Wednesday 31 August 2011

American vs European Attitude To Siamese Cat

There seems to be a difference is attitude between American (here, I mean North American) Siamese cat breeders and Siamese cat breeders in Europe including of course the UK.

How to raise Siamese cats and kittens By Janine Connor refers to the criticism by European breeders and breeders "around the world" of the American breeder's desire to breed Siamese cats with an extreme appearance; meaning very slender and what a well known person in the cat fancy in America has called "rat-like" heads and indeed bodies. If you go to a cat show you can see what she means.

I personally prefer the traditional (Applehead) appearance but I respect other people's views and desires. The question I wish to pose is, "Why do American breeders in general prefer the extreme appearance of the modern Siamese cat?"

I can only speculate and I would love some comments but don't expect to get them. We know that America is a consumer society par excellence. The food there is superb and cheap. People can become obese very easily. Is the desire to bred slender elegant cats a response to the human weight problem? And then rather than simply breed an elegant cat that is slender but not overly so, cat breeders in the true tradition of the human condition just go too far and can't stop or don't know when to stop, breeding a more and more refined appearance until it looks extreme and wrong to a large number of people.

Having got to that point breeders can't go back, in part, because the cat associations have by then fixed the appearance in cement under the constantly revised breed standard. The CFA the largest cat association support the extreme modern Siamese and flat faced Persian and reject wildcat hybrids, an anomaly I would suggest.

Well, that is one odd theory that just popped into my mind which may be completely incorrect.

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