Lykoi Breed Profile

Origin & History

The Lykoi is a very new breed that was created after a cat with the name of “Eva Hava” gave birth to two semi-hairless kittens with a striking wolf/ werewolf like look in VA, USA.

These two kittens were Wolfie Silver Lining (male) & Ray of Home (female). The two were given to Sphynx breeder Patti Thomas on September 4, 2010.

She named the soon to be new breed Lykoi, which roughly translates to “Wolf” in greek. Because of this, Lykoi cats go by nicknames such as wolves, werewolf cats or wolfkin.

Medical testing was undergone on the two Lykoi, and they were both found to be in excellent health and without any known feline diseases.

In 2011, two similar looking kittens were born in TN, USA, these two kittens were given to Dr. Gobble, in hopes that they could be used to establish a new cat breed. In 2011 the first intentionally bred Lykoi was born.

Outbreeding or outcrossing with domestic shorthair cats were used to reduce inbreeding and diversify the gene pool of the new breed to prevent health problems and maintain a healthy genetic variety within the breed. Domestic shorthairs are still the only allowed cats for outcrossing to grow the breed.

In 2013, the Lykoi was given preliminary new breed status with The International Cat Association (TICA). At this point, there were now 13 breeders around the world dedicated to breeding new Lykoi.

In 2014, Dr. Leslie Lyons of The University of Missouri conducted genetic testing on the Lykoi. She found that the Lykoi do not share the genes responsible for partial hairlessness in the Sphynx and Devon Rex breeds.

In 2015 the South African Cat Club governed by WCF announce the worlds first Lykoi Champion.

In 2017, the breed was classified as an “Advanced New Breed” and given championship status in TICA. An application for Misc. status in the CFA was submitted in 2017 as well.

As of January 2019, the Lykoi is currently listed as an experimental new breed in the CFA

Coat, Colors & Appearance

A medium sized cat with a muscular slender body, the Lykoi is an eye catcher in more ways than one. The roan coat makes it stand out visually and the intense golden eyes combined with the wide based, tipped and alert ears contribute to its energetic, almost mystical appearance.

For those that don’t know, a roan coat is a coat that has a mixture of colored hair and amelanistic hairs (hairs with no pigment). The ratio of this mixture can vary with 30% to 70% of colored hairs with 50% being ideal according to the CFA Breed Standards. This is found in a variety of other animals but the Lykoi is the only cat breed with such a coat. For example, if a Lykoi has black hairs as it’s pigmented hair, it will result in a silver look due to the mix of white and black guard hairs.

The amount of hairlessness can vary from cat to cat, while the undercoat is always lacking the density of the guard hairs varies with some being almost completely hairless while others being haired. Lykoi will molt most of their hair at least once. When it molts, it loses most or all of its hair for a while before it grows back again.

Furthermore, the absence of hairs around the eyes, chin, mouth, and muzzle give the Lykoi a unique facemask which contributes to its wolf or werewolf like appearance. The Lykoi also lacks hair behind the ears.

The Lykoi comes in a variety of colors such as pure white, black and red. However, black is the only color allowed for showing with TICA, whereas the other colors are acceptable for breeding only. The CFA allows all colors when it comes to the solid colors in the roan pattern. A Lykoi cat is born with a solid black color until the roan pattern emerges after one or two weeks. The only color patterns allowed for competition is mink, point, and sepia, while all other patterns and colors are allowed outside of competition.

Earlier this year (2019), Patti Thomas, the aforementioned founder of the breed shared the news on her Facebook page that the first longhair Lykoi has been born. The cat is white in color.

Males can be substantially larger than females.

Personality

The Lykoi is an affectionate and intelligent cat that gets a long well with children as wel as with dogs, which makes it a great family cat.

Because it is so intelligent it can almost seem dog-like in its ability to learn games like fetch.

Your Lykoi can entertain itself with toys but like all cats they should be stimulated with regular playtime so that they do not get bored and lash out. Your Lykoi may be a bit shy at first but usually warms up to new people, children, and dogs after it is certain that it is safe.

Even though they love to run around and have they also enjoy some cuddle time on your lap!

Health

The Lykoi is a generally healthy cat but due to its coat or lack thereof, it is important to keep it as an indoor cat only. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause the skin to darken due to pigmentation, however, the skin should return back to its normal pink once it is kept away from prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.

There is very little inbreeding in this breed and it therefore has less genetical health issues that unfortunately can arise in popular breeds due to poor breeding practices from irresponsible “breeders”.

Like any cat it can develop health problems regardless of genetics and just because it is a generally healthy and well managed breed, does not mean it is immune to illnesses that affect other cats.

What Makes the Lykoi Different?

The partial hairless appearance of this cat is the first thing people notice. Being the only cat breed in the world with a roan coat does not only make them look unique but it furthers their uniqueness compared to other breeds.

The reason behind their hairlessness is also interesting as it does not share the same genes responsible for the hairlessness in the Sphynx and Devon Rex cat breeds. Scientific research discovered that their hairlessness comes from a very rare genetic mutation.

As mentioned earlier in this breed profile, the Lykoi was studied by Dr Leslie Lions in 2016, and she published her findings in the paper Clinical and Histological Description of Lykoi Cat Hair Coat And Skin.

The principle findings of the paper can be summarized with the following:

  • Lykoi have fewer hair follicles than normally coated cats.
  • The Lykoi has a unique feline phenotype that may serve as a novel dermatological biomedical model.

Their werewolf and wolf like appearance along with their love for playing fetch and hunt like a wolf in packs helps create even more mystery and intrigue surrounding this breed.

Grooming Your Lykoi

Much like the Sphynx, the Lykoi is fairly easy to groom, but should be bathed once a week or bi-weekly. Because of the lack of an undercoat, skin oils can build up and clog the pores of the skin if the cat is not bathed regularly.

In addition to bathing, regular trimming of the nails, and brushing teeth on a bi-weekly basis is recommended. It also recommended to clean the ears periodically with a soft damp cloth.

Even though the cat is partially hairless it is not considered a hypoallergenic cat. This is because it produces the same amount of Fel-d1 and Fel-d4, a protein unique found in the saliva, skin, and urine that causes allergies in humans. For more information on arguably the only hypoallergenic cat breed and why we are allergic to cats check out the Siberian Breed Profile.

Buying A Lykoi

Since the Lykoi is such a new breed, most kittens are sold to other breeders for continual growth of the breed. Those kittens that are sold to non breeders are Pet Quality Lykois and you should expect to pay $2500+, according to the World Lykoi Association.

Adopting a Lykoi

Due to the rarity of this breed, finding a Lykoi for adoption will not be easy. Your best bet is to look at the TICA and CFA registered catteries and see if they have some retired males or females up for adoption.

List of TICA Breeders

Alternatively, you can check out our friends at Specialty Purebred Rescue, an organization that deals specifically with the rehoming and adoption of purebred cats.

Balinese Breed Profile

 

Origin & History

Balinese cats are derivatives of the Siamese cat breed. While little is known about the exact history of the Balinese cat, breeders believe Balinese cats come from a genetic mutation of the Siamese cat that makes their hair long instead of short. For years, Siamese cat breeders would occasionally find long-haired Siamese kittens in their litters. These cats were adopted out as pets, but were never used to breed. That all changed in the 1950’s. Two breeders, Marion Dorsey of California and Helen Smith of New York each had a fluffy, long haired Siamese cat in their litters. They fell in love with these long-haired Siamese cats and decided to breed them. Because of their lanky, graceful bodies, Smith named this breed “Balinese” because they reminded her of the dancers that made the island of Bali famous. While the Cat Fancier’s Federation officially recognized the Balinese breed in 1961, although records show the first Balinese cat was registered with them in 1928.The breed is also recognized by the American Cat Fanciers Association, the Cat Fanciers Association and the International Cat Association. In 2008, breeders voted to combine what was formerly known as the “Javanese” (any tabby, tortie or other non-Siamese patterns) breed with the traditional Siamese colored Balinese cats. Balinese cats are well-loved by those who own them. They are playful cats, highly sociable and loving. They are very active and clever and while they are affectionate, they are not lap cats. However, Balinese cats are not as popular as their Siamese counterparts. Perhaps it is because they are slightly different looking, with larger ears and eyes that are more wideset and almond shape and a more lean and lanky body.

