One of the more recently domesticated animals, cats have nevertheless kneaded and pawed their way into our hearts as loving and beloved pets. Where animals like dogs are thousands of years removed from their wild ancestors, cats have retained many of the physical and social resemblences to their wild counterparts, still proving to be keen hunters as well as loyal friends. There are many breeds to learn about, all with their own characteristics and personalities!
A Cornish Rex is a breed of domestic cat, with no hair other than down. Most breeds of cat have three different types of hair in their coats: the outer fur or “guard hairs”; 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.
Domestic Short Hair
A Domestic shorthaired cat (DSH) is the proper name for a shorthaired cat that does not have a pedigree or belong to a recognized cat breed.Domestic shorthaired cats are characterized by a wide range of coloring. They typically ‘revert to type’ after a few generations, which means they express their coats as a tabby. This can be any color or combination of colors.
The Manx is a breed of cat with a naturally occurring mutation of the spine. This mutation shortens the tail, resulting in a variety of tail lengths ranging from normal to tailless. The hind legs are longer than the front legs, creating a continuous arch from shoulders to rump, giving the cat a rounded appearance. Manx cats move with more of a hop than a stride when running; in this way, they resemble rabbits more than cats.
The Persian cat is one of the oldest breeds of cat. In Britain, it is called the “Longhair” or “Persian Longhair” (tipped varieties are known as “Chinchilla Longhair”). The Persian cat is reputed to originate from Iran (Persia), but interbreeding of Angoras with native British domestic longhairs in the 19th Century makes the true origin of the breed unclear. The Persian’s European debut is credited to Pietro Della Valle, an Italian traveler.
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 toward the front of their head.Scottish Folds can be either long or short-haired, and they may have any coat color combination except for Siamese-style points. Pointed Folds have been bred but they are not eligible for showing.
The Siamese is one of the first distinctly recognized breeds of Oriental cat. The exact origins of the breed are unknown, but it is believed to be from Southeast Asia, and is said to be descended from the sacred temple cats of Siam (now Thailand). Their Thai name is Wichien Maat.All Siamese have a creamy base coat with colored points on their muzzles, ears, paws and lower legs, tails and (in males) scrota. The pointed pattern is a form of partial albinism, resulting from a mutation in tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in melanin production. The mutated enzyme is heat-sensitive; it fails to work at normal body temperatures, but becomes active in cooler areas of the skin.
The Sphynx (aka Canadian Hairless) is a rare breed of cat with extremely little fur and no whiskers (vibrissae). 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’s skin. They are sometimes mistaken for Chihuahuas because of their extremely unusual and, some say, uncatlike appearance. They are very affectionate and extroverted and like to cuddle with humans and each other.