Monday, January 30, 2012

Ugly Cat Picture

The ugly cat picture is one of the many internet cults along the lines of the cheeseburger LOL pics. Many people like them but the cult is dying. Personally I don't like them. Sorry to be a killjoy. I just see either a sick cat, or a wet cat or a photoshopped cat or a badly bred cat with no future.

Ugly cat Yoda
Uglly cat Yoda. Image in public domain

I don't know a thing about Yoda except this: he is bloody ugly. But what a shame. Someone created him. Shame on them. I feel sorry for Yoda. Although he does not feel sorry for himself as ugliness is a human concept. He appears to be a cat breeding nightmare mistake as nearly all ugly cats are. Read on please....

The first picture looks like a modern Siamese cat or an Oriental Shorthair that is patently overbred even for a cat that is already overdone:

Ugly cat? Yes, and because of misplaced selective breeding. Think of the cat. 

Above: I am not sure I would call this cat an ugly cat, actually. More a sad cat. Breeders like to breed large ears and an oriental style face (long). This fella has a very bony long face that looks artificial and the ears are horribly unnatural.

Ugly cat or sick cat?

The cat immediately above looks like a poorly bred orange tabby Exotic Shorthair with tear duct overflow and jaw misalignment. This is a cat that suffers because of irresponsible breeding and to call the cat ugly is unfair. Apparently deformities of the jaw or teeth are a hazard in breeding the Exotic Shorthair. I mention that on this page: Tabby and White Exotic Shorthair Cat. The picture below is another horrible mess of an attempt to breed a flat faced cat, probably the modern Persian. Madness. We don't see these failed attempts do we?

Badly bred Persian with jaw misalignment and tear duct overflow and more I suspect. A mess.

Ugly cat - yes I agree

Looks like a hairless cat that went wrong. Picture in public domain

The 4th and 5th of this fivesome are genuinely ugly. The 4th one is a very peculiar looking cat. The picture looks genuine. There are elements of the face that indicates that this cat is meant to be a Sphynx or a Peterbald (with a brush coat). But who knows? This cat could just be one of those anomalies. The hair is very thin so it might be hairless on a seasonal basis. He appears to have been in a fight as he has a scar on the nose. I could say the same about the 5th and last cat. A mess of a human creation. Botchy humans at the cat's expense.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Japanese Bobtail Photo

This is an interesting Japanese Bobtail photo. I have edited the photograph a little and added some text but essentially it is as taken.

Japanese Bobtail

The picture is licensed for use under creative commons - an attribution non-commercial license that allows the image to be edited.  This site earns some money (not much!) from Google AdSense, some of which is given to cat charities, the remainder is for site maintenance. I hope therefore that I have satisfactorily complied with the license. If not please tell me.

This is a nice Japanese Bobtail picture. This cat does have eyes by the way! It is just published a little dark which hides the eyes which is why the picture is interesting together with the pattern of the fur.

I don't know if this cat is a purebred cat. I have a slight hunch that he or she is not purebred because the face is not what I expect from a purebred Japanese Bobtail. But who cares? Nice cat, nice pic. See some professional Japanese Bobtail pictures.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Picture of a cat watching in silhouette

Original photo by Jo Jakeman - creative commons license

Domestic cats can spend endless hours in the dusk watching and waiting. The domestic cat likes to watch at dusk. They might be under a tree or on a roof, both places are safe. When prey arrives it will wait before pouncing. The attack has to have the highest probability of success. Cats have poor color vision and see less detail than humans but can see movement better and can see much better under dark conditions.

Picture of a white cat against a white background

White on white, into the white - Photo copyright fofurasfelinas

Into the white certainly. This is a white on white picture. A cute white cat, a young cat as far as I can tell, on a white or off-white background. Brilliant gold or copper eyes compliment the whole.

Giane Portal is the photographer. She lives in Brazil and takes some of the best cat photographs on the internet. Spread the word if you like pictures of cats.

This beautiful cat's name is Sakura and the photograph was taken a day after she underwent surgery. Cats are very robust and uncomplaining creatures.

Picture of a cat playing hide and seek

Picture of a cat playing hide and seek - photo copyright fofurasfelinas

Brilliant photo. Charming cat. An image that is in almost perfect symmetry and balance just like cats themselves. Giane Portal is very expert and getting cats to position themselves in places and in positions that are photogenic. This picture is no exception. The cat is in Brazil and is a red (orange) and white bicolor tabby by the look of it. The picture, please note, is copyright protected. This is one of a series of photographs she calls, "into the white" because of the clean white background.

