Abyssinian

A though the Abyssinian is one of the oldest known breeds, there continues to be speculation and controversy concerning its history. In appearance, Abyssinians resemble the paintings and sculptures of ancient Egyptian cats which portray an elegant feline with a muscular body, beautiful arched neck, large ears and almond shaped eyes. Abys today still retain the jungle look of felis lybica, the African wildcat ancestor of all domestic cats.

The source of the name is not because Ethiopia, formerly Abyssinia, is thought to be the original home of these cats, but because the first “Abyssinians” exhibited in shows in England were reported to have been imported from that country. The first mention is in the Harper’s Weekly (January 27, 1872 issue) where the 3rd prize in the December 1871 Crystal Palace show was taken by the Abyssinian Cat “captured in the late Abyssinian War.” This article is accompanied by an illustration of the Abyssinian Cat. In the British book, by Gordon Stables, Cats, Their Points, and Characteristics… published in 1874, there is also mention of an Abyssinian. The book shows a colored lithograph of a cat with a ticked coat and absence of tabby markings on the face, paws, and neck. The description reads: “Zula, the property of Mrs. Captain Barrett-Lennard. This cat was brought from Abyssinia at the conclusion of the war…” British troops left Abyssinia in May 1868, so that may have been the time when cats with ticked coats first entered England. Unfortunately, there are no written records tracing the early Abyssinians to those imported cats, and many British breeders are of the opinion that the breed was actually created through the crossing of the various existing silver and brown tabbies with native British “Bunny” ticked cats.

Recent studies by geneticists show that the most convincing origin of the Abyssinian breed is the coast of the Indian Ocean and parts of Southeast Asia. In fact, the earliest identifiable Aby is a taxidermal exhibit still residing in the Leiden Zoological Museum in Holland. This ruddy ticked cat was purchased around 1834-1836 from a supplier of small wild cat exhibits and labeled by the museum founder as “Patrie, domestica India.” Although the Abyssinian as a breed was refined in England, its introduction to that country and others may have been the result of colonists and merchants stopping in Calcutta, the major port for the Indian Ocean.

The first Abyssinians to be imported to North America from England arrived in the early 1900s, but it was not until the late 1930s that several top quality Abys were exported from Britain to form the foundation of today’s American breeding programs.

As described in the Abyssinian Breeders International Kitten Buyer’s Guide by Carolyn Osier, “Abyssinians must be one of the most intelligent animals ever created.” This handbook for the potential Aby owner describes these cats as “a very people-oriented cat. Not a lap cat…but a cat that likes to be with people, a cat that wants to know what you are doing – that wants to help. There is probably no breed anywhere more loyal than the Aby. Once you have acquired an Aby as a companion, you will never be able to complain that no one understands you. Abys are very good at training people to do just what they want them to do.”

Pricing on Abyssinians usually depends on type, applicable markings, and bloodlines distinguished by Grand Champion (GC), National or Regional winning parentage (NW or RW), or Distinguished Merit parentage (DM). The DM title is achieved by the dam (mother) having produced five CFA Grand Champion/Premier (alter) or DM offspring, or the sire (father) having produced fifteen CFA Grand Champion/Premier or DM offspring. Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. After twelve weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment, showing, or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying, and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long, and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

American Bobtail

American Bobtails are loving and incredibly intelligent cats possessing a distinctive wild appearance. They are extremely interactive cats that bond with their human family with great devotion. They can both entertain through their antics at one moment and provide their owners a warm, soft shoulder to cry on in times of distress. American Bobtails are known for their love of games and can play fetch or hide and seek for hours on end. They will often initiate games with their owners, and they demonstrate their hunting instincts in the home by catching in mid-air flying insects that make the fatal mistake of entering their territory. They also love to stalk their toys and carry them in their mouths, as if they were a freshly caught rodent. Basically a quiet cat, the American Bobtail is known to trill, chirp, and click when delighted. They are easily leash trained and love to go for walks with their people. An easy going breed, they get along well with most dogs and welcome newcomers, whether they are two-legged or four-legged.

The American Bobtail was developed by natural selection to survive feral environments. They are medium to large cats with substantial rectangular bodies. The tail is short, expressive, and flexible and may be straight, slightly curved, slightly kinked, or have bumps along its length. No one length is preferred, and no two tails are the same. The natural bobtail is clearly visible above the back when the cat is alert, and it should not extend beyond the hind hock. The combination of this distinctive tail with other physical characteristics results in a cat with a marked resemblance to the bobtailed wildcat. The head is a broad modified wedge with an observable whisker break above a well defined, broad, medium-length muzzle. Whisker pads are fleshy, and the chin is strong. The eye shape combined with the brow gives the breed its natural hunting gaze and expression of intelligence and alertness. The American Bobtail is a moderately long and substantial cat with a rectangular stance; the chest is full and broad with slightly higher hips and prominent shoulder blades. With legs of substantial boning, they possess a muscular and athletic appearance and are a deceptively heavy cat.


This is a slow maturing breed, taking two to three years to reach its adult size. Females are generally proportionately smaller than males. The American Bobtail comes in all colors and patterns, with preference given to colors and patterns that enhance the natural wild appearance of the breed. They come in two coat lengths: a dense shorthair coat and a medium longhair coat. The occasional bath and light brushing is all that is needed to keep the American Bobtail coat in tiptop form.


The American Bobtail developed initially through natural selection. The foundation stock for this breed were feral domestic cats possessing a natural bobtail. Experienced breeders, using found domestic bobtails from all over the United States, worked together to produce the gorgeous American Bobtails we have today. One of the more intriguing phenomena of the breed is the striking resemblance of cats with no known common heritage, from thousands of miles apart, have born to one another. By selectively breeding the like type cats, breeders have helped Mother Nature to develop the American Bobtail into the big, hearty, wild-looking bobtail cat seen today. No recognized breed of pedigreed cat has been used in the development of the American Bobtail. American Bobtails are a very strong and healthy breed, experiencing no known genetic predisposition to health problems.


When choosing your American Bobtail kitten, you should look for a reputable breeder, who will undoubtedly have a series of questions for you designed to make sure that you and the American Bobtail are compatible. Do not be surprised if there is a wait of some sort. These wonderful family members are worth it! Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age, when they have had sufficient time with their mother and littermates to be well socialized and old enough to have been fully vaccinated. Keeping your American Bobtail indoors, neutering or spaying, and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long, and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

American Curl

Boasting head adornments that could have easily been fashioned by a legendary hat designer, along with their opulent plumed tails reminiscent of a luxurious ostrich-feather boa, the American Curl has audiences in awe worldwide. Distinguished by truly unique ears that curl back in a graceful arc, offering an alert, perky, happily surprised expression, they cause people to break out into a big smile when viewing their first Curl. Designed exclusively by Mother Nature, the ears can be likened to those of a Lynx with long tufts fanning outward, accentuating the swept-back look while complementing the Curl’s overall sophistication, stylish elegance, and dynamic presence.

Wake-up call! The alarm rings, and emerging out from under the covers, eager to start the day, is your Curl buddy. Eyelid pats, nose kisses, and hair licking prompt a gentle awakening. Then your eyes focus on that exuberant little Curl face, and another day begins. The Curl personality is truly unique. If not sleeping up high somewhere in a large salad bowl, figuring out with great determination just how to get into the shower with you, or assuming their right spot in front of a favorite TV show, they are patting at your glasses while you try to read the paper.

Needless to say, Curls are very people-oriented, faithful, affectionate soulmates, adjusting remarkably fast to other pets, children, and new situations. People say they are very dog-like in their attentiveness to their owners, following them around so as not to miss anything. When introduced into a new home, Curls seems to have an inherent respect for the current pet occupants, giving them plenty of room to adjust to the new kid on the block. Not overly talkative, the Curl’s curiosity and intelligence are expressed through little trill-like cooing sounds. Because they retain their kitten-like personality well throughout adulthood, they are referred to as the Peter Pan of felines.

When Curls are born, their ears are straight. In 3 to 5 days, they start to curl back, staying in a tight rosebud position and unfurling gradually until permanently “set” at around 16 weeks. This is the time breeders determine the kitten’s ear quality as either pet or show in addition to the kitten’s overall conformation. The degree of ear curl can vary greatly, ranging from almost straight (pet quality) to a show quality ear with an arc of 90-180 degrees resembling a graceful shell-like curvature.

 Although the distinctive feature of the American Curl is their uniquely curled ears, the medium-sized rectangular body, silky flat-lying coat, and expressive walnut-shaped eyes are equally indicative of the breed. They are available in both long and shorthair color and pattern varieties, and since there is minimal undercoat, the Curl sheds little and requires hardly any grooming.

On a typical hot June day in 1981, a stray longhaired black female cat with funny ears mooched a meal from Joe and Grace Ruga in Lakewood, California, and moved in. “Shulamith” is the original American Curl to which all bona fide pedigrees trace their origin. No one ever suspected that from that simple encounter, and the birth of some kittens 6 months later, would grow a worldwide debate about the genetics behind those unusual curled ears. When selective breeding began in 1983, fanciers bred the American Curl with an eye toward developing a show breed. In analyzing data on 81 litters (383 kittens), renowned feline geneticist Roy Robinson of London, England, confirmed that the ear-curling gene is autosomal dominant, which means that any cat with even one copy of the gene will show the trait. In the December 1989 Journal of Heredity, Robinson reported finding no defects in any of the crosses he analyzed. This information provided the pathway for a new and healthy breed…and one with an outstanding temperament.

Indeed, the discovery of a novel cat is an event of great importance to feline fans and fanatics, and especially true when it’s inherently born to radiate well-being and good things to all fortunate enough to hold one. As the founder of this amazingly spiritual breed says, “They are not just ‘decorator’ cats. You might say that they are ‘designer’ cats, perhaps even signed masterpieces of a humor-loving Creator.’”

Pricing on American Curls usually depends on type, applicable markings, and bloodlines distinguished by Grand Champion (GC), National or Regional winning parentage (NW or RW), or Distinguished Merit parentage (DM). The DM title is achieved by the dam (mother) having produced five CFA grand champion/premier (alter) or DM offspring, or the sire (father) having produced fifteen CFA grand champion/premier or DM offspring. Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. After twelve weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment, showing, or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying, and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing of tendonectomy surgery) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long, and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

American Shorthair

Looking for a cat that will be a gentle companion, a playmate for your children, and a full-fledged member of the family? Look no further than the American Shorthair. This breed is known for its longevity, robust health, good looks, sweet personality, and amiability with children, dogs, and other pets.

The American Shorthair breed originated from cats following settlers from Europe to North America. Records indicate that even the Mayflower carried several cats to hunt the ship’s rats. For centuries, “working cats” flourished along with their pioneer owners and eventually established themselves as the native North American shorthaired cat. Their beauty and loving nature came to be valued as much as their rat-catching skills.

Late in the 19th century, there was an interest in developing and showing a shorthair cat representative of the North American working cat. One brown tabby American Shorthair was even offered for sale for $2,500 at the Second Annual Cat Show at Madison Square Garden in 1896. The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) chose to officially recognize this lovely cat (then called the Domestic Shorthair) as one of its first five registered breeds in 1906.

Breeders selectively bred North American shorthaired cats by acquiring the finest examples to preserve the all-around working cat’s structure and to refine the beautiful face, the easygoing disposition, and the striking colors present in today’s breed. The breed was renamed “American Shorthair” in 1966 to better represent its “All American” character and to distinguish it from other shorthaired breeds. The name also reinforced that this purpose-bred breed is different from random-bred cats that may be found in streets, neighborhoods, and barnyards today.

By chance, a non-pedigreed shorthair cat might resemble an American Shorthair, just as another random-bred cat might look like a Siamese, Persian, or Maine Coon. The difference, however, is that a pedigreed cat can consistently produce kittens of the same physical conformation, coat quality, and temperament, while a random-bred cat cannot. Years of selective breeding and the careful recording of many generations of cats guarantee that each litter of kittens will have specific qualities.


As pets or for showing, American Shorthairs are low-maintenance cats. These cats are not only beautiful, but healthy, easygoing, and affectionate. Males are usually larger than females, averaging 11 to 15 pounds, while females may weigh 6 to 12 pounds. American Shorthairs often continue to grow until 3 or 4 yeard old and generally require only annual vaccinations and veterinary checkups. With a quality diet and plenty of tender loving care, they can live 15 years or longer. No wonder the American Shorthair is one of the most popular cat breeds!

Usually breeders make kittens available between 12 and 16 weeks of age. After twelve weeks, kittens have had their basic vaccinations and have the physical and social stability needed to for a new home, showing, or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying, and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA discourages declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long, and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

American Wirehair

The American Wirehair breed is uniquely American. It began as a spontaneous mutation in a litter of upstate New York farm cats in 1966. A spontaneous mutation is an uncommon, although not rare, happening. As it has occurred among cats in the past, two ordinary cats came together, and as a result of their mating, a kitten unlike its parents or littermates was born. The progeny of the original mutation, Council Rock Farms Adams of Hi-Fi, are now in all areas of the United States. What is interesting and unusual about this particular mutation is that it has not been reported in any other country thus far.

The coat is the characteristic that separates the American Wirehair from all other breeds. Just as there is a wide variety of texture in Persians or Exotics, there is also considerable variation among the Wirehairs. As this is a dominant mutation, approximately half of the kittens will be wirehaired at birth. The most readily apparent wiring is that of the whiskers, and ideally, the entire coat will be wired at birth. If the coat appears to be ringlets, it may be too long and may wave or straighten with maturity. Some of the lightly wired coats may continue to crimp during the early life of the Wirehair. The degree of coarseness depends upon the coat texture of the sire and dam. To produce the best wiring, both parents must have a hard coat.

It was felt at first that, since this mutation had occurred in the domestic American cat, the standard for it should conform to that of the American Shorthair. However, there were unique Wirehair qualities besides the coat that kept cropping up in each litter and were worth keeping, including the higher cheekbones accentuating the face and separating it from the American Shorthair breed. The American Shorthair is still an allowable outcross for the breeding programs for the wirehairs. Wirehairs were first accepted for CFA registration in 1967 and for Championship competition in 1978.

Breeders find them easy to care for, resistant to disease, and good producers. Pet owners delight with their quiet, reserved and loving ways.

Pricing on American Wirehairs usually depends on type, applicable markings and bloodlines distinguished by Grand Champion (GC), National or Regional Winning (NW or RW), or Distinguished Merit (DM) parentage. The DM title is achieved by a dam (mother) having produced five CFA Grand Champion/Premier (alter) or DM offspring, or a sire (father) having produced fifteen CFA Grand Champion/Premier or DM offspring. Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. After twelve weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment, showing, or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying, and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Balinese

What’s so great about a Balinese cat? Everything! Ask anyone who is owned by one of these fabulous felines what is so special about the breed, and you set off a glowing monologue that ends only when the speaker is exhausted. Despite his regal bearing and aristocratic appearance, the Balinese is a clown with a heart as big as a circus tent. To gauge the level of his intelligence, you have only to gaze into those sapphire eyes which sparkle with alertness and healthy curiosity. Although he is every bit as demonstrative and affectionate as the Siamese, he is somewhat less vocal, and his voice is softer.

Balinese enhance the elegance, grace and intelligence of the Siamese with the luxury of a silky flowing coat. Named for the graceful dancers of Bali, the coat is the most unique feature of the breed. It does not mat and lays close to the body, flowing along the cat’s lines, the tail forming a proud plume. It was initially accepted by CFA in the traditional Siamese colors. The lynx (tabby) point, tortie point patterns and other “non-traditional” Siamese colors were accepted in 1979 as a separate breed, the Javanese. In 2008, the breeders voted to merge the two, bringing the breeds more in line with other registries around the world.

It is generally accepted that the breed originated as a spontaneous longhaired mutation of the Siamese cat. Apparently, Mother Nature decided that the already glorious Siamese could be made even more glorious by adding the long, flowing coat to the svelte body lines of this graceful oriental beauty.

Coat length is the primary difference between the Siamese and the Balinese. Although it is probable that occasional longhaired kittens had been turning up in pedigreed Siamese litters long before they attracted the interest of a few imaginative breeders, no serious effort was made to promote the longhairs as a new breed until the 1940’s.

