Monday, 17 September 2007

List of Cat breeds (Page 3) [Breeds based on mutations]

American Bobtail

The American Bobtail is a relatively new and uncommon breed of cat which has appeared since the late 1960's. It is most notable for its stubby "bobbed" tail about one-third to one-half the length of a normal cat's tail. This is the result of a cat body type genetic mutation affecting the tail development, similar to that of a Manx. The cat is not related to the Japanese Bobtail despite the similar name and physical type — the breeding programs are entirely unrelated and the gene causing the mutation is different because the gene causing the American Bobtail's tail is dominant, whereas the Japanese Bobtail tail gene is recessive.

American bobtails are a very sturdy breed, with both short or longhaired coats. Their coat is shaggy rather than dense or fluffy. They can have any colour of eyes and fur, with a strong emphasis on the "wild" tabby appearance in show animals.

According to legend, bobtails are the result of a crossbreeding between a domestic tabby cat and a bobcat. Yodie, a short-tailed brown tabby male, mated with a seal point Siamese colored (cat) female to create the Bobtail's original bloodline. Most of the early bloodlines have been eliminated. Although this is genetically possible, the bobcat/domestic cat hybrids, particularly the male, would probably become sterile. The unusual tail is actually the result of a random spontaneous genetic mutation within the domestic cat population or is related to the dominant Manx gene.

This cat's original appearance genetics were modified in the breed to form a new and improved breed which comes in all colors, categories and divisions. New shorthair versions have appeared where once only longhair versions were fully recognized. These new lines, which invoke a gentler sweeter cat with the remaining wild look features, may have begun in Florida It is still permitted to outcross the Bobtail with domestic stock, so long as the currently small gene pool is kept healthy. Manx and Japanese Bobtails are not used in the integrated matix.

The breed was recognised by the International Cat Association in 1989. The breed is accepted for Championship competition in The Cat Fanciers Association, The International Cat Association and the American Cat Fanciers' Association.


On the cat activity scale of 1 (calm, serene) to 10 (overactive), the Bobtail receives a 7-8. Breeders claim that Bobtails are playful, friendly, energetic and extremely intelligent. They've been known to escape from closed rooms and fastened cages with Harry Houdini-type ease.

Development and Conformation Appearance

Development–Bobtails require two to three years to develop, slower than many domestic cat breeds.

General– An ideally naturally occurring hearty short-tailed cat.

Body–Moderately long and substantial; stocky; noticeable rectangular stance; boning substantial; chest full and broad; hips substantial, almost as wide as chest; hind legs longer than fore legs with large round feet which may have toe tufts.

Head–Broad wedge without flat planes; size proportionate to body; concave curve from nose to brow, or rise to prominent brow; broad unpinched muzzle; prominent whisker pads; gently sloped wide nose; full strong jaws.

Ears–Medium-sized, wide-based; equally mounted on top and side of head; with rounded tips (preferably lynx.

Eyes–almost almond shape; size proportionate to head; aperture angled to base of ear; medium wide spacing, deep sockets; color varies with coat color.

Tail–End of the tail visible above the back, but not beyond the Hock, while the animal is in repose; straight, (or curved), slightly knotted or may have bumps.


  • Shorthair– length medium to short; texture resilient; all-weather; double coat with undercoat.
  • Longhair– length semi-long, tapering to longer on ruff, britches, belly and tail; texture shaggy, non-matting, somewhat resilient; double coat with semi-dense undercoat of seasonal variation.


Disquality ones with bad hips and Rumpies (tail-less Bobtails with a shortened spine). These are generally not acceptable due to increased health problems.

American Curl

The American Curl is a breed of cat characterized by its unusual ears, which curl back from the face toward the center of the back of the skull. The breed originated in Lakewood, California as the result of a spontaneous mutation. In June, 1981, two stray kittens were found and taken in by the Ruga family. The kittens were both longhaired, one black and the other black and white. The family named them Shulamith and Panda respectively, but Panda disappeared several weeks later, making Shulamith the foundation female of the American Curl breed.

In 1983, an American Curl was exhibited at a cat show for the first time, and in 1987, the longhaired American Curl was given championship status by The International Cat Association (TICA). In 1993, the American Curl became the first breed admitted to the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) Championship Class with both longhair and shorthair divisions [1].

The American Curl is a medium sized cat (5-10 lbs), and does not reach maturity until 2-3 years of age. They are strong and healthy, remarkably free of the genetic defects that affect many purebred cats.

American Curl kittens are born with straight ears, which begin to curl within ten days. After four months, their ears will not curl any longer, and should be hard and stiff to the touch. A pet quality American Curl may have almost straight ears, but showcats must have ears that curl in an arc between 90 and 180 degrees. A greater angle is preferable, but cats will be disqualified if their ears touch the back of their skulls.

Both longhaired and shorthaired American Curls have soft, silky coats which lie flat against their bodies. They require little grooming, but enjoy spending time with their owners.

The American Curl, while still an uncommon breed, is found across the world in the United States, Spain, France, Japan, Russia, and many other countries.

American Wirehair

The American Wirehair is a breed of domestic cat that originated in upstate New York. As of 2003, though the breed is well known, they are ranked as the most rare of the 41 CFA breeds, with only 22 registered, down from 39 in 2002


The first wirehair cat appeared as a random cat mutation among a litter of six born to two barn cats. This single red and white male had odd wiry fur. The owner of the cats called a local breeder of Rex cats, Mrs. William O'Shea, to take a look at the kitten. She bought the kitten for $50, along with one of his normal coated female littermates, to start a breeding program. The wirehaired male was named Council Rock Farm Adam of Hi-Fi, and the female Tip-Toe of Hi-Fi.

Breeding between the two produced wirehaired kittens, many of which were sold off to other interested breeders. As the population grew, cats were exported to Canada and Germany. The breed did well, and in 1978 they were accepted for Championship competition.



The unique wirehair coat is genetically dominant over a normal coat, unlike the gene that creates rex fur. The fur is springy, dense and coarse, and even their whiskers are often curled. Many find it pleasant to the touch. It is unusual in that this coat has not appeared among other cats (most mutations occur in various places), and all wirehairs can trace their ancestry back to Adam. Apart from the wiry coat, they are strong, muscular cats, built similarly to American Shorthairs. They come in a variety of colors.

They are said to be adaptable cats resistant to disease.


They are described to be intelligent, affectionate, calm, reserved, wild, playful, and inquisitive cats.

Cornish Rex

A Cornish Rex is a breed of domestic cat. The Cornish Rex has no hair except for down. Most breeds of cat have three different types of hair in their coats: the outer fur or "guard hairs", which is about 5 cm long in shorthairs and 10cm+ long in longhairs; a middle layer called the "awn hair"; and the down hair or undercoat, which is very fine and about 1 cm long. Cornish Rexes only have the undercoat and thus only lose a few of very fine hairs at a time like humans and do not shed like other cats.

