Monday, December 24, 2012

The Characteristics of the British Shorthair Cat

The history of the British Shorthair goes back to the days when the Romans first invaded what we now call Great Britain. The Romans brought with them shorthaired cats that were originally imported from Egypt. These cats bred freely until concentrated efforts were made to breed for certain traits. This didn't occur until the end of the 19th century. There was a great interest in the blue color, so most breeders bred what they called British Blues. Some of these breeders introduced Persian blood into the mix.

Breeding of these cats continued until World War I (WWI) when the Governing Council of Cat Fancy declared that only 3rd generation offspring of the British Shorthair/Persian crosses were acceptable. This drastically reduced the cats acceptable in breeding programs and very nearly led to the destruction of the British Shorthair as a cat breed.

Luckily, a few dedicated breeders came together to save their beloved British Shorthairs. They crossed the British Shorthairs they had with domestic shorthairs, Persians, and even Russian Blues. It took a while, but by the 1970s the British Shorthair cat was a strong breed once again.

It was in June of 1979 that the British Shorthair was recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA). The longhaired version of the breed, however, was not recognized until May of 2009.

The Appearance of the British Shorthair

This particular breed is medium in size but has a compact and powerful build. The legs are short but strong and the chest is broad. The tail of the British Shorthair is shorter than most other breeds in addition to being quite thick. The eyes are large and round and can be either copper or gold. The nose of this cat is shortened sort of like a Persian.

The coat of the British Shorthair should be dense and soft, feeling very like a thick pile carpet. The beautiful blue coat is the most common and most desirable in this cat breed, but all other colors are acceptable. The coat doesn't tangle or mat, so this cat requires very little grooming. A quick brush one a week is usually sufficient.

These cats can weight up to eighteen pounds. They are also quite sedentary and prone to gaining weight. You can prevent this by feeding the cat a diet high in protein and talking to your vet about other ways to keep your cat at a healthy weight. Activity can also help, so play with you cat often.

Other than the weight issue, there aren't very many real health problems with this cat. There is a slight medical oddity, but it doesn't affect your cat in any real way. This oddity is the blood type of most British Shorthairs. 40% of all British Shorthairs are blood type B despite this blood type being rare among British moggies (think of a moggie as a mutt, but a cat instead of a dog). It's an oddity, but not an important one.

The Personality of the British Shorthair

British Shorthairs are loyal and affectionate, but they're also aloof. They don't generally like to be carried around and they aren't a natural lap cat. This cat breed can tolerate small children and animals, but they're just as happy to live alone. They don't need a companion cat as many other breeds do. The males tend to be more affectionate while the females are more aloof.

The British Shorthair as a breed makes a good pet for a quieter household. While they can adapt to almost any situation, they prefer a home with quite adults and plenty of space to nap.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Characteristics of the Bombay Cat

The modern Bombay cat came out of a desire for a black cat with eyes as bright as copper pennies. Early efforts at stabilizing these traits were unsuccessful. Success was eventually found in 1965 and the Bombay was granted championship status in 1970 by several associations. From there, the breed continued to spread. Today, it is a common breed among cat fanciers.

The Appearance of the Bombay Cat

A deep, true black is the only acceptable color for the Bombay cat and this breed must have copper-colored eyes (though gold is also acceptable, if less desirable). They're basically like a tiny blank panther. The coat of this cat breed is shiny and bright and needs only a brushing once a week to keep it like this.

Bombays are a medium sized cat with a strong and well muscled body. The head should be round and the eyes should be almost too large for the face. This cat is quick and svelte and fully ready to spring at the slightest provocation.

The Personality of the Bombay Cat

Bombays like to play. They are rather like kittens throughout their entire lives. Inquisitive and easy-going, this breed is one of those likely to meet you at the door when you get home from work. They love to be around people and enjoy a large family. Because they don't do well on their own, you should not leave a Bombay all by itself. If you're away from home all day, you really should consider getting two Bombay cats so they can keep each other company.

This cat gets along with everyone. They are the perfect cat for families with young children and anyone who already has a dog or cat at home. They are adaptable and happy cats and will become a part of any family willing to love them.

Known Health Issues of the Bombay

Because these cats are descended from the Burmese, they share similar health problems. They're carefully bred, but this can sometimes lead to cranial deformities and breathing problems. Bombays are bred for their foreshortened nose, but this can cause wheezing and excessive tearing of the eyes. Not all lines have these problems. Talk to your breeder about health problems in their cats. This will give you an idea of what health problems you might expect.

The Bombay is a fun-loving cat who likes to be with people. If you're looking for a cat who sometimes thinks he's a dog and will sleep on your lap until the sky falls down, you might be looking for a Bombay.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Characteristics of the Birman Cat

The Birman is a cat breed that is medium-large in size with a round head and a stocky build. The feet have white gloves and the back legs have laces extending halfway up. The coat is long, soft, silky, and pointed, but the thickness of the coat will vary according to the season. The coat will generally be fuller in the cooler months and sleeker in the warmer months. Birman cats come in all pointed colors including blue, lilac, seal, and chocolate. The tail, face, paws, and ears are pointed while the body is typically a cream color.

The ears of this cat breed are very wide. Almost as wide as they are tall, actually. The eyes are round and fairly large. They should also be a bright blue, giving the Birman a wide-eyed majesty. The body should be long and sturdy and the tail should balance this body nicely. The legs must be well-muscled and in proportion to the body. Extremely long or short legs are cause for disqualification in the show ring and cats displaying this problem will not be used in breeding programs.

The coat of the Birman cat is not prone to matting, but it needs frequent care just the same. If you own a Birman, you should brush out the coat two or three times a week to prevent matting and other problems. The ears should also be cleaned and excess hair removed from the canal.

If you're looking for a laid back cat who is good with children, you might be looking for a Birman. These cats also get along with other animals most of the time and can peacefully coexist with dogs given a little time to adjust, and can even grow used to farm animals such as horses and sheep. They can also happily be the only pet in the household. They're not picky. Birman cats tend to spend much of their day sleeping and tend to stay out of the way.

They are, however, affectionate cats. Birmans like to know their family loves them. Like the Siamese, the Birman is talkative, but they like a response. If you ignore them, they'll likely stop talking, so engage your feline friend as often as possible.

This is not a breed you can leave at home for days while you're off socializing. Birman cats need stimulation, activity, and time for play. They like toys, but they like people more. They will become bored with nothing to do, and a bored cat is a destructive cat. When not playing or sleeping, the Birman likes to cuddle, so they make a good lap cat.

As a breed, the Birman tends to be fairly healthy with few genetic disorders. There will occasionally be health problems in specific breeding lines, but your breeder should be aware of these and will be able to explain them to you. Most responsible breeders won't breed lines with significant problems, so true health problems in Birman cats are rare.

As a breed, the Birman is sweet and loving. They make great companions for people of all ages and are a wonderful addition to most families.