A History & Lesson of Unique Cat Breeds
While many of our cats are mixed breeds or typical domestic short hairs, it is fun to see the learn the history, traits, and behaviours of unique full breed cats. Here are a few I’ve learned about. Understand that most full breeds will live shorter life spans.
Maine Coon Cat
- These cats were popular ship cats to New England. This is a large, domesticated cat breed, it has distinctive physical appearance it is one of the oldest natural breeds in North America.
- They are affectionate want to play and hang out, they are a loving family pet. This breed is known to grow as large as 40 inches in length and grows to 10-16 inches tall they have muscular bodies and wide chests and solid legs. The fur in the Main Coon’s coat will make them look even bigger.
- They have large, pointed ears often topped with wisps of hair, expressive oval shaped eyes, and a long busy tail.
- They are incredibly intelligent, fun loving and playful.
- They get on well with children, other cats, and dogs. If regularly left alone they can become anxious and sad--they need company.
- They love to play in water.
Norwegian Forest Cat
This breed of cat originated from Northern Europe. The natural breed is adapted to very cold climate with a topcoat of glossy, long, water shedding hair and a woolly undercoat for insulation is native to Norway. History going back hundreds and thousands of years shows this cat is in fairy tales and legends like Norse Goddess Freya’s Chariot which is pulled by six giant cats. For centuries, they were known as Skogcatt, a Norwegian word that translates to Forest Cat. They are known for being a mouser to farmers and housewives in exchange for shelter in barns and staples. They luckily survived through wars.
- They can weigh 13 to 22 pounds or more they keep on growing until 5 years of age. Norwegian Forest Cats are gentle and friendly, but they demand constant attention and petting. Their meows are quiet and will seek attention when ignored.
- As good climbers, they will often be at the highest point they can find.
- Their coat is waterproof because they like fishing for their meal! But their coat needs brushing or combing once or twice a week with a bristle brush or stainless-steel comb.
- They are noticeable for their long thick beautiful coat and large size.
- Their head is shaped as an inverted triangle shape, pointed at the chin and then widening on each side up toward the medium to large ears which are heavily tufted.
- Large, almond shaped eyes are either green, gold or copper although some may have blue eyes/
- Their long body looks powerful, with broad chest and heavily muscled thighs. Large round paws have tufts or fur between the toes and bushy tail to the length of the cat’s body.
- Gets on well with children, dogs.
This is a breed of cat known for its lack of fur. Hairlessness in cats is a naturally occurring genetic mutation which was developed through selective breeding of these animals started in the 1960’s but this breed is still extremely popular. These kittens are known for their delightful personalities and adorable appearance, but they require special care and consideration.
- They are more demanding than their furry counterparts. These cats have big personalities, attention seeking, they are very vocal.
- You must provide a high quality of food, because food affects the amount of oil that a Sphynx’s skin produces. The better the food the less oil and if the diet is not quality, then oils accumulate more quickly and can lead to skin problems, ear wax and infections.
- With no fur they can leave grease spots on the areas they frequently visit and need occasional baths to remove grime and dirt. Choose gentle cat shampoos, like coconut oil, Oatmeal and Aloe dog and cat shampoo. When bathing a Sphynx, it is important to dry them off quickly with a soft warm towel to prevent their skin getting chapped. You also do not want to bath too often because that will dry out their skin.
- Keep their ears clean and remove excess wax.
- Pay attention to their kitty’s paws as grime can accumulate between toes and cause infections.
- These cats are prone to health problems, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy a condition in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick considering a Sphynx you should have the cat screened for heart issues also prone to terrible teeth so teeth cleaning is a must.
- These cats need protection from cold weather and the sun.
Turkish Angora Cat
The Turkish Angora Cat is a breed from Turkish Angoras one of the ancient natural breeds of cat who originated in Central Turkey, in the Ankara region as documented as far back as the 17th century. Sometimes referred to as simply the Angora or Ankara as they are a soft, visually magnetic and long-haired.
- They carry themselves with grace and come in a wide variety of colours.
- Their heads are small and round, with wide set ears and large almond shaped eyes that come in amber, green, blue.
- They are highly intelligent and are incredibly social and they develop strong bonds and like a variety of toys to keep them entertained.
- They like high places.
- They can be deaf and may be louder than other cats they will exhibit a lot of stress behaviours if left alone.
- Their long silky coats have no undercoat which makes grooming easy they need brushing once or twice a week. Keep an eye on their eyes and ears should remove any build up.
- My next blog will review 4 more exotic full breed cats. Stay tuned!