Showing posts with label cat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cat. Show all posts

Friday 29 April 2011

Abyssinian Cat

Abyssinian cat
Abyssinian cat "Hawkeye" -
photograph copyright Helmi Flick


The Abyssinian cat is a very popular, slender purebred cat that is well known for his or her special ticked tabby coat. The history of this cat breed is interesting. There are no facts but plenty of speculation. There is agreement that this cat breed is one of the oldest in the cat fancy and that the breed quite possibly originates in India as a jungle cat (Felis chaus) wildcat hybrid that was imported to England by a British soldier via Abyssinia (now Ethiopia).

Showing ticked coat
Photo by key lime pie yumyum

The two most recognised cat coat colours are probably the ruddy or natural colour and the blue.

History of Abyssinian Cats

My assessment as to the possible history of the Abyssinian cat is based on historical record and Darwin's records that come from his voyages to the far east. As mentioned above my theory is that this cat breed started in India, around the middle of the 19th century as a wildcat hybrid to the domestic cat sized jungle cat (Felis chaus), which, incidentally, looks very like the Abyssinian. It is not uncommon for semi-domestic cats to mate with small wildcats. This occurs with the Scottish wildcat for instance. A modern version would be the Bahraini Dilmun. The original Abyssinian cat in unrefined form would have been very interesting looking and it would not be unsurprising if a person took a fancy to the cat and imported it into England.

{Note: it is interesting to note that the modern version of the jungle cat x domestic cat cross - a wildcat hybrid - is the Chausie, a relatively rare cat breed.}

Click on the link to read lots more: Origins of the Abyssinian Cat.

You can see a time line of the history by clicking here.

You can read about the first Abyssinian cat Zula Zula in England by clicking here.

Blue Abyssinian cats

Blue Abyssinian cat - photo by polandeze (Flickr)

I have a page on blue Abyssinians. You can see it by clicking here. The page also discusses red Abyssinians and some genetics.

Red Abyssinian cats

Ruddy Abyssinian Kittens - the person in the picture is the
the breeder: Pat Harbert.

See this image in large format: Two Ruddy Abyssinian Kittens. You can see three ruddy and three blue Abyssinian kittens in a large format picture by Helmi Flick by clicking here with some background info or see it right here:

Taken at an Oklahoma cat show. Two blue, 3 ruddy and 1 spoiler
Please respect Helmi's copyright.

These are commonly called "ruddy" (Tawny - Ruddy/Usual). Below is the video of the blue and ruddy Abyssinian kittens that you see on this page. They are ready to be photographed by Helmi Flick at a cat show in Oklahoma, USA. One of them caught my eye. He was tired and I think he was a bit of a loner. Is he the one on the right spoiling Helmi's photo? I think so.

Click here to see the above video in HD on YouTube. You can see the finished photographs and compare blue to ruddy in this video. Or you can read some more about the background to the video by clicking here.

Long Haired Abyssinian Cats - The Somali

The Somali cat breed is extremely attractive. The resemble foxes in their coat color and foxy plumed tail. I like foxes so I like Somali cats. The male cat in the video below was one of the stars of this cat show in Oklahoma, USA.

Click on here to see it on YouTube in HD.

Abyssinian Cat Personality

This section incorporates Abyssinian cat behavior because personality dictates behavior. Please don't believe that each and every cat breed has a particular and nicely defined personality. They generally don't. Remember there are over 100 cat breeds. You do get some generalized differences between the more active, slender and perhaps more intelligent cats (say Bengal cat) and the more gentle indoor loving cobby type cats (for instance the Persian) but individual cat personalities outweigh differences in cat breed personality.

That said a person with first hand experience of handling and wrangling the majority of cat breeds, Ken Flick,  says that the Abyssinian is extremely active. He says that the Abyssinian cat is more active than an F1 (first filial) Chausie (a Chausie is a wildcat hybrid - jungle cat to domestic cat as mentioned above).

Abyssinian cats are one of the more intelligent cats it is thought and this degree of activity supports that finding.

See a video about the two extremes of cat personality (Bengal to Exotic Shorthair that supports this point).

Abyssinian Cat Rescue

As it happens, I have a page on Abyssinian cat rescue so there is no need to go over it here. Yes, there are Abyssinian cats that need rescuing but I think you will find them quite scarce. After all this is a very popular purebred cat. Click on the link to go to Abyssinian Cat Rescue.

Next some more frivolous and more commercial stuff. People search for it.

Abyssinian cat cursor

There are several sites that offer an Abyssinian cat cursor. Tucows is one. It is a download and the cursor is the head of an Abyssinian cat. See the page here.