Anxious Tabby Cat Picture

Tabby cat in Brazil - Photo copyright fofurasfelinas (Giane Portal)

Fofurasfelinas is one of the best known cat photographers on the internet. This is fine photograph of a slightly anxious little tabby cat with a beautiful classic M mark on the forehead to prove she is tabby. I say "she". Do you think she is female?

Actually the M mark is unusual. There is no pattern below the mark and pattern above it. I have not seen one this clean before. I must be a mad cat man!

Please note that Giane has given me permission to use her photographs but they are copyright protected; all rights reserved.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Oriental Shorthair Silhouette

Oriental Shorthair Silhouette - Photo by demented-pixie

Something a bit different and why not. I modified the original image which is allowed under the creative commons license. I think it works quite nicely. It's all about personal taste though. I like the shape of the cat in profile. The Oriental Shorthair, as the name implies, has a long face. Cat breeders consider this to be 'oriental' in appearance. What they mean is that they believe that the cats of the eastern part of world, Asia in this instance, have long faces. Cats of the Siamese group of cats have oriental faces and slender oriental bodies. It is in dispute, however, as to whether oriental cats do indeed have long faces and slender bodies.

Final point: I am not convinced that the photographer as stated is in fact the actual photographer of the original image. Please come forward if there is a problem in this regard.

Cat Cord Picture

Cat Cord Picture - Photo by Stefan Tell

Grey tabby fur on white. This is a nice cat picture spotted on Flickr. Really nice composition using nothing more that a piece of cord. I just think that this cat picture hangs together really nicely.

The tabby and white cat coat is very familiar. This cat will be a random bred cat. A very pretty cat, I think. The picture was taken in Sweden. It has a quality that indicates to me that it is a scanned print rather than a digital file uploaded direct from a digital camera. If I am correct I don't know why that should be the case other than a film camera was used. Photographers still use film as it produces images that are a little different in their quality.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Picture of a Bengal Cat

Bengal cat looking like a wild Asian leopard cat - photo by roberto shabs

This is not just another picture of a Bengal cat of which there are hundreds of thousands on the internet. I say that because this cat is a fine example of this cat breed and it evokes the lifestyle of this cat's wild ancestor the Asian leopard cat (normally called "leopard cat").

The whole feel of the picture is in tune with the leopard cat. The leopard cat likes to live near water courses where there is more prey. This is a hunting ground for the leopard cat. It is not the only habitat for hunting but their dislike of arid areas indicates a dependency on cover from forests and water where there is likely to be suitable prey such as rats.

The leopard cat kills like the domestic cat with a nape bite and what is really interesting is that the leopard cat uses eyesight and whiskers to capture prey. Whiskers are an eyesight substitute at close range for killing prey as they can feel. The whisker is far more sensitive than you could perhaps imagine. Whiskers should not be trimmed! I guess you know that but some don't.

For people unfamiliar with the Bengal cat it is the foremost wild cat hybrid domestic cat with the Savannah cat. On its creation in the 1960s and 70s, the Bengal cat was a new idea, and no doubt it caused lots of discussion and dissent. Even today (2012) the premier cat association, the Cat Fanciers' Association refuse to recognize this cat as a cat breed. In the UK technically, it seems that you will need a license but in reality you probably don't. This page deals with keeping wildcat hybrids in the UK.

If one is honest that is a tiny bit reactionary. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Picture of Large Maine Coon

Huge Maine Coon cat at a cat show. The image quality is not great but this domestic cat has a quality about him that makes him look like a cat from another planet - almost.

Maine Coon at cat show - Photo: copyright Little Baby Zorak all rights reserved

I cleaned up the image a bit. His mackerel tabby coat gives him a fishy quality! Not surprising as the term "mackerel tabby" comes from the mackerel fish.

When you scale this cat up with the show judge who is struggling to manage him, he looks to be about 2/3rds her height if measured from tip to toe. He actually looks a similar size to her! He probably weighs about 22lbs or something like that. Average domestic cat weight is about 8 lbs or should be (a lot of domestic cats are a little overweight). He is interested in the light. I hope he didn't burn his nose.

The Maine Coon is the largest all domestic cat (excluding wildcat hybrids). See another large one on this page: largest domestic cat breeds.

