Abyssinian

Rabbit-cat is another fitting name for the Abyssinian, one of the more distinctive of the feline breeds, for its short, dense fur is indeed rabbit-like. It occurs in two color varieties: brown and almost copper-red. In both the coat is ticked-that is, each hair banded with several grades of dark and light. In the Brown Abyssinian, the fur is usually dark brown to almost black in a line down the center of the back. The pads of the feet are black, and some black also extends up the legs. In the Reds the line down the middle of the back is brownish, the pads of the feet and also the nose are pinkish, and the backs of the legs are brown to mahogany. The body and legs have no other outstanding marks. Some have a white chin, but this is not an allowable feature in show cats. Both Blue and Cream Abyssinians have been developed, but they are very rare. Though the origin of the Abyssinian is still disputed, most authorities believe the breed is ancient and that it is the Abyssinian, in fact, that is depicted in the art and sculpture of ancient Egypt. It is in all probability the sacred cat of Egypt. Why is it called Abyssinian? The first of these cats taken to Europe were obtained in Abyssinia (now Ethiopia). Abyssinians are lovable cats and quite devoted to their owners, some so much so that their loyalty is to one person only. They tend to respond to training more slowly than some other breeds, but they learn well. If the owner persists, an Abyssinian can be taught to retrieve balls and do other simple tricks. If accustomed to a leash an Abyssinian will not object to it. Nor does the adult lose its kittenish playfulness. Long and slim-bodied, the Abyssinian is graceful, with a long and distinctly tapered tail. Its head is triangular or wedge-shaped, the ears noticeably large and pointed. Eye color ranges from green to hazel or yellow. Extremely alert and intelligent, the Abyssinian is also quite vocal, though less so than the Siamese. Its voice is cooing, and rather more comforting than abrasive. Abyssinians are not common, partly because they have small litters (rarely more than four) in which most are males. This also makes them among the most expensive cats.

Balinese

The long, silky coat of the Balinese has the same basic fawn color as the Siamese, which it also matches with dark brown to black legs, tail, face, and ears. Similarly, too, the eyes are a deep blue. This resemblance is not surprising, for the Balinese first appeared as a mutant in a litter of Siamese in the mid-1950s. This cat was later bred to other longhairs that showed up in subsequent litters, and the offspring of these bred true. From these, seal points, blue points, and chocolate points have been developed, again duplicating the shorthaired Siamese. The head of the Balinese is wedge-shaped, though a little less so than in the Siamese. The sharpness of the feature is somewhat obscured by the long hair. The ears are wide-set and relatively large compared to those of longhaired Persians. The coat is long but not as long as a Persian’s and thus needs somewhat less grooming. Like the Siamese, these are affectionate and highly intelligent cats. They do have loud, demanding voices but use them a little less persistently than Siamese.

Abyssinian

Rabbit-cat is another fitting name for the Abyssinian, one of the more distinctive of the feline breeds, for its short, dense fur is indeed rabbit-like. It occurs in two color varieties: brown and almost copper-red. In both the coat is ticked-that is, each hair banded with several grades of dark and light. In the Brown Abyssinian, the fur is usually dark brown to almost black in a line down the center of the back. The pads of the feet are black, and some black also extends up the legs. In the Reds the line down the middle of the back is brownish, the pads of the feet and also the nose is pinkish, and the backs of the legs are brown to mahogany. The body and legs have no other outstanding marks. Some have a white chin, but this is not an allowable feature in show cats. Both Blue and Cream Abyssinians have been developed, but they are very rare. Though the origin of the Abyssinian is still disputed, most authorities believe the breed is ancient and that it is the Abyssinian, in fact, that is depicted in the art and sculpture of ancient Egypt. It is in all probability the sacred cat of Egypt. Why is it called Abyssinian? The first of these cats taken to Europe were obtained in Abyssinia (now Ethiopia). Abyssinians are lovable cats and quite devoted to their owners, some so much so that their loyalty is to one person only. They tend to respond to training more slowly than some other breeds, but they learn well. If the owner persists, an Abyssinian can be taught to retrieve balls and do other simple tricks. If accustomed to a leash an Abyssinian will not object to it. Nor does the adult lose its kittenish playfulness. Long and slim-bodied, the Abyssinian is graceful, with a long and distinctly tapered tail. Its head is triangular or wedge-shaped, the ears noticeably large and pointed. Eye color ranges from green to hazel or yellow. Extremely alert and intelligent, the Abyssinian is also quite vocal, though less so than the Siamese. Its voice is cooing, and rather more comforting than abrasive. Abyssinians are not common, partly because they have small litters (rarely more than four) in which most are males. This also makes them among the most expensive cats.