Abyssinian cat license plate

This is a purely American thing. You don't see it elsewhere and they would be illegal in the UK and probably Europe generally. (North American market) do a license plate frame that might appeal to an Abyssinian cat fan:

Abyssinian Cat License Plate Frame

Abyssinian Cat Care

Breed Predispositions to Disease in Dogs and CatsCaring for Abyssinian cats is the same as caring for all domestic cats with the proviso that plenty of attention is given to your Aby as they are intelligent and active. These qualities need to be expressed.  One other aspect of caring for the Abyssinian cat is a knowledge of any genetically inherited diseases that might concern this breed of cat. There are several which you can read about on this page - just scroll down the page.  Two are:
Here are some web pages from PoC on caring for the domestic cat:
Abyssinian Cat Price

Depends on quality as is always the case with purebred cats. By quality I mean to what extent the cat matches the breed standard in appearance. At the poorer quality end expect to pay $300-500 (USD in the USA) and £1000 at the best quality end. You can translate dollars for pounds to figure out the price in the UK but please check (prices as at June 2011).
    Abyssinian cat earrings

    Couldn't find earrings but this ornament might do (please click on the image):

    Abyssinian Cat Ornament

    See and read more in a quick guide about the Abyssinian by clicking on this link.

    Would you like to tell people about your Abyssinian cat or your thoughts about this cat breed? Please use the form below:

    From Abyssinian Cat to Home Page

    Wednesday 8 July 2009

    American Vets are Unethical Towards the Cat

    I am convinced that a large number (not all, please note) of American vets are unethical towards the cat and as a consequence they are in breach of the Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics of the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) and their oath, if they are members of that association.
    The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), established in 1863, is a not-for-profit association representing more than 78,000 veterinarians….
    The veterinarian’s oath under the AVMA is:
    Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.
    I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics.
    I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence.
    Selected clause of the AVMA Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics:
    1. Veterinarians should first consider the needs of the patient: to relieve disease, suffering, or disability while minimizing pain or fear. (comment: this is a basic principle and is right at the top of the document. It goes to the core of everything the vet does in his or her practice. The patient is the cat in this instance)
    American vets are unethical towards the cat - Please Note: I have reproduced the above verbatim for accuracy and I justify this under fair use as they are extracts of a large document and it is in the public’s interest and the companion cat’s interest to have this discussion.
    American vets are unethical towards the cat – Note: If anyone wants to use this article and is brave enough to do so! - I hereby license its use under creative commons. Please place this near the article if reusing it (including the links):

    Creative Commons License
    American Vets are Unethical Towards the Cat by Michael is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. It is based on work of my own. The license applies world wide.

    Also Please Note: I like America and Americans but strongly dislike the culture of declawing. It is not found anywhere else. Everything that I say or do in relation to the cat is on the basis of treating the cat as I would a person, with respect. Declawing is highly disrepectful of our cat companions.

    Accusing a vet of being unethical is strong language, I know, but declawing cats on the whim of a cat “owner” who wants to protect furniture is an assault on the cat. Under these particular circumstances, it is deliberately inflicting a physical and possibly psychological injury on the cat. It is detrimental to the cat, a violation of a vet’s oath and a violation of the Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics.

    In fact, the president of the AVMA seems to agree with me! If that it the case what are they doing about it? The rules should be enforced more strictly and tightened up. She wants the law to prevent it when she can prevent it in changing the code of conduct of veterinarians.

    In the UK a vet doing that on a consistent basis would, in my view be struck off and prosecuted under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. He or she would probably be convicted and punished to a jail term not exceeding 51 weeks and/or a fine not exceeding £20,000 ($32,302 USD). His career would be ruined.

    Yet in the United States of America, where they are proud to uphold basic human rights (but not the rights of cats, it seems) highly qualified and intelligent veterinarians have criminally assaulted, by European standards, at least 20 million cats. As there is almost no declawing in the UK, despite being allowed on medical grounds, I can only presume that 99.9% of that 20m are for the personal reasons of the person keeping the cat or the landlord renting out his flats (apartments).

    American vets are unethical towards the cat – Note: I realise that some people use the argument that declawing saves the lives of cats as it means they can be kept by people living in apartments where the lease forbids it. I don’t go along with that argument. These people should not keep cats at all if the lease forbids it or seek a lease that does etc. It is this kind of self serving mentality that results in unwanted rescue cats that are put down in the millions in the USA.

