Showing posts with label Breeders. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Breeders. Show all posts

Wednesday 6 September 2023

Jackson Galaxy is disappointed with the cat fancy and cat breeding

 It is no surprise to me that Jackson Galaxy, the world's most famous cat whisperer (cat behaviourist) dislikes or is disappointed with cat breeding and the breeds. Well, I have generalised and read his mind so I'll tell you what he says in his book Total Cat Mojo about the purebred cats and you can make up your own mind. 

He always adopts non-purebred cats. He does the right thing. Although he is high profile, he's very down to earth and a realist. He sees the big picture and the need to do the right thing and adopt rescue cat. He worked extensively in cat rescue before becoming a famous cat bebehaviourist.

Jackson Galaxy with Barry
Jackson Galaxy loved Barry deeply and misses him a lot. Photo: Jackson Galaxy.

He heads his section on breeding and the breeds with "The Puppet Master Enters: Purebred Cats".

You get a hint in that heading. He's saying that people are playing at God when they create new purebred cat breeds and create them for sale.

He explains that in the early days of the cat fancy there was no extreme breeding as there is today. For example, he explains that the Siamese cat's pointed coat was enough to distinguish that cat breed from the rest and it was and still is. 

And the Persian cat back in the old days was pretty much a standard-looking cat. There were no flat-faced oddities in those days. This is what he says. But today "breeding is an altogether different beast (so to speak), with organisations recognising anywhere from 44 to nearly 60 different breeds of cats (I think actually that TICA recognise more than 70)."

And he then goes on to talk about how the cat fancy developed in America in a detrimental way. He says:

"In the process, we have pushed cats' physical appearance to extremes, often without regard for the well-being of the cats being bred. We've made the Persian's face flatter and the Siamese space thinner and more pointed. Consequently, the changes we have imposed through breeding are in many ways detrimental to the Raw Cat."

The Raw Cat that he refers to is the natural domestic cat, the domesticated wildcat with a wildcat character beneath that domestic exterior.

He adds that:

"By selecting Persians for the brachycephalic (short-nosed) appearance, we have actually made it harder for them to breathe, increased the chance of skin, dental and eye disease, and made giving birth riskier and more difficult.

Scottish Folds are used as a model for studying pain and arthritis because the mutations that cause the folds in their ears also lead to painful degeneration in their bones and cartilage.

Manx cats are prone to back pain, constipation, and other elimination problems because of spinal cord deformities.

Maine Coon cats are prone to heart disease, and Siamese cats have a higher likelihood of asthma and hyperaesthesia. Sidebar from Michael: the modern Siamese is the unhealthiest breed and the Persian is in the top three.

RELATED: Siamese: The World’s Most Unhealthy Cat!

These are just a few examples. When you limit the gene pool, you increase the chance of dangerous mutations and disease. There is no other way around it.

Humans may be pulling the strings when it comes to cats' exteriors, but are we making any progress in understanding their inner world?"

As you can see, he is critical of a section of the cat fancy where they breed purebred cats to extreme meaning the anatomy becomes abnormal in order to create a cat which looks different and can be completely distinguished from the other breeds. 

The objective here is to sell more cats and to follow the breed standard accurately but breeders go beyond simply following the breed standard in their efforts to create more interesting cats at which point they create unhealthy cats as is emphasised by Jackson Galaxy.

Sunday 18 June 2023

16 most affectionate cat breeds who love a good cuddle

I'll say it strongly: the title is pure mumbo-jumbo and it comes direct from Pets Radar, a cynical website in my opinion where they regularly employ clickbait with a complete disregard for factual truth. They are cynically misleading the general public and those who want to adopt a cat for the first time. In fact, they are taking the piss out of people. That's what they are doing. They are playing with the internet. Don't listen to their advice. I'll tell you the truth.

The truth is far less prosaic. It is far less interesting. I know that people who want to adopt a cat from a cat breeder like clarity in terms of the cat's character. They want to know what they are buying. They want certainties. That's why Pets Radar provides it. But it is false.

16 most affectionate cat breeds who love a good cuddle
16 most affectionate cat breeds who love a good cuddle. A random bred cat being affectionate. The nose-to-nose cat greeting occurs frequently. It is a friendly greeting and pleasant for both parties. I think the human likes it more and feels blessed to be treated as a genuine friend by their cat. Image in the public domain.

