Sunday 29 April 2012

Pedigree Cats are Better Companions?

Are there any differences in the way people interact with the domestic cat when the cat is a pedigree cat or a non-pedigree cat. This is an interesting thought. Most cats are non-pedigree. There are a higher percentage of pedigree cats in the United States than elsewhere, as I understand it. All purebred cats have a pedigree. These are the cat breeds that you read about on the internet.

A study by Turner in 2000, albeit somewhat limited, was carried out into this subject. The objective of the study was to look at the differences in cat to human interactions when the cat was: Persian, Siamese and non-pedigree. Persians and Siamese are considered to be somewhat at the opposite end of the spectrum in behavior and character and both are what might be termed original cat breeds that started at the instigation of the cat fancy - well established cat breeds.

The human companions of Persian and Siamese cats where asked to rank their cat's "behavior traits" against a scale. The assessment being based on the cat's behavior versus what the person would have ideally wanted (not sure about that as a criterion). Also, the people and cats were observed interacting.

The interesting overall conclusion appears to have been that the pedigree cats were more "socially interactive" and predictable than non-pedigree cats. They were also more interested in their human, better behaved and fussier eaters.

Siamese cats began "conversations" and interactions generally more often than random bred cats. Siamese cats are known to be vocal and social. This study confirmed that. As people like this trait in a companion, it is one major reason, I suggest, why the Siamese is in the top 3 most popular purebred cats despite a greater than average set of genetically inherited health problems.

Siamese cats were rated as more curious, playful and friendly towards strangers as well. The Siamese was observed as being more often near their human companion, more likely to vocalise, friendlier to strangers, more affectionate and less lazy than non-pedigree cats. High praise indeed.

As for Persian cats they too were more:
  • affectionate
  • friendly towards strangers
  • communicative
  • predictable and
  • clean
Persian's were found to be fussy eaters, however.

Perhaps, one reason for the greater interaction between people and purebred cats is that the cat is more likely to be a full-time indoor cat and therefore more often in close physical proximity to the person. The other reason for the success of the pedigree cat in this study is the greater attention to socialisation received by purebred cats in the breeding programs as that is an important part of cat breeding and selective breeding for good character. The only downside to this is health. Purebreds it is said live shorter lives than moggies.

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