Origins of the Abyssinian Cat – breed history
Abyssinian cats are thought to have been the direct descendants of the scared Temple cats of ancient Egypt.
Modern cats have been compared to the mummified remains of cats from the tombs and also to the painted frescoes in the tombs and the evidence seems to support this belief.
Soldiers are said to have brought over the cats to Great Britain in the 1860’s on returning from Abyssinia; the popularity of the breed grew quickly.
During the two world wars lack of suitable food and feline leukaemia reduced the numbers severely in the UK.
Abyssinian cats are particularly popular in the United States.
Characteristics of the Abyssinian cat
Abyssinian cats have a long, lithe and slender and natural cat body shape.
They have large, very beautiful eyes which are almond-shaped, in a clear deep shade of amber, green or hazel.
The ears are prominent, erect and set wide apart, well cupped, and furry on their inner edges; ear tufts are desirable.
The tail is long and tapered and the paws are egg-shaped, the head is rounded with medium sized nose. Abyssinans are beautiful and regal cats.
The cats have a rich, golden brown coat (known as ‘usuals’) with a dark brown or black ticking; the tip of the tail is also dark brown or black, the hind legs also being darker, the paw pads are black.
Abyssinians may also have a ruddy, red or blue tinged coat.
In more recent years many other new colours have been introduced to the breed. These include fawn, chocolate, lilac, sex-linked red and cream, many new silver combinations, and even torties, although at present most of these do not have Championship status.
Common faults in the breed include: stocky body, spots and markings on the body and white upon the neck.
Personality of Abyssinian cats
Intelligent, gentle, inquisitive, very active and agile these cats make lovely companions.
Abyssinians often attach themselves to one member of the family and may take more time than some cats to form bonds with people.
They need a lot of stimulation and benefit from daily play and access to the outdoors. The cats love to climb and need to be able to jump and play; they need attention and may become sullen if they feel neglected.
Care of Abyssinian cats
Daily grooming i.e. rubbing the coat with a gloved hand should be sufficeint.
Pregnant females may need additional care as they remain very active; a litter of three to four kittens is usual. The kittens start life with darker markings which disappear after a few months.
Characteristics of the Turkish Van
Turkish Van cats are a rare breed of domestic cat. The cats are handsome, semi-long-haired, gentle, and affectionate, strong, active, curious and healthy. They have brave personalities and show great intelligence. Turkish Van cats will fetch and can be taught to walk on a lead, they often enjoy carrying soft toys around. They enjoy water play, are surprisingly good swimmers and will often bathe quite happily. These cats have a hearty appetite and are not picky eaters; the cats are large and can weigh up to 18 pounds for a male. There are no known genetic diseases with this breed.
Origin of Turkish Vans
Turkish Van cats hail from the Lake Van area of Turkey, a south-east cold region. The cats have a triangular face, small and rounded eyes, and the ears are large, rounded and pink on the inside. Vans have a muscular body structure with legs that look thicker due to the fur and small feet. The cat has a white body with the colour restricted mainly to the tail and head. Turkish Van’s have a beautiful long-haired plumed and coloured tail. The Turkish Van will take up to five years to reach full maturity. Turkish Vans usually only have small litters of around four kittens. The kittens begin with a short coat, which gradually gets longer as the cat matures.
The fur is white with red chestnut patches between the eyes and ears and also on the tail, sometimes with lighter and darker alternating red colours. A Turkish Van cat may have blue or amber eyes, or odd coloured eyes. Originally called the “Turkish cat” it was re-named to distinguish it from the Turkish Angora cat. The Van and the Angora cat are distinct breeds that developed in geographically different regions of Turkey. When seen together the cats have different body shapes and characteristics.
Breed standards allow for one or more body spots as long as there is no more than twenty percent colour and the cat does not give the appearance of a bicolour. A few random spots are acceptable, but they should not detract from the pattern; the rest of the cat is white. Although red tabby and white is the classic van colour, the colour on a Van’s head and tail can be one of the following: red, cream, black, blue, red tabby, cream tabby, brown tabby, tortoiseshell, and also other tabby colours. The white spotting gene or piebald gene is why the cats have a random pattern of colour. Common standard faults in the breed include a fully rounded head, markings on the body and underdeveloped musculature.
The coat has a very soft and silky ‘cashmere’ like feel and there is no undercoat, so matting is not usually a problem with this breed. The coat is quite water-repellent and will therefore dry quickly. The cats have a winter coat, and then moult to have a shorter, lighter coat in summer. The cats do not need a lot of grooming; although a daily brush with a soft-haired brush will probably be enjoyed by the cat and help prevent knots.
Status of Turkish Van Cats
In 1969 the Turkish Van was given full pedigree status by The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy. The Van began to be imported into America in the 1970s.
About Persian Cats
Persian cats are one of those instantly recognisable cat breeds that command both love and respect.
They are both pretty and beautiful, with long coats and expressive eyes.
The Persian is the most popular pedigreed cat in North America, if not the world.
