All posts in Feline Breeds

Feline Breed Spotlight: American Curl

The American Curl


This breed originated in California in 1981. The original American Curl was a stray cat, who gave birth to a litter of kittens some of which had curled ears. This mamma cat and the kittens became the original breeding stock for this breed. These kittens are actually born with straight ears that begin to curl after about 48 hours. Around 4 months of age the ears stop curling and become stiff at the base of the ear and flexible at the tips. As per the Cat Fanciers Association, a pet quality American Curl may have almost straight ears, but show cats must have ears that curl in an arc between 90 and 180 degrees. Even though the American Curl is a new and uncommon breed, they can be found in small numbers in countries across the world.



Feline Breed Spotlight: Somali

The Somali!


The Somali is the long haired version of the Abyssinian. The name suggests that the breed was found and created in Somalia, but that isn’t the case.  The breed actually came about after the second World War, when breeders were trying to breed back populations of the Abyssinian. Due to the lack of breeding stock, some Abyssinian breeders were using cats of unknown linage, and some cats must have been carrying a recessive long haired gene. Many Abyssinian breeders were not pleased with the occurrence of the long haired cats in their litters, and quickly dismissed them out of breeding programs and placed them in homes as pets. A few breeders did like the long haired version and continued to breed them to create a new breed of cat. The name was chosen because Somalia is next to Ethiopia, formerly known as Abyssinia.



Feline Breed Spotlight: Russian Blue

The Russian Blue!


This breed of cat originated in Russia, in the port town of Arkhangelsk. They are also sometimes called Archangel Blue (named after the port town). The Russian Blue has a thick, dense, warm coat, which allowed it to thrive in the cold Russian climate. The breed made it’s way to other countries via sailors fascinated by the breed who took them overseas when leaving the Russian port town. This is a naturally occurring breed, as it was not created by human involvement. Nowadays, the breed is sustained by many years of selective breeding of only blue short haired cats in breeding programs. This has resulted in a breed with a distinctive appearance and a unique personality particular to the Russian Blue.



Feline Breed Spotlight: Egyptian Mau

Let’s look at the Egyptian Mau!


Ancient Egyptian artwork depicts spotted cats with the same markings as the Egyptian Mau (mau means cat) as we know it today. These ancient Egyptian cats are most likely descendants of a small spotted African wild cat, which may or may not be the origin of the Egyptian Mau as we know it today. The breed as we know it today is fairly new. A Russian princess was very found of spotted cats, and was given one as a gift while in Italy. Later, when she moved to the USA she brought that cat and two of the offspring with her. She started a cattery and began to establish this spotted breed of cat. Selective breeding of Egyptian Maus began in the 1950s, and the breed standard was created.



Feline Breed Spotlight: Savannah

A look at the Savannah cat!



This breed is a cross between a domestic cat crossed with a medium sized African wild cat (a serval). The first kitten produced from this breeding was named Savannah. Development of breed included cross breeding with Egyptian Maus, Oriental Shorthairs, Bengals and some domestics. This cross breeding continued until the the breed became established, and now outcrossing is no longer allowed. Savannah cats must be bred Savannah to Savannah for 3 generations to be considered purebred, but with that being said it is the fifth generation (F5) offspring that are considered domestic (pet) Savannah cats. F1-F4 Savannahs are considered wild and not domestic, therefore they are not recommended for inexperienced households and may be illegal to keep as pets in some provinces.



Feline Breed Spotlight: Bombay

Let’s look at the Bombay!


The Bombay breed was developed in Kentucky in the 1950s, but named after the city in India. The breeder wanted to create a breed that resembled a miniature black leopard like the black leopards she saw in India. The breed was created by breeding the sable Burmese with black American Shorthairs, creating a sleek, shiny black cat.

Compared to a black domestic cat the Bombay has a distinctive look of it’s own. The Bombay has a jet black “patent-leather” coat, wide set copper-gold eyes, rounded head and a sleek, muscular body. They have a very characteristic walk- they tend to sway as they walk, just like the Indian black leopard.



Feline Breed Spotlight: Australian Mist

A look at the Australian Mist!


This new breed was created in Australia in 1976. This breed was developed to be an indoor cat that would be suitable to be part of any type of family (children of any age, those living alone and the elderly). The original breeder wanted to create a cat with an unique coat,  a medium to large muscular body and a laid back temperament. This was accomplished by crossing the Burmese, Abyssinian and various domestic cats, resulting in a cat with green or blue eyes and a spotted coat with “misting” caused by the ticking from the agouti coat pattern of the Abyssinian.



Feline Breed Spotlight: Snowshoe

The Snowshoe cat!


The Snowshoe is a fairly new breed of cat and is considered a rare breed. This breed was created by breeding Siamese cats to American shorthairs, resulting in a sturdy cat with markings of a white nose with an inverted “V” shape and white paws. The rarity of these cats is due to the difficultly of reproducing the proper breed standard markings. The Snowshoe originated in the United States in the 1960’s.