47 Different Cat Breeds

Some people think that cats are just cats, and that they are all the same. Those same people might be surprised to learn that there are dozens of different cat breeds, and each of them has its own specific traits, both in appearance and personality. Today we are going to take a look at 47 of our favorite cat breeds, and tell you a little bit about each one.

1. Abyssinian

This is a highly energetic cat that has the appearance of an Egyptian cat. It is not necessarily a lap cat, as it is very active, and it loves to climb to the highest points possible. This is a cat that is always on alert.

2. American Bobtail

The American Bobtail may look like a wild cat, but it is actually a very friendly and playful breed. These cats love attention from their humans, and will not hesitate to let you know when they want to play.

3. American Curl

Here is a cat that has absolutely adorable, curly ears. This is a breed that is known to be very affectionate, and they thrive on attention. They love their people, and they are also good with other animals.

4. American Wirehair

This cat has a curly coat that is low-maintenance. They are calm and friendly, and love to play without being too hyperactive. This is a cat that wants attention, but isn’t going to be demanding about it.

5. Balinese or Javanese

These cats are named for dancers, because they are so lithe and graceful. They are also extremely affectionate, and will follow you from room to room. They also love to talk, a lot, and are very devoted.

6. Bengal

If you want an exotic looking cat, the Bengal is perfect. They have the look of a wild, jungle cat, but they are extremely loving. They do have a lot of energy, and are highly intelligent so they are easily trained.

7. Birman

Here is a beauty that was once worshipped in temples in Burma. Not only is it beautiful, the Birman is also one of the sweetest and gentlest breeds you will ever have the pleasure of owning (or them owning you).

8. Bombay

Who says black cats are bad luck? The Bombay is black and beautiful, and incredibly affectionate. They love everyone, including children, and will follow their people around to get the attention they desire.

9. British Shorthair

This adorable, round-faced cat kind of looks like a small teddy bear, and is Britain’s most popular feline. This is a cat with a sweet and gentle disposition, and gets along well with people and other animals.

10. Burmese

A mix of the Burmese and the Chinchilla Persian, this cat has a playful and sociable temperament, and is quiet and easy going at the same time. This is a cat that is playful and laid back all at once.

12. Chartreux

This is a well-mannered cat that is sweet and quiet, and loves to be affectionate. It is also known to be an excellent mouser. It loves to relax, but it also loves some good play sessions with its people.

13. Chausie

This is a cat that is fast and fearless, and will always keep you on your toes. This is also a very intelligent cat, and it will have no problem finding the most out of the way spots to hide and play.

14. Colorpoint Shorthair

Here is a cat that is very affectionate, and very sensitive. It also loves to talk, and let you know exactly how it is feeling as it follows you around the house, waiting to be pampered and talked to.

15. Cornish Rex

The Cornish Rex is slim and graceful, and has a gorgeous curly coat. It loves to play, and has an abundance of energy. This is also a very intelligent cat that can be trained to do a few tricks, including opening doors.

16. Cymric

This is basically a long-haired Manx. It generally has no tail, and a stocky body. This is a cat that is playful and loves affection, but can also be quite independent at the same time. It is also very territorial.

17. Devon Rex

The short wavy coat, big ears, and big eyes make this cat very recognizable. This is a cat with tons of energy, and it is very dexterous. It can jump and climb like nobody’s business, and it loves people.

18. Donskoy

This is a hairless cat that loves people, whether it knows them or not, but is particularly affectionate with what it considers to be its people. It is very curious, and very affectionate, and wants to be loved.

19. Egyptian Mau

Here is a cat that can adapt to just about any situation, and is happy as an indoor or outdoor cat. It is an excellent hunter, and will likely bring you back presents after each hunting trip.

20. Exotic Shorthair

This cat has the facial features of a Persian, but not the long hair so it isn’t nearly as high-maintenance. It is easy going and affectionate, while being playful and active at the same time.

21. Havana Brown

Here is a cat that absolutely thrives on love and affection, and wants as much attention as you can possibly give. He loves to watch everything you do, and will constantly try to get your attention for cuddles.

22. Highlander

This is a very large cat with wild cat roots, but is a comical house pet with a great personality. This can be a bit of a goofball, and it loves to show off. This is a cat that loves people, even children.

23. Himalayan

This is the best of both worlds, a combination of the Siamese and the Persian. It is an absolutely gorgeous cat, with the gentleness of the Persian and the playfulness of Siamese cat, and it is very affectionate.

24. Japanese Bobtail

Here is a highly confident cat that gets along well with other people and animals, and it loves to talk. Because it is so confident, it can easily be left to its own devices for a few hours without getting lonely.

25. Khao Manee

This beautiful cat is pure white, with odd colored eyes, one gold and one blue. This is a rare breed, and one of the most social and devoted cats you will ever meet, and it loves to get lots of attention.

26. Kinkalow

This small cat is a little ball of energy, and loves lots of play time with its humans. It love to sleep on its back, and oddly enough, enjoys being on a trampoline. It has short, stubby legs, and curled ears.

27. Korat

This is a cat that wants to be the center of attention, at all times. It is highly intelligent, and has a huge vocal range that it is not afraid to use at any time to get the attention it expects and demands.

28. Kurilian Bobtail

This bobtailed cat has the look of a wild cat, and loves a rough and tumble lifestyle. It even likes to go swimming. It is gentle and loving, and loves most people. It even gets along well with other pets.

29. Lambkin Dwarf

Here is a tiny, short cat that is so adorable, with Munchkin and Selkirk Rex roots that give it a sweet and loving disposition. This is the ideal blend of both breeds, and it is one of the cutest cats you will ever see.

30. LaPerm

The name suits this cat with curly fur, and it is as cuddly as it is cute. This is actually an extremely affectionate cat that will tune into your emotions and comfort you when you need it.

31. Maine Coon Cat

This is one of the larger housecat breeds, and one of the oldest breeds originating in the US. This is a rugged, strong cat that has water-repellant fur. It is highly affectionate, and loves lots of cuddles.

32. Manx

Here is another cat with no tail, and that isn’t its only strange characteristic. This is a cat that is very protective of its home, and its people. It is also the most dog-like of all the cats, and loves to play fetch.

33. Minskin

This is a miniature cat that has extremely short legs, and the body is mostly hairless. This is a very unique little cat that is small in size, but huge in personality. It loves affection, and is highly intelligent.

34. Munchkin

This is a tiny cat with a huge heart, and is social with just about everyone. It even loves to be picked up, when not being cuddled, is a little ball of energy that loves to be active and play a lot.

35. Nebelung

Here is a cat that acts as distinguished as it looks. It is affectionate, but reserves its love for a very select group of people, usually just its owners. This is a quiet and low-maintenance cat that is very sensitive.

36. Norwegian Forest Cat

This is a strong and muscular cat that has one of the sweetest dispositions. It is very affectionate and even nurturing, and loves everyone it meets, even kids. It also has a lot of energy, and love to play.

37. Ocicat

This cat looks wild and exotic, but it is actually one of the sweetest breeds. This cat has no wild DNA, and is overly friendly at most times. You can even train it to go for walks on a leash.

38. Ojos Azules

This blue-eyed beauty can be is probably one of the rarest cat breeds you will find. It does love attention, and it is absolutely gorgeous. If you can find one of these hard to get cats, it is definitely meant to be.

39. Oriental

Here is a cat that will do just about anything to get the attention it craves. It loves belly rubs, and loves to talk until you finally talk back. If you want a companion, this is definitely the cat for you.

40. Persian

This is the most popular cat breed, for its beauty, and for its awesome personality. This is a relaxed and good natured cat, but it does require a lot of maintenance because of its long, lustrous coat.

41. Peterbald

This is another hairless cat that is highly intelligent, and very devoted to its people. It loves lots of affection, and wants plenty of cuddles and play time. This is another cat that loves to talk.

42. Pixie Bob

Here is a smart cat that can even learn to understand a few human words, and it can be leash trained to go for walks. This is another cat breed that has a personality similar to that of a dog.

43. Ragdoll

This big fluffy kitty can be carried around like a ragdoll, hence the name. It is laid back and mellow, and loves attention from just about everyone. It will follow you from room to room just to be near you.

44. Russian Blue

Here is a quiet and gentle cat that is an introvert and shy near strangers. It also doesn’t like large crowds or a lot of noise. But, it does love the humans it lives with, and is very affectionate.

45. Savannah Cat

Here is a cat that has it all: beauty, intelligence, and grace. This is an athletic cat that has plenty of energy, and it can be trained to walk on a leash. It can jump as high as eight feet, straight up.

46. Scottish Fold

You can’t help but fall in love with those big eyes and folded ears. This is an adorable little cat that is sweet and gentle, and loves everyone. It will be playful for most of its life, and loves to pose for photos.