The breed standard of the Cat Fanciers’ Association describes the ideal Balinese as a svelte cat with long tapering lines, very lithe but strong and muscular, unique with its distinct range of colors and silky coat that hides a supple and athletic body. Like its ancestor breed, the Siamese, nearly everything about the Balinese is l-o-n-g, including body, head, legs and tail. It goes one step further than the Siamese in that its coat length is also long. The most distinctive feature of the Balinese is its luxurious tail plume.

Because the Balinese has a single coat, in contrast to the double coat of other longhairs, the hair lies close to the body, flowing naturally toward the rear. Thus, it does not detract from the long, slim lines of the basic body structure. Grooming is simple, for the coat does not mat like the double coat of most longhaired breeds.

Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. After twelve weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment, showing, or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying, and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Birman

Mystical, magical, enchanting with soulful blue eyes, a gentle demeanor, and the best friend you ever had… this describes the Birman cat.

The Birman beginnings are shrouded in legend and mystery. There are numerous folk tales and legends describing how the Birman obtained its unique colorings and markings that offer explanations, while the real Birman history keeps everyone guessing. What we do know is the Birman arrived in the USA in 1959 and registered with CFA in 1967; most Birmans in our country can be traced to England, France, Australia, and Germany.

The countries that nourished the Birman cat have imparted their national traits to this mysterious breed: the French, their flair for drama; the Gallic, their loving and affectionate nature; the English, their dignity and reserve; the Germans, their patience and practicality; the Australians, their adventurous spirit; and the Americans, their ingenuity. Add a touch of Far Eastern inscrutability, stir them together, and what you get is a Birman.

Like all color point cats, Birman kittens are born all white and develop their color as they mature. They come in a rainbow of colors, including seal, blue, lilac, chocolate, red, cream, and tortie. All these colors can be either the traditional solid pattern or the dramatic lynx pattern. A special and unique feature of the Birman is their beautiful white paws.

Ideally, the Birman is a medium-sized cat, strongly built cat with striking eyes, round face, and a Roman-shaped nose which all result in a pleasing expression.

The Birman fur is a single-length (no undercoat) soft, silky, and lush coat; they have a longer ruff around the neck and a fluffy tail. Their coats do not mat, and they require a minimum amount of grooming.

The Birman is a hearty, healthy cat that does not reach full maturity until approximately 3 years of age. Because of its exceptionally sweet nature, the Birman is easy to handle and makes an ideal pet. The Birman is sociable, gentle, quiet, loving, and companionable. They love to be with people and are playful and desirous of attention. They are social with both people and other animals. Because the Birman is patient, even-tempered and tolerant, they make an excellent choice for families with children and/or other pets.

Birmans are relatively quiet cats; most are soft spoken and refined, with soft chirp-like voices.

Birmans are very helpful; they love helping you make beds, load the dishwasher, fold laundry, read the newspaper, and work on the computer. They are a willing participant in whatever you do. You will never be alone with a Birman in your home.

Choosing a new kitten is an important decision for the entire family. It will be a commitment for the life of the cat. Most Birman breeders have a waiting list for their kittens, so be prepared to wait to get the kitten of your dreams. Usually kittens will be ready for their permanent homes between the ages of 12 to 16 weeks. Birman babies are learning life experiences from their mother, their siblings, and their people during this early time in their life, which helps to produce welladjusted, loving kittens. During this time, they will mature physically and have the social stability needed for their new home and life. Keeping your kitten/cat indoors, neutering/ spaying, and providing a loving home and proper veterinary care are essential to keep your Birman happy and healthy.

The Birman is unconditional love in a fur coat and will bring pleasure and happiness to your home and family. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Bombay

“I’d love to own a panther!”

At first glance, you may mistake a Bombay cat for a miniature panther. In fact, that is why the breed was created by Louisville, KY breeder Nikki Horner, who set her sights on producing a copper-eyed, black shorthaired cat with the exotic appearance of a mini or “parlor” panther. The black leopard of India inspired her choice of the breed’s name.

The Bombay is an example of a hybrid breed, combining characteristics of established domestic breeds to create and maintain a specific, third look. Although the goal is to produce cats who look like wild panthers, there is absolutely no wild blood in the breed. Ms. Horner began her effort in 1953 with the selective breeding of a black American Shorthair with rich eye color bred to a Grand Champion sable Burmese female. Through a long, selective process of line breeding and outcross breeding, she was able to consistently produce a black cat unlike any other. Black American Shorthairs and sable Burmese are still allowable breed outcrosses.

The Bombay achieved CFA championship status in 1976, and the rest, as they say, is history. The beguiling, charming shiny black coat with the brilliant gold to copper eyes caught on with the public and other breeders and exhibitors. Although small in numbers, the breed has consistently contributed to national and regional winner status.

It has been said that if you want a dog, a cat or a monkey all rolled into one mischievious package, then the Bombay is the breed for you. They can be leash trained, and most enjoy playing “fetch” and are fond of inventing new ways to entertain themselves and the humans with whom they live. Bombays are congenial, outgoing and make intelligent, affectionate companions. They adapt well to busy life styles and usually get along with children, elders and other pets. The Bombay generally combines the easy going temperament and robust nature of the American Shorthair and the social, inquisitive, lap-loving character of the Burmese.

With the exception of color, the Bombay and Burmese standards are very similar. Whereas the Burmese body presents a compact sturdy appearance, the Bombay body is of medium length, presenting a more lithesome appearance than its Burmese cousin. The Bombay’s head is “rounded” with a short muzzle. The coat is the most defining characteristic of the Bombay. Its short, flat, gleaming, black-to-the-roots coat accentuates its rippling muscular form. And, along with its conspicuous large, brilliant gold to copper eye color, the Bombay is described as the “patent leather kid with the new penny eyes.”

In selecting a Bombay kitten, consider what characteristics are most important to you and discuss them with the breeder, who knows each kitten and can help match you with the right one. Kittens are usually available around sixteen weeks of age, by which time they have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying, and providing acceptable surfaces for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential to maintaining a healthy, long and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

British Shorthair

Compared to most shorthair breeds, British Shorthairs are relatively calm cats when they mature. They are easygoing in nature and talk infrequently. Very affectionate, they become quite attached to the people they own. British Shorthairs are easily trained and very adaptable. They seem to get along well with all human members of the household, regardless of age, but are usually not fond of being carried. Pets of all kinds have been kept with British Shorthairs, including dogs of all sizes, rabbits, and birds. British Shorthairs are not known for being acrobats and can tend to be clumsy at times. No breed specific, health related problems plague the British Shorthair.

These are sturdy, dense-coated, purring, teddy bear cats with large round eyes. Another thing that draws people to the British Shorthair is their size. Although they are not huge like the Maine Coon, they are a medium to large cat. They are a slow maturing breed and do not reach their full size until three years of age. Mature males avergae nine to seventeen pounds, and mature females average seven to twelve pounds. Although most people think of them as being blue cats, they come in a number of colors and patterns. Not every blue cat is a British Shorthair. It is still considered one of the minority breeds in CFA.

Probably the oldest English breed of cat, the British Shorthair can trace its ancestry back to the domestic cats of Rome. This breed was first prized for its physical strength and hunting ability. Today, the most they usually hunt is for their own food bowls. British Shorthairs may have started out as street cats in the United Kingdom, but with plenty of hard work from breeders all over the world, the British Shorthair has become a force to be reckoned with on the CFA show bench, having been recognized as a breed in May 1980. They are now beautiful, much-loved cats internationally.

As mentioned previously, British Shorthairs have no specific breed-related diseases. When choosing a British Shorthair for your family, pricing usually depends on type, applicable markings, and parentage. Achievements which can be found in the pedigree include CFA titles such as GC (Grand Champion), GP (Grand Premier), NW (National Winner), BW (Breed Winner), and RW (Regional Winner). There is also the coveted award of DM (Distinguished Merit), which means that a female has produced five CFA Grand Champions/Premiers, and a male has produces fifteen CFA Grand Champions/Premiers.

Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. The experts seem to agree that kittens first start bonding with humans around the age of twelve weeks. After twelve weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations, have been weaned, and have had the time to become well-adjusted. Most breeders require that they remain safely indoors and that they be spayed/neutered. Due to the breeders’ diligence in placing cats, rarely does a British Shorthair need to be rescued from a shelter. CFA and most breeders disapprove of declawing and tendonectomy surgery. With proper care, these cats will live a long, healthy, and joyful life and bring happiness to their family. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Burmese

The Burmese breed first came to America in 1930 when Dr. Joseph Thompson of San Francisco brought a small walnut brown female cat from Burma. He named her Wong Mau and bred her to Siamese cats. Through selective breeding the unique solid brown colored coat, now known as Sable, was isolated. This work demonstrated that these Burmese cats were a distinct breed and ultimately led the breeders to request championship recognition from the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA). Along the way, the other colors seen in the Siamese breed were also seen in litters. Over time and with much controversy, these other colors were accepted by CFA. The four colors we now recognize in CFA are Sable, a rich dark brown; Champagne, a warm beige; Platinum, a pale gray with fawn undertones; and Blue, a medium gray with fawn undertones.

Burmese cats carry surprising weight for their size. Their coats are short and close-lying, and they have a very silky texture. They need very little grooming, usually requiring only some daily petting. You will see a range of styles of Burmese cats, with those with rounder heads and shorter bodies being the show cats. Their large, expressive eyes radiate an innocence that will seduce you, and they have an irresistible appeal that has won over many a person who thought he didn’t like cats. Burmese cats have an endearing quality that has won the hearts of those lucky enough to be owned by one. They have great affection for their people, wanting to be with them as much as possible without being overly demanding. Many Burmese will even play fetch with a toy, given the chance.

Burmese kittens can be quite spirited. They are playful and fearless, attempting feats beyond their means and landing on their sturdy little rear ends. A Burmese kitten will remain playful well into adulthood. As they mature, their unique intelligence will reveal itself as their personalities unfold. They will soon grow into confident and charming little executives who will rule the house and your heart. Burmese are soft-spoken beings who have little trouble making their wishes known. They adore their people and are known for being good with children as well as liking (or at least tolerating) the family dog. Burmese are extremely people-oriented companions. Their personalities are almost dog-like. They will follow you from room to room, and they greatly desire to give and receive affection. They seek out warm laps and gentle strokes of your hand, and they love to snuggle up with their owners when they are reading or watching TV. Come bedtime they look forward to sleeping in or on your bed if allowed. Burmese are convinced that it is their job to run the house. Females tend to demand center stage and take an active role in managing the household. Males on the other hand tend to be more relaxed, managing from a comfortable spot on your lap. Be forewarned - Burmese cats can be addictive! It is not uncommon for someone to acquire a Burmese and find one is not enough. Many people ultimately have two or more Burmese, one of each gender or of different colors. Being one of the most trusting cat breeds, Burmese should never be allowed outside. They are outgoing and fearless, knowing nothing of the world outside their doors and the dangers that might await them.

A Burmese cat should be purchased only from a reputable breeder. Avoid pet shops. Make sure you visit the breeder’s home prior to committing to a purchase. Although each breeder has their own way of managing their cattery, the home should appear clean and relatively odor free. The kittens should be energetic, curious and easily handled. The kittens as well as all the adult cats in the home should appear healthy with clear eyes, noses, and ears. Their coats should appear healthy. A reputable breeder will offer a health guarantee, good for a reasonable amount of time, for any kitten or cat sold. Registration papers should be provided, usually after the kitten has been altered. The breeder should suggest you have your own veterinarian examine the kitten or cat shortly after the sale and be willing to take the animal back for a full refund if it is found to be unhealthy. A breeder should also commit to be available to answer your questions once you bring your new kitten home.

The pricing of Burmese cats and kittens varies depending on the breeder’s location, the show-worthiness of the cat, and whether the breeder has already spayed or neutered the kitten. Most kittens are placed in their new homes at the age of twelve to sixteen weeks. At this point they should have received their series of kitten shots and have developed the physical and social skills needed to move to their new environment. It is important to keep these rare treasures indoors. If not already done by the breeder, they should be spayed or neutered before they reach six months of age. They should be offered scratching posts to express their natural behavior of scratching, which is essential for maintaining a healthy, long and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Burmilla

The Burmilla is medium sized cat with a muscular yet elegant body. The head is sculptured in appearance, where the rounded top head, nose profile, medium broad muzzle and well-developed chin set the balance. The eyes can be any shade of green and are often greenish gold to yellowish in youth, with the green coming in as they mature. The overall look should be somewhat like a Burmese, but with a sweeter, more open expression. Their distinguishing feature is their sparkling silver coat, and distinctive “make up” lining the nose, lips and eyes. The Burmilla comes in two coat lengths, semi longhair and shorthair.

The Burmilla is an irreverent and independent cat that adores its owner and displays many kitten-like characteristics even into adulthood. The temperament of the Burmilla is quite exceptional. The demanding and mischievous nature of the Burmese, mixed with the easy going and laid back personality of the Chinchilla Persian, makes the Burmilla sociable, playful, and affectionate. Fun loving, yet quiet and gentle, this sweet natured cat gets along well with children and other animals. In all, an intelligent inquisitive nature and a most affectionate seductive personality are some irresistible qualities of the Burmilla.

The Burmilla Longhair is a true semi-longhair, with a fine silky coat, feathering to the underside, britches, plume and bib. These cats should not require intensive grooming and should not look like a pet quality Chinchilla, i.e. big full coat, short legs and cobby body, extreme short face and little ears. They should be a Burmilla in fancy dress.

While the Burmilla is the newest breed to grace the cat fancy as a CFA breed, the origin to this breed dates back over 30 years ago. Baroness Miranda Von Kirchberg originally purchased a Chinchilla Persian male, Jemari Sanquist, as a pet for her husband. Shortly before having him neutered, he accidentally met up with a precocious Lilac Burmese female, Bambino Lilac Fabergé. When a cleaner inadvertently left Fabergé’s door open, she was able to escape and mated with Sanquist, thus producing the very first litter of Burmilla. The result of this mating produced 4 female kittens, all shorthair and black shaded silver in color. These kittens, born on September 11, 1981, were so attractive that it was decided to embark upon a breeding program.

Burmillas are still quite a rare breed in the United States. Look for kittens available from reputable breeders around sixteen weeks of age, after they have been well socialized and have had their inoculations. Keeping such a rare treasure inside; neutering or spaying and providing acceptable surfaces scratching posts (CFA disapproves of declawing) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long and joyful life.

For more information, please contact the Breed Committee Chair for this breed.

Chartreux

The Chartreux may be one of The Cat Fanciers’ Association’s oldest new breeds. Chartreux history is steeped in legend, even though the breed was only advanced to championship status in 1987.

Recent research has proven that the origin of these cats was in ancient Persia. They probably arrived at the French monasteries with knights returning from the Crusades. Some cats remained behind and became a vital part of monastic life.

There exists a lovely old legend that the Chartreux lived with, and were named for, the Carthusian monks of France, and perhaps even shared a tipple or two of their famous Chartreuse liqueur! Recent research, however, indicates that because of the woolly character of their fur, they were given the same name as a well known Spanish wool of the early 18th century. Since this method of naming is common in animal husbandry, it is very likely the truth. Nevertheless, the presence of this natural breed of cat was noted in documents as early as the 16th century, and was acknowledged for its unique coat texture and color. Whatever the reason, the Chartreux adopted France with all their native vitality and intelligence, and the country adopted the breed.

The Chartreux is a study in contrasts. Often described as a “potato on toothpicks,” the Chartreux has a robust body, broad shoulders and a deep chest, all complemented by medium short, finely boned legs. The Chartreux is well muscled, which would enable the cat to meet its obligation as the fine mouser it is reputed to be in French literature. Unlike any other cat, the Chartreux’s blue fur is medium in length and woolly, with the proper coat breaking at the neck, chest, and flanks. A dense undercoat gives it resistance to the elements and a feeling of sheep’s wool.

The Chartreux is known for its smile. The rounded head with its softly contoured forehead tapers to a narrowed muzzle. This gives the Chartreux an image of smiling. The nose is straight with a slight stop at eye level. The Chartreux’s eyes are one of its most endearing features. They are rounded, but not as round as the Persian’s. The outer corners curve slightly upward. Color ranges from gold to copper, the latter being most preferred by breeders. This preference could actually describe the Chartreux as a “sweet potato on toothpicks.” The ears should be medium in height and width, set high and erect on the head. Most importantly, the Chartreux should enjoy being handled for exhibition.

