Munchkins are naturally occurring dwarf cats, which means they have unusually short legs.Cats with short legs are not new to the scientific world: An English Veterinary Record of 1944, contains an entry by Dr H.E.Williams-Jones who describes four generations of cats with short limbs, including an 8 1/2 year old black female, documented as having had an extremely healthy life. Her dam, great dam, and some of her progeny were similar in appearance. The cat?s movements were described as ferret-like, but other than the short legs the cats were reported to be normal in every way. Unfortunately, these cats seem to have disappeared during World War II, not surprising in that many feline bloodlines, even established ones, disappeared completely during this period of deprivation.In 1956, Max Von Egon Thiel of Hamburg, Germany, described a cat that he had first seen in Stalingrad in 1953. The cat had unusually short legs but was in no way functionally hindered and was seen playing among its normal siblings and other young cats. At times it was noted to sit on its haunches with it?s front legs in the air, similar to the alert stance of a rabbit. Because of this behaviour, the cat was dubbed the ?Stalingrad kangaroo cat? by the author. The day before he was to return to Germany, the cat was taken away by a Russian physician and there is no further information about the cat available. However, based on the description, this undoubtedly represents the same trait seen previously in Great Britain.But the breed as we know it today began in Rayville, Louisiana in 1983. Music teacher, Sandra Hochenedel discovered two cats hiding under a pickup truck where they had been cornered by a bulldog. Hochenedel rescued the cats and took them home, later noticing two things?both were pregnant, and both had short, stubby legs. She kept Blackberry, the black cat, and gave away Blueberry, the gray. When Blackberry produced her first litter, Hochenedel gave one short-legged kitten, named Toulouse, to her friend Kay LaFrance, who lived in Monroe, Louisiana. Since LaFrance?s cats were allowed free access to the outdoors and were not altered, a feral population of Munchkins occurred around Monroe, where they apparently competed very well with their long-legged friends for prey and mating opportunities.Hochenedel and LaFrance contacted Dr. Solveig Pflueger, chairperson of TICA?s genetics committee. Her studies determined that the short legs were the result of a dominant genetic mutation affecting the long bones of the legs. This mutation apparently occurred spontaneously within the feline gene pool. Any cat that possesses this gene will exhibit the short legs. A cat that has received the Munchkin gene from one parent will produce Munchkin kittens at an approximate ratio of one Munchkin to one normal kitten.In a paper published by Dr Pflueger, (Jan ?99), she states: ?One concern I had when I first began working with Munchkins in 1990, was that there might be a risk for malformed homozygous kittens. This was not an unreasonable fear based on the lethality of homozygous achondroplasia in humans. However, I have bred Munchkin to Munchkin, including very close inbreeding, without producing anything vaguely resembling the phenotype of homozygous achrondroplasia. There is sufficient data at this point to suggest that abnormal homozygotes similar to human achondroplasia are unlikely to appear with future breedings.?She further states, ? As Chairman of the Genetics Committee for TICA, I have the responsibility of advising the Board of Directors on conditions that affect cat health. I am obliged to inform the Board of any research, which would indicate non-viability of the Munchkin as a breed. Although I raise Munchkins, I have no personal vested interest beyond seeing to it that the gene is preserved. I believe that Munchkins are happy healthy cats and that they have a future as a Championship breed. I am not aware of any reason that would lead me to believe otherwise.?Other breeders joined the cause, and in 1991 breeders tried to gain acceptance from TICA for the Munchkin, named after the little people in The Wizard of Oz. They were turned down on the basis that not enough was known about the breed. They tried again in September 1994 and this time were accepted. As of May 1, 1995 the Munchkin was recognized for New Breed and Colour status in TICA. When the acceptance was announced, TICA member Katherine Crawford resigned her ten-year position as judge, saying that the breed was an affront to any breeder with ethics. Others shared her sentiments, feeling that the short legs will cause crippling back, hip, and leg problems in the future, although no evidence exists that the Munchkin is prone to such problems. Breeders had their oldest Munchkins X-rayed and examined for signs of joint or bone problems. No problems were found.According to Laurie Bobskill, breeder and president of the International Munchkin Society, 19 separate Munchkin-like mutations have been found in the United States, all unrelated to Blackberry?s lines. Breeders find this encouraging, because it gives credence to the contention that this mutation is a viable variation of Felis catus.Ironically, the controversy surrounding the breed has contributed to its growing popularity. Because of articles in The Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, and other publications, public demand for Munchkins has been great, the waiting lists long, and the supply limited. The sports car of the cat fancy is commanding sports car prices, too, and breeders want to ensure that disreputable people don?t take advantage of the Munchkin?s popularity by using unethical breeding practices.
The exact origin of the Ragdoll is unknown. The bred may be only -about twenty years old, and it is not known whether this is a man-made cat or a stroke of nature. The early Ragdolls, so the story goes, were the result of kittens born to a white Persian who was injured in an automobile accident. The kittens were supposedly free of pain or fear and were very docile. Most biologists would dispute this theory! The genotype of the Ragdoll would have to include both the gene for points and the gene for white spotting. If one of the parents was a white Persian, it would most probably be a dominant white with white spotting, carrying one gene for pointed. There is no information about the sire. He would have to be either a pointed cat or a cat carrying the pointed gene.