The coat of a Cornish Rex is extremely fine and is the softest of any cat breed. However, their light coat means that they are best suited for indoor living in warm and dry conditions. Consequently, these cats tend to hang around light bulbs, the tops of computer monitors, and other warm places. Some Cornish Rexes also have a mild cheesy smell peculiar to the breed; this odour comes from scent glands in the paws.

Often the breed referred to as the Greyhound of the cats, because of the sleek appearance and the galloping run characteristic of the breed. Some Cornish rexes like to play fetch, race other pets, or do acrobatic jumps. The Cornish Rex is an adventurous cat and is very intelligent. It can readily adapt to new situations and will explore wherever it can go, jumping into refrigerators, examining washing machines, etc. Some humans consider its antics to be deliberately mischievous. The Rex is extremely curious, seeks out the company of people and is friendly towards other companion animals. It is a suitable pet for timid children.


The Cornish Rex is a genetic mutation that originated from a litter of kittens born in the 1950s on a farm in Cornwall, UK; hence the first part of the breed's name. One of the kittens, a cream-colored male named Kallibunker, had an extremely unusual, fine and curly coat; he was the first Cornish Rex. The owner then bred Kallibunker back to his mother to produce 2 other curly-coated kittens. The male, Poldhu, sired a stunning female called Lamorna Cover who was later brought to America and crossed with a Siamese, giving the breed their long whippy tails and big ears.

The Devon Rex looks similar in appearance to the Cornish Rex, but has guard hairs and sheds. The Devon Rex mutation is different than the Cornish Rex mutation in that the Devon has shortened guard hairs, while the Cornish Rex lacks guard hairs altogether. Crosses between Devon and Cornish Rexes are not permitted in pedigrees and matings between them will not produce a cat with short wavy fur. Another hair-deficient breed is the Sphynx cat, which has no hair but may have a very light coat of fuzz.

Despite some belief to the contrary, the Cornish Rex's short hair does not make it non- or hypo-allergenic. Most people who have cat allergies are allergic to cat dander and cat saliva. Since Cornish Rex cats groom as much as or even more than ordinary cats, a Cornish Rex cat will still produce a reaction in people who are allergic to cats. However, because of the fine, light fur that is shed from these cats, people with only mild allergies may experience fewer or no symptoms with a Rex.

Using the word "Rex" to imply curly or otherwise unusual fur originates from an occasion when King Albert I of Belgium (1875-1934) entered some curly-haired rabbits in a rabbit show. They did not meet the breed standard, but the show's officials did not wish to risk offending the king by rejecting them. Instead, they accepted them but wrote "Rex" (Latin for "king") beside their names.

Devon Rex

A male Devon Rex, profile view

The Devon Rex is a breed of cat that emerged in England during the 1960s.Known for their odd, striking appearance and playful, companionable nature, the Devon is a favourite among pet owners. They are often featured in the magazine Cat Fancy. A very rare and select breed, the average Devon Rex sells for $500 to $750 USD.

Breed History and Information

Discovering and Relations

The Devon Rex is a relatively new breed of cat with a sparse, curly, very soft coat similar to that of the Cornish Rex.

The first Devon was discovered in Buckfastleigh, Devon, UK in 1960 amongst a litter of feral kittens near a disused tin mine. The breed was initially thought to be linked with the Cornish Rex; however, test mating proved otherwise. Cats have three types of hair: guard hair, awn hair, and down hair. The Devon Rex's coat is unusual because there is no guard hair (see Cornish Rex and Sphynx for more information on hair-deficient genetics in cats).


The curl in Devon Rex fur is caused by a different mutation and gene than that of the Cornish Rex and German Rex, and breeding of a Devon with either of those cats results in cats without rexed (curled) fur. Devons, which are medium sized cats, are often called "pixie cats" or "alien cats" because of their unique appearance. Their uncommonly large ears are set low on the sides of their wide heads, their eyes are large, and their noses are slightly upturned. Their body type is distinctly lightly-built. Their long, sturdy legs are well suited for long leaps, and their toes are unusually large. Devon Rex cats come in all colours. The ears are large and slightly rounded.

A "blue smoke" Devon Rex exhibits her unusually big ears.
A "blue smoke" Devon Rex exhibits her unusually big ears.
A playful male Devon Rex lies in a bag of groceries.
A playful male Devon Rex lies in a bag of groceries.
Devon Rex cats with Siamese colourings are known as Si Rex
Devon Rex cats with Siamese colourings are known as Si Rex


The typical Devon is active, mischievous, playful, and very people-oriented: they have been described as a cross between a cat, a dog and a monkey. They are high-jumpers and will try to occupy any space large enough to admit them. With this trait, they are often found in odd nooks and crannies of a closet, shelf, or laundry basket. They are relatively easy to take care of. Most Devons also have one central person to whom they devote their love, and on whom they will most often lie and rub. They like to playfully nip, and love to play throughout their lives.

They are a very intelligent breed; the typical Devon Rex can be trained to walk on a lead, fetch or perform all manner of tricks usually associated with canines, like jump, heel and tag to name a few.

Another common trait is their show of affection: they have a particular penchant for being close to the head or neck of their human companions and can often be found mounted upon ones shoulder or nestled into the cranny created by the neck and shoulder when one is prone.

Role In Allergy Control

The Devon Rex breed is often marketed as a cat with which someone with cat-related allergies can easily co-exist. It is true that their missing layer of hair and very low amounts of shedding help toward this, but they are not hypoallergenic. However, they are easier for someone on the right allergy medication to own.

German Rex

German Rex is a breed of domestic cat. They are a medium sized, breed with slender legs of a medium length. The head is round with well developed cheeks and large, open, ears. The eyes are of medium size in colours related to the coat colour. The coat is silky and short, with a tendency to curl. The whiskers also curl, though less strongly than in the Cornish Rex and they may be nearly straight. All colours of coat, including white, are allowed. The body development is heavier than the Cornish Rex - more like the European Shorthairs. A German Rex cat is very friendly and quickly makes contact with its owner. It is lively, playful and intelligent. It is the master of all acrobatic tricks, which it repeats again and again with huge enjoyment. Its temperament is much the same as a Cornish Rex.

German Rex breeding was in the doldrums in the mid-70's, but there is now a group of keen breeders in Germany, Finland, Switzerland, Russia, Denmark and Holland that are re-establishing the breed.

This breed probably goes back to Munk, a cat of the family of one Erna Schneider, that was born 1930 or 1931 in a village near then-Königsberg, German Reich (today's Kaliningrad, Russia). Munk was the son of a mahogany Angora cat and a Russian Blue. There were one (some sources say two) other curly cat(s) in the litter which was castrated early. Munk spread his genes plentifully among the village's cat population til his death in 1944 or 1945. The Schneiders valued the strong tom with a penchant for catching fish from the family's garden pond for himself, not for his curly coat; he was, it seems, referred to colloqially as a Preußig Rex ("Prussian Rex", in local dialect).

