Saturday, November 26, 2011

American Bobtail Pictures

Three of the best American bobtail pictures that you will see on the Internet. Don't go anywhere else. Hang around!

Although the name and appearance gives the impression that this cat breed is a wild cat hybrid; it is not. It is just a breed developed from a cat that carried a genetic mutation for a shortened tail. The same thing happened for the Manx on the Isle of Man and for the Kurilian Bobtail - just two examples. There are many random bred, short-tailed cats out there. You'll even see bobtailed Siamese cats in Asia.

Please click on the photographs to see larger versions.

Photo copyright Helmi Flick

American Bobtail "Cher" - Photo copyright Helmi Flick

American Bobtail "Jessee" - Photo copyright Helmi Flick

The American Bobtail is a very pleasant cat. Helmi, the famous photographer who captured this photographs, says she found working with these cats a pleasant experience. They look calm and relaxed. Not all cats in photographic studios in the process of being photographed are calm and cooperative. That is from first hand observation. Helmi's assessment is backed up by Gloria Stephens who wrote Legacy of the Cat. She says that this cat breed is "calm, intelligent and easy-to-live-with". Legacy of the Cat : ISBN 0-8118-2910-3.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Russian Cat Breeds

Russian Blue, Kurilian Bobtail and Siberian cat; all three come to mind when I think of Russian cat breeds. By Russian cat breed we mean that the breed originated in Russia. I say this because cat breeds become international eventually. All three, or at least the Russian Blue and Siberian are bred in the USA and Europe. There is a fourth, a fairly rare cat breed: the Donsky (AKA Don Sphynx), the Russian hairless cat. It is recognised in America by TICA but better known in Europe.

Russian Blue

The Russian Blue is a well known and popular cat breed. It is in the top ten most popular in my opinion. It is a slender, elegant breed of a single color, blue-grey. At least it was. Some breeders would like to see this cat in other colors including black, white and pointed. I cannot understand that. How can a Russian Blue be white? The body is called "foreign type" in cat fancy language. The Russian Blue was not always a slender cat. Originally, they were cobby (stocky). This is to be expected as the cat must have been random bred originally. The slender appearance is due to selective breeding.

The eyes are always green. The cat has a subtle smile. They originate, it is said, from the port of Archangel, which is on the north coast of Russia not far from Finland. The first informal exports of this cat where to England in the mid-1800s on ships from the port.

See and read more: Russian Blue cat.

Kurilian Bobtail

This is a rare cat and little known. The breed tends not to be listed in books on the cat breeds. The breed originates in the Kuril Islands. This is a chain of islands off the east coast of Russia and north of Japan. The sovereignty of the islands is disputed by Japan and Russia so this cat is perhaps half Russian and half Japanese! There is a link between the Kurilian Bobtail and the Japanese Bobtail. Did the former become the latter in Japan? It is possible. They could be the same cat fundamentally. The Russians claimed the breed and it is registered with Russian cat association(s).

Read more: Kurilian Bobtail.

Siberian cat

The Siberian is well known. There is a similarity between the Norwegian Forest Cat, the Maine Coon and this breed. There may be a connection in terms of origin too. Sometimes referred to as the Siberian Forest Cat. As Siberia is in the east of Russia, this is a Russian cat breed. Siberia is known for harsh weather so it is no surprise that this cat has a thick triple coat and a solid chunky (cobby) appearance. The Siberian is registered with a number of Russian cat associations including the All-Russian Cat Club. I suspect that the Russian Siberian cat is a better cat than those breed in the USA or Europe.

Read more: Siberian cat.


This is a selectively bred mutated random bred cat originating in the European part of Russia and discovered in 1987. The North American counterpart is the better known Sphynx. Read more.


If I was considering buying one of these four cats, I would seriously consider going online to a Russian breeder of quality. I am sure most ship cats internationally. The only downside is that you cannot inspect the facilities and that is important.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Manx Cat Personality

The Manx is "mellow and even tempered"2. Manx cat personality also covers the Cymric, the long haired Manx. This a playful cat. The Manx likes high vantage points and can get to them with its powerful hindquarters. This is a cat that tends to be loyal to one person and possible a little aloof to others. The Manx, therefore makes an excellent companion to a single person3.
Manx cat - photo copyright Helmi Flick

The Manx is intelligent and trainable, they say. They are not particularly vocal and tend to prefer a relationship with one person, confirming the above. Manx cats will have varying tail lengths and the the tail lengths that are described as "stumpies" and "longies" are claimed to make the best companions.1


(1) Medical, Genetic & Behavioral Aspects of Purebred Cats ISBN 0-9634124-0-X

(2) The Encyclopedia of the Cat ISBN 978-1-4053-2149-5

(3) Legacy of the Cat 2nd Ed. ISBN 0-8118-2910-3

The photo on this page is protected by copyright ©. Violations of copyright are reported to (DMCA). Sorry.