47. Selkirk Rex

This is a cat with a thick, plush coat that is curly and soft. It is playful and affectionate, but is also very calm and mellow. It loves people, and gets along well with other pets.

Just for fun, here's a short video of the cat breeds that made it to the top 10 list:

This list is just a subjective list from some group of people and of course, the choices of the top and best breeds would still be up to you.

Albino Cats: The Ultimate Guide to their history, types, characteristics, temperament, and care

A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that albino cats and white cats are the same thing. Yes, albino cats are white, but there are thousands of white cats that are not albino. There are even websites that have made claims about albino and white cats that are completely untrue, which is just going to add to the confusion on the subject. So, today we are going to take a look at the characteristics of both white and albino cats, and you will be able to understand the differences between the two. We will also take a look at some of the myths surrounding both types of cats, and dispel most of them. Let’s get started.

What is an Albino Cat?

Let’s start at the start. Albinism comes from the Latin word, Albus, which basically means white. When any creature is an albino, it means that they have a genetic condition that causes them to have absolutely no pigmentation or color. For a cat to be truly albino, both parents must carry the genetic marker that makes a cat an albino. You may see a white coat, but there are a lot of subtle characteristics that make it a lot different from a regular white coat. Even the eyes and skin are going to be different with an albino cat. But, other than these differences, an albino cat is just like any other cat, and there are no major health issues.

One of the easiest ways to tell if a cat is albino or just a white cat is to look at its eyes. Average white cats can have a variety of eye colors, from green to gold to blue to one blue and one gold or green (known as heterochroma, or odd-eye). Albino cats do not have the same color spectrum. In fact, theirs is very limited, because there is no pigmentation. In most cases, an albino cat will have very pale blue eyes, or they may even be pink to pinkish-blue.

Now, this might confuse you a bit. In this case, pink is not actually a color. Instead, it is light that is reflecting the blood vessels in the eyes. This is also why an albino cat has no pigmentation in their skin, which usually appears to be one of many shades of very pale pink to light pink. Again, this is the light reflecting the blood flow beneath the skin.

In order for the body to produce melanin, the TYR or tyrosinase gene must be present. When a kitten or other animal is born without this gene, their body can’t produce melanin. A kitten that is born with a damaged or missing TYR gene is considered to be albino. Again, this can only happen if both parents carry the gene that is defective, and they will then pass it on.

Not only does melanin play a role in the color of the fur and eyes, it also helps to protect animals from the harsh rays of the sun. Melanin blocks out the harmful UV rays, while allowing the good rays to provide vitamin D. Melanin also plays an important role in the development of the eyes, particularly the optic nerves, muscles, and the irises. When there is a melanin deficiency, an animal may have difficulty with depth perception, focusing and tracking.

If you have or are considering getting an albino cat, it is best to make sure that it remains an indoor cat. Not only is it not likely to have great hunting skills due to the poor depth perception, tracking and focusing, it can also have vision issues because of the sun, as well as skin damage. Albino cats tend to be prone to skin cancer.

It is not just cats that can be albino. Most species have albinism at some points. For instance, Snow Bengals and some Oriental cat breeds are considered to be albinos. These animals are born white, and the color points develop as they get older. Other animals that can be albino include birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects, mollusks, and all mammals, humans included.

Whiteness in Varying Degrees

A true albino cat is a rather rare thing. Most commonly we tend to see cats that are partially albino. In fact, this is actually quite common. For instance, many of the Oriental cats, including Siamese and Burmese, get their point markings from a variation of albinism. Cats that have the color-pointed coats have colors that are more concentrated in some areas than others. This actually depends on body heat. You will see more pigmentation in the cooler areas of the body, and less on the warmer areas. So, the warm areas have lighter colorations, and the cool areas are darker n color.

Did you know that color-pointed cats are born white? This is particularly true of cats that have been developed from the Siamese lines, including Thai cats. The color patterns will develop over time as the cats age and develop.

So, what are the various degrees of albinism in cats? Let’s take a look at the dominant and recessive degrees, as well as white spotting.

First of all, you always need to remember that cats with colored eyes are not albino, and that albino cats have very pale blue to pinkish colored eyes. The reason why a white cat is white is because they have a gene that covers the other color genes. The reason why an albino cat is an albino is because they have a mutation that creates an absence of color.

So, if you hear anyone say that they have a blue or an orange eyed cat and they are calling it an albino, you can be sure that they either have no idea what they are talking about, or that they are trying to make others believe that the cat is something it is not. What they really have is a dominant white cat, and this doesn’t necessarily mean that they have dominant personalities. It is all about the color.

  • Dominant White – Dominant white, also referred to as epistatic white, happens on a different gene than the black and red-based colors. Dominant white is the white that is associated with cats that are deaf, and it masks any other colors. A purebred dominant white cat can have odd, orange, or blue colored eyes, and there is a great chance that a dominant white cat with these eye colors will indeed be deaf. If the cat has one blue eye, it could be deaf on the same side as the blue eye. Deafness is less pronounced in cats with orange eyes. There are also dominant white kittens that are born with a color smudge on their heads, but this disappears as they get older. These kittens tend to not experience any deafness, and are not albinos. They can actually be any color, but white is the dominant color.
  • White Spotting – The gene that causes white spotting can also make a cat seem like a self-white cat. The gene is dominant, but how it is appears can vary. For instance, a cat may be completely white, have just a little bit of white, or have various amounts of white. In the case of white spotting, there is no link to deafness. But, white spotting can be the reason why some cats are totally white, but not albino. There are grades of spotting, from zero to 10, with zero means no white spotting and 10 means almost totally white. A grade 10 white spotted cat looks like a white cat, and there is rarely any deafness. You may also notice small color spots on cats that otherwise look to be completely white, because of the white spotting gene.
  • Recessive White – Now we get into the recessive white gene, which is what causes albinism. This cat has light blue or pink eyes, and the gene is recessive to both white cats and Siamese cats. Seal Point Siamese cats that have the recessive white gene are often a lot lighter in color than those that do not carry the gene. These cats also are light sensitive, and it is best to make sure that they are not exposed to bright sunlight, both for their vision and the fact that their skin can burn easily. Other than this, generally albino cats do not tend to have any health issues that any other cat might have.

Health Problems Associated with Albino Cats

When it comes to the health of your pet, it is important to know if there are any issues that could arise as a result of the cat being an albino.

Yes, there are some health problems that are common to albino pets, which is why it is not always recommended that people get animals with albinism, even though they are highly sought after by those who are looking for purebred pets.

That's why it is important to sought health and therapy guides about cat before planning on getting one. 

Here are the most common health problems associated with albino cats.

Light Sensitivity

We touched a bit on the light sensitivity of albino cats in the last section. Let’s go a bit deeper into this subject. Because there is a lack of pigmentation in a cat that is truly an albino, it has no ability to produce melanin. While we think of melanin as something that plays a role in skin tone, it also does many other things in the body, including giving color to the hair and eyes. It can also play a role in depth perception, and it is important in helping the body fight diseases and infections.

Because melanin gives color to the eyes, the lack of melanin means that the eyes are going to be pale, and be very sensitive to light. Being in direct sunlight can be damaging to their vision. It is best that an albino cat be an indoor cat for this reason, and you should also close the blinds during those times of the day when the sun is shining directly inside.

Indirect sunlight is okay, but an albino cat should never be in direct sunlight for more than a couple of minutes at the most. This particularly important if the cat has pink or red eyes, as it can cause blindness. If you have an albino cat and you think it has vision problems, it is important to contact your vet right away so you can get the best advice on how to treat the problem, if possible.

Skin Sensitivity

We also touched on the fact that an albino cat has extremely sensitive skin. Again, it is imperative that an albino cat not be in direct sunlight for any more than a few minutes. Keep them away from direct sunlight between noon and five pm, as this is when the sun’s rays are the strongest. It is also a good idea to get a non-toxic cream from your vet to put on the cat’s nose. Albino cats can sunburn very easily, and they have a higher chance of developing skin cancer than cats that do not carry the recessive white gene.

If you have an albino cat and it goes outdoors, it is a good idea to use sunscreen. Your vet can recommend the best type. Generally, it is best to use one that is meant for babies and children, and that has no colors or scents. Even if it is an indoor cat, it is still a good idea to use a bit of sunscreen on an albino pet

Deafness

While not all white cats are deaf, as is the common misconception, cats with albinism do tend to often be partially or even completely deaf. This is due to the fact that the autosomal gene W leads to a malformation of the inner ear. This is something that is common most albino animals, including humans. In fact, it was once believed that animals and people with albinism had mental deficiencies, which is obviously not the case at all. But, because an animal that is deaf cannot hear, they can’t understand. We now know that it has nothing whatsoever to do with the animal’s intelligence.