Amur Leopard Pictures

Amur leopard pictures. This is a montage. All of the photographs are from the same talented photographer on Flickr: digitalART2.

The Amur leopard is one of nine subspecies of the leopard which has the widest range (distribution) of any of the wild cat species. This large wild cat is very much as  "generalist", meaning it can live in a variety of habitats and eat a wide range of prey.

The Amur lepoard is found in the far east of Russia and shares the same range as the Siberian tiger - see Siberian tiger habitat. Both are incredibly rare with very low populations. Of the two the leopard is the rarest with no more than an estimated 25 cats (adults and cubs). There are approximately 400 Siberian tigers.

Very low populations are not viable because of inbreeding that causes sterility.

Cat Breeds for Apartments

The best cat breeds for apartments are the American Shorthair, British Shorthair, Ragdoll and Persian.  I'll explain why I have made that assessment. Of these four I would chose the British Shorthair.

These are two fantastic British Shorthair cats. Helmi does a great job photographing cats because she also captures the character. You can see the solid, calm, reliable character of this cat breed that makes it suitable for apartment life. However, there should be a greater obligation on the cat's human companion to entertain their cat when living in an apartment, even if that cat is the rather sedate, well mannered Brit SH!

The American Shorthair is a fine all round cat breed and also suitable for children and seniors. The requirements for each group is similar and that is a well rounded, gentle, balanced cat that takes things in his stride and who is in sync. with his human companion.

People (experts) say that the Persian should stay indoors, in which case an apartment seems suitable. This is partly because of the cat's very long fur. It is also a cat that likes routine, quiet and a sense of security. Cats breeds from the same background are: Exotic Shorthair and Himalayan. You can see the passivity of the Exotic compared to the more active Bengal in this video:

As for the Ragdoll, this cat breed has the reputation of being the world's most laid back cat. This is not true because there will be individual cats that step outside the breed trends.

If the breed characteristics narrow down the choice for cat breeds for apartments, the person wishing to adopt should select on individual cat personality with the assistance of the breeder. A quality breeder is important both for advice and cat quality.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Maine Coon Kittens Picture

Ooops...What is going on? Well I thought that this super Maine Coon kittens picture, by the well known photographer Helmi Flick, was better seen on its side for this reason: you can see it larger. The benefit of seeing it larger outweighs the slight discomfort of having to twist your head or computer to one side! Horizontally it would be much smaller.

Do you think Ken Flick (Helmi's cat wrangler) managed to get all these gorgeous silver tabby and white kittens with mitted feet in line in one go for Helmi's camera? No! I have seen Ken at work and it is highly professional work but it is all but impossible to get cats all lined up in these numbers.

Perhaps managing up to five kittens is just possible. The difficulty is getting them all to look in the right direction for a split second. That said, sometimes, you can get nice interaction between kittens and cats. However, there are time limits in taking these photographs. You can't keep trying for ever.

In conclusion this is a beautifully created composite picture of Maine Coon kittens.


Top Cat Breeds For Seniors

It is difficult to provide a formula for selecting the top cat breeds for seniors because seniors have different personalities and lifestyles like anyone else. Some older people are very active and desire to be active as it promotes health. Some elderly people carry an illness, which despite best intentions, slows them down. The elderly active person will be the best cat caretaker as they are at home more and have the time to spend with their cat companion. Their lifestyle supports routine and security, something that cats love.

American Shorthair - highly suitable for seniors.
His name: "Tiger"
However, in general the retired person will be less active and seek a quieter lifestyle with minimum demands. That encourages me to think of cat breeds that are similar in character such as the Persian, British Shorthair, Ragdoll. Of these three the Brit is probably best as the others, particularly the very long haired Persian requires regular grooming to maintain the coat. The Brit SH has a fabulous coat to stroke - very therapeutic for an older person.

As to the Persian I would chose a traditional Persian as it is likely that there will be less expenditure in respect of veterinary bills. Two other cats are part of the Persian stable of breeds: the Exotic Shorthair (shorthaired Persian) and the Himalayan (pointed Persian). They are equally as good as the Persian.

The Russian Blue also comes to mind as a cat that likes indoor living. Cats that are suitable to full-time indoor life should be suitable for seniors as well. A lesser known cat that seems to shine is the Pixie-bob. They are solid performers, good with children and quiet. I would recommend this breed as one of the top cat breeds for seniors.