Bengal Cat Peeing Everywhere

This has to be caused by stress or illness if the cat is litter trained and neutered or spayed, although cats will sometimes mark territory inside a home but that might be triggered by stress.

As to stress this might be caused by separation anxiety - the cat being left alone too long. If a Bengal cat is simply jumping onto your bed while you are out and peeing on it, I think this is a form of exaggerated scent exchange. The cat is making the surroundings more friendly to feel less stressed. Spraying to mark territory involves the cat projecting urine on vertical surfaces.

Bengal cat jumping. Bengals need activity.
Photo by Nacho y Adriana

As to illness, urinary tract infections are pretty commonplace and cystitis, for example, can cause a cat to want to urinate frequently leaving small drops in strange places.  The urine may be bloody. You can see this. The difference is that the cat leaves small amounts whereas peeing on the bed due to stress will probably be full blown peeing. The bed might be chosen because it is the one item in the house that most smells of the cat's human caretaker.

The answer is to check for health first and then ask, "what am I doing to stress out my cat?" Bengal cats are intelligent and active. Keeping a Bengal cat in an apartment could cause stress as they are not a suitable cat breed for confined living.

How do cats get ear mites?

ANSWER: From another animals and that includes us, it seems. Ear mites are highly contagious and they are not host specific. This means that ear mites don't mind what animal they infest. We are a species of animal as far the ear mite is concerned. People don't like being called an animal but that is not relevant to this discussion.

Normally cats will get ear mites from other cats, rabbits, ferrets and dogs in and around the household. If they are outside/inside cats they might get them from a wild animal or stray and feral cats.

Ear mite100x magnification - Photo by Animal Kingdom Pet Hospital

I have heard that full-time indoor cats can get ear mites which begs the question: how? As the ear mite is a parasite living in the ear and on the body of an animal they could, it seems to me, transfer to us temporarily if we make contact with an animal outside the home. We then walk them inside.

Because the ear mite is highly contagious, when treating a cat for ear mites, other companion animals in the household should be treated to the same standard. Ear mites are very irritating to a cat. The signs are head shaking and scratching. The scratching may cause bleeding and loss of hair. It needs to be dealt with promptly.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Siamese Cat Personality

The Siamese cat personality is almost as well known as its appearance. The Siamese is a very well known cat breed due to the breed's long history, early entry into the cat fancy and pointed appearance.

I'll quote four reliable sources on personality and character. Siamese cats are popular because they are energetic, playful, vocal and very sociable¹. The Siamese is known for its demanding attention seeking. The Siamese cat's voice is special. It can be loud and can have a demanding tone but this is what is attractive about this breed; you get plenty of interaction. The voice gets your attention, the object of the exercise. The Siamese cat's meow merges into a yowl.

Siamese cat in Siam - by xiffy

The Siamese cat is "an overly energetic, affectionate animal"². It is an intelligent cat and dog-like. You can leash train this cat. Siamese cats spray less than other breeds. The Siamese has a tendency towards wool sucking. It is known for this behavior. It usually lasts until sexual maturity but can continue for longer².

The Siamese cat personality is one of a "gregarious and chatty nature"³. Dr. Fogle also describes the Siamese as "energetically enterprising"³.

Please remember that associated breeds: Balinese (long haired Siamese), Oriental Shorthair and Longhair (modern Siamese with a range of coat types) have similar personalities. They are vocal "to the point of loudness"4. They like to sit on their human companion's lap or pillow! They are inquisitive and demanding but will be happy if you interact a lot.

(1) The Cat, Its Behavior, Nutrition & Health ISBN 978-0-8138-0331-9

(2) Medical, Genetic & Behavioral Aspects of Purebred Cats ISBN 0-9634124-0-X

(3) The Encyclopedia of the Cat ISBN 978-1-4053-2149-5

(4) Legacy of the Cat 2nd Ed. ISBN 0-8118-2910-3

How can cats jump so high?