    If it is to be done appropriately the operation to declaw a cat should cost about 600 dollars but may increase up to 800 dollars if done using lasers, but it is worth it, says a well known vet tech (Asker) who contributes to Yahoo Answers. There is also a lot of pain treatment after the operation and “arthritis develops early in these cats and life long supplementation helps keep them comfortable and less stressed” (Asker – vet tech). This all equates to big money (total: $12,000,000,000 (USD) at today’s prices – I think this is 12 billion US dollars) for vets and it is money that drives some vets (a far too large a percentage, I allege) to carry out this operation in defiance of their code of conduct and their oath and also against the best interests of the cat (but in the interests of an ill advised human client).
    There is an acute conflict of interest in the US veterinary profession: money –v- ethics. In the USA and elsewhere vets have, over recent years, strived to be treated as the equal of doctors. They started to call themselves doctors. This is a newish concept. If they want the status of doctors they should act like doctors and treat cats in the same way doctors treat people. Cats have no voice and cannot decide for themselves. That places a greater responsibility on the vet towards the cat. And it also places a great responsibility on the vet to explain all the facts to the person who keeps the cat. What the vet says to the cat keeper is the make or break moment as to whether the operation takes place or not. The cat keeper is in the hands of the vet at that moment. The vets words are critical and must comply with the ethical principles and oath.

    Only on rare medical grounds should the operation be carried out. You know, there is quite a lot of denial in the veterinarian profession about cat declawing. There is a kind of manipulative management going on in some vet’s practices (I allege) that coerces vet techs and other employees to participate in the process of cat declawing against their better judgment (see the Psychology of Declawing).

    The form below is, by the way, completely confidential. I have no idea who is voting. You can see the spreadsheet that stores the votes here: Results

    In the UK (a country that is culturally close to and similar to the USA), the Animal Welfare Act 2006, which criminalises cat declawing, made no difference to the act of declawing because it simply hardly ever happened before. It is just not part of the culture and I think this comes to a very large part from the veterinarians. It can’t be the case that British people are more ethical generally that American people. It comes down to being trained and guided by the “experts” (the vets). In many ways they guide us in respect of how to treat our cats and they indirectly police us and dictate how we treat our cats.
    “The procedure was considered cruel by almost all British vets, who refused to perform it except on medical grounds. The Guide to Professional Conduct of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons stated that declawing was "only acceptable where, in the opinion of the veterinary surgeon, injury to the animal is likely to occur during normal activity. It is not acceptable if carried out for the convenience of the owner ... the removal of claws, particularly those which are weight bearing, to preclude damage to furnishings is not acceptable."…(Wikipedia author)
    As can been seen, the code of practice of vets in the UK is very explicit on this subject. What is happening in the United States? It would seem to me that the American Veterinary Medical Association, which is no doubt run by veterinarians is complicit in this cruelty and in fact condone it (as I understand it they permit it when there is destructive use of claws - this will always happen so it is a full approval but using what I call "weasel" words, words dressed up to sound like the veterinarian is doing the operation for a good reason) . In fact they must allow it as otherwise they would have taken steps to better manage what is a blot on the profession in the United States.

    The surgery is basically an American “thing”. And it is an American thing because Americans are very driven by financial profit. It is why they are the richest nation in the world. What has happened is that self interest has got the better of American vets. But as mentioned their actions have, over time, coloured and altered the culture and opinions of a large number of ordinary Americans into believing that declawing is alright and acceptable when it clearly is not as it is in breach of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s code of conduct (when carried out for the personal and non-medical reasons of the cat keeper). That said, incidentally, polls in America (e.g. strongly indicate that the majority of people are against declawing of cats.

    It is considered inhumane and is illegal in many countries: England, Scotland, Wales, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Portugal, Belgium, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Yugoslavia and Japan (src: Yahoo answers).

    America is out of step with the world on declawing and it is in the hands of the directors and managers of the veterinarian associations to change an entirely distorted culture that is deeply ingrained in a substantial percentage of the American people.
    American vets are unethical towards the cat - See also:
    Michael Avatar

    Update: Babz made a comment and left a link for a petition. This is the link: Declawing Petition (new page).

    From American vets are unethical towards the cat to Home Page

    Sunday 5 April 2009

    Oh My Cat Loves to be Hoovered

    God, I wish! I wish my cat liked to be hoovered. Think of the benefits. You could even groom your cat at the same time so all the dead hair got hoovered up. Even just hoovering without grooming sounds great.

    Hey, got the best idea I have had for a while. Hoover should manucfature an attachment for their hoover (!) that has a Furminator head. Furminator make probably the best grooming tool as it gets to the undercoat and weeds out the dead and loose fur. This may take off.

    The only downside is that most cats don't like the noise. But if we put the vacuum cleaner in a room, close the door (partially) and use a long hose maybe this could become the normal thing to do to groom our cat. And it is so satisfying for us to as we know we are getting rid of that damn hair.........Oh my cat loves to be hoovered, like hell she does.

    Oh My Cat Loves to be Hoovered to Home Page

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