Today, there are a lot of different cat breeds. This large number results from the breeding of cats and their success as pets. Since the 20th century, the breeding of certain kinds of cats derived from domestic cats has developed. Today we even find breeds derived from wild cats. Some cat breeds are the result of natural mutations. However, there are fewer differences between cat breeds than dog breeds! Historically, cats have not had specific missions depending on their breed, unlike dogs. We can divide cats into three broad categories: short-haired cats, medium-long-haired cats, and long-haired cats. Do you know which cat breeds are the most famous? Could you differentiate one race from another?
Cat breeding, a recent history
Unlike dog breeding, the arrival of purebred cat breeding and the establishment of breed standards are relatively recent, dating back to the late 1800s and only boomed very recently, around the early 1900s. 1980.
Thus, since the beginning of its domestication 5000 years ago, the cat has never really been artificially selected, unlike the dog, simply playing its role as a vermin controller to protect the food supply. This makes it even more special that the cat is one of the most popular pets in the world today.
Purebred cats: what makes them different?
Did you know that there are no less than 150 breeds of cats, and that number is growing every year? Indeed, this is due to the many crossbreeding attempts made to create a cat with particular characteristics that will appeal to the public. However, purebred cats represent only 5% of the feline population. This means that 95% of cats in the world are domestic cats without pedigree or, if you prefer, from different crosses.
To adopt a purebred cat, it is necessary that, from generation to generation, it has been mated with another cat of the same breed as him. When adopting, to be sure, it is best to ask for written proof of this fact.
What is called the pedigree is when you believe you have a purebred cat, but you do not have the papers to prove it; the chances are then that it is not a purebred cat, even if there is looks a lot like.
In recent years, cat lovers have been fascinated by the beauty and the proud and wild appearance, elegant and stealthy like their movements, of free-born felines. For this reason, domestic cat breeds very reminiscent of wild species have been created, such as the Pixiebob or the Bengal.
The American Bobtail cat also enters this new group, with one difference: the birth of this cat is due more to chance than to human imagination, even if subsequently, to better define and fix its characteristics, we had to resort to genetic selection. Its appearance is reminiscent of a small lynx covered with its winter fur, but its very good character, soft and calm, makes it very friendly with all human beings as animals, placing it rightly in the category of domestic cats.
The origins of the American Bobtail cat
In the United States, in the late seventies, the Sanders were vacationing in Arizona, near an Indian reservation. One day, during a walk, they found a brown spotted tabby kitten whose tail was very strange. It was short, in the shape of a pompom, and folded over the back.
Intrigued and fascinated by his curious appearance but also by his intelligence and liveliness, they brought him back to their farm in Iowa, where this impetuous cat succeeded in covering the Siamese seal point of the house before the castration that had been planned for him. A litter of black-tabby striped kittens was born, with either long or daddy-like tails; some were donated, others went to live in the attics where, one fine day, a big cream point cat of the Siamese category but with white feet passed by.
The result of his meeting with the damsels of the litter was truly fascinating: kittens with blue eyes, short tails, bearing the marks of the Siamese but with white feet. A neighbor, Mendy Schultz, began with them a breeding and selection program to create a new breed, also crossing some color point Persians to lengthen the coat. The Black sisters definitely developed the new breed. These succeeded in eliminating the Manx gene (the one that causes anuria), which had undoubtedly been introduced to speed up selection; they also brought Maine Coon blood to strengthen the potency and strength of the morphological structure and. In 1989, the TICA (The International Cat Association) accepted the American Bobtail cat in provisional class.
A cat whose intelligence is so keen that it sometimes surprises its owner, the American Bobtail cat has a very gentle and affectionate character and easily bonds with other pets in the house and with strangers. He is patient and a good hunter, but his innate laziness will always make him prefer the plump cushions of the house to the sporting activity.
Like most very large cats, the Ragdoll is a quiet force, naturally balanced, a gentle giant who knows how to adapt to the behavior of different members of the house. An excellent family cat. He is a very gentle cat despite his large but quite normal build. The Ragdoll, in terms of aggressiveness, behavior, and character, is the antithesis of the feline.
His gentleness, his adoration towards his master makes him perpetually relaxed and confident. He likes to stay quiet for hours on the knees of his master; moreover, it coexists without problems with other animals and never competes with them; it is always submissive or, at the limit, withdraws and hides. All this clearly means that he is absolutely not adapted to a life in freedom, and he knows it very well: he is indeed extremely homebody, and changes of the house or car trips do not bother him. Less of the world because he adapts immediately to his new environment, provided he feels protected there.
If you own a cat of this breed, you will always have it behind you, looking for hugs and love.
The origins of the Ragdoll cat
The story begins in the early '60s in California, when Ann Backer, a Persian breeder, saw the pussy of her neighbors, the Pennels, get run over by a car, the famous Josephine, a white cat with blue eyes, of type angora, of rather difficult character. Ann Backer had her treated at the local university. Once the cat healed and she was able to have calves again, the Pennels allowed her to mate with a Persian type "Blackie" cat.
The breeder realized that these were much nicer and more docile than those born before the accident and developed a great ability to be handled, to relax in the arms of their owners. Hence, the name she gave them: Rag-Doll.
The Ragdoll is the first and the only one at this time that takes its name from its behavior. It was in 1981 that four cats were introduced to Europe. It was not until 1986 to see the first Ragdolls in France.
We can easily say that the Ragdoll cat exudes gentleness, kindness, and goodness; he is very affectionate and depends on his master. Its slow movements and very gentle and quiet character make it an ideal domestic cat and make it particularly suitable for calm people.
The hugging him makes us feel like he has no skeleton and his total abandonment feels like we are holding a "living" plush toy; but let’s not forget that although he is an easy cat, the Ragdoll is a cat with all kinds of things, with all his needs and demands.