ANSWER: Because the cat has a combination of fast-acting muscles and a specialized skeleton. The cat's muscles consist mainly of "fast-twitch fatiguing" cells. They work fast but tire quickly. These powerful fast acting muscles give the cat the ability to jump to incredible heights relative to body size. The cat however has relatively few "fast-twitch fatigue resistant" muscles. The cat is a sprinter not an endurance runner.

The cat's skeleton has evolved for bursts of speed and agility. The spine is supple. The legs are slender and strong. The long limbs provide excellent leverage. Cats are digitigrades - walking on their toes. The "feet" are long adding to leverage. The longer limbed, more slender cats with long tails for balance are the better climbers. The margay is the top of its class. Below is a short video of Magic jumping. She is slender (less weight relative to size) with long limbs providing excellent leverage. Her father is a serval. The serval has the longest leg length to body size of all the cats, wild and domestic.

Live Kittens Fed to Snakes

Yes, live kittens are fed to snakes as a regular diet. Sounds gruesome. Do we care? This has been brought to my notice by Gahame, a regular visitor of PoC. He picked it up on the internet. People advertise "kitten free to good home" and Mr Macho Man with his large snakes rings up...that is it. He convinces the irresponsible cat owner who has allowed her cat to breed that he is a suitable candidate to provide loving lifetime care for this little vulnerable kitten. As soon as he has collected the kitten and returned home, he joyously chucks it into the snake's enclose and watches. You know, kittens put up less of a struggle than puppies which makes them popular with these horrible people. But puppies are used as well.

I seems that the normal snake food is raw prey type food that has been bred, pre-killed and frozen and then sold (mice, rats, rabbits etc.). But for some people this sort of food is not good enough. It has to be live for these macho monsters and Craigslist is an excellent source as it is probably the world's largest, online, free advertising agency.

There are probably lots of ads for cats on Graigslist although I read somewhere that at one time they prohibited the advertising of cats on their website. Is this still the case or have they relaxed their rules? Graiglist is a USA based website. This problem seems to be more prevalent in the USA than elsewhere. Americans do have a penchant for keeping exotic pets. This includes tigers etc. See Joe Exotic's story.

In the UK it would have to be animal cruelty under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to fed live kittens to snakes as it must cause unnecessary suffering.

The whole thing disgusts me. But the snake owner will say, what is the problem? There are too many cats without homes that have to be killed at cat shelters because no one wants them. And live mice are fed to snakes and it seems few people find that objectionable. We eat rabbits, cows and sheep etc. What do you think? Please leave a comment.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How many cats in the UK?

From 7,200,000 to 10,300,000 at about 2007 is the number of domestic cats in the UK. The point is we don't know an exact figure because no one is counting! These are estimates and as you can see the figures relate to four years ago (today's date: 23rd Nov. 2011). There is a general slow climb in the numbers of cats and dogs as the population increases in the UK. Therefore the figures will be slightly higher for 2011.

There are an almost equal number of dogs in the UK. The general view is that there is a similar number of feral cats as domestic cats I don't believe that is the case in the UK. In the USA it is probably true that there are similar numbers of feral and domestic cats (about 80m each).

The figure of 7.2 million comes from a research document entitled: Number and ownership profiles of cats and dogs in the UK by J. K. Murray et al from Department of Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Langford House, Langford, Bristol BS40 5D.

The 10.3 million figure comes from Pet Food Manufacturers Association - PFMA. You can see a page on Ownership of Cats in the UK.

How many cats die a day?

144,000 cats die each day in the world. 14,600 die a day in the USA and 1,800 die a day in the UK. These are my estimates based on average lifespans. They are for domestic cats (not including feral and stray cats) for the USA and UK and for the world the figure is for both feral and domestic. Wild cat deaths would not make a significant difference to these figures as the proportion of wildcats to domestic cats is small.

These figures have not taken into account the approximate 1 million domestic cats (i.e. not feral) cats that are deliberately killed each year at shelters nor the cats shot and abused. Factor that in and the figures will be higher by a considerable percentage.

 The calculation is based on this model: If there were 15 cats in the world and all fifteen where born on separate years and all the cats had a lifespan on 15 years, one cat would die per year which is one-fifteenth (6.67%) of the total. So 6.67% of all cats die per year. If you find fault in that please tell me in a comment and I will correct the maths. The figures are set out in the spreadsheet below:

The figures above are for natural deaths with an average age of 15 years. If we recalculate for feral cats at an average life span of say 4 years we get these figures: 54,000 feral cats per day die in the USA, 6,800 die a day in the UK and 205,000 die a day in the world.

