Martha loves cats of all stripes, but she has a few favorite breeds. In addition to dominant calico Persians and Himalayans, which are breeds she owns, she's quite partial to Tonkinese and Maine Coon cats.
Tonkinese cats disprove the stereotype of unfriendly felines -- these animals crave and return affection from people, other cats, and even dogs. "Many Tonkinese cats can be trained to play fetch, ride on your shoulders, and respond verbally when you speak to them," says Collette Burnett (pictured), a Tonkinese breeder.
As a manmade cross between Siamese and Burmese cats, Tonkinese are distinctly beautiful animals. Their medium-size bodies are covered with a short, luxurious coat, which can range in pattern from solid to pointed.
Maine Coons are the largest domestic breed, with males weighing up to 18 pounds and females up to 14 pounds. "They are very social cats who are highly interactive with their humans -- they love to be with you," says Deb Lamb, a Maine Coon breeder. Many refer to them as "gentle giants" because of their size and loving personalities.
Maine Coons have large, usually tufted ears and a "raccoon-like" tail with a thick, shaggy coat. "Unlike most cats, they love water and are really fascinated by it," says Deb. "I had one cat who would actually get in the shower with me!"