Dr. Rose Scheuer-Karpin with German Rex kittens.Munk (left) and Lämmchen (right)
Dr. Rose Scheuer-Karpin with German Rex kittens.
Munk (left) and Lämmchen (right)

In the summer of 1951, a doctor in Berlin-Buch (Pankow borough), Rose Scheuer-Karpin, noticed a black curly-coated cat in the Hufelandklinik hospital garden. The clinic's personnel told her that they had known the cat since 1947. The doctor named the cat Lämmchen (German for "little lamb"). Her supposition that she must be the result of a mutation, was shown to be correct. Thus Lämmchen was the first breeder-owned rex type cat and the maternal ancestor of all the current German Rex.

The first two German Rex deliberately bred were two rex kittens from a 1957 litter of four, offsping of Lämmchen and the straight-coated son Fridolin she had with a stray black tom Blackie adopted by Scheuer-Karpin. Lämmchen died on December 19, 1964 or in 1967, indicating she had been very young when first sighted in 1947. She left a number of Rex and hybrid descendants - the last one of her offspring was born in 1962 -, most of which were used to improve other breeds such as the Cornish Rex which was suffering from skin problems due to being decended from genetically impoverished thoroughbred stock. In 1968, the lineage hinged on the efforts of the GDR cattery vom Grund who acquired the last 3 Rex offspring of Lämmchen not sold abroads, and amplified the lineage with European Shorthair and mixed-breeds. A stock was established in the West through the efforts of the FRG von Zeitz cattery in 1973 which in the previous year had acquired their sample of the allele with the white female hybrid Silke vom Grund. After some years, the breed slowly became more plentiful.

German Rex kitten Alana.It is easy to see why Scheuer-Karpin would call her cat Lämmchen.
German Rex kitten Alana.
It is easy to see why Scheuer-Karpin would call her cat Lämmchen.

It is not certainly known how Lämmchen relates to Munk, only that the German Rex mutation - on the same gene as in the Cornish Rex - is recessive, meaning it will only show when both alleles are "rex", and that Munk is the first thoroughly documented rex cat, though as stories of "children cuddling curly coated kittens" attest, rex alleles turn up every now and then. Presumably, Munk sired many offspring with local cats, none of which would have had curly fur as the allele of Munk's straight-haired mates would dominate. In the following years, any curly-haired cats in the Königsberg area went unnoticed or at least were not bred on purpose; the allele nonetheless would have stood good chances to remain in the local cat population, as recessive alleles have a very low probability to disappear entirely.

It is highly probable that Lämmchen was a grand- or great-grandaughter of Munk; Germans fleeing or emigrating from East Prussia at the end of World War II would have at least tried to take beloved pets with them, and with these, Munk's genetic legacy could have arrived in Berlin. The outskirts of Germany's largest city would seem a natural place for many refugees to wind up eventually, and despite the impossibility to prove that the German Rex lineage goes back to Munk, between 1947 and the birth of the first Cornish Rex Kallibunker at Bodmin Moor (England) in 1950, Lämmchen was the only Rex cat documented to exist anywhere in the world. Indeed, it turned out eventually that Lämmchen had belonged to a male nurse who arrived in Berlin around 1945 from his native Königsberg.

Another Rex cat turned up in Berlin-Buch, apparently in the late 1950s. The tom named Schnurzel eventually contributed to German Rex breeding; it is not known how he related to Lämmchen but presumably he was a grandson of hers, as Scheuer-Karpin would let her cats roam free through the gardens and forests of Buch. Even in more recent times, the genetic legacy of Lämmchen if not Munk manifests itself on occasion in the Berlin area, such as Pumina, found as a stray in 1992 some 14 km (9 miles) from the old Hufelandklinik grounds. The lineage of Preuss from Siegburg which turned up in 1979 in the Rhineland town of Siegburg does not appear to be related to be a German Rex proper; it is almost certainly not related to Lämmchen. Nonetheless, his descendants may have contributed to the German Rex lineage of today.

Japanese Bobtail (cat)

A Japanese Bobtail cat, with the short tail clearly visible

The Japanese Bobtail is a breed of cat with an unusual 'bobbed' tail more closely resembling the tail of a rabbit than that of an ordinary feline. The short tail is a cat body type genetic mutation caused by the expression of a recessive gene. Thus, so long as both parents are bobtails, all kittens born to a litter will have bobtails as well. Unlike the Manx and other cat breeds, where genetic disorders are common to tailless or stumpy-tails, no such problem exists with the Japanese Bobtail.

The Japanese Bobtail is a small domestic cat native to Japan and Southeast Asia, though it is now found throughout the world. The breed has been known in Japan for centuries, and there are many legends and myths, as well as pieces of ancient art, featuring it.

Japanese bobtails may have almost any color, but "Mi-ke" (三毛 mike?, literally "three fur", and composed of red, black, and white coloring) or bi-colors are especially favoured by the Japanese. Much like any other breed, the colors may be arranged in any number of patterns, with van and calico being common among purebred cats, though other colorations are also accepted.


The earliest written evidence of cats in Japan indicates that they arrived from China or Korea at least 1,000 years ago. In 1602, Japanese authorities decreed that all cats should be set free to help deal with rodents threatening the silk-worms. Buying or selling cats was illegal, and from then on, bobtailed cats lived on farms and in the streets. Japanese Bobtails thus became the "street cats" of Japan.

The Japanese Bobtail is mentioned in Kaempfer's Japan. First published in London in 1701/02, it is the first book written by a Westerner about the flora, fauna, and landscape of Japan. Engelbert Kaempfer, a German doctor, wrote: "there is only one breed of cat that is kept. It has large patches of yellow, black and white fur; its short tail looks like it has been bent and broken. It has no mind to hunt for rats and mice but just wants to be carried and stroked by women."

The maneki-neko ("beckoning cat"), a Japanese Bobtail seated with one paw raised, is considered a good-luck charm. A maneki-neko statue is often found in the front of stores or homes. In 1968 the late Elizabeth Freret imported the first three Japanese Bobtails to the United States from Japan. Japanese Bobtails were accepted for Championship status in CFA (Cat Fanciers Association) in 1976.


There is a legend in Japan about why the Japanese Bobtail lost its tail. It states that a cat was warming itself too close to a fire, and set its tail on fire. It then ran through the town, burning many buildings to the ground. As punishment, the Emperor decreed that all cats should have their tails cut off.

Breed Standard

Head: The head should form an equilateral triangle. (Not including ears)

Ears: Large, upright, set wide apart but at right angles to the head and looking as if alert.

Muzzle: Fairly broad and round neither pointed nor blunt.

Eyes: Large, oval rather than round. They should not bulge out beyond the cheekbone or the forehead.

Body: Medium in size, males larger than females. Long torso, lean and elegant, showing well developed muscular strength. Also balance is very very important.

Neck: Not too long and not too short, in proportion to the length of the body.

Legs: Long, slender, and high. The hind legs longer than the forelegs.