All the individual cats of each cat breed are going to be bred to be friendly and affectionate. Above all else, domestic cats who are part of a cat breed are just like any other domestic cat.

In fact, you might find some individual cats described as moggies i.e. non-purebred cats who are friendlier than any individual cat from any cat breed. It often boils down to the nature of the individual cat.

It is disingenuous to presume that all the individual cat of one particular cat breed all have the same character in terms of their level of affection. It isn't logical. It isn't common sense.

Breeders focus on the appearance of the cat primarily. The character comes from the foundation cats and obviously they want their cats to have good, friendly and affectionate characters. They want their cats to be confident and outgoing. They do work on this but it is not a science. And of course, there is nature/nurture. The cat's experiences later on in life and in the early years of development affect their personality.

So, you can't provide a clear answer as Pets Radar think you can do. Well, they don't actually think that. As mentioned, they are cynical. They just feed information that they think people want to hear. Their objective is to get as many readers as they can and they don't care whether the information that they provide is correct or not.

I'm being harsh but rightly so in my view. It isn't just Pets Radar who do this. The newspaper The Scotsman has done it frequently as well. It's all click bait. It's all very wrong and I don't want to see people adopting cats to be so misled.

If you want to adopt - as everybody does - an affectionate purebred cat which you will have to buy at over £1000 normally, you really should visit the breeder that you have selected, talk to him or her and meet the cats. Ask some pertinent questions. Challenge the breeder. Discuss the matter in depth and then adopt the kitten that comes to you if that happens.

But you're not going to know for sure whether the cat you adopt is going to be super-affectionate or more affectionate than any other domestic cat. Just presume that your selected cat will be affectionate provided that you are affectionate towards him or her.

And that's the last point I want to make. The level of affection that a cat delivers to their caregiver is largely dependent upon the level of affection that their caregiver delivers to them. It is reciprocated. Affection is an emotion. And the emotions of a cat and how anxious or calm they feel is dependent upon the environment in which they are placed and that environment is dependent upon the work and efforts of the caregiver.

16 most affectionate cat breeds who love a good cuddle
16 most affectionate cat breeds who love a good cuddle. All domestic cats enjoy a cuddle at some time or other. It just needs to be done on their terms. Image: public domain.

In the interactions between caregiver and cat are so important. They should be gentle, calm and friendly. Owners should never yell at their cat. They should never be aggressive towards their cat. They should not be irritated by their cat if their cat behaves in a way that displeases them. And this comes down to expectation management as well.

People need to remember that the domestic cat is a domesticated wildcat. They have inherited the wild cat behaviours but of course they've adapted to the human environment. They are domesticated. But expect a domestic cat to have wildcat traits which occasionally emerge.

Be realistic, please. Don't believe everything you read on the Internet because a lot of it is tailored to please the readers rather than, like this article, tailored to be entirely factual true. The raw truth counts in my view. And in that way, we can expect better animal welfare as well because people's expectations are accurate.

Saturday 27 May 2023

What is this strange looking cat with odd ears?

This picture is on the website and the person who posted it said that this is a 'very rare and strange cat'. It is a strange-looking cat (but not very rare) because the photograph captures nicely, almost in silhouette, the curled-back ears. It looks like everything is against what we normally associate with the domestic cat appearance with their ever-alert ears pointing forwards to collect the sound waves heading towards them.

What is this strange looking cat with odd ears?
What is this strange looking cat with odd ears? Image:

Domestic cats have really good hearing, better than human hearing. Their large ear flaps which can rotate around the head thanks to the 30+ muscles controlling the them, help in picking up the soundwaves.

So, when the ears fold back like this it must affect their hearing and it is due to a genetic mutation. It does look very strange and a bit disturbing to be honest. But this is an American Curl purebred cat (probably) and if he is not a pedigree cat, he'll be a random bred version. The purebreds are deliberately created by breeders to be sold to the public.

It's quite a rare purebred cat and not that popular compared, for example, to the Persian or Maine Coon cat breeds.