Chartreux quickly become attached to one family and frequently follow them from room to room. Known for their dog-like behavior, these cats can be taught to fetch a ball, and most will respond to their names. By tradition, all kittens born in a given year are named beginning with a specific letter of the alphabet for that particular year. Breeders use only 20 letters, omitting K, Q, W, X, Y and Z.

The Chartreux is a quiet breed, chirping rather than meowing at things it finds interesting. This intelligent cat is fascinated by television and sitting in a sunny window watching birds and other outdoor wildlife. Chartreux kittens are quick to play and interact with their human companions.

Physical maturity can be three years in coming, with a scraggly stage between kitten and adulthood that puts one in mind of a gawky, adolescent youngster. Then, almost overnight, they put it all together, with stunning results. Environment and attention have everything to do with this breed’s adult manners and behavior. Brushing the double coat is a no-no. Instead, running your fingers through the fur on a daily basis will suffice and will also contribute to your cat’s social demeanor at the same time.

Chartreux kittens are generally available by reservation only inasmuch as the breed is zealously protected by its breeders and demand for these endearing cats outstrips availability. During World War II, some French breeders tried to save the breed from extinction by outcrossing to Persians and British Shorthairs, resulting in the European Shorthair. However, the original Chartreux cats that were imported to the United States came from the French countryside, and only those cats were used in breeding programs to produce and preserve the natural status of the present pedigreed Chartreux. This lovely breed was brought to the United States through the efforts of John and Helen Gamon who were committed to finding and acquiring the beautiful cats. Today, many American-bred Chartreux are being returned to French breeders, thus reducing even further their availability in the United States.

Pricing on Chartreux usually depends on type, applicable markings and bloodlines distinguished by Grand Champion (GC), National Regional winning parentage (NW or RW) or of Distinguished Merit parentage (DM). The DM title is achieved by the dam (mother) having produced five CFA grand champion/premier (alter) or DM offspring, or sire (father) having produced fifteen CFA grand champion/premier or DM offspring. Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. After twelve weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment, showing, or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long and joyful life.

For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Chinese Li Hua

The Chinese Li Hua cat – pronounced as “Lee Wah” – is a new breed from China. They were accepted at the February 2010 CFA Board meeting as an officially recognized breed, and are currently being shown in the miscellaneous class. The Chinese Li Hua is a natural breed of cat, not the result of hybridization.

The Chinese Li Hua is one of the earliest known breeds of domestic cat, and are native to China. They have lived in a wide area of China for centuries, and are mentioned in old books and old pieces of literature.

The breed comes in just a single color, brown mackerel tabby, and should show spectacular color and clarity of pattern. The hairs on the body are ticked, with each hair having a black root, the middle section a lighter color, and the tip of the hair brown.

The eyes are large and almond-shaped, with the outer corner slightly higher than the inner corner. Eyes can be green, yellow, or brown, but the green color is preferred.

They are a sturdy and well-proportioned breed, and are relatively slow to mature, taking as long as three years. Females are generally smaller than males – females weighing no less than 8 ½ pounds, with males generally weighing over 11 pounds.

Their disposition is gentle and easy to handle, and they will live quite peacefully with other cats and other breeds. They are very loyal to their owners, and are smart as well. Zhao Shangzai (1908-1942), a famous character in Chinese history, once trained his Li Hua to fetch the papers.

Pricing on Chinese Li Hua usually depends on type, applicable markings and bloodlines. Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. After twelve weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment, showing, or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Committee Chair for this breed.

Colorpoint Shorthair

Colorpoint Shorthairs are an affectionate breed, devoted and loyal to their people. Sensitive to their owner’s moods, Colorpoints are more than happy to sit at your side or on your lap and purr words of encouragement on a bad day. Colorpoints, like the Siamese, are talkative and want to discuss their day with anyone who will listen. If you don’t seem to want to pay attention to them, they will insist, following you around the house chattering away in their somewhat raspy voice. Colorpoints are very intelligent and easily learn to play games such as fetch. An item as simple as a wad of paper or as sophisticated as a stuffed mouse will become the object of their full attention as they demand that you throw it for them to bring back to you.

The Colorpoint Shorthair, like many of CFA’s breeds, is a man-made breed. In the 1940s-1950s, a few adventurous breeders decided that the beautiful Siamese would look nice in red. A seal point Siamese was bred to a red tabby American Shorthair, and a breed was born! CFA advanced the Colorpoints to championship status in 1964 with the red and cream points, and advanced the lynx and tortie points in 1969. The Colorpoint Shorthair breed currently includes 16 colors, with body and head type identical to the Siamese.

Today’s Colorpoints are elegant and refined, with long, hard bodies, fine boning, and wedge-shaped heads with large, flaring ears. Their almond-shaped eyes are deep vivid blue, slanted towards the nose, in harmony with the shape of the wedge head and the placement of the ears. A blindfolded person holding both a good Siamese and a good Colorpoint should not be able to tell the difference.

Like their Siamese cousins, Colorpoint Shorthairs require little grooming. Most never need a bath. Gentle brushing with a rubber brush will remove loose hairs, and the coat can be “finished” by smoothing with a chamois cloth. Good food with lots of protein and plenty of playtime exercise will maintain the muscular body that is part of the natural beauty of the Colorpoint. These cats are heat seekers; they enjoy the warmth of your lap even on warm summer evenings. Colorpoints bask in the sunlight during the day and sleep under the covers with you at night. Heed the instructions of your cat’s breeder when you acquire your Colorpoint Shorthair, and you will be blessed with a long-lived joyous companion.

When looking for a Colorpoint Shorthair, you should look for a reputable breeder who will have a series of questions for you designed to make sure that you and the kitten are compatible. Do not be surprised if there is a wait of some sort, especially if you want a particular color or sex. These little treasures are worth the wait!

Since the Colorpoint is a close relative of the Siamese, there are sometimes Siamese-colored kittens in the litters, and you may find these in your search for a companion. With respect to being someone’s beloved pet, cats of these non-showable colors are just as wonderful and loving as showable cats, and you will not notice the difference.

Breeders usually make kittens available between the ages of 14-16 weeks when they have had sufficient time with their mother and littermates to socialize and have had at least the basic vaccinations. Many breeders have retired show cats for adoption, and these adults are a great option for some, as this breed retains their loving nature their whole lives. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Cornish Rex

The Cornish Rex is a study in curves, with curly coat, curved profile, large expressive ears, and Whippetlike arched bodies. In spite of their sophisticated, elegant appearance, they are anything but cool, aloof, or dignified. They are affectionate, people-oriented, and active cats whose kitten-like antics last a lifetime. Favorite Cornish Rex games are fetch and catch, and they may even use their agile paws to pick up and toss small objects. Belying its fragile appearance, the Cornish Rex is a very sturdy breed. They are perfect pets for the owner who wants active cats to participate in family life.

The most striking feature of the breed is its very noticeably curly coat. Ideally falling in marcel waves, the coat is very short, lies close to the body, and is incredibly soft to the touch, prompting comparisons to cut velvet, karakul lamb, rabbit fur, or silk. In fact, nothing else feels exactly like a Cornish Rex coat.

In addition to the coat, this breed is remarkable for its distinct egg-shaped head with high cheekbones, hollow cheeks, a strongly bridged Roman nose, and large ears set high on the head. The body has been compared to that of a Whippet, with its arched back, barrel chest, small waist, and very fine, long legs. In spite of their dainty appearance, these small to medium sized cats are extremely hard-bodied and muscular, using their welldeveloped hips and long legs for fast starts and stops, quick turns, and high jumps.

Because of the Cornish Rex’s short, fine textured coat, some people mistakenly believe that they do not shed and are hypoallergenic. In fact, all cats are constantly renewing their coats as old hairs are replaced by new ones. By comparison to some other breeds, Cornish Rex shedding is minimal, but they do indeed shed.

Although otherworldly in appearance, Cornish Rex cats originated in Cornwall, England, where one first appeared in a litter of barn cats in 1950. A cream-colored male, named Kallibunker, was covered in tight rows of tiny curls, giving him the appearance of a miniature lamb. As he grew, his differences from his littermates became more dramatic: a slender, fine-boned body standing on long legs, a narrow head, enormous “bat ears,” and a long, whippy tail. Kallibunker was a genuine mutation and was bred back to his mother to produce curly kittens. The curly coated cats were bred with Burmese, Siamese, and British domestic shorthair cats, resulting in a broad genetic base for the Cornish Rex breed and the knowledge that the gene was recessive.

In selecting a Cornish Rex kitten, consider what characteristics are most important to you and discuss them with the breeder, who usually knows each kitten and can help match you with the right one. Kittens are usually available around sixteen weeks of age, by which time they have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment. Cornish Rex pricing usually depends on type, applicable marking, and bloodlines distinguished by Grand Champion (GC), National or Regional winning parentage (NW or RW), or Distinguished Merit parentage (DM). Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying, and providing acceptable surfaces for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential to maintaining a healthy, long, and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Devon Rex

The Devon Rex, the Pixie of the Cat Fancy, sports oversized ears on an elfin face with large impish eyes. This adorable combination only hints at the mad-cap personality within – a cross, some say, between a cat, a dog, a monkey, and Dennis the Menace. They are a fun and fun-loving breed with a relaxed and social attitude rarely associated with cats. Delightfully silly in both appearance and antics, Devons are interested in everything and everyone around them. Their playful nature means Devons easily learn tricks and are always up for a game of hide-and-seek, tag, or fetch.

This unique breed possesses intensely loyal, human-loving, dog-like qualities. A person must be prepared to be owned by a Devon. A Devon will eat with you, sleep with you, and perch cozily on your shoulder while you are on the computer or reading. They will follow you around the house, sit at your feet, or jump on your lap the minute you sit down. A Devon will accompany you on your household chores, happily trilling, cooing, and chirping as they look for ways to help. Children and Devons are naturals as best friends and tireless playmates.

Family members will frequently find a Devon nestled in their laps or cradled in their arms. You should not be surprised to find a Devon tucked in bed with you or another family member, snuggled underneath the covers or firmly settled onto a pillow. Devons remain kittens at heart forever, and their loving nature connects them deeply with every family member.

The social nature of the Devon makes them unsuited to spending long periods of time without companionship. Devons do not discriminate in terms of the company they keep. They do very well with people, other Devons (often creating a “Devon pile”), cats, dogs, and even the occasional bird, ferret, or rabbit.

Words of caution: Devons are food hounds. Whether it is the traditional burger and fries or the more unusual asparagus tips, grapes, or olives, be prepared to guard your dinner plate from the fast and crafty Devon in the house. They never turn down a meal and would be happy to assist you with yours. Do not be taken in by the pleading or the heartbreakingly pitiful expressions that would suggest they have not had a meal in weeks.

The appearance of the Devon Rex is far from ordinary, given their long skinny necks, oddly shaped heads, ridiculously big ears, and coat that can range from wildly curly to a soft suedelike down. They really are 100% feline, even if they seem to be 99% personality and 1% cat. Adult Devons are midsized cats, averaging six to nine pounds, with males heavier than females. The coat may vary over the life of the cat, with some kittens dropping much of their coat (molting) during their development, and some adult coats changing seasonally. Devons are low maintenance, wash-and-wear companions. Despite popular myth, Devons are not hypoallergenic. They do shed, although their unique coat may make the shedding hair less obtrusive than that of many cats. While some people with animal allergies tolerate Devons very well, anyone with allergy issues should arrange to handle a Devon before considering acquiring one.

They may look like they have just arrived on Earth on an alien spaceship, but they are a natural mutation. They originated in Devonshire, England, in the late 1950s when a Miss Cox found that a stray cat in her care had given birth to a rather odd looking curly-haired kitten. Delighted with the kitten’s elfin features and wavy curls, she named him Kirlee – the founding father of this unique breed.

Mother Nature created the feline oddity, this lithe and winsome pixie cat. Man had no hand in the mutation, but man did step in and make it possible for the mutation to survive and flourish, providing cat lovers around the globe the opportunity to meet, love, and be loved by one of nature’s true miracles – the Devon Rex cat. Colors include a wide array of solid, shaded, smoke, tabby, bi-color, and pointed patterns.

When selecting your Devon Rex kitten or cat, it is important you take the time to properly interview and get to know a breeder, as this will be to your advantage when looking for a Devon Rex to join your family. Breeders will usually make kittens available between the ages of 14 to 16 weeks, when they have had sufficient time with their mother and littermates to be well socialized and old enough to have been fully vaccinated. Keeping your Devon indoors, neutering or spaying, and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long, and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Egyptian Mau

The exotic appearance of the Egyptian Mau is only the beginning of the magic of the breed. Owners of the Egyptian Mau find them unique in many ways in addition to their striking spotted coat patterns. These cats display exceptional intelligence and exhibit a fierce loyalty to their owners. Even though domesticated, several characteristics of their early ancestors have been retained. These include the Cheetah gait and a loose skin flap that extends from flank to hind leg, which allows the Mau remarkable freedom and agility in twisting and jumping.

Most people are attracted to Egyptian Mau because of their exotic good looks. They fall in love with them because of their incredible, irrepressible personalities. All cats are characters, but these, well, they’re absolutely enchanting. Like all cats, they are individuals, one and all, but typical for the breed they tend to take it to extremes. Friendly to everyone in the family, they tend to be cautious with strangers and select their “Special Person.” On their own territory, they tend to be extremely outgoing with absolutely no fear and a ton of curiosity. They make wonderful companions.

The Egyptian Maus are interactive cats. They dote on their humans and expect to be an integral part of the family. Some people call them the gentle cousins of the Abyssinian. While they certainly aren’t hyper, legend has it that they have some of the fastest reflexes ever seen in a feline. They are shoulder riders, refrigerator vultures, and furry alarm clocks but can definitely take a confident hand when handling. Most Egyptian Maus have very distinct ideas about who can handle them and when. They are sensitive, people-oriented cats, but they like things on their terms and dote on their people.

When you look at an Egyptian Mau, or catch sight of one out of the corner of your eye, they should draw you back through the ages to something a little exotic, a little jungle, a little breath-taking, and a little primitive. Make no mistake, these are heartbreakingly beautiful cats. No picture or book can do justice to the exotic beauty found in a silver Egyptian Mau’s dazzling green eyes and shiny spots, the ghostly elegance found in a smoke Egyptian Mau’s pattern, or the livingroom- leopard grace of the bronze.

These cats give the impression of strength, substance, grace, and agility. They are supposed to be a muscular cat with a medium long lithe body. A truly exceptional example will thrill the onlooker with its elegance and beauty. These are ballerinas, not linebackers, and topping the athletic, refined but moderate body is the crowning glory of the Mau: the totally unique head with the large, expressive gooseberry green eyes and beautiful medium to large broad-based ears set so that there is ample width between.

Legend and mystery surround the origins of this ancient and royal breed. Although time had obscured the true ancestry of the modern day Egyptian Mau, when an Egytpian Mau poses regally on a judging table and gazes out with its haunting, imperious eyes, one can envision these creatures gracing ancient Egyptian temples. And grace them they did. The Egyptian Mau was worshipped by pharaohs and kings. The word Mau meant cat or sun in Ancient Egypt, and there is no question that the Egyptians revered the cat both as a god and as a treasure. Papyri and frescoes dating back as far as 1550 B.C. depict spotted cats. Many documents found from the dawn of the New Kingdom on make it obvious that the cat was an integral part of daily life, as well as a worshipped deity.

Inherent to the Egyptian Mau is the word “natural.” The Egyptian Mau is the only naturally spotted breed of domestic cat. As such, these cats are limited to the colors that occurred naturally – silver, bronze, smoke, and black – as well as the dilute versions of these colors – blue silver, blue spotted, blue smoke, and blue. Although the black and dilute Maus are not eligible for showing, they make excellent pets, as do all other Maus.

When looking for an Egyptian Mau, you should look for a reputable breeder who will undoubtedly have a series of questions for you, designed to make sure that you and the Egyptian Mau are compatible. Do not be surprised if there is a wait of some sort. These little treasures are worth it. Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

European Burmese

One of the biggest advantages of purchasing a pedigreed cat is that you will know the personality and characteristics of the breed. This helps you in choosing the breed that will best fit into your home, family, and lifestyle.

The European Burmese is a very affectionate, intelligent, and loyal cat. They thrive on companionship and will want to be with you, participating in everything you do. While they might pick a favorite family member, chances are that they will interact with everyone in the home, as well as any visitors that come to call. They are inquisitive and playful, even as adults. Expect them to be in your lap whenever you sit down and snuggle up next to you in bed. They become fast friends to other cats and even dogs, making them the perfect addition to your family.

