Cat Breeds

Abyssinian

Abyssinian

The Abyssinianis a natural breed of domesticated cat believed to originate from one Egyptian female kitten called Zula that was taken from a port in Alexandria, Egypt, by a British soldier and brought to England where the breed was developed by Zula being bred with an English tabby, and the most ‘Abyssinian’ looking kitten of her litter being breed with its mother to splice the Abby gene. It is believed all Abyssinians in Europe, the Americas, and Australia are descended from Zula, but there has been at least one and possibly as many as three Abyssinians introduced from Libya (or less likely Egypt) into the existing Abyssinian gene pool in the USA. The Abyssinian has become one of the most popular shorthair breed of cats in the USA. There are said to be still wild Abyssinians in some parts of North Africa.

The Abyssinian has a distinctly ticked, tawny coat. The tail and paws may show tabby markings, but the body must not. It has large almond-shaped green or gold eyes with a fine dark line around them, and large ears. The coat is generally a warm golden color, but “Abbys” can also be blue, fawn, cinnamon and red. There is also a Silver Abyssinian variant whose coat shows shades of white, cream and grey. There is a long-haired version of the Abyssinian, called the Somali.

Description
Country of Origin:
Egypt
Coat:
Shorthair
Grooming:

Abyssinians are generally easy to care. A good brushing once or twice a week to remove dead hair and a claw clipping every three to four weeks will keep your Abyssinian looking great.

Temperament:

While Abyssinians are active, friendly, curious and playful, they are not your traditional lap cats. They are too preoccupied exploring and playing; they are “busy” cats, and can get bored and depressed without daily activity and attention. Many Abyssinians enjoy heights and will explore their surroundings from the floor to their owner’s shoulders to the top of the highest furniture. They are highly intelligent but probably the most independent of any domestic breed.

Health Concerns:

Abyssinians are generally healthy but are prone to gingivitis. If not treated, the more serious periodontitis can develop, causing tissue, bone and tooth loss. Untreated, dental disease can undermine the cat?s overall health. With routine tooth brushing, regular checkups, and periodic professional teeth cleaning, the problem can be minimized. Amyloidosis, a disease thought to be hereditary that affects the kidneys, and PK deficiency, which causes anemia, have been found in some Abby lines. As always, if you are buying from a breeder make sure to obtain both a written health guarantee and registration papers.

Breed Acceptance:

American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)
American Cat Fancier’s Association (ACFA)
United Feline Organization (UFO)
American Cat Association (ACA)
Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA)
Cat Fanciers’ Federation (CFF)
The International Cat Association(TICA)

American Shorthair

American Shorthair

The American Shorthair is the most popular and most prevalent breed of American cat.

American Shorthairs are medium to large sized cats, with powerful legs and strong paws. Their muzzle is squarish. Their coat is short, with the fur being thick, dense, and stiff to protect them from cold, moisture, and superficial skin injuries. Their coat thickens up in the winter and sheds in the spring but still remains lighter and slimmer than its close cousin, the British Shorthair.

An American Shorthair is not considered fully grown until 3-4 years old, when it attains the true strong athletic proportion of its breed. Males are usually larger then females and have definite jowls. It is perfectly happy as an indoor or outdoor cat.

American Shorthairs come in over a 100 different varieties of colors (blacks, whites, silvers, creams, reds, browns, greys, and tabby mixes), but their eyes, pad color, and nose will always match their coloring. Their tail tapers to a blunt tip and has no kinks.

Description
Country of Origin:
United States
Coat:
Shorthair
Grooming:

Grooming for an American Shorthair is extremely easy, all they require is regular brushing and a wipe over with a damp chamois will make the coat shine.

Temperament:

American Shorthairs are very affectionate, long-living, disinclined to behavioral problems and generally get along well with other family members including dogs. The American Shorthair is also an excellent hunter, but its sunny and gentle disposition make it ideal for families with small children. They tend to get overweight very easily so watching their diet is important.

Health Concerns:

Generally, the American Shorthair is a hardy breed with few health problems. A relatively large gene pool helps keep the breed healthy. There are a few genetic weaknesses known to exist in some lines, including a serious heart disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. As always, if you are buying from a breeder make sure to obtain both a written health guarantee and registration papers.

Breed Acceptance:

American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)
American Cat Fancier’s Association (ACFA)
United Feline Organization (UFO)
American Cat Association (ACA)
Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA)
Cat Fanciers’ Federation (CFF)
The International Cat Association(TICA)

Birman

Birman

The Birman is said to have originated in western Burma, now Myanmar, and certainly cats with similar markings are recorded in documents from ancient Thailand. One story claims that a pair was given as a gift to an Englishman named Major Gordon Russell and his friend August Pavie by the priests of the Khmer people in thanks for saving their sect from decimation by the Brahmins. The story claims that the two cats were sent to France in 1919 and breeding started immediately. The male died on the voyage, but the female which was pregnant, survived.

The Birman has a pale cream colored body and colored points of Seal, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac, Seal Tortie, Cream, Blue Cream, Chocolate/Lilac tortie, Seal Tabby, Blue Tabby, Chocolate Tabby, Lilac Tabby, Red/Cream Tabby, Tortie Tabby, Lynx or Red Factor colors on the legs, tail and face. The body type varies from Persian-type to Siamese-type. Birmans differ from conventional color-point cats by their white paws called gloves. The coat is medium-length, not as long and thick as a Persians, and does not mat. Their most striking feature is their clear blue eyes, which remain blue throughout their life.

After years of research, the Sacred Cat Of Burma orgin still remains a mystery and there is still no proof as of who acquired the pair of cats. However, the breed known as ?Sacre de Birmanie? was registered with the French Cat Registry in 1925. The Birman breed was almost wiped out during World War II. Only two cats were alive in Europe at the end of the war, a pair named Orloff and Xenia de Kaabaa, both belonging to Baudoin-crevoisier. The foundation of the breed in postwar France were offspring of this pair. Manou, Lon saito, Djaipour, Sita 1 and Sita 2, and they had to be heavily outcrossed with long-hair breeds to rebuild the birman breed. By the early 1950’s, pure birman litters were once again being produced. The restored breed was recognised in Britain in 1965 and by the American Cat Fanciers’ Association in 1966.

Description
Country of Origin:
Burma
Coat:
Longhair
Grooming:

The Birman, for a longhaired breed, is relatively easy to groom. Daily grooming is not necessary, so the Birman is a good choice for those that enjoy longhaired cats but don?t enjoy grooming. Combing with a good steel cat comb weekly is usually enough.

Temperament:

The Birman is sometimes described as puppy like. It is playful and will follow its owner everywhere. These loving, placid cats make great companions for children: they can be carried around in all sorts of positions and don’t mind being held on their backs. They are relatively quite and not particularly vocal. They have been bred as companions for many generations and they frequently take a genuine, affectionate interest in what their owners do.