Wild Cats of Southeast Asia

A list of wild cats whose range is in Southeast Asia. The wild cats are: tiger, leopard, Asiatic golden cat, fishing cat, jungle cat, bay cat, leopard cat, marbled cat, flat-headed cat, in descending order of size and weight. The spreadsheet below also shows a range map and there are links to more information about the individual cat species. Please go to the wild cat species page for more on wildcats.

Selected associated pages:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Domestic Cats with Spots

The Savannah, Bengal and Egyptian Mau are three domestic cat breeds with spots. The first two are wild cat hybrids. The third is not. The Egyptian Mau is said to have descended from the African wildcat and is the only naturally spotted cat, it is claimed.

The spots on the Bengal cat are both pure spots and rosettes. Rosettes are broken spots of various types e.g. donuts (doughnuts) and arrow heads.

The Savannah cat has the purest of spots in my opinion as the wild cat ancestor is a serval and that wildcat has pure (meaning simple and direct) black/dark brown spots. The wild cat ancestor of the Bengal cat is the Asian leopard cat, which has a slightly more elaborate spotted coat.

There are other cat breeds that have spots. An example is the rare Serengeti cat.

Many other cat breeds have are allowed by the cat associations to have a spotted coat. These spotted coats are of various types. Just as an example, the picture below by Helmi Flick, shows a Exotic Shorthair with a cream spotted coat. See more spotted tabby cats and other types of tabby cat on this page.

Photo copyright Helmi Flick

Of the random bred cats both feral and domestic, the tabby cat has spots. There are three types of tabby cat: classic, mackerel (striped) and spotted. The tabby cat is probably the most common cat coat type. The tabby cat is not a breed as you probably know.

DSH (domestic short hair) spotted tabby cat
Photo by Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue

The photo of the Exotic Shorthair cat on this page is protected by copyright. Violations of copyright are reported to (DMCA) - sorry.

Ocelot Pictures and Facts

The ocelot has been badly persecuted by humankind because of its coat (pelt) which as you can see in the camera trap photographs below is stunning. This is a very high contrast, heavily patterned cat coat that far exceeds anything seen on domestic cats. Heavy commercial trade in its pelt stopped some time ago but illegal poaching exists. The major threat now (2011) is habitat loss, fragmented habitat and retaliatory killing by farmers.

The ocelot is a medium sized wild cat. For Americans it is about the size of the American bobcat (the most widely distributed wild cat in the US, incidentally). The ocelot weighs around 8 to 10 kgs normally. Some are larger. The tail is short and the ears are rounded.The fur of this stunning coat lies close to the body as you can see in the photos. The coat looks as if it was painted on.

Ocelot - photo copyright Fundacion Jocotoco

These are camera trap photos by worldandtrust on Flickr. The photographs have been improved substantially by me and amalgamated. At the time of publication on this page the photographer is yet to grant permission as they are not licensed for general use under creative commons (26th Nov. 2011 - permission granted - thank you).

The background color varies between tawny yellow to gray. The spots join up in some areas to form lines. As is usual for wildcats the undersides are white. The tail has well delineated black bands on the top surface. It is possible to confuse the ocelot with the smaller margay. The margay has a longer tail and is about half the weight of the ocelot.

The ocelot's habitat is found in southern Texas (as at 2002 - are they still there?), the coastal areas of Mexico and Central and South America - see range map.

The ocelot lives in a variety of habitats including tropical forests, dry thorn forest, mangrove and flooded savanna. Often the ocelot shares its habitat with the jaguar (much larger), puma, margay, oncilla and jaguarundi.

The ocelot hunts on the ground but is a highly skilled tree climber and jumper. Ocelots feed mainly on mammals such as possums, mice and rats. Prey is usually about one tenth of the size of the cat.

The ocelot is a solitary animal. The species is ranked as Least Concern by the Red List. This means it is not currently (2011) threatened with extinction. One positive factor is that it is adaptable to human settlement and activity.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Propylene Glycol and Cats

There are two strange aspects in respect of the use of propylene glycol that concerns the domestic cat.