Personality

As descendants of Siamese cats, Balinese cats are also extremely active. If you’re looking to add a Balinese to your home, consider cat trees or other modifications to your home as the Balinese love to climb and perch wherever they can.Balinese cats are powerful jumpers; owners often find them on top of bookcases, shelves, refrigerators and more. It is also wise to provide her with plenty of space to roam and run. Balinese cats certainly look sophisticated, but at heart, they are all about fun and attention. They love their owners and are known to follow them around the house, constantly demanding love, attention or playtime! They want to “help” with whatever you are doing. Balinese cats are exceptionally smart and paired with their desire to please you, they are also pretty easily trained. You might be able to teach your Balinese to play fetch, walk on a leash or do other little tricks.However, living with such a smart cat can be difficult and tiring, so make sure you are willing to commit to the time it takes to live with this breed before you bring one into your home. The active and social life of a Balinese cat blends perfectly with a family that has children or even cat-friendly dogs. In fact, your Balinese cat will likely play all of the games that you already play with your dog! A Balinese will live peacefully with other cats and dogs and will love being showered by the attention of your children. They love to talk, and it wouldn’t be uncommon for you to walk in on your child having a full on “conversation” with your family’s Balinese cat. You will never be without a friend when you own a Balinese!For as lively as these cats are they are also extremely loving and affectionate; they want you to pet them! You might not find them sitting on your lap for long, but you will constantly find your Balinese cat underfoot, weaving between your legs, and pawing your hand for attention. They will sit quietly when tired, and enjoy some pets and purrs.

Coat, Colors & Appearance

 

Balinese cats were first recognized in four colors: blue, chocolate, lilac and seal, but in 1979 cream, tabby and tortoiseshell patterns of all color combinations were added to the list. In recent years, white was also added as an accepted color. The pattern of the Balinese is known as “points” as the body of the cat is typically one color with the points, like its face mask, ears, legs, tail and feet being a darker color. The coat is very long, silky, and soft. Unlike most longhair cats that have a double coat, Balinese only have a single coat (no undercoat), which makes them unlikely to have matted fur and adds to their slim appearance as the hair stays close to their body. Their tails are reminiscent of an ostrich feather, spread out like a plume, with very long hair. Balinese cats are arguably the more elegant and graceful counterpart of their Siamese ancestry. Everything about this cat is long and lean. They are slender and long, with fine bones and a tubular body that is sleek and dainty. They are active cats, and their lean, muscular bodies show it. The head is triangular in shape and the ears are large, pointed and set far apart. Their eyes are also wide-set, and have an eastern Almond slant to them that is very distinct. They have very elegant oval paws, where the fur should be somewhat shorter in length. The Balinese’s back paws are slightly longer than its front paws, and while they are classified as a medium sized cat, the Balinese males are often larger than their female counterparts.

Grooming Your Balinese

The beautiful, long coat of the Balinese is relatively easy to care for. They do not shed much, as they have no undercoat and their coat is not easily matted. Brushing the cat’s coat once or twice a week with a stainless steel comb to remove dead hair is recommended.A bath is rarely needed, but at least once a week you should wipe the corners of their eyes with a warm, damp cloth (using different sections of the cloth on each eye to prevent the spread of infection) to remove discharge.Balinese cats do need weekly nail trimming and ear cleaning. Wipe out the inside of their ear with a cotton ball or cloth dipped in warm water or a 50-50 mix of water and cider vinegar. You should not use a cotton swab, as they could damage your cat’s ear. Like any other cat, it’s important to brush your Balinese’s teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste from your local pet store or veterinarian to prevent periodontal disease and wipe any discharge that comes out onto the fur around their mouth while you brush.Balinese cats are very particular about the cleanliness of their litterbox, so it is important that you clean it out daily, ensuring that all feces and urine is removed. Keep in mind, you should also have at least two litter boxes in your home per cat. It is best to keep Balinese cats indoors. Their long hair could easily be matted by burs and filled with dirt, and there is always the risk of disease when a cat is kept outside.

  • Brushing the coat a couple of times a week at least is recommended. If you can do daily brushing, that is great!
  • Daily Dental hygenie is reccommended, at a minimum once per week.
  • Checking the ears once per week and keeping them clean is reccomended.
  • Trimming the nails once every other week is advised.
  • You should clean the area around the eyes with a damp cloth periodically.

What Makes The Balinese Different?

Balinese cats are great for those who want a Siamese cat with a more graceful, elegant long coat. They are nearly identical in all other aspects, except for their coat. Balinese cats are the perfect combination of sleek and beautiful, while also being active, loving and very sociable creatures. They are entertaining, smart, and playful and would make a great addition to any family. They are easy to care for, talkative and loving, making them a joy to be around.

Health

Balinese cats face the same health concerns as their Siamese counterparts, however, they are generally very healthy animals, but all cats, whether they are purebred or mixed breed have the potential to contract diseases or inherit them. You should never buy from a breeder who doesn’t give a health guarantee. While it doesn’t mean your cat is guaranteed to be free from disease, it does mean the breeder stands by what he or she makes. According to VetStreet.com, Balinese cats can contract lysosomal storage disease, a condition that can affect them neurologically and feline acromelanism, a condition that can causes changes in coat color when the temperature changes. Your Balinese can also suffer from:-Amyloidosis, a disease that most commonly affects the liver of Siamese and Balinese cats-Asthma/bronchial disease-Congenital heart defects such as aortic stenosis-Crossed eyes-Gastrointestinal conditions such as megaesophagus-Hyperesthesia syndrome, a neurological problem that can cause cats to excessively groom themselves, leading to hair loss, and to act frantically, especially when they are touched or petted-Lymphoma-Nystagmus, a neurological disorder that causes involuntary rapid eye movement-Progressive retinal atrophy, for which a genetic test is availableWhile Balinese are so active, they are rarely obese, it can happen if an owner is negligent. Make sure to always provide your cat or kitten with enough opportunities to be active.

Buying a Balinese Cat

When looking to adopt a Balinese cat, always look for a reputable breeder who gives you a health guarantee. Do NOT buy a Balinese cat from a pet store; it is hard to determine where these cats came from and their true health. You can expect to pay more than $600 for a pedigreed Balinese cat that comes from a reputable breeder.

Adopting a Balinese Cat

It is rare for you to find a Balinese kitten in a shelter, but sadly, you can occasionally find adult Balinese cats at your local shelter, or often by working with local cat rescue groups. Resources like petfinder.com or adoptapet.com in helping identify adoptable Balinese cats near you. While not all Balinese cats found via rescues may be purebred cats, you’d be surprised at how many are and they will cost you far less than buying from a breeder.Plus you have the added benefit of knowing that you saved a cat’s life. Like any animal, slowly introduce your Balinese cat to your existing family members, particularly children and another cats and dogs. More information can be found here.

 

Sphynx Breed Profile

Origin and History

The Sphynx is a very new breed compared to most other cat breeds and is also the only cat breed to originate in Canada. The Sphynx was a result of a natural genetic mutation when a domestic cat in Toronto, Canada gave birth to a hairless kitten.

This cat was then bred with furred cats, whose offspring was both hairless and furred due to the recessive nature of the hairless gene. This process led the Sphynx to have an extensive and varied gene pool making it less prone to inherent problems in the breed.

These cats were first known as Canadian Hairless Cats, but the breeders eventually landed on Sphynx as a name for the breed, a reference to the ancient limestone statue in Egypt.

Today, the Sphynx is recognized by the American Cat Fanciers Association, the Cat Fanciers Association and The International Cat Association among others.

The Sphynx cats are also stars on the Big Screen with the biggest star being Mr. Bigglesworth, portrayed by Ted NudeGent in the Austin Powers movies.

Coat, Colors & Appearance

This medium sized feline stands out with its hairless appearance and big lemon sized eyes perfect for catching the attention of anyone in the room, which is precisely what your Sphynx wants. The ears are large to very large, broad at the base. Males are generally larger than females, but both have surprising weight for their size.

Their pronounced cheek bones and unusual look have given these felines monikers such as “The E.T.” of the cat world.

Their tail is almost whip-like, tapering to a point at the end.

Even though they seem to be hairless at first glance, the Sphynx has hairs at the bridge of the nose and ears, and some Sphynx´ are covered with a short fuzz. The body is warm to the touch and has a smooth peach-like texture.

The Sphynx cat comes in a variety of colors:

White to pink with pink nose leather and paw pads. Black with black nose leather and black to brown paw pads.Blue with blue nose leather and paw pads. Brilliant Red color with brick red nose leather and paw pads. Cream with pink nose leather and paw pads. Chocolate color with brown nose leather and cinnamon or brown paw pads.Lavender color with a pink tone on the body as well as the nose leather and paw pads. Cinnamon color with cinnamon colored nose leather and paw pads. Fawn color with pale fawn colored nose leather and paw pads. Classical Tabby Pattern as well as many other tabby patterns.

Personality

The Sphynx is a high energy cat that craves and loves your attention. Being a real people person (cat), expect your Sphynx to be the first one to greet guests who stop by with endearing headbutts or other signs of excitement. The Sphynx cats are usually attached to their owners and love to snuggle up to their owner for warmth and cuddles.

They usually do well with both other cats, dogs or children, but might get jealous if you give too much attention to other members of the household.

If you are away for many hours of the day, it is, therefore, a good idea to get another Sphynx or cat, not to make your Sphynx feel lonely.