Black Shorthair

Black Shorthairs share the features of Black Persians but have short, glossy coats. In many the eyes are green, but for the show, they must be orange or copper. Like Black Persians, they must be pure black, even their lips, nose, and footpads. Most Black Shorthairs cannot qualify for shows, because however well qualified otherwise, they have white chins, collars, or spots somewhere on the body. As in Black Persians, the breeding of pure-black shorthairs is very difficult, and the breeder must wait until the kittens are at least a year old before he can be certain that the desired color will remain constant. The kittens are usually rusty in color or have tabby markings.

Blue-cream Persian and Longhair

This is a controversial breed because its color is sex-linked, and with rare exceptions, only females are known. If males are born, they usually do not live long. For show acceptability in Great Britain, the blue and cream hairs in the coat must be evenly intermingled. In the United States shows the coat must have patches of blue and cream. This breed, the result of crossing a Blue and a Cream, has a long, soft coat and coppery or orange eyes. Many have a blaze of cream on the forehead. Though not common, particularly because of the breeding problems, the Blue-cream Longhair is certainly one of the attractive longhaired cats.

Blue-cream Shorthair

This is the shorthaired counterpart of the Blue-cream Persian. Similarly, almost all are females. The few males that do survive are sterile. The breed is produced by mating a shorthaired Blue with a shorthaired Cream. As in the longhaired breed, the British show regulations call for a totally “misty” coat- a complete mingling of the two shades. In the United States, the coat must have patches of the two colors. In both, the coat must be soft, never coarse or wiry. The eyes may be coppery or orange. Green is not accepted for shows. This attractive breed also makes an excellent and devoted pet, not uncommonly becoming attached to a particular member of the household almost to the exclusion of others. It has the unusual habit of dipping or scooping its food from its bowl with its paw, and also prefers drinking from a dripping hose or faucet to drinking from a bowl. A litter produced by a Blue-cream can be a surprise of color combinations because of the female’s genetic mixture.

Burmese

Burmese cats did not originate in Burma. The breed was established in the United States in the 1930s by breeding a brown cat from Burma with a Siamese and then continuing the breeding of the offspring. The Siamese lineage is still evident, but the Burmese are a much stockier cat, the coat almost velvety soft. The ears are large, though not as large as those of the Siamese. The Burmese have a wedge-shaped or triangular head, and the yellow to gold eyes are almond-shaped. Its slim tail has a bend near the tip. The feet are small, almost dainty in comparison to the body. The basic color of the original Burmese is dark brown, gradually becoming lighter on the belly. For show cats, no white should show on the body, but the Legs, face mask, and ears may be a richer seal brown. Kittens are typically much lighter, with a hint of tabby shades, but usually become dark by the time they are a year old. In Great, Britain breeders work toward slimmer, longer-bodied cats, which are favored in shows. In the United States a sturdier, more compact body is preferred, the head more blunt or rounded. Blue Burmese have blue-gray fur. They were developed in the mid-1950s and became a recognized color variety in about 1960. The fur is distinctly darker to almost black down the middle of the back, becoming lighter on the chest and belly. Kittens are light in color, some showing tabby markings. Still, other color variations are being developed so that they breed true. These include red, champagne (chocolate), cream, blue-cream, platinum (lilac), and others. The attention given to the Burmese is the result of the breed’s popularity as a pet as well as for shows. Burmese kittens are almost unbelievably active and agile. They slow down considerably when they mature, becoming affectionate and quite loyal, but regularly involving themselves in the unexpected to command attention. They vocalize often, sometimes seeming almost to be muttering to themselves. They are not as obtrusive as Siamese.

British Blue

The most popular of the shorthaired breeds in Great Britain is the British Blue, a well-proportioned cat, its head, tail, and legs conforming in size and sturdiness to its rather sturdy body. The eyes of cats bred for show are deep orange or coppery and the coat is uniformly blue-gray. In addition to their popularity for shows, the British Blues are liked simply as pets. They are loyal, affectionate, and mild-mannered. The Chartreux, of France, is very similar but usually a bit stockier, the head somewhat rounder, and the jaws more powerful. In many, the coat tends toward being woolly. In American shows, these cats are classed as Exotic Shorthairs, a category for all shorthaired complements of the longhaired or Persian breeds.