Ragdolls are docile, gentle, quite and easy to get along with. They enjoy human companionship and seem to have a "nothing bothers me" attitude toward life. The make sweet and endearing pets and are very easy to show, due to their gentle nature. Children and Ragdolls mix very well; the cats appear to love being carried around by children.
Southern Alberta Cat Fanciers - Rene Copeland
The Ancestors of the American Shorthair are thought to be the first domestic felines brought to the Americas by the early settlers. The immigrants who followed most certainly brought more cats, as they were needed for rodent control on ships and land; they also served as companions. These cats settled North America right along with the pioneers and were allowed to breed freely among themselves. The resulting kittens grew up to be strong, healthy cats who easily adapted to extremes of weather and could survive in the wilderness.The first cat in this genealogy actually came from Britain and was born on the first of June 1900. Later, this and another cat sent from Britain were bred to resident American shorthaired cats, with the first offspring called, simply, Shorthairs. Later they were called Domestic Shorthairs and in 1966 were renamed American Shorthairs. In order to keep its natural gene pool, the American Shorthair was allowed for years to breed to cats of unknown pedigree, developing according to the whims of nature, aided only slightly by mankind. Unfortunately, this is no longer true in most organizations. The American Shorthair has only one accepted outcross in TICA: the American Wirehair.
American Shorthairs make delightful pets. They are intelligent, friendly, affectionate and healthy with an even temperament. They are pleasing to look at, to hold, to touch and to communicate with. This is a sweet cat who is gentle and relaxed, mellow and strong. Its hunting instinct is so strong that it will practice or play at hunting in the house.
Southern Alberta Cat Fanciers - Rene Copeland
This breed has been hand built from the beginning. It started with a mutation in the domestic cat population in 1981. the female?s ears were not straight, like other cats? ears, but were curled back. She was found in a neighbors yard and was adopted by a family who were smitten with here and curled ears. Named Shulasmith, she later presented her new family with kittens which were distributed for careful breeding, with several goals in mind: retention of the curly ears, achieving an individual type, and enlarging their gene pool. The American Curl was first exhibited in 1983 and given championship recognition in 1987 by the International Cat Association. Cat breeders have never seen anything like this before, and the American Curl took the world of cat fanciers by storm.In a liter bearing American Curl kittens, with four to eight kittens in average litter, fifty percent of these may be Curls. When Curl kittens are four to seven days old, their ears start to become firm and curl backwards on the head. At about six weeks the kittens enter into a transitional stage and the ear gradually unfurls. At four to six months of age, the curl of the ear sets permanently even though the unfurling process may not be completed.The cartilage in the base of the ears is quite firm, even stiff to the touch. Once seen and felt, this trademark cannot be mistaken for anything else. The curls ears and expressive eyes make this breed a unique cat; a delight to look at and a pleasure to own.
American Curls are very healthy, hearty cats. They are intelligent and playful, yet gentle, very much a ?people cat?, and very affectionate, like to rub their owners chin and sit on their owners shoulders. They even like rough play and seem to truly enjoy the company of young children. The may be quiet, almost pensive in attitude, and not overly active, but remain extremely curious about their surroundings. They require very little grooming since their coat rarely mats. They can be easily trained, even to walk on a leash, or to fetch and retrieve. They retain their whimsical attitude throughout their life, retaining their playful activities well into maturity, giving them a reputation for never growing up.
Southern Alberta Cat Fanciers - Rene Copeland
The American Bobtail is a naturally occurring breed of short-tailed cat.ÿ The foundation stock of this breed comes from feral cats, possessing a natural short tail.ÿ The American Bobtail is aÿwild looking cat packaged as a sweet lovable devoted pet.ÿ ÿDescription: The American Bobtail is a wild looking, medium to large, naturally occurring short-tailed cat.ÿ It is a hearty breed that has all the intelligence and skill that nature demands of her creatures.ÿ The American Bobtail displays the look of an athletic animal, well-muscled and solid, with the appearance of power.
The true development of this breed began in the late 1960's.ÿ A young couple on vacation discovered a brown tabby kitten with a short tail on an Indian reservation.ÿ They brought the little fellow home and named him "Yodi".ÿ Whenÿyoung Yodi become of age, he romanced the couple's female cat "Mishi", a non-pedigreed domestic color point.ÿ The resulting kittens inherited Yodi's unusual bobbed tail. A family friend saw the possibility to establish a new breed and the first written standard for the American Bobtail came about.
American Bobtails are noted for an exceptional disposition and adaptability.ÿ Their temperament is that of a calm, intelligent and completely manageable cat.ÿ Conformation, balance and temperament should be among the most important factors of this breed.ÿ They are very people oriented and devoted and will bond quickly with all family members including other felines and dogs.ÿThey are loving, sweet, playful and loyal companions.American Bobtails love toÿfetch, play in water, wag their tails and follow you from room toÿroom.ÿÿIfÿtaken places as kittens, they love to join their people wherever they go.ÿ They can be trained to do anything you have the patience to teach them to do.ÿ They are incredibly devoted to their people andÿfriendly to strangers.
Information supplied by Ellen R. Brenner,ÿBeloved Bobtails
Celebs and Their Pets Revealed on Camera
Pam Anderson, LeAnn Rimes, The Girls Next Door and many more! See celebs and their pets through the revealing lens of Chris AmeruosPam Anderson, LeAnn Rimes, The Girls Next Door and many Pam Anderson, LeAnn Rime