Showing posts from September, 2008

Serval cats

Although this page is primarily about wild Serval cats I have built a page on the domestic aspects of this cat – Serval and the second half of this page addresses domestic cat companion matters in relation to this cat. They are quite frequently domesticated and what better way to show this than a picture of Kathrin Stucki of A1 Savannahs with a tame Serval boy (above). This cat is very much like a domestic cat but not quite like a domestic cat; there is that edge of the wild in him. Here he is in a video: Here is a picture of the Serval in the wild: Introduction This is a medium sized wildcat whose main habitat is the savanna in Africa. The cats size can be seen very clearly in the heading picture of Kathrin Stucki. Notable features of this cat are its rangy conformation, long legs, large ears, small head relative to body size and strongly spotted coat. Its body is designed to hear particularly accurately, jump athletically and run fast (up to 50 mph – the domestic cat ha

Training a cat

We don't normally think about training a cat except perhaps to use the litter, maybe the cat flap or at a more adventurous level a human toilet - cat toilet training, which is quite a popular idea. Yet the cats I have lived with have always used the litter perfectly without training; it comes naturally to a cat usually. The same goes for using a cat flap. A bit of simple encouragement might be needed to use a cat flap but in my experience cats get used to them pretty easily. But what about training a cat generally? We consider that dogs can be fairly easily trained and cats we believe can't be trained or we don't bother to or don't need to train them. Dogs are pack animals and look more to human companions for the lead when it comes to doing things. Cats are more solitary and do their own thing but can adapt well to communal living in fact, after all they live with us - see sociable cats . One established way to train dogs (and now cats) is with the help of a clicker.

Cougar sightings

Cougar wild cat - have we seen anything more beautiful and splendid than the face of this fellow animal? great photo by digitalART2 well done. There has been a report recently about a spate of Cougar sightings by the residents of a town in the USA - Blackstone Va. This town is in Eastern USA where it is almost certain that all Cougars have been removed through our activity except in Florida where there are about 100. The Florida Cougar is critically endangered. The Blackstone rush of Cougar sightings were reported by the local media (15 stories - is that right?). The editor of the local paper is the Mayor of the town I believe. The point is this. A small newspaper needs stories and Cougars create that kind of middle America readable story and it fills papers and heaven knows I am sure that it is hard sometimes to fill a local newspaper. This creates more stories, more Cougar sightings and hysteria eventually takes over. And the media started it. Worse it's the innocent Cougar th

Cat with four ears

I don't think we should devote much time to a cat with four ears because it is simply an anatomical abnormality. Another one is cats with more than the usual number of toes - see American Polydactyl cat . Humans can be polydactyl too. Humans can also have less than the usual number of toes or fingers. This is called split foot - see CHARGE syndrome, split foot and cats . A more technical name for split foot is Syndactyly. Humans can also have 4 nipples and so on and so on. I know people are sometimes interested in this kind of thing but I think it is more the media than the people. Not many people search the Internet for a cat with four ears compared with American Shorthair cat for example. The extra ear flaps or pinnae of a cat with four ears is not a functional piece of anatomy, it seems. In the case of YODA, the 2 extra flaps (in fact it was 4 extra flaps in my opinion as I think Yoda had 6 ears) were not attached to the skull. In other words there were no extra ear canals as w

Cornish Rex Cats

I've changed my mind about Cornish Rex Cats after seeing this picture on Flickr®, which is published here under a creative commons license - Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License. A fine photograph. I like the way the Dax's fur is reflected in the background colors and textures. Cornish Rex Cats - kitten - he is called Dax - photo by Kattenpraat The first of the "mutants" (as the authors of Robinson's Genetics for Cat Breeders & Veterinarians call this breed) was the Cornish Rex (1950). The individual cat was called Kallibunker. See his picture below (this I believe is Kallibunker - wrong? then please tell me in a comment) Kallibunker Photo above: Kallibunker - you can see how the ears have grown because of selectively breeding for large ears. Cat breeders like big ears! Of course Kallibunker was "discovered" in Cornwall, England. This is in the far south west of England where the human population is lower. It is a popular tourist

American Wirehair Cat

This is a fine picture of an American Wirehair cat by Helmi Flick , the best cat photographer. You can see this picture and more on this page: American Wirehair . American Wirehair cat photo © copyright Helmi Flick This is an odd-eyed cat . Robinson's Genetics for Cat Breeders & Veterinarians (4th Ed.) says that it is thought that the gene that gives this shorthaired cat the rough and unruly coat is monogenic with incomplete penetrance but dominant to the normal coat. The gene is a mutated gene. The gene symbol is Wh . Normally a shorthaired cat's coat has an even texture provided it is groomed normally. The American Wirehair cat's coat has the usual three "layers" of hairs, guard , awn (bristle) and down (wool hairs) but they are not normal. The hairs are thinner than normal and curved. This particularly affects the awn hairs , which have an exaggerated undulation. This is a sparse wiry coat that is coarse but pleasant to touch. It is steel wool in th

Desert Lynx

Desert Lynx cat photo copyright see base of post for details Introduction The Desert Lynx is a wild looking but mild acting domestic cat. So what is this cat breed, what are the parent cats that go to make up this hybrid? This is one of the wildcat hybrids the best known of which is the Bengal cat ( Asian Leopard cat X Domestic cat) and the Savannah ( Serval X Domestic). The Desert Lynx is an American Bobcat X Domestic cat hybrid (and see American Bobcat hybrids ). The International Desert Lynx Cat Association (IDLCA) allows the following domestic cats to be outcrossed to the wild Bobcat: Manx, American Bobtail, American Lynx, Maine Coon , or Pixie-Bob . The Manx and Pixie-bob are short tailed cats. The Manx can suffer from a genetically inherited condition called Manx Syndrome (see Manx Cats ). You might want to see Genetic Diseases in Purebred Cats as well. Breeders are nearly always responsible people and do all they can to minimize/eliminate he

Cat in the White House?