In fact I think a quiet cat is probably an attractive factor in a cat breed for an elderly person. The British Shorthair, already mentioned falls firmly into this category.

I don't think a senior requires a cat that is overly demanding, either. A degree of quiet independence is attractive. In that vein, the Maine Coon comes to mind too although some maintenance is ideally required. And we cannot forget the solid American Shorthair. This cat requires little grooming by their human companion (another important factor) and is quiet. They are gentle with seniors and good with children. The American Shorthair is a popular cat breed too, in the top 10 of all breeds.

The American Shorthair is my individual pick for senior members of society. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list by the way. Also what I am saying here does not exclude the beautiful random bred cat or other individual cats of other breeds.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Cat Sanctuary Picture

Cat Sanctuary - copyright All rights reserved by fofurasfelinas

This is perhaps the best cat sanctuary picture on the internet. The other ones by Giane Portal (the photographer) are as good. Giane is one of the best cat photographers on the internet. This cat sanctuary is in Brazil and it is a genuine sanctuary or shelter. In other words these were homeless cats that now have a permanent home in really pleasant surroundings. I have enormous admiration for the people who own and manage the sanctuary. It can't be easy both on a financial level and in terms of simply looking after 300 cats. Giane has given me permission to publish the photograph here. Thanks Giane. It is interesting on another level. You might be able to detect what cat coat types are most common in Brazil from the picture. On this evidence, black or dilute black cats and orange cats lead.

Picture of Ragdoll Cat at a Cat Show

Cat show cat - Photo Tomi Tapio

The photographer says "very nice nose". And I agree. I think this is a purebred Ragdoll show cat with, yes, a really nice nose. We shouldn't get too excited about a nose though! That said show cats are all about appearance so noses and all the other elements of a cat's physical appearance are important. This cat seems to be a blue pointed Ragdoll. This is a large semi-long haired cat with a laid back character. Back to the nose: I can think of a similar cat that has a nose that is much less attractive: the flat-faced Persian (ultra typed Persian). The picture below shows you what I mean:
Ugly nose? Photo protected by copyright.

How did breeders decide that the appearance of this overbred Persian was attractive? This was created deliberately. Come of ladies, let's go back to a nice nose...!

Picture of Bizarre Overbred Cat

In the public domain as far as I am aware

I am told that this is a picture of an overbred cat. His name is Yoda. I really don't know what to make of this. Is it real? It looks real - just. Would over-breeding do this to a cat? Possibly. This cat has thin fur. I may be the case that the breeder was breeding hairless cats and over did the breeding process. Not sure. All I know is that it is horrible. But no doubt it is of interest to some people, which is why I have put it here.

Andean Cat Pictures

These Andean cat pictures are by Jim Sanderson Ph.D. Almost all the Andean cat photographs on the internet are by Jim Sanderson and the ones that you see above are certainly well circulated! Jim kindly agreed to let me publish them here. He has, however, it appears, put them into the public domain but please ask him first (this is his website) or use the one on Wikipedia. I suspect that this is to promote conservation. With his colleagues in Chile, Peru and Argentina, he has done more than anyone else to highlight the conservation requirements of this small wildcat and carry them out. Jim Sanderson Ph.D. is a small wildcat specialist scientist.

The Andean cat is a rare wildcat that looks deceptively like a large domestic cat. There are an estimated 2,000 or so remaining in the wild - a precariously low population. I don't know if there are any in captivity. If there are it won't be many and they probably won't be doing well. In domestic cat terms the coat is a tabby coat. The heavily banded tail is one of the most striking physical features. It is quite long indicating a need to maintain balance on rocky surfaces. This cat lives in a rather harsh (by our standards) and barren landscape that is cold, in the Andes Mountains. Its main prey is the mountain vizcacha. It is sympatric with the Pampas cat. Read more about where this cat is and how it lives.