Firstly, this chemical is an alternative to ethylene glycol antifreeze, which is highly toxic to cats and which causes the death of thousands of cats every year. Almost 90% of animals that consume anti-freeze die. Propylene is less toxic.

So why hasn't propylene glycol replaced ethylene glycol many years ago? It must be about cost and a disregard for companion animals by the manufacturers combined with a lack of knowledge with respect to pet owners. It seems extraordinary to me that anti-freeze for cars cannot be made non-toxic to cats while keeping the price the same. There is just a lack of will to do it.

There is another very odd feature of propylene glycol. Apparently it is a common pet food ingredient! Yes, the manufacturers put it in pet food as a moistening agent. It is found in semi-moist pet food. Apparently it is approved for use in dog food ("generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) in the USA). Approval will be country specific, meaning in certain countries it will be approved while in others it might not be. Propylene glycol is said to destroy red blood cells. Apparently veterinary research indicates that it is toxic to dogs. There seems to be a conflict in respect of scientific information. How is it approved for dog food and toxic at the same time?

However, propylene glycol is not allowed to be used in cat food. I presume this means in the USA. It is deemed unsafe for a cat to ingest the chemical when an ingredient in cat food. So how is it safe for cats as an anti-freeze where it would be in larger quantities?

It looks chaotic to me. One thing is clear. Big business cares more about profit than the long term health of cats or dogs.

Why aren't cats mentioned in the bible?

A cat is mentioned in the bible: the lion. So it is incorrect to say that cats are not mentioned in the bible.

The "Lion of the tribe of Judah" is mentioned at New Testament Book of Revelation 5:5. The lion of Judah was a reference to Jesus.

However, at that time the lion was commonplace in Palestine. So it was used as a symbol of strength etc. Of course the lion was gradually extirpated (completely destroyed) from this region and only exists now in parts of Africa and there is a small colony in northeast India.

I don't think it is significant that domestic cats are not mentioned in the bible. The domestic and semi-domestic cat had no significance to the authors of the bible. Other animals are not mentioned either. One author says that the Egyptians were distrusted by the Israelites and the Egyptians had a good relationship with domestic cats so Israelites hated cats. I am not sure about that. The bible was written hundreds of years after the event.

Why are domestic cats the same size?

Domestic cats are usually of a similar size (with some exceptions) because all of them, except the wild cat hybrids, originally come from the the Eurasian and/or African wildcats. These are both small wildcats that still look like domestic cats.

They were domesticated about 9 to 5 thousand years ago and nothing has really changed that much to change the size of the domestic cat since. There has been some development in selectively breeding for size in the larger domestic cats such as the Maine Coon. But the Singapura is a small domestic cat which is less than half the size of the Maine Coon. So it is not quite right to say that domestic cats are the same size.

The only big changes in domestic cat size have been in respect of the creation and development of wildcat hybrids. This entails crossing a domestic cat with a medium sized wild cat, the serval, in the case of the Savannah cat. When you introduce a fairly large cat, the serval, into the breeding program you will get at first generation (the offspring of the serval father and domestic cat mother) a very large domestic cat. The safari cat is another example.

The well known Magic, a first filial Savannah cat and the world's largest domestic, is the classic example.

Associated page: Largest Domestic Cat Breed

American Shorthair Cat Personality

Easy going¹, docile and quiet, adaptable to their surroundings and accepting of other pets², the American Shorthair is suited to apartment living. This breed is undemanding and they tend not to get upset under circumstances that might upset other cats. They are good with children and adults³.

This is laid back cat with a long history going back as far as the history of the Maine Coon. It is perhaps the shorthaired equivalent of the American cat, the Maine Coon.

The American Shorthair comes from good old British moggie stock if you believe the story that they originate in shorthaired ships cats from England landing on the east coast of American in the early 1600s.

Note: (1) Encyclopedia of the Cat (2) Medical, Genetic & Behavioral Aspects of Purebred Cats, (3) Legacy of the Cat.

American Bobtail Personality

by torbakhopper
Calm, intelligent and easy going, the American bobtail is a newish breed of cat so says Gloria Stephens in Legacy of the Cat (ISBN 0-8118-2910-3). This cat breed has also been described as friendly and inquisitive¹.

These are rather generic terms as most domestic cats are like this. Animal Planet states that this is a new or experimental breed and remarks that it is a developing breed. They say that the American bobtail is playful and friendly. This is quite an active and people orientated cat breed.