Paws: Oval. Toes: five in front and four behind.

Coat (Shorthair): Medium length, soft and silk.

Coat (Longhair): Length medium-long to long, texture soft and silky gradually lengthening toward the rump.

Tail: The tail must be clearly visible and is made up of one or more curves.

The Japanese Bobtail is a recognised breed by all major registering bodies: CFA , TICA , FIFe; Shorthair only with the exception of GCCF (UK).


Japanese Bobtails usually have litters of three to four kittens with newborns that are unusually large compared to other breeds. They are active earlier, and walk earlier. Affectionate and generally sweet-tempered, they enjoy supervising household chores and baby-sitting. They are active, intelligent, talkative cats with a well-defined sense of family life. Their soft voices are capable of nearly a whole scale of tones; some people say they sing. Since they adore human companionship they almost always speak when spoken to, and sometimes carry on "conversations" with their owners.Because of their human-oriented personality they are easy to teach tricks and enjoy learning things like walking on a harness and lead, and playing fetch.

A similar breed of cat is in development in the United States as breeders attempt to perfect the "American Bobtail Cat" that would have a tail half the length of other breeds, though there has not been definitive progress in getting a new breed recognized yet.

Ocular heterochromia

normal eye color and odd-eye color
normal eye color and odd-eye color

While rare, Japanese Bobtails, especially predominantly white specimens, are more likely than other breeds to express heterochromia, or differing iris colors. One eye will be blue while the other is yellow (though in Japan, blue is referred to as silver while yellow is referred to as gold). This trait is popular and kittens displaying this "odd-eye" feature are usually more expensive.


Lilac Tortie and White LaPerm

The LaPerm is a recognized breed of cat. A LaPerm's fur is curly (hence the name "perm"), with the tightest curls being on the belly, throat and base of the ears. LaPerms come in many colours and patterns. LaPerms generally have a very affectionate personality.

LaPerm Breed Profile

The LaPerm is a rex breed from the USA whose popularity has increased worldwide steadily since it was introduced. These cats are genetically unique and not related to any other rex breeds, having a dominant gene causing their curly coats. They have an elegant and athletic build and are affectionate, active and outgoing in character. Their most significant feature is their coat which is made up of soft waves, curls and ringlets, resembling a shaggy perm


The first LaPerm was born in 1982 and was a spontaneous mutation in an otherwise normal litter of kittens. Linda and Richard Koehl owned a cherry farm in The Dalles, Oregon, and had obtained some farm cats to keep the farm clear of mice. One of these was a plain but hard-working brown tabby shorthair called Speedy who gave birth to a litter of kittens which included a rather bald, long skinny kitten with a blueprint of a tabby pattern on her skin. Linda wondered if something was wrong with the kitten but as she grew she developed a soft curly coat which everyone liked to touch. Perhaps this was also why she turned out to be so affectionate and a favourite of everyone on the farm.

Curly grew up and also worked as a farm cat. One day Curly, and the whole LaPerm breed, were almost wiped out when she climbed into the warm engine of a pick up truck and was injured by the fan when it was started up. She survived and became a house cat for a while convalescing from her injuries, but she managed to find her way out and became pregnant to one of the farm’s toms. An inexperienced first-time mum, she gave birth under a tree in the middle of a rainstorm one night. Linda heard strange noises and took a torch outside to find Curly fiercely staving off barking dogs while straddling her newborn babies. Linda put the kittens into her pockets and took them into the warmth of a barn to make them a nest in the hay. The next day when Linda was able to look at them in daylight she realised that all five kittens had the same appearance as their mother had at birth. All five were male and grew up to have the same soft curls. None of the five were neutered and their breeding activity led to many more curly coated kittens being born.

Linda found herself with a growing colony of unusual rex cats which included long and short coats and (thanks to the input somewhere along the way of a local cat who had a Siamese mother) chocolate and colourpoints too. It was only when people started commenting on her odd cats and asking what they were that she did some research and realised that she had some kind of rex. She took some cats to a show to ask for feedback and was told by exhibitors, breeders and judges that she had something very special. Several key people in the USA cat fancies gave her their support and the breed has grown and to become a well established championship breed in the States with breeding programmes in many other countries around the world.

The LaPerm breed is strongly allied with Native American culture as the area where the Koehl’s farm is situated is in a sacred territory of the Wishram people, a Chinook speaking tribe who traditionally made a living netting, drying and trading salmon from the Columbia River. The area still contains rock carvings of the vigilant goddess Tsagaglalal. It is because of this that many LaPerm breeders give Native American names to their kittens and decorate their pens with this theme in mind when showing. Careful consideration was given to the naming of the breed; several possible names had already been used or were too clumsy sounding or close to something else so a name was chosen by Linda which evocatively brings to mind the breed’s most important feature: its curly coat, and follows the Chinook tradition of adopting French words while incorporating the definite article to create a new word.


The LaPerm is in many ways a cat of moderation with no extremes and is still true to its original type. It does however have a striking appearance because of its unusual coat. The breed standard describes a muscular foreign-type body, which is medium in size with longish legs and neck. The head is a modified wedge with gently rounded contours and a muzzle which slightly broad of the wedge. In profile the straight nose leads into a gentle break between the eyes up to a flattish forehead. LaPerms also have rather broad noses. Their flared ears are placed to follow the line of the face, while their almond shaped eyes are medium large and expressive.

Like other rexes, all colours and patterns are acceptable, although tabbies, reds and torties are well represented reflecting their origins. Also the unusual colours from the early days of the breed have been selected for, so lilac, chocolate and colourpoints are popular. Tabby points are especially attractive. Newer varieties such as ticked tabbies, shadeds and darker points are also being bred. The curl tends to open up the coat showing off shading, ticking or silver undercoats.

The coat itself is described as having a unique textured feel. It is not silky, having a certain drag on the hand like mohair and the texture comes as much from the shape of the curls as from the mixture of different hair types. It should be soft and inviting, although the shorthairs will have more texture to their coats. The coat is rather loose and bouncy often feeling springy when patted, and stands away from the body with no thick undercoat. It is light and airy and judges sometimes blow on the coat to see if it will part. The coat varies according to the season and the maturity of the cat but is essentially wavy or curly all over with the longest and most defined curls in the ruff and on the neck often falling in ringlets. There are also curly ear furnishings including tufts at the ear tips and ear muffs. The longhairs have a curly plumed tail while the shorthairs have tails rather like bottle brushes, and both have long curled whiskers. Sometimes the coat falls into a natural parting along the back, jokingly referred to as “the parting of the waves”.