While an absolutely lovely breed of cat  they do need a lot of attention and like being near you if not ON you at all times. They are often called Velcro kitties and they are not a breed to be independent or left alone for long periods of time.
Tara,
TICA  Registered Breeder of Sphynx cats at Mighty Bare Sphynx Cattery near Seattle, WA

Grooming and Care

You might think that this hairless looking feline is allergy friendly and requires no grooming, but this is incorrect. The reason people are allergic to cats has nothing to do with the hairs in their coat but rather enzymes in their saliva and the oils they produce in their skin. The Sphynx produce these oils and enzymes just like any other cat and is therefore not allergy friendly.

Bathing your Sphynx once per week will help alleviate allergies, but will not completely prevent allergic reactions. Another important reason for bathing your Sphynx is that they lack a coat to absorb their skin oils. If you do not bathe your Sphynx his pores can clog and his skin will become very oily and may rub off on your furniture, carpets and clothes.

In addition to the weekly or bi-weekly bathing, regular “cat maintenance” applies, as listed in this grooming checklist below:

    • Weekly or bi-weekly bathing.
    • Weekly or monthly cleaning of the paws to remove build up of vax.
    • Weekly or monthly brushing of the teeth.
    • Weekly or bi-weekly cleaning of the ears.
  • Weekly or bi-weekly cleaning of the area around the eyes with a damp, soft cloth.

What Makes the Sphynx Different?

The obvious thing that stands out with the Sphynx is their hairless appearance and their large lemon shaped eyes giving them a very striking and unique look. Their reputation as heatseekers due to their lack of a coat to keep them warm often causes them to want to snuggle and sleep with their owners under the covers.

I think the most obvious trait would be their lack of a full fur coat, although some do grow peach fuzz like hair. They have big bat ears and come in a range of colors.
Tara,
TICA  Registered Breeder of Sphynx cats at Mighty Bare Sphynx Cattery near Seattle, WA

Health

The Sphynx is a generally healthy breed, but like any cat, it can develop genetic health problems. If you are buying a Sphynx, it is important to buy from a breeder that can give you extensive information about your Sphynx´s health and genetic background to know if there are any diseases present in the line.

If the breeder claims to guarantee that your Sphynx will not develop genetic diseases such as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy ( a common health condition found in cats, that thickens the heart muscle) or any other genetic disease, then they are misinforming you. No cat, no matter the breed or genetic background is immune to potentially developing genetic diseases. [1]

In addition to Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), The Sphynx Cat is also prone to hereditary myopathy, a muscle condition characterized by muscle weakness, tremors and difficulties walking that which will eventually lead to death when the cat is no longer available to swallow. [1] This is, however, a rare occurrence in the breed, and it can be screened for with DNA tests [2].

The Sphynx can also develop skin conditions like Urticaria Pigmentosa and Cutaneous Mastocytosis [1].

Sphynx cats are also prone to developing periodontal disease. To help prevent this it is important that you give your Sphynx the proper dental care that it needs by brushing the teeth weekly, or at a minimum, monthly.

Buying a Sphynx

There are many things to take into consideration before bringing home one of these beautiful creatures. Don’t be tempted to buy them at a pet shop! You generally will have no idea where it came from, which is important to ensure you are getting a cat from a healthy lineage to minimize the risk of future health issues for your cat.

How much does a Sphynx cost and what other costs are there?

pet Sphynx from a reputable breeder in the USA is about $1500 on average. Most reputable breeders will include all vaccinations, worming, vet checks, microchip and spaying/neutering along with a great health contract and papers.

Plan on having a good quality diet, small budget for minimal grooming supplies and getting them echo-cardiograms by a feline cardiologist yearly. In other words, pet insurance is a great idea with Sphynx cats.
Tara H,
TICA  Registered Breeder of Sphynx cats at Mighty Bare Sphynx Cattery near Seattle, WA


Insuring your Sphynx

Meet Mr Wrinkles, a 1 year old made up Sphynx from Parma, Ohio. He has completed all veterinary check ups and have shown no signs of any disorders or diseases. He is the cat we asked for a quote from from a number of pet insurance providers, to see where we could find the best value.

Pets Best offers a Plus Plan at $19.24 per month for an unlimited coverage that has an annual $250 deductible (the amount you need pay before the coinsurance is applied each year.) In this plan they reimburse 80% of your vet bill. For $21.38 a month their plus plan will reimburse 90% of the vet bill. Their Elite plan will also cover Rehabilitative, Acupuncture & Chiropractic Coverage and that plan is  $20.13 per month for 80% and $22.37 per month for 90% reimbursement. Get your own quote here.

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation offered us a unlimited coverage plan with a $250 deductible for $21.26 where they reimburse 80% of the veterinary bills. They also offer a plan with the same deductible but 90% reimbursement for $24.91. Get your own quote here.

Who is the ideal Sphynx owner?

I think that Sphynx are great with single people, couples and families as long as they are prepared for the demanding attention. If you are gone for long periods of time, the Sphynx may need a friend to keep them company or else they’ll become depressed. They have to have an owner that will not mind their cat following them around, chirping at them, greeting them at doors and wanting to be on them (their lap, their shoulder, under their shirt, next to them in bed).
Tara H,
TICA  Registered Breeder of Sphynx cats at Mighty Bare Sphynx Cattery near Seattle, WA

Adopting a Sphynx

If you want to adopt a Sphynx, your best bet is to check out resources like the Fanciers Breeder Referral list or the Petfinder listings and websites like Adoptapet.com. You can also enquire in shelters near you if they have a Sphynx in need of a new home. You can also check out our friends at Specialty Purebred Rescue to see if there are any Sphynx cats in need of a home!

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Turkish Van Breed Profile

Origin and History

An ancient breed, the Turkish Van is thought to have origins in the Lake Van region in southeastern Turkey. This cold, rough mountain region likely caused the breed to naturally develop its large muscular body and thick waterproof coat.

The Turkish Van remained unknown to the west until 1955. The Turkish government asked two British photographers, Sonia Halliday and Laura Lushington, to come photograph Turkey and promote tourism. The women were gifted two Turkish Van kittens that accompanied them on their travels throughout the country.

Captivated by the kittens’ appearance, personality and love of swimming, Halliday and Lushington brought them back to England when their assignment was completed. When the kittens matured, they were bred to each other. The resulting kittens looked just like their parents, indicating very stable genetics.

Lushington in particular took an interest in developing the breed. For 14 years she worked to standardize and popularize it enough to be recognized by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF). Finally the breed was accepted in 1969. The GCCF originally called it the “Turkish cat” but changed the name to “Turkish Van” in 1979 to avoid confusion with the Turkish Angora.

The breed did not reach the United States until 1982. The Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA) awarded it championship status in 1994. Today the Turkish Van is recognized by all major western cat registries.

An uncommon but extremely sought-after breed, every registered Turkish Van can have its origins traced back to Laura Lushington’s original cats. The CFA reports fewer than 100 new Turkish Van registrations per year, making it one of the rarest breeds.

Coat, Colors & Appearance

Though at first glance the Turkish Van appears to be a white cat with colored patches, the reverse is actually true. The Turkish Van’s head and tail color is its main color, but most of the body is covered in a large white patch.

This striking coloration is known as “van patterning” and is the result of the piebald white spotting gene. Though other breeds can sometimes show van patterning, it is the trademark feature of the Turkish Van.

All standard-conforming Turkish Vans have a white body with a colored head and tail. Small colored patches are permitted elsewhere as long as they are sized and shaped so as not to distract from the overall appearance of the cat. Symmetrical head patterns are most desirable.

Acceptable colors vary by organization but typically include blue, black, cream and red solid varieties. Tabby varieties include brown, red, blue and cream. Tortie and tortie-tabby colors may also occur. Though some registries recognize all-white Turkish Vans without head or tail color, the CFA and the Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFe) do not.

The Turkish Van’s fur is often compared to cashmere. Soft and smooth, the coat is single-layered and water-repellent. It lies close to the body, giving a sleek appearance. The plumed tail is long and fluffy.

In terms of size, the Turkish Van is one of the largest breeds. The long, muscular body is top-heavy with long back legs and large paws, causing the cat’s center of gravity to shift forward and making it a highly adept jumper and climber. The head is a broad wedge with prominent cheekbones and large feathered ears.

The eyes of the Turkish Van are large, round and expressive. They can be blue, amber or heterochromic/odd-colored (each eye is a different color). Though blue eyes, white fur and deafness are linked in cats, blue-eyed Turkish Vans are not predisposed to deafness. This is owed to the fact that their white fur is actually a piebald patch, not a true allover body color.

The Turkish Van’s nose is normally pink, but owners report that it turns red when the cat is upset or not feeling social. This can be helpful to gauge the mood of the cat.

Due to high muscle density and long length (sometimes reaching 3 feet from head to tip of tail), the Turkish Van can be quite a hefty cat. Females weigh between 7 and 12 pounds, while males average 14 to 18 pounds. However, it is not unheard of for a male Turkish Van to tip the scales at 20 pounds or more!

Personality

Not one to be content with sitting on your lap all day, the Turkish Van shows high levels of energy and athleticism. Playtime with a Turkish Van is likely to tire you out before the cat is even halfway done! Many owners report that their cats love playing fetch and will bring their favorite toys to their owners whenever they feel like playing.

