Posts in Feline Breeds
Feline Breed Spotlight: Munchkin

The Munchkin cat came from a natural genetic mutation causing a cat to have short legs. The gene for the short, turned out legs has a dominant inheritance pattern, similar to Corgis and Dachshunds. This is a new breed of cat, recognized by The International Cat Association in the late 1990s. Even though the breed is new, short legged cats are not a new thing. There are reports of short legged cats from around the world since the 1940s. In the 1980s a stray cat gave birth to a litter with some short legged kittens. One male from this litter, as well as the mother cat were the basis from where the breed known today originated from. Breeding programs for new breeds have a genetics committee to monitor breeding data to oversee the development of the breed. Outcrosses to domestic shorthairs and longhairs are used to ensure a diverse gene pool as this breed continues to develop.

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Feline Breed Spotlight: Manx

The Manx cat is one of the oldest know cat breeds, they are thought to date back to 1750 or later. There are many legends and stories to how this tailless cat came about, however the Manx’s identifying characteristic is due to a genetic mutation. Either a tailless cat or possibly a Japanese corkscrewed tail cat landed on the remote location for the Isle of Man, off the coast of Britain from a trading ship. Due to the cat ending up on an island, it was easy for its genes to be spread throughout the cat population on the island. The name “Manx” comes from origin of this breed being the Isle of Man.

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Cats, Feline BreedsKari
Feline Breed Spotlight: American Bobtail

A kitten was obtained with a short tail to a couple when on vacation. They bred this cat to their female when they arrived home, and the resulting kittens all had short tails. The resulting short tail kittens suggests that the short tail trait was caused by a dominant gene. A breeding program began where these kittens were bred with other cats with naturally short tails. Selective breeding was done to create a a big sturdy cat with a short tail and sweet temperament. Out crossing for breeding is no longer needed as they have a large enough gene pool. This breed is different and is a completely separate breed from the Pixie-Bob cat- there are major differences in head shape, feet and colors/markings between the two breeds.

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Feline BreedsKari
Feline Breed Spotlight: Birman

The Birman cat is also known as the The Sacred Cat of Burma. How this breed came to be is unknown, theories suggest they by may be a result of cross breeding various Siamese, Persian and Angora cats. These cats were imported from Burma to France, where breeding programs established the breed. This breed was almost completely wiped out during World War II, only 2 cats were alive at the end of the war. Breeding programs then started out-crossing with Persian and Siamese cats to rebuild the breed. Birman cats were first imported to the United States in 1959 and were recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1967.

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Feline Breed Spotlight: Balinese

Contrary to what the name suggests, the Balinese does not come from Bali or any part of Indonesia. The Balinese actually comes from the same linage as the Siamese, but they are expressing the recessive long haired gene. Originally, when these long haired cats were found in Siamese litters were they were sold as pets, as they were considered an imperfection. They then became registered as “Long Haired Siamese”. It wasn’t until the 1950s that breeders focused on breeding them as a distinct breed and changed the name to Balinese.

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