Health Concerns:

The Birman breed is generally a healthy breed. As always, if you are buying from a breeder make sure to obtain both a written health guarantee and registration papers.

Breed Acceptance:

American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)
American Cat Fancier’s Association (ACFA)
United Feline Organization (UFO)
American Cat Association (ACA)
Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA)
Cat Fanciers’ Federation (CFF)
The International Cat Association(TICA)

British Shorthair

British Shorthair

The British Shorthair is a domesticated cat originally bred in the United Kingdom. It is known for the seemingly perpetual smile on its face; Lewis Carroll chose the breed as the model for his Cheshire cat in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Today, the breed is commonly used as a show work. The most famous British Shorthair is perhaps the one who appears as the face of Whiskas cat food.

British Shorthairs have very dense, soft coats. The eyes are large, round and copper in color. The head is round with chubby cheeks. The body is rounded and sturdy. The breed has a broad chest, shoulders and hips with short legs, round paws and a plush tail.

The British Shorthair may be any color or pattern, but the ‘blue’ variant is common enough to have a name of its own: the ‘British Blue’. The lifespan of this breed is 14 to 20 years.

Description
Country of Origin:
United Kingdom
Coat:
Shorthair
Grooming:

The British Shorthair does not require any special grooming because shorthair not tangle or mat easily. It?s coat should be brushed weekly to remove loose hair and minimize shedding.

Temperament:

The British Shorthair is an easygoing breed. It has a stable personallity and can easily live in an apartment or small home environment. It is not terribly demanding of attention, although it will make its desire for play known if its owner looks available. It is not normally destructive or hyperactive, although it can be somewhat playful.

They are quiet, confident cats with a bit of British reserve, particularly when you are first introduced to them. Once they get to know you they are affectionate without being demanding and playful without being hyper. They are quite vocally except for the loud purr they have when content. They are not lap cats nor do they particularly enjoy being picked up. They?d much rather sit beside you, or curl up at your feet, than cuddle on your lap.

Health Concerns:

This is a healthy and hardy breed which has a tendency towards obesity and is prone to some dental problems. Monitoring food intake and a regular oral hygiene routine is recommended.

Breed Acceptance:

American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)
American Cat Fancier’s Association (ACFA)
National Cat Fanciers’ Association (NCFA)
The International Cat Association (TICA)
United Feline Organization (UFO)
American Cat Association (ACA)
Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA)
Cat Fanciers’ Federation (CFF)

Burmese

Burmese

The Burmese is a breed of domesticated cats descended from a specific cat, Wong Mau, who was found in Burma in 1930 by Dr. Joseph G. Thompson. She was brought to San Francisco, California, where she was bred with Siameses. This breed was first recognized in 1936 by the CFA. Due to a dispute by Siamese breeders, who regarded the Burmese as a poorly colored Siamese rather than a distinct breed, registration was suspended by the CFA between 1947 and 1953. The breed was recognised by the UK Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in 1952.

The Burmese is a foreign shorthair, categorised by color into brown (or seal), blue, chocolate, lilac, red, cream and tortoise shell. They have yellow eyes and a very short satiny coat. They are heavier than they look, as they are very muscular. By the standards of pedigreed cats they are long-lived, many reaching 16 to 18 years.

Description
Country of Origin:
Burma
Coat:
Shorthair
Grooming:

The Burmeses sleek, glossy coat requires little care. A good once-a-week brushing with a good quality cat brush or steel comb will keep your Burmese looking good. You should ideally trim their nails every two weeks or so.

Temperament:

Burmese have very strong voices and are very affectionate, forming a strong bond with their owners. Other characteristics include an inclination to climb curtains and sit on doors. They are easily trained to use a scratching post. Burmese cats are very friendly and curious even towards complete strangers. They are athletic, brave and humourous, and may show remarkable ingenuity, particularly in finding warm places. Burmese cats tend to follow their owners everywhere, even to the point where they may become a bit disturbing.

Health Concerns:

Burmese can be prone to gingivitis, so they should get yearly dental checkups and cleanings as required. Feeding a high quality hard food will help keep their teeth clean, but extra dental care is often needed. As always, if you are buying from a breeder make sure to obtain both a written health guarantee and registration papers.

Breed Acceptance:

American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)
American Cat Fancier’s Association (ACFA)
The International Cat Association (TICA)
United Feline Organization (UFO)
American Cat Association (ACA)
Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA)
Cat Fanciers’ Federation (CFF)

Conish Rex

Conish Rex

The Conish Rex is a genetic mutation that originated from a litter of kittens born in the 1950s on a farm in Cornwall, UK (hence their name). One of the kittens, Kallibunker, a cream colored male, had an extremely unusual, fine, curly coat — the first Conish Rex. The owner then bred Kallibunker back to his mother to produce other curly-coated kittens. Conish Rexes were later brought to America and crossed with Siamese, which gave them their long whippy tails and big ears.

This breed of domestic cat 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 finally the down hair or undercoat, which is very fine and about 1 cm long. Conish Rexes have only the undercoat. The coat of a Conish Rex is extremely fine and soft to the touch. However, their light coat means that they are only suitable for indoor living in warm and dry conditions. Consequently, these cats tend to hang around light bulbs, the tops of computer monitors, and other warm places. Conish Rexes also have a mild cheesy smell peculiar to the breed – this odour comes from scent glands in the paws.

Though some people believe that the short hair of the Conish Rex makes them non- or hypo-allergenic, this is not the case. Most people who have cat allergies are allergic to cat dander and cat saliva. Since Conish Rex cats groom as much as or even more than ordinarly cats, a Conish Rex cat will still produce a reaction in people who are allergic to cats. However, because of the fine, light fur that is shed from these cats, people with only mild allergies may experience fewer symptoms with a Rex.

Description
Country of Origin:
United Kingdom
Coat:
Shorthair
Grooming:

Even though the Rex has no hair, they do require bathing because of the buildup of sebaceous secretions. All cats produce these normal oily secretions, but the Conish Rex does not have as much hair to absorb them as ordinary cats. When allowed to collect, they can make the coat look greasy and can cause skin problems. Bathing frequency is dependent on each cat, ranging from weekly to every few months. Train your Conish Rex to tolerate bathing early, starting at 16 weeks or so.

Temperament:

This breed tends to be adventurous and very intelligent. They can readily adapt to new situations and will explore wherever and whenever it goes as a part of it nature. The Rex is extremely curious, seeks out the company of people, and is friendly towards other pets. It is a good choice for timid children.

Health Concerns:
This breed is generally healthy. As always, if you are buying from a breeder make sure to obtain written health guarantee and registration papers.
Breed Acceptance:

American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)
American Cat Fancier’s Association (ACFA)
United Feline Organization (UFO)
American Cat Association (ACA)
Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA)
Cat Fanciers’ Federation (CFF)
The International Cat Association(TICA)

Devon Rex

Devon Rex

The Devon Rex is a relatively new breed of cat with a sparse, curly, very soft coat similar to that of the Conish Rex. The curl in the fur of the Devon Rex is caused by a different mutation and gene than that of the Conish Rex, and breeding of a Devon to either of those cats results in cats without rexed (curled) fur.