Taking care of a European Burmese is very easy. They do not require bathing, and regular grooming with a rubbertype brush will keep shedding under control. “Scratching” is a natural behavior for all cats, so a scratching post should be provided. Sharp claws can also be trimmed with clippers. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors and neutering or spaying are all essential elements for giving your European Burmese a healthy, long, and joyful life.

The European Burmese is a medium sized, shorthaired cat of far eastern origins. Body type is elegant with gently rounded contours, solid boning, and excellent musculature. Eyes are large, alert, and expressive, with color ranging from yellow to amber. Coat colors include brown, chocolate, blue, lilac, cream, and a soft apricot red. Tortoiseshell colors are also popular.

The European Burmese and the Burmese we know in North America originated from the same source – Wong Mau, the first Burmese introduced to the Western world by Dr. Thompson in 1930. As Wong Mau was the only example of her type, she had to be mated to another breed of similar type. The obvious choice then was the Siamese. Resulting litters revealed that Wong Mau herself carried a pointed gene, as kittens in her litters were both solid and pointed in color.

The solids were selected for further propagation of the breed. From the United States, the breed spread east to the United Kingdom, where the same lack of breeding stock led again to the introduction of the Siamese. From then on, the breed followed different courses of development; today we have two very different looking cats with two different standards, both sharing a common ancestry.

The most obvious difference between the breeds is the array of colors displayed by the European Burmese – ten to be exact. Introduction of the red gene is responsible for the additional colors. This gene was introduced both deliberately and by accident. In the U.K., Siamese come in many colors, including red points, so the introduction of this gene to the existing four colors (brown, chocolate, blue, and lilac) produced the colors red, cream, brown-tortie, chocolatetortie, blue-tortie, and lilac-tortie.

There is also a difference in type between the two Burmese breeds. The European Burmese is an elegant, moderate cat with gently rounded contours, whereas the Burmese has a compact, well rounded appearance. The eye shape differs between the two breeds. The European Burmese should have eyes with a top line that is slightly curved, with a slant towards the nose. The lower line should be rounded. The Burmese eyes should have a rounded aperture.

If you think that a European Burmese would be a good fit for your family, you’re probably wondering what the next step will be to find one. Many breeders have web sites and are also listed in national publications. Doing an Internet search should help you find a breeder close to you. Kittens are usually ready to leave their mom at the age of 12 to 16 weeks. Being with mom and siblings this long helps them develop the physical and emotional stability needed for their move to a new environment. They will also have received their first set of vaccinations by 12 weeks. Pricing will depend on type (show quality or pet quality) and may vary depending on location. Some kittens might come from Grand Champion (GC), National (NW), National Breed (BW), and/or Regional (RW) winning parentage. This may also influence the price of the kitten. Often times, breeders will have adult cats available for adoption, too. These cats are usually retired show kitties and are ready to be in a forever home. Whether you choose a kitten or an older cat, you are sure to have many wonderful years ahead of you with your European Burmese! For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Exotic

As spectators at the show walk by the cage they look quizzically at the cat and say, “It looks like a Persian but it has short hair. The sign says Exotic. Exotic what?!”

With today’s busy lifestyles the cat has become a popular pet. Cats are best kept indoors and do well in an apartment or a house. The popularity of the Persian has been evident for many years. The Persian represents the largest class in shows and boasts the largest number of cats registered each year in CFA. However, Persians require daily grooming to maintain their beautiful coat. For busy people who like the look of a Persian but don’t have time for the daily grooming demands, the Exotics are the best kept secret of the cat fancy.

They are bred to meet the Persian standard in every way with one very special exception: the coat has a thick, dense, plush, short coat. The Exotic coat is unique to the breed and gives them a soft, rounded, teddy bear look. Their wonderful coat requires much less combing than a Persian’s and will not mat or tangle. Because of the ease of grooming for this special breed, Exotics are sometimes affectionately referred to as the lazy man’s Persian.

What is it like living with an Exotic? Are they like Persians, or do they resemble their shorthaired ancestors? Over the years, as the type and coat have changed, so has the personality of the Exotic. As the Exotic’s line of Persian ancestors became longer and longer, their temperament has become more and more Persian like. Indeed, there is no longer much difference in the temperament of the two breeds. Exotics have a quiet, endearing nature. Their voices are seldom heard.

The Exotic is an ideal breed that produces a quiet, sweet, peaceful and loyal companion. They are easy going and not much seems to disturb them. In general, they are extremely affectionate. They quietly beg for your attention by just sitting in front of you with an irresistible look focused on your eyes. They will jump in your lap to curl up for a nap or push their wet nose right into your face. Some like to sit on your shoulder and hug you when you pet them. They may or may not sleep with you as some prefer cooler places like the bricks on the hearth or the tiled floor. An Exotic is very comfortable to have in your home. They give you privacy and are not constantly demanding attention. They will, They are just as playful and fun loving as other breeds. They will jump until exhausted trying to catch a toy on a stick, or they will sit and carefully study how to get the toy down from the top of the bookcase where it was placed when you stopped playing with them.

When people call for a pet kitten, they almost always ask for a female, thinking that a girl will be sweeter and more loving. Many also believe that males will be more aggressive and prone to spray. However, neither assumption is correct. Male Exotics are, in general, more affectionate than females. Females can be somewhat more aloof. They always seem to have more important things to do than cuddle with their owner. Exotics mature later than most other breeds, and since all pets should be neutered and spayed at an early age, problems related to spraying and other adult urges need never be a concern.

Exotic kittens exhibit the same level of activity as do Persian kittens. Some breeders say that the Exotic kittens do everything first: open their eyes, climb out of the box, start eating, etc. Adult Exotics enjoy simple pleasures, like watching water drip from a faucet or chasing paper balls around the house.

The easy going nature of the Exotic allows it to fit into your home at any age. Exotics stay playful as adults and bring pleasure for many years. All things considered, the Exotic is a wonderful addition to any family. Adorable to look at, peaceful and clean, what more could you ask for the perfect pet. The Exotic is really the “best of two worlds.”

Pricing on Exotics usually depends on type, applicable markings and bloodlines distinguished by Grand Champion (GC), National Regional winning parentage (NW or RW) or of Distinguished Merit parentage (DM). The DM title is achieved by the dam (mother) having produced five CFA grand champion/premier (alter) or DM offspring, or sire (father) having produced fifteen CFA grand champion/ premier or DM offspring. Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. After twelve weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment, showing, or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Havana Brown

The phrase “Chocolate Delights” is often used by Havana Brown enthusiasts to describe this charming chocolate brown cat with the mesmerizing green eyes. They are alert, intelligent, affectionate and occasionally exhibit a mischievious personality. A breed for the true cat connoisseur, many say that once you have been “owned” by a Havana Brown, no other breed will do.

Sharing your home with a Havana Brown is both a privilege and a pleasure. Human companionship and interaction is a necessity for this breed. They get along well with other cats, dogs and children. Individual personalities vary, of course. Some may be somewhat reserved; however, most are outgoing, playful and talkative in a charming, coquettish way. Not only will these delightful brown characters insist on being a part of every activity in the household, they also insist on having the very last word on everything.

The breed is considered moderately active when compared to some of the other shorthair breeds. They love nothing more than a sprint around the house or a game of tag if there are other cats to join in. Second to playing, their next favorite pastime is napping. Their choice of a sleeping partner may very well be their favorite human companion.

Being naturally inquisitive, the Havana Brown reaches out with a paw to touch and feel when investigating curiosities in its environment. They are truly sensitive by nature and frequently gently touch their human companions as if they are extending a paw of friendship.

While a minimum of grooming and maintenance is required for this shorthaired breed, it is important that a regular grooming and bathing routine be established at an early age. Most Havana Browns love attention and will happily submit to a full body rub down with a soft rubber brush. Front and back claws should be clipped and the insides of the ears gently cleaned. Finish with a quick buffing using your hands, a soft chamois cloth or silk scarf. They experience a minimal amount of hair loss or shedding, so bathing on a regular basis is not necessary if the cat is not being shown.

The ideal Havana Brown is best described as a cat of medium size and structure, firm and muscular, exhibiting a sense of power yet also elegance and gracefulness. The two most distinctive features of the breed are its color and head shape. Its distinctive muzzle shape, coat color, large forward-tilted ears and striking green eyes set it apart from other breeds.

The color of the Havana is a rich, warm, even brown – tending toward red-brown rather than black-brown. The coat is short to medium in length, smooth, lustrous and close lying. The feel of the coat has been likened to that of a luxorious mink coat.

Picking up a Havana for the first time can be a surprising experience, as this lithe-looking cat actually weighs more than it appears. Males are proportionally larger than females. Overall balance and proportion are stressed more than size.

The head is slightly longer than it is wide, narrowing to a rounded muzzle with a definite break on either side of very prominent whisker pads. When viewed in profile, there is a distinct stop at the eyes. The one-of-a-kind muzzle is often compared to a light bulb or a corncob stuck on the end of the face.

The striking oval green eyes of the Havana are unforgettable. Any even shade of green is acceptable; the greener, the better.

Ears are large, round-tipped, wide-set and pricked slightly forward, giving the cat an alert appearance. There is little hair inside or outside of the ears, with an obvious sparseness of hair in front of the ears. Nose leather is brown with a rosy tone; paw pads are rosy-toned. Whiskers must be brown to complement the coat color. Sparse hair on the chin at the lower lip is a unique feature of this breed.

This lovely brown cat originated in England as the result of planned breedings between Siamese and domestic black cats by a number of devoted English cat fanciers whose general goal was to produce a self-brown cat. The breed was first imported to North America in the 1950s. These early imports became part of the foundation stock for the Havana Brown of today. In England, the Havana follows the type of the Siamese, while in North America, breeders have maintained the look of the early imports. In an effort to increase the shrinking gene pool, breeders received approval in 1998/1999 to permit outcrossing to unregistered black or blue domestic shorthairs, certain colors of Oriental Shorthairs, or chocolate point or seal point Siamese. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Japanese Bobtail

Full of energy, always playful, loving, endearing, and happy best describe the Japanese Bobtail’s personality. They are very people-oriented and want to be the center of family life. The will watch TV with you, help you read the newspaper or a book, and they love to help you send emails on the computer! When your front doorbell rings, they will go with you to greet your guests. If you want a cat that will interact with you and your family, then the Japanese Bobtail is the breed for you! They like to carry things in their mouths, and most enjoy a good game of fetch or soccer. Masters of the pounce, these cats love to play tag with their cat friends. They are excellent travelers and enjoy cat shows and hotel rooms. They adjust to dogs and other animals and are especially good with children. They are naturals at Feline Agility. They love to jump hurdles and leap through hoops and are speedy and proficient at this sport. They have been known to run the course in less than 10 seconds!

The tail is unique not only to the breed, but to each individual cat. Like out finger prints, no two tails are ever alike. The tail must be clearly visible and is composed of one or more curves, angles, or kinks, or any combination. The furthest extension of the tailbone from the body should be no longer than three inches. The direction in which the tail is carried is not important. The tail may be flexible or rigid and should be of a size or shape to harmonize with the rest of the cat. The genetic factor which created the Japanese Bobtail is due to dominant genes and breeds true.

The other unique feature that distinguishes this breed from other breeds is that the back legs are slightly longer than the front legs, giving the back legs a very muscular appearance. The head of the Japanese Bobtail is triangular, and their ears are upright and at right angles to the head. Their eyes appear oval rather than round, giving an oriental cast to the face. They are a medium-sized cat, with males being slightly larger than the females.

Japanese Bobtails come in many colors: solid colors, mi-ke (calico), vans, and bi-colors. They can have a tabby pattern which is either spotted, mackerel, or classic. They also come in two different coat lengths – longhair and shorthair - and are known for their soft and silky coats. The United States has more van colored and bi-colored cats registered than solid colored cats. Probably one of the most recognizable colors is the mi-ke (calico).

The Japanese Bobtail is one of the oldest naturally occurring breeds of cat and is native to the islands of Japan. From written records it seems certain that the domestic cat first arrived in Japan from China or Korea at least one thousand years ago. It is believed that the original domestic cats came with the Buddhist monks in 600-700 A.D. and were brought to keep the rats out of the rice paper scrolls in the temples. In the 1600s, the silk trade found itself in jeopardy due to rats, and the Japanese Bobtail was pressed into service and thus became the street cat that it is today in Japan. All CFA registered cats can be traced back to the original and current imported cats. The Japanese Bobtail has certainly existed in Japan for many centuries; it is featured in many ancient prints and paintings. Elizabeth Freret imported the first Japanese Bobtails to the United States in 1968. The Shorthair Japanese Bobtail was accepted for championship status in 1976, followed by the Longhair Japanese Bobtail in 1993.

Japanese Bobtails are very strong and healthy cats. They usually have litters of three to four kittens that are large for newborns. Compared to other breeds, the kittens are active earlier, walk earlier, and start getting into trouble earlier! This breed has a low kitten mortality rate and a high disease resistance rate. Kittens are never born tailless, nor are they born with full tails. They are active, intelligent, talkative cats. Their soft voices are capable of nearly a whole scale of tones; some people say they sing. Since they adore their human’s companionship, they almost always speak when spoken to.

Choosing a new kitten is an important decision for the entire family. It will be a commitment for the life of the cat. Usually breeders make kittens available between the ages of 3 and 4 months. Japanese Bobtail babies are continually learning life experiences from their parents and their people, which helps to produce well-balanced, loving kittens. After 12 weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations and have developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering/ spaying, and providing acceptable toys and scratching posts all help to keep your new kitten happy and healthy. The care and grooming of the Japanese Bobtail is very easy. Since the cat has no undercoat, combing once a week will remove any dead hairs; because of this feature, neither long nor short coat lengths will mat.

The Japanese Bobtail is a delightful animal and will bring much pleasure and happiness to your home and family. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Korat

The Korat was discovered in Ampur Pimai of the Korat province in Thailand. The earliest known record of the Korat appears in The Cat-Book of Poems or Smud Khoi of Cats, produced some time during the Ayudhya Period of Siamese History (1350-1767). This book presents the seventeen “good luck” cats of Thailand, including the Korat, and is presently located at Bangkok’s National Library.

The Korat has a unique color, defined as silver-tipped blue, which gives it a shimmering shine. The color appears to absorb light, giving a “halo” effect. It is a short, single and close-lying coat. Their hair does not float off when they are stroked or petted, so most people with allergies to cat hair find their proximity tolerable. The roots are lighter with color increasing in shade up the shaft to a deeper blue until it reaches the tips, which are silver. The silver tipping is more prevalent on the muzzle and toes. The Korat only comes in the silvertipped blue color.

The Korat has a unique head structure that is based off of a “heart shape.” There are a total of five hearts associated with the Korat. The head contains three of these heart-shapes: looking straight on at the Korat, you see the Valentine-shaped heart of the head. The second heart is found by looking down over the top of the Korat’s head, and the third heart associated with the head is the nose. The fourth heart can be found in the muscular area of the chest when the cat is in a sitting position. But the most commonly forgotten heart is the one inside the cat! As the Korat matures, the heart shapes become more prominent.

The Korat’s body is semi-cobby, with a tapering at the waist. They do not appear to have much weight but are surprisingly hefty. The feeling is that of a well-coiled spring! The bulk of the weight is carried towards the front through rounded, well-developed, muscular shoulders. The neck is fairly short and heavy, connecting to a broad chest, with the shoulders somewhat wider than the chest.

Korats have extraordinary powers of hearing, sight and scent. They form strong bonds with their owners and respond warmly to cuddling, sitting as close as possible. They are very active in play but gentle with children.

The Korat is possibly the cat in the fancy that most closely resembles its original look – more than any other breed. Comparing a Korat from the earliest pictures to one from today, one finds little to no difference in the cats. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

LaPerm

The kitten that exhibited traits of the original mutation that has formed the basis for the LaPerm breed sprang from strong, healthy, domestic “barn cat” stock. In 1982, on an Oregon farm located near the ancient hunting and fishing grounds of the Wishram Indians, a litter of six kittens was born to a barn cat. One of the kittens was born completely bald – looking nothing like her mother or her littermates. While the kitten had no hair, it did have large wide-spaced ears and blueprint pattern on her skin that mimicked a classic tabby pattern. Within eight weeks, the kitten began to grow very soft, curly hair. At three to four months of age the kitten, now named “Curly,” had a full coat of curly hair. Not being very knowledgeable about cats, the owner accepted the “mutant” as unique and thought nothing more of the matter.


