• Unusual Cat Breeds

    Unusual Cat Breeds

    Are you looking to get a new cat soon? Great! You may want to consider a
    purebred cat. There are many breeds that can be found in this country, each with its own
    characteristic appearance and temperament and history. Think carefully about what you
    would characteristics you would like to see in your new companion. Perhaps you would
    care to consider something a little bit different:

    The Munchkin

    When you think of the Munchkin, think of a cat that is built like a dachshund. A
    cat built with a long body and short legs. Munchkins are a very recently developed breed.
    They have only been established since 1983. The foundation cat was a female named
    Blackberry who was rescued from dogs by school teacher Sandra Hochenedel.
    Blackberry was a black cat with very short legs. Found pregnant, she passed on her
    unusual body type to her kittens. Blackberry's son, Toulouse, was left unaltered and it
    wasn't long before there were a good number of short legged cats living around his
    owner's home. Strangely enough, Toulouse and his short legged sons had no trouble
    competing with standard toms for females.



          In 1990 a study of the genetics of these short legged cats was conducted. The
    study found that only one copy of the short legged gene to create more cats with the same
    characteristic. The spines of these cats were also examined because there were fears that
    they would have issues just like the low long bodies dog (e.g. dachshund) have. Though
    nothing wrong was found at that time, judgment was reserved due to the extremely small
    population that existed at that time.

          Munchkins were named for the little people in Wizard of Oz that Dorothy met
    when she first arrived in Oz. Breeders became interested in the quirky little Munchkin
    and began controlled breeding programs. The Munchkin was first introduced to the
    public at the Madison Square Garden Cat Show. The breed has faced some opposition.
    There are people who believe that deliberately breeding for a mutation, even one that
    occurred naturally, is ethically wrong. The cats themselves seem unaware that they are in
    any way different from there long legged cousins. They self-assured, outgoing and
    curious in nature. Munchkins tend to be people-oriented and bond easily with their
    people. Munchkins leap and play just like other cats. The only difference is they can't
    jump as high due to their short back legs.
         
          The Sphynx
         
           If you ever wondered what a cat would look like naked, look no further. The
    Sphynx is virtually hairless. Sebaceous oils secreted by the skin are normally transferred
    to the fur in other breeds. The Sphynx requires regular wiping down to remove these oils
    to prevent skin infections.
         
          This breed originated in 1975 as spontaneous mutation in a shorthaired litter. One
    hairless kitten was born in that litter. She was named Epidermis. The following year a
    hairless male was born. He was called Dermis. When bred to normal shorthaired cats,
    Epidermis produced normal kittens. When Epidermis was bred to one of her sons, three
    hairless kittens resulted. The hairless gene was a recessive. Both parents must carry it in
    order for hairlessness to be expressed.
         
          The breed was named after the great Sphynx monument of Egypt. The
    Sphynx cats are devoted, loyal companions, who love attention and will purr happily if
    their favorite person is near them. They are very athletic and like to jump to high places
    or hang upside down from their climbing trees. Sphynx have strong personalities and
    don't like being left alone. A feline companion will help to keep a Sphynx happy and
    occupied while you are gone.
         
    These very unusual cats are not everyone's' cup of tea. Give these very different
    cats a closer look. Their unique appearances and lively personalities might just make a
    great pet.  These cats may be exactly what you are looking for in a new companion.

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