One of the Turkish Van’s most fascinating traits is its love of water. Your Turkish Van will probably try to join you in the shower, or at least roll around in it after you’re done. She may be fixated on faucets, toilets and water bowls. She may even teach herself to turn on your sinks so she can play in the stream of water! Thankfully, the Turkish Van’s water-repelling coat allows her to dry off easily should she decide to splash around.

We don’t generally think of cats as clumsy but the Turkish Van proves that not all cats are masters of agility. Don’t be surprised if your Turkish Van seems like he has four left feet! His big paws and expressive tail should be kept away from anything fragile lest he accidentally knock it to the ground.

Though they have a strong independent streak, Turkish Vans show an undeniable loyalty to their owners. Your Turkish Van won’t want to be picked up or cuddle with you all the time, but she’ll sleep next to you at night and enjoy pettings, as long as they’re on her terms.

Turkish Vans tend to get along best with other members of their breed. They can warm up to other cats with time and proper socialization but may be standoffish at first. Cat-friendly dogs can coexist with the Turkish Van so long as they do not try to show dominance over the cat.

Children and Turkish Vans often end up being best friends. With equally high energy levels, they play for hours and tire each other out. Children need to be instructed to respect the cat’s strict boundaries, especially since the Turkish Van is so large and powerful.

Grooming and Care

The Turkish Van’s love of water doesn’t make him any easier to bathe. He hates being restrained and his water-resistant coat can make him difficult to lather up. Thankfully, the coat is also quite dirt-resistant, so bathing should be a rare occurrence.

The Turkish Van sheds mainly in spring and fall, with very little shedding in between. Weekly brushing should be sufficient to keep the coat healthy. Older cats may require more frequent brushing if they have difficulty reaching all the necessary areas.

Teeth should be brushed at least once a week to prevent painful gum disease. Ears should also be cleaned once a week with a damp cotton ball.

Health

The Turkish Van’s health is generally very good compared to other purebred cats. They do not typically have any breed-specific health problems, with two exceptions.

Sacrocaudal dysgenesis is known to affect Turkish Van kittens. This is a malformation of the lower spine, near the tail. This condition develops in utero and there is no treatment or cure. Turkish Vans with this condition may have problems with gait and incontinence, though they can still live fulfilling, happy lives.

Heart disease is also reported in a higher-than-average percentage of Turkish Vans, though no genetic link between the breed and heart disease has been discovered. All Turkish Vans should receive yearly vet checkups that include heart health to ensure that any disease is caught early.

Purebred Turkish Vans may have different blood types than most cats. It is recommended to get your Turkish Van’s blood tested so the blood type can be recorded and readily available in the event of an emergency.

What Makes the Turkish Van Different?

Though visually striking, the Turkish Van’s uniqueness isn’t limited to its looks. It is as skilled at swimming as it is at hunting. Its intelligence makes it highly adept at learning tricks – or even teaching itself! With a long lifespan and a taste for adventure, this is a great breed for those who appreciate a cat with an independent nature.

Buying a Turkish Van

Turkish Vans are a rare breed. There are very few breeders out there; this list of breeders shows five Turkish Van catteries in the United States. Because availability is so limited, there may be long wait lists for these cats. Prices vary but generally start at around $600 for a Turkish Van kitten.

Adopting a Turkish Van

If you’re in love with the Turkish Van breed but would rather adopt than buy, a good place to start is the RescueMe Turkish Van page. This page shows adoptable Turkish Vans across the United States. Finding a true Turkish Van in a typical shelter is highly unlikely due to the rarity of the breed.

 

Russian Blue Breed Profile

 

 

Origin and History

The origins of the Russian Blue breed is shrouded in mystery and fantastical stories. It is both said that the breed originally originated and evolved in the Russian Archangel Isles and that it comes from the Russian Tsars themselves. The stories even say it rode with the Cossacks and frequently sailed the seven seas as a ship cat.Whatever the truth of its origin may be, we know that it eventually made its way to the cat show in the beautiful Crystal Palace in London, England in 1875. There are even rumors that the cat-loving Queen Victoria encountered and fell in love with the breed there.

The Crystal Palace may be lost to history for forever, but the Russian Blue and many other breeds first showcased there are still going strong. Before 1912 it was grouped with other blue cats and went under the names of “Foreign Blue,” “Archangel Cat” and sometimes under the name Maltese.In 1912 however, as it´s popularity slowly grew, it was finally given its own class, and the breeders in England and Scandinavia attempted to develop the foundation bloodlines for the modern Russian Blue.The two World Wars that followed left this blue beauty very close to extinction, but thanks to some dedicated breeders after WW2 and outcrossing programs* that allowed the Russian Blues to be paired with new cats, such as the blue-point Siamese and blue British Shorthairs allowed the breed to survive.

*Outcrossing (also known as Outbreeding)

Is when new genetic material is introduced into a breeding line or a breed´s gene pool.[1] This technique has been used in order to create new breeds from existing ones, such as pairing the Siamese with a variety of other cats, and to keep existing breeds alive when the breed population has been at a critical low point. The Havana Brown for example, due to it´s danger of extinction, has a couple of sanctioned outcrossing programmes to help ensure its continued survival as a breed

Coat Colors & Appearance

The Russian Blue has a short, plush and thick coat, which covers a long, muscular, medium-sized body. The only recognized color is an even bright blue, with silver tipped guard hairs, giving the Russian Blue a silver shimmer. The vivid green eyes contribute to its alert appearance.

It has what is known as a semi-foreign body type with long legs and body but all in proportion. Some kittens are born with “ghost stripes,” but these usually fade as the cat matures into adulthood.

Personality



The Russian Blue is a cat with a quiet, gentle disposition. It may seem quiet and maybe a bit dull to be around to the untrained eye, but the Russian Blue is an intelligent cat with many talents. Many Russian Blue owners report that the cat is ideal to play fetch with and that you can teach this quick study many tricks. So while it may not be the attention grabber as say the Somali, it is sure to be an instant favorite to those looking for a quiet, loving and intelligent cat.

This breed is not a clingy cat and would prefer to lay next to you and chill rather than to jump around everywhere (although like most cats, it loves heights). For this reason, the Russian Blue does better with older children and adults. It is not the type of cat that will greet your guests but would instead like to hang back and observe them until it has deemed them to be okay.It likes to take a careful and measured approach to life and its surroundings. Don’t be surprised if you find him up in high places scoping out the territory and assessing its options, especially if it is in a new environment.

It is not a vocal cat but it can respond if you talk to it, and its high intelligence allows it to learn the meaning of many words that you use.

The Russian Blue is also known for its hearty Russian appetite, and you should watch out for your food while cooking!

Grooming and Care

The Russian Blue requires minimal grooming. Clipping of nails, weekly brushing, and brushing of teeth is enough to keep this blue beauty happy. The Nebelung should be brushed twice a week due to its long coat.

Health

TThe Russian Blue is, in general, a healthy cat with few health problems. If you are getting a Russian Blue make sure to get it from a reputable breeder that can give you extensive information about its background, family, and if there are any health problems in the line. Russian Blues are reported to be prone to bladder stones. Another thing to watch out for is that its love for food does not make it overeat and become overweight. Read more about making sure your Russian Blue is on a healthy, balanced diet in our big food guide, and about weight-loss for cats in our guide.

  • Few Health Problems
  • Prone to Bladder Stones
  • Watch Out For Obesity

What Differentiates The Russian Blue From Other Breeds

Its light blue coat along with its silver shimmer makes the Russian Blue visually stands out, while his intellect, quiet and pondering demeanor makes it a unique and fascinating companion to have by your side.

Buying a Russian Blue

If you want to buy a Russian Blue the most crucial step is to find a reputable breeder near you that can give you extensive information about your prospective kitten´s family background and health. You should never buy from places like pet store because it is unlikely that they know enough about the background of the cat and you risk buying a cat with severe health issues or encounter other problems.Because it is a rare breed, it is not an easy one to find one available for purchase, but your best bet is to either adopt (more on that below) or search for reputable breeders near you. You can start by having a look at the TiCA registered breeders in the US that we have listed below.

Adopting a Russian Blue

If you want to adopt a Russian Blue, we recommend that you start by visiting the Russian Blue section of RescueMe.org or their Facebook Page.

Havana Brown Breed Profile

Havana Brown Breed Profile

Origin & History

The Havana Brown came to be like many other man-made breeds, by crossing a Siamese with other breeds. Their ancestors are the solid brown Siamese cats, known under the moniker of Swiss Mountain Cats in England and Europe in the late 19th century. These cats fell out of favor with breeders in the 1920´s, when it was decided that only blue-eyed Siamese were desirable.