During the next 10 years, no attempt was made to breed selectively, but as the frequency of bald kittens increased in the random bred litters, the owner of the farm began to seek additional information about her unusual cats. She had no knowledge of genetics or breeding and thus allowed the cats to roam freely throughout the barns and orchard for several years. As she became aware of how truly unique these cats were, she started to confine the cats and control the breedings. It appeared that the curly gene was dominant and carried by both males and females. This breeder was totally unprepared for the interest and excitement generated by cats she decided to enter in a cat show. The owner gave the cats the name “LaPerm,” which means wavy or rippled.

The LaPerm can sport anything from a wavy coat to ringlettype curls that range from tight ringlets to long corkscrew curls. The tightest curls occur on the underside of the cat, on the throat area, and at the base of the ears. The longhair is generally blessed with a curly plumed tail and often exhibits a full, curly ruff. The coat is moderately soft in texture, yet each cat’s coat is distinctly unique. The shorthair has more texture to the coat than does the longhaired variety. It does not have the ruff, has a “bottle-brush” type tail, and the coat generally stands away from the body, parting down the middle.

The LaPerm comes in every recognized color and coat pattern. Some kittens can be born hairless, but most have short wavy hair or straight hair at birth. Kittens often go almost totally bald, beginning with a spot on the tops of their heads. This process generally starts when the kittens are about two weeks old, and they can be in varying stages of baldness during their first four months or so. The coat will generally come back in and will always be curly if the kitten was born curly. Coat variations throughout the life of a LaPerm range from molting that can leave a sparse, thin coat to a possible full coat after neutering or spaying.

LaPerms are gentle and affectionate but also very active. Unlike many active breeds, the LaPerm is also quite content to be a lap cat. The LaPerm will often follow your lead; that is, if they are busy playing and you decide to sit and relax, simply pick up your LaPerm and sit down with it, and it will stay in your lap, devouring the attention you give it. LaPerms seek human contact and will purr as soon as they become aware of your presence. They are inquisitive by nature and always want to know what is going on around them. They will reach for your face with their paws and rub their faces against your head, neck, and face.

LaPerms are truly different from any other breed of cat because of their unique combination of appearance and people-oriented personalities. The breed has captivated nearly everyone who has the opportunity of seeing one. Once a LaPerm graces your household, you will be hard pressed to think of living with any other breed and may find it necessary to have more than one. Cradling a LaPerm in your arms can touch your senses. Running your fingers through the sensuous coat becomes automatic, and you won’t want to stop. Listening to the purr and seeing the intelligence unfold as you teach your cat tricks, such as fetching, will give you an unmatched feeling of love and respect for the breed. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Maine Coon Cat

Myths, legend and lore surround the Maine Coon Cat. Some are amusing, some are fantastic flights of fantasy and some are merely plausible. They certainly provide good material for conversation. Many books and articles dealing with these aspects of the Maine Coon Cat are available and have been well received as people never seem to tire of the subject and are always eager to learn more about this National Treasure.

The Maine Coon Cat is the native American long-haired cat and was first recognized as a specific breed in Maine where it was named the official cat of the state. These cats were held in high regard by the locals for their mousing talents and special competitions were even held to reward the best “Coon Cat.”

The Maine Coon cat evolved through nature’s own breeding program developing characteristics by following a “survival of the fittest” evolution. The characteristics all have a purpose or function. Maine Coons developed into sturdy, working cats suited to the harsh winters and varied seasons of the Northeast region. The Maine Coon of today is known for a sturdy, rugged appearance, which includes an uneven, shaggy coat of three distinct lengths and a long, well furnished tail. They carry that tail proudly and use it to surround themselves for warmth and protection. A Maine Coon Cat has large, well tufted paws to allow ability to walk on top of snow despite size and weight. Ears are large and well tufted for protection and warmth. Even more than for beauty, Maine Coons are noted for intelligence and kindly disposition. After all, what they couldn’t obtain themselves, they could always get by charming a nearby human. Though their size can be intimidating, they are known for their friendliness towards just about anything and are especially good with children and other pets. For these reasons, they have been dubbed the “Gentle Giant” of the cat fancy and are commonly sought after as family pets, companions, and therapy cats.

After years of local competitions and adoration, the Maine Coon Cat was chosen as Best Cat at the first major cat show ever held in the United States. “Cosey,” a brown tabby female Maine Coon Cat, was awarded this distinction at the Madison Square Garden show held in NYC in May of 1895. The silver collar and medal awarded to Cosey is on display at the CFA headquarters in Alliance, Ohio.

The transition from adorned or glorified “Barn Cat” to pedigreed CFA finalist was neither an easy one nor did it happen quickly. The Maine Coon Cat was all the rage in the early 20th century but lost popularity after the introduction of other long-haired breeds to the U.S. The Maine Coon Cat was even thought extinct in the 1950’s. Luckily, rumors of their death were greatly exaggerated and thanks to the dedication and perseverance of breeders, the Maine Coon Cat breed was accepted for CFA championship status in 1976. At present, sometimes the largest number of entries in a CFA show will be Maine Coon Cats and it is not unusual for one of them to be named Best Cat in a ring or even of the entire show. Recently, GC, NW, Highlander Tony Bennett of Wenlock achieved one of CFA’s top awards: Highest Scoring Cat in Premiership.

Maine Coon Cats are intelligent, trainable, described as “dog like”. They will offer you hours of enjoyment with their antics but can at times be intrusive. Without question they want to be part of everything and your privacy may require a closed door between you and your cat. Most Maine Coon Cats have a fondness of water, to be in it, watch it, wash their food in it, or just plain play in it, so don’t be surprised if you have an uninvited guest in your shower or help washing the dishes on any given day.

The Maine Coon Cat has a silky and somewhat oily coat, it is not dense and its upkeep is much easier than that of other longhaired breeds. The coat is almost self-maintained but will require occasional grooming. Because they love attention of any kind, grooming is easily accomplished.

Maine Coon Cats are an affordable pedigreed addition to any household. Prices vary in different areas of the country and overseas, depending on an individual breeder’s guidelines. “Show” vs. “pet” qualities are often a determining factor as well as the pedigree or titles held by the cats in the kitten’s “family tree.” However, many breeders offer retired show or breeding cats at a reduced cost to welcoming homes.

Kittens are normally available after 12 weeks of age, once they are weaned, physically stable, and have received basic inoculations. Socialization, additional examinations, testing and/or guarantees will vary from breeder to breeder. Maine Coon Cats and kittens are available from reputable CFA breeders in most areas in the U.S., Canada, and overseas, however, the transportation of cats/kittens to new homes depends on the individual breeder’s practices.

Your new Maine Coon Cat addition should be kept indoors, spayed/neutered (if purchased as a pet) and be provided proper nutrition and acceptable surfaces for expression of natural behavior, for example, clean litter pans and scratching surfaces (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery and most breeders will have related stipulations as part of their contract).

Available in a variety of about 75 different color combinations (with the exception of pointed pattern and colors) and two acceptable tabby patterns (classic and mackerel), there is a Maine Coon Cat just right for anyone. Although it is impossible to predict longevity, with proper care and nutrition, your Maine Coon Cat should give you many years of love, enjoyment, and companionship. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Manx

The Manx cat is an ancient breed that originated on the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea. The Manx taillessness is caused by a mutation that probably originated among the island’s native shorthair cat population and, because it is a dominat gene, spread to the other cats on the island. Although the original island cats were shorthairs, the longhair gene was undoubtedly introduced during the long rule of the Vikings, when the the longhaired beauties that are the ancestors of today’s Norwegian Forest Cats left the Viking ships and comingled with the native cats. The Manx cat is the working cat on the Isle of Man and, as such, has a strong constitution, great intelligence, and a personality that is active yet not hyperactive.

The Manx were one of the original show cats. They were represented in the first cat shows held in Great Britain. Their ancient legacy continues, as when CFA was founded in 1906, they were one of the founding breeds.

To the best of our knowledge, all Manx have at least one gene for a full tail. Therefore, even two cats carrying the Manx (tailless) gene can produce a full-tailed kitten. In addition, the Manx gene is an incomplete dominant, so even kittens that inherit it can show varying tail lengths, from a full tail to no tail at all. It is possible to have all tail lengths in a single litter. Only the rumpy, with no tail at all, or a rumpy riser, with only a slight rise of bone where a tail would start, is eligible for competition in the championship classes at CFA cat shows. All other tail lengths may compete in the AOV (all other varieties) class. Tailed cats are valuable in Manx breeding programs and help to keep the Manx strong and healthy. Numerous Grand Champions and Regional and National Winners have come from a tailed parent, and the first Manx DM (Distinguished Merit award for a female producing at least 5 grands or a male producing 15) was a long-tailed female.

Besides taillessness, the Manx is known for its robust and rounded appearance with great depth of flank. This breed can actually be drawn with a series of circles. It has a very round head with rounded cheeks which give it a jowly appearance, especially in the male. It has high hindquarters with the back legs much longer than the forelegs, causing the rump to be higher than the shoulders. The shortness of the back forms a continuous arch from shoulders to rump. The Manx eyes are large and rounded, set at a slight tilt towards the ear. The ears are wide at the base, tapering to a rounded tip. Medium in size, they are widely spaced and set slightly outward. The ear should resemble the rocker on a cradle.

Manx come in both longhair and shorthair varieties. Both varieties have double coats which should be very dense and plush. Shorthairs should have an outer coat which is somewhat hard and glossy, although softer coats can be seen in whites and dilutes due to a color/texture link. The longhair has a silky coat which is medium in length, with breeches, abdomen, and neck ruff being longer than the coat on the main body.

The Manx are very playful and intelligent cats who are devoted to their families. They have extremely powerful hindquarters which allow them to jump to great heights and run with rapid acceleration and quick turns. The Manx is often said to be “dog-like” both in their loyalty to their families and their love of interactive play. They have a great sense of humor and are not above playing practical jokes on their families. They get along wonderfully with children and other family pets and have been known to protect their families from real or supposed danger. If given the chance, they are still great hunters, and a house with a Manx will certainly never have to worry about rodents. Manx mothers teach their kittens to hunt early in life using whatever “prey” they have available, such as bugs, feather toys, catnip mice, and other objects. A house with a Manx will never be boring! For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Norwegian Forest Cat

Known as the Skogkatt in its native Norway, the Norwegian Forest Cat is a large, semi-longhaired cat whose rugged appearance fits its name. Despite the hardy facade, this breed is very much a homebody that enjoys the company of other pets and particularly their human companions. Their relationship with you can best be described as “on their own terms.” Yes, Forest Cats can be lap cats, but THEY will decide when to get on or off that lap. At a minimum, Forest Cats insist on being near their people in a place of their choosing: chair, bed, or desktop. A scratching post and a cat tree, preferably tall, are musts for the Norwegian Forest Cat home. These are moderatley active cats; there will be bursts of energy followed by long naps. Sensitive yet social, you will find them to be intelligent cats that adapt readily to change. Breeders are often asked if these cats need to be outside. As with all cats, inside the home is quite suitable and is certainly the safest environment. Providing interesting toys, perches with outside views, and most importantly, regular one-on-one time will result in a well-adjusted cat.

To the inexperienced eye, the Norwegian Forest Cat may resemble other semi-longhaired breeds such as the Maine Coon or even some random bred longhaired cats. In fact, there is considerable difference. Without a doubt, the expression of the Norwegian Forest Cat is striking and distinctive among pedigreed cats. Large, almond-shaped eyes with their oblique set and the equilateral triangle-shaped head contribute to the unique appearance of this breed. Viewed from the side, the Forest Cat has a straight profile, i.e. straight from the brow ridge to the tip of the nose. Heavily furnished ears that fit into the triangle finish the look.

The Norwegian Forest Cat has an insulated, waterproof double coat that was designed to withstand the Scandinavian winters of its origin. The texture of this coat also matches that environment – longer, coarse guard hairs over a dense undercoat. A full frontal ruff, bushy tail, rear britches, and tufted paws help to equip this feline for life in a region that borders the Arctic. Surprisingly, this coat does not require the care of some of the longhair breeds: weekly combing along with a little more attention in the springtime should cover it. Often identified by their brown tabby and white coats, Norwegian Forest Cats actually come in most colors, from pure white to deepest coal black, with every possible coat pattern and color combination in between, with the exception of the colorpoint colors as seen in the Siamese or Persian-Himalayan, such as seal point or chocolate point.

The fully mature (approximately age five) Norwegian Forest Cat is a large, sturdy cat, well-muscled with significant boning. Expect a male to weigh from 12 to 16 pounds; fully grown females will weigh from 9 to 12 pounds.

Although the Norwegian Forest Cat is a relatively new breed in the United States, it is a very old breed in Norway, featured in folk tales and mythology for centuries. The term skogkatt literally means “forest cat.” In all probability, this was the cat the Viking explorers took with them to keep their ships clear of rodents, the same job they had in the barns in the Norwegian countryside. Their first arrival on the east coast of North America may have been with Leif Erickson or his contemporaries in the late 900s.

Norwegian Forest Cats were almost lost as a distinct breed through hybridization with the free-roaming domestic shorthairs in Norway. Interest was aroused among Norwegian cat fanciers who became determined to save the breed, but World War II put a hold on their efforts. Efforts after the war were finally successful, resulting in the Norwegian Forest Cat being not only welcomed into the show ring in Europe, but also designated the official cat of Norway by the late King Olaf. They were not exported from Norway until the late 1970s, and the first pair arrived in the United States in November of 1979. The Norwegian Forest Cat was presented to the CFA Board for registration acceptance in February 1987 and in 1993 was accepted for full championship status.

Breeders usually make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. After twelve weeks, litters have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment, showing, and being transported. As you discuss the price of a kitten, consider that the breeder often makes one or more trips to Europe to research and obtain cats for their breeding program. Other considerations may include titles obtained by these cats in competition or parentage, as well as preferred markings and type. Discussions with the breeder should include recommendations on spay/neuter surgery, feeding, and information on registering your kitten. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Ocicat

“Oh look, spots! Is it tame? What kind of cat is this? It must be something special.”

Indeed they are! This magnificent spotted cat never fails to steal the show, not to mention the hearts of those fortunate enough to own them. Feline enthusiasts have always been awed by the spotted cats of the wild: ocelots, margays, leopards, and others. Never before was there such an effort to breed an entirely domestic cat which can offer the spotted beauty of the wild cats while maintaining the lovely, predictable disposition of the domestic cat. The Ocicat originates from interbreeding of Abyssinian, Siamese, and American Shorthair and is the only spotted domestic breed selectively bred to emulate the cats of the wild.

Available in 12 colors, the ideal Ocicat is a large, active animal with an athletic appearance. It is very solid and well-muscled and has a short, tight coat with a satin sheen that shows off muscles and spots to their best advantage. In 1964, the original Ocicat was the unexpected result of an experimental breeding which attempted to produce an Abypoint Siamese. Mrs. Daly’s daughter named the breed the Ocicat because of its resemblance to the ocelot.

Tonga, the first Ocicat, was neutered and sold as a pet. When the Detroit newspaper publicized the lovely spotted cat, noted geneticist Dr. Clyde Keeler expressed his desire to see a domestic cat which would mimic some of the vanishing wild species. With this in mind, the breeding was repeated, and the Ocicat breed was truly born!

Recognized for CFA registration in 1966, it took another twenty years to develop the breed and gain the support for provisional status. The Ocicat was advanced to championship status in May 1987. They can now be seen at many shows.

While the Ocicat looks wild, its temperament is anything but ferocious. It is a lot like a dog in that it is absolutely devoted to its people. Not a demanding, clinging-vine type, the Ocicat is confident as well as dedicated to its owners. Bred for spots, the Ocicat also comes in four other patterns: ticked, classic tabby, solid, and pointed. But regardless of color or pattern, they all have that trademark personality to capture your heart.