It is thought that the gene responsible for the Devons curly coat resulted from a spontaneous mutation in the domestic cat gene pool, but exactly when and where this occurred is unknown. The first Devon was imported from England to the United States in 1968. In 1972, ACFA granted the Devon championship status, and TICA followed in 1979. The CFA awarded championship in 1983. Today, all associations except TCA recognize the breed. While never quite as popular as the Conish Rex, the Devon has made great strides and has a steadily growing fan club.

This breed is medium is size and are often refered to as pixie cats or alien cats because of their unusual and 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. Their body type is distinctly lightly-built.

Description
Country of Origin:
United Kingdom
Coat:
Shorthair
Grooming:

Even though the Devon has extremely short hair, they do require bathing because of the buildup of sebaceous secretions. All cats produce these normal oily secretions, but the Devon does not have as much hair to absorb them as ordinary cats making the coat look greasy and even causing skin problems. Their large ears accumulate more dirt and oils than is usual, so weekly cleaning is recommended. The need for bathing varies by cat with some needing a weekly bath while others only rarely.

Temperament:

The Devon is an active, mischievous, playful, and very people-oriented breed. They have been described as a cross between a cat, a dog and a monkey. They are high-jumpers and will try to occupy any space large enough to accomodate them. They’re relatively easy to take care of, but they do shed, and many of those with allergies have found that they are not always hypoallergenic.

Health Concerns:

The Devon is an active, mischievous, playful, and very people-oriented breed. They have been described as a cross between a cat, a dog and a monkey. They are high-jumpers and will try to occupy any space large enough to accomodate them. They’re relatively easy to take care of, but they do shed, and many of those with allergies have found that they are not always hypoallergenic.

Health Concerns

Rumor has it that Devon Rex cats are hypoallergenic and can be tolerated by those allergic to cats. Unfortunately, rumor is mistaken; no breed of cat is hypoallergenic. Devons do shed less than cats with ordinary coats. However, it’s not hair that causes the allergic reaction in most people, but an allergenic enzyme that’s secreted via saliva and sebaceous glands. Devons produce as much of this enzyme as any cat and during grooming they spread it onto their fur. However, since Devons’ shed less of their allergen-covered hair and can be regularly bathed to remove the enzyme, some people can tolerate them. If you’re allergic to cats, spend some time with a Devon before buying it to make sure.

The Devon gene pool is small, inbreeding is a concern. Cardiomyopathy and a muscular dystrophy-like disease called hereditary myopathy have been found in a few bloodlines. Be sure to buy from a breeder who offers a written health guarantee.This breed is generally healthy. As always, if you are buying from a breeder make sure to obtain both a written health guarantee and registration papers.

Breed Acceptance:

American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)
American Cat Fancier’s Association (ACFA)
The International Cat Association (TICA)
Traditional Cat Association, Inc. (TCA)
United Feline Organization (UFO)
American Cat Association (ACA)
Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA)
Cat Fanciers’ Federation (CFF)

Exotic

Exotic

The Exotic is essentially a shorthaired Persian, so it’s no surprise that the Exotic has some of the same health problems as the Persian.

  • Running eyes due to shortened tear ducts
  • Sinus and breathing problems caused by the snub nose
  • Abridged sinus cavities
  • Bite and dental problems caused by asymmetrical jaws
  • Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) which can cause renal failure and is known to be present in some Persian lines.

As always, if you are buying from a breeder make sure to obtain both a written health guarantee and registration papers.

Description
Country of Origin:
United States
Coat:
Shorthair
Grooming:

The Exotic is able to keep its own fur tidy with little human assistance, weekly brushing and combing is recommended to remove loose hair and reduce shedding and hairballs. As with other flat-faced animals, the Exotics tears are prone to overflowing the nasolacrimal duct, dampening and staining the face. This can be relieved by periodically wiping the cat’s face with a cloth moistened with water or one of the commercial preparations made expressly for the purpose.

Temperament:

The Exotic Shorthair has a gentle and calm personality reminiscent of the Persian, but he is livelier than his longhaired ancestor. Curious and playful, he is friendly to other cats and dogs. Easygoing and quiet, as he rarely meows. He doesn?t like being left alone, he needs the presence of his owner, but he?s always independent. 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 forbears and they are often capable mouse hunters.

Health Concerns:

The Exotic is essentially a shorthaired Persian, so it’s no surprise that the Exotic has some of the same health problems as the Persian.

  • Running eyes due to shortened tear ducts
  • Sinus and breathing problems caused by the snub nose
  • Abridged sinus cavities
  • Bite and dental problems caused by asymmetrical jaws
  • Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) which can cause renal failure and is known to be present in some Persian lines.

As always, if you are buying from a breeder make sure to obtain both a written health guarantee and registration papers.

Breed Acceptance:

American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)
American Cat Fancier?s Association (ACFA)
Traditional Cat Association, Inc. (TCA)
United Feline Organization (UFO)
American Cat Association (ACA)
Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
Cat Fanciers? Association (CFA)
Cat Fanciers? Federation (CFF)
The International Cat Association(TICA)

Maine Coon

Maine Coon

The Maine Coon is one of the largest breeds of domestic cat, known for its intelligence, playfulness as well as distinctive physical appearance. The breed is one of the oldest natural breeds in North America and originated from New England, making it America’s first indigenous show cat.

The most common color/pattern in the breed is brown with tabby markings. Maine Coons are recognized in all colors except for chocolate, lavender, ticked tabby, and the point-restricted (“”Siamese””) pattern. Eye color also varies widely. All patterns may have green, green-gold, or gold. Blue eyes, or one blue eye with one gold eye, are possible in white coat cats.

Maine Coons have medium-long, dense fur, with longer hair, or a ruff, on their chests similar to the mane of a lion (which is why the breed is sometimes humorously called the “”Mane Coon””). Their fur consists of two layers – an undercoat and an additional layer of longer guard hairs, which gives the breed their key physical feature. The fur is generally very soft. Maine Coons have long hair on the backs of their legs (called pantaloons or britches) and between their toes which helps to keep warm in the cold. They also have bushy plumed tails and broad, anglular heads, squared-off muzzles and wide-set ears topped with tufts of fur. While the Coon may be polydactyl, having one or more extra toes on their paws, this trait is generally bred out, as it has been rejected by the standard.

Description
Country of Origin:
United States
Coat:
Longhair
Grooming:

Most Maine Coons keep their fur in good order without the need for additional human grooming, but due to the length and quantity of hair, most will also benefit from a simple brushing once a week.

