Monday, July 14, 2014

Hybrid Cat Breeds: The Highlander

Some breeds are newer than others, and the Highlander is one of the newest of them all. This hybrid cat breed can trace its roots only to 2004, but the cats chosen to initiate this new breed were not of any specific existing breed. Instead, individual cats were chosen based on their physical traits. Because the breed is so new, it is only recognized by a handful of associations as a preliminary or new breed. The International Cat Association (TICA) acknowledged the Highlander in 2008, but this breed has not yet gained wide acceptance.

The most defining characteristic of the Highlander is the ears. They feature a loose curl in the top third of the ear. The curl is similar to the American Curl, and yet distinct enough to set the Highlander apart from the more established breeds. The ears are placed high atop the head and are wide and open at the base.

Highlanders come in both long and short hair varieties, and any an all coat colors and patterns are acceptable. The long hair variety should be groomed at least twice a week to avoid matting while cats with shorter hair should be groomed twice a week, just like most other breeds. The coat is typically soft and might even feel silky.

The rest of the cat is strong and substantial. The forehead is sloped while the nose and muzzle have a squared appearance. Eyes are very much like slightly flattened ovals, giving this cat breed an intense and almost intimidating stare. The body should be large and muscular, almost reminiscent of a wild lynx or even a bobcat. The tail is short, usually about an inch, but this is natural and not the result of docking. The tail, which may have kinks or curls, is highly expressive. Some Highlanders will even wag their tail very much like a dog.

But make no mistake--they are cats through and through, right down to the way they play. Highlanders are clowns at heart and can often be found chasing their own tails or waiting behind a curtain to pounce on an unsuspecting human (or fellow feline, or canine, it doesn't seem to matter). These cats love humans, so expect to be met at the door, tail held high, even if you've only been gone for five minutes. These cats love to indulge in antics that have the appearance of insanity.

This friendly cat is great with children, is able to live with other animals, and adapts easily to most living situations. If you're looking for a cat with a playful personality and a unique appearance, the Highlander might be for you.

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