Cameo Persian

Several color varieties of this exotic longhaired breed now occur. Palest is the Shell Cameo, which has a very white undercoat and pale pink to peach-like ticking on the fur. The Red Smoke also has a white undercoat, but the hairs are more deeply tipped with red. The tips of the ears and the ruff are white. In between these two is the Shaded Cameo, whose undercoat is white but with the reddish ticking fading to white on the belly, chest, and chin. The Cameo Tabby has an off-white undercoat and is marked with red above. In all color variations, the eyes are coppery, but they are deepest, almost gold, in the Red Smoke. The nose is pink and the eyes are lined with pink. This is still an experimental breed, but it is growing in popularity because of its attractiveness.

Chinchilla

Sometimes referred to as Silver, this is one of the most photogenic breeds of cats, appearing often in advertisements where both beauty and daintiness are sought. Compared to other longhaired breeds, the Chinchilla tends to be delicate. Its coat is pure white, each hair tipped with black to give it a silvery appearance. The medium-length tail is almost bushy and the fur on the chest and neck are shaggy. The tip of the nose is red, the eyes are emerald green, the lids lined with black. The pads of the feet are also black. Keeping these exquisitely beautiful cats in prime condition for the show requires effort. The long coat tends to yellow, especially around the tail. Owners often keep their coats, well powdered, to help absorb the oil that accumulates in the coat and causes matting. Kittens commonly have a banded tail, but the bands usually disappear before maturity. Some are born with dark bands all their legs; these persist, making the cats no good for show purposes. Varieties include the Shaded Silver, whose ticking is much darker and whose undercoat is off-white rather than pure white. In the Masked Silver, the face and paws are black. Another variety is the Blue Chinchilla. Its basic color is bluish, the fur ticked with steel gray on the tail, back, sides, and head. Its eyes are orange, unlike the green eyes of other Chinchillas.

Cream Persian

The purity of color is difficult to maintain with the Cream Persian, which apparently originated from a cross of Blue and Red longhaired cats. The color in a show cat must be pale cream, with no blotched markings (common in kittens) and no pure white. The coat should not be ticked. Each hair should be solid in color to its roots. The large round eyes are copper or deep orange. There is a tendency for the coat to become woolly. In show cats, it must be silky

Cream Shorthair

This is one of the oldest breeds among show cats, but it is nevertheless rare because breeders have great difficulty in maintaining the purity of color required for the show. Kittens are commonly marked with bands of darker color on the tail, legs, and face, but if these do not disappear by the time the kitten is about two months old they will remain throughout the animal’s life, disqualifying it for exhibition purposes. The eyes are coppery gold. Cream Shorthairs are even-tempered and make excellent pets. Those with defects that eliminate them from shows are still handsome enough to earn admiring comments.

Egyptian Mau

The Egyptian Mau is still not officially recognized, but it is accepted for exhibition by most cat organizations. Long and lithe, with a wedge-shaped head, the Mau bears a close resemblance to cats shown in Egyptian paintings. The tail is long and tapered, the eyes are almond-shaped. In one color variety, known as the Silver Mau, the background is silvery, with black spots and bars over the body. In another, the Bronze Mau, the coat is marked with bronze bars and splotches.

Brown Havana

Originally called Chestnut Brown and often referred to as Havana Brown, this new breed was first recognized in the late 1950s and is still being developed. It did not originate in Cuba. It was named for its color-rich cigar tobacco brown. The popularity of the Havana is growing, both for shows and as pets. It is a responsive, intelligent, and affectionate cat with a quiet, sophisticated manner- winning ways that foretell a bright future for the breed. The Havana has a complex heritage dominated by Siamese and Burmese breeds. It resembles a Burmese, in fact, but has slanted green eyes, rather than gold as in the Burmese. The short, glossy coat is brighter than the coat of the Burmese. The pink pads on its feet are also distinctive. In show cats, no black is allowable in the coat. The muzzle is sharp, as in the Siamese, and the head well proportioned on the long, lithe body. The tail is slim and whiplike.

