Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Himalayan Cat

Himalayan Cat
Himalayan Cat by dacktyl2009

The Himalayan is a breed of long-haired cat identical in type to the Persian, with the exception of its blue eyes and point coloration, which were derived from the crossing of the Persian with the Siamese. In Europe they are referred to as Colourpoint Persians or Colourpoint Longhairs.

While the Himalayan is considered a breed separate from the Persian by The International Cat Association, it is grouped together with the Persian and Exotic Shorthair(shorthaired version of the Persian) under a "Persian Breed Group standard". The Cat Fanciers' Association considers the Himalayan a color variation of the Persian rather than as a separate breed, although they do compete in their own color division.

Havana Brown

Havana Brown with Sunflower
Havana Brown with Sunflower by JLMphoto

The Havana Brown, also known as the Swiss Mountain cat, is a breed of cat well known and shown in England in the 1890s. Similar to the oriental shorthair, full color cats, also known as non-blue eyed Siamese, were known to interbreed with the pointed cats of Siam.

During World War I and World War II, the breeding programs of pedigreed cats suffered. It was not until the post World War II era that cat fanciers renewed their breeding efforts. In the early 1950s a group of English cat fanciers began working together to restore the breed.

The ladies credited with this effort include Mrs. Armitage Hargreaves of Laurentide Cattery, Mrs. Munroe-Smith of Elmtower Cattery, the Baroness Von Ullmann of Roofspringer Cattery, Mrs. Elsie Fisher of Praha Cattery, and Mrs. Judd of Crossways Cattery. These breeders produced a chestnut (chocolate) colored kitten through mating a black shorthair and a chocolate point Siamese.

The Havana Brown is a moderately sized, muscular short-haired cat with a body of average length. The coat color must be brown, typically reddish-brown, with no tabby markings. Whiskers should also be brown and the eye color should be green. The head should be slightly longer than wide and the nose should have a distinct stop at the eyes. Males tend to be larger than females and are average in weight compared with other breeds.

The Havana Brown is an intelligent cat that often uses its paws both to examine objects and to communicate with its owners. The most likely explanation of the breed's name is that its coat color is very similar to that of Havana cigars.

The breed has been recognized for championship competition in both the US and Britain since the late 1950s. It is considered an endangered breed, since the breeding pool is very small. In the late 1990s, there were only 12 CFA-registered Havana Brown catteries and under 130 unaltered cats.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Exotic Shorthair

Exotic Shorthair
Exotic Shorthair by Charlyn W

Breeders crossed the American Shorthair with the Persian in the United States around 1960. Thus were born shorthaired Persians, called Exotic Shorthairs and recognized by the C.F.A in 1966. During the breeding program, crosses were also made with the Russian Blue and the Burmese.

Since 1987, the only allowable outcross breed is the Persian. The F.I.Fe. recognized the Exotic Shorthair in 1986. They have nearly the same body as the Persian, but a thick, dense short coat. They appeal to people who like the personality of a Persian but do not want the hassle of grooming a long-haired cat. They are also known as "The Lazy Man's Persian."


Head: Round, massive. Very broad skull. Rounded forehead. Round, full cheeks. Short, broad, round muzzle. Short, broad nose with pronounced stop. Strong chin. Broad, powerful jaws.
Ears: Small, rounded at the tip, not too open at the base. Widely spaced and well-furnished with hair on the inside.
Eyes: Large, round, well-spaced. Pure, deep color corresponding to that of the coat (gold to copper in most varieties; green in the chinchilla and the golden; blue in the white and the colorpoint).
Neck: Short and thick.
Body: Medium in size, cobby, low to the ground. Broad chest. Massive shoulders. Large-boned, powerful muscles. Weight: 3,5 - 6 kilogram.
Paw: Short, straight, and large. Round, large paws. Tufts of hair between the toes are desirable.
Tail: Short, thick, carried low. Rounded tip.
Coat: Shorthaired but slightly longer than that of other shorthaired breeds. Dense, fluffy, erect hair. All Persian colors are recognized.

The Exotic Shorthair has a gentle and calm personality reminiscent of the Persian, but it is livelier than his longhaired ancestor. Curious and playful, it is friendly to other cats and dogs. It rarely meows. It doesn’t like being left alone, and needs the presence of its owner (or of voices or smells reminiscent of its master-such as a radio kept on).