Temperament:

Maine Coons are a breed distinguished by intelligence, dexterity and playfulness. They have a tendency to use their front paws extensively and as a consequence will easily learn to open cabinet doors, turn on water faucets, or pick up small objects. Some will eat with their paws, rather than eating from the bowl itself.

Due to their above-average intelligence, Maine Coons are known to be one of the easiest cat breeds to train. Being generally very quiet they do not meow much and are a very independent breed. They are noted for rarely eating alone, preferring to eat in the company of other cats or humans. Maine Coons are usually not “lap” cats, and many, probably because of their size, are not comfortable with sitting on a person’s lap.

Maine Coons occasionally are mischievous when bored, such as deliberately pushing things off tables with their paws. Maine Coons can be very dog-like in their behavior. Playing fetch is a favorite game.

Health Concerns:

A genetic predisposition towards hypertrophic cardiomyopathy appears in some genetic lines of the Maine Coon population. In extreme cases, this condition can result in the sudden death of what appears to be an otherwise healthy animal. It can be detected by regular cardiac ultrasounds of pets between the ages of 3 and 6, the age at which the disease becomes detectable. Responsible breeders, in an effort to reduce the occurrence of HCM, now screen their animals, some for four or more generations, and make this information available to potential pet buyers. As always, if you are buying from a breeder make sure to obtain both a written health guarantee and registration papers.

In the past, Taurine deficiency was a common cause of dilated cardiomyopathy in all cats, including Maine Coons. Since the pet food industry started adding Taurine to cat food, this kind of cardiomyopathy is increasingly rare. Taurine-related cardiomyopathy can be cured with the addition of the nutrient to the diet, but genetic HCM causes a permanent enlargement of the left ventricle and is rarely treatable.

Other potential health problems include hip dysplasia and Polycystic Kidney Disease. However, Maine Coons are generally quite healthy and resilient animals.

Breed Acceptance:

American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)
American Cat Fancier?s Association (ACFA)
Traditional Cat Association, Inc. (TCA)
United Feline Organization (UFO)
American Cat Association (ACA)
Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
Cat Fanciers? Association (CFA)
Cat Fanciers? Federation (CFF)

Norwegian Forest Cat

Norwegian Forest Cat

The Norwegian Forest Cat Cat is a breed of domestic cat native to Northern Europe, and adapted to a very cold climate. In Norway they are known as Skaukatts or more properly, the Norsk Skogkatt (literally, Norwegian Forest Cat Cat).

The breed is a very old one which occurred as a natural adaptation to the cold climate of the region, but it was not regarded as anything other than a standard house-cat until the late 1930s, when a small number of ‘Skaukatts’ were shown in Germany and received very favourably by the judges. World War II brought an abrupt end to the fledgling Norwegian show cat industry, and the breed was forgotten until the 1970s. The cats are now being bred and shown in several countries including the United States. The first international association to accept the breed was FIFEe, in 1977.

Norwegian Forest Cat Cats have a thick fluffy double-layered coat, tufted ears and a long bushy tail to protect them against the cold. Their coat is essentially waterproof due to its coarse outer layer and dense underlay. Their hind legs are longer than their front legs.

Description
Country of Origin:
Norway
Coat:
Longhair
Grooming:

Aside from heavy shedding at times for mainly outdoor cats, this breed does not generally require any special grooming. Combing once or twice a week is recommended.

Temperament:

They are intelligent, playful cats that enjoy human company. The nickname of “”Wegie”” began in the United States and is a shortened version of the word Norwegian.

Sweet, friendly and family-oriented, they form close bonds of affection with their owners. They are not fazed by much, either. They take new people and situations in stride and readily adapt to most situations. Not vocal cats, this breed prefers to communicate through body language. They do have a loud purr when they are happy and content. They are not lap cats, preferring to perch beside you rather than on you.

They are active and playful and retain their fun-loving spirit well into their adulthood. They make very good indoor-only pets as long as they are provided with enough room, climbing equipment, and lots of love and attention.

Health Concerns:

Reputable breeders do not release their kittens until 12 weeks of age and many wait until 14 or 16 weeks. Ask the breeder if the kittens have been handled daily, particularly during the first few weeks of life. Early handling is vital if the cat is to become a well-socialized adult.

Breed-related health problems include glycogen storage disease (a rare and fatal nervous system disorder).

Breed Acceptance:

American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)
American Cat Fancier’s Association (ACFA)
The International Cat Association (TICA)
United Feline Organization (UFO)
American Cat Association (ACA)
Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA)
Cat Fanciers’ Federation (CFF)

Ocicat

Ocicat

The Ocicat is a new and still-rare breed of cat which has spots resembling a ‘wild’ cat and the temperament of a domestic animal, named for its resemblance to the ocelot. Despite its appearance, there is no ‘wild’ DNA in the Ocicats genepool. The species is actually a mixture of Siamese and Abbyssinian, and later American Shorthairs (silver tabbies) were added to the mix for their silver color and distinct markings.

The first breeder of Ocicats was Virginia Daly, of Berkley, Michigan, who attempted to breed an Abbyssinian-pointed Siamese in 1964. The first generation of kittens appeared Abbyssinian, but the surprising result in the second generation was a spotted kitten, Tonga, nicknamed an ‘ocicat’ by the breeder’s daughter. Tonga was neutered and sold as a pet, but further breedings of his parents produced more spotted kittens, and became the base of a separate Ocicat breeding program.

There are twelve separate color/pattern combinations registered for ocicats, and these fall into five larger groups – chocolate, cinnamon, tawny, silver and dilute. Ocicats must not have cream/red coloration or they are disqualified from showing.

  Description
Country of Origin:
United States
Coat:
Shorthair
Grooming:

Ocicats generally require very little grooming. Their sleek, short coats need only an occasional brushing to remove dead hairs. Metal brushes should be avoided to prevent against coat damage.

Temperament:

Ocicats are generally active, curious and athletic, and are proficient hunters. Like their Abyssinian and Siamese ancestors, ocicats are energetic and talkative and are perfect for those who like playful, lively, interactive cats. They’re people-oriented and affectionate and display a strong devotion to their owners.

This breed is highly intelligent and they know their names and can be taught a variety of tricks usually reserved for the canine crowd, including coming on command and playing fetch. Ocicats have a talent for mischief and can be hard on fragile household items. Not even the highest shelf is out of reach for the athletic ocicat. This is not a good breed for those owners looking for a couch potato cat.

Like the Siamese, they are dependent on their owners and need interaction. If you do not have the time to spend with them, another breed would be a better choice.

Health Concerns:

Ocicats are generally hardy, healthy cats but like their Abyssinian and Siamese ancestors can be prone to certain hereditary disorders and illnesses, such as gingivitis. Untreated, dental disease can undermine the cat?s overall health so routine tooth brushing, regular checkups, and periodic professional teeth cleaning are recommended. As always, if you are buying from a breeder make sure to obtain written health guarantee and registration papers.