Persian cats are thick-boned, short and cobby with a short back and legs and short, balanced tails.
They have wide-set, small ears and their big, bold eyes which are usually a stunning, orange colour.
Their wonderful, expressive eyes are also available in blue, green or bi-colour blue and orange, depending on their coat colour.
The Persian cat comes in two types: show and traditional. The show Persian has a round head enhanced with a thick ruff, small ears, a flat nose, big round copper eyes, a broad, short body on short tree-trunk legs, and a thick, flowing plume of a tail.
The traditional Persian, also known as the ‘Doll Face’, does not have the shorter features of the show Persian, and his/ her nose is of a normal length, giving a very sweet expression.
Persian Cats – personality
Persian cats have quiet, chilled-out personalities and sweet, slightly aloof facial expressions.
Persian cats are generally placid cats and very easy to live with.
They are lazy cats and are quite happy chilling out with you. Persian cats make great ‘lap cats’.
Don’t be fooled by the Persian’s docile character though. These gorgeous cats are far more intelligent than they’re often given credit for; they are very good at training and will pick new things up very quickly.
Persian cat – colours
Although the majority of Persians are solid blue, black or white, the breed is now available in a broad spectrum of colours and patterns, including cream, red, blue-cream, chinchilla, smoke, brown, colour points, tortoiseshells and tabbies.
Persian cats – grooming and bathing
These cats have beautiful coats which need daily grooming; although this should not take up more than about 5-10 minutes each day.
The Persian needs regular baths to stay clean and sweet-smelling.
Introduce your kitten to bathing as soon as you bring him/ her home so that the kitten will hopefully learn to accept baths without drama.
Persian cat- breed history
In 1871 Persians were exhibited at the world’s first all-breed cat show, and in 1887 official standards for longhaired cats were issued by the National Cat Club.
The Persian breed standard has always called for a short face, but early Persians had a much longer face than is seen today.
All about the beautiful and intelligent Siberian cats
Ancestry of Siberian cats.
Their ancestry can be traced back to 13th century Russia.
The first breed standard was developed in 1987 from the stud ’Roman’.
They arrived in Europe and the USA in the 1990’s, and the UK in 2002.
Siberian cat – appearance and personality
Siberian cats are gentle giants who take up to 5 years to reach full maturity.
They are similar to the Maine Coon and Norwegian forest cat, however they have a more barrel-shaped body and a wedge-shaped head.
They have gorgeous, bright and slightly almond shaped eyes, in colours from copper through to green. (Blue is allowed only in the Neva Masquerade varieties).
Siberian cats are energetic, inquisitive and love to play; they form strong bonds with people.
They are clever and are sometimes described as ‘dog-like’. They can be taught to walk on a lead and some will also play ‘fetch’.
They need a lot of stimulation, as being so intelligent they can easily get bored; they do well in pairs for company and play.
These cats enjoy being outside and also love water.
Siberian cats have a lovely and impressive purr.
Siberian cats have beautiful, thick, semi-long coats in over 100 variations of pattern and colour.
They have tufted paw pads and Lynx tips on their ears.
They need daily grooming.
In winter their fur coats grow longer.
Some people who are allergic to cats can tolerate the Siberian cat.
Cost of a Siberian kitten
Kitten cost upwards of £500.00.
Choose a registered and trusted breeder.
The breed is known in some cases to have HCM – hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Siberian cats make loving and loyal pets.
Which cat breed to choose based on personality
Which breed of cat will be most suitable for your family and lifestyle?
Lively, active and needing a lot of attention
Abyssinian, Balinese, Burmese, Cornish and Devon Rex, Egyptian Mau, Javanese, Oriental Short and Longhairs, Russian Blue, Siamese, Somali and Tonkinese.
These intelligent cats needs stimulation, company and the opportunity to play and exercise.
Balinese, Japanese Bobtail, Javanese, Oriental Long and Shorthairs, Siamese and Tonkinese.
These cats are opinionated and have plenty to say; they are beautiful and respond well to lots of attention.
Lap cats – friendly and a little less active
American Wirehair, Birman, British Shorthair, Exotic Shorthair, Himalayan,
Persian, Ragdoll, and the Snowshoe.
They love a nice quiet cuddle and do not need constant attention and play.
Quiet and watchful cats
American Wirehair, Birman, British Shorthair, Korat, Scottish Fold, Havana Brown.
Cats that need a lot of Grooming
Maine Coon (also very friendly), Norwegian Forest cat, Persian, Ragdoll, Longhaired Scottish Fold.
Choosing a cat
Choose a cat wisely to fit in with your lifestyle and family.
Kittens need a lot of attention and care, so it may be that an older cat is more suitable.
Always take care to get a cat from a registered breeder, cat shelter or from a known and trusted source.
Charlie says “cats make great best friends”.
Cat breeds- North America
A stunning male Opicat
Named from the wild Ocelet, as it has a spotted coat. It is one of the few breeds of cat that will walk on a lead.
This is a variety of Red Persian cat. The face is similar to the face of the Pekingese dog.