You can usually tell if a kitten is deaf, because they do not respond when you call to them. If you have an albino cat that is deaf, you will need to come up with other methods of communication with your cat. You will also need to learn how to care for a deaf cat, because there are some differences between this and caring for a hearing pet. It is a good idea to consult with your vet to find out the best ways to communicate, train, and care for an albino cat.

Deafness in albino cats isn’t always total. For instance, if the cat is odd eyed, it may be deaf on the side that has the blue eye, while the side with the regular colored eye could have perfect hearing. There are claims that the majority of all white cats, including albino cats, are at least partially deaf, but this is not exactly accurate. This is because there are different genes that cause the different types of whiteness, and not all of these genes can lead to deafness.

It really all comes down to the genes that have been passed onto the kitten by its parents. Let’s break this down by taking a look at the following scientific figures that show the percentages of white cats, and the percentage of deafness in white cats (in either one or both ears).

  • Only 5 percent of the entire cat population is white, with congenital deafness being very rare in cats that are not white.
  • The 5 percent that is white is pure white, and 15 to 40 percent of all pure white cats have one or both blue eyes.
  • Out of the cats with one or both blue eyes, 60 to 80 percent are deaf, with 20 to 40 percent having regular hearing. 30 to 40 percent of those with one blue eye tend to be deaf, with 60 to 70 percent having regular hearing.
  • Out of the 5 percent of white cats, 60 to 80 percent have eyes that are not blue, such as orange or green. Of the cats with these color eyes, 10 to 20 percent are often deaf, and 80 to 90 percent have regular hearing.
  • Deaf white cats with one or both blue eyes make up 0.25 to 1.5 percent of the total cat population.

Cats with white coats and blue eyes make up 0.75 to 2 percent of the total cat population.

Caring for an Albino Cat

All cats require a specific amount of care, but when you have an albino cat, there are many things that you need to do differently, as they need extra-special care. In fact, this is why many people choose not to adopt an albino cat. Yes, they are beautiful to look at, but they can have many health issues that are not as common in other cats, including blindness, deafness, redness around the eyes due to sensitivity, skin problems, and even skin cancer. It is important to have a good relationship with your vet, and discuss with them the proper care for an albino cat so you can sure that yours lives a long and healthy life.

Albino Animal Myths and Facts

There are a lot of myths surrounding both white and albino cats and other animals. As we already mentioned, the only real similarity is the fact that they both have white coats. Other than that, there are actually several differences. This is just one of the myths you will hear about white and albino cats, along with many actual facts. Let’s take a look at some of the myths and facts surrounding albino cats.

  • All White Cats are Deaf – We have already discussed the fact that this is just not true. Yes, a large percentage of albino cats are deaf or partially deaf, but this is due to the damaged or missing gene, and is not a problem that is common in white cats that are not albino. In fact, albino cats aren’t actually white. They lack color, which is completely different, so they are nothing like a regular white cat. Even Charles Darwin wrote, “Some instances of correlation are quite whimsical; thus cats which are entirely white and have blue eyes are generally deaf.” So, even back in the 19th century, this myth was debunked.
  • Albino Animals are Worshipped – Whether it is a cat or another animal, there are some groups and cultures that revere and worship albino animals. It is often thought that animals with albinism can bring about good luck. In some cultures, albino worship is taken so seriously that it is considered a sin to hunt and kill an albino animal. It is even considered bad luck in some cultures to injure or kill an albino animal, and they hold them in great esteem.
  • Albino Animals have Short Lifespans – An albino house cat is one thing. It will be properly cared for, so it should have as long of a life as any other house cat. But, an albino animal born in the wild has a very short life expectancy. Often, they are killed by their parents because they are different. If they are allowed to live, they don’t have great hunting skills, due to their lack of depth perception and the inability to focus well, and they will likely die of starvation.

Below is a short video to help you understand some facts about albino cats:

They are extremely rare with only 2% chance of occurring which possibly made some people think that Albino cats are just white cats and doesn't exist.

Some already struggle with what cat breed do they have and much more than they'd know about the existence of Albino cats.

Conclusion

As you can see, albino cats are completely different from any other type of cat you will ever own. While it may look like a typical cat, there is nothing typical at all about an albino cat. They have different genetics, and they have health issues that are not nearly as common in other cats. Owning an albino at may be a bit of a challenge in the beginning, but as long as you make sure that it is kept out of direct sunlight, and gets the proper vet care, you should have your pet for many years to come.

Your Complete Guide to Therapy Cats

Although the term 'therapy cats' might sound like the name of some contemporary jazz band, in fact, it describes a group of animals that can have the same positive effects on humans that music can, and so much more besides.

In this article, we are going to define what a therapy cat is, the ways in which therapy cats can help humans, and what it takes for a cat to be regarded as suitable to be a therapy cat.

Definition of a Therapy Cat

close up outdoor photo of the cat on lap stroke with hand and fingers

The definition of a therapy cat is a cat which has been deemed suitable to interact with humans in such a way that it provides medical benefits. These aren't benefits in relation to medical insurance but clinical benefits such as reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and helping other emotional issues.

With its loving nature, any cat could be deemed to be providing therapy from time to time for its owner. Anyone who has owned and felt the love and affection their cat has for them will know how relaxing and therapeutic that can be.

As good as that might be, to be regarded as a therapy cat for the purposes of treating patients, or simply providing therapeutic benefits to other individuals, a cat should in some way have been trained or certified as such. The problem here is there are no nationally recognized nor legally based criteria for this.

There is also some confusion whereby therapy cats are sometimes thought of as the same as service animals. They are not, and as it stands, a cat cannot be a service animal. Only a dog, and in special cases, a horse, can be one.

For clarification, service animals are primarily trained to help those with physical disabilities such as blindness, deafness, or confinement to a wheelchair. The most common example of a service animal is a guide dog.

Below is some facts about emotional support cats or therapy cats:

Know that there are some requirements you should meet and be able to comply having a therapy cat at home.

What Conditions Can Benefit from Therapy Cats

The list of conditions that therapy cats can bring some relief to, isn’t endless but it is comprehensive. They tend to be those which could be described as emotional or behavioral but as these conditions are relieved, there are many physical benefits which can accrue too.

One thing which therapy cat treatment does not seem to have a limit on is the age of the beneficiary, and that applies at either end of the age scale.  They are used to provide therapy for young children all the way through to the elderly and every age group in between.

Here are the most common ailments and conditions that therapy cats are used to alleviate.

Stress/anxiety/high blood pressure

The mere act of holding a calm and relaxed cat in your arms or on your lap can lower stress and anxiety levels to the point where you are as relaxed as the cat is. If the cat purrs while being held, many people say it magnifies the state of calmness.

The longer you can enjoy these soothing moments the more likely it is that your blood pressure could fall too, and the additional benefit of low blood pressure is a healthier cardiovascular system, which includes your heart.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

This is a condition which can be genetic and is very prevalent amongst children, although it can be something which afflicts adults too. ADHD manifests itself in many ways but the most common are hyperactivity, impulsive or rash behavior and inattentiveness.

Therapy cats help with ADHD in several ways.

  • Their affection is unconditional and unlimited
  • The child receives attention without having to demand it
  • The child can talk to it which is therapeutic in itself
  • They can reduce stress and anxiety
  • They distract the child in a pleasant way
  • Autism

    Autism is often misunderstood by those who have no connection with it, and to be fair even scientists are not 100% sure of all its causes. Defined simply, it is a chronic condition affecting social interaction, behaviors and communication. It is normally first diagnosed in young children, there is no cure, and treatment is done in conjunction with therapists and behaviorists.

    The evidence that therapy cats can help in that treatment is extensive. As symptoms and behaviors will vary from child to child a therapy cat can have a positive effect on their emotional development, social skills, communication skills, and their confidence.

    Geriatrics

    Geriatrics is a rather unpleasant sounding word, which covers those ailments which afflict the elderly such as dementia, Alzheimer's and chronic arthritis to name but three. While a therapy cat can't reverse any of these chronic ailments, what they can do is give the elderly person suffering from them, some comfort, companionship and affection.

    These three simple things can often be enough to give the cat's owner other benefits which can help limit their symptoms and improve their general health.

    Which Cat Breeds are Suitable to Become Therapy Cats?

    There are no hard and fast rules about whether a certain breed of cat can or cannot become a therapy cat, but there are some that are more likely to.

    Tabbies

    Although tabby is not a cat breed in its own right, there are a couple of tabby breeds which have proven to be good therapy cats. The American Shorthair is one of them, and they are particularly effective because of their good nature when in the company of children. Another is the Abyssinian tabby, whose intelligence and outgoing nature make them ideal companions.

    Persian cats

    Persian cats are wrongly considered to be very aloof cats, but the opposite is true. They give back as much love and affection as they receive.