Breed Acceptance:

American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)
American Cat Fancier’s Association (ACFA)
The International Cat Association (TICA)
United Feline Organization (UFO)
American Cat Association (ACA)
Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA)
Cat Fanciers’ Federation (CFF)

Oriental

Oriental

The Oriental Shorthair breed was created by crossing a Siamese to an American Shorthair. This cross was then bred back to the Siamese to retain the fine boning and elegant form. The breed officially began around 1950 in England, when Baroness von Ullman (Roofspringer Cattery), decided to create a breed of cats with shorthair, solid colors, and the “foreign” body type–the long, lean body characteristic of the Siamese, Russian Blue, and Abbyssinian. Initially accepted by Cat Fancy in England as “chestnut foreign shorthairs”, additional breeders soon created an all white, blue-eyed variant who gained popularity and recognition by Cat Fancy as “white foreign shorthairs”. Breeders then began cross-breeding with Siamese to move the body type closer to the Siamese.

In 1972 Peter and Vicky Markstein (Petmark Cattery) visited England looking for new Siamese breeds. Struck by the combination of colors and patterns with Siamese body-type, the Marksteins brought the breed to the United States. Shortly thereafter the Marksteins proposed that CFA recognize the breed as a separate one from the Siamese, designating it the Oriental Shorthair. CFA recognized the breed for championship status in 1977. A rapid proliferation of breedings led to new color and pattern combinations. CFA recognized the Oriental Longhair in 1995 (known as the Javanese or Havana Browns in Europe; also known as the Angora in Great Britain, but distinguished from the Turkish Angora). The longhaired version of the Oriental Shorthair, Oriental Longhair, simply carries a pair of the recessive long hair gene.

Oriental Shorthairs can be found in solid colors (white, red, cream, ebony, blue, chestnut, lavender, cinnamon, or fawn), smoke (silver undercoat to any of the above except white), shaded (only the hair tips colored), parti-color (red or cream splashes on any of the above), tabby (striped) and bi-colored. In total, there are over 300 color and pattern combinations possible.

Oriental Shorthairs have expressive, almond-shaped eyes, a wedge-shaped head with large ears that fit in the wedge of the head. Their bodies are very elegant yet muscular. When seeing an Oriental Shorthair, one would never guess them to be as solid as they are.

Description
Country of Origin:
United Kingdom
Coat:
Longhair and Shorthair
Grooming:

Oriental shorthairs need very little grooming. Their coats are very short and close lying with no noticeable undercoat. Oriental longhairs need a bit more attention, but not as much as other longhaired breeds. Their hair is actually medium in length with no undercoat, which means tangles and mats don?t form easily. Weekly combing is usually enough.

Temperament:

Oriental Shorthairs are intelligent and very social animals who bond closely to their owners. They are inquisitive, highly friendly, emotional, and at times can be quite vocal. People have commented that the Oriental shorthair looks like the cat equivelent of a Greyhound or Chihuahua. Their personalities are indeed much more like that of a dogs than a typical cat.

They tend to be natural entertainers, full of enthusiasm, energy and the belief that the world revolves around them. Extremely people oriented and trusting, they show a deep dependence on their human friends and can become distressed or depressed if left alone too often. They usually bond with one preferred person. Expect them to be at your side, in your lap, and at the door interrogating you about where you?ve been.

Health Concerns:

Orientals are generally healthy but since they are closely related to Siamese they share some of the same diseases, notably gingivitis, a liver-destroying disease called amyloidosis, and the heart disease cardiomyopathy. As always, if you are buying from a breeder, make sure to obtain written health guarantee and registration papers.

Breed Acceptance:

American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)
American Cat Fancier’s Association (ACFA)
United Feline Organization (UFO)
American Cat Association (ACA)
Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA)
Cat Fanciers’ Federation (CFF)
The International Cat Association(TICA)

Persian

Persian

The Persian cat is one of the oldest breeds of cat. In Britain, it is called the “Longhair” or “Persian Longhair” (tipped varieties are known as “Chinchilla Longhair”). The Persian cat is reputed to originate from Iran (Persia), but interbreeding of Angoras with native British domestic longhairs in the 19th Century makes the true origin of the breed unclear . A show-quality Persian has an extremely long thick coat, short legs, a wide head with the ears set far apart, large eyes, and an extremely foreshortened muzzle. The breed was originally established with a short (but not non-existent) muzzle, but over time this feature has become extremely exaggerated, particularly in North America, and Persians are prone to a number of health problems (specifically affecting their sinuses and breathing) caused by it. However, conscientious breeders eliminate this by careful choice of breeding stock, as the goal is first and always healthy cats.

Persian cats can have any color or markings including points, tortoiseshell, blue, and tabby. Persian cats with point are refered to as Colorpoint Persian in Europe and Himalayan (cat) in United States.

Because their fur is too long and dense for them to maintain themselves, Persian cats need extensive and regular grooming. To keep their fur in its best condition, they must be bathed regularly, dried carefully afterwards, and brushed thoroughly every day. Their eyes need to be checked for problems on a regular basis because some animals have trouble keeping them clean.

A Persian cat without an established and registered pedigree is classed as a domestic longhair cat.

Description
Country of Origin:
Iran
Coat:
Longhair
Grooming:

The Persians voluminous coat must be combed daily to prevent mats from forming. Monthly baths are recommended.

Temperament:

Persians are known as the couch potatoes of the cat world and crave affection and human interaction. They become devoted companions if given the proper love and attention. They love to be petted and cuddled, but won?t demand attention the way some breeds will. Sweet, gentle, and responsive to your moods, Persians have soft, pleasant voices they rarely use. Persians often have soothing influences on their human companions. Enjoy short periods of play between long periods of regal resting.

Health Concerns:

Because of the long coat and docile temperament, it is important to keep Persians indoors. The long coat sweeps up debris and easily snags on bushes, trees and fences, creating safety hazards. Due to their trusting nature, popularity and value, they unfortunately can become targets for pet thieves. Reported health concerns include breathing difficulties, eye tearing, malocclusions, and birthing difficulties due to the head size and the foreshortened face. Polycystic kidney disease (PKD), a disease that can cause kidney failure, is also known to exist in some Persian lines. Ask the breeder if the cats have been screened for PKD before agreeing to buy. As always, if you are buying from a breeder make sure to obtain both a written health guarantee and registration papers.

Breed Acceptance:

American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)
American Cat Fancier?s Association (ACFA)
Traditional Cat Association, Inc. (TCA)
United Feline Organization (UFO)
American Cat Association (ACA)
Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
Cat Fanciers? Association (CFA)
Cat Fanciers? Federation (CFF)

Ragdoll

Ragdoll

The Ragdoll is a breed of medium longhaired cat . The breed had its origin in California in the 1960s with a cat named Josephine. Several wild and scientifically impossible stories were put out by the colorful breed founder regarding the origin and development of the Ragdoll breed, including extraterrestrials, kittens’ traits and personality being affected by the mother’s being hit by a car, and genetic alteration using human genes. None of these legends are scientifically supportable.