Tortoiseshell & White Longhair
This cat has the three colours of tortoiseshell: black, red and cream. The fur is silky, thick and dense and the cat has a solid, broad shape.
A long-haired Persian style cat which has breed bred from Siamese, Birman and Persian cats.
A cat developed from selective breeding from the Himalayan cat. It has a Persian style pink-grey coat, with a solid, cobby body and has a thick tail with a plume.
Also developed form selective breeding from the Himalayan cat. It has rich, dense fur in a chocolate colour with patches of red, cream and brown.
A long-haired Siamese cat; the varieties are the same as those in the Siamese breed.
This distinctive American breed developed from farm cats. It is a very large, sturdy, intelligent and it is an excellent family pet.
This cat has a shaggy, very thick coat which needs daily brushing to prevent matting of the fur.
This is a cat with a ‘wild’ appearance but with the graceful body of the oriental breeds.
It is a mutation of the Abyssinian cat.
This is a long-haired version of the Manx cat. A lively, intelligent cat which tolerates dogs well.
The fur of the Javanese is long and silky and lacks an undercoat; the cat was bred from Balinese. It has a cream body with blue, tortoiseshell, lilac or pink-grey points.
A shaggy long-haired mutation of the Burmese cat in a seal-brown colour.
This cat originated from California. This cat has a very high pain threshold and therefore injuries may go un-noticed. It is cat which needs tranquility and may do best living indoors.
A hardy, healthy cat which is larger and more muscular than its British cousin.
This cat has a coat with a rough texture and a curly or hooked hair which springs back when touched.
A descendant of the American Shorthair, similar to the Persian cat but with a more manageable fur coat.
These cats are produced by mating Siamese with Abyssinian cats, producing new colourings.
Sometimes called- Oriental Shorthair, a solid coloured Siamese cat.
There are varieties in white, black, smoke, cameo, chestnut and tortoiseshell.
A cross breed of Burmese and American Shorthairs. It has a dense black and glossy coat.
A cross between the Siamese and Burmese cat. A very affectionate cat.
A creation between the Siamese cat and the Bicolour American shorthair. White paws indicate its name.
A hairless cat with a long and slender body, triangular shaped head and large pointed ears.
This cat differs from a Burmese cat only in colour; they are very affectionate cats.
Cat Breeds -Europe and Russia
The magnificent Norwegian forest cat.
Norwegian Forest cat
An ancient and magnificent forest cat. Its features are similar to the American Maine Coon.
It is muscular, with large round eyes, with claws that enable it to climb rock walls.
White Persian- the pure white coat is silky and dense with a full frill around the neck.
They are affectionate and loving cats. Many of the blue-eyed white cats are born deaf.
Black Longhair (Black Persian)
A rare breed as the glossy black colour is difficult to breed as flecks of white or rust can show up in some kittens.
This cat was bred from Smoke and Tortoiseshell Persians.
The Cameo has a fur with a very short colour-tipping which can give it a cloudy appearance.
These cats feature a solid colour with a white muzzle, chest, undersides and feet.
They have a lion-like frill around the neck and a thick, dense, silky fur coat.
This is a very rare breed, which is always female due to genetic make-up necessary to produce the Tortoiseshell Persian.
An elegant cat, similar to the Egyptian cat. A quiet and shy cat with a grey-blue thick coat.
Varieties of white, red, tortoiseshell, brown tabby, and tortoiseshell-and –white cats.
They are said to have dog-like intelligence. They are large, gentle cats with thick, medium long fur.
Cat breeds -Middle East and Africa
The very beautiful and revered Abyssinian cat.
Thought to be direct descendants of the sacred temple cats of Egypt. Very intelligent cats which learn to do tricks quickly.
Angora cats were the first long-haired cats to be brought to Europe. They are well-mannered cats with an affectionate nature.
The fur is silky, fine-textured and thicker on the under-side.
An angora cat from Turkey. An intelligent if slightly lazy cat, water loving and peaceful in nature.
The cats are chestnut and white coloured and have heavy fur with small paws.
Similar in build to Abyssinian cats, reputed to be direct descendants from the temple cats.
Cat breeds from Asia: Birman, Siamese, Korat, Burmese, Japanese Bobtail and Singapura.
Cat Breeds – Asia
It is speculated that the cats first lived in the Buddhist temples of Burma. They have a white or pale-tinted coat with darker points.
The Birman’s coat is softer and silkier than that of a Persian cat. The Birman cat is also known as the Sacred cat of Burma.
Revered cats around the court of Siam. They have strong personalities and they are very vocal. Siamese cats be trained to walk on a lead.
A rare breed from Thailand, with large green eyes and a blue coat with a silvery sheen, it is a beautiful cat.
The Burmese is not as vocal as the Siamese but is highly adaptable and will tolerate travel well.
A unique ancient Japanese breed with a short curled ’tail’. It is intelligent and will attach itself to the entire family.
Small and quiet cats. They have a street ancestry, living wild and seeking shelter in drains and quiet places.