Himalayan or Longhaired Colorpoint

The striking Himalayan, produced by breeding the Siamese with several longhaired breeds over a number of generations, has been a recognized breed only since the 1950s, becoming highly popular in its short existence. It appears regularly in shows but is also desirable as a pet because of its warm, affectionate personality. The length of the coat and body shape the Himalayan has the characteristics of a Persian, but in colors, it shows its Siamese heritage distinctly. Color varieties include seal point, blue, chocolate, lilac, tortie, and red. The blue eyes are round, matching those of the Siamese but less intense. Lost in the breeding, too, is the loud, demanding voice of the Siamese, another feature favoring the Himalayan. Kittens are pale, their colors developing with maturity.

Japanese Bobtail

Known in the United States for less than a decade, the Japanese Bobtail has been a familiar breed in Japan for many centuries. It has a stump tail about two to four inches long, in this respect resembling some of the short-tailed Manx cats (to which it is not related). Like the Manx, its hind legs are longer than its front legs; the ears are large, the head is long. It occurs in a wide range of solid and mixed colors.

Korat

The Korat got its start in the United States when a pair of these handsome silvery-blue cats were imported in 1959. Although still rare and expensive, they are growing in popularity. The breed was recognized in the mid-1960s. Even the history of the breed in its native Thailand is obscure, but there is evidence that it played a role in the development of the blue point Siamese. Medium-sized and muscular, the Korat has dense, soft fur. Its large, greenish-gold eyes are an outstanding feature. The face is heart-shaped, the muzzle sharp but not pointed. The ears are large, their tips rounded. The blunt-tipped tail is medium length. In addition to being a show cat, the Korat, meaning “silver” in Thailand, has gained great favor as a pet because it is affectionate and responds well to training. Korats can be taught simple tricks, seeming to derive pleasure from their performances.

Maine Coon

No one knows the precise origin of the Coon Cat, but it is believed that the breed stems from indeterminate longhaired cats brought to the United States by sailors. Either released or escaped, the cats mated with resident shorthaired cats, and over many generations evolved the Maine Coon Cat. It is a powerfully built cat with hair of medium length- that is, not as long as in Persians. The coat does not become matted or tangled as readily as in those with longer hair, which makes grooming easier. But the most striking feature of the coat is its resemblance to a raccoon’s. This gave rise to the name Coon Cat and also to the mistaken belief that these cats resulted from crossbreeding with raccoons, a biological impossibility. Maine Coon Cats have long been popular as pets locally and were commonly neutered. This kept their numbers at a rather stable low level. In recent years they have begun to appear in shows, and standards for their acceptance have been established. Coon Cats have big heads, large ears, and yellowish oval eyes. They wear a prominent ruff, a protective feature in the cold Maine climate, and have a medium-length bushy tail. In addition to the raccoon pattern, they occur in a range of solid and mixed colors. The males are exceptionally large, weighing as much as 40 pounds (18.2 kg); females may weigh 25 pounds (11.4 kg). In addition to being handsome, these big cats earn their keep by catching rats and mice.

Manx Cat

The Manx is a tailless cat, with only a hollow to indicate where the tail would fit if it existed. A popular nickname is “Rumpy.” A litter occasionally contains kittens with tails several inches long. These cats are referred to as “Stumpies.”The origin of the Manx is obscure. It is conjectured that it arose as a mutant from cats living on the Isle of Man. The tailless condition was evidently dominant, as are most mutations, and so it persisted in the island’s isolation until tailed cats were excluded. The breeding of Manx cats on the Isle of Man is a profitable business today. The Manx stirs up a conversation because of its many rabbit-like 70 features. Some people are convinced, in fact, that the Manx is a cross between a rabbit and a cat. This is not possible, of course, but some of the features are startlingly comparable. Because the Manx’s hind legs are considerably larger and more powerful than its front legs, it has a rabbit-like appearance. It tends to hop like a rabbit, is a high jumper, and can run fast. It occurs in all colors and mixtures; the fur is soft and dense, much like a rabbit’s. The Manx has a large head in comparison to the size of its body, and its medium-sized, wide-spaced ears have pointed tips. The unusual features of the Manx make it much in demand as a pet. Owners soon learn, however, to love their animals as a soft-voiced, affectionate, and intelligent companion.