Just as all seemed lost for the full brown variety of the Siamese, a group of dedicated British breeders started crossing the remaining chocolate- and seal-point Siamese with black domestic shorthairs and Russian Blues. The result was an adorable, eye-catching brown cat with emerald green eyes. It is said that they adopted the name “Havana Brown” due to its color resembling that of the exclusive sought after Havana cigar. The Cat Fanciers Association officially gave the Havana Brown cat breed championship status in 1964.

The Havana Brown is a very rare breed with fewer than a 1,000 cats in existence. As such, the genetic diversity and continued existence of this breed are threatened.

In Britain, there is also a breed called the Havana Brown, but this is a variety of the Oriental Shorthair with a different body and head type than it´s US namesake.
Havana brown cat lying down looking up at camera

Coat, Colors & Appearance

The coat, as you can imagine, is chocolate colored (or tobacco brown if you will) for the Havana Brown. The color tends toward a red-brown (mahogany) rather than black-brown. The Breed also has a TICA recognized lilac variety, because of this, TICA has decided to drop the “Brown” from the breed name. This breed is the only one whose whiskers are defined as brown in the breed standard for the Havana Brown variety. The lilac variety has lilac whiskers.

Much like its Siamese ancestors, it has a medium sized dynamic and muscular body covered by a short, silky smooth coat. The nose and paw pads are brown with a rosy flush.

They have an alert appearance because of their larger, round-tipped ears that tilt forward.

The kittens and young Havana Brown cats can have ghost tabby markings.

The information above is compiled using the information from the Breed Standard taken from the Cat Fanciers Association.

Personality

The personality of these cats can resemble the Siamese, although they are generally not as talkative as their Siamese cousins and their voice is softer. They are intelligent cats that need stimulation so make sure you have enough toys or other cats to keep them occupied as well as spending time with them each day.

They bond closely to their owners and like to follow them around so they are perfect as a companion cat or family cat. Because of their tendency to bond with owners, it would be a good idea to consider getting another cat to keep them company if you are away often during the day.

They are energetic cats that love to play and run, but they aren´t extreme “swing from the chandler” type of cat and won´t ruin too many things around the house unless they are bored.Havana brown breed cat moving towards camera with front paw off floor

Grooming & Care

The short coat of the Havana Brown requires little grooming, although it is recommended to brush your cat at least weekly and to trim their nails bi-weekly. See below for the grooming checklist:

    • Brushing the coat a couple of times a week at least is recommended. If you can do daily brushing, that is great!
    • Daily Dental hygiene is recommended, at a minimum once per week.
    • Checking the ears once per week and keeping them clean is recommended.
    • Trimming the nails once every other week is advised.
    • You should clean the area around the eyes with a damp cloth periodically.

What Makes The Havana Brown Different?

The most string difference between Havana Brown and others breeds is its unique appearance. Their unique muzzle shape, unique color matching between the coat and whiskers along with its brilliant and expressive eyes gives this breed a look that is comparable to no other breed. The fact that there are so few left in the world also makes these cats a rarity to come across.

Health

Havana Brown cats are generally healthy cats but they may be prone to developing calcium oxalate stones in the urinary tract. [1]. No matter if it is a mixed or a purebred all cats can develop genetic health problems, so if you are buying from a breeder, make sure they are serious and the lineage and health history in the line is well documented. It is also a good idea to get a written health guarantee that the cat you are getting is in examined and in good health when you make the purchase.

Buying a Havana Brown

Since there are so few Havana Browns left in the world, Breeders can be few and far between. So few in fact, that we could only find 2 registered TICA/CFA breeders in the US.

Oberlin Cattery – Kansas
HAVACAT – Mississippi

We do not recommend that you buy from a pet shop as it is difficult to really know the background of your cat, even though you will probably not find a Havana Brown cat at your local pet store anyway.

Adopting a Havana Brown

Your best option here is probably to look at the two catteries listed above and see if and when they put some adults up for adoption when they are retired from breeding. Another option is to look at organizations like https://www.purebredcatrescue.org/

Photo credits:
ID 132540156 © Nynke Van Holten | Dreamstime.com
ID 131004237 © Nynke Van Holten | Dreamstime.com
ID 131178688 © Nynke Van Holten | Dreamstime.com

 

 

Snowshoe Breed Profile

 

Origin and History

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based Siamese breeder Dorothy Hinds-Daugherty originated the Snowshoe breed in the 1960s when one of her cats produced a unique litter. Three of the kittens sported unusual white points and feet.

Hinds-Daugherty attempted to breed more of these kittens by crossing black and white tuxedo American Shorthairs with seal point Siamese. When these offspring were bred to Siamese, they produced kittens with the white points and feet.

Hinds-Daugherty named the breed “Snowshoe” because of its white feet but did not submit the breed for consideration by cat breed associations. Another breeder, Vikki Olander, took on this duty, writing the first official breed description for the Snowshoe.

Thanks to Olander, the Cat Fanciers Federation (CFF) and the American Cat Association (ACA) awarded the Snowshoe the status of “experimental breed” in 1974. 1983 marked the achievement of CFF champion status by the Snowshoe, kicking off a new wave of interest in the breed.

Today the breed is recognized by the CFF, the ACA, the Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFe), the International Cat Association (TICA), the American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE), the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA) and the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF). The Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA) does not yet recognize the Snowshoe.

The Snowshoe has experienced a surge in popularity ever since Grumpy Cat (who is possibly a Snowshoe) entered the limelight, but overall the breed is still quite rare due to lack of breeders and difficulty in meeting breed standards.

Coat, Colors & Appearance

All Snowshoes have point coloration – a pale body with darker face, tail, legs and ears. This is inherited from their Siamese origins. The most common point colorations (and the only ones recognized by the ACFA and the AACE) are seal point and blue point with cream, beige or tan body colors.

Other colors are very rare due to the difficulty of breeding Snowshoes. FIFe recognizes chocolate, cinnamon, black, fawn, cream and red point varieties in addition to seal and blue point. They also recognize tortie, tabby, and tortie-tabby patterned Snowshoes. TICA recognizes all colors.

Snowshoe kittens are born fully white and begin developing their point colors at three weeks old. The nose and paw pads can be pink, point-colored or both. Breed-standard Snowshoes will ideally have white color on their muzzles that extends up between their eyes.

White paws should ideally be separated from the light body by a darker point-colored band. The front paws should sport white mittens while the back paws should have white boots – more or less white may disqualify the cat from meeting breed standards.

The Snowshoe’s coat is short to medium length with no undercoat. Some individuals may have a double coat but this is considered a fault. The fur is smooth and soft. True Snowshoes have large walnut-shaped eyes that are strikingly blue. The head should be wedge-shaped, equally long and wide with high cheekbones, topped with medium-large ears.

Snowshoes are medium to medium-large cats, though they tend to be longer than other cats of a similar size. Females tend to weigh 7-10 pounds while males weigh 9-12 pounds. Some Snowshoes tip the scales at 14 pounds or more! The Snowshoe appears to be a lean cat but is actually quite muscular and strong.

Personality

The breed’s heritage is easy to see in its personality. Bossy, social Siamese traits really shine through in the Snowshoe, as does chattiness.

If you’re in a house with a Snowshoe, expect to be meowed at a lot as he tries to let you know how he feels about everything! The Snowshoe’s meow, however, is considerably softer and gentler than the Siamese meow.

Snowshoes require a great deal of attention. They hate being left alone for long periods of time and get upset if their favorite person is not around to shower them in attention.

If you show a Snowshoe love, she will gladly return it at every opportunity. Just don’t be surprised if she’d sometimes rather run around than sit in your lap – she may be affectionate but she’s got plenty of energy too.

Curious and intelligent, Snowshoes enjoy many different activities. They can learn tricks, play fetch and may even teach themselves to open doors. Some Snowshoe owners even report that their cats love swimming! Snowshoes love climbing and being as high up as possible, so a good-sized cat tree (or sturdy furniture) is a must.

Most Snowshoes enjoy being around children, other cats and even dogs. In fact, if a Snowshoe owner is regularly away from the house, a companion cat is recommended to prevent loneliness.

Children love Snowshoes, and that love is reciprocated by the cats, as they love cuddling, are not easily scared and do not generally mind noisy environments. Snowshoes may take a moment to warm up to strangers, but with a little time and kindness they’ll be chatting up any visitors like old friends.

Overall the Snowshoe strikes an ideal balance between affectionate and energetic. Their activity level makes them less prone to obesity than some lazier breeds, but they are not so high-strung that they’ll drive you up the wall.

Grooming and Care

The Snowshoe’s short to medium length coat is easy to care for. It does shed its coat with the seasons, so if you’re looking for a low-shed cat, the Snowshoe is not for you.

A twice-weekly brushing is usually enough to keep the coat in top shape, and the Snowshoe loves affection and attention so much that you may find yourself being begged for a brushing!

Other than brushing, a Snowshoe will take care of all its own grooming, making it a great breed for anyone looking for a low-maintenance (but still beautiful) cat.

As with all cats, dental care is extremely important to prevent tooth and gum disease. Daily tooth brushing is best if you can convince the Snowshoe to accept it.