It gives the cat a kind of devilish look and they come in shorthaired and longhaired varieties. Essentially this cat is a standard random bred cat with curly ears. There is nothing extreme about the cat's appearance.

American Curl cats are born with straight ears and the ear flaps do not curl back as you see in the photograph until the kittens are 2 to 10 days old. The kittens enter a transitional phase that lasts until about 16 weeks of age and during this time the ears begin to change. They may even 'uncurl' or curl more tightly.

The cat in the photograph has particularly curly ears and would be of show cat quality.

RELATED: American Curl Cat: 12 facts.

I've seen American curl ears that don't curl quite so much. The genetic mutation causes the cartilage in the ear flaps to take up this peculiar shape. The mutated gene is dominant.

As mentioned, the ears curl to different degrees and in the 1st° curl version of this cat, only the tips of the ears curl back. These cats are considered to be pet quality which means that they are not going to be show cats. The 2nd° curl of the ears is an arc ranging from 45° to less than 90°. Cats with secondary degree curled may be considered for breeding purposes but they are not of show quality.

Finally, the third-degree curl of the ears is the curliest. The ears curl from 90 to 180° with the tips not touching the back of the ear or the head and pointing towards the center of the base of the skull. Cats with third-degree curl combined with the correct overall look of the cat as per breed standard would be of show quality.

The cat breed was commenced when in June 1981 in Lakewood, California a longhaired silky black female kitten with these strange ears wandered up to the home of Joe and Grace Ruga. They named the stray cat Shulamith. This cat was the foundation cat for the entire breed and they set about creating the breed from thereon.

Six years later The International Cat Association accepted the American Curl longhair for championship status. They are now recognised for championship status in most organisations in North America.

Here is a calico American Curl. Photo by Helmi Flick. The ears are not as impressive.

Saturday 26 November 2022

This Christmas don't buy a smuggled puppy or a cheap online kitten

Christmas is upon us. Some people will be buying a purebred dog or cat. There are many online adverts for what appear to be charming puppies. The same applies to kittens. Sometimes the prices look good; almost too good to be true.

Puppies at Christmas
Puppies at Christmas. Image: MikeB

These "too good to be true" puppy adverts have probably been placed on social media websites such as Facebook because the overheads of the breeder are particularly low. And the likelihood is that they are low because they been bred in Eastern Europe and smuggled into Britain against the law.

The problem is this: often these puppies are the offspring of abused breeding dogs, living in squalor without proper veterinary care. These are puppy mills and there is no place for them and certainly the purchase of a puppy should not be supporting them unwittingly.

Over the Covid pandemic many thousands of people did indeed unwittingly support puppy mill owners. They were supporting illegal activity and animal abuse.

A problem is that 30% of buyers don't care. They don't even care about the health of the puppy that they are buying. They are fixated on the appearance, and they don't really want to dig into the background of the animal. This is a shame.

Cheap online kittens are another problem. Anybody who knows about purchasing purebred cats strenuously advise that you purchase from a breeder registered with a cat association and that you visit her home. The last bit is a challenge, but it will help to select the right kitten and to ensure that the woman is bona fide.

However, even visiting a breeder's home cannot guarantee that the breeder is treating her cats with care and respect. But it will help. And you can then check that they have a pedigree. All purebred cats should have a pedigree if you are purchasing one. This means a family tree with all the parents and grandparents also purebred and registered with a cat association.

If you buy online without seeing this documentation you are likely to purchase a purebred cat mix which is not the real thing.

Dogs Trust has warned of a growing trend to search online adverts for the perfect pooch, but they say that this trend is a "perfect storm" for puppy smugglers.

Health problems of flat-faced dogs

The surge in demand for fancy but inherently unhealthy, flat-faced, puppies has encouraged the growth of puppy smuggling. Without demand there would be none obviously. It's a supply and demand issue.

Dogs Trust has reported a 60% increase in the number of pregnant dogs and puppies seized at UK borders since 2021 according to a news media report.

The veterinary director at the charity, Paula Boyden, wisely said that it is easy to fall into the trap of making decisions "with your heart" when a more business-like approach is required. It is a very big step to adopt a puppy because it really should be for the life of the companion animal but regrettably when adoption is conducted on impulse the outcome isn't always great.