LaPerms in the UK

The first LaPerm in the UK was Uluru BC Omaste Po of Quincunx, a lilac tortie and white Longhair who was bred in the United States by A. D. Lawrence and Maureen Neidhardt. She was imported by Anthony Nichols (Quincunx) using a PETS passport in May 2002 after a stop-over with LaPerm breeder Corine Judkins in Holland. She arrived pregnant and gave birth to a litter of five kittens shortly after who were used as the foundation stock for the UK breeding programme. A number of other imports followed, including cats from Europe, New Zealand and the USA. Judy Whiteford (Aswani) and Kate Munslow (Canonna) have been involved from that first litter and have both imported new cats themselves and Corine Judkins (Crearwy) moved to Wales bringing her cats with her including the stud who sired the first UK litter. Other key breeding lines found in UK pedigrees include those of Edwina Sipos (Cycada), Penni Cragg (Wakanda) and June Gillies (Ballego). The breeding programme has been characterised by efforts to breed down from outcrosses for generational advancement by combining outcross lines, old lines and import lines. The UK now has the largest LaPerm breeding programme of any country and is the home of the LaPerm Cat Club. The breed has made solid progress within the GCCF and is often seen at British cat shows.

LaPerm Breeding Policies

In TICA outcrossing has mainly been with domestic cats and breeders seek out non-pedigree cats closely resembling the correct body type, continuing using the kind of cats which composed most of the original foundation stock for the breed and helping to maintain genetic health by using the widest gene pool available. After outcrossing to a cat of unknown parentage, at least three generations must be bred to establish a full pedigree record. In CFA breeders used the Ocicat for a 2 year period during the early development of the breed, terminating on 1st May 2002, but currently may only use non-pedigree domestic cats. In other registries, including the GCCF, a list of approved breeds is used for outcrossing and cats of unknown parentage are not permitted. In the GCCF this list comprises the Somali/Abyssinian, Asian/Tiffanie/(European)Burmese, Ocicat and Tonkinese. There was also a rather small amount of use of the Old Style Siamese/Balinese/Oriental during the initial development phase of the UK breeding programme, and a cut off date for use of these breeds was built in to the breeding and registration policies. In the Netherlands and Germany Somalis and Turkish Angoras, and one Turkish Van, have also been used. In antipodean countries, Somalis, Tiffanies and Orientals have also been used.

Black LaPerm
Black LaPerm

Manx (cat)

The Manx is a breed of cats with a naturally occurring mutation of the spine. This mutation shortens the tail, resulting in a range of tail lengths from normal to tailless. Many Manx have a small 'stub' of a tail, but Manx cats are best known as being entirely tailless and it is the distinguishing characteristic of the breed and a cat body type genetic mutation.


The Manx breed originated on the Isle of Man (hence the name), where they are common. They are called stubbin in the Manx language. They are an old breed, and tailless cats were common on the island as long as three hundred years ago. The taillessness arises from a genetic mutation that became common on the island (an example of the Founder effect). The Manx tailless gene is dominant and highly penetrant; kittens from Manx parents are generally born without any tail. Having two copies of the gene is lethal and kittens are usually spontaneously aborted before birth. This means that tailless cats can carry only one copy of the gene. Because of the danger of having two copies of the tailess gene, breeders have to be careful about breeding two tailess Manxes together. Problems can be avoided by breeding tailess cats with tailed ones and this breeding practice is responsible for the decreasing occurrence of spinal problems in recent years.

There are various legends that seek to explain why the Manx has no tail. In one of them, Noah closed the door of the ark when it began to rain and accidentally cut off the Manx's tail, who'd been playing and almost got left behind. Another legend claims that the Manx is the offspring of a cat and a rabbit which is why it has no tail and rather long hind legs. In addition, they move with more of a hop than a stride, like a rabbit. This legend was further reinforced by the Cabbit myth. Recent postcards on the Isle of Man depict a cartoon scene of a cat's tail being run over and removed by a motorbike, because motorbike racing is popular on the Island.


The hind legs of a Manx are longer than the front legs, creating a continuous arch from shoulders to rump giving the cat a rounded appearance.

Tail length

A week old female Manx kitten. Note the stumpy tail.
A week old female Manx kitten. Note the stumpy tail.

Manx kittens are classified according to tail length:

  • Dimple rumpy or rumpy - no tail whatsoever
  • Riser or rumpy riser - stub of cartilage or several vertebrae under the fur, most noticeable when kitten is happy and raising its 'tail'
  • Stumpy - partial tail, more than a 'riser' but less than 'tailed' (in rare cases kittens are born with kinked tails because of incomplete growth of the tail during development)
  • Tailed or longy - complete or near complete tail

Breeders have reported all tail lengths even within the same litter.

The ideal show Manx is the rumpy; the stumpy and tailed Manx do not qualify to be shown. In the past, kittens with stumpy or full tails have been docked at birth as a preventative measure due to some partial tails being very prone to a form of arthritis that causes the cat severe pain.

Short-hair stubby Manx
Short-hair stubby Manx


Manx cats exhibit two coat lengths. The short-haired Manx has a double coat with a thick, short under-layer and a longer, coarse outer-layer with guard hairs. The long-haired Manx, known to some cat registries as the Cymric, has a silky-textured double coat of medium length, with britches, belly and neck ruff, tufts of fur between the toes and full ear furnishings. The Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) considers the Cymric to be a variety of Manx and judges it in the short-hair division, while The International Cat Association (TICA) judges it in the long-hair division. Short- or long-haired, all Manx have a thick double-layered coat.


Another rumpy or possibly rumpy-riser Manx
Another rumpy or possibly rumpy-riser Manx

Pedigreed Manx cats today are much healthier and have fewer health issues related to their genetics than the Manx of years ago. This is due in part to the careful selection of breeding stock, and knowledgeable, dedicated breeders. Manx have been known to live into their mid- to high-teens and are no less healthy than other cat breeds. Like any other cat, keeping Manx cats indoors, neutering or spaying, and providing acceptable surfaces for the cat's normal scratching behavior are vital to lengthen the life of any cat.

Manx Syndrome

Manx Syndrome is a colloquial name given to the condition which results when the mutant tailless gene shortens the spine too much. It can seriously damage the spinal cord and the nerves causing spina bifida as well as problems with the bowels, bladder, and digestion. Some only live for 3 years oldest recorded was 5. In one study it was shown to affect about 20% of Manx cats, but almost all of those cases were rumpies, which exhibit the most extreme phenotype. Actual occurrences of this are rare in modern examples of the breed due to informed breeding practices. Most pedigreed cats are not placed until four months of age (to make sure that they are properly socialised) and this gives adequate time for any health problems to be identified.

A stumpy white female Manx kitten. Note the long hind legs.
A stumpy white female Manx kitten. Note the long hind legs.


  • The Manx breed, in spite of the absence of tail, has no problems with balance.
  • The Isle of Man has adopted the Manx cat as a symbol of its native origins. On the Isle of Man, Manx cats appear on the 1988 "cat" crown and stamps.
  • Even though Manx cats cease to be kittens after one year, it takes up to five years for any Manx cat to be fully grown.
  • The Manx was developed before the 1700s.
  • The breed is of medium size with an average weight of 5.5 kg (12 lb).
  • The Manx are said to be skilled hunters, known to take down larger prey even when they are young—it is not uncommon to find a Manx with a squirrel or opossum much larger than itself. They are often sought by farmers with rodent problems.
  • The famous ASL speaking gorilla, Koko, has chosen three separate Manx (All Ball, Lipstick and Smokey) as pets.
  • Some Manx cats resemble rabbits because of their long hind legs. This has resulted in many being called "cabbits", a mix of the words 'rabbit' and 'cat'.