What is known is that this breed was selectively bred over many years for desirable traits, such as large size, docility, and ability to go limp in the arms. The name “Ragdoll” derived from the fact that many of these cats go completely limp and relax when picked up. Ragdolls have a sturdy body, short legs, and a thick coat with Siamese style points.

The Ragdoll is a large, semi-longhaired cat, exhibiting the pointed pattern in three varieties: colorpoint, bicolor, and mitted. Coat colors can be seal, blue, chocolate, and lilac point colors, either with or without markings on the face and feet. In some associations, they are also available in nonstandard colors, such as red (flame) and lynx point. Their long coats need minimal care and do not usually become matted, however elderly Ragdolls may require routine care similar to normal long-haired cats. Ragdolls typically take up to 4 years to fully mature physically.

Description
Country of Origin:
United States
Coat:
Longhair
Grooming:

Despite the Ragdolls soft, beautiful coat, it does not require a lot of maintenance. For the most part it lacks the thick, easily matted downy undercoat possessed by breeds like the Persian. The semi-long fur flows with the body and resists matting. A good weekly combing with a good quality steel comb will remove loose hair, prevent matting and help minimize hairballs.

Temperament:

The Ragdoll breed is best known for its docile and placid temperament and affectionate and easygoing nature. They are particularly good with children and other pets though young children must not be too rough with them due to their accepting nature. It is perhaps the gentlest and most easy-going of breeds. Some owners claim that they are so non aggressive they won’t even defend themselves when attacked and therefore it is probably a good idea that they not be let outside for prolonged periods. They are gentle, sociable, playful, soft-voiced, and affectionate and most do not hunt.

Health Concerns:

None specific enough to mention. As is true of most breeds, breeder and fancier groups each have their own philosophies, breeding practices, and guidelines. Avoid buying non papered ragdolls as some unethical people sell bogus ragdolls for hefty prices due to their high demand. As always, if you are buying from a breeder make sure to obtain both a written health guarantee and registration papers.

Breed Acceptance:

American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)
American Cat Fancier’s Association (ACFA)
United Feline Organization (UFO)
American Cat Association (ACA)
Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA)
Cat Fanciers’ Federation (CFF)
The International Cat Association(TICA)

Russian Blue

Russian Blue

The Russian Blue has a lean medium-sized body and a short, plush blue coat. This coat is unique to the breed as it is a double coat, with the undercoat being a soft and downy and the longer guard hairs an even blue with the silver tips. This “”tipping”” gives the coat a shimmering appearance. Its eyes are green and ideally should be dark and vivid.

Unlike many modern cat breeds, the Russian Blue is a naturally occurring breed which is believed to originate in the port af Arkhangelsk, Russia, although the only evidence of this is anecdotal. During and following World War II, due to a lack of numbers of Russian Blues, some Siamese cross breeding was introduced. The Siamese traits have been largely breed out. The majority of their modern breeding program has been carried out in the USA.

During the early 1970’s, Mavis Jones, a Russian Blue breeder in Australia, mated a domestic white cat with a Russian Blue with the intent to create a solid white Russian Blue. By the late 1970’s, the Russian White and Russian Black colors were accepted by the cat fancy in Australia as true Russian cats. These hybridized colors are accepted in a few other registries and only on a limited basis.

Description
Country of Origin:
Russia
Coat:
Shorthair
Grooming:

Due to the Russian Blues coat density and the presence of a thick undercoat, it requires some grooming to look its best. A good combing with a good quality steel comb at least once a week, and two to three times a week during the seasonal shedding periods should be adequate. The Russian Blue generally goes through two yearly sheddings, once in the fall when they shed their summer coat and once in the spring when they shed their winter coat.

Temperament:

Russian Blues are highly intelligent and playful but tend to be shy around strangers. They are gentle, reserved cats that usually can be found under the bed when strangers are around. They are routine oriented and dislike environmental changes more than the average cat. With their owners they are playful and affectionate and develop close bonds of loyalty and love and even enjoy a good game of fetch.

It usually takes some time to develop a relationship with this breed. In time, blues become deeply devoted companions that crave your attention. They follow you around and show their affection with forehead kisses, shoulder perching and purrs of affection. Blues are vocally quiet, well behaved and usually easy to train.

When choosing a kitten, keep in mind that shyness is not necessarily an indication that the kitten won’t make a great companion. See how the kittens interact with the breeder and family to gauge the amount of handling the kittens have received.

Health Concerns:

This breed is generally healthy. As always, if you are buying from a breeder make sure to obtain written health guarantee and registration papers.

Because of this breed’s natural shyness, early handling is vital if the kittens are to grow up to be well-socialized cats. You want to select a breeder who has raised the kittens ?underfoot,? and has given each kitten an ample amount of handling and attention. Russian Blue kittens need consistent handling and a stimulating environment to help them overcome their innate shyness.

Breed Acceptance:

American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)
American Cat Fancier’s Association (ACFA)
The International Cat Association (TICA)
United Feline Organization (UFO)
American Cat Association (ACA)
Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA)
Cat Fanciers’ Federation (CFF)

Scottish Fold

Scottish Fold

The Scottish Fold is a breed of cat with a natural mutation to its ears. The ear cartilage contains a fold so the ears bend forward and down towards the front of their head.

The original Scottish Fold was a long-haired white-haired barn cat named Susie, who was found at a farm near Coupar Angus in Perthshire, Scotland in 1961. Susie’s ears had an unusual fold in their middle, making her resemble an owl. When Susie had kittens, two of them were born with folded ears, and one of the siblings was acquired by William Ross, a neighbouring farmer and cat-fancier. Ross registered the breed with the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in Great Britain and started to breed Scottish Fold kittens with the help of geneticist Pat Turner. The breeding program produced 76 kittens in the first three years – 42 with folded ears and 34 with straight ears. The conclusion from this was that the ear mutation is due to a simple dominant gene. If one parent provides the gene for straight ears, and one parent provides the gene for folded ears, the kittens will be Folds.

The breed was not accepted for showing in Great Britain and Europe as it was felt that they would be extremely prone to ear problems such as infection, mites and deafness, but the folds were exported to America and the breed continued to be established there using crosses with British Shorthair and the American Shorthair.

Scottish Folds can be either long or short-haired, and they may have any coat color combination except for Siamese-style points. Pointed Folds have been bred but they are not eligible for showing. The original cats only had one fold in their ears, but due to selective breeding they have increased the fold to a double or triple crease that lies the ear totally flat against the head.

Description
Country of Origin:
Scotland
Coat:
Longhair or Shorthair
Grooming:

Scottish Fold shorthairs need minimal grooming due to their short hair. Because their coat is dense, however, it?s necessary to comb their fur with a good steel comb regularly to remove dead hairs. The longhaired variety requires more frequent combing to keep their hair in order. The folded ears cause an increased production of wax buildup in some cats, making ear cleaning a necessary part of grooming for both the long and shorthaired varieties.

