Aby-a-Day – April 4: Feline Diversity

One of the best things about going to cat shows is you get to see a lot of different breeds. The show in Stamford was especially good; of the 40 breeds recognised by the CFA, 27 were present at the show we attended.

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The first breeds to be shown in the 1800’s in the UK were the Persian, the Siamese, and the Abyssinian. All the breeds have changed over the years, but two have changed significantly.

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Take the Siamese, for example. When I was a kid, they were shaped more like Abys! Now, they’re very slender, sleek cats with dainty, refined features.

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Compare these guys to Pyewacket in Bell, Book and Candle and you’ll see what I mean!

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Technically, this guy isn’t a “Siamese,” but a Colorpoint Shorthair.

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All that means, really, is that he is NOT one of the Original Four point colours (Seal, Blue, Chocolate or Lilac) but is either Red-, Cream-, Tabby-, Tortie- or Torbie-pointed.

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A rose by any other name…I think the CFA is the only breed registry that still separates Siamese this way.

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The Cornish Rexes have become almost as elongated as the Siamese.

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Compare this little girl’s head to the Oriental Shorthair in the background.

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I am utterly fascinated with the rex gene. It’s a different gene in each of the Rex breeds (Cornish, Devon and Selkirk) and they aren’t related at all. Three separate curly-haired genes!

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Aren’t they cute?

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At the other end of the feline spectrum we have the Persians.

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Look how flat Persians’ faces are!

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And then, of course, the Siamese and the Persian were bred together to create the Himalayan which was once its own breed but which is now a colour class of the Persian breed. There’s little left of the Siamese side of the family besides the points nowadays.

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Then there’s the Burmese, which seems to be well on its way to becoming almost as round as the Persian.

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These are very stout, very round, very muscular, solid cats.

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It’s hard to believe they originated from the same part of the world as the Siamese!

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Russian Blues are a very moderate breed. They’re neither very long nor very round. They’re just cat-shaped.

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They’re a little more stocky than the Abys, though.

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That’s probably due to the fact that they originated in Eurasia while Abys originate from either Africa or Southeast Asia, depending on which story you believe.

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Climate plays a big role in how animals’ bodies evolve. Just look at the difference between the Arctic Fox and the Desert Fennec!

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A rare shot of Jacoby in the traditional “Show Cat Stretch.”

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If you want to see what a cat really looks like, though, you have to look at the Sphynx.

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There’s no fur to hide behind on a Sphynx. What you see is what you get.

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They are wonderful cats to study if you want to learn cat anatomy.

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This little blue and white girl is still just a kitten!

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Some people think that Sphynxes are kind of…well, creepy. I think they’re beautiful.

7 thoughts on “Aby-a-Day – April 4: Feline Diversity

  1. CCA still does the Colorpoint Shorthair and Himalayan as separate breeds from Siamese/Persian!
    I love the Cornish Rexes, too… my friends have 2 and they’re just like heat seeking pixies!
    That little sphynx still has a lot of growing to do – no buddha belly on her yet! Pack on those ounces, girl!!!

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  2. OMC! Beauty overload! THANK YOU for these wonderful pictures! MomKatt REALLY wants a Sphynx; she loves how WARM their skin feels. Sparkle’s mom is right – that IS what they feel like! And Jacoby is, well, looking perfect as always. But we just CANNOT get into Persians, no matter how hard we try. Oh well, they aren’t for everyone I guess, right?

    Purrz
    Selina

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    1. I know what you mean about Persians…but there WAS an adorable little one-eyed calico Persian kitten who was at the show to be picked up by her new family. She was super-sweet and reached out to pat my face, which just reminded me so much of Angel using her hands to test distance…

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      (I didn’t get a great photo, because she was a kitten and she wasn’t in the show ring, just her benching cage…but she’s missing an eye on the same side as Angel!)

      Like

  3. Fascinating post, Coco! And great shots of Jake, you can really see how nice and long his legs are, and the lines where the ticked hairs start towards the back – that is so cool 🙂

    Like

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