Rex

The Rex is a novelty breed, its short, curly coat also earning it the name of Poodle Cat. Even its whiskers are curly. Genetically this is a dominant characteristic, and so the dense, wavy coat may appear in litters of any cats with Rex in their breeding. The Rex first appeared in 1950 and is named for the Rex rabbit that has a similar kind of coat. Because of its rarity, the Rex remains quite expensive. An affectionate cat, the Rex makes an excellent pet and responds well to training. It is becoming popular with those who are disturbed by the constant shedding of the longhaired breeds but do not like straight, short hair. The Rex has a long, slim body, commonly carrying its back arched. The head is wedge-shaped, the ears are large and the eyes almond-shaped. The tail is long and tapered, the legs long and straight. The Rex occurs in all solid and mixed colors for cats. Two similar but distinct types are recognized: Cornish Rex, which was first to be recognized; and Devon Rex, which did not appear until 1960. When these two are mated their offspring have straight coats.

Red Self

No longer as popular as in the past, the Red Self is nevertheless a quite attractive breed. It is an English specialty that reproduces only its own color. Its rarity can be at least partly attributed to the difficulty in achieving a pure coat. For the show the soft, silky fur must be a rich reddish-orange, completely lacking tabby markings. The breed was developed from the Red Tabby, however, and so these marks do appear regularly on the head and tail, a matter of no great concern if the cat is kept as a pet. The eyes are large and coppery, matching the coat, and the lips and nose are pinkish. The ears are small and pointed. Varieties with lighter coats have been developed from the Red Self stock. The Peke-faced Red is identical, except that it has a very pug or depressed nose, sometimes less protruding than the eyes.

Russian Blue

The Russian Blue is another breed of obscure ancestry, but the thick fur suggests that the development took place in a cold climate where a coat of this density would be needed for warmth. The outer coat stands up stiffly but is also short and thick. Sleek and graceful, the Russian Blue’s coat is slate blue to an almost lavender shade, the color uniform over the entire body in show cats. The oval eyes are bright green; the pointed ears are thin-skinned, almost transparent. Because of the narrow, flat skull, the forehead recedes. The neck is noticeably long. Agile, the Russian Blue is active if given an opportunity, preferring the outdoors but also adapting to sedentary apartment life. Even-tempered, affectionate, and intelligent, the Russian Blue is normally silent. It is one of the few breeds that allows itself to be led on a leash. It is generally aloof to strangers.

Scottish Fold

Known only since the early 1960s, the Scottish Fold originated in Scotland. It is a shorthaired cat occurring in a wide variety of colors and patterns but is distinguished by its short ears that fold forward and lie against the top of the head. This is another unusual “sport” that has captured the attention of breeders sufficiently to continue the breed- at least for now. The Scottish Fold is not yet recognized by cat fanciers’ associations as a standard.

Siamese

This is the “royal cat of Siam,” truly the aristocrat of all the shorthaired cats. It became immediately popular when it was introduced to the United States and Europe in the late 1800s. Among pedigreed cats, the Siamese is now the most common. The classic Siamese of today- greatly changed by breeding from the round-faced types first introduced- is a well-proportioned animal, with a long, slender body and slim legs. The tail is long and tapered to a point, some individuals retaining the kink near the tip that was characteristic of the cats originally. The head is triangular, as are the large, wide-based, pointed ears. In all varieties the almond-shaped eyes are bright blue, In some, the eyes are crossed, another holdover feature. The short coat is glossy and fine-textured. Kittens are born all white, their colors not developing until they are two or three months old. Numerous colors have been developed as breeders work to produce varieties they feel will appeal to the public. The most commonly seen are: Seal Point, the most prevalent, is cream to light brown or fawn over most of the body. The points- tail, feet and legs, ears, and mask- are dark brown. Blue Point is white over most of its body, grading to bluish on the back. The tail, feet, and legs, ears, and mask are bluish. Chocolate Points are said to be among the first to leave Siam and win the attention of early cat fanciers. Body-color should be ivory with points the color of milk chocolate. Frost (Lilac) Point has an off-white body, grading into pinkish gray on the tail, feet and legs, ears, and mask. Tabby Point, or Lynx Point, is the result of crossing the Siamese with tabbies. The recognized show-acceptable Tabby Point has ears of a solid color, bearing a thumbprint mark but no stripes. The mask is stripped, and the whisker pads are prominently dotted. The legs have broken stripes, the markings solid on the rear of the hind legs. The tail is distinctly ringed, the tip solid. Red Point has a white body, grading to a light red-orange on the back. The tail, legs, and feet, ears, and mask are bright reddish-orange. Tortie Point, always a female has tortoiseshell markings on the points. The body is cream or fawn. Siamese is acknowledged to be the most dog-like of the cats. They are highly intelligent and responsive to training. They accept being led on a leash and most seem also to enjoy traveling in an automobile. Their most objectionable feature is their hoarse, piercing voice- and if a normal tone does not achieve their desires they howl loudly. As with all cats, of course, each individual has a distinctive personality, but almost all Siamese are very talkative.