Boyden said: "Unknowingly buying a smuggled puppy could have very real consequences for the owner too. The puppy might be too young to have been legally imported or have health issues that you don't necessarily notice until too late."

6 tips to find a healthy puppy to adopt

The most smuggled breeds seized in the UK by the border force are English bulldogs, Pomeranians, French bulldogs and Dachshunds. The Dachshunds and French bulldogs are the most popular breeds currently in the UK judging by what I see in the parks. And that I think is a good guide.

They look cute too many people but if you go behind the veneer of what you see and dig around and ask about health issues and socialisation issues you might see a different less pleasant story.

Wednesday 13 April 2022

The First Siamese Cats in the Western World

Mrs Vyvyan of Dover, England, UK was the person who first brought the Siamese cat to the Western world from the Orient. The year: 1886. I am sure that snippet of information will be disputed by many! However, it comes from Mrs Vyvyan herself who sent the information to Harrison Weir, the founder of the cat fancy. This is referred to in Harrison Weir's book: Our Cats and all about them at pages 77-79.

If she is not the first, she is one of the first and it is, therefore, interesting to hear what Mrs Vyvyan has to say about the Siamese cat - the original version before cat breeders in the West got hold of the breed and mangled it 😉.

We don't have a photo of her Siamese cats (if you can help, please comment) but below is an early Siamese showing a normal body conformation and head shape.

An early Siamese cat showing a normal body conformation and head shape
An early Siamese cat showing a normal body conformation and head shape. Photo: Wikipedia Commons and in the public domain.

Her experiences with this famous breed relate to Siamese cats that came direct from Siam (now Thailand). She nursed and cared for the original Siamese cats believed to have come from the King's Palace and sent to her from Bangkok. At the time she was in China.

These are some of the comments she makes about the first Siamese cats in the western world. I think her comments will interest aficionados of the Siamese cat breed.
"They are very affectionate and personally attached to their human friends, not liking to be left alone, and following us from room to room more after the manner of dogs than cats." 
We know that the Siamese cat is famous for their loyalty, close relationships with people and being talkative - see character. She confirms this.

She says that the male Siamese is very strong and that they fight with strange dogs. The male Siamese can "conquer all other tom-cats in their neighbourhood". 

Apparently, while Mrs Vyvyan was living in China one of her cats had had a fight with a wild cat and lost. He was killed but managed to walk home before dying.

Being the time before the existence of pet food manufacturers Mrs Vyvyan fed her cats fresh fish with boiled rice, bread, warm milk, chicken and game.

She supported the idea that they were better off going out and catching their own food, "feather and fur".

Mrs Vyvyan said:
"We find these cats require a great deal of care, unless they live in the country, and become hardy through being constantly out of doors". 
A thought which is out-of-step with today's trend towards indoor cats. She said that kittens are more likely to survive if born in late spring so they could benefit from the warmer weather.

The predominant illness in her kittens appears to have been worms. They were so bad the kittens tried to vomited them up. She gave them raw chicken with heads and with feathers on as a relief from the discomfort.

She describes the gradual development of the pointing. The first Siamese cats were seal pointed. This is the classic pointing. Breeders have developed a lot of different colours for the pointing including lynx (tabby) pointing. Mr Vyvyan believed that the "true breed, by consensus of opinion" was the seal point which she describes as, "of the dun, fawn, or ash ground, with black points." She mentions other colours which implies that even then there were other colours. I think chocolate pointing has been referred to as an original color. Although Mrs Vyvyan didn't refer to this.

"When first born the colour is nearly pure white, the only trace of 'points' being a fine line of dark gray at the edge of the ears; gradual alteration takes place, the body becoming creamy, the ears, face, tail, and feet darkening, until, about a year old, they attain perfection, when the points should be the deepest brown, nearly black, and the body ash or fawn colour, the eyes opal or blue, looking red in the dark. After maturity they are apt to darken considerably, though not all specimens."

Mrs Vyvyan says that the Siamese is a delicate cat (she is referring to a delicacy of health). She recommends that only a "real cat lover" should get involved in caring for a Siamese cat. They still are delicate, ironically, due to selective breeding. They have the most inherited genetic illnesses of all the cat breeds.

