Monday, July 20, 2009

Devon Rex

Devon Rex with Pointed Pattern
Devon Rex by emmalrhodes

The Devon Rex is a breed of cat that emerged in England during the 1960s. They are known for their odd, striking appearance and playful, companionable nature.

The Devon Rex is a breed of cat with a curly, very soft short coat similar to that of the Cornish Rex.

The first Devon was discovered in Buckfastleigh, Devon, UK in 1960 amongst a litter of feral kittens near a disused tin mine. The breed was initially thought to be linked with the Cornish Rex; however, test mating proved otherwise. Cats have three types of hair: guard hair, awn hair, and down hair. The Devon Rex's coat is unusual because there is little guard hair (see Cornish Rex and Sphynx for more information on hair-deficient genetics in cats).

The curl in Devon Rex fur is caused by a different mutation and gene than that of the Cornish Rex and German Rex, and breeding of a Devon with either of those cats results in cats without rexed (curled) fur. Devons, which are medium sized cats, are often called "pixie cats" or "alien cats" because of their unique appearance. Their uncommonly large ears are set low on the sides of their wide heads, their eyes are large, and their noses are slightly upturned. Unlike most cats their whiskers are very short and often curled to such an extent that it may appear as if they have no whiskers. Their body type is distinctly lightly-built. Their long, sturdy legs are well suited for long leaps, and their toes are unusually large. Devon Rex cats come in all colours. The ears are large and slightly rounded.

The typical Devon is active, mischievous, playful, and very people-oriented. They have been described as a cross between a cat, a dog and a monkey (or, more famously, as "a monkey in a cat suit"). They are high-jumpers and will try to occupy any space large enough to admit them. With this trait, they are often found in odd nooks and crannies of a closet, shelf, or laundry basket. Devons prefer to be in high places and will go to great lengths to get to the highest spot in a room. They are relatively easy to take care of. Most Devons also have one central person to whom they devote their love, and on whom they will most often lie and rub[citation needed]. They like to playfully nip, and love to play throughout their lives.

They are a very intelligent breed; the typical Devon Rex can be trained to walk on a leash, fetch or perform all manner of tricks usually associated with canines, like jump, heel and tag to name a few.

Another common trait is their show of affection: they have a particular penchant for being close to the head or neck of their human companions and can often be found mounted upon ones shoulder or nestled into the cranny created by the neck and shoulder when one is prone.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cornish Rex

Cornish Rex
Cornish Rex by ilmungo

A Cornish Rex is a breed of domestic cat. The Cornish Rex has no hair except for down. Most breeds of cat have three different types of hair in their coats: the outer fur or "guard hairs", which is about 5 cm long in shorthairs and 10cm+ long in longhairs; a middle layer called the "awn hair"; and the down hair or undercoat, which is very fine and about 1 cm long. Cornish Rexes only have the undercoat. The curl in Cornish Rex fur is caused by a different mutation and gene than that of the Devon Rex.

The coat of a Cornish Rex is extremely fine and sometimes curly, the softest of any cat breed. However, their light coat means that they are best suited for indoor living in warm and dry conditions, they might get hypothermia if they stay outdoors in the winter. Their body temperature is slightly higher than most cats (102 F), and these cats tend to hang around light bulbs, the tops of computer monitors, and other warm places including laps and shoulders. Some Cornish Rexes also have a mild cheesy smell peculiar to the breed; this odour comes from scent glands in the paws.

Often the breed is referred to as the Greyhound of the cats, because of the sleek appearance and the galloping run characteristic of the breed. These cats tend to stay playful and kittenish throughout their long lives. Some Cornish Rexes like to play fetch, race other pets, or do acrobatic jumps. The Cornish Rex is an adventurous cat and is very intelligent.

It can readily adapt to new situations and will explore wherever it can go, jumping into refrigerators, examining washing machines, etc. Some humans consider its antics to be deliberately mischievous. The Rex is extremely curious, seeks out the company of people and is friendly towards other companion animals. It is a suitable pet for timid children.