    Sphynx cats

    Being hairless, Sphynx cats may not look to be the cuddliest cats around, but what they lack in hair, they more than make up for in loyalty and love.

    Ragdolls

    Ragdolls are as cute and cuddly as their soft furry appearance would have you believe, and they make great therapy cats. They are comfortable around children, have a calm nature, and as companions, they are perfect due to their love of sitting on their owner's lap.

    Mixed breeds

    The last type of cats we need to mention is mixed breeds. These will often not have some of the less desirable traits that some pure breeds can display like aloofness, and independence, which are both unsuitable for therapeutic purposes. Female mixed breeds have proven to make excellent therapy cats, in many treatment areas, ranging from children with emotional problems to elderly patients with dementia.

    Which Characteristics Should a Therapy Cat Have?

    The main thing you need to assess when considering whether your, or any other cat has the potential to be a therapy cat, is its temperament.

    Unlike dogs, who are instinctively pack animals and love being part of a family, cats are more independent. That does not mean they don't love company, and there are countless examples of cats who follow their owners around like a puppy would.

    Ideally, you are looking for a cat who genuinely seems to enjoy the company of humans, and that includes children too. Evidence of this will be them being happy to be handled, carried and petted, even if that is done roughly, which brings us back to children again.

    Other traits you are looking for is calmness around people, even if there are a lot of them in the room, and they also need to be content when there are other animals around them too.

    Therapy cats should be unfazed by loud noises including machinery and medical equipment. It will often be the case that a therapy cat's patient or owner requires medical equipment nearby, so it is imperative that any noise it makes doesn't bother them.

    Therapy Cat Certification

    One of the issues in relation to therapy cats, is that there is no national association or board who has overall authority in relation to them. This means that legally, there isn't really any obligation to register them as a therapy cat or emotional support animal (ESA) as they are officially called.

    However, for those who have a therapy cat, or ESA, there are two laws that you can read about in the next section which having your therapy cat certified can be very advantageous There are countless websites online who have ESA registration schemes, but it always best to go for one of the ones who are best known.

    One of those is 'Certa Pet' who provide a service which includes a certification letter from a mental health professional. Their certification is accepted by just about anyone who matters, and they are recognized in every state.

    Your Legal Rights

    For those people with service animals there are numerous laws which give them rights in relation to where they can take their animals, however, these are not as comprehensive when it comes to ESAs, of which therapy cats are the most common.

    However, there are two very important laws which owners of therapy cats should be aware of. The first is the Fair Housing Act (FHA), and the second is the Air Carrier Access Act (ACCA).

    The reason for this is that the FHA grants owners of therapy cats and other ESAs rights which prevent landlords and homeowner’s association enforcing ‘no pets’ rules against you, even of that apartment block or condominium already has that rule in place.

    With the ACCA, it allows you to travel on airlines with your therapy cat and do so without being charged additional fees.

    To be able to benefit from these laws your therapy cat must be certified as an ‘emotional support animal’ which we discussed in the previous section.

    Conclusion

    We all know cats can be great pets, and that itself can bring cat owners benefits to their health. With therapy cats this goes a stage further with their calm, friendly and affectionate nature giving the person they are there to help, benefits to both their physical and mental health, which in some cases can be life changing.

    Is Your Cat Sad? How to Tell and What to Do to Cheer Up a Depressed Cat

    Pet owners of dogs, cats, rabbits, birds and even fish, have always sought to give them human qualities and personalities. An example of this is when a dog sits up we say they are begging. They are not begging in the way humans would, they have merely been trained to sit up like that to receive a treat.

    It is the same when a cat might purr, and its owner turns around and tells you exactly what the cat has just said in English. As lovable as cats are, and as communicative as they are, they've not gotten around to being able to speak any human language.

    Animals Can Have Emotions Too

    There is a certain irony to pet owners believing their pets can be almost human in some ways, but not in more deep-seated areas such as emotions. Pets have emotions, and often these are negative emotions. We then get the same owners who think their cat can master linguistics but is incapable of being sad or depressed.

    The simple fact is all animals can have these emotions, but as the focus of this article is cats, we shall concentrate on them. We’ll look more closely at why cats can get sad or depressed, how to recognize it, and what you can do to help it feel better.

    The Signs That Your Cat Is Sad

    Cats have two ways of communicating with you. The first is vocally, and the second is their body language. If you think I am about to say ignore the vocal one because a cat can't tell you it is sad, you're wrong.

    If a cat is vocalizing excessively it can be a sign that something is wrong with them, including them feeling depressed. A cat can make all manner of sounds to indicate all is not well such as wailing, low-pitched meows and even continuous purring which they sometimes do to console themselves.

    Conversely, if your cat is normally a chatterbox, and suddenly they become as quiet as a mouse, this could be a sign all is not well.

    The body language of a cat can also be very telling if they are sad. Here are some signs you might see.

    • Ears held back
    • Tail tucked under their body
    • Changes in litter box usage
    • Sleeping longer than normal
    • Loss of appetite
    • Lack of grooming
    • Scratching objects more
    • Hiding and being reclusive
    • Lack of energy
    • Loss of normal playfulness
    • Sudden aggressiveness

    I should point out that if your cat displays any of these it does not automatically follow that they are sad or depressed as these symptoms can be due to them suffering from an ailment or illness. However, if there is no other obvious reason for these behaviors and symptoms, sadness should be considered.

    What Causes a Cat to Be Depressed?

    While cats have a vastly different psychological makeup to humans the reasons that they become depressed can be similar to those of humans. Here are some of the most common.

    Bereavement

    History is awash with stories of animals pining for, and mourning the loss of, their owners who have passed away, and this extends to other family members or other animals that may have shared their home. If any of these sad events have happened recently do not dismiss it as a possible reason for your cat being sad or depressed. Remember, they have lost a loved one too.

    Illness

    Cats can't really tell you that they have a pain, or they are unwell, but often this will be why they are feeling down and displaying some of the behaviors we mentioned above.

    There are illnesses that cats have, which are not apparent and can only be diagnosed by a veterinarian. Until it is and is treated your cat is obviously going to feel sad about whatever is ailing them.

    Furthermore, if this is the issue, it is best to know what to food to feed your sick cat so that you won't further cause your feline pet any discomfort.

    Physical injury

    While these are easier to spot than illnesses, even after an injury has been bandaged up or had the cat equivalent of a Band-Aid placed on it, these can still affect a cat emotionally. Even though any wound might have been treated, they may still be in a lot of pain. Their mobility might also be hampered which is always frustrating, as it is for us humans when we can't get about as easily as we normally can.

    Below is a short video of symptoms and treatment of cat depression:

    It's much better to know at least some of the important causes and their effects to avoid any discomfort for you and your feline friend.

    Just for a quick note, cats getting older can be less active and would seem depressed or lacks the interest in anything rather than eating and resting.

    Lack of affection or attention

    Believe it or not, and despite the reputation cats have for being solitary creatures, they do yearn for the company of others, especially you, if you are their owner. Hopefully, you do spend time playing with your cat and giving them affection, but if not, you need to question why you have them in the first place.

    How to Cheer Up a Depressed Cat

    There are lots of ways you can help your sad cat become a happy cat again. Here are three of the most effective ones.

    Make more time for them

    It doesn't take much to spend 15-30 minutes or so playing with your cat every day. For playtime buy them some new toys and get the ones which are interactive and stimulate them. In the evening, letting them sit on your lap while you watch TV is an easy way to give them affection.

    You could also use some of the time you spend with your cat to groom them, talk to them, and even teach them to do some tricks. Whichever it is, these are great for letting your cat feel loved and helping them out of their depression.

    Bring another pet into the home

    This takes some planning with the family and an agreement that you are all prepared to have another pet, but it could be a great way to cheer up your sad cat. Ideally, it should be another cat but there are also thousands of households which have a cat and a dog who live happily under the same roof. A therapy cat is a great option for this issue.

    Take them outside

    Many cat owners keep their cats strictly indoors, and there is nothing wrong with that in principle. However, if your cat is depressed, letting them, or taking them outside yourself, could be a stimulus which snaps them out of their sadness. If you are wary of letting your cat roam free outside, then you could build them a 'catio' which would be their very own outside playpen.

    One Final Note

    Finally, it would be remiss not to say that if your cat starts displaying any unusual behavior do not hesitate to contact your vet. Sadness or depression could be the cause, but if not, then the appropriate veterinary treatment should be sought.

    Tabby Cats: The Ultimate Guide to their history, types, characteristics, temperament, and care

    Whatever your interest in tabby cats might be, there is no denying that they are one of the most recognizable cat types in the world. Although that may the case, many people struggle to define what a tabby cat is, and as there are so many varieties, what one tabby cat may look like, may be very different from another. That's why we have decided to make a complete guide to tabby cats to help you figure them out.