Health

Overall, the Snowshoe breed is quite healthy, especially compared to breeds such as Persians that are known for their health issues.

Because the Snowshoe breed is so rare, there are no studies available to suggest which health conditions the Snowshoe is predisposed to. However, vets suggest that because of its lineage the Snowshoe may have a higher chance of developing the following conditions.

  • Heart Disease: Siamese cats have a higher than normal risk of heart disease, and this may be inherited by Snowshoes. Heart disease takes many forms and can only be diagnosed by a vet, but the most common symptoms are weight loss and lethargy.
  • Feline Lower Urinary Tract Diseases: Siamese cats are also prone to these, which include bladder stones and urinary tract infections. These commonly present as urinating outside the litter box. A Snowshoe who does this should be taken to the vet for treatment.
  • Allergies: Symptoms are similar to those in human allergies – sneezing and itching. A Snowshoe that licks and scratches constantly may have allergies and should be seen by a vet.

What Makes the Snowshoe Different from Other Breeds?

Snowshoes are great for those who want the stunning looks of a Siamese without the noise. They strike an ideal balance between independent and affectionate, making them a great choice for families.

Their entertaining antics and ability to learn tricks make them a joy to be around. Easy to groom and care for, they’re also ideal for those who are new to cat ownership.

Buying a Snowshoe

Those interested in buying a Snowshoe can find a list of breeders here, though there may be a long wait as there are not many Snowshoe breeders. Prices can vary as well. Blue Eyes Cattery lists its price per kitten as $1800 all-inclusive.

Adopting a Snowshoe

If you would prefer adopting to buying, a good place to start is the Snowshoe Cat Rescue Network, which connects prospective Snowshoe owners with cats in shelters or foster homes. They also help with rescuing other breeds.

 

Turkish Angora Breed Profile

Origin and History

The Turkish Angora has its roots in the mountainous Ankara region of Turkey. There it occurred naturally, developing its long coat to shield it from the cold mountain winds.

Records suggest that the Turkish Angora may have been brought to Europe by armies returning from the Crusades in the 14th century. However, the first confirmed record of the breed in Europe dates back to 16th century France. The breed became very popular throughout western Europe and was featured in many of the first cat shows in the late 1800s.

Unfortunately this newfound popularity very nearly drove the breed to extinction. Persian breeders began crossing their cats with Turkish Angoras to improve coat length. This resulted in the number of true Turkish Angoras dwindling to dangerously low numbers.

Turkish authorities and cat lovers took notice of this and placed several Turkish Angora specimens in the Ankara Zoo to initiate a breeding program. When U.S. Army Colonel Walter Grant and his wife, Liesa, were stationed in Turkey in 1962, they visited the Ankara Zoo and took a liking to the Turkish Angora. They convinced the zoo to let them bring a pair of cats back to the U.S. to breed.

From there the Turkish Angora’s popularity as its own breed soared. Many breeders traveled from the U.S. to Turkey to procure their own cats. In 1972 the Cat Fancier’s Association awarded championship status to the Turkish Angora. Originally only white cats were acceptable; it was not until 1978 that colored varieties were permitted for registration.

Today all North American and European cat registries recognize the Turkish Angora, including the Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFe), the International Cat Association (TICA) and the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA).

Though all-white Turkish Angoras are the most sought-after type, they are also among the rarest today. Very few remain in Turkey, which continues to maintain its white Turkish Angora breeding programs to this day. North American breeders are switching their focus to colored varieties, which are equally as beautiful but tend to have fewer health problems than white cats.

Coat, Colors & Appearance

The stereotypical Turkish Angora is all-white, and indeed some breed purists feel that white is the only true Turkish Angora color. However all western cat registries accept colored varieties.

Other than white, Turkish Angoras may be solid red, cream, black or blue. White and cream varieties have pink noses and paw pads; other colors have matching noses and paw pads. Bicolor varieties are experiencing a surge in popularity, sporting one of the above solid colors on their backs with white chests, muzzles and legs. Tabby, tortie and calico patterns are also acceptable

The only non-permissible Turkish Angora colors are those that indicate crossbreeding, such as chocolate or lavender colors. Point patterning is also not acceptable.

Coats are long and smooth with a silky sheen. The Turkish Angora should not have an undercoat. The tail is plumed and brush-like, wide at the base and tapering to a narrow point.

The large eyes of the Turkish Angora are often described as deep and sparkling. They can be blue, green, green-gold or amber. They can also be heterochromic (such as one blue eye and one amber eye). Heterochromia is a trait that is particularly prized by the Turkish people, though cat registries do not give preference to it over even-colored eyes.

Turkish Angoras are small to medium cats with slim builds. Shoulders and hips are the same width and legs are long. Specimens from Turkey have much thicker bones than show cats in the U.S., where fine bones are preferred. Paws are small and dainty, with tufts of fur between the toes. Despite their fine appearance, Turkish Angoras are quite muscular underneath all the fur.

The Turkish Angora’s head is a medium-long wedge and is slightly small in proportion with the rest of the body. Ears are large and the neck is long. This breed is small to medium sized, with females weighing between 5-10 pounds and males weighing between 8-12 pounds on average.

Personality

Agile and outgoing, the Turkish Angora makes a great companion for those who love to exchange affections with their cats. As a house pet, the Turkish Angora will explore every nook and cranny, meowing the whole time to tell you all about what she’s found.

Your Turkish Angora will gladly interact with anyone who will pay attention to him, but he tends to form the strongest bond with just one person. He will always be there to greet his favorite person at the door. If he perceives danger, his instinct will be to protect you. The love a Turkish Angora feels for his owner is one of the strongest in the cat world

Her delicate looks are deceiving. This is a very active cat who is always in search of an outlet for her energy. She’ll run laps around the house and go “hunting” for dust bunnies. In between workouts you’ll find her perched atop a bookcase or open door, surveying her kingdom from up high. Once she’s all tuckered out for the day, though, she’ll happily fall asleep next to you on your pillow.

All this is not to say that the Turkish Angora is an angel all the time. She has a mischievous streak and a stubborn soul. It is best to be strict when enforcing her boundaries, as she only needs to cross them once to get a taste for trouble.

Her high intelligence only makes her more capable of doing things she shouldn’t, like opening doors and knocking your favorite things off their shelves if you’re not at her beck and call.

Because the Turkish Angora is so hungry for attention, it’s best to have a companion for him if you are not at home most of the time. He will do well with other cats and dogs as long as they are submissive to him. This is a cat who sees himself as the boss and has no interest in changing that. Others will simply need to fall in line.

The Turkish Angora is fine with children and will enjoy playing with them, as long as the children are well-supervised and gentle. This cat does not tolerate tail pulling or being picked up without permission.

Grooming

Though the Turkish Angora has long hair, it’s easy to groom as there is no undercoat to deal with. Weekly brushing should suffice for most cats of this breed. White or cream colored cats may need bathing every other month or so. This may not be as bad as it sounds – some owners report that their Turkish Angoras love water and seem to look forward to bath time!

As with all cats, dental care is important. Teeth should be brushed at least once a week to prevent tooth and gum disease. Ears should also be carefully cleaned to prevent ear infections.

Health

Turkish Angoras are generally very healthy, long-living cats, but they do have several breed-specific health risks.

  • Deafness: Blue-eyed white cats of any breed may be predisposed to deafness of varying degrees. The Turkish Angora is no exception. A white cat with two blue eyes may be partially or completely deaf in both ears. Heterochromic cats may be deaf in one ear. Deaf cats can still live happy, healthy lives but may require special care to keep them safe without their hearing.
  • Ataxia: This rare neuromuscular disorder affects kittens between two and four weeks of age. Kittens with this disorder will exhibit shaking movements. This is a fatal condition and kittens with it do not survive to adulthood
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: This is a rare heart condition where the heart is enlarged. It usually develops between the ages of two and six. This occurs more commonly in Turkish Angoras than in other breeds but a genetic link has not been definitively established.

What Makes the Turkish Angora Different?

The Turkish Angora is the yin-yang of the cat world. A dainty, elegant exterior contrasts an athletic, effervescent personality. Long-lived and fiercely loyal, the Turkish Angora is as entertaining as it is beautiful. Unlike other long-haired cats, it is easy to groom and health problems are relatively rare.

Buying a Turkish Angora

If the Turkish Angora sounds like the right cat for you, your first step will be contacting a breeder. There are relatively few Turkish Angora breeders in the U.S.; this list shows three breeders currently active.

Adopting a Turkish Angora

Turkish Angoras probably won’t be found in your local animal shelter, but there are several resources for adopting one. The Turkish Angora Rescue Facebook page posts regular updates whenever a Turkish Angora is available for adoption. A local purebred cat rescue may also have Turkish Angoras to adopt out. If not, ask if they can notify you when and if they receive one in need of a home.