Should there by a Cat in the White House? 20% of people who took part in a vote on whether there should be a pet in the White House said there should be a cat. 1% said a dog. 37% said several pets and 2% said no pets. Socks is the most recent cat resident of the White House being a companion to the Clintons. When the Clintons acquired a dog, Buddy, a Labrador, Socks thought that the change sucked and never got used to it. Socks by the way was a black and white mixed breed cat. Were the Clintons wise to introduce a dog to the household as they did? Seems not. Socks never got used to it. Socks now lives with the Clinton's secretary and is 17 years old at the date of this post. This is in his 80s if he were a person (is he still alive?). Why do people generally favor a cat and a pet at the White House? Simple. Pets and for me cats are a great benefit to the President. Cats slow you down, open you up by forcing you to think of something else. Cats are known to be good for our health.

American Shorthair, British Shorthair, and European Shorthair cats

American Shorthair, British Shorthair, and European Shorthair cats are discussed as a group here. The origin of these breeds and indeed the South American cat the Brazilian Shorthair are all in the same cat, the European Shorthair and I include the British Shorthair under that description. As an outsider to the cat fancy you might think that the three cats above are similar because the names are similar. You might also think that they are the same cat breed but just bred in different parts of the world. That is not quite the case, however. European Shorthair cat I have already written about the American Shorthair cat and the British Shorthair cats. They are similar looking cats. They are nice sensible looking cats and when they are show cats they can be seriously glamorous too. The 2008 TICA best kitten is an American Shorthair called KELLOGGS LOVE ECHOES ON - glamor on four legs.. He is a classic silver tabby (see another American Shorthair tabby - this page also shows a

European Burmese cat

European Burmese cat - this is the name given by the American cat fancy to the Burmese cat in the UK. In the UK the cat breed is called the "Burmese". This is the case for each country that have developed their own "brand" of Burmese cat. On the GCCF website these colors are illustrated : brown, blue, chocolate, lilac, red, brown tortie. I discuss the differences in more detail on the Burmese page of the main website, see Burmese cat . The European Burmese cat, it is agreed, is more oriental in appearance. This is a cat fancy term that means less rounded/cobby (stocky). This is the case despite the origins of the American and European Burmese being the same. They both originate from the same cat that was imported into the West in 1930, Wong Mau. In developing the breed, both cat breeders in England and America had to outcross to another breed, the Siamese cat. This is because at the beginning there were no other Burmese cats from which

Devon Rex cats for sale

Devon Rex cat - photo by Clark~ Devon Rex cats for sale are relatively rare . Although overall this is not that rare a purebred cat. Before searching for Devon Rex cats for sale, you might find it useful to look at these two pages. One is about Devon Rex cat breeding and what they do to protect the health of their cats as best they can and the other page is about genetic diseases in purebred cats . Purebred cat breeders are almost always concerned people who put the health of their cats first and this is supported by the fact that the information about the blood typing problem mentioned on first linked page above comes form the Cat Fanciers Association website, who are cat breeders themselves or people who support cat breeding - good for them. I like the CFA. Adopters of a purebred cat should know a bit about the maintenance requirements of the cat breed they intend to keep and that includes information about potential health issues. Health is a very important issue, so say

Devon Rex cat breeding

Devon Rex kitten - Tilba - aged 13 weeks Photo by petrichor His health has no connection to this post. Current Devon Rex cat breeding is or perhaps should be focused to at least a certain degree on hybridization and outcrossing to entirely different breeds when bearing in mind the history of the Devon Rex cat. This cat breed started life from a single discovered cat, Kirlee in 1959 (see Devon Rex cat ). That automatically meant a very small gene pool from which to breed. The gene pool remained small. Because the gene that makes the Devon Rex what he/she is (the curly coat) is recessive the gene pool was expanded by inbreeding at the early stages. Inbreeding can (will?) eventually cause genetic problems (genetic diseases) and this was and is the case with the Devon Rex cat. This breed has a larger than normal number of genetic diseases (see Genetic Diseases in Purebred Cats for a comparison). A notable and distressing genetic disease is Spasticity, which prevents swallowing.

Genetic Diseases in Purebred Cats

Siamese cat - photo copyright Stockxpert Purebred cats and mixed-breed cats have a fairly equal propensity to get ill but it is generally considered to be the case that mixed-breed non-purebred non-pedigree cats have a lesser chance of suffering from an inherited disorder or genetic disease (or is this the case actually). This, it is argued, is because of the breeding practices of purebred cat breeders who are obliged (and no criticism is intended) to breed in a way which allows recessive, defective, genes that would otherwise stay dormant to become effective and visible. What I mean is that breeding purebred cats has to be to type (appearance) which requires a degree of inbreeding and a narrowing of the gene pool resulting in an "increased expression" 2 of unhealthy recessive traits and, therefore a corresponding increase in the incidence of occurrence of these disorders. That said random bred cats also suffer from these diseases. Clearly two "players" in