    In this article, we are going to define exactly what qualifies a cat to be a 'tabby’ and explain the differences between the various types of tabby cat that there are. We’ll also tell you why they make such wonderful pets, and some fun facts about them too

    The Definition of a Tabby Cat

    The first fact we are going to tell you may come as a surprise, but a tabby is not a breed of cat. Unlike, Siamese or Persian which are certified pedigrees, tabby isn't recognized as a specific breed.

    Instead, the term tabby is used to describe any domestic cat which has distinctive markings such as lines, dots, stripes and swirls, which identify it as a tabby cat. Other than these, the most recognizable feature of tabbies is the capital 'M' marking on its forehead.

    So, rather than being the name of a cat breed, the term tabby is one which describes the physical description of cats. That being said, there are several breeds of cats, whose markings are generally those of a tabby so almost all cats within that breed could be called tabbies. There are also countless mixed breed cats and mongrel cats who are tabby cats because they have the appropriate markings.

    Where the Name 'Tabby' Comes From

    If you look up the definition of the word 'tabby' you will likely see two definitions. One is obviously the cats we are talking about in this article, and the other is a fabric or silk with a striped pattern. The question is 'Which came first?'

    Answer – it was the fabric, whose name in Arabic was 'Atabi,' and was made in a district of ancient Baghdad, called Attabiah. In the 17th century the word atabi, was altered to tabby by those who spoke English, but this was long before tabby cats had been recognized as a distinct type of cat.

    The word tabby then began to be used to describe the striped markings on cats, but it wasn't until the late 18th century that cats with these markings were called tabbies.

    The 'M' on a Tabby Cat's Forehead

    An individual cat does not have to have all the associated markings of tabbies, to be called a tabby cat, but it must at least have one of them, and that is an 'M' on its forehead. This more than any other type of marking is what defines a cat as being a tabby, and regardless of whether they also have other stripes, swirls, and patches, you should always be able to see an 'M' outline on the forehead of a true tabby cat.

    Some of the mystique about tabby cats comes from the many theories and legends about what the 'M' stands for. One of the earliest comes from Ancient Egypt, where the word for cat was 'Mau', which if you think it about sounds very much like 'Meow,' the noise cats make.

    Another story relates to Mary, who when Jesus was a baby asked animals to move closer to him to comfort him and keep him warm. The only one small enough to get into the manger was a small tabby cat whom Mary thanked by rendering the first letter of her name on its forehead.

    The final legend is that a tabby cat called Muezza saved the life of Prophet Mohammad when a snake attacked him, and to show his gratitude, Mohammad bestowed the letter 'M' on its forehead.

     Whichever of these you prefer or even if you have your theory why the 'M' is there, there can be little doubt, that this letter on their forehead adds to the personality and beauty that tabby cats have.

    The Five Main Tabby Cat Types

    Other than the 'M' on their forehead, there are several other markings that are common to tabby cats. Specific breeds will have very defined markings which are common to that breed and with which they are recognized as such. 

    The markings of other tabbies which are mongrels or crossbreeds can be a combination of some or all of them, depending on their genetics.

    To help classify and identify tabby cats, their markings have been split into five types. These are mackerel, spotted, ticked, patched and classic, and while that might sound like the line-up for a bizarre new range of burgers, they are actually the names given to most common tabby cat markings.

    Mackerel Tabby Cat

    The answer to the question that may be in your head right now is, 'Yes, it is named after mackerel fish.' Having said that, there are some people who believe these markings are more akin to a tiger, and they'll often call a tabby with mackerel markings a 'Tiger Cat.' We'll stick with mackerel for the purposes of this article, as this is the more common name for these markings.

    What you will see on a mackerel tabby are thin, stripes around their legs and their tail, with the ones on their legs often looking like they have bracelet around them. Sticking with the jewelry theme, their chest will have lines which give the appearance of them wearing a necklace.

    The sides of their body will have stripes which can be either solid or broken, and in their stomach area, they normally have two rows of button-like marks.

    Across the cat's haunches and shoulder, there will be very faint lines which produce a pattern similar to that you would see if you were looking at the bones in a fish skeleton, which is obviously where the reference to mackerel comes from.

    Spotted Tabby Cat

    The name gives this one away somewhat, and as you have probably already worked out, these tabbies have spots. Their spots can be oval-shaped or circular, small or large, and they normally appear as dark blotches.

    The spots can be in a random pattern along the sides of their body and along their back, but they can also appear in straight lines. With these, it is often noted that they look the lines of a mackerel tabby pattern whose straight lines have been interrupted.

    Spotted tabbies can sometimes have the necklace markings in their chest area similar to a mackerel tabby, but these are not as pronounced, and tend to be quite faint.

    Classic Tabby

    Tabbies with this pattern has the most common tabby cat pattern, and this pattern is the one which most people think of when they are referring to a tabby cat.

    The main features are prominent and bold swirls which appear on the side of the cat's body, with some of them looking like large blotches. This may be why in some countries, such as the UK, cats with this pattern are called 'Blotched Tabbies.' They are also known as 'Marbled Tabbies,' due to the color contrasts and patterns being similar to marble surfaces.

    Running along their back, and from their neck to their tail, a classic tabby will have three broad lines. They normally have rings around their neck which gives us our third tabby that seems to be wearing a necklace. Classic tabbies have button-like blotches on their belly, and their tail and legs will tend to have broad bands.

    Ticked Tabby Cat

    Don't worry – this does not mean the cat has ticks. Instead, it refers to markings which these tabby cats have. Unlike the other tabbies we have spoken about, ticked tabbies do not have any large swirls, bold stripes or distinctive blotches. This often raises the question as to whether they can really be described as tabbies at all. But with the letter 'M' still visible on their forehead, they most definitely are.

    Ticked tabbies are often called 'Agouti' due to the coloration in their hair. Agouti hair has alternate dark and light bands and this is what many ticked tabbies appear to have.

    ​The most prominent breed of ticked tabby is the Abyssinian cat, who from a distance seems to have no distinguishable markings, so you would not expect it to be a tabby, but if you look at one closely, you will see that its fur has the colored bands which are indigenous to ticked tabbies.

    Patched Tabby Cat

    As the name suggests these tabbies have different colored patches across their fur. The most common colors for these patches are brown with which you might also see red or ginger colored patches. The other common color for patches is a blue-grey which is sometimes seen along with cream patches.

    In terms of any distinctive markings, patched tabbies can have any of the markings we have already described. This means its fur may show traits of the classic, mackerel, ticked, or spotted tabby. If a patched tabby does have any of those distinctive markings, they are more commonly seen on their head and legs.

    Patched tabbies are sometimes referred to as tortoiseshell tabbies, and this is where it can get complicated. A cat which is not a tabby with tortoiseshell fur is nicknamed a 'tortie.' However, when the cat in question is a tabby, that nickname changes to 'torbie.' In other words, the second 't' in tortie becomes a 'b' in torbie.

    Below are some amazing patterns of tabby cats:

    ​Some of these patterns are commonly bred and seen but there are some that can be quite rare in most places.

    Tabby Cat Colors

    As well as the distinguishable markings that identify the different types of tabby cats, there are also variations in their colors. It is possible that these colors could appear on all five types of the tabby cats we have discussed so far. This is to be expected, given that any single tabby cat could be the result of two tabby cats mating, who were different types and had different colors.

    As well as individual tabby cats having an array of colors, there are some colors which are sometimes used when describing the cat. These cats will still likely be classified within one of the five types, but because colors are often easier to identify than a marking pattern, they are used. Neither way is right or wrong if both the people discussing the cat understand the difference.

    Black Tabby Cat

    This is one of the most common colors that the markings on tabby cats have, albeit they are often within a combination of colors which will include browns. Where black markings become very distinctive is when the cat's other fur colors are lighter such as silver or white. When the term 'black tabby cat' is used, it is normally in relation to a tabby cat who is predominantly black, where their markings might be a dark grey and only just distinguishable.

    Grey Tabby Cat

    Grey is very common across all tabby types, and there can be various shades of grey ranging from light to dark. A tabby which has virtually all grey fur will have a combination of dark and light grey stripes, spots, swirls or patches depending on which type of tabby they are. In certain lights, grey tabbies can have a beautiful blue or silvery hue to them, which looks stunning.

    Brown Tabby Cat

    This is the most common tabby color you will see, and it is brown markings that most people recognize as the quintessential tabby cat. Taking this a step further, a brown, classic tabby cat is generally what many people believe is the cat 'breed' called tabby, but as you now know, they are all wrong.

    Ginger Tabby Cat

    Ginger is the last of the four colors that we are likely to hear being used to define a tabby cat. Some might argue that ginger is actually a light brown, but many ginger tabbies, are closer to orange than brown.