Ragdoll Cat Picture

I chose this superb Ragdoll cat picture by the celebrated Helmi Flick because I think this individual cat has all the physical attributes of this very popular cat breed. The Raggie, as it is fondly called, is certainly in the top ten most popular cat breeds. I say it is the 5th most popular in fact. He looks like a chocolate point bicolor Ragdoll to me. One reason why they are popular is because they are large. I would say that this cat is the second largest cat breed after the Maine Coon that is registered by the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA). The Ragdoll is a pointed semi-longhaired cat. They are said to become limp when picked up. I don't believe it. Please leave a comment if your Raggie does! The history of the origin of this breed is probably the most confusing and opaque of all the cat breeds thanks to the creator, Ann Baker. You will find several different versions! The whole thing is compounded by the history of a "spin-off" breed, the RagaMuffin. Ragdoll breeders became disenchanted with Ann Baker's behavior and franchising system and formed their own group breeding a similar cat, the RagaMuffin whose history is equally confusing. Read more about the Ragdoll and RagaMuffin is you like.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Picture showing difference in breeding Manx and Siamese cats

If you compare Manx and Siamese cats from 1903 to the same cat breeds in the present (2012) you can see what has been going on in respect of selective breeding over the intervening 108 years.
Montage is protected by copyright

This is a simple montage but I think that it is instructive. You can see that the Manx has been around a long time in the cat fancy and its shape has hardly altered. It is a bit more cobby (stocky) today than in 1903. That is because breeders like to push the boundaries a bit (or a lot).

In contrast you can see that the Siamese has gone through a transformation. In 1903 it was similar in shape to the Manx. Today it is super slender. This is due to selective breeding. The Manx today is considered a stocky cat while the Siamese is considered "oriental" in appearance (slender). The reason why the Siamese has become so skinny is because breeders at the CFA decided around 1950 that it should be more elegant. That is it. See Siamese cat history. See also old style Siamese.

Cat History in Pictures

A series of pictures and accompanying words that describe some milestones in the history of the cat. We have to start at the beginning, which is the era when the cat did not exist on the planet. Of course, the first cats were wildcats and it stayed that way for millions of years until relatively recently.

This first cat history picture shows the complete development from the animal that was the precursor to the cat, the Miacid, to a highly selectively bred purebred cat in this case a Snowshoe cat - but it could be anyone of the well established cat breeds in the picture.

The time frame from the bottom picture to the top picture is about 60,000,000 years (60m or 60 Ma).

It is believed that the genus Felis (Felis lunensis - Martelli's Cat) appeared about 12 million years ago. 2.4 million years ago the ancestor to the European wild cat appeared.

The Near-eastern wildcat or African wildcat was first domesticated about 9,500 years ago we think so you can see how relatively recent the domestic cat is. Read more on domestic cat history.

The earliest recorded lion fossil is dated about 3.5 million years ago. The picture, left is of a lion in cave paintings from the Palaeolithic period (2.6 million years ago - 10,000 years ago).

However, the history of the big cats is not certain. It is thought by some that the lion appeared in African about 1 million years ago.

Jaguars roamed over Europe about 1.64 million years ago. See history of the big cats.

Jumping forward to relatively modern times, the picture left shows the domestic cat in Ancient Egyptian times 1400 BC - almost 3,500 years ago.

The picture shows a slice of cat history. It appears to be of a domesticated or semi-domesticated cat, the precursor of today's Egyptian Mau purebred cat, catching a bird. It appears that the cat was trained by the person in the picture to do this. Cheetahs were also trained to hunt (16th century)

The Ancient Egyptians had a long and close relationship with the domestic cat and worshiped the cat at one time for a period of 2,000 years. The cat was first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent, which includes the Nile delta in Egypt.

Above : picture of a statue of the goddess Bastet from the temple of Queen Berenice, who was the wife of King Ptolemy III (246-222 BC). Location: Alexandria, Egypt. See post.

Bastet festivals were popular until about AD 390. People made sacrifices to the god. Cats were killed for the purpose. Were the Egyptians truly cat lovers?

It seems not. See Egyptian cat art.

Moving to modern times, cat history now is more about the development of the cat fancy and the cat breeds.

The picture left is of a champion purebred show cat, CHAMPION FULMER ZAIDA,  of 1902. The cat fancy started not long before that in the late 1800s in England, UK. See Persian cat history. Development of new breeds has now, 2012, all but stopped.

However, the most pressing aspect of cat history for us today (2012) is not about the domestic cat but the wild cats and pressingly the demise of the tiger in the wild.

The tiger is heading for extinction and quite rapidly as the human population expands equally rapidly.

The extinction of the tiger (and the other wildcat species) began in earnest in the mid 1800s to early 1900s when they were shot for sport or skins. Poaching of the now rare tiger for tiger body parts to supply the Chinese medicine market (see e.g. tiger bone) continues today and is the biggest threat together with habitat loss. Ironically, as the tiger becomes rarer its bones become more precious to the commercial market and thus it is more likely to be shot or poisoned and dissected for its body parts.