She refers to the intelligence of the Siamese cat. This is a known quality and in fact the Siamese related cats such as the Oriental Shorthair are also rated in the top bracket for cat breed intelligence, if you believe such things.

Harrison Weir's drawing of a Siamese cat's head pointing 1889.

To finish off this page I'll show you what Harrison Weir considers to be the "properly marked Siamese cat". The picture above is also interesting for the shape of the head. This is a perfect example of a traditional Siamese cat. That is the way the Siamese cat looked in Siam before 1886! The modern Siamese or even the Thai cat are not representative of the original Siamese cat.

Associated page: Siamese cat history.

Note - copyright. I have decided that, despite what some have said, the copyright in Harrison Weir's book has expired due the passage of time and it is now in the public domain. If I am wrong, please tell me and I will take prompt action. 

Sunday 5 September 2021

Black Scottish Fold peering out of a neat speckled gray den

Cool picture of a cat only you can't see much of the cat which it is why it is a cool pic. This is more a picture of a commercially made den and it looks good. It is a good cat photograph too. The cat's pupils are wide open indicating low light conditions. They add to the picture as we are left with two nicely delineated faint yellow circles made by the irises.  Scottish Folds adapt nicely to apartment life as they have sweet dispositions and easy natures. Watch out for health though. The genetic mutation that they have can cause more than folded ears. Ask the breeder who you're buying from some health questions please.


Black Scottish Fold peering out of a neat speckled gray den
Black Scottish Fold peering out of a neat speckled gray den. Photo: Instagram.

Monday 30 August 2021

Online adoption hub Pets4Homes clamps down on fraudulent sellers

The website Pets4Homes has decided to clamp down on unscrupulous breeders and fraudsters who use the Pets4Homes website as a portal through which they sell puppies imported illegally or bred under cruel conditions and then sold through the site despite being sick or dying. In short, Pets4Homes want to stop criminals using their website to sell sick animals, particularly puppies which are imported illegally.

Cawley travelling family were engaged in fraudulent practices in conning customers
Cawley travelling family were engaged in fraudulent practices in conning customers. Photo: SWNS

Pets4Homes has employed digital forensic experts in collaboration with the charity Animal Protection Services to secure 85 prosecutions with 35 cases pending decisions. They've used cyber analysts to block 40,000 adverts in five months on the website. A significant percentage of these adverts were created by gangs shipping dogs from abroad and/or using litters from stolen pedigree dogs kept under very poor conditions.

On one occasion 'travellers' in the UK made at least £300,000 by selling sick and dying cocker spaniels, schnauzers, Chihuahuas, springer spaniels, Labradors, beagles and poodles. Six members of the Cawley family, from Milton Keynes, together with seven accomplices were convicted.

These enterprises have been fuelled by market forces because of the Covid pandemic which encouraged people who were socially distance to impulsively adopt dogs forcing up prices resulting in criminal activity to take advantage of the market.

The administrators of Pets4Homes decided to take action because of a series of abuses in recent months. Their software now prevents fraudsters from selling animals when they do not possess those animals.

They check the IP addresses of those who are advertising in order to establish the veracity of the advert. They want to make sure that people who are selling these dogs live in the country and at the address listed on their account. Also, pictures of puppies for sale are scanned by software to show that they haven't been duplicated.

Another person who was prosecuted is John Lawrence from Liverpool. He sold two German Shephard puppies who died shortly after being purchased. He was convicted of knowingly selling seriously ill puppies. He was jailed for eight weeks.

Further, Animal Protection Services brought a private prosecution against Leonard Greenough from Salisbury. They used information supplied by Pets4Homes. He was selling poppies worth about £16,700 without a licence.

Monday 28 June 2021

Ragdoll Kittens are available again from 'American Ragdoll Kitten'

I wouldn't normally do this and in fact this is perhaps the first time that I have done it but I'm going to promote an American Ragdoll breeder - American Ragdoll Kitten - because they emailed me. They saw the potential for emailing me which tickled my fancy! I don't know how good or bad they are but they look good. Their website looks good. You can click on the link below to go to their website. As they say, Ragdoll kittens are available again. It is that time of year for them.