Temperament:

Scottish Folds are a very relaxed, sweet, and loving breed. They enjoy following their owners and don’t like being left alone for long periods of time. They are not very vocal, and have quiet voices. Scottish Folds commonly lay on their backs.

Health Concerns:

The Scottish Fold breed has one sever medical problem related to breeding. If both parents have folded ears, their kittens will be highly likely to developing a painful degenerative joint disease that fuses the tail, ankles and knees. This disease is easily avoidable and reputable breeders will only breed in this fashion to avoid this terrible disease. When buying a fold, be sure to check for signs of the disorder. Short, coarse legs, splayed toes, thickness and lack of mobility in the legs or tail are sure signs of trouble. Determine tail flexibility by moving your hand down the tail in a very gentle slightly upward-arching movement. As always, if you are buying from a breeder make sure to obtain both a written health guarantee and registration papers.

Breed Acceptance:

American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)
American Cat Fancier’s Association (ACFA)
The International Cat Association (TICA)
United Feline Organization (UFO)
American Cat Association (ACA)
Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA)
Cat Fanciers’ Federation (CFF)

Siamese

Siamese

The Siamese is one of the first distinctly recognized breeds of Oriental cat. The exact origins of the breed are unknown, but it is believed to be from South-East Asia, and may be descended from the sacred temple cats of Siam. The breed was first seen outside of Asia in 1884. The British Consul-General in Bangkok, Mr. Owen Gould, brought a pair of the cats back for his sister, Mrs. Veley (co-founder of the Siamese Cat Club in 1901). The cats were shown at the Crystal Palace in 1885, and the following year another pair (with kittens) were imported by Mrs. Vyvyan. A small number of cats were brought in over the next few years forming the base breeding pool for the entire breed in Britain.

As a result of thousands of generations of selective breeding and the pressures of competition there are now actually two sub breeds of Siamese ? the modern show Siamese, and the traditional or “apple-headed” Siamese. Modern show Siamese have been bred to be extremely elongated, with bodies slender to the point of emaciation, and a Y-shaped head with an extremely long muzzle and extra-large “batwing” ears. The traditional Siamese are much sturdier, with a round head and ears more in proportion to their size. Siamese cats often have a kink in their tails, because the original breeders saw that as a unique feature of the breed. In recent years the kinked tail has been considered a “flaw” and breeders have largely eradicated it from the Show Siamese. Both breeds of Siamese have almond-shaped eyes.

All Siamese have a creamy base coat with colored “points” on their muzzles, ears, paws and lower legs, and tails. Originally Siamese were all seal-pointed, but now they have been bred in all of the standard cat colors including red, lilac, blue, chocolate, lynx-point, or tabby and tortoise-shell. In the United Kingdom, all pointed Siamese-style cats are considered to be part of the Siamese breed. In the United States, however, only four colorations are considered Siamese: seal point, blue point, chocolate point, and lilac point.

The dark coloration on the coat is produced by an enzyme that is heat-sensitive; it fails to work at normal body temperatures, becoming active in cooler areas of the skin (such as the ears, legs, tail and face). All Siamese kittens, although pure cream or white at birth, develop visible points in the first few months of life. By the age of four weeks the points should be distinguishable enough to recognize which color they will be.

Description
Country of Origin:
Thailand
Coat:
Shorthair
Grooming:

Siamese need very little grooming. Their coats are very short and close-lying with no noticeable undercoat. Their favorite grooming tool is your hand, applied gently down their backs.

Temperament:

Like all Oriental cats, they are extremely talkative and demanding of attention aand are well known for their talent for communicating with their human friends. If you crave peace and quiet this breed may not be for you. The Siameses loud raspy yowl can be a bit annoying to some, but Siamese fanciers value the breed’s skill at communication. Siamese are masters at human manipulation with their attention-getting yowls and their belief that the world rotates around them.

Shoulder perchers and cat toy fetchers, Siamese are social and dependent upon their human companions. They are intelligent and loyal and crave attention, affection and active involvement in your life. If left alone too often, they pine. Once you develop a close relationship, however, you have a loving and devoted companion for life. Siamese cats are generally believed to be highly intelligent (by cat standards), and their behaviour usually reflects this.

Health Concerns:

Like all Oriental cats, they are extremely talkative and demanding of attention aand are well known for their talent for communicating with their human friends. If you crave peace and quiet this breed may not be for you. The Siameses loud raspy yowl can be a bit annoying to some, but Siamese fanciers value the breed’s skill at communication. Siamese are masters at human manipulation with their attention-getting yowls and their belief that the world rotates around them.

Shoulder perchers and cat toy fetchers, Siamese are social and dependent upon their human companions. They are intelligent and loyal and crave attention, affection and active involvement in your life. If left alone too often, they pine. Once you develop a close relationship, however, you have a loving and devoted companion for life. Siamese cats are generally believed to be highly intelligent (by cat standards), and their behaviour usually reflects this.

Breed Acceptance:

American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)
American Cat Fancier?s Association (ACFA)
Traditional Cat Association, Inc. (TCA)
United Feline Organization (UFO)
American Cat Association (ACA)
Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
Cat Fanciers? Association (CFA)
Cat Fanciers? Federation (CFF)
The International Cat Association(TICA)

Somali

Somali

The Somali is a long-haired breed of cat. The breed appeared spontaneously in the 1950s from Abbyssinian breeding programs when a number of Abbyssinian kittens were born with bottle-brush tails and long fluffy coats. Abbyssinians and Somalis share the same personality (active, intelligent, playful, curious) and appearance. The only difference between them is the fur length and therefore the amount of grooming required. Unlike most long-haired cats, Somalis shed very little excess hair. Their coat is generally shed en masse, or “blown”, once or twice a year, rather than constantly shedding like a Persian or other long-haired cat.

Somalis have a striking, bushy tail, which, combined with their ruddy coat, has earned them the nickname of “fox cats” in some circles. Their coats are ticked, which is a variation on tabby markings, and some Somalis may show full tabby stripes on portions of their bodies, but this is seen as a flaw, and tabby Somalis are only sold as neutered pets. The only tabby marking on a show Somali is the traditional tabby ‘M’ on the middle of the forehead. Like Abbyssinians, they have a dark rim around their eyes that makes them look like they are wearing kohl, and they have a small amount of white on their muzzles and chins/throats. White elsewhere on their bodies disqualifies them from show-status.

Description
Country of Origin:
United States
Coat:
Longhair
Grooming:

Unlike most long-haired cats, Somalis shed very little. Their coat is generally shed en masse, or “blown”, once or twice a year, rather than constantly shedding like a Persian or other long-haired cat.