When searching for an Oci kitten, keep in mind that most breeders make kittens available after 14 weeks of age. The consensus of most breeders is to do early spay/neuter and place kittens after 14 weeks once they have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment. Reputable breeders are interested in the future of the breed and are usually members of Breed Clubs and/or Breed Council and show their cats. The bloodlines are usually distinguished by titles such as Grand Champion (GC), Grand Premier (GP), National (NW), National Breed (BW), and/or Regional/Divisional (RW, DW) winning parentage, Agility Titles (AC, AW, AM, AG), and Distinguished Merit (DM), which distinguishes cats producing a certain amount of Grands or other DMs. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Oriental

The Oriental was developed to explore all the possibilities of color and pattern. Since its initial acceptance in CFA, Oriental breeders have maintained a constant pace to fulfill the breadth of this destiny.

The Oriental has an equally colorful personality. They are closely linked to the people they claim as their own and desperately want to share their lives with you. In the busiest moments, your Oriental will find a way to interrupt your activities – a little nudge while you eat, a close examination of your tooth brush prior to use, or some help tying your shoes before you leave in the morning. Of course, you’ll need help deciding which items to select from the refrigerator! In the calmest of times, they’ll share the warmth of your lap, provide a comforting purr, and nuzzle your chin when you need it the most. The eagerly greet you at the door and tell you all about their day. If you’re late, they will scold you and tell you how worried they were that you didn’t call. Hide their feather on top of the refrigerator? Wrong!

Curiosity and intelligence combine, providing them a means of finding anything and everything. They have been known to open a drawer or empty your purse to discover their favorite toy. It might be a pen or a crumpled up piece of paper that they can chase around the kitchen floor; it really doesn’t matter. Give them the attention and affection they so desperately need, and they will do anything to please you. Ignore them, and they will droop with despair. These elegant, svelte cats remain playful, spirited, and loyal well beyond their youth.

From the tip of its nose to the end of its long, whippy tail, the Oriental is a study in sleek design. This elegant cat gracefully glides across the room on its tall, slender legs. The lines of its angular head flow into its large flaring ears and are complimented by its almond-shaped eyes. Don’t be fooled by the svelte, tubular body; these cats have surprising weight and muscle tone and are neither frail nor fragile.

Orientals represent a diverse group of cats that have their foundation in the Siamese breed. When the Oriental Shorthair was accepted for championship status in 1977, it rapidly became one of CFA’s most popular breeds. With the 1995 addition of the Oriental Longhair into this family of sleek, muscular felines, the Oriental breed can provide a cat for just about anyone. These beautiful felines carry the same graceful bodies with the addition of a silky long coat and long plumed tail.

With over 600 color, pattern, and coat length combinations to choose from, you’re guaranteed to find an Oriental that will tickle your fancy. Imagine a Siamese wearing a head to toe coat in white, red, cream, ebony, blue, chestnut, lavender, cinnamon, or fawn. These are our solids. For a sparkling undercoat, stir in the silver gene (to all but the white), and you have a smoke Oriental. Perhaps, instead, you’d like the color restricted to the tips of the hair. For this, we have the shadeds to whet your appetite. Paint splashes of red and/or cream on any of these coats, and you have a parti-color.

If you like stripes on the legs, tail, and face, try a tabby in any of four different patterns: classic, mackerel, spotted, or ticked. Cross the patterns and colors together for a bit of variety, and 32 different combinations emerge…but we’re not through. Once again, add a patch of red and/or cream and voilà…another 24 combinations, referred to as patched tabbies. Layer in the sparkle of that silver gene, and you’ve added yet again 56 more! That’s 112 tabby combinations if you’ve been counting!

In 1995, Orientals added the bi-color pattern to their repertoire. With the clear white underside, legs, and chest, these distinctly marked members of this breed have already developed a following of devoted fans. Just imagine any of the colors listed above, plus pointed colors, that can be combined with the bi-color pattern!

True to their roots, Orientals also come in every point color imaginable, including delicious cinnamon lynx points and tortie smoke points to the more traditional point colors.

Usually breeders make kittens available between 12 and 16 weeks of age. After 16 weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment, showing, or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying, and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long, and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Persian

As the dusty desert caravans wound their way westward from Persia and Iran, it is supposed that secreted among the rare spices and jewels on the basket-laden camels was an even more precious cargo, an occasional longhair cat. They were called Persian for their "country of origin," but hieroglyphic references as early as 1684 B.C. shroud forever their exact beginnings.  

Persians, with their luxurious coats and open pansy-like faces are the number one breed in popularity. Their sweet, gentle, personalities blend into most households once they feel secure in their new environment. Creatures of habit, they are most at home in an atmosphere of security and serenity, but with love and reassurance, can easily adapt to the most boisterous of households. Their quiet, melodious voices are pleasant and non-abrasive. They communicate delightfully with their large expressive eyes and make charming pets for all ages. Persians have short heavilyboned legs to support their broad, short bodies. They like to have their feet firmly planted and are not given to high jumping and climbing. Playful but never demanding, they love to pose and will drape themselves in a favorite window or chair, enhancing the decor in much the same way as a treasured painting. Persians are tremendously responsive and become a constant source of joy and delight to their owners. Pleasurable as an unexpected sunbeam, their companionship is close and enduring.

Their long flowing coats require an indoor, protected environment. Proper maintenance requires a daily run-through with a metal comb to eliminate the potential drawbacks of tangles and hairballs. An occasional bath, attempted only after a complete comb-through and clipping of the nail tips, will keep the coat clean, healthy and beautiful. It is wise to establish the routine of the bath when they are young. While the white Persian has long been the darling of photographers and advertisers, Persians come in an astonishing number of colors, which are divided into seven color divisions for purposes of competition.

Solid Division

In the Solid Division, only the pristine whites come in three different eye colors. Some have brilliant copper or deep blue eyes, others the surprising combination of one blue and one copper eye of equal intensity. The other solid colors have brilliant copper eyes.

The coat color for all solids should be sound to the roots and free from markings or shadings. Blues, once the apex of the breed, have been interbred with other colors to produce a more uniform type. Their pale silver-blue coats are most beautiful when viewed in natural lighting. Blacks have glossy patent finishes that glisten with intensity. Pale milk-colored creams are the dilute of the deep vibrant glowing reds. Chocolates and lilacs, introduced through the combination of Persian and Himalayan, are rarely seen. The chocolate demonstrates a warm chocolate-brown color while the lilac is a warm lavender with a pinkish tone.  

Silver & Golden Division

The Silver and Golden Division consists of chinchilla and shaded silvers and goldens.

The exquisite silvers are considered the most ethereal of all Persians. The chinchilla is a sparkling white cat with black tipping scattered as evenly as stardust, ever so lightly, on the face, legs, tail and body. Shadeds show a mantle of black on the back, shading evenly down the sides. The tipping on the legs and face should match and is darker than the chinchilla. Goldens are either chinchilla or shaded. Their ground color is a rich, warm cream tipped with black. Silvers and goldens have green or blue-green eyes rimmed with black, black paw pads and brick red or rose nose leather.

Shaded & Smoke Division

The Shaded and Smoke Division includes the shell and shaded cameos which have red tipping with a white undercoat. The cream shell and shaded cameos demonstrate a white undercoat tipped with cream. The shell and shaded tortoiseshells have a mantle of black tipping with well-defined patches of red tipped hairs while the shell and shaded blue-creams have blue tipping with well-defined patches of cream tipped hair.

The smoke Persian is one of the most striking patterns of the Persian colors. There are six separate colors, black, blue, cream, cameo (red), smoke tortoiseshell and blue-cream smoke. In repose, the smoke appears to be a solid color cat. In motion, the coat will break open, giving glimpses of a startling white undercoat. All should have the characteristic white ruff and ear tufts. The perfect balance of undercoat to overcoat is transitory and the perfection of color balance can usually only be seen six to eight weeks annually. Their brilliant copper eyes seem almost like burning embers within the smoke setting.  

Tabby Division

The Tabbies are the extroverts of the Persian breed. They come in three patterns: classic, mackerel and patched tabby. The patched tabby may exhibit either the classic or mackerel pattern with the addition of patches of red. The classic tabby is identified by the bull’s eye markings on the side of the body while the mackerel pattern is characterized by narrow penciling encircling the body. The brilliantly contrasted markings can be as striking as an exotic jungle cat.

Often referred to as the “fun’’ cat, tabbies are outgoing and demonstrative. Their facial markings give them a zesty added appeal. Recognized colors are silver, blue silver, red, brown, blue, cream, cameo and cream cameo. There are no patched tabby patterns in red, cream and cameo. All have brilliant copper eyes except silver varieties which also may have green or hazel.  

Particolor Division

The Parti-Color Division consists of the tortoiseshell, blue-cream, chocolate tortoiseshell and lilac-cream.

The tortoiseshell is a black cat dispersed with great patches of red. A dividing blaze of color on the face adds interest to this brightly colored variety. The blue-cream, a delightful study in pastel, is a solid blue cat patched with cream. The muted coloring of the blue-cream and lilac-cream are as softly lovely as the tortoiseshell and chocolate tortie are flashy. All four colors have brilliant copper eyes.  

Bicolor Division

The Calico & Bi-Color Division consists of calicos, bi-colors, smoke and whites and tabby and whites. Calicos have white coats splashed with vivid patches of red and black, while the dilute calico is patched with blue and cream. The chocolate and lilac calicos have white coats splashed with vivid patches of chocolate and red or lilac and cream respectively.

A van pattern is a white cat with color confined to the head and extremities. A maximum of two spots of color are allowed on the body. Bi-colors (black, blue, red, cream, chocolate or lilac with white) commonly exhibit white on the feet, legs, undersides, chest and muzzle. All established colors and patterns of tabbies with white and smokes with white are shown in this division. All have brilliant copper eyes except for the silver tabby with white which also may have green or hazel.  

Himalayan Division

The Himalayan is one of the most popular of all Persians. The Himalayan is shown in the following point colors: chocolate, seal, lilac, blue, red, cream tortie, blue-cream, chocolate-tortie, lilac-cream, seal lynx, blue lynx, red lynx, cream lynx, tortie lynx, blue-cream lynx, chocolate lynx, lilac lynx, chocolate-tortie lynx and lilac-cream lynx. Color is restricted to the facial mask and extremities with the body of various shades of white to fawn.

Himalayans were developed by breeding Persians to Siamese to combine the Siamese point coloring with Persian type. After many years of cross breeding they were approved as accepted color variations of Persians. All must have deep vivid blue eyes as eyes other than blue are a disqualification.  

Keeping the Persian indoors also keeps it safe from transmission of disease and parasites, as well as the dangers of urban life. With an annual trip to a trusted veterinarian, and good nutrition and care, the Persian can live as a family member for easily 15 years, and some surpassing 20 years. Persian breeders dedicate themselves to breeding healthy cats, availing themselves of the latest in veterinary screening procedures to test for any heritable disease conditions. A well-bred Persian is a hardy and healthy cat and is not more prone to illness and respiratory infections than other breeds. However, the large eyes do mean that a certain amount of tearing is normal, and a daily face wash is recommended.

Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. After twelve weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment, showing, or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying, providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) and regular claw trimming are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

RagaMuffin

When you first see a RagaMuffin from a distance – you will find yourself in awe. There lies a gorgeous cat, with large expressive eyes that are just begging you to come closer. You will not believe its sumptuous color, its soft coat or the substantial feel to its body. As you approach this beautiful cat you will find yourself drawn by its eyes that welcome your attention and at the first touch of its luxurious coat, you will think you are in heaven.

RagaMuffins come in all coat colors and patterns, with or without white, with the pointed and pointed with white colors being registered by the CFA, but not shown. These are striking cats whether the color is solid, tabby and white, tortoiseshell, or mink. Its coat pattern and its symmetry are not considered important but all RagaMuffin breeders love the unique patterns and varieties that come naturally within the breed.

Their coats are medium-long and fully furred – similar to the coat of a rabbit. RagaMuffins are low maintenance cats. Although their coats are thick and plush, surprisingly they do not readily mat or clump and are easy to care for. Their overall softness makes you want to continually pet them, and when you go, these cats love every minute of your attention and just keep purring.

RagaMuffins are classically medium to large cats. Females tend to be significantly smaller than males. Females tend to average between eight and thirteen pounds and males averaging between fourteen to twenty pounds. Each is heavily boned and fully fleshed, with a tendency toward a fatty pad on the lower abdomen. They are fully mature at four years of age and have a long life expectancy.

A RagaMuffin’s personality is one of extreme sweetness. While this is hard to describe, it is best understood when you are owned by one of these cats. Over time, you begin to understand their exceptional personality and how it differs from that of most other cats. RagaMuffins form a strong bond with their families and once your home has been blessed with one, you will be forever hooked on the breed. They are addictive and you may soon find that just one of these cuddly teddy bears is just not enough.

RagaMuffins are wonderful with children and even other pets. Their calm and patient temperament lends itself to the boisterous, robust play of youngsters and they can easily be found attending tea parties or taking rides in baby strollers. RagaMuffins want to please, and some pet owners even report they can be taught tricks, such as fetching, or wearing a harness/leash. They also make wonderful companions for those who live alone because they provide much needed company and support. They listen to you and offer their love as a response.

They are quite likely to go limp in your arms, as the “rag” part of their name implies. As for their disposition, they tend to be calm and are likely to be found curled in your lap as you read a book or watch television. Yet, these are not lazy cats. Just pull out their toys and you will find them ready for action. Because they are very trusting animals they must be kept indoors only. There are far too many dangers for them beyond the front door.

The RagaMuffin was developed in 1994 from Ann Baker’s “Cherubim” breed, which began in Riverside, California in the early 1960’s from street cats. The exact development of the breed is clouded. The full story will likely stay a mystery, but the end result of the RagaMuffin breed is as rewarding as it is pleasurable. CFA granted registration status in 2003 and full championship status in 2011. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Ragdoll

Ragdolls are large, laid-back, semi longhaired cats with captivating blue eyes. The Ragdoll is a pointed breed, which means that the body is lighter in color than the points (the face, legs, tail and ears). The Ragdoll cat is carefully bred to produce large affectionate animals in three patterns, two with white (mitted and bi-color) and one with no white (colorpoint). The ideal Ragdoll is a well balanced cat, with no extreme features. Altered males will usually top the scale at 15-20 pounds; females are proportionately smaller and usually weigh between 10-15 pounds at maturity. Ragdolls are slow-maturing, reaching full coat color at two years, and full size and weight at four.

Ragdoll cats tend to be more interested in humans than some breeds of cats. They are known to run to greet you at the door, follow you from room to room, flop on you, sleep with you, and generally choose to be where you are. Many Ragdolls have been taught to come when called and play fetch. They are gentle cats, and usually play without extending their claws. Ragdolls tend to be floor cats, not jumpers. The Ragdoll’s semi long coat is plush and silky, and requires minimal grooming to keep it looking its best. They should be combed with a steel comb on a regular basis to find and remove any loose hair or tangles. Quality coats consist mainly of long, soft guard hairs. Ragdolls, just like all breeds of cats, will shed, usually with the change of seasons.The absence of the thick, dense, insulating undercoats results in reduced shedding and matting. In all, Ragdolls are well behaved, and easy to care for – perfect for our modern, busy, lifestyles.

There are four patterns: bi-color, van, mitted and colorpoint. Patterns come in six colors: seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red, and cream. Points may be solid, lynx, tortie, or torbie (tortie and lynx). If you do the math, you can see that there are quite a large number of different combinations possible! CFA accepts bi-color and van patterns, mitted and colorpoints for showing in the full array of color combinations.

Colorpoint Ragdolls have the classic pointed markings with no white anywhere in their coat. Mitteds have white feet in the front and white boots that go all the way up and around the hock in the back, a white chin and belly stripe. Mitted Ragdolls may have a blaze, star or hourglass shaped patch of white on their forehead and nose. Bi-colors have more white; all four paws, their underbodies, chest, and an upside-down ‘V’ marking on their faces are white. They may have a splash or two of white on their backs. Only their tails, ears, and the outer part of their masks show the darker markings. In the Van pattern, only the top of the mask, ears, and tail, and perhaps a few spots on the body, show darker markings.

Ragdolls were developed in the 1960’s by Ann Baker; a breeder in Riverside California. The origin of the Ragdoll breed consisted almost entirely of free-roaming cats. Ann bred Josephine, a domestic longhaired white female that was found running loose in her neighborhood, to other cats she owned or found. The offspring of this female had unique temperament traits that were very endearing. By selecting individuals with the look, temperament and criteria she wanted for her breeding program, she created the Ragdoll breed.