Ragdoll Kittens are available again from 'American Ragdoll Kittens'
Ragdoll Kittens are available again from 'American Ragdoll Kittens'. Photo: the cattery from their website. These are satisfied customers with their gorgeous Ragdoll cats.

When I think of the Ragdoll cat, I think of a cat which is probably the best suited to modern life. They are perhaps the only purebred cat where the breeder is concerned about both appearance and a specific character. Normally the appearance is 90% of the task for a breeder but in respect of the Ragdoll it is a 50-50 situation. 

The Ragdoll is built around their laid-back character. They pretty well have to have this character to be described as a Ragdoll. Which is why I think they should be suited to living full-time in the home which is a growing trend for various reasons, one of which is because more people live in the urban environment.

Although Covid has changed that, certainly in the UK where a lot of people have moved out of the country to work from home on a permanent or semipermanent basis. This may also be relationship between human and cat for the better it should be said.

The Ragdoll is in the top 5 most popular cat breeds and is gaining in popularity. It is a better cat than the flat-faced Persian which topped the popularity charts for years. Click the link below to read much more:

American Ragdoll Kitten say this about themselves:

We are a CATTERY of Excellence and Distinction with TICA and CFA. American Ragdoll Kittens located in USA, serving all round the States and the international community!
They ship internationally which should interest the citizens of countries other than the US.

Sunday 27 June 2021

Brachycephalic Persian cat with bulging eyes can have corneal problems

In this article I want to point out the bulging eyes of the Exotic Shorthair and the Persian, two associated breeds because the former is a shorthaired version of the latter. In this picture we can see the "punch-face" appearance of the Persian. It almost looks as if this cat has suffered a catastrophic injury to the face as it's been flattened. And this, to my mind, leaves the eyeballs bulging outwards beyond the protection of the bones of the face. This leaves the cornea exposed because there is a reduced ability to close the eyelids.

Brachycephalic Persian cat with bulging eyes and flat face
 Brachycephalic Persian cat with bulging eyes and flat face. Photo: Irina Gerasimova.

And of course, the cornea is exposed anyway as it sticks out so far. This contributes to 'exposure keratitis' and it is said probably contributes to corneal sequestrum development (the development of an opaque, dark brown to black plaque on the cornea). Persian cats are predisposed to this.

Exposure keratitis also occurs in people and it is described as a medical condition affecting the cornea of eyes which can lead to corneal ulceration and permanent loss of vision due to corneal opacity. Normally the cornea is kept moist by blinking and during sleep it is covered by the eyelids. When the cornea is exposed to the air, it can cause increased evaporation of tear from the corneal surface leading to dryness of the corneal surface. This can lead to corneal epithelial damage based on my research on Wikipedia.

I'm not saying that this particular, individual in the photograph is going to have problems with their cornea. I wouldn't say that. I'm just commenting generally about this desire to create flat-faced brachycephalic Persian and Exotic Shorthair cats with these bulging eyes

I think the bulging eye problem is particularly noticeable with the Exotic Shorthair cats. I've seen a lot of this and I think it is an unfortunate side effect of this extreme selective breeding. I don't think the breeders want this but it goes with the territory of the flat-face as does other health problems which you read about by clicking on this link.

I think you will find that the majority of the public would like to see the breed standards of the Persian and Exotic Shorthair 'detuned' by which I mean made less extreme so that the breeders follow guidance which doesn't drive them to creating unhealthy cats which arguably look less attractive than the traditional Persian. I think you will find that the vast majority of the public prefer the appearance of the traditional Persian over the contemporary variant. So, there's no need to breed cats like this in the first place.

Perhaps the problem is that the cat fancy is too inward-looking. Perhaps they should conduct a poll with the public and ask them what they think. They may have been encouraged to breed cats like this because the Persian has been very popular for many years but they have gradually drifted into this extreme look without, I believe, touching base with the public on the issue as to whether this was a wise thing to do. It has taken the cat fancy around 60 years to create this strange appearance.

Sunday 20 June 2021

Are all cats wrinkly like hairless cats but we just can’t see it?