Cornish Rex cats come in a wide variety of coat colours and patterns, outlined in the standard: solids, including white, black, chocolate, orange and the dilutes blue, lilac and cream; all forms of tabby including classic, mackerel and ticked tabbies, bicolor "tuxedo" coat in many colours, tortoiseshell, "smoke" colours and the elegant colour-point pattern standard in the Siamese breed.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Colorpoint Shorthair

Malfoy, 7 months, british shorthair tomcat
Colorpoint Shorthair by chicoblue

Colorpoint Shorthair is the name the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), a United States breed association, uses to refer to pointed cats of Siamese ancestry and type in colors other than the four "traditional" Siamese colors (seal, chocolate, blue, and lilac point). This name is also given to cats of Siamese ancestry in the four recognized colors whose eight generation pedigree show ancestors with other colors. In registries of other countries, however, "Colorpoint (or "Colourpoint") is the name given to cats of Persian type and pointed coloring, as in Himalayans.

In the CFA, a Colorpoint Shorthair cat may also be any of the four traditional Siamese colors; however, they may only be shown in the red point (also called flame point in Persian Family) or cream point, or any of the above colors in tabby point (also called lynx point) or tortoiseshell point.

In all registries except CFA, the Colorpoint Shorthair is not considered a separate breed but is included in the Siamese breed.

The Colorpoint Shorthair (a.k.a. Siamese) is a highly intelligent, playful, and people-friendly breed. They are extremely affectionate, outgoing and enjoy lounging around and playing with people.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Chartreux by jules_lechat

The Chartreux is an internationally recognized breed of domestic cat from France. The Chartreux is large and muscular, with short fine-boned limbs, big paws, and very fast reflexes. They are known for their blue (grey) water-resistant short hair double-coats and gold- or copper-colored eyes. Chartreux cats are also known for their "smile"; due to the structure of their heads and their long, tapered muzzle, they often appear to be smiling. Chartreux are exceptional hunters and were highly prized by farmers.

Chartreux by bernov69

The first letter of the official name of a Chartreux cat encodes the year of its birth; all Chartreux born in the same year have official names beginning with the same letter. The code letters rotate through the alphabet each year, omitting the letters K, Q, W, X, Y, and Z. For example, a Chartreux born in 2002 would have an official name starting with the letter T (Fogle 2001:128).

Chartreux by jules_lechat


There is a legend that the Chartreux are descended from cats brought to France by Carthusian monks to live in the order's head monastery, the Grande Chartreuse, located in the Chartreuse Mountains north of the city of Grenoble (Siegal 1997:27). But in 1972, the Prior of the Grande Chartreuse denied that the monastery's archives held any records of the monks' use of any breed of cat resembling the Chartreux (Simonnet 1990:36–37). Legend also has it that the Chartreux's ancestors were feral mountain cats from what is now Syria, brought back to France by returning Crusaders in the 13th century, many of whom entered the Carthusian monastic order.

The first documented mention of the breed was by the French naturalist Buffon in the 18th century. The breed was greatly diminished during the first World War and wild populations[verification needed] were not seen after World War II. A concerted effort by European breeders kept the breed from extinction. The first Chartreux were brought to the U.S. in 1971 by Helen and John Gammon of La Jolla, California. In 1987, the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) advanced the Chartreux breed to championship status (Siegal 1997:27). There are fewer than two dozen active Chartreux breeders in North America as of 2007.

Historically famous Chartreux owners include the French novelist Colette and French general/president Charles de Gaulle.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

California Spangled Cat

California Spangled Cat The California Spangled Cat is a breed of cat that were bred to resemble spotted wildcats, like the ocelot and leopard. They were originally bred in the 1980s and were only ever a rare breed, and were usually expensive, priced between $800 to $2,500. The popularity of two other spotted cats breeds- the Ocicat and the Bengal- overshadowed their development.

Inspired by the poaching death of a leopard, the anthropologist Louis Leakey motivated Californian Paul Arnold Casey, Jr. to breed a domestic cat resembling a small leopard, and that this would emphasize how important it is to preserve the leopard. Casey died April 23, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. He was 60 years old.

California Spangled Cats are a crossbreed of many strains of cat, including the Abyssinian, American Shorthair and British Shorthair. Despite their wild appearance, they are completely domestic.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Burmilla by peter_hasselbom

The Burmilla is a breed of domestic cat which originated in the United Kingdom in 1981. It is a cross between the Chinchilla Persian and Burmese breeds.

Standards were produced in 1984 and the breed gained championship status in the United Kingdom in the 1990s.

Burmillas are medium-sized with muscular bodies, round faces, short muzzles and tend to weigh between 8-10 lb. A burmilla's eye color is usually green, although some cat societies accept blue (and yellow eyes are permitted in kittens). Black cats have eyeliner in black; other colours may have no lining or soft brown. The shape of their eyes are almond-shaped.