 

Egyptian Mau Breed Profile

Grey egyptian mau cat

Origin & History

Ancient Egyptians began keeping domestic cats at least five thousand years ago, and artwork depicting cats dates back at least as far as 1400 BCE. Some of the cats depicted were spotted and otherwise resembled today’s Egyptian Maus. According to PetMD, a painting dated to 1400 BC depicts a spotted cat retrieving a duck for a hunter. The ancestors of Egyptian Maus thus fetched game for their owners as well as protected their grain from rodents. Mau, by the way, is the Egyptian word for “cat.” 

Cat breeders didn’t begin working with Egyptian Maus until the 20th century. French, Italian, and Swiss breeders all began working with Egyptian Maus in the early part of that century. Unfortunately, many of the cats were killed during World War II, and the Egyptian Mau was virtually extinct by the end of the war. 

The exiled Russian Princess, Nathalie Troubetskoy, decided to try to resuscitate the breed. She began by gathering the few surviving cats in Italy. She also secured the Syrian Embassy’s help in importing at least one Mau from Egypt. Troubetskoy immigrated to the United States in 1956 and established the Fatima Egyptian Mau Cattery. 

Since Troubetskoy and other breeders only had a handful of cats to work with, inbreeding soon became a problem. In the 1980s, Cathie Rowan imported 13 more Maus from Egypt and thus led the way to importing more cats. Those cats were crossed with the existing bloodlines and the Egyptian Mau’s health improved over the generations. 
The Cat Fanciers’ Federation (CFF), which is based in Ohio, was the first registry to recognize the Egyptian Mau as a breed; it did so in 1968. The CFA followed suit nine years later, and the Egyptian Mau is now recognized by all major cat registries. 

In March 2018, the CFA listed the Egyptian Mau as the 25th most popular breed of the 42 breeds it recognizes. 

Coat Colors & Appearance

Egyptian Maus are known for their black spots that occur in a random pattern and form bars around the cat’s legs, neck, upper chest, and tail. The cat also has a single stripe going down the spine to the tip of the tail. Egyptian Maus have a “M” on their forehead that is sometimes called “the mark of the scarab.” 

Show cats have to have bronze, silver, or smoke coats. Black and dilute colors can occur but are only accepted in pet cats or breeding stock. Dilute colors are lighter versions of other colors; blue (gray) is the dilute version of black, for example. 

Egyptian Maus always have light green eyes of a shade called “gooseberry.” The color is similar to that of a grape. The obliquely-set eyes are shaped like rounded almonds, and the set of the eyes give the cat a “worried” look. 

The coat’s texture can vary depending on the color. Cats with a smoke coat, for example, tend to have fine, silky fur, while cats with bronze or silver fur tend to have denser coats. 

The Egyptian Mau often appears to be standing on tiptoe for its hind legs are a bit longer than its forelegs. It has a lithe and athletic look. 

Personality

Sometimes refered to as “the gentle cousin of the Abyssinian.” Egyptian Maus are quick and active cats that enjoy playing with their humans. They will happily ride on their owner’s shoulder or climb to the top of the refrigerator to enjoy the view. They do not, however, enjoy being picked up, and they are too active to be lap cats.

The Egyptian Mau isn’t as rambunctious or extroverted as the typical Abyssinian. While it is devoted to its chosen people, it tends to be more reserved around unfamiliar humans. Once it gets to know them, however, it will happily play with children and dogs. Because of the Mau’s strong hunting instincts, it is probably not a good idea to keep a bird or small mammal around it. 

Some say that the Egyptian Mau likes things and people on its terms and has definite opinions about who its friends are, while others simply describe the Mau as wary of strangers. The International Cat Association (TICA) says the Egyptian Mau is a shy sensitive cat that is easily upset by loud noises. If you plan to show your Mau, TICA recommends getting them acclimated to noise and handling from kittenhood. 

Egyptian Maus like to talk to their humans. They have a melodious voice and can produce a variety of trills and chortles. They may also wag their tail like a dog or knead their paws when pleased. 

Egyptian Maus often enjoy games of fetch, possibly because their ancient ancestors used to retrieve game for Egyptian hunters. The enjoy hunting games, in general, and a Mau that is allowed outside will hunt. Some Maus can be leash-trained. 

Egyptian Maus are intelligent enough to learn tricks. That means they are also smart enough to open doors or drawers to get something they want. 

Grooming Your Egyptian Mau

An Egyptian Mau is a shorthair with a thick coat. As such, it doesn’t need a lot of grooming. Brushing the cat once a week will suffice to keep its coat shiny and healthy. 

Brush the cat’s teeth frequently to keep the teeth healthy and the breath fresh. Ask your vet to recommend a toothpaste for your cat. 

Similarly, ask the vet to recommend a good cleaner if the cat’s ears appear dirty. Trim your cat’s claws once a week. 

Like other cats, Egyptian Maus often don’t enjoy all of these attentions. If you just got a kitten, begin grooming them as soon as possible so they will get used to your brushing their fur, cleaning their teeth, and trimming their claws. 

Health

Egyptian Maus are generally healthy cats. They can, however, develop a degenerative neurological condition called leukodystrophy, which can appear in kittens as young as seven weeks old. PetInsurance.com warns that the condition is fatal and that there is currently no cure.

According to the College of Veterinary Medicine at University of Missouri, Egyptian Maus are susceptible to bladder and kidney stones. 

The Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at University of California Davis has conducted a survey of 38 cat breeds to determine their susceptibility to a type of hemolytic anemia called Erythrocyte Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PK Deficiency). The condition is inherited, so affected cats can pass it down to their kittens. While the symptoms can vary, they often include extreme lethargy, jaundice, weight loss, enlarged abdomen, and weakness. The Egyptian Mau proved to be one of the breeds that are most susceptible to PK Deficiency. 

There is a genetic test that can be used to identify both affected cats and carriers. Mating two carriers would result in a quarter of the kittens being born with PK Deficiency. 

The Egyptian Mau can be prone to obesity, which can cause it to develop health problems like arthritis as it gets older. You will thus have to watch your cat’s diet to keep it slim. 

What Makes The Egyptian Mau Different?

The Egyptian Mau is the only naturally spotted cat breed. It is also the fastest of the domestic cats and can run up to 30 mph. It owes that speed to a loose flap of skin that extends from the flank to the knee. Because of its speed, the Egyptian Mau is sometimes described as the “greyhound of cats.” 

Buying An Egyptian Mau

You will, therefore, most likely have to buy your Egyptian Mau from a breeder. Cat registries like TICA and CFA keep lists of breeders. The Fanciers Breeder Referral List has a page devoted to Egyptian Mau breeders in the US and Canada. 

Most breeders won’t sell kittens until they are at least 12 weeks old. The cattery Ajaharah includes a detailed description as to why that is. By 12 weeks, a kitten will be fully weaned, and its mother will have taught it proper cat behavior. 

Similarly, a kitten’s immune system is still developing. After it starts eating solid food, it will need vaccines to bolster its immune system and protect it from disease. Buying a kitten before it has had all of its shots jeopardizes its health. 

You should expect to pay between $1000.00 and $1400.00 for a pet kitten; show quality kittens will cost significantly more. Many breeders have their kittens inoculated, and the price covers that. Some breeders also microchip their kittens. 

Interestingly, smoke kittens often cost less than silver or bronze kittens: $700 or $750 to $1000+. If you’re looking for an adult, some breeders will sell retired show cats and/or queens and sires. 

Adopting An Egyptian Mau

There are some rescue groups that work with pedigreed or purebred cats. They are not guaranteed to have Egyptian Maus, but you could get lucky and find one. 

Specialty Purebred Cat Rescue has been working with surrendered or abandoned pedigreed cats for over 20 years. They are based in the American Midwest. While they mostly have common breeds like Persians and Siamese, they will sometimes have something rarer, like an Egyptian Mau or American Bobtail. 

Purebreds Plus Cat Rescue is a non-profit staffed entirely by volunteers that specializes in pedigreed and special needs cats. It is based on the US West Coast.

Siberian Breed Profile

The Siberian originates as the name suggests from Siberia in the cold northern part of Russia. Its history as a breed is a bit difficult to accurately describe, as what were probably variations of the Siberian naturally existed as far back as 1000 years, being frequently mentioned in Russian folk tales.

These precursors to the modern Siberian Cat breed were living as stray cats in the streets of Leningrad (known today as St. Petersburg) and other cities throughout Russia. These cats were taken in by families and adopted as was quite normal in Russia at the time.

The breed we know today, however, is relatively young, officially being recognized in the 1980´s even though breeding started on a small scale in Moscow in the 1960´s. The first breed standard was created by 1987 and registration of the breed began in Leningrad under the Kotofei Cat Club. Shortly after the Fauna Club of Moscow also began registering the breed.

Modern-day St.Petersburg

We see the Siberian mentioned in Harrison Wiers book `Our Cats and All About Them´ from 1871, where the author describes his encounter with this mysterious and beautiful feline for the first time. [2] Naturally, since this was long before the official registration and breeding of what is today´s modern Siberian Cat breed, this must have been one of the aforementioned stray cats that would eventually become the Siberian cat breed.