Smoke Persian

One of the most strikingly colored of all cats, the Smoke Persian has a jet black coat with each hair grading to silver at its roots. As the catwalks, the white shows through. The face, ears, and legs are intensely black, but the ruff, ear tufts, face frill, and skirt along the sides of the body are silvery. The tail is a mixture of black and silver hairs. The large, round eyes are copper. Kittens are all black at birth, the full color not appearing until they are several months old. As with all longhaired cats, the Smoke must be groomed regularly to keep its coat in good condition. The Blue Smoke is a lighter version in which the black is replaced with blue. It is handsome but less impressive than the Smoke Persian. Both are much less popular now than they were half a century ago. A shorthaired Smoke, with a coat of black-tipped white hairs, has also been developed.

Sphynx

Unquestionably the least handsome of cats, the Sphinx was preserved originally as a novelty, having appeared as a mutant. It is now frequently exhibited in shows, always commanding attention and comment. Kittens are born with a light covering of normal-length hair, but this disappears before they are weaned. The adult’s body is covered with very short, dense hair that has the feeling of suede. In many places, the skin shows through. The Sphinx has no whiskers. Its eyes are gold, and its tail is long and whiplike. Because it lacks the protective coat of the normal cat, the Sphinx prefers warm weather, or it must be kept indoors and away from drafts to prevent it from catching a cold. The cat, like the duckling, is oblivious to its ugliness and seems to be more sociable and affectionate than many other breeds.

Tabby Persian

Tabby Persians have the identical markings of Tabby Shorthairs, differing only in the length of the long, silky hair. Their markings include distinctive lines or pencil marks on the head, swirled around the eyes, and the cheeks. Three prominent dark stripes extend the length of the back and two crosses the chest. The sides bear vertical bars and swirls, and on the thighs they become horizontal. The legs have dark bracelets. The tail is ringed. All Tabby Persians conform in basic body structure- that is, they are rather massively built but well proportioned. The legs are short and thick, the tail is short and fully furred or brush-like (as wide as the body when brushed and spread out). The head is wide and round, the nose pug, and the small ears are wide-set, almost hidden in the fur. Principal color varieties are listed here. Others have been developed, but all are difficult to maintain in show-quality standards because of a strong tendency to revert to features- such as a long tail or larger and pointed ears- tracing to their shorthaired heritage. Kittens do not achieve their full coloration until several months after birth. Tabby Persians make good pets, but their owners must be prepared to give them the additional care that is demanded by their long coats and to tolerate a degree of hair resulting from normal shedding. Blue Tabby Persian is pale bluish with fawn overtones. Even the lips and chin are bluish. The tabby markings are a much deeper blue. The eyes are orange to copper. Brown Tabby Persian is an old variety not commonly seen. The background color is a tawny sable and the markings are an intense black. The large, round eyes must be copper or deep orange in show cats, but green eyes are common in the variety. In some the chin and the tip of the tail are white, but this is not allowed in show cats. Cameo Tabby has a pale cream background color and the lobby markings are beige or reddish. The eyes are coppery gold. Red Tabby has a rich red basic coat color with even darker red tabby markings. The large, round, copper eyes are set in a broad head and the nose is blunt. White commonly appears on the chest, chin, and tail and disqualifies a cat for shows. Silver Tabby is a pale silver with intensely black markings. The eyes are hazel or green. The popularity of the Silver Tabby has diminished since the development oi the Chinchilla.