They tend to show more affection and loyalty than most breeds and make excellent lap cats. Their calm and steady nature makes them ideal apartment cats for city dwellers. Nonetheless, Exotics retain some of the energetic spark of their American Shorthair forebears and they are often capable mouse hunters.

European Shorthair

European Shorthair
European Shorthair by wikipedia

The European shorthair (or Celtic shorthair) is a breed of short-haired cat originating in Sweden. It's a recently recognised breed established to resemble the look of naturally occurring cats that have lived in European villages and cities for ages. Many people incorrectly refer to any stray cat as a European Shorthair.

European Shorthair has its counterparts in Great Britain (British Shorthair)and USA (American Shorthair), that have been bred much longer. The British Shorthair however was crossed with Persian Cat and selectively bred to become a cobbier cat with slightly shortened muzzle and thicker coat. It was confusing for Scandinavian breeders that BS was also called European Shorthair at that time, even though it looked differently. Felinological associations recognized both types of cats as a single breed so that they were judged by the same standards during cat shows. It was so until 1982 when FIFE registered the Scandinavian type of European Shorthair as a separate breed with its own standard.

Egyptian Mau

Egyptian Mau
Egyptian Mau by Muffet

Egyptian Maus are a medium-large sized short-haired cat breed. They are the only naturally spotted breed of domesticated cat. The spots on an Egyptian Mau are not only just on the coat; a shaved Mau does, in fact, have spots on its skin. The spotted Mau is an ancient breed from natural stock; its look has not changed significantly as is evidenced by artwork over 3000 years old. Unlike other spotted cats such as the Ocicat or Bengal cat, the Egyptian Mau is a natural breed. Other breeds are created from domestic breed outcross or, in the case of the Bengal cat, domestic outcrosses with wildcats. The Mau is significantly smaller than these other breeds. The breed conformation is described by The Cornell Book of Cats as

a balance between the compactness of a Burmese and the slim elegance of a Siamese. Its medium-length body is muscular, with the hind legs longer than the front, giving the Mau the appearance of standing on tiptoes when upright.

The Egyptian Mau is the fastest of the domestic cats, with its longer hind legs, and unique flap of skin extending from the flank to the back knee, provides for greater agility and speed. Maus have been clocked running over 30 mph (48 km/h).

Maus often possess very musical voices. They are known to chirp, chortle and emit other distinctly unusual vocalizations when stimulated.

Another behavior, quite common in happy Maus, has been described as "wiggle-tail." The cat, male or female, moves its back legs up and down, and appears to be marking territory, also known as spraying, but it is not actually releasing urine. Even veteran Mau owners are known to check after a joyous Mau does this little dance.

The exact origin of the Egyptian Mau is not recorded and therefore cannot be known for certain. The Egyptian Mau is often said to be descended from African wild cats, and a descendant of the cats seen in wall paintings of Ancient Egypt.

The modern Mau is said to have originated in 1953, Italy, when exiled Russian Princess Natalie Troubetskoy met the cat of the Egyptian Ambassador to Italy. She convinced him to obtain several cats from Egypt for her, and she began to breed them. From her the Mau has been described as having a "troubled" look, with their round eyes and open expression. The Mau achieved championship status in some organisations in 1968. There were attempts by British breeders to create Maus from cross-breeds of Abyssinians, Siamese and tabbies, however these did not resemble the true Maus. This mix became the basis for the Ocicat.

Egyptian Maus will either have a 'scarab beetle' or 'M' marking on their foreheads, those with the latter tend to be from the United States.

Don Sphynx

Don Sphynx
Don Sphynx by ooznu

Don Sphynx also known as Don Hairless) is a hairless cat breed of Russian origin. This breed started in 1987 with the discovery of a hairless cat in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don by cat breeder Elena Kovaleva . It is not related to the better known hairless breed of cat- the Sphynx and its characteristic hairlessness is caused by a recessive gene, whereas the hairlessness of the Don Sphynx is caused by a dominant gene.

The Don Sphynx was first officially recognised by WCF in 1997, TICA in 2005 as the Donskoy. The standard of points describes the cat as being medium sized and muscular, with large ears, almond shaped eyes and distinctive long, webbed toes. They require frequent grooming, in spite of their lack of coat. Over bathing can cause the skin to become very oily.

The Peterbald breed was originally created by crossing Don sphynx with Siamese and Oriental cats to create a hairless cat of Oriental type. Matings between Don sphynx and Peterbald are no longer permitted.