The Somalis soft, silky fur requires weekly combing. Attention should be paid to the longer fur on hindquarters and neck since mats can occur in those areas. Most Somalis enjoy being groomed.

Temperament:

Somalis have great personalities and even though their beauty is what first attracts people, their personalities are what ultimately win them over. They are not lap cats but are very people-oriented and devoted, and want nothing more than to be involved in every aspect of your life. Your Somali will follow your every step and its natural curiosity will entertain you time and time again.

If you are looking for a couch potato, this is not the right breed for you. The Somali is energetic, intelligent. Animated and possesses a sense of humor and a love of play. They also tend to be determined cats and once they get an idea in their heads, there’s no deterring them. ?Tenacious? is the word most used to describe the Somali.

Health Concerns:

Somalis are generally a healthy and hardy breed. Like all purebred breeds, however, Somalis have a few cons with their pros. Like the Abbyssinian, some Somalis have trouble with gingivitis and tooth decay, and require regular check ups, cleanings and tooth brushing to keep their smiles bright. Some Somali lines also have a higher incidence of renal amyloidosis. As always, if you are buying from a breeder make sure to obtain written health guarantee and registration papers.

Breed Acceptance:
American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)

Sphynx

Sphynx

The Sphynx (aka Canadian Hairless) is a rare breed of cat with extremely little fur, or at most a short fuzz over its body, and no whiskers. Their skin is the color their fur would be, and all the usual cat marking patterns (solid, point, van, tabby, tortie, etc) may be found in Sphynx too. They are sometimes mistaken for Chihuahuas because of their extremely unusual and uncatlike appearance.

Although hairless cats have been reported throughout history (hairless cats seem to appear naturally about every 15 years or so), and breeders in Canada have been working on the Sphynx breed since the early 1960’s.

Delicate as they may appear, Sphynx tend to be well-muscled and robustly healthy, with a few obvious weaknesses. It is essential to keep a sphynx cat warm and free from drafts, especially during kittenhood, as they have no more protection from cold than a naked human would. Sphynxes are also prone to sunburn and sunstroke because they lack the normal protection of fur. They tend to get dirty and greasy, since their skin produces the same oils as a fully-furred cat, but the oil is not spread over fur as usual.

Sphynx cats are not hypoallergenic, in fact they can be even worse for severely allergic people than cats with fur. But because they don’t deposit hair on furniture or clothing, they tend to be easier to clean up after, and therefore often less troublesome to mildly allergic owners. A large number of individuals allergic to cats can live with Sphynx cats without experiencing any form of allergy. Some notice symptoms but handle it by bathing and cleaning them slightly more often than one would otherwise.

Just because a cat is hairless does not mean it is a Sphynx. Other non Sphynx hairless breeds might have different body shapes or temperaments than those described above.

Description
Country of Origin:
Canada
Coat:
Shorthair
Grooming:

Sphynx must be bathed regularly to remove excess oil from their skin. The sebaceous glands, located at the base of each hair follicle, secrete an oily substance normal to all cats but Sphynx don?t have fur to absorb it. Allowed to collect, it can cause skin problems and result in a sticky skin. Because Sphynx have no ear hair, ear wax and dirt build up more quickly, so their ears must be cleaned on a regular basis. It is best to train your Sphynx to tolerate bathing when it is young.

Temperament:

Sphynx are very affectionate and extroverted and like to cuddle with their owners and each other. As pets they are notably more social than most cats and enjoy being handled.

The Sphynx can be seen as part monkey, part dog, part child and part cat and exhibits the personality traits of each. They are lively and perform monkey-like aerialist stunts. Devoted and loyal, they follow their owners around, wagging their tails like a dog and will purring with affection. They demand unconditional attention and are as mischievous and lovable as little children. The Sphynx may not be for everyone depending on your lifestyle.

Health Concerns:

The Sphynx is not necessarily a good pet for those allergic to cats. Sphynx refrain from shedding on your couch but can still make you sneeze because it?s not generally cat hair that causes allergic reactions but rather an allergenic protein which is secreted via the cat?s saliva and the sebaceous glands. Sphynx produce just as much of this protein as any cat and they spread it onto their skin during grooming. If you are allergic to cats, plan on spending some time around a Sphynx before deciding to buy one. As always, if you are buying from a breeder make sure to obtain both a written health guarantee and registration papers.

Breed Acceptance:

American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)
American Cat Fancier’s Association (ACFA)
The International Cat Association (TICA)
United Feline Organization (UFO)
American Cat Association (ACA)
Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA)
Cat Fanciers’ Federation (CFF)

Tonkinese

Tonkinese

Tonkinese are a medium-sized short-haired cat breed distinguished by points as with Siamese and Himalayans. They are commonly referred to as ‘Tonks’. As with many cat breeds, the exact history of the Tonkinese varies to some degree depending on the historian.

Tonkinese cats are a recent cross between the Siamese and Burmese cat breeds, although some assert that Tonkinese-like cats have existed since at least the early 1800s. Some claim that the appearance of the breed is closer to the original appearance of the Siamese, before Siamese breeders developed today’s triangular head and very leggy body. The name is not related to the Tonkin region of Indochina, being a ‘back formation’ from the names of the ancestral breeds.

Tonks exhibit a wide variety of coat colors and patterns. The three main patterns are natural, mink, and point. The mink variety is most desirable for show. The most commonly accepted colors are: lilac (platinum), champagne, blue, and natural (brown). Typically, natural patterned cats have gold or green eyes, cats with the point pattern are blue-eyed, and the mink cats have a shade of aquamarine. A great deal of subtle variation exists in colors and patterns, and Tonkinese coat colors change with age. Tonkinese cats are commonly trim and muscular cats.

Description
Country of Origin:
Canada
Coat:
Shorthair
Grooming:

The Tonk has a very short, silky fur which requires minimal grooming. A once weekly brushing is all that is needed. It is a good idea to use a good quality rubber cat brush for brushing to remove dead hair.

Temperament:

Tonkinese are usually intelligent, curious, affectionate with people, and generally interested in them. They are more like Burmese in temperament than Siamese and as such are less high-strung and demanding. Tonks do like a good chat but their voices are pleasing to the ear. Tonks are playful but not hyperactive. Having a few toys and a cat tree or another Tonkinese, will keep them occupied when you’re not around. Unlike most varieties of cat, they are known to often engage in fetching.

Health Concerns:

This is a generally healthy and hardy breed, but be sure to buy from a breeder who offers a written health guarantee. Like the Siamese, Tonks can be prone to gingivitis. Tooth care and annual checkups are a must for this breed. As always, if you are buying from a breeder make sure to obtain both a written health guarantee and registration papers.

Breed Acceptance:

American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)
American Cat Fancier’s Association (ACFA)
Traditional Cat Association, Inc. (TCA)
United Feline Organization (UFO)
American Cat Association (ACA)
Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA)
Cat Fanciers’ Federation (CFF)
The International Cat Association(TICA)