The America bobtail started in the 1960s so there was a long period of acceptance. This is not a wildcat hybrid, which has an influence of the personality of this cat breed.

I tend to pair this cat breed with the Pixie-bob, rightly or wrongly and the Pixie-bob is a very nice child friendly cat.

Note: (1) Encyclopedia of the Cat ISBN 978-1-4053-2149-5

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cost of keeping a cat?

The cost of keeping a cat over the lifetime of the cat assuming that you have pet insurance and buy decent quality cat food, use cat litter and provide to a good level will be in the order of $10,000 - $20,000 (USD). USD (American dollars) can be converted to the same figures in the UK as sterling (GPD) as things are cheaper in the USA and the UK is a rip off country. For other countries a normal currency conversion will be about correct.

Of course it depends on many factors. The biggest is what quality of care you provide. A lot of people try and steer clear of the vet! Too expensive. I am sure some people cause a cat's death because of this. That will obviously reduce the lifetime's cost because the life is shortened.

Also it depends of the cat's lifespan. Some say that purebred cats live shorter lives than random bred cats. In general this is true. The average for a purebred might be around 12-15 years while for a moggie it might be around 15-20 years, all things being equal.

It might be arguable that keeping a black moggie is the cheapest type of domestic cat to keep. Black cats are healthier than other cats and so are moggies because of genetic diversity. The gene that makes a cat black aids in disease prevention. That's a little tip!

It is a lot cheaper in India. See also pet care costs.

Amazing Cat Facts

There are many amazing cat facts. Some of the most amazing relate to the cat's senses and skills. For example, if humans had eyes of a comparable size to those of the cat they would be 8 inches in diameter. The cat's eyes are 6 times more sensitive to low level light than ours.. This allows the cat to hunt at dawn and dusk, the domestic cat's preferred times. Here is  a poster that sets out some general amazing cat facts.

Poster by Ruth

A cat's whiskers are so sensitive they can detect air currents. Cats can detect the beginning of an earthquake! It is not known how this happens but cats have acute senses. Kathy gives an example of ow her cat predicted the Illinois earthquake: My Cat Sensed Forthcoming Illinois Earthquake.

Read about some amazing cat facts to do with a cat's senses. Cats can predict death. Remember Oscar?

There so many cat facts pages on PoC I had forgotten about them until I searched! Here is one: 50 cat facts.

Americans spend $5 billion on holiday presents on their cat and dog companions. Read lots more Crazy Facts About Pet Ownership. The world's largest domestic cat is Magic:

How many cat breeds are currently recognized?

It depends on the cat association. By "recognized" you mean recognized by a cat association. There are many cat associations. They have their own ways of working. They accept and recognize different cat breeds and even categorize cat breeds differently. Although there is a central core of cat breeds that are universally recognized.

In answer therefore to the question, "How many cat breeds are currently recognized?" you have to check the cat associations. Cat associations also categorize cat breeds into different levels. The largest, the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) recognize 43 cat breeds as far as I can tell. The International Cat Association (TICA), at championship level, recognize 56 cat breeds .  The other categories at TICA are as follows:

  • Non Championship Breeds - 2
  • Advanced New Breeds - 4
  • Preliminary New Breeds - 8
These figures are correct at the date of this post (Nov 2011). The situation changes slightly over time mainly because new breeds are developed or sometimes the categorization is amended.

The premier cat association in the UK - GCCF - have a different method of categorising cat breeds. Overall there are over 100 cat breeds as some are on the fringes and rare - 104 are shown in the video below but not all are recognised. There are many more dog breeds. See a cat breed quiz.

Top Cat Breeds for Children

This post has been moved, upgraded and republished on the main site here:

Cat Breeds For Kids

Sorry to redirect you.

Why do cats knock things off tables?

Answer: because it is there! Cats like to push small objects around. It is part of their nature. They are probably, initially, checking to see if it is alive! And the fact that the object is on a desk is neither here not there. A cat will push it off because of a lack of space on a desk. In addition a cat might deliberately push it over the edge to see what happens.

Cats don't have the same culture of possession of things as humans. They do not have the concept of ownership and they have no use for possessions.

If the object falls and breaks, so what? Cats do occasionally knock things over to get attention. This would seem to be a learned process. At first he did it and you came running. He did it again and you came running. By this time you have been trained. Nice for the cat as he gets attention that he may be lacking.