At that time artists had the habit of anthropomorphizing the wildcats in drawings. See Tiger for a lot more.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Pregnant Cat Pictures

The pregnant cat pictures from top to bottom are by:

by Jsome1
by Eirik Newth
by Mamay Jane
by me

The last photo is of a silver F1 Savannah cat. She is a beautiful cat. It was taken at A1 Savannahs in Oklahoma, USA. Obviously, she is a breeding cat.

None of us should be keeping a pregnant cat unless we are responsible breeders. Does that sound unreasonable? I don't think it is because there are already more than enough cats for available homes.

Detecting Pregnancy

There is slight weight gain in the first few weeks of gestation. The heart beat of the foetuses can be heard at day 20 of pregnancy but I presume this is done with a stethoscope or some other device.

Also at 20 days an experienced person can feel the embryos by gentle abdominal palpation. Please don't try this unless you know what you are doing. This is vet's work.

Sometimes cats have morning sickness for a few days at about the 3rd to 4th week of pregnancy.

In the United States you can by the Witness Pregnancy Detection Kit on Amazon to test pregnancy of your cat. It is designed for dogs but can be used for cats. However, you will need to know what you are doing as you need to draw blood - perhaps your vet will do that for you.

Alternatively a vet can test with ultrasound. At day 35 the queen's nipples are pink and the belly size has increased. How long are cats pregnant? It depends on the species of cat.

Picture of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy in Cats

This is a photograph of the cross-section of a cat's heart diseased by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The cat's human companion wanted to find out the cause of death. The photograph was taken by the staff at the Cuyahoga Falls Veterinary Clinic. This photo has been used with permission for teaching/educational purposes at (PoC). I want to thank Ryan G. Gates, DVM of the clinic for granting permission. If people want to use the picture please ask the clinic first.

HCM is the most common cause of heart disease in cats. It is also the common cause of spontaneous death in full-time indoor adult cats1.

The walls of the ventricles thicken and the muscle fibers are replaced by scar tissue. The heart is weakened because the heart wall becomes less elastic and the chamber smaller.

Increased heart rate, heart murmur, loss of appetite, increased respiratory rate can be signs. In purebred cats the Bengal cat is known to be predisposed - HCM in Bengal cats. Other breeds are also predisposed including the ever popular Maine Coon - see MC health problems. Other purebred cats that can inherit this disease are Ragdolls, British SHs, American SHs and Devon Rexes. The disease usually affects cats from 1-5 yrs of age

Note (1) Cat Owner's Veterinary Handbook ISBN 978-0-470-09530-0

Picture of Scottish Wildcat Leaping

This is another rare Scottish wildcat photograph by Rosie of Rosemarie Lamb Photography. We don't see many pictures of this small wildcat in mid air leaping after prey. It is published here with her permission. If you want to use it please ask the lady. The ticked coat and mackerel stripes are visible in the photo. The tail is heavily banded with a solid black tip. The Scottish wildcat is known for its ferocity when required - for example in defending cubs. Although this cat looks like a domestic cat it is usually about 50% larger and more muscular. The similarity between this wildcat and the domestic cat arises because the domestic cat was originally a domesticated African wildcat (Near Eastern wildcat). The outstanding problem with the cat in the picture is this: is it a purebred Scottish wildcat? It might be a domestic cat/wildcat hybrid because they interbreed. For me, the cat in the picture has a hint of hybrid about it but what do I know? This cat is in captivity. In general wildcats don't do well in captivity.

White Cat Picture

Photo copyright gney (Flickr)

This is a charming white cat picture that caught my eye while I was visiting Flickr. I like the muted, softness of this image. The photographer is gney (Flickr name). It is published here with her permission as it is copyright protected. Please ask her if you'd like to use it. The photograph is published exactly "as is". This cat looks very much like a purebred traditional Persian. You can see the long fur. Being outside, bits get picked up in it. Many people who keep Persians say they should be kept indoors. The contemporary flat faced Persian has longer fur than this sometimes.  The photographer lives in Doha, Qatar. It is a place where it is likely that you will see purebred cats and certainly a beautiful cat like this one. I am reminded of another white traditional Persian of equally attractive appearance, Yeri. He is gorgeous. He has passed on sadly. He lived with Dani.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Picture of Scottish Wildcat Catching Prey