Tabby Shorthair

Most common house and alley cats are “tabbies,” or at least have the breed somewhere in their undocumented family histories. The breed is old, having originated in the Attabiah district of Baghdad, where Jewish weavers copied the ‘varied colors of their common cats in making a popular silk pattern that was sold widely in Europe. The silk was sold under the name of “tabbi” – hence the name of the cat. Tabbies with pedigrees are not common. They must conform to rather strict patterns, as described for Tabby Persians, but the latitude in eye color and other features is broader than for most breeds. Shorthairs differ from the longhairs not only in the length of the hair but also in body form. Their legs and tail are longer. The head is broad and the eyes are wide-set, but the muzzle is not greatly shortened. The ears are widely spaced and medium-sized rather than small. Similarly, the neck is medium in length and in good proportion to the size of the body. The tail is rather thick at the base and tapers to a point. The short coat is neat, often becoming thicker in winter. Tabby Shorthairs occur in the same color varieties as Tabby Persians. Some go by several different names. The Brown Tabby, for example, is sometimes called Blotched Tabby or Marbled Tabby, while the Red is known also as Orange Tabby. Most common in shows is probably the striking Silver Tabby. The familiar Striped or Tiger Tabby has a gray background color with narrow, tiger-like vertical black stripes from the shoulder to the tail. Its eyes are green. Tabbies make excellent pets. They have no special features that set them apart in habits or personality. They are simply classic examples of cats in all respects.

Tortoiseshell Persian

In color and pattern, the Tortoiseshell Longhair duplicates the Tortoiseshell Shorthair. In show cats, too, the patches of red, black, and cream in the long, silky coat must not mix or fade into each other. The body is more massive, however, the legs are shorter and the nose is a pug. Almost all are females. The few males that do occur are, with rare exceptions, sterile. This, of course, makes the breeding to maintain the standards extremely difficult. The female must be mated with a male of a solid color, and often no tortoiseshells occur in the litter produced. The Tortoiseshell-and-white Longhair is the complement of the shorthaired variation and goes also by the name of Calico Cat.

Tortoiseshell Shorthair

One of the oldest breeds of cats, though not currently ranking high in popularity, the Tortoiseshell Shorthair demands a minimum of grooming in show cats and is also an excellent house pet. Nearly all are females. Males are a rarity and are usually sterile. For shows, the patches of red, black, and cream must be evenly distributed over the body and must not intermingle. The large, round eyes can be hazel, copper, or orange, and a blaze of red down the center of the face is preferred. Tortoiseshells are not easily bred to fit the standards, particularly since there are no males. Tabby markings and white hair are common faults. The Tortoiseshell-and-white Shorthair, also called Calico Cat, differs from the regular Tortoiseshell Shorthair only in having white on its face, chest, and legs. This variation is, in fact, the most popular.

White Shorthair

White Shorthairs are really rare. The color is easily lost in crossbreeding. Those exhibited in shows must be pure white (not a single hair of another color), and they must have a pink nose. Most show standards require blue eyes, but yellow or green eyes, which are more common, are acceptable in some. Deafness occurs regularly in the blue-eyed White Shorthair, as it does in the White Persian. In both cases, breeders are convinced that this problem can be eliminated in time by selective breeding. Like other shorthaired breeds, the White Shorthair must have a broad head, a medium-length muzzle, and small ears. The body is sturdy and muscular, the legs are well proportioned, and the medium-length tail is thick at the base and tapered. While black cats are usually considered omens of bad luck and white signify good luck, the reverse is true in some countries-that is, the white cat is looked upon as a sign of bad luck.

White Persian

A long white coat identifies the White Persian, which varies otherwise only in the color of its eyes. Orange and blue eyes are accepted for shows, and some have one blue and one orange eye. Green-eyed White Persians also Occur. The first longhaired white cats known in Europe came from Angora (now Ankara), the capital of Turkey. They were blue-eyed or had one blue and one orange eye. Later it was disputed whether these Angoras were really different from the White Persians that arrived in Europe somewhat later and not from Turkey. The Angoras did have noticeably softer, silkier fur. Recently the Angora has been rediscovered, so to speak, and maybe given recognition with separate standards. A breed called the Turkish, also a recent introduction, gives credence to the Angora story. Also from Turkey, the Turkish is all white except for apricot or orange marks on its head and its totally apricot or orange-ish tail, ringed with a darker, almost red color. The Turkish and the Angora differ from the ordinary Persians, too, in having smaller, wedge-shaped heads and larger ears. The eyes of the Turkish are amber. White cats with blue eyes are frequently deaf, a genetic link occurring between eye color and hearing. Owners of deaf cats sometimes put tags on them so that people will be considerate if the cat does not respond to noises or calls. All longhaired cats require regular and careful grooming to keep their coats in good condition, particularly white cats. Those that live in the city are likely to become dingy, but all white cats tend to yellow. The cats clean themselves constantly, of course, but they need help. Few cats like soap and water, and it is also not advisable to get them wet in cool or cold weather. A dry bath is recommended.

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