The breed made its way to the US in 1990 even though the breed was still rare to see outside of its native Russia. The breed was officially recognized and included as a new breed in TICA and CFA in 1992 and 2000 (opened for registration) respectively. The breed gained championship status in TICA in 1996 and achieved championship status in CFA in 2006.

Today, the Siberian is growing in popularity in the west as more and more people have become aware of this Russian beauty.

From Russia With Love
If you want to look at more cats that hail from Russia, be sure to check out the Russian Blue Breed profile.
he thick, water resistant triple coat that keeps the Siberian warm is adorned by an abundant, full collar ruff around the neck as well as britches on the posterior legs. The body is medium in length, supported by medium-sized, sturdy legs where the hind legs are slightly longer than the front legs.

All colors and combinations are accepted in the breed.

The Siberian is a medium to large cat, with an often imposing and impressive physique and appearance. Males are much larger than females. According to the breed standards, the Siberian is slow to mature, taking up to 5 years to reach full maturity.

Personality

The Siberian may seem imposing to those who do not know its true nature. However, as one spends time with this sweet feline, they will find an affectionate and trusting friend who wants nothing more than to love and be loved by its owner.
The Siberian is a social cat that gets along well with everyone, making him a perfect family cat. So it should not be a problem if you have or plan to have kids. Similarliy dogs or other cats in the household should also be fine (allthough this can vary based on the disposition of the individual cat).

Despite its size, the Siberian is an agile cat that loves to jump and play. Their impressive intellect contributes to this curiosity but also requires that they are stimulated enough throughout the day. Be sure to entertain and stimulate him by playing with interactive toys or play other games like fetch that can both stimulate him mentally and physically at the same time.

Because of his love for heights, climbing and jumping buying or constructing a tall cat tree from where he can monitor his territory is a good idea. If you live in an apartment, it is essential that you make use of any vertical space you may have for your cat, especially since the square feet/meters may be limited.

Grooming Your Siberian

Coat:The Siberian sports a medium to longhair triple coat that comes in all traditional and pointed colors and combinations with or without white. This thick coat does require some maintenance even though it does not tend to tangle or mat easily. Brushing it once or twice per week is therefore sufficient.

Ears:
It is a good idea to go over the ears and clean them weekly with a soft, damp cloth to remove any puss and to avoid infections. Ask your vet for a recommended solution to use when cleaning the ears. Do not use cotton swabs as these can damage the interior of the ear.

Eyes: 
Keep an eye on your Siberians eyes and remove any discharge if you spot it, with a soft, damp cloth.

Teeth: Brushing your Siberian’s teeth daily is recommended to prevent periodontal disease, but if time scarce commodity, you can do it on a weekly basis.

Nails: Trim weekly with your favorite cat nail clipper (this link opens our buying guide on the best nail clippers for cats).

What Makes the Siberian Different?

Are Siberian Cats Hypoallergenic?

The Siberian is sometimes referred to as a “Hypoallergenic” cat breed, and websites like PetMD claim that the breed produces less of the Fel-d1 protein, a known feline allergen.

To answer the question whether the Siberian can be called hypoallergenic, we should clarify what we mean when we say hypoallergenic. Some people confuse the term hypoallergenic to mean “non-allergenic” and as such expect a hypoallergenic cat to be completely allergy free – this is not the case.
“Hypo” is the same as saying less, and therefore “Hypoallergenic” simply means less allergenic. It is worth to note that no cat breed is completely allergy free.

Knowing this, it is a good idea to look at what we are asking here. Is the Siberian less allergenic than other breeds?

To answer the first question, we looked for studies to help us understand if the breed actually produces less Fel-d1. One study from 2017 from the University of Turin, Italy attempted to answer these questions by analyzing blood samples from 35 non-Siberian cats and 4 Siberians to compare their Fel-d1 levels to see if there was a conclusive difference.

What they found is that some of the Siberians seemed to produce less Fel-d1 due to genetic mutations of the CH1 and CH2 genes, which in layman’s terms have coding in them that affects the production of the Fel-d1 protein in the cat.

They concluded that further studies are needed to understand whether these genetic mutations that they observed are common and in anyway isolated to the Siberian breed as a whole.
This is not enough data to conclude that the breed in its entirety produces fewer allergens and is therefore hypoallergenic as a breed, but it does suggest that some Siberians can produce fewer allergens and are therefore better for allergy sufferers.

Because of this, the only way you can know if the Siberian you want to get is allergy friendly to you as an allergic is to meet the cat beforehand and spend some time with it, and see if you get any allergic reactions.
Beware that even if the Siberian in question produces fewer allergens, you may still get an allergic reaction, and if there are other cats in the environment, the allergens may be present in the air as cat dander, and as such provoke allergic reactions.

Therefore, meet your prospective Siberian in an environment where it is separated from other cats to be as sure as possible that you do not react to it. Ask a breeder if you can take your kitten or cat home for a test period and if you can return it if you were to have adverse reactions. If this is not possible, many serious Siberian breeders offer “samples” from their kittens so that you can see if you react badly to them before making a purchasing decision.

We recommend consulting with your doctor before getting a cat if you are prone to or have a history of severe allergic and asthmatic reactions to cats, as these in the worst cases can be life-threatening.

Key Takeaways:

    • Siberians can have low Fel-d1 values and therefore be hypoallergenic, but this is on a cat by cat basis and does not apply to every Siberian.
    • It is wise to either get an allergy test/sample from a breeder or meet with your prospective kitten in a neutral environment for some time to identify whether or not you are allergic to this kitten.
    • Fel-d1 is not the only allergen produced by cats. They also produce Fel-d4 which some people are sensitive to. There is no evidence to show that Siberians produce any less Fel-d4 than any other breed.
    • There are a number of steps you can take to minimize allergic reactions, such as thoroughly cleaning your home environment, reduce or remove carpets, curtains or other surfaces where cat hair and dander can attach.

Health

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) occurs in the breed. HCM is the most common cardiovascular disease in cats. It is a condition in where the walls of the heart become progressively thicker. This thickening of the heart mainly affects the chamber that pumps blood through the aorta to the rest of the body (The left ventricle). Furthermore, the lower part of the septum is often affected, which is the part that separates the left ventricle from the right ventricle.

When the left ventricle thickens the chamber becomes smaller and the muscle becomes very stiff. This makes it harder to fill it with blood as well as making it more difficult to pump blood out from the left ventricle through to the aorta. For further information about this disease and how you can help to ensure that HCM screenings become more widespread and cost-effective visit http://www.hairlesshearts.org/index.php/what-is-hcm/hcm-defined.

Buying a Siberian Cat

Choosing the right breeder

Choosing a reputable and good breeder is very important if you are looking to buy a Siberian. Never buy a Siberian from a pet shop or an unauthorized breeder (such as on Craigslist etc.)!

These sellers are either complete scams that do not even deliver a kitten, or a so called kitten mill where kittens are churned out irresponsibility for short term profit without regard to proper health and safety of the kittens. These kitten mills also tend to care little for adhering to the breed standard.

If they offer a purebred Siberian kitten under a $1000 and offer a short or no health guarantee, you have the right to be very sceptical. You should also ensure that your kitten and its parents have been tested for HCM

How much does a Siberian cost?

The price of a Siberian cat as with any breed cat depends on the “quality” of the prospective cat. Quality in this context means if it a show quality cat that adheres closely to the ideal set in the breed standard and that the cat is, therefore, suitable to enter cat shows. Another factor in determining the price is the pedigree of the Siberian cat.

If the kitten in question has parents that have been champions, be prepared to pay more. If you do not care as much about the pedigree or do not plan to enter your Siberian in cat shows a “pet quality” Siberian is probably the right choice for you and is easier on your wallet.

We compared the pricing of 13 TICA registered breeders in the US and Canada that chose to display their pricing publicly and it breaks down as follows:

Pet Quality Siberian: $1200 – $1800 with an average price of $1569.

Show Quality Siberian: $2500+

Champion Quality Siberian: We did not find any public pricing information. This part will be updated once we have gotten the required data from breeders.

If you want to breed with your Siberian be prepared to pay a premium for those breeding rights.

Insuring your Siberian

Since Siberians are fairly expensive breed cats it might be a good idea to insure your new family member. We have compared pricing from different insurance companies by getting a quote for ”Mr Frosty”, a fictitious 1 year old male Siberian that has been neutered and is up to date on vaccinations and has no medical problems.

Our winner, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation offered us a unlimited coverage plan with a $250 deductible for $21.26 where they reimburse 80% of the veterinary bills. They also offer a plan with the same deductible but 90% reimbursement for $24.91.

Adopting a Siberian Cat

if you want to adopt a Siberian, your best bet is to check out resources like the Fanciers Breeder Referral list or the Petfinder listings and websites like Adoptapet.com. You can also enquire in shelters near you if they have a Siberian in need of a new home. You can also check out our friends at Specialty Purebred Rescue to see if there are any Siberian cats in need of a home!