This is not malicious behavior by the cat because for the cat the object has no value and he has no concept of the value of your time in dealing with it either.

Pictures Of Top Five Cat Breeds

I have made up my mind about the top cat breeds. I have first class pictures of them. Here is the top six cat breeds in no particular order but my choice for the top breed is the Maine Coon. Yes, I decided to add one more...

Maine Coon cat - copyright Helmi Flick

Pictured: Best of Breed GC, BW, NW TABBEYRD MR KITE OF COONSKIN, Brown Tabby & White Maine Coon Male. As mentiond, I say the Maine Coon is the single most popular purebred cat. If not it is in the top five at least. I think everyone will agree with that. The MC is a large, pleasant long haired cat that is not particularly a lap cat but loyal and a good companion.

Bengal cat - copyright Helmi Flick

Active, intelligent cat with a very glamorous wildcat coat. The rosetted golden/brown you see here is the classic appearance but there are many other coat types including the blingy, high contrast silvers. Bengal cats for more. This is a wildcat hybrid but the cats that you will probably see are fifth generation from the wild and will not look very wild!

Ragdoll cat - photo by Dani

The Ragdoll is a large, very popular cat ideal for indoor living it is said but all cats are individuals and the well advertised laid back nature of this cat is a bit over played I suspect. It has all the attributes of a modern desirable purebred cat.

Traditional Persian - orange - Photo: Dani

Traditional Orange (Solid Red) Persian Cat Faolán - photograph copyright Dani Rozeboom - to see more on this cat go to this page and to see a page on Persian cats. The traditional Persian is more popular than the flat faced ultra Persian

Abyssinian Cat photo ©key lime pie (Anna Wiz)

This clever and athletic cat that gets your attention has to be in the top five purebred cat breeds. This cat is famous for its ticked coat. This photograph shows that well. I think this cat is a Ruddy or what breeders call "Usual". There are other coat types including; red, blue fawn and lilac.

Siamese cat - classic conformation.
Photo: by Brett Jordan

We have to include this famous cat breed that is still very popular. It has a long history and it has been selectively bred into three groups: Thai, traditional and modern. The traditional is best. Read more.

Purebred Cats in Bad Economic Times

I think it is time to think whether the breeding of purebred cats in bad economic times is morally correct. That sounds tough and a bit near the bone 2011 things are very bad in Europe and the US economically. And it will get worse in the Europe at least. If Europe is bad then the US must suffer somewhat because of trade links.

In these very difficult, in fact, scary times, it is time to pull together and do the right thing. That means going back to old values. In former times people saved and put money aside if they wanted to buy something. People worked hard and had what we consider a work ethic.  People were patient. Today it is all about instant gratification. It has been that way for 10-20 years and we are paying the price in a slow motion train wreck as it hits the buffers of reality. We can't borrow any more money. It has to stop. That will bring uncomfortable times for many years while we wean ourselves of the fiction of life that comes with borrowing money we cannot afford to pay back. And I am talking about individuals and nations.

In times gone by we did not have purebred cats. Before about 1900 purebred cats were extremely rare. When we had a cat it was moggie and we knew of nothing else. Let us return to those times. It will be good for the cat because it is wrong to kill perfectly healthy random bred cats while breeding purebred cats. Especially purebred cats that are overbred and intrinsically unhealthy. If we as people pull together we should include our cats. Too many are needlessly killed at cat shelters.

I am not criticizing cat breeders. People have their rights. I have my right of freedom of speech.

Most Popular Cat Breeds

Don't assess the most popular cat breeds by the number of registered cats at cat associations. This is how some websites do it. All you are doing is counting the number of purebred cats at a certain cat association in the USA. The CFA says that the Persian is the most registered cat and therefore the most popular. This would be the flat-faced Persian. This is the modern unhealthy Persian (sorry about that). Counting registrations under those circumstances does not necessarily translate to popularity.

Does that mean that the Persian is more popular than the Maine Coon or Siamese? No it does not. I don't think it is possible to say that. The Maine Coon is a much better purebred cat than the contemporary Persian. The contemporary Persian was the most popular cat breed say 10-15 years ago but things have changed.

This is because people are concerned with a cat's health partly because it costs more to look after a cat that is prone to illness and the Persian is more prone to illness than the Maine Coon.