No, normal cats do not have wrinkly skin like the hairless cat breeds. Do breeders of hairless cats deliberately make their skin wrinkly? Hairless cats such as the Sphynx have incredibly wrinkly skin. Take a look at the cat below, bred in Moscow, Russia. It is like the skin of a 99-year-old man (worse!). Cats with coats do not have skin like this. What is going on? If you part the fur on a normal cat, you see whitish, smooth skin.

Are breeders creating skin wrinkles on hairless cats deliberately?
Are breeders creating skin wrinkles on hairless cats deliberately. Photo and breeding by Cattery Murmetroll, Moscow, Russia. This might be a Don Sphynx, Russia's version of the Spkynx.

I have asked a couple of Russian hairless cat breeders using FB messenger why their cats' skin was so wrinkled but no response. Maybe they are embarrassed. Perhaps they feel that they have been found out?


No one has discussed this properly but it needs to be explained. Perhaps the gene that makes these cats hairless also affects the elasticity of the skin. Or perhaps the skin has to be washed so much that it is damaged and becomes wrinkled. 

You probably know that the hairless cats become dirty because the oils from the sebaceous glands which are meant to go into the coat to make it glossy is deposited on the skin, as it has nowhere else to go, and it attracts the dirt. Yep, it is one of those troublesome little details that a hairless cat owner has to contend with.

My favourite reason why Sphynx and Elf cats have wrinkled skin is because the breeders selectively breed them like that. The breeders like the wrinkles as it gives the cat 'texture' and makes them look more interesting. Fair enough.

I have just checked the website where they discussed this issue but no answer. They don't know. And that was 2 years ago.

Comments welcome please. We need to get to the bottom of this :) .

Friday 26 February 2021

Picture of a Toyger cat is actually a photo-edited photograph

This interesting photograph could, to the uninitiated, be of a Toyger purebred cat but it is not. It is far too much like a tiger to be a Toyger. You may have heard about this rare cat breed called a Toyger. If you haven't you might like to click here to read about it. Essentially, it is a breed of cat which is meant to look like a miniature tiger in your home. The idea is to bring the tiger into your home. However, it's proved very difficult to replicate the anatomy of a tiger in a domestic cats through selective breeding as you can imagine.

Toyger purebred cat? No, photo-editing of tiger cub + domestic cat
Toyger purebred cat? No, photo-editing of tiger cub + domestic cat. Photo in public domain.

You can only go so far with selective breeding but, that said, some cat breeders go too far and breed cats to extreme. Perhaps the Toyger breeders could have done a better job. Perhaps they gave up because the breed cannot, in honesty, be described as a success.

There was a discussion on the Internet about whether this photograph is of a Toyger. It is a very nice piece of photo-editing which has merged the face of a domestic cat with the face and body of what appears to me to be a young tiger or tiger cub. Photo-editing can do wonders in the right hands.

The photograph was first used to illustrate a cat food, Newman's Own Organic. I think it is part of Paul Newman's business of making salad dressings and cookies et cetera. With the picture went the slogan "They Once Ate Organic". This must be a reference to the fact that tigers eat natural foods and this company is hinting that most pet food is unnatural and they are correct. It is a shame then that the picture is unnatural!

However, the picture may have been added to Newman's Own Organic logo by somebody else other than the company. We don't know the history.

Toyger cat breeders would give their right arm to produce a cat like this. The picture first emerged on a social media network used by artists to showcase their work called Behance. It was posted to Silev's page.

This little story is interesting in terms of cat breeding. The Toyger was started in the 1980s, a time when there were a lot more new breeds. It was a time, too, when there was a big interest in creating cats that hinted at being wild cats. I'm referring to the wildcat hybrids mainly. But there are some domestic cats without any wild cat blood in them which were selectively bred to look like wild cats too. The intention was to encourage cat owners to think about wild cat conservation. To transport those beautiful wild cats in far-flung countries into their urban houses.

This may be a week justification rather than an idealised high moral ground attempt at conservation. The mid-1950s was a time when the most cat breeds were developed in the cat fancy.

Toyger cat
Toyger cat. Photo: copyright Helmi Flick

Above is a photograph of a genuine Toyger. You can see the far more angelic and delicate appearance of this breed. There's one thing you can't replicate of the Tiger in a domestic cat and that is the way the tiger walks. It is an arrogant gait, imbued with confidence and cockiness. The domestic cat gait is far more fragile and delicate.