Munchkin (cat)

A munchkin cat grooming herself

The munchkin is a relatively new breed created by a mutation that causes achondroplasia, or possibly hypochondroplasia, resulting in cats with abnormally short legs.The breed originated in 1983 when Sandra Hochenedel found an extremely short-legged black cat living under a trailer in Louisiana. This cat, named Blackberry, was pregnant and half of her kittens were born short-legged. One of Blackberry's kittens, a tomcat named Toulouse, became the father of a breeding program that established the breed in North America.

Advocates and critics

There is much controversy among breeders of pedigree cats as to what genetic mutations are abnormal and potentially disadvantageous to the cat. At one extreme, some governments consider the munchkin breed to be simply "malformed animals" and the deliberate breeding of them "unacceptable" because of the "genetic health problems associated with such breedin But keepers and breeders of munchkins declare them to be "a sound breed" that is "ideal" for small homes and not particularly prone to health problems.


While some cat registries have recognised the breed, others have not, including the world's largest cat fancy, the Fédération Internationale Féline, which refuses to recognise what they consider a breed based on a "genetic disease", achondroplasia. The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy likewise refuses to recognise the breed, considering this breed and others like it to be "unacceptable" because they are based on an "abnormal structure or development". The breed is also not recognized by the Cat Fanciers' Association.

On the other hand, among the cat fancies that recognise the breed are The International Cat Association (though this has been criticised by some senior members of the Association), the Southern Africa Cat Council,and the Waratah National Cat Alliance in Australia.


Although the genetic abnormality causing the short-legged trait in munchkin cats is often called achondroplasia,it has not yet been demonstrated that the trait is due to a gene at the same locus as causing achondroplasia in humans.Furthermore, while achondroplasia is typically associated with an enlarged head as well as short legs, a combination of features not seen in munchkin cats, the condition has sometimes been referred to as hypochondroplasia instead.

As well as shorter limbs, munchkin cats are more prone to lordosis and pectus excavatum than other cats. Small litter sizes when two munchkin cats are crossed indicate that embryos that are homozygous for the munchkin gene are non-viable.


The munchkin gene is an autosomal dominant one. Homozygous embryos for the munchkin gene are not viable due to gene lethality. Only kittens that are heterozygous for the munchkin gene develop into viable munchkin kittens.Because only heterozygous munchkin cats are able to pass on the gene, all litters with at least one munchkin parent have the possibility of containing all munchkin kittens, all normal kittens, or a combination of munchkins and normal kittens. A litter with two munchkin parents may be all munchkin kittens, all normal kittens, all non-viable kittens with two copies of the munchkin gene, or any combination of the three.

Punnett squares

Punnett squares, in which the M represents the dominant munchkin gene and the m represents the recessive normal gene, may be used to illustrate the chances of a particular mating resulting in a munchkin cat.

Kittens bearing two copies of the munchkin gene (MM) will not survive. Kittens bearing one munchkin gene and one normal gene (Mm) will be munchkins. Kittens bearing two normal genes (mm) will be normal. Mm munchkin kittens will be able to pass on the munchkin gene to their own offspring. Normal mm kitten will not, as it does not have a copy of the munchkin gene.

Mating two munchkins:

M m
m Mm mm

For each kitten born from this mating, there is a 25% chance it will be non-viable (i.e., stillborn), a 25% chance it will be normal, and a 50% chance it will be a munchkin (i.e., show achondroplastic traits).

Mating a munchkin

with a normal cat:

M m
m Mm mm
m Mm mm

For each kitten born from this mating, there is a 0% chance it will be non-viable (unless it has a different, unrelated condition), a 50% chance it will be normal, and a 50% chance it will be a munchkin.

Ojos Azules

Ojos Azules are a relatively new breed of domestic cat. Cats with dark blue eyes were discovered in New Mexico among feral cat populations. The first cat discovered was a tortoiseshell named Cornflower, who was found in 1984. She was bred to males without the trait which proved to be dominant as all her kittens showed it. The breed was founded and named Ojos Azules, Spanish meaning 'Blue Eyes'. Ojos Azules are held distinct for their deep blue eyes. Unlike the blue eyes seen linked to the genes in bicolor cats and cats with point coloration, both of which suppress pigmentation, this gene is not linked to any certain fur color or pattern, giving the opportunity to have cats with dark coats and blue eyes. The depth of color in the eyes is greater even than that seen in a Siamese (cat), and does not cause squinting, deafness or cross-eye. They are a very rare breed. In 1992, only ten were known. No true standard has been made, and no cat registration recognizes them. So far, only cats expressing the deep blue eye gene have been called Ojos Azules. It was recently discovered that cranial defects may be linked to the gene, and breeding was temporarily suspended.

Following genetic investigation by Solveig Pflueger, breeding resumed in a small way with attempts to breed Ojos Azules without the lethal genetic defects. It was discovered that when the gene is homozygous it causes cranial deformities, white fur, a small curled tail, and stillbirth. However, when the gene is heterozygous, it avoids those lethal genetic mutations. The result is that breeders must cross the blue-eyed cats with non-blue-eyed cats, assuring a litter of about 50/50 blue/non-blue-eyed kittens. Though only half of the kittens are then part of the Ojos Azules breed, this avoids having much of the litter comprised of deformed dead kittens.

One indicator of the Ojos gene is a flattened tail-tip.


The Peterbald is a cat breed of Russian origin.



Peterbalds have an elegantly slim build and distinctive head: narrow and long with a straight profile, almond-shaped eyes, and big set-apart ears. They are somewhat similar in appearance to Oriental Shorthair cats.


Peterbalds are usually sweet-tempered, peaceful, curious, smart and energetic.They love their family members and need to communicate with them; they are not a loner type of cat. Peterbalds typically live in harmony with other cats and pets, and also with children. They are not vindictive, and these characteristics make Peterbalds an excellent companion.


The Peterbald breed was created during the latter half of 1994 in St. Petersburg, Russia, the result of an experimental mating of a Don Hairless (also known as Don Sphynx, Donskoy or Donsky) male named Afinogen Myth and an Oriental Shorthair female World Champion named Radma von Jagerhov, by Russian felinologist Olga S. Mironova. The first two litters produced four Peterbald kittens: Mandarin iz Murino, Muscat iz Murino, Nezhenka iz Murino and Nocturne iz Murino. These four Peterbalds were the founders of the breed.