Another factor which is ignored is that the Persian comes in two varieties: the modern flat-faced and the traditional. I would argue that on a world wide basis the traditional Persian is more popular than the modern Persian (75% prefer the traditional). And you have to factor this in if you are answering the question, "what are the most popular cat breeds?" You have to think worldwide, not just America. It seems that websites answer the question on what is the most popular cat breed with the American people. Wrong. Remember the CFA is an exclusively USA cat association. It cannot measure cat breed popularity world wide. And there are lots of purebred cats in place other than the almighty USA.

So, people like Jennifer Copley of suite101 get it wrong. They provide the simplistic answer based on CFA registrations and people think it is correct.

The only way you can find out what is the most popular cat breed is by asking people in a large survey. And I have done that. The result is as set out below:
Most popular cat breeds

Even my survey is not necessarily going to be perfect because about 38% of visitorswho have voted are Americans. Although my site has a a true world audience.

The modern cat caretaker (2011) will find these cats in the top 6 of all cat breeds:
  1. Maine Coon
  2. Siamese
  3. Persian
  4. Bengal
  5. Ragdoll
  6. Abyssinian
They are not necessarily in that order.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Why do cats sleep in their litter box?

Cats sleep in their litter boxes to feel more secure and less anxious. This is because the litter smells of them. It creates a comfort zone. Cats might sleep on the litter itself or near the litter. I have seen this at cat shows. Show cats can become anxious, particularly cats new to the scene. Breeders sometimes put curtains and cloths in the and around the cage. Show cats might burrow into the cloth in the cage to hide or sleep on the litter in the cage. Breeders have small litter trays in the large show cat cages.

Grey tabby British Shorthair show cat sleeping on grey litter at a cat show
British Shorthair grey tabby show cat at a show sleeping on grey litter. Photo: Michael

When I introduced my three-legged boy cat, Charlie, to the household, my elderly lady cat used to sleep by the litter tray or occasionally in it until she became more settled with Charlie's presence.

Fat cats are cheaper than slim cats

It is hard to place a value on the non-purebred domestic cat. The only way is to check out the charges for adoption at cat shelters. This is not really a price for a cat or a value of the cat but it is as near as we can get.

The Capital Area Humane Society in Hilliard, Ohio, charges less if you adopt a fat cat than a normal sized cat. They even do a buy 2 get one free type promo!

The normal "price" is $70. Fat cats can be adopted for $15, a substantial saving. And two fat cat adoptions are priced at $20.

I praise them for this idea as it might save lives. However, the promotion shows that people don't like fat cats unless they are in videos and world champions!

There is also the important factor of health maintenance. Fat cats will normally cost more to maintain in respect of health. The extra cost will wipe out that precious $55 saving on "purchase"!

Associated page: Claus - World's Fattest Cat 1950

Signs of thiamine deficiency in cats

Problems with balance are signs of thiamine deficiency in cats, which is caused by an unbalanced diet. There is a nice symmetry in that statement. Your cat might fall over or in trying to stay upright will crouch low to the ground while walking. Or, for example, your cat might lean against a wall for support. Seizures frequently accompany thiamine deficiency. If the cat is lifted up his or her head might drop to the chest.

Typical unbalanced diets causing thiamine deficiency are raw fish diets (in excess) that destroys thiamine which is vitamin B1.

The cure is to reverse the cause of the problem, namely to revert to a balanced diet and to administer injections for thiamine if recommended by your veterinarian.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Is the Manx cat long haired?

Manx  - photo copyright Helmi Flick

No. The long haired version of the Manx is the Cymric a different cat breed. The Manx has a shorthaired coat that is double layered and extremely thick and plush. The adds to the compact appearance of this cat breed.

The Cymric has a semi-longhaired coat that is silky textured and soft, with a "well padded quality" (1). The undercoat is thick and close.

Note (1): Legacy of the Cat by Gloria Stephens - ISBN 0-8118-2910-3

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Is the Maine Coon the world's largest cat?

No it is not. In respect of domestic cats the Maine Coon is the largest purely domestic cat breed. It is smaller than F1 wild cat hybrids such as the F1 Savannah and F1 Safari cats.

In terms of wildcats the world's largest cat will be a liger, a tiger/lion hybrid. This is a cat that was "manufactured". Of the natural wild cats the world's largest is the Siberian tiger.

The Maine Coon is a tiny fraction the size of a tiger. It is probably the second largest domestic cat after the F1 Savannah. The world's certified (Guinness World Records) largest individual domestic cat is Magic a female F1 Savannah cat.

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