Saturday 13 August 2011

Blue British Shorthair Show Cat

Yep..another blue British Shorthair at a cat show it seems to me. He looks so smooth. His coat is crackling with crispness! The coat of the British Shorthair should be dense and the best cat coat of all to stroke.

Blue Brit SH - Photo quatre mains on Flickr

Saturday 6 August 2011

British Shorthair Breed Standard

The breed standard of a cat breed is the guidelines that breeders follow to ensure that the cats they breed meet the requirement of the breed in terms of appearance.

There are a number of cat associations (registries). Are there too many? They may have different breed standards although similar.

Breed standards cannot be that precise. This allows interpretation differences by breeders, breed councils and cat show judges. This flexibility can lead to a gradual shift in appearance of the breed in question. The breed standards are updated from time to time to meet changes in opinion. Breed standards follow the opinions of the breeders not the public in my opinion.

Below are the breed standards for the British Shorthair of some major cat associations:

Friday 5 August 2011

Australia Bengal Cat

The Bengal cat is legal in Australia, even if occasionally someone does shoot one! Savannah cats are illegal, however. There is little difference between the cats.

Some breeders of Bengal cats in Australia can be found on a competitor's website. But as I like her site I'll link to the page where you can see a list of Bengal cat breeders in Australia.

Here is a beautiful looking Bengal cat living in Canberra, Australia.

Bengal Cat - Photo by latch.r
He is the classic brown spotted Bengal cat. They are all tabby cats by the way. "Tabby" refers to the coat type. They are very exotic looking tabby cats, however.

See four champion Bengal cats in large format pictures by clicking on this link.

Saris Bengal Cats

Saris Bengal Cats is a Bengal cat breeder located in "Utah Valley". "We are south of Salt Lake City, Utah"

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Breeding since 1998. This is the link to their website.

Chats British Shorthair

People in France search for British Shorthair cat breeders and information about the breed. "Chats" means "cats" in English. There is a restaurant or restaurants called "Les Chats" too!

Another search phrase is "femelle british shorthair" - female British Shorthair. Another French search phrase is, "chatons british shorthair". "Chatons" means kittens. And "chats de race british shorthair" and " chatterie de british shorthair".

So on this page I list some British Shorthair breeders in France. As for information about the British Shorthair, visitors can translate this website in stages by clicking on the following link and using Google Translate.

British Shorthair Breeders France

Les British de Zabarah - breeding black smoke and Chinchilla coated Brit SHs and longhairs. You can explore their site to see the cats and the type of coat that this is.


Breeding a nice range coat colors including mink (pointed). Charming kittens. Some longhaired cats too sometimes.

Les Chamin 'Ors

They have a gorgeous male cinnamon coated Brit SH on the home page.

Thursday 4 August 2011

British Shorthair Montreal QC

Here is a British Shorthair breeder in Montreal to get the ball rolling. They have been breeding since 2004. The ship to USA as well as Canada.

Britik Deluxe Cattery

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British Shorthair Quebec City QC

Here are three British Shorthair cat breeders in Quebec City, Canada.

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British Shorthair Cat Washington Breeder

I will list two British Shorthair cats situated in the state of Washington with a map for one of them:

Cheshirelady - TICA affiliated - located in Seattle. They went to Russia for their foundation Brit SH as she is pure European - I like that. Nice and genuine and not over bred.

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The second is Remick a CFA affiliated cattery. They have ceased trading but will answer questions they say. They could be a decent starting point therefore. I don't know where in Washington they are situated.

People also search for "british shorthair breeder in wa" when searching for breeders in WA, USA.

British Shorhair Most Registered Cat Breed by GCCF

The British Shorthair has increased in popularity while the Persian has decreased over the past several years.

I present below a spreadsheet from the GCCF figures showing registrations. Numbers of registrations indicates popularity, indirectly. This is for the UK only, of course.

On my website I have a world popularity poll and the Brit SH is 9th. It is a very popular cat breed. The lower placing is due to the fact that most votes are from America, where the Maine Coon is the most popular. But America has the biggest cat market in the world by far some ten times bigger than in the UK.

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