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Himalayans Cat Felis Catus Abstract When you think of a warm, loving, and sensationally beautiful cat with crystal blue eyes to die for the first cat that should come to mind is the prestigious Himalayan Cat. The Himalayan Cat is a lovable cat breed and is a favorite choice amongst cat lovers. This domestic breed of felines are a popular pick in Hollywood and are famous for playing cat characters in movies such as “Meet the Parents,” “Meet the Flockers,” “Date Movie,” “Homeward Bound,” and on the “Martha Stewart show”. The Himalayan cat is unlike any other for it has a unique history. The Himalayan cat is derived from the Genus/Species Felis catus and is a result of the breeding of two very prestigious breeds of cats: the Persian and the Siamese cat. As a result of this unique breeding, the Himalayan cat was created and has since been a symbol of elegance due to there “very unique body characteristic that distinguishes them from any other member of the feline family”.
The Himalayan Cat is a domestic cat or Felis catus, which is “a small, usually furry, domesticated, carnivorous mammal” It is more commonly referred to as the “house cat”. Its taxonomic classification group is “Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Felidae Felis catus”. According to Ramel archaeological evidence suggests that modern cats lineage, recognizably similar to our present-day species, began to emerge about 25 MYA and during the last 12 million years the eight separate lineages of modern cats have emerged. The domestic cats are apart of that lineage known as the Felis genius, which makes them in direct relation to the cougar, lion, and tigers with the exception of the obvious differences of size and domestication. The Felis catus are strong, active, round-headed, small-bodied, social natured, intelligent animals. “Felis, typically weigh between eight and eleven pounds, but some breeds can exceed twenty-five pounds”.
Domestic cats still have many of their wild instincts for instance; they are constantly climbing, jumping, running, and/or extending their claws in hunting or self-defense. Their sharp retractable claws and strong sharp teeth are their defense mechanism against predators. Domestic cats have a great sense of smell, excellent night vision, and a variety of “vocalization methods of communication (purring, hissing, meowing, and growling), and exceptional hearing”. According to Wikipedia, they can hear higher-pitched sounds than either dogs or humans, detecting frequencies from 55Hz up to 79 kHz. The life expectancy for a domestic cat is between 12-16 years but some may live longer. Domestic cats “reach sexual maturity anywhere between the ages of 7 to 9 months” and usually have an average of 3-5 kitten per liter”. Domestic cats have a “mutualistic relationship” with human beings and are great companions for people of all ages. One of the most devoted people loving breeds of domestic cats is the Himalayan Cat breed. Himalayan Cats are extremely affectionate.
Schaumann states according to Animal Planet’s rating of Himalayan cat characteristics, Himalayans rank high in affection toward their owners, need for attention, and compatibility with children and other pets. This breed of domestic cats is very calm natured but playful. “The males are more outgoing than their female counter partners, who are shyer and reserved”. Himalayans Cats are a result of a crossbreeding of the Persian cat with the Siamese cat. “The Himalayan cat was the creation of scientist, Dr. Clyde Keeler and cat breeder, Virginia Cobb.
The two teamed up to blend a Persian cat and a Siamese cat” McDonald states that although, for decades, breeders attempted to breed these two cats but were unsuccessful. It wasn’t until Marguerita Goforth successfully created this breed in the 1950s and by the 1960s, it was accepted as a breed by cat authorities. The Himalayan Cat has a remarkable appearance, which makes them so popular. They are short with long thick white hair, which is a featured they adopted from the Persian Cat and have strong colorpoint markings, which is a featured they adopted from the Siamese Cat. The colorpoint markings are on their ears, legs, tail, and facemask and vary in color. “There is a definite contrast between point and body color”. Most Himalayan Cats range from either white to beige and their colorpoint markings can be “chocolate, seal, lilac, blue, red, cream tortie, blue-cream, chocolate-torte, lilac cream, seal lynx, blue lynx, red lynx, cream lynx, torte lynx, blue-cream lynx, chocolate lynx, lilac lynx, chocolate-torte lynx, and lilac-cream lynx”. Aside from their distinctive color patterns, the Himalayans are also recognized for their piercing blue eyes and strong flat faces.
There are two facial types: the Extreme/Peke (Ultra face) and the Traditional known as the “Dollface”. The major difference between these two is that Extreme faced Himalayan has an extremely flattened face. “The nose is as nearly as high as the eyes”. This flattened face feature causes this breed to experience problems with their eyes tearing, teeth crowding, and difficulties breathing. According to Chancellor Himalayans are subjected to the same types of diseases as Persian Cats due to their linage.
These health issues include: “Tear Duct Overflow, Skinfold dermatitis, Polycystic Kidney Disease, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and Urinary tract stones”. Despite the possible health issues, Himalayan Cats have a lifep of 14-15 years and have no problems with breeding. The female Himalayan Cats may be ready for breeding as early as five months and will begin calling for her male counter partner to assist in the reproduction process.
According to Helgren Himalayan cats normally birth 3-4 kittens however; they can produce liters of eight kittens. Himalayan Cats have a very lovable, docile, and playful personality. “The amazing pet behaviors observed in this cat are commendable the high level of affection intelligence and tolerance are not qualities that are seen in ordinary domestic cats”. According to Chapman, this breed of domestic cats has a strong need for attention and companionship from its human owner. This may range anywhere from daily grooming to reassurance and security from its owner. “They are very dependent on their owners but also have an air of independence, calmness, and self-assuredness”. The Himalayan Cat breed is a very unique breed aside from all its unique physical and behavioral characteristics. The American Cat Fanciers Association recognizes this uniqueness and is the only association that recognizes this breed as a separate breed from all other varieties of Persian and Siamese cats. Despite their ancestral linage to the Persian and Siamese Cat, the Himalayan Cat breed is in a league of its own.
American Cat Fanciers Association. (2012) Himalayans.
http://www.acfacat.com/breed_standard.htm Anderson, C. (2012).
http://www.ehow.com/info_8087211_personality-male-female-himalayan-cats.html Chancellor, T. L. (2012).
http://www.ehow.com/about_5436085_himalayan-cat-diseases. html#ixzz2C8PXRtDf. Helgren, J. A. 2011).
Himalayan cats. Telmark Productions. McDonald, C. (1999).
Guide to owning a Himalayan cat. Facts On File, Incorporated. Petinsurance. (2012).
http://www.earthlife.net/mammals/cats.html Schapman, S. (2012).
http://suite101.com/article/the-himalayan-cat-personality-a70239 Wikipedia. (2012).
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