Pricing on Ragdolls usually depends on type, applicable markings and bloodlines distinguished by Grand Champion (GC), National Regional winning parentage (NW or RW) or of Distinguished Merit parentage (DM). The DM title is achieved by the dam (mother) having produced five CFA grand champion/premier (alter) or DM offspring, or sire (father) having produced fifteen CFA grand champion/ premier or DM offspring. Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. After twelve weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment, showing, or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Russian Blue

The sparkling, silvery blue coat and brilliant green eyes of the Russian Blue draw immediate attention to this shorthaired breed. But it’s the intelligent and playful disposition that makes the Russian Blue a perfect pet for most households.

The Russian Blue is a gentle cat with a somewhat shy nature around strangers. They are devoted to and affectionate with their loved ones. Sensitive to their owner’s moods, the Russian Blue will greet you at the door, find a quiet seat next to you, or fetch a toy at playtime. In fact, “fetching” is a favorite pastime for Russians and their owners! Pull out the vacuum cleaner, and the Russian will find a safer and quieter location. Relatively quiet-voiced (except perhaps at mealtime), the Russian Blue appreciates a pat on the head, a window from which to watch the birds, and, of course, the comforts of home. Minimal grooming is required; regular nail clipping, good nutrition, an occasional combing, and lots of petting keep your Russian Blue pet looking spectacular.

Little is known about the origin of the Russian Blue breed, though stories are legendary. Many believe the Russian Blue is a natural breed originating from the Archangel Isles in northern Russia, where the long winters developed a cat with a dense, plush coat. Rumors also abound that the Russian Blue breed descended from the cats kept by the Russian Czars. Assuming the Russian Blue did migrate from northern Russia, it was likely via ship to England and northern Europe in the mid 1860s.

First exhibited at London’s Crystal Palace in 1875 as the “Archangel Cat,” the original Russian Blue competed with all other blue cats. In 1912, the Russian Blue was given a separate class for competition as breeders in England and Scandinavia worked to develop the foundation bloodlines for the contemporary Russian Blue. Although Russian Blues were imported to the United States in the early 1900s, it wasn’t until after World War II that North American breeders began combining the European bloodlines to produce cats with plush, silvery coats, emerald eyes, and the distinctive profile. From the 1960s, the Russian Blue began gaining popularity and has become a favorite at cat shows and at home.

One of the features of the short, silky, dense coat is the plush feel and the lack of constant shedding. The coat color is an even, bright blue, and each guard hair appears as if dipped in silver – giving the Russian a silvery sheen and lustrous appearance. Russian Blues are registered in only one color – blue – and one coat length – short. In contrast to the blue coat, the Russian Blue has large, rounded, wide-set eyes that are vivid green. The head shape is a broad, medium wedge with a flat top and straight nose in profile. Large ears are wide at the base and set rakishly toward the side of the head. The Russian Blue is a medium-sized cat, fine-boned, long, and firmly muscled.

What makes the Russian Blue more than “any other grey cat?” The many years of selective breeding and careful registration of ancestry via pedigrees allowing only blue shorthaired cats has resulted in a breed with a distinctive appearance and a unique personality that sets it apart from other cats...making the Russian Blue an entertaining and affectionate companion to its family and friends.

When choosing your Russian Blue you should look for a reputable breeder, who will undoubtedly have a series of questions for you designed to make sure that you and the Russian Blue are compatible. Do not be surprised if there is a wait of some sort. These wonderful family members are worth it. Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age when they have had sufficient time with their mother and littermates to be well socialized and old enough to have been fully vaccinated. Keeping your Russian Blue indoors, neutering or spaying, and providing acceptable surfaces (scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long, and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Scottish Fold

In 1961 a shepherd by the name of William Ross spotted the first known Scottish Fold cat at a farm near Coupar Angus in the Tayside Region of Scotland, Northwest of Dundee. Ross asked the owners if he could have one of the kittens, and proceeded to develop the breed from the original, Susie, a white barn cat.

The unique thing about this cat was that her ears folded forward and downward on her head. The resulting look gave the impression of a “pixie,” “owl,” or “teddy bear” that has captured the hearts of many American cat fanciers and judges. The Scottish Fold was granted championship status by The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1978.

Scottish Folds come in two types: folded ear and straight (normal) ear. The folded ear is produced by an incomplete dominant gene and is the result of a spontaneous mutation.

Over the last two decades the Scottish Fold has developed a look all its own…even though allowed outcrosses include American Shorthairs and British Shorthairs. The Fold does not necessarily resemble the American Shorthair’s hard, powerful “working cat” body and squared-off muzzle. Nor does it look like the British Shorthair’s massive, compact body, short legs, and flat planed top-head. The Fold, instead, is a medium cat with a rounded, well-padded body and a short, dense, and resilient coat. It has large, round, broadly spaced eyes full of sweetness; well-rounded whisker pads and a short nose with a gentle curve in profile.

Scottish Fold kittens are born with straight ears. At about three to four weeks of age, their ears fold…or they don’t! It is usually around eleven to twelve weeks of age that the breeder can determine the quality (pet, breeder or show). Presently, only folded ear cats of Scottish lineage are permitted in the show ring, and naturally, every breeder wants to produce show cats. The straight ear progeny of Scottish Folds, nevertheless, are invaluable to the breeding program.

Due to the rarity of the Fold, AND due to the fact that not every kitten born has folded ears, it is very hard for the supply to keep up with the demand.

Scottish Folds are hardy cats, much like their barnyard ancestors. Their disposition matches their sweet expression. They have tiny voices and are not extremely vocal. They adore human companionship and display this in their own quiet way.

Scottish Folds adapt to almost any home situation and are as comfortable in a room full of noisy children and dogs as they are in a single person’s dwelling. They don’t usually panic at shows or in strange hotel rooms, and they adjust to other animals extremely well.

When inspecting a Fold for purchase, be sure to determine the flexibility of the tail and check the feet and legs. There must be no hint of thickness or lack of mobility due to short, coarse legs or splayed toes. Determination of tail flexibility can be accomplished by moving your hand down the tail in a VERY GENTLE, slightly upward-arching movement. With proper flexibility, this arching movement can be made without discomfort to the cat. Again, when doing this PLEASE BE GENTLE!

The Scottish Fold is an undemanding cat. A clean environment, proper nutrition, and generous doses of love are its only requirements.

Pricing on Scottish Folds usually depends on type, applicable markings and bloodlines distinguished by Grand Champion (GC), National Regional winning parentage (NW or RW) or of Distinguished Merit parentage (DM). The DM title is achieved by the dam (mother) having produced five CFA grand champion/premier (alter) or DM offspring, or sire (father) having produced fifteen CFA grand champion/ premier or DM offspring.

Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. After twelve weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment, showing, or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Selkirk Rex

One of the newest natural breeds, this naturally curly cat originated from a housecat, Miss DePesto of Noface, found in a shelter in Montana. Given to Persian breeder, Jeri Newman of Montana, who bred her to PhotoFinish of Deekay, a black Persian. “Pest” produced three curly kittens out of six – proving that unlike the Devon Rex and Cornish Rex, Pest’s mutation was dominant. Because the gene is dominant, curly kittens can be born in the same litter with straight haired kittens.

The Selkirk Rex is being developed as a large, heavy boned cat rather like the British Shorthair in conformation. The head is round with no flat planes. The curl is plush and loosely curled, showing up more dramatically on the longhair. Selkirks are healthy and sturdy. They are an incredibly patient, loving, and tolerant cats.

From the moment of birth, curly kittens can be distinguished from their straight haired littermates by their curly whiskers. The whiskers are brittle and may break as they grow longer. The whiskers and hair do not change as the cat grows older; if they are curly at birth, they are curly as an adult. Even if the coat later shows less curl, the cat has the curly gene and retains the curly whiskers.

A mature male or spayed female will have the best coat. In the best examples, the curling is strongest on the flanks, tummy and around the neck, with some curl on the back. The back of a Selkirk has the least amount of curl.

Selkirk Rexes come in two coat lengths: short and long. Each length has a separate division within the judging process. The care of the two different lengths of coats is similar to that of either a short or longhair coat. Brushing in either case should not be as frequent if the curly coat is to be maintained. Shampoos that do not coat the hair but leave the cat feeling silky and clean are the best to allow the hairs to curl.

This breed is not for the uptight organized pet owner. These cats’ humans must be prepared to take all kinds of hair jokes such as: “The cat with the bad hair day.” “Why don’t you groom your cat,” or “This cat is our dip and dry variety.” Such comments lead to the hidden secret: they make you laugh. Although they may not always win the beauty pageant, they always win the title of Miss Congeniality.

Selkirk Rex owners are consistently stopped by people with anxious hands wanting to pet and feel this soft, plush pet. The fortunate humans are those who can take these live teddy cats home for cuddles and hugs.

Pricing on Selkirk Rexes usually depends on type, applicable markings and bloodlines distinguished by Grand Champion (GC), National Regional winning parentage (NW or RW) or of Distinguished Merit parentage (DM). The DM title is achieved by the dam (mother) having produced five CFA grand champion/premier (alter) or DM offspring, or sire (father) having produced fifteen CFA grand champion/ premier or DM offspring. Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. After twelve weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment, showing, or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Siamese

Siamese have fascinated people around the world since they were first officially exported from Thailand, or, as it was known them, Siam, in the late 1800s. Their sleek lines, striking color contrast, finely chiseled aristocratic heads, deep blue almond eyes, and short silky coats make them living art. Combine this beauty with acute intelligence, inquisitive personality, and a loving nature, and you have the essence of the Siamese cat.

This ancient breed is able to communicate like no other. The Siamese voice is legendary. They speak both with their voice and with their body. They are the quintessential “people” cat, for they love to be in your lap, on your bed, at your table – and in your heart!

Seal points, still the best known of the four CFA Siamese colors, were the first to be recognized. With their seal brown, almost black extremities and their pale fawn bodies, they were sensational. While chocolate points, with creamy white bodies and milk chocolate legs, tail, mask, and ears did appear from time to time, it was the blue point that gained CFA recognition in 1934. The blue point has a bluish-white body with slate blue points. The chocolate point was recognized next. In 1955 the lilac point followed and completed the breed. The lilac point has pinkish grey points with a white body, which makes it most ethereal and delicate in color. While color is a prominent feature in this breed, structure is also important. The Siamese is a study in length. From the start, the breed standard has called for a long, wedge-shaped head and elongated body lines. The muscular, tubular body is supported by long legs and graced by a long neck and tail. The short, silky, close lying coat accentuates the long lines perfectly.

The long Siamese head is delineated by an absolutely straight profile and well aligned chin. From the front, the outline of the face presents a smooth wedge with large ears that complete the wedge. The outstanding feature of the head is the pair of deep blue almond eyes which are set at a slant.

If you have been able to resist all the other attributes of this breed, the eyes will captivate you. They radiate intelligence and emotion.

It is believed that Siamese are descended from the sacred temple cats in Siam, now called Thailand. They made their appearance in the United States in 1878 when the American President received “Siam” as a gift from the American Consul in Bangkok. In 1884 a breeding pair of Siamese cats was brought to the UK by the British Consul-General in Bangkok as a gift for his sister. The breed soon spread to other parts of Europe and Asia and were appearing in English cat shows almost immediately and in American shows by the early twentieth century. Officially recognized by CFA in 1906, they are one of the original breeds of pedigreed cats.

When selecting a Siamese kitten, bear in mind that breeders usually make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. After twelve weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment, showing, or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying, and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long, and joyful life. Pricing on Siamese usually depends on type, applicable markings, and bloodlines distinguished by Grand Champion (GC), National or Regional winning parentage (NW or RW), or Distinguished Merit parentage (DM). For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretaryfor this breed.

Siberian

Siberian cats are a Russian national treasure. They have been documented in Russia for hundreds of years and are mentioned in Russian fairy tales and children’s books. The breed also appears in Harrison Wier’s book Our Cats and All About Them, published in 1889. Russian families relay fond tales of their Siberians and their amazing loyalty and personalities, but these cats also have played a practical role on farms as rodent control. When the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States ended, the doors opened for the Siberian cat to be exported worldwide. The first Siberians arrived in the United States in June 1990. The Siberian was accepted for registration by CFA in February 2000 and advanced to championship status in February 2006.

The Siberian is a medium to large cat with the overall appearance of excellent physical condition, strength, balance, power, and alertness, modified by a sweet facial expression. Their eyes vary in color from gold to green and all shades inbetween. Some have two different colored eyes, and some even have blue eyes. Siberians are a natural breed and reflect the climate in which they developed, with their very dense, medium to long, water repellent triple coat. This coat is accented with a ruff around the neck, full fluffy britches, and a bushy tail, normally carried up with pride but also quite useful to wrap around the face and paws to keep warm. Lynx tipping on the ear is allowed, and full ear furnishings are required. This means that the tops of the ears can have hair, which makes the ears look pointed when in fact they are rounded, and that the inside of the ear has hair that protects it from the elements. This glorious and quite useful fur comes in all colors and combinations, with or without white markings, and tends to remain relatively tangle-free, requiring only occasional brushing. Fortunately, Siberians like to play in water, so if bathed regularly as kittens they may actually enjoy the attention of a bath.

This is a cat designed by nature to survive, with no extremes in type. The Siberian can take up to five years to mature, with females generally being smaller than the males. The general impression of the body is one of circles and roundness, rather than rectangles and triangles.

Although it has not been proven scientifically, many people believe that the Siberian is hypoallergenic. In fact, many allergy sufferers have a sensitivity to FelD1, and some Siberians have a lower than average occurence of FelD1 in their saliva. When a cat licks its fur, the saliva dries and flakes to create the dander to which people are allergic. This can vary from cat to cat and person to person. If you are allergic to cats and want to test your allergic response to Siberians, it is best to test with the Siberian you are thinking of getting. Spend time with it and find out how you react. There are no guarantees, but there is hope for allergy sufferers.

Siberian cats are very personable and want to be near their owners. They enjoy the company of children, dogs, and other animals. They are fearless and easygoing. Not much disturbs their natural calm and equanimity. They seem to know when they are needed for psychological and moral support and spend time with the person who needs that support. They are a quiet breed that expresses itself in a melodic way through sweet mews, trills, chirps, and lots of purring. All types of toys intrigue them. Some learn to play fetch, while others are intrigued by the moving cursor on the computer screen or sit and watch, entranced, as you type. Acrobatic by nature, the Siberian will play hard, often executing amazing somersaults in pursuit of a feather toy. An over enthusiastic kitten may need to be rescued while attempting to climb the bricks on the fireplace or jump to the top of a bookshelf. Siberians stay playful throughout their lives.

In selecting a Siberian kitten, consider what characteristics are most important to you and discuss them with the breeder who knows each kitten and can help match you with the right one. Kittens are usually available between 12 and 16 weeks of age, by which time they have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying, and providing acceptable surfaces for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential to maintaining a healthy, long, and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Singapura

Singapura is the Malaysian word for Singapore. The streets of Singapore are the origin of this breed. They are nature’s combination of both the ticked coat pattern and the dark brown color, both of which are indigenous to South East Asia.

The breed was brought into the U.S. in the early 1970s by Hal and Tommy Meadow, expatriates moving home. Early Singapura breeders quickly went to work to establish purebred characteristics such as breeding true, uniformity of appearance, and above all, health and disposition. This careful development of the breed has led to small numbers of diversified pedigreed cats but one that is widely desired and accepted. Today the breed is worldwide and recognized by most registration associations. In CFA, Singapuras were accepted for registration in 1982 and for championship competition in 1988.

The Singapura’s disposition is that of a “pesky people cat,” an extroverted, curious, playful but nondestructive cat that insists on helping you with everything. They are very intelligent and interactive with people and remain so even into old age. Disposition is one of their most endearing attributes. If you want a cat geared to “four on the floor,” don’t consider owning a Singapura.

The Singapura is a smaller than average, shorthaired cat with noticeably large eyes and ears. On first impression, you might think you were looking at some new color of Abyssinian. The pattern is nearly the same but on closer inspection you will note that the only other similarity is the large ears, everything else is different. The light beige coloring is unique and thought by some to be similar to cougars. The tail is normal length, the feet are very small, and the body is smaller, of a medium length and should be muscular. Eyes may be hazel, green or yellow but mature eye color is not predicable in kittens. Many veterinarians seeing a Singapura for the first time are apt to think something might be wrong with the kitten since it is so small. The Singapura is slow to develop and will not attain its full size until about 15 to 24 months of age. There isn’t much difference in size between mature males and females, females weighing approximately 5 to 6 pounds and males 6 to 8 pounds.