In 1996, the breed was adopted in the Russian Selectional Feline Federation (SFF) and given a standard and an abbreviation (PBD). In 1997 it was adopted in The International Cat Association (TICA) with the abbreviation PB, and in 2003 in the World Cat Federation (WCF) with the abbreviation PBD. Other used handles of the breed are PBD, PTB, PD and PSX.

These days the breed develops in the direction of modern Oriental and Siamese types, that is to say a long muzzle, large set-apart ears, flat cheekbones, and an elegant body on long legs. Therefore, all standards for this breed encourage mating with Oriental and Siamese cats and semi-longhair variations of those (such as Balinese and Javanese).


The Pixie-Bob is a breed of cat. According to legend, it is a hybrid offspring of a domestic cat and a bobcat, but DNA testing has failed to show that Pixie-Bobs are directly related to bobcats. Directly related would indicate identical Y-Chromosomes or limited Marker match testing. Therefore, Pixie-Bob are legally designated as domestic cats, even if they might have Bobcat heritage. The Pixie-Bob has a large body with big feet, and usually a short, bobbed tail and a gentle personality. Most Pixie-Bobs are short-haired. There is also a less common long-hair Pixie-Bob. Often the long- haired Pixie-Bob has a face that look more like a Bobcat's, but the long hair can also obscure the cat's spots. A Pixie-Bob's markings should resemble those of a bobcat, with spots, stripes and swirls. This breed is currently the only one accepted by any major club to allow polydactyls, cats having more than the usual number on toes on each foot (five for the front paws, four for the back). Adult males weigh 16–22 lbs (7–10 kg), and females weigh 8–12 lb (3.5–5.5 kg)

Breed Description

the brown spotted tabby coat of the pixie-bob
the brown spotted tabby coat of the pixie-bob

Physical characteristics

Pixie-Bobs are approximately 50% larger than most domestic cats (which weigh 5.5–16 lb or 2.5–7 kg). Most Pixie-Bobs have black fur and skin on the bottom of their paws, tipped ears, heavy ear hair, black lips, and white fur around the eyes but with black eye skin. Their chins have white fur, but often have black skin under the white fur. Some of their whiskers change from Black (root - about 25%) to White (to the tip - about 75% of the whisker).Tiger-like fur pattern, but often have reddish tones mixed in. Stomach is often reddish-gold in color with some ticking (broken stripes). Most are short-haired, but some are long-haired. Eyes are almond shaped and tilted. Eyes are blue when kittens, then change to green, and finally to gold when several months old (some don't change completely to Gold, but have a Gold with a green tint). Tails can be non-existent (rumpy), or 2-4 inches (desired - TICA required), or long tails (Pixie was a long tail). The head is usually-pear shaped. The head and tail are considered the important characteristics. They grow for 3 years instead of 1 year like most domestic cats.

More information on the published Pixie-Bobs characteristics can be found at the TICA website.


The doglike personality of the Pixie-Bob
The doglike personality of the Pixie-Bob

Pixie-bobs are highly intelligent, social, active (but not hyper-active), bold, courageous, and enjoy playing with other animals.

They are also known for their "chirps", chatters, and growls; most don't meow often, and some don't meow at all. Chirping is essentially their "language", and some of their chirping actually sounds like purring.

Some Pixie-Bobs can be highly sociable around their owners and strangers, while others are highly social around their owners, but shy around strangers. Almost all Pixie-Bobs like to be in the same room as their owners, and will follow their owners around the house.

Other personality characteristics include the following:

  • Head bunting
  • Ball fetching and playing
  • Leash walking (for the most part)
  • Highly intelligent (To use a dog analogy, their intelligence would be similar to a Golden Retriever's)
  • Capable of understanding some human words and phrases

Breed history

A four years old female Pixie-Bob
A four years old female Pixie-Bob

Carol Ann Brewer, of Bellingham, Washington, is credited with the creation of the Pixie-Bob breed in the mid 1980s. She took two different "Legend cats", believed to be the result of natural breeding between bobcats and domestic cats, and bred them to create the first Pixie-Bob domestic cat. This first cat was named Pixie, hence the name Pixie-Bob. DNA testing shows that Pixie-Bob cats are domestic, and not wild or an exotic hybrid, as the early advertisements had alleged, but many are still unsure if this is entirely true. Pixie-Bob cats share many of the physical and personality characteristics of bobcats, except they are approximately half the size, and do not have some of the wild characteristics. Pixie-Bobs are a paradox. They look and act very much like Bobcats, but are legally defined as domestic cats. For a cat to be considered a Certified TICA Pixie-Bob cats, they cannot be bred with bobcats, and one of their parents must be traced back to Pixie the cat.

Other information

6 years old male pixie-bob
6 years old male pixie-bob

Pixie-Bobs are legal in all 50 states without a license, and are legally considered domestic cats, despite their legend.

See also

9 months old male pixie-bob
9 months old male pixie-bob


  • TICA Pixie-Bob Breed Standard
  • Pacific Northwest Pixie-Bobs – Carol Ann Brewer's (creator & authority of the Pixie-Bob Breed)
  • website contains more than 3000 pictures of Pixie-Bobs, a fantastic pedigree database, 400 pages about the origination of the breed, breeders all over the world, pictures of the standard. by Nathalie Bent
  • The International Pixie Bob Journal-Come learn about this wonderful breed. Here you will find stories, pictures informational articles, contests,you can tell us about your pixie,and much more!

mid-long hair pixie-bob kitten

mid-long hair pixie-bob kitten

Selkirk Rex

The Selkirk Rex is a breed of cat with highly curled hair, including the whiskers (vibrissae). Unlike the Devon Rex and Cornish Rex, the hair is of normal length and not partly missing, and there are longhair and shorthairvarieties. Also unlike the other Rexes, the Selkirk gene is dominant.

The Selkirk Rex originated in Montana, America in 1987, with a litter born to a rescued cat. The only unusually coated kitten in the litter was ultimately placed with a Persian breeder, Jeri Newman, who named her Miss DePesto (after a curly-haired character in the TV series Moonlighting). This foundation cat was bred to a black Persian male, producing three Selkirk Rex and three straight-haired kittens. This demonstrated that the gene had an autosomal dominant mode of inheritance. All Selkirk Rex trace their ancestry back to Miss DePesto.

The breed has been developed in two coat lengths, long and short (medium). It is a large and solidly built breed, similar to a British Shorthair. The coat is very soft and has a woolly look and feel with loose, unstructured curls. The head is round, with large rounded eyes, medium sized ears, and a distinct muzzle, whose length is equal to half its width. An extreme break, like that of a Persian, is a disqualifiable fault.

American Shorthairs, Persians, Himalayans, Exotics, and British Shorthairs have been used as outcrosses to develop this breed. The American Shorthair has now been discontinued as an outcross. In CFA, outcrossing to Persians (including Himalayans) is scheduled to be discontinued in 2010, and all outcrosses stopped in 2015. In Australia, all outcrosses are scheduled to be discontinued in 2015.

The breed was accepted by The International Cat Association in 1992 and the Cat Fanciers' Association in 2000.

