Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cats, Cats, and more Cats!

Hi my friends,

this blog is all about cats, cats, and more cats. Since it is a big topic, I will do it in three parts.
There are approximately 90 million domestic cats in the United States and approximately 500 million in the entire wold. They come in any variety of shape, size, and color. We can group them into two main categories - non-pedigree and pedigree cats. I would like to tell you about both, their history, temperament, description, and what sets them apart. In part one of the blog I will talk about the non-pedigree and long haired pedigree cats. In part two and three I will tell you about short haired pedigree cats.


Non-pedigree cats come in all varieties. Some have a known ancestry and others may even have a pedigree parent or grand parent but the majority of them have no known parentage. Nevertheless, they make some of the best pets. There are the domestic short hair, the domestic medium hair, and the domestic long hair. The colors can vary from a self color in black, white, brown, orange, and grey to bi-colors and even tri-colors as in calicos. Their markings can be tabby, tortie, lynx, and mackerel. A tabby has short stripes or round spots in a darker shade of the main color such as brown tabby, orange tabby, or grey tabby. A tortie has orange markings on a black coat. Torties and calicos are always females. Lynxs have stripes and spots only around the head and Mackerels have long stripes on their sides. The advantages of having a non-pedigree cat are that they are often much more affordable, are available in any possible variety, and have in general less health issues due to a larger gene pool. However, if the ancestry is unknown, you will not have an indication of how your kitten will develop in terms of temperament, size, and health.


A pedigree means that the cat has a known ancestry, complies with the standards of the breed, and is registered at one of the two cat registries. One of the registries is called Traditional Cat Association, Inc. and it is the largest cat registry in the world. The other one is called North American Purebred Cat Registry. The pedigree cats can be divided into short hair and long hair pedigrees. Lets start with the long hair pedigrees.


History: Persians have been around since the 16th century and were fairly common in what once was known as Persia, now Iran. Thus the name Persians. They were one of the first recognized breeds in the U.S.
Temperament: They have a quiet, gentle disposition and do not require constant attention. Being very content, they make perfect lap cats.
Description: There body is small and stocky with a long luxuriant coat. The head is round and short. Eyes are large, tiny nose, and small wide set ears.
Colors: They come in self colors such as black, blue (that means grey), chocolate, cream, lilac (lighter shade of grey), red (that means orange), and white and also in patterned colors such as bi-colors (torties), cameos (different color only on tips of hair), and chinchilla (white under coat with even tipped top coat).


History: Himalayans are around since the early 1900. They are a crossbreed between Persians and Siamese and have points on the face, ears, legs, and tail.
Temperament: They have pretty much a similar temperament as Persians but need more attention and are a bit more vocal.
Description: They have a more petite body than Persians with a long coat that has the color points of a Siamese (darker color on ears, face, feet, tail). The head is round and short as in the Persian breed. Their ears are small and the eyes are round and blue.
Colors: The main coat is white with color points in seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red (also called flame point), cream, and lynx.

History: It is said, that Birmans were the temple cats of Burma. They first were introduced in 1920 in France and are a crossbreed between a Siamese and a bi-colored longhair cat.
Temperament: Birmans are very clever and not as demanding as a Siamese. The long coat needs more attention but not as much as in Persians. Birmans are good natured and are great cats in a household with kids or dogs. They are very social.
Description: The coat is not as long as in Persians and a little more dense with a bushy tail. They have color points as the Siamese have and the paws are white. The body is large with stocky legs and a round head. The ears, eyes, and nose are medium size. They also have a ruff of longer hair around the neck.
Colors: The body is white with color points and the paws are white.


History: The Maine Coon is a young breed, recognized in 1967 and originated in Maine. They have a bushy tail like a raccoon, thus the name Maine Coon.
Temperament: The Maine Coon has a very sweet nature, is playful, and friendly. Even so they can grow to become very large, they have a very gentle disposition and get along good with kids and dogs.
Description: Maine Coons have a very large, solid, and muscular body with long legs and large paws. Their coat is shaggy with a facial ruff and a fluffy tail. They have large, wide set ears with tufts on the tips. The head is long, with a square muzzle. The eyes are large and come in any variety of colors.
Color: The Maine Coon comes in any color and pattern. Anything goes!


History: As the name states, this cat originated in Scandinavia and is a fairly new breed, recognized in 1977. The Norwegian Forest Cat is similar to the Maine Coon but has a thicker coat.

Temperament: They are lively and independent and are excellent hunters. They like company a great deal, so it is best to have two. Norwegian Forest Cats are also excellent climbers and they can reach places that the average cat would not be able to reach.
Description: Their body is similar to the Maine Coon but with a thicker and waterproof coat, a bushy tail and a small neck ruff. The ears are large and set wide apart but lack the tufts at the tips. The eyes are almond shaped.
Colors: Like the Main Coon, they come in any variety of colors.


History: The Ragdoll is a crossbreed between the Birman and the Siamese. They were first recognized in 1960 and came from California.
Temperament: The Ragdolls are the most laid-back cats. They just flop over in your arms and that is probably how they got the name. They are undemanding, very tolerant, gentle, and relaxed.
Description: Ragdolls have a long, muscular body with a broad chest and hind legs slightly higher then the front legs. They have a silky coat with a large neck ruff and a long, bushy tail. The head is medium large with tufted ears and large, oval eyes which are always blue.
Colors: Ragdoll kittens are born white and develop their colors later which is bi-color, color points, lynx, or mitted (with white paws). The color points are restricted to the face, ears, and tail, and are the same as in the Siamese.


History: The Turkish Van was discovered in the Lake Van area of Turkey where they are highly respected because of the white marking between their ears. There it is said that the marking is the mark of Allah. They were recognized as a breed in 1969.
Temperament: The Turkish Van is friendly, social, and intelligent. They like company, lots of attention, and have a soft voice. Very playful, the Turkish Van loves water and likes to go for a swim unlike most other cats.
Description: The Turkish Van is a strong and sturdy cat with strong, muscular, medium length legs. They have a very thick and water resistant coat. The tail is brush-like. The head is long with a long nose, large ears, and large, oval eyes.
Colors: The classic Turkish Van is white with auburn to cream markings. The markings are restricted to the head, ears, and tail. They have a white mark between their ears.

And this my friends concludes the first part of the blog where we talked about non-pedigree and long haired pedigree cats, their history, temperament, description, and colors. Stay tuned for the next part where I will tell you all about short haired pedigree cats.

Love and Peace,

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