A very active and dynamic picture of a Scottish wildcat catching prey by Rosie of Rosemarie Lamb Photography. The photo is protected by copyright - ask if you want to use it, please. The cat is in an enclosure but this is still an excellent photograph. You won't see a Scottish wildcat photograph like this very often if ever. You can see the brown/grey tabby coat of this rare wildcat (400 left). And you can see those deadly claws, a part of large paws. The cat's body is twisted. The left hind leg is pointing to the rear. The expression on the face is priceless.  The Scottish wildcat is similar to a domestic tabby cat only a little bigger, heavier and well..wilder! It is said to be very fierce when cornered. This wildcat mates with domestic cats producing hybrids, which dilute the purebred stock of this wild cat. This is the greatest threat to its survival in the wild. Read more about sightings...See Rosie's original photo on Flickr (I made some small adjustments).

Clothes Hanger Cat Picture

Here's a nice picture of a tabby cat who likes his Dad; his human Dad. It's a clothes hanger cat picture. You see quite a lot of these on the Internet! Why do I say that he likes his male human companion? Because he is sleeping on his clothes. The clothes smell of the person who wears them and these are all trousers. And there are suits at the left hand end! LOL. Cats sleep in and on objects that smell of their beloved human companion because it makes them feel secure. My Charlie always goes to the spot in my bed where I slept the moment I leave the bed.

It just so happens that the clothes are on hangers in a wardrobe. But who cares, if you're a cat.  Of course, it takes a little bit of acrobatic maneuvering to get into a row of clothes hangers without slipping but once again, not a bother for the agile domestic cat. The picture is in the public domain. I cleaned it up a bit.

Black and White Cat Stretch Picture

Cat stretch - Photo copyright Astrid on Flickr

This is semi-abstract picture of a black and white cat doing that classic, cat stretch that we all know about. Cats sometimes like to twist their bodies like this through 90 degrees (belly up with head facing horizontally). It must be more comfortable. When I first saw it I was not sure what I was looking at. I like that. It made me look harder. There are lot of very relaxed and contented domestic cats in warm and pleasant homes because I see lots of cat photographs of cats flat on their back, belly up, fully stretched and zonked out (fast asleep). The black and white cat lends itself to black and white photography and this sort of photography. They are bicolor cats, solid and white. The piebald gene causes the fur to be white. You can see the original picture here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Pallas's Cat Picture

Manul or Pallas's cat - photo copyright all rights reserved: Rosemarie Lamb Photography

This is a Pallas's cat picture with impact by Rosemarie Lamb Photography published here with her permission. It is copyright protected. If you would like to use it please ask her. You can see the original on Flickr if you want to. Pallas's cat is a small wildcat that steps out of line in terms of appearance. The other, and perhaps more proper, name for this cat is "manul". This is a cute looking cat that reminds me of the domestic Persian in a very roundabout way. The very long fur and small ears with a rounded head are similar, which brings me nicely to a 19th century idea that the domestic cat was mated with the manul to produce the long haired Persian. That now looks far fetched and is wrong. All domestic cats originate in the Near Eastern wildcat which is short haired and relatively lanky so how did we arrive at the stocky, rounded Persian? Well, the original long haired cats may have come from Persia but the modern Persian cat has no genetic connection with cats from that part of the world. Things have moved on and the Persian domestic cat is wholly created in the West. The manul is the same size as an average domestic cat at about 6-10 lbs (manul description). It lives in the area north of India up through Mongolia to Russia. A chilly climate, hence the long coat. It feeds on small mammals such as pickas (a mouse hare) and gerbils.

Picture of cat on a window sill

Photo copyright: alfanhuĂ­ (Flickr)

Not a straightforward picture of a cat on a window sill but a tabby cat resting and watching in the dying sun merging with the glowing yellow ochre of a weathered wall and the jagged edge of the shadow of a nearby tree touching him. I really like this cat picture. You can see the picture in larger format on Flickr on this page.

This has got to be a country with a warm climate. The wall tells us that. The photographer lives in Spain so that confirms things. The tabby cat is seen all over the world. It is almost certainly the most common cat coat type and is a direct result of the wildcat ancestry, the African or Near Eastern wildcat which has a tabby coat.

