Category Archives: Cat Breeds

The Lion On Your Lap

This may not be what your cat looks like but it may well be how he feels; imperious, in-charge, confident and king.

Of course much will depend on the breed. In terms of Activity level, intelligence, playfulness, affection and a host of other important traits, cats vary enormously. Anyone who has had several different cats knows this but many of us may not be aware of the remarkable differences between breeds. When acquiring a cat it is important teo know these differences to be sure to select a cat that will fit in with your lifestyle and the environment he is to occupy. This post begins a series of posts on cat breeds and their traits, as presented in the incredibly thorough and informative Barron’s Encyclopedia of Cat Breeds and other sources, all of which will be cited appropriately.

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June is Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month

Deciding to have a cat is a more important decision than many people realize, which is why there are so many cats in shelters, millions of which are killed annually in the United States. Their owners didn’t know what they were getting into. Nor what they were getting their new feline friend into.

You may be inclined to a pure breed kitten and think you won’t find what you are looking for in an animal shelter, but think again. Many pure-breds end up in shelters and every Spring

thousands of kittens end up there. In the ‘no-kill’ shelters they are safe but many shelters are not ‘no-kill’ and for cats and dogs incarcerated there it is not a lot different from being on death row. So if you are thinking of getting a cat, why not take a look at a few of your local shelters? You may find just what you want and end up saving the life of one desperately in need kitty.

Waiting for you at a local shelter

A Theory About the Ragdoll, or Floppy Cat

I took the following off the web from http://www.familycompanions.com/index.html. Read that, then comes my theory about them.

“Ragdolls originated here in Southern California in the early 1960’s and were created by a breeder named Ann Baker.  There are many myths that surround the development of the Ragdoll breed, but the myth that seems to be the most popular is: A pregnant cat named Josephine, (Persian-Angora cross) was hit by a car somehow altering the DNA of her unborn kittens.  These kittens seemed to exhibit unusual and different characteristics from other cats.  They tended to be much more relaxed.  In fact, they were so relaxed, when picked up they just hung there much like a rag doll.  Hence the name Ragdoll came to be.”

So here’s my theory. When the mother cat was hit, opiate-like pain killers flooded into her blood and consequently into unborn kittens, permanently affecting their psychology and behavior. The following scientific explanation may help, also taken from the net:

“Once the brain perceives the pain, the body releases neuromodulators, such as endogenous opioids (endorphins and enkephalins), serotonin, norepinephrine, and gamma aminobutyric acid. These chemicals hinder the transmission of pain and help produce an analgesic, pain-relieving effect. This inhibition of the pain impulse is called modulation.”

The kittens were modulated – acutely and permanently. They were born as if on opiates and retained the behavior those modulating chemicals produce.

Here is a blog with a lot more on Floppycats.