    They may not be as common, but a ginger tabby cat once held a Guinness World Record. Not for anything you might think a normal cat might do, but for the most syndicated comic strip. We are of course talking about, Garfield, who is surely the world's most famous tabby cat, and a ginger tabby cat to be precise.

    Common Tabby Cat Breeds

    Although we have previously stated that tabby is not a breed of cat, there are several cat breeds which are tabbies. To give you an analogy, if we were talking about dogs, a terrier is not a specific breed of dog, but you have breeds which are all terriers such as Scottish, Bull and Boston.

    There are around 30 cat breeds which can be classified as tabbies, and while we can't go through every single one of them, here are four of the most popular.

    Maine Coon

    This is not only a very popular cat breed, it is at the top of the league when it comes to popular tabby breeds too. Maine Coons are one of the largest domestic cat breeds and it is because of its placid nature they are often referred to as the 'gentle giants' of the cat world.

    Apart from their larger bodies, they look even bigger because of their long coats. These often have a glossy appearance, are can come in a variety of colors and markings. The most common of these are brown classic and mackerel.

    American Shorthair

    These are one of the most friendly and well-mannered domestic cats in existence. They mix very well with children and other pets, so if your family is split between getting a dog and a cat, the American Shorthair will allow you to have both. They are also very low-maintenance cats and easy to care for.

    They are a medium to large tabby breed which can come in a variety of tabby patterns on their fur, and in several different colors as well. These include brown, silver, grey, and white.

    Abyssinian

    We mentioned these when we discussed ticked tabbies because they are the most common breed with ticked or 'Agouti' fur. They can come in several colors variations, with the most common being reddish brown, fawn, and blue.

    Abyssinians are thought to be one of the oldest breeds of domesticated cats, and their loyalty and desire to be close to their human owner is a likely reason for this.

    They are also extremely intelligent, playful and loving cats.

    American Bobtail

    American bobtails are friendly and active domestic cats, which are particularly known for being very intelligent. Their appearance doesn't immediately lend itself to you thinking they look domesticated, but they are extremely playful which makes them great family pets.

    Their name comes from the fact that their tails are short and normally less than half the normal length of a cat's tail. They can come in any of the colors associated with tabbies, and the patterns on their fur tend to be classic and swirled.

    Tabby Cat Traits and Behaviors

    Due to the large array of breeds, and the fact that a cat can be regarded as a tabby purely because of its markings, to specify behaviors that apply to all tabby cats, is difficult, but not impossible. There’s enough feedback from those who’ve owned tabbies and evidence from experts who have studied tabby cats to give us a decent idea of their personalities, so here are some of the most generic ones.

    Community

    Cats often give the persona of being very individual, but tabby cats buck that trend by being seen to be very community spirited. They like being part of a group or family and will happily share food with other cats it regards as another member of that team. Tabby females will also care for kittens that are not their own and help to raise them.

    Vocal

    Tabby cats know what they like, and they are not afraid to let you know when something needs to be done for them. When they want back in the house you'll hear them outside the door, and if their food or water bowls need filling they will tell you in much the same way children will pester you for candy or a drink.

    Social

    Tabby cats mix well with other pets, and children and are very happy to join in with any fun, walks, or games which the other members of the family are taking part in. This extends to the love and affection that they receive, as tabbies are well known for returning it in a big way.

    Hunters

    As cute and cuddly as most tabbies might seem to us, to mice and rats they may not be seen in the same way. This is because tabby cats are excellent hunters, and if you ever have a problem with rodents in your property, a tabby cat is a very effective solution.

    They love chasing mice, but one problem which may arise is when they catch one, rather than kill it, they will tend to play with it and torture it. This may sound horrific, but it is simply the sporting element of a tabby's nature coming through.

    Entertaining

    Tabby cats are great fun, and they love nothing more than cavorting around the room with their toys, and anything else that you give them to play with. There are probably more YouTube videos of tabby cats getting up to some hilarious high jinx than any other type of cat, so keep your video camera at the ready when it's your tabby's playtime.

    Tabby Cat Fun Facts

    Having just mentioned how entertaining they can be, to finish off our guide we thought we would give our top 5 fun facts about tabby cats. We hope you enjoy them.

    Tabby Cat Fun Fact #1

    The heaviest tabby cat ever was called Himmy. He lived in Australia in the 1980s and weighed over 46 lbs. Guinness, who compile world records, was so concerned that cat owners would overfeed their cats simply to try to break this record, they scrapped this category soon after Himmy passed away.

    Tabby Cat Fun Fact #2

    A tabby cat called Stubbs was elected mayor of the Alaskan town of Talkeetna. He has been re-elected several times, which the locals say is due to him having never raised local taxes.

    Tabby Cat Fun Fact #3

    Many famous celebrities through the years have been huge tabby cat fans including Winston Churchill, David Bowie, Hilary Swank, Meryl Streep and Taylor Swift. A candidate for the prize for the most obsessed is writer Mark Twain who loved them so much that he would rent tabby cats to take with him on vacation.

    Tabby Cat Fun Fact #4

    If you love cats you could soon be ditching Starbuck's and Costa at coffee time, because across the USA there are over 90 ‘Cat Cafes’ in locations which include Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Pittsburgh. In Atlanta, GA, there is a 'Tabby Cat Café' which has friendly cats on the premises and works to help local cat adoption charities.

    Tabby Cat Fun Fact #5

    If you were a male, orange tabby, your chances of finding another orange tabby to be your female companion or mate wouldn't exactly be favorable. The numbers show that there is only 1 female orange tabby for every 4 males, so it is a pretty crowded field.

    ​The video below is more of some quick and fun facts about tabby cats:

    Summary

    We hope you've enjoyed our complete guide to tabby cats, and that your knowledge and understanding of them has been enhanced. Tabby cats are fascinating given their history, and the vast array of types, colors and marking that they can have. There's also the mystique surrounding the 'M' on their forehead which just adds to their enormous charm and appeal.

    How to Get a Cat to Like a Dog

    Many people may not think too much about how they should introduce new pets into their home. Unfortunately, this can result in pets becoming stressed and overwhelmed, which can also contribute to them not getting along very well. Luckily, there are ways to avoid this. There are some ways of how to get a cat to like a dog.

    There are a few steps that you'll need to follow when you bring a new cat or dog into a home that already has a pet. While they might require a lot of patience, these steps can ensure that your cat and dog get along better overall, resulting in fewer problems living together.

    Making the Introduction

    The first step is making the introduction between your pets. This is a very important step, and it's important to handle it very carefully in order to get the best results. For this step, you'll need to be prepared to remove one or both pets from the situation if there should be any signs of aggression.

    For example, if you're introducing a new kitten then you'll want to be holding the kitten. It also wouldn't hurt to have your dog on a leash, just in case. It's best to keep the first introduction as smooth as possible, allowing pets to see each other without necessarily interacting just yet.

    Start Very Slowly

    A lot of the time, pets may have some trouble adjusting to one another if they are forced into a space together too quickly. While some pets may get along right away, it's always better to be cautious in order to avoid issues. This can include keeping pets away from each other for the most part.

    If you can allocate the new pet to one room then this can be helpful for allowing them to get used to their space without too much stress. It's wise to keep in mind that the new pet is in a whole new space, with new people and animals. As a result, it's good to give them some time to get used to your home.

    Let Them Adjust to Smells

    Another option is to keep both pets confined to their own rooms for the most part. After a few days, you can then switch the rooms that the pets are in. This way, they can get used to each other's scents without too much stressful interaction.

    While this may not seem like a big deal to you, allowing your pets to get used to each other's smells can be very helpful for increasing the comfort level overall. As a result, they may be more likely to like each other once they are ready to interact, or at the very least won't have much interest one way or the other.

    Let Them Interact

    Start by letting your pets sniff one another while still in a divided space. Something like a baby gate or a type of door that will allow them a small amount of interaction is a good idea. This way, they can check each other out without risking a fight or flight situation.

    Here is a short funny video about dogs and cats spending some time together:

    In most cases, the cat will be more likely to be afraid of the dog. Because of this, it's a good idea to make sure that the cat seems comfortable before allowing them to interact further. Next, you can try letting them interact more closely while keeping a close eye on them.

    Love Them!

    It can be tempting to give a lot of love to your new pet. After all, a new critter is exciting. Love your pet as much as you can. However, it's important to make sure your affection is shared, if not equally, at least bearable and unnoticeable between your two pets. This can help both animals to continue feeling loved, leading to fewer problems with jealousy.

    Think of it as being similar to having a new baby. You want to make sure both children feel that they are getting the love and attention they need. The same is true for pets! It is possible for one pet to get jealous if the other is receiving more attention, which can potentially lead to problems.

    Give Them Breaks

    Early on, pets may be more worn down while interacting with one another than they will once they're completely comfortable. This is especially true if you have a dog who is excited about a new cat or kitten. While the dog might be having fun, the cat might get stressed out by the attempts to play.