The breed is accepted in all colors, including the pointed, sepia, and mink varieties of albinism; bicolors; silver/smoke; and the chocolate and lilac series. This breed has an extremely dense coat and high propensity for shedding. Unlike other Rex breeds with reduced amounts of hair, the Selkirk Rex is not recommended for those who might be allergic to cat allergens.

The temperament of the Selkirk Rex reflects that of the breeds used in its development. They have a lot of the laid-back, reserved qualities of the British Shorthair, the cuddly nature of the Persian, and the playfulness of the Exotic Shorthair. They are very patient, tolerant, and loving.

There are no known health problems specific to the Selkirk Rex breed. They are a healthy and robust breed. Breeding towards proper head structure is necessary to prevent kinking of the tear ducts, resulting in tear run down the front of the face, or muzzle creases that can result in dermatitis on the face. Like other Rex breeds, irritation of the ear by curly fur can occur, increasing the production of ear wax. Homozygous cats (with two copies of the dominant Selkirk Rex gene) may have a tendency towards excessive greasiness of the coat, requiring increased frequency of bathing. Other health problems may be inherited from the outcross breeds used, including Polycystic Kidney Disease from Persians and Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy from British Shorthairs. Responsible breeders screen their breeding cats for these diseases to minimize their impact on the breed.

Scottish Fold

The Scottish Fold is a breed of cat with a natural mutation to its ears. The ear cartilage contains a fold so the ears bend forward and down towards the front of their head.

The original Scottish Fold was a long-haired white-haired barn cat named Susie, who was found at a farm near Coupar Angus in Perthshire, Scotland in 1961. Susie's ears had an unusual fold in their middle, making her resemble an owl. When Susie had kittens, two of them were born with folded ears, and one of the siblings was acquired by William Ross, a neighbouring farmer and cat-fancier. Ross registered the breed with the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in Great Britain and started to breed Scottish Fold kittens with the help of geneticist Pat Turner. The breeding program produced 76 kittens in the first three years - 42 with folded ears and 34 with straight ears. The conclusion from this was that the ear mutation is due to a simple dominant gene. If one parent provides the gene for straight ears, and one parent provides the gene for folded ears, the kittens will be Folds.

The breed was not accepted for showing in Great Britain and Europe as it was felt that they would be extremely prone to ear problems such as infection, mites and deafness, but the folds were exported to America and the breed continued to be established there using crosses with British Shorthair and the American Shorthair.

Scottish Folds can be either long or short-haired, and they may have any coat colour combination except for Siamese-style points. Pointed Folds have been bred but they are not eligible for showing. The original cats only had one fold in their ears, but due to selective breeding they have increased the fold to a double or triple crease that causes the ear to lie totally flat against the head. Scottish Folds, whether with folded ears or with normal ears, are typically good-natured and placid, and are known for sleeping on their backs. They tend to become very attached to their human caregivers and are by nature quite affectionate. Scottish Folds typically have soft voices and display a complex repetoire of meows and purrs not found in better-known breeds.

There is one medical problem that has been found to be related to Scottish Fold breeding. If both parents have folded ears, their kittens will be extremely prone to developing a painful degenerative joint disease that fuses the tail, ankles and knees. This condition also affects Scottish folds with one copy of the fold gene, to a lesser degree, and is the reason the breed is not accepted by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy and the Fédération Internationale Féline.

Sphynx (cat)


The Sphynx (aka Canadian Hairless) is a rare breed of cat. The Sphynx appears to be a hairless cat, although it is not truly hairless. The skin should have the texture of chamois. It may be covered with very soft, fine down, which is almost imperceptible to both the eye and touch. On the ears, muzzle, tail, feet, and scrotum, a short, soft, fine hair is allowed. Lack of coat makes the cat quite warm to the touch. Whiskers and eyebrows may be present, either whole or broken, or may be totally absent. Their skin is the color their fur would be, and all the usual cat marking patterns (solid, point, van, tabby, tortie, etc) may be found in Sphynx too. People are surprised by how different their personalities are. Many describe them as part monkey, pig and human because of how intelligent, extroverted and affectionate they are.

Many people with typical allergies to furry cats find that they tolerate the sphynx breed. This may be due to the fact that the proteins in cat saliva are often the culprit. Because sphynx lack hair and do not leave it behind, many have fewer difficulties living in harmony with the breed. There is no guarantee, however, and allergies vary greatly between individual people.

Sphynx cats are not maintenance-free. Their lack of hair results in increased body oils. Regular bathing is often necessary. Care should be taken to limit the Sphynx cat's exposure to outdoor sunlight at length, as they can develop a sunburn, similar to that of human exposure. In general, Sphynx cats should never be allowed outdoors unattended, as they have limited means to conserve body heat in colder temperatures, and their curious nature can take them into dangerous places or situations.

Two-week-old Sphynx kitten.
Two-week-old Sphynx kitten.

The Sphynx breed is known for a sturdy, heavy body (many cats of this breed also develop a pot belly), a wedge-shaped head, and an alert, friendly temperament. Although hairless cats have been reported throughout history (hairless cats seem to appear naturally about every 15 years or so), and breeders in Canada have been working on the Sphynx breed since the early 1960s, the current American and European Sphynx breed is descended from two lines of natural mutations:

  • Dermis and Epidermis (1975) from the Pearsons of Wadena, MN, USA and
  • Bambi, Punkie, and Paloma (1978) found in Toronto, ON, Canada and raised by Shirley Smith.

Other hairless breeds might have different body shapes or temperaments than those described above. There are, for example, new hairless breeds, including the Don Sphynx and the Peterbald from Russia, which arose from their own spontaneous mutations. The standard for the Sphynx differs between cat associations such as TICA, FIFE and CFA.

It has been theorised that Sphynx hairlessness might be produced by an allele of the same gene that produces the Devon Rex (re), with the Sphynx allele being incompletely dominant over the Devon allele and both recessive to the wild type. However a different genetic symbol (hr) is given to the Sphynx gene and it is more likely that these are different genes interacting with each other. Sphynx were at one time crossbred with Devon Rex, but unfortunately this led to the introduction of some genetic diseases and is now forbidden in most breed standards associations. Herediary spasticity and Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (a genetic heart defect) were introduced by the Devon Rex breed. The only allowable outcross breeds in the CFA are now the American Shorthair and Domestic Shorthair. Other associations may vary and the Russian Blue is a permitted outcross in the GCCF. In Europe mainly Devon Rex has been used for outcrosses.

In 1999 SGC Apophis Nordstrom of Classical Cats won the TICA International Alter of the Year. In 2006 SGC Classical Cats Valentino won the TICA International Cat of the year. In the Cat Fancier's Association, GC, RW, NW Majikmoon Will Silver With Age was Cat of the Year for 2006. The following year, GC, RW, NW Enchantedlair NWA Cornflake Girl was Kitten of the Year. These awards are handed out for the highest scoring cats, across all breeds.

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