A New York City cat specialist introduces several types of cat breeds you may not have heard of. Find out which are best suited for you and your lifestyle.
- Naturally curly cat with curly whiskers.
- Curly kittens can be born in the same litter with straight-haired kittens.
- You can tell which kittens in the litter are going to grow up with curly coats; just look at the whiskers. If the kitten has curly whiskers, it will have a curly coat.
- Curly hair is a dominant genetic mutation.
- Large, heavy-boned cat.
- Patient, loving and tolerant.
- What makes it unusual is its folded ears.
- First Scottish Fold was discovered on a farm in 1961. The original cat, Susie, had weird folded ears. She had kittens, and some of them also had folded ears. A nearby farmer asked the cat's owner if he could have one of the kittens. He bred the kitten to other cats, and before you knew it, a new breed was created.
- Often described as looking like teddy bears and owls because of their rounded heads.
- The folded ears are a spontaneous dominant mutation; if both parents carry the gene, their kittens will have folded ears.
- Sweet dispositions; adore human companionship.
- Undemanding cat -- it only needs a clean environment, proper nutrition, and love. It doesn't mind noisy children or a quiet apartment.
- Natural breed that's been around for at least 1,000 years.
- Originated in Siberia; thick, insulating fur helped it cope with harsh climate.
- National cat of Russia.
- First imported to the United States in 1990. It is still extremely rare in the U.S.
- Considered a semi-longhair cat; has rich full coat in winter and shorter, less-dense coat in the summer.
- Great problem solvers and, like dogs, are loyal to their owners.
- Good for people who profess to be dog lovers; greet owners at door and follow them around the house.
- Extremely agile; can jump amazing distances and heights.
Norwegian Forest Cat
- Natural breed that the Vikings may have brought to Scandinavia from England.
- Huge with bright, emerald-green eyes with a band of gold. Long, flowing hair.
- Tufts of hair on feet protect toes from snow or cold ground.
- Relative of the Maine Coon cat.
- Matures slowly and may not reach full stature until 4 years of age.
- In the spring, sheds "winter underwear," the warm undercoat, as well as the long outer guard of hairs that protects from rain and snow.
- Special claws allow it to climb rocks and trees.
- Very friendly and intelligent; needs lots of attention and room to play.
- Need to provide "climbing trees" in the house; it's their nature to climb.
Arnold Plotnick MS, DVM, Dip. ACVIM, Dip. ABVP
Manhattan Cat Specialists
230 West 76th Street
New York, NY 10023