    After a while, this interaction can get stressful, so it's worthwhile to make sure your pets get breaks from one another, during which they can calm down and relax. In time, the novelty of the new pet will wear off and it's likely they'll be able to relax around one another more easily.

    Keep An Eye Out

    Even after your pets appear to have gotten used to one another, there can sometimes be interactions that one or both pets don't enjoy, resulting in a squabble or one pet becoming frightened. Because of this, you'll want to keep an eye on your pets to make sure they're getting along well.

    This problem is more likely to occur early on, but you never know when something might irritate one of them. As a result, it's a good idea to make sure that you can easily remove one or both animals from the room just in case, though it's most likely that they'll be fine once they get used to each other.

    Conclusion

    Overall, the most important aspects of getting your cat and dog to get along are taking it slowly, allowing them to get used to one another and then allowing them to interact in small, gentle ways. Over time, they will get used to one another and become more relaxed.

    If you stay patient and take your time, it's far more likely that your pets will be able to get comfortable and even enjoy playing together. It's just a matter of giving them the time and making slow steps in introducing them. If you have pets that already know one another but don't get along, these steps can also help to introduce them in a healthier way.

    How to Introduce Cat to Dog

    A solid introduction can make all the difference when it comes to introducing a cat and a dog. These aren't naturally animals that get along, though they certainly can in some cases. It is comfortable to at least learn some of the ways about how to introduce cat to dog. Providing them with a calm, relaxed introduction can help pave the way to a happy relationship between the two.

    To help you with introducing a cat to a dog, we're listing some tips that can allow for a more peaceful experience overall. Just make sure to be patient and give them plenty of time to get used to one another. In time, they'll surely be able to exist together in a peaceful, happy home.

    Don't Rush It

    The first thing to keep in mind is not to rush it. Some cats and dogs may be able to get along right away, but most will need a little time to acclimate to the presence of a new animal. Because of this, you'll want to take it one step at a time and keep a close eye on how both the cat and dog react.

    Ideally, you'll be able to reach a state where they get along well but it's also good if they simply ignore one another most of the time. Not all cats are going to be thrilled about having a home with a dog, but they often learn to just do their own thing without paying much mind to your dog.

    Have Control Over the Situation

    When introducing a cat and dog for the first time, you'll want to make sure that you're fully prepared. It's a good idea to have the dog on a leash and harness so that you can pull them away from the cat if needed. In some cases, you may also be able to hold the cat during the introduction but watch out for cat claws!

    The reason for having this level of control is to make sure that the introduction is safe. Dogs can sometimes get over-excited when meeting a new pet and the cat might not be a fan. As a result, you'll want to be able to keep the situation as calm as possible.

    Pay Attention to Body Language

    You can tell a lot about both dogs and cats by looking at their body language. For example, if the cat is huddled up, backed into a corner, or has its ears pinned down then it's not likely to be feeling very comfortable. This can be a sign that the cat may need to acclimate to the dog in smaller doses.

    In addition, the dog may be excited about meeting the cat, or they might not be a fan either. Most likely, the dog may try to play, while the cat doesn't want to. When you notice that the dog has fixated upon the cat, it can be a good idea to distract them with another toy or activity.

    Use Scent

    If the first introduction doesn't yield the best possible results, don't worry! Oftentimes, it can simply be a matter of giving your pets some time to get used to one another. One thing that can really help with this is using the power of scent, which can help more than you might think!

    One thing you can try is keeping the dog and cat in their own rooms, and then switching the rooms after a few days. This can allow pets to get used to each other's scents without having to interact. As a result, it's a more calming way for pets to acclimate to one another in a calm way.

    Give it Time

    The most important aspect of this whole process is to be patient. If you try to rush the introduction, then it can create more stress for all of the parties involved. This can also lead to more inappropriate behaviors or even fights.

    As a result, it's a good idea to stay calm during the process and take your time with each step. Don't forget to take care of yourself at the same time! Keeping yourself feeling great can allow you to give the time and attention your pets need to create a happy home.

    Additionally, there's also a lot of upside with spending some time with our pets. Check the short video about some of the benefits:

    It greatly improves health, mentally, physically and emotionally. Furthermore, it teaches us how to be responsible.

    Allow For Breaks

    When your pets appear annoyed with one another, it can be a good idea to separate them for a short period of time so that they can relax. In addition, this can be done through allowing both pets places to go where they can get away from each other.

    This doesn't have to be a punishment, either. For example, you can give your cat a cat tree or other place they can go to avoid the attention of your dog. Likewise, if you have an indoor cat then you can allow your dog time in the backyard to themselves.

    Don't Forget The Love!

    Most importantly, share the love between your pets in equal measure. You'll be able to help avoid problems with jealousy by making sure that both pets get a lot of love. Giving them both plenty of affection and exercise can also help to limit behavior problems.

    Playing with your pets frequently can give them the exercise and fun they need in a positive way, so that when you want quiet time at home they'll be more likely to relax. This can also help to avoid your cat and dog getting into squabbles with one another.

    Conclusion

    Overall, introducing your cat and dog doesn't have to be a complicated thing! Just follow the steps slowly and carefully and give your pets plenty of time to get used to their environment. If you're bringing a new cat into the home, you'll also want to let them have some peace and quiet for a few days until they feel comfortable.

    In time, your pets will be able to get along and live together peacefully. Just make sure to watch them carefully and make sure they are both comfortable, and address any problems before they have a chance to escalate.

    What is the Difference Between Dog Food and Cat Food?

    Not everyone is aware of the specific needs that both cats and dogs have with regard to their food. However, it's important to be aware that you can't simply give both pets the same kinds of diets, as it can result in some serious problems for one of the animals. To help you with getting a deeper understanding of what your pets need, we're going to take a look at the difference between dog food and cat food. 

    We'll also discuss why it's important to not only make sure pets get the right type of food for their species, but also for their ages.

    What are the Differences?

    Cat food

    Cats are what we consider to be true carnivores, which means that they primarily need to eat meat products. Their bodies are designed to get what they need from meat sources, whereas omnivores and herbivores can also use plant sources.

    Some examples of vitamins that cats need are niacin, taurine, arachidonic acid and vitamin A. While other animals may be able to get some of their requirements for these vitamins from plants, cats have to get them from meat. Their bodies just aren't made to be able to get Vitamin A from the kinds of fruits and vegetables that we might.

    As a result, it's very important for cats to eat food that is able to meet their specific needs. Otherwise they can have problems with vision, heart issues, hair loss and more. It's also important to keep in mind that cats tend to be pickier about their food texture than other animals as well. As a result, you can't just feed your cat any old food.

    It is best that you'd know the ideal diet for cats and the sorts of food cats can eat.

    Dog food

    Unlike cats, dogs have the ability to get some of their nutrients from plant sources. This makes things like niacin and vitamin A easier for them to get, and often results in some vegetables added into their food. While much of it is still meat-based, you may also find that things like carrots are in the food as well.

    Another aspect to keep in mind is that dogs don't often tend to be picky, their food can be just about any texture and they'll still woof it down if they like the flavor. In addition, dogs also typically need less protein in their diet than cats do.

    Can they swap?


    The answer to this is a solid no. While cats and dogs may seem similar, they have diet requirements that are very different. As a result, feeding your cat dog food can result in some serious health problems, even including the cat going completely blind.

    This is because cats aren't going to be able to get their nutrients from the vegetables often found in dog food, so even if there is enough of a nutrient like vitamin A, cats won't be able to get the benefits from it because it's not coming from a meat source.

    Dogs may be more likely to handle cat food better than cats can handle dog food, but it still isn't recommended. There really are a number of reasons why cat food and dog food exist in separate markets. It's really not just to make you spend more money!

    Also Consider Life Stages

    On top of ensuring that pets get the right food for their species, you'll want to make sure they're getting the correct food for the stage of life they are in. For example, there are some different food options out there available for kittens, adult cats and senior cats.

    While it may not be as important as making sure you feed cat food to your cat, there are some differences that make these life stage foods helpful. For example, kitten food may be likely to have more fats and proteins to help them grow while senior cat food may contain nutrients to help maintain the health of areas that can begin to fail with old age, or even provide some joint help so that older cats can stay active.

    The same is true for dogs, which means it's a good idea to make sure you give your puppy, adult dog or senior dog the right food for their age. Pets who get the exact nutrients they need can live healthier, happier and even longer lives because they'll be getting what their body needs. This is especially important for senior pets, as they need the extra boost for the longest, happiest life possible.

    Still Not Sure?

    If you still have concerns about the type of food your pet needs, you have a number of options to get you going in the right direction. You can do plenty of research and look into different methods and brands. Some even choose to make their own pet food.