A pet quality cat will usually have cosmetic faults that make it unsuitable for showing or breeding. Some of the most common faults are head length (too long), eyes too close together, visible or non-visible tail faults, lack of complete nose-liner (the dark line around the nose leather), and markings on the outside of the front legs which should be clear of any markings. Additionally, only a limited number of male cats can be used in the breeding programs so only the best male kittens are retained for breeding. Regardless of the reason for a Singapura to be offered as a pet, you will find this cat’s intelligence, playfulness and unique appearance captivating from the first time you meet one.

Pricing on Singapuras usually depends on type, applicable markings and bloodlines distinguished by Grand Champion (GC), National Regional winning parentage (NW or RW) or of Distinguished Merit parentage (DM). The DM title is achieved by the dam (mother) having produced five CFA grand champion/premier (alter) or DM offspring, or sire (father) having produced fifteen CFA grand champion/ premier or DM offspring. Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. After twelve weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment, showing, or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Somali

The Somali is a breathtakingly beautiful cat, with a vibrantly colorful coat, full plume tail, and alert personality. The combination of ticked, dramatically colored fur, striking facial markings, large ears, dark hocks, and full bushy tail and britches gives the Somali a wild “little fox” look which immediately captivates. The Somali is a combination of beauty and personality; a very intelligent cat, its zest for life and love of play (many will fetch toys, open cupbaords, and play with water) blossom with human companionship. The Somali is the epitome of everything most people want in a companion animal – lively, alert, and actively engaged in everything that piques their curiosity – but when playtime is over, they will seek all the attention and affection their caretakers are willing to give. Once you’ve lived with a Somali, you’ve experienced the best!

The Somali is a well-proportioned, medium-sized cat with firm muscular development. The medium-length, soft and silky coat requires little grooming. The coat is longer around the ruff, tummy, and britches – with that lovely, fluffy, full tail. The feet have tufts of hair between the toes. The large, almond-shaped eyes range in color from intense green to rich copper. The coat pattern is agouti (also called “ticked”), which has multiple bands of color on each hair. The Somali comes in four recognized colors in CFA: ruddy, red, blue, and fawn. The colors showing in the ticked fur of the back and tail harmonize with the solid, lighter color on the cat’s undersides.

How did the marvelous breed come about? Basically, the Somali is a longhaired Abyssinian, the result of a recessive gene in the Abyssinian cat. How this gene was introduced into the Abyssinian gene pool is a subject of much speculation and controversy; nevertheless, it happened, and the result is our beautiful Somali, for which we will be forever grateful! A recognized breed in CFA since 1979, Somalis have enjoyed many successes in the show ring.

Nothing is more delightful to watch than an impeccably groomed Somali perform in the judging ring. A natural clown, the Somali will show itself to the fullest while playing with any toy a judge chooses. Whether in the judging ring or at home, the Somali shows an enthusiasm for living that makes it a wonderful companion and member of the family.

When searching for a Somali, keep in mind that most breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. After twelve weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment, showing, or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying, and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long, and joyful life. Pricing on Somalis usually depends on type, applicable markings, and bloodlines distinguished by Grand Champion (GC), National, National Breed and/or Regional winning parentage (NW, BW, RW), or of Distinguished Merit parentage (DM). The DM title is achieved by the dam (mother) having produced five CFA Grand Champion/Premier (alter) or DM offspring, or the sire (father) having produced fifteen CFA Grand Champion/Premier or DM offspring. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Sphynx

In 1966 a domestic cat gave birth to a hairless kitten in Toronto Canada. It was discovered to be a natural genetic mutation and the Sphynx cat, as we know it today, came into existence. This cat and a few other naturally hairless cats have been found worldwide; produced by Mother Nature, they are the foundation for this unusual breed. Cat breeders in North America and Europe have bred the Sphynx to normal coated cats and back to hairless cats for more than thirty years. The purpose of selective breeding such as this was to create a genetically sound cat with a large gene pool and hybrid vigor. When properly bred, the Sphynx is a very robust breed with few serious health or genetic problems.

Sphynx are not always totally hairless and there are different degrees of “hairlessness.” There can be a fine down on the body which makes the cat feel like a warm peach. Some short hair is usually present on the nose, ears and sometimes on toes and tail. Seasonal and hormonal changes in the cat may also effect hair development. The texture of Sphynx skin has been compared to a suede hot water bottle or warm chamois, and some cats almost have a buttery feel to the skin. The skin is loose on the body which leads to that extra wrinkling effect you see on the cat. All colors and patterns are possible and may be presented at any stage of maturity. The color and/or pattern of the cat are seen in the pigment of the skin and the few hairs that are present. One of the most often questions asked about Sphynx is, “Don’t they get cold?” If it is too cold for you, then it will probably be too cold for a hairless cat. However, these cats are smart enough to find a warm spot in the house, curled up with a dog or cat or warm human, on top of your computer, or they will be snuggled under your bed covers.

Sphynx are medium sized substantial cats and not fragile in any way. As with most cats, adult males are larger than females. Sphynx have sturdy boning, good muscle development and a bit of a firm belly as if they just finished a nice dinner. They have an open-eyed and intelligent expression with extra wrinkling on their head which some see as a worried or inquisitive look. Sphynx are extremely lovable, known to perform silly antics and can be downright clumsy in their attempts to be the center of attention. They have abundant energy and are mischievous, always wanting to be with you, on you or showing off for you. Sphynx seem to prefer human attention but enjoy the company of dogs and all other breeds of cats.

Because of the lack of hair that would normally absorb body oils, Sphynx need periodic bathing, ear and nail cleaning. A bath is not difficult with Sphynx, as most cats have been acclimated from kitten hood with bathing and proper grooming from their breeders. Some people who suffer from cat allergies can tolerate living with Sphynx. This is because there is no airborne hair to deal with and the reactive chemical in their saliva is lower than many breeds. Regular bathing also keeps the dander at bay. However depending on the type and severity of the individual’s allergic reactions, there are some who still cannot tolerate any feline dander.

Sphynx were accepted for competition in the Championship class by The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in February of 2002. They are one of the most popular breeds in the cat fancy today. Sphynx lovers consider them to be exceedingly rare and unusual, and because of this most breeders have waiting lists for their kittens. BUT...Once you have had a Sphynx throw their arms around your neck and give your face loving wet kisses, you too will be hooked on this wonderful breed.

Pricing on Sphynx usually depends on type, health, personality and bloodlines, distinguished by Grand Champion (GC) National Award winning (NW) and/or Regional Award winning (RW) or Distinguished Merit (DM) parentage. It is recommended that breeders have kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age to insure all inoculations, physical development and social stability needed for their new home environment, showing or transport are completed. A good health checkup from a Veterinarian and previous health scans of the sire and dam prior to attaining a kitten from a reputable breeder, is always a good idea. Sphynx kittens need a good diet high in protein and nutrition for optimum health. Sphynx as most cats, have natural scratching behavior so acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) should be provided. CFA and the Sphynx Breed Council disapprove of declawing or tendonectomy surgery for any cat. Sphynx are truly a rare treasure and should be kept indoors, neutered or spayed and provided with loving and interactive surroundings to maintain a healthy, long and enjoyable life for you and your new family member. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Tonkinese

The Tonkinese personality makes this breed popular as a companion cat. Loving, social, active, playful...yet content to be a lap cat. Tonkinese are firmly convinced that humans were put on Earth to love them. Intelligent and generous with their affection, a Tonkinese will supervise all activities with curiosity.

The Tonkinese is a natural at inventing and playing games, using favorite toys to play fetch or delighting in games of tag and hide-and-seek with other pets – or even humans. Tonkinese kittens are great fun, but even the adults tend to remain playful throughout their lives. Scratching/climbing posts and a variety of toys are much appreciated by these funloving cats. A Tonkinese will quickly take over, running your home and your life! They quickly endear themselves to family and visitors, becoming your “door greeter” and entertaining guests. Tonkinese get along with children, other breeds of cats, and dogs. They prefer not to be ignored or left alone. Two Tonkinese will keep each other company and also lessen the amount of mischief that just one bored Tonk can get into. It’s also very entertaining to watch two play together.

Do they talk a lot? That will depend on your perspective— when they have something to say, they talk in sentences and paragraphs (not just to hear their own voice). Their vocalizing has a purpose and expects a response. A wise owner will listen to a Tonkinese...or the cat may find an alternative way to express itself.

Tonkinese are beautiful, medium-sized cats, surprising heavy and muscular. Their fur is short, soft, and silky; it’s easy to care for and wonderful to pet!

Tonkinese come in 12 color and pattern varieties. The four base colors are the color of the extremes (face, ears, and tail), which are called the “points.” The coat patterns refer to the amount of contrast between the body color and the points. The four base colors are Platinum, Champagne, Natural, and Blue. The three coat patterns are Pointed – which has a high amount of contrast between the extremes and the body, and typically have blue eyes; Mink – which has medium contrast and aqua eyes; and Solid – which has a low contrast between the body and the extremities and green to yellow-green eyes. Examples of the color patterns are Platinum Mink, Champagne Point, and Blue Solid.

Although new to modern competition in the 1980s, this is the same breed depicted in The Cat-Book Poems of Siam during the Ayudha Period (1358-1767) and imported to England in the early 1800s as “Chocolate Siamese.” In the United States, Tonkinese and Burmese can trace their beginnings back to Wong Mau, a small walnut-colored cat imported to California by Dr. Joseph Thompson in 1930. The Tonkinese we know today was developed in the 1960s and 1970s from the Siamese and Burmese breeds. Breeders wanted a more moderate breed than the extremes of the two parent breeds, and they wanted the new “mink” colors with aqua eyes. The Tonkinese breed was the first pedigreed cat to have aqua eye color. The breed was first recognized in Canada and then accepted for championship status in CFA in 1984. At that time, further outcrossing to Siamese and Burmese stopped.

Choosing a new kitten is an important decision for the entire family. It is a commitment for the life of the cat. Usually breeders make kittens available between the ages of three and four months. Kittens need the time before 12 weeks of age to learn good habits from their mother and siblings; this gives them the necessary socialization and confidence to go to their new home. This is also the time when basic inoculations are given.

Caring for a Tonkinese kitten is relatively easy. A rubber brush can be used to remove shedding coat; they can also be bathed occasionally. Tonkinese think everyone is their friend and have no defensive skills, so they are an indoor cat only. Many breeders will already have neutered or spayed kittens before they leave for their new homes. If this is not the case, you will want to have yours altered promptly. With a new kitten, it’s smart to “cat proof” your home, much as you would for a twoyear- old child. Be sure to discuss food and litter choices with the breeder of your Tonkinese to ensure an easy transition. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Turkish Angora

One of the most outgoing and affectionate of all cat breeds, the rare and beautiful Turkish Angora has a fascinating history and is considered a national treasure in its native land. Many Turkish Angora owners in the United Stated consider their cats a treasure as well!

Turks are not only intelligent, but extremely adaptable, loving and playful, which makes them an excellent choice for families with young children, and lively companions for senior adults. They readily accept dogs and other animals, but their assertive natures often make them the “alpha” pet in the household.

Elegant, finely-boned creatures, Turkish Angoras are graceful, energetic and usually the first to welcome visitors into your home. It is also not unusual for a pet Turk to act as the “host” at a party or other gathering, inspecting and interacting with every guest. It is no wonder that they are often considered “dog-like!”

The Turkish Angora’s soft, silky coat rarely mats and requires only minimal grooming. Most breeders recommend combing once or twice a week with a fine-toothed comb or slicker brush to remove excess hair and keep the coat looking and feeling its best. Like all long-haired breeds, they lose some coat during the summer months, when more frequent combing may be needed to prevent hairballs. Most likely, the breed originated in the mountainous regions of Turkey, where it developed an unusually soft, medium-long coat for protection against the harsh winters. Possibly it evolved from the Manul cat, a small feline domesticated by the Tartars. This pure, natural breed can trace its written history as far back as 16th-century France. However, in the early 1900s, it was used indiscriminately in Persian breeding programs and virtually disappeared as a separate breed. For many years, all longhaired cats were referred to simply as “Angoras.”

Fortunately for cat lovers, controlled breeding programs had been set up in Turkey to preserve this living treasure. There, in the 1950s, at the Ankara Zoo, the Turkish Angora was discovered by American servicemen and re-introduced to the cat fancy. All Turkish Angoras registered by CFA must be able to trace their ancestry back to Turkey.

Although the first import on record arrived in the U.S. in 1954, it was not until the mid-1960s that the breed became numerous enough to seek recognition from CFA. White Turkish Angoras were accepted for registration in 1968, for Provisional Breed competition in 1970, and for Champion-ship competition in 1972. The first CFA grand champion, GC NoRuz Kristal of Azima, came in 1976. However, it took another two years before colored Turkish Angoras were permitted to compete in Championship with their all-white siblings.

While whites are still very popular today, Turkish Angora breeders have focused increasingly on colored cats. More and more people are realizing how lovely these lithe, elegant creatures look in other colors. At a CFA show today you might see these cats in other solid colors, such as black, blue, red and cream; in tortoiseshell or blue-cream; in classic, mackerel and spotted tabbies of many colors; and bi-colored cats in any of these colors with white. In recent years, many breeders have begun working with smoke and shaded colors as well. Any shade and pattern, except those that denote hybridization (such as lavender, chocolate or the pointed pattern) is accepted for CFA registration.

Pricing on Turkish Angoras usually depends on type, applicable markings and bloodlines distinguished by Grand Champion (GC), National Regional winning parentage (NW or RW) or of Distinguished Merit parentage (DM). The DM title is achieved by the dam (mother) having produced five CFA grand champion/premier (alter) or DM offspring, or sire (father) having produced fifteen CFA grand champion/premier or DM offspring. Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. After twelve weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment, showing, or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Turkish Van

The cat known in the United States as the Turkish Van is a rare and ancient breed that developed in central and southwest Asia, which today encompasses the countries of Iran, Iraq, southwest Soviet Union and eastern Turkey. “Van” is a common term in the region that has been given to a number of towns, villages and even a lake - Lake Van - so it is no surprise that the uniquely patterned cat native to the region was named the “Vancat” by the residents.

They were first brought to England in 1955 as the Turkish cats, but this was later changed to Turkish Van to avoid confusion with the Turkish Angora. Although the breed has an ancient lineage, the Turkish Van is a relative newcomer to the United States, arriving in 1982. They are considered regional treasures in their homeland, and are not readily available for export to other countries. Even in areas where the breed has been known for centuries, they are still relatively rare.

The breed was first brought into Europe from the Middle East by returning crusaders, and has been known by a variety of names over the centuries such as the white ringtail and the Russian longhair. A common misconception is that the Turkish Van is simply a color variation of the better known Turkish Angora. In reality, the Van and the Angora are distinct breeds that developed in geographically distant regions of Turkey. When seen together, the differences in type, size, boning and coat are readily apparent.

The coloration of the Turkish Van, which is considered by many to be the original breed to carry the piebald gene, calls for a white, semi-longhaired cat with colored markings restricted primarily to the head and tail. Other piebald cats that have been selectively bred for many generations to achieve similar markings are said to be “van-patterned” after the breed that originally sported it. The coat lacks an undercoat and has a very unique cashmere-like texture that makes it water-resistant. This brings us to another interesting feature of this breed - they love water and in their native region they have been termed “the Swimming Cats.”

The Turkish Van takes three to five years to reach full maturity and is a large and agile cat of substantial strength. They are very intelligent as well as curious and make very rewarding companions in the right home. The breed is a healthy one and the unique coat does not lend itself to matting, so they require little grooming.

Pricing on Turkish Vans usually depends on type, applicable markings and bloodlines distinguished by Grand Champion (GC), National Regional winning parentage (NW or RW) or of Distinguished Merit parentage (DM). The DM title is achieved by the dam (mother) having produced five CFA grand champion/premier (alter) or DM offspring, or sire (father) having produced fifteen CFA grand champion/ premier or DM offspring. Usually breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. After twelve weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations and developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment, showing, or being transported by air. Keeping such a rare treasure indoors, neutering or spaying and providing acceptable surfaces (e.g. scratching posts) for the natural behavior of scratching (CFA disapproves of declawing or tendonectomy surgery) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long and joyful life. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.