York Chocolate Cat Picture

A York Chocolate cat picture will be a rare picture. And even when you have found a picture entitled, "York Chocolate" you might not be looking at a York Chocolate or at least a pedigree cat or purebred cat. The fact that I have used a Wikimedia image, albeit cleaned up, is indicative of the fact this is a rare cat breed. It is also a cat breed that has its origins in random bred cats (as have many others). But as this is a cat of nicely moderate appearance, and as you will see random bred cats that look similar, you will of necessity bump into cats that are claimed to be York Chocolates but which are not. They will be handsome chocolate colored, fine semi-long haired cats but not purebred cats. That does not make them lesser cats, however. Also the Tiffany looks similar to this cat.

The colors are not confined to dark chocolate as they also include: white and chocolate (bicolor), solid lilac and lilac and white (bicolor). One cat association, the Canadian Cat Association (CCA) at 2012, recognise this cat breed at championship status (the highest form of recognition). The biggest registries are yet to recognise this newish cat breed. Read more if you wish...

Turkish Van Cat Picture

Turkish Van cat picture

A super glamorous Turkish Van cat in a Helmi Flick special picture. Helmi is one of today's leading cat photographers, probably the best. When we think of the Turkish Van we think of the classic van coat pattern, which is the inverted "V" on the forehead and the colored tail. The cat in the Helmi picture is a calico  - three colors: orange, white and black - with the non-white areas exactly as they should be for this cat breed. This is a very special cat, I think. We also think about water or at least I do because I see so many websites saying that this cat likes swimming and loves water etc. This enhances the breed's history as this breed ostensibly comes from the Lake Van region, which is in Eastern Turkey. Personally (forgive me), I think it is pure fiction to dress up a cat breed that does not need dressing up by saying that the cat likes swimming. Some cats like water, some don't and some are in between. It is about individual cats although we can say that wildcat hybrids have an affinity for water because their wildcat ancestors do. That makes sense.

Here is another piece of Turkish Van history. This cat breed is not that common in Turkey (where it is probably not a cat breed but a random bred cat) because they prefer all white cats with odd-eye color. That describes the Turkish Angora (see picture right) This preference came about because the founder of modern Turkey declared, in 1923, that his successor would be bitten on their ankle by an odd-eyed white cat! Believe that?! Read and see more...

White Devon Rex Picture (at vet clinic)

A cute white Devon Rex picture but a real situation. By "real" I mean not in the rarefied environment of a cat show hall where all the purebred cats are at their very best and meant to be beautiful. They are all scrubbed up when paraded before the show judges but here, this little pixie-faced (confident) cat looks a bit worse for wear. The photograph was taken at the Cuyahoga Falls Veterinary Clinic. This photo has been used with permission for teaching/educational purposes at (PoC). I want to thank Ryan G. Gates, DVM of the clinic for granting permission. If people want to use the picture please ask the clinic first.

I have no idea why he or she was at the vets. He looks healthy. It looks like his ears need a bit of a wash! And he appears to have some tear staining or is that something else? I guess the point is that purebred cats are just like any other domestic cat in the eyes of the cat! He does not know that he is purebred and rare. On health issues: Devon Rex cats should avoid extreme temperature because they have a very thin coat (sometimes bald or near bald).

Health issues reported for this cat breed are: hereditary hypotrichosis (reported), famial hypothyroidism (one family of cats), congenital patellar subluxation-luxation ("may be predisposed" to this), hip dysplasia (occasional), greasiness of skin folds and paws, spasticity1. That is not to say that the Devon Rex is inherently unhealthy. Humans are predisposed to certain diseases as well, for example. See genetic diseases in purebred cats.

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

Monday, January 2, 2012

Turkish Angora Picture

A glorious, all white, Turkish Angora cat, "Caleb", in a Helmi Flick Turkish Angora picture. Caleb is a fantastic looking cat. The Turkish Angora has a very long history in the cat fancy. It is one of the original purebred cats. The cat originates in Turkey as a household cat in that country. In Turkey the cat is not so highly bred as in North American and Europe. The breed has more moderate proportions in Turkey and looks similar to the traditional Persian (see picture right). The all white odd-eyed Angora in Turkey is the favored appearance. The odd-eye colors are blue and yellow. The big question I asked was whether the Turkish Van and the Turkish Angora are or were the same household cat in Turkey. My point is that the cat fancy created two cat breeds from one household cat. Interested? Please read this and this and if you would like to read more about the Turkish Angora please click on this link....

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