,

Cat Vaccinations

Cat Vaccinations can kill. Obviously they are for the benefit of the cat (often a kitten) as they protect the cat from harmful infection. But a quick look at how they work informs us as to why a vaccination can have the opposite effect. Another word for vaccination is immunization . Vaccination works by priming the body's immune system and making it more effective. This is done by injecting the disease for which immunization is sought into the body. That sounds crazy but if the injected pathogen (bacteria or viruses) is live but weakened or dead then they do not make you get the disease but simply trigger your immune system to make it more ready and able to deal with the infection should it come along. Sometimes however a negative reaction can take place. This after all should not surprise us as kittens are quite fragile and we are injecting them with a virus! I don't know of the numbers of cat vaccinations gone wrong but they are probably low but significant enough to take no

Lynx Point Siamese Cats

Lynx Point Siamese Cats - photo jade-rabbit In the cat world you will find a wide range of appearances of any one type or breed of cat. In the example of the Lynx Point Siamese Cats the range will be particularly wide because there is more than one type of marking called "Lynx Point" and more than one type of cat called a "Siamese Cat". There are officially 2 types of Siamese Cat (and a spectrum in between). One the one hand you have the Traditional Siamese , now called a Thai by The International Cat Association (TICA), the only American association as far as I am aware to register what is the original Siamese cat. Siamese cat history is interesting for its development to the Modern Siamese (or contemporary Siamese). The modern is skinny with a pointed head and the Traditional has a look that we expect to see in a cat (more rounded and normal). In between we have the classic look. The cat above is traditional in conformation and very handsome. As for the

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) in Bengal cats

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) in Bengal cats in something that has only now (somewhat late in the day) come to my notice. I have just seen an article on Tufts website referring to the Sept. 2007 conference. This posting is not a "knock the Bengal Cat" post. I love all cats. The natural instinct for breeders and those involved in the cat fancy is to be quiet about problems. This is natural to protect business. The problem of HCM in Bengal cats would seem to have been dealt with quietly. Breeders realize, though, that it is for the best in the long term to discuss the difficult subjects, openly. They do in fact discuss breeding issues on forums such as Yahoo Groups. It is essential to do so for the welfare of the cats. It is not compatible with good cat breeding (an ethical approach to breeding) to knowingly or recklessly breed cats that might have an inherited disorder that shortens the life of the cat and has a negative impact on their welfare and/or the breed generally.