Coat length comes in three variants: The most common (standard) coat is the short-hair. This is a short, close-lying coat similar in appearance to the Burmese but with a softer, silkier feel. In addition there is a recessive longhair gene producing the Longhair Burmilla.

These cats have a semi-longhair coat lying close to the skin, with a soft, silky feel and a large plumed tail. The Shorthair gene is dominant, and where a cat receives one of each, the appearance will be Shorthair. Two Longhair Burmillas mated together will always produce Longhair kittens, while Shorthair matings depend on whether the Longhair genes are carried by the Shorthair parents.

Burmilla by ramtops

A third variant has been identified recently, that of the Plush. It is not professionally recognised as being separate from shorthair in judging, however plush kittens have much denser fur which does not lie closely against the skin. How the plush coat variant is inherited is not known.

The Burmilla can have a variety of coat colours, including black, blue, brown, chocolate and lilac. Although red, cream and tortoishell (calico) varieties have been bred, these colours are not recognised by most judging bodies. In addition the undercoat is either Silver or Golden, depending on the colour in the Persian heritage.

The Burmilla's shading comes in three major coat patterns which relate to the depth of colour. These are Tipped, Shaded and Smoke. Tipped Burmillas have at least 3/4 of their fur in the underlying colour (Silver or Golden) and the remainder is a light dusting of "colour" over the top. In the case of Silvers, these cats appear almost white. Shaded Burmillas have 1/4 - 1/2 as their colour, and Smoke have almost all colour with only a faint pale base to each hair.

The cats have nose leather which is red to pink (smoke cats have solid colour corresponding to their coat). In addition their paw pads correspond to the coat colouring: Black cats have black paw pads, Chocolate have brown-black, Brown cats have brown, both Blue and Lilac have pink.


Burmese Cat
Burmese by noms78

The Burmese (Thai: ศุภลักษณ์ subh-bha-lak meaning fortunate, beautiful, and splendid appearance) is a breed of domesticated cats split into two subgroups: the American Burmese and the British Burmese (and are not to be confused with "Sacred Cat of Burma," in respect of which, see Birman). Most cat registries do not recognise a split between the two groups, but those that do formally refer to the type developed by British cat breeders as the European Burmese.

Burmese by fabiogis50

Originally, Burmese cats were exclusively brown (sable), but years of selective breeding have produced a wide variety of colours. Different associations have different rules about which of these count as Burmese. Burmese cats are known for being sociable and friendly with humans, as well as intelligent. They are very vocal, and often call to their owners.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

British Shorthair

Black British Shorthair
British Shorthair by lilahpops

The British Shorthair is a domesticated cat. Its features make it a popular breed in cat shows. It has been the most popular breed of cat registered by the UK's Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) since 1999 when it overtook the Siamese breed.

The British Shorthair is the descendant of cats brought to Britain by the Romans, which were interbred with wild native cats. Later they were crossbred with Persian cats to improve the thickness of their coat. The breed was defined in the 19th century and British Shorthairs were shown at the 1871 Crystal Palace cat show. The popularity of the breed had declined by the 1940s, but since the end of the Second World War, breeding programs have intensified and the breed's popularity is high once again. The first British Shorthairs arrived in Australia in 1968. Breeding under the prefix Redwyton, Tops and Trevor Jowett imported a blue breeding pair.

British Shorthair
British Shorthair by PreciousKittyKat =^..^=

British Shorthairs have dense, plush coats that are often described as crisp or cracking, which refers to the way the coat breaks over the cat's body contours. Eyes are large, round and widely set. They can be a variety of colours, though the copper or gold eyes of the British blue are the best known. They have round heads with full, chubby cheeks and a body that is rounded and sturdy. British Shorthairs are large and muscular, and are described as having a cobby build. The breed has a broad chest, shoulders and hips with short legs, round paws and a plush but not fluffy tail. These are the characteristics listed in most governing bodies breeds standards to which show cats must conform.

The males of this breed are larger than the females, and the size difference between them is more easily noticed compared to other breeds. The males' average weight is 5-10 kilograms, whereas a female would weigh up to 5-7. As with many breeds, the adult males may also develop prominent cheek jowls that distinguish them from their female counterparts. The typical lifespan of this breed is 14 to 20 years.