    Another option you have is to talk to your pet's veterinarian. They are going to be the expert on providing food options for your pet. Having studied the needs of animal bodies, they'll make sure that your individual pet is able to get all the nutrients they need for a healthy body.

    The latter is going to be the absolute best option, especially if the vet can provide food for you. While cat or dog food purchased at the veterinarian may be more expensive, it's often a lot healthier for your pets and can even help to resolve certain kinds of health issues.

    Below is a short video about the foods that are toxic for cats and dogs:

    This will greatly help you distinguish which foods are harmful and safe for your pets.

    Conclusion

    The main point of this article is that it's generally not a good idea to have your cats and dogs eating the same food, as one or the other is likely to not get what they need. Cats especially need a lot of nutrients that just can't be found in dog food, and that can mean poor health for your pet.

    Important note and to keep in mind that water is essential for our pets as well.

    Your veterinarian can also be a great resource for helping you to find the perfect food for your unique pet. They may also be able to provide the ideal food for you, which can allow you to rest assured that your cat or dog is eating something healthy and delicious.

    Norwegian Forest Cat: The Ultimate Guide to their history, types, characteristics, temperament, and care

    If you want a fluffy, cuddly house pet, the Norwegian Forest Cat, or “Wegie” as it is lovingly known as, is just what you need. This is the official cat of Norway, where it is known as the “skogkatt,” meaning “forest cat.”

    The Norwegian Forest Cat looks a lot like the Maine Coon Cat, which make sense seeing as how they are distantly related, but this is a special breed that has very special characteristics.

    This is a cat is often referred to as the gentle giant cat which simply means large and gentle, and loves to nurture. It makes a wonderful family pet, and gets along with everyone, including other animals.

    Origin

    The Norwegian Forest Cat has been a common sight in Norway for as many as 4,000 years or longer. It has a thick coat that is resistant to water, and it is built for the cold, harsh environment of the Scandinavian woods. This is also a cat of myth. Folklore says that these cats pulled the chariot of the Goddess Freya across the sky, and they also hold special places in many Norse fairy tales. Farmers have kept Norwegian Forest Cats for centuries, using them as mousers as well as companions.

    Interestingly enough, the Wegie wasn’t recognized as an official breed until 1938, when it was shown at a cat show in Oslo. The development of the breed began at this time, but was put on hold during World War II. Finally, in the 1970’s, Norwegian cat breeders began to preserve the bloodlines of these cats and gave them a standardized appearance. The Norwegian Forest Cat was even declared to be the official cat of Norway by King Olaf V.

    The Norwegian Forest Cat came to the United States in 1979, and the breed was recognized by the International Cat Association in 1984, and then the Cat Fanciers Association in 1993. Other cat registries recognize this beautiful and loving breed.

    Physical Standards

    How big do Norwegian Forest Cats get? Usually around 12 pounds (both male and female). When doing a Norwegian Forest Cat size comparison with other house cats, remember that they tend to look larger because they have so much long fur.

    It can take up to five years for a Norwegian Forest Cat to fully grow. It is taller than other cat breeds, standing about 12 to 18 inches in height, which can cause some health issues, including hip dysplasia, because of problems during growth.

    Other than that, there are not a lot of known health issues associated with this type of cat, and it has a lifespan of around eight to 12 years.

    This cat is smaller than its distant cousin, the Maine Coon Cat, but is similar in appearance. The coat is long, straight, and soft, and can be found in a variety of colors, including white, black, red, silver, cream, blue, red, cameo, tortoiseshell, brown, and bluecream.

    What is interesting about this cat is that there is no standard color or pattern. You will find Norwegian Forest Cats in just about every cat color, and they have different types of patterns and markings.

    For instance, you may see one that is solid color, or they can be bicolor, tortoiseshell, calico, tabby, ticking, smoke, and shaded. The only colors and patterns you will not see are chocolate, lavender, lilac, and Siamese-pointed patterns.

    As for the body of this cat, the head is shaped kind of like an inverted triangle, with a point at the chin and getting wider at the top. The ears are medium to large size, and they are tufted.

    A Norwegian Forest Cat has almond-shaped eyes that are usually green, gold, or copper in color. But, if you have a white Norwegian Forest Cat, it could have blue eyes, or at least one blue eye.

    These cats have powerfully muscled bodies, with large paws that have tufts of fur between the toes. The tails are bushy, and generally as long as their bodies.

    Are They Hypoallergenic?

    One thing to keep in mind is that the Norwegian Forest Cat is not hypoallergenic. When you come right down to it, there is no such thing as a pet that is, although there are some that cause fewer allergic reactions than others.

    The Norwegian Forest Cat actually has a tendency to shed more than other cats because of its long hair, which can be a problem for many allergy sufferers.

    Grooming a Norwegian Forest Cat

    It is true that cats tend to do the majority of their own grooming, but some do need a little bit of human intervention. This is especially true of long-haired breeds, including the Norwegian Forest Cat.

    It is important that you brush these cats daily, and it is even better if you are able to brush them more than once each day.

    Unless you are going to be showing your cat, it is probably not necessary to bath it, unless it happens to get into something and needs help getting clean. Many owners take their cats to pet groomers who specialize in long-haired cats.

    Other than grooming, there is really not much difficulty in caring for a Norwegian Forest Cat, although they do require a lot of social attention.

    Activeness

    One thing that you should keep in mind is that Norwegian Forest Cats are extremely active.

    Remember, they have been used as mousers for thousands of years. So, it is important that you make sure that your cat has plenty of play time, and lots of toys to play with when you are not around. 

    If your cat is strictly indoors (which it should be), you may want to consider getting a cat wheel so your cat can walk and run for exercise.

    Where to Get a Norwegian Forest Cat

    There are different ways that you can get a Norwegian Forest Cat. If you are looking for a cat that you can show or breed, you will want to buy your cat from a reputable breeder. On the other hand, if you are looking for a house pet, there are other options.

    The first option should still be a breeder, but there are also times when you might find one at a local shelter, or someone may even have to sell or give away their pet because of allergies, moving, etc. Just remember, if you see an ad for a Norwegian Forest Cat for sale, make sure that you ask plenty of questions before spending any money.

    Buying from a breeder is the best option, because you can learn about the cat, and make sure that there are going to be no health issues. Today’s Norwegian Forest Cat breeders tend to let the kittens go at around 12 to 16 weeks of age.

    At this point, they have had their first shots, and they have the physical strength and stability to be able to adapt to a new environment. They also have been socialized, so they are not terrified of new people.

    How Much Does a Norwegian Forest Cat Cost?

    The Norwegian Forest Cat price will depend on a number of factors, and you can expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $800. Of course, there are instances where the Norwegian Forest Cat price could be less or more.

    For instance, a rescue at a shelter may cost as little as $100, while one from a breeder with a quality bloodline could cost $1,000 or more.

    When discussing how much is a Norwegian Forest Cat with a breeder, don’t forget that most breeders do have to make several trips to Europe in order to research and get cats for their own breeding programs.

    You also have to take into consideration titles received through parentage or in competitions, as well as their type and their markings. Also, make sure that you discuss things like spaying and neutering, feeding, veterinary care, and registering the kitten.

    Norwegian Forest Cat Owner Responsibilities

    As a pet owner, you are responsible for your cat for at least eight to 10 years, if not longer. During this time, there are many things that you need to do in order to ensure that your pet has a comfortable, healthy, and happy life.

    Do not take the responsibilities of pet ownership lightly, especially if you are going to consider getting a cat that could cost hundreds of dollars. Let’s take a look at some of the things that you will need to provide for your Norwegian Forest Cat.

    Food and water

    You are responsible for providing your pet with the basic necessities of life, including food and water. Make sure that your cat always has access to fresh water, and that their food and water dishes are always clean. Their food should be nutritious, and you may want to discuss the diet with your vet or breeder.

    Litterbox and litter

    Ideally, your kitten will already be litterbox trained. Make sure that they have a good-size litter box, and that there is always plenty of litter on hand. It is a good idea to have a mat beneath the litter box to catch any litter that might happen to spray out or be on your cat’s feet as they exit the box.

    Bed and blankets

    It is likely that your cat is going to end up sleeping in your bed with you. But, they also need their own special place where they can nap undisturbed. Make sure that you provide them with a bed and soft blankets to snuggle up in. This can be as simple as a cardboard box, or as elaborate as a brass cat bed.

    Toys

    As mentioned, Norwegian Forest Cats are highly energetic, so they need to have plenty of toys to play with. Make sure that you have toys for them in every room in your home. That way, if they want to play, they will tend to use their favorite toys rather than destroy something that isn’t a toy.

    Now that you know the things that you need to get for your cat, it’s time to talk about the things you need to do in order to care for her throughout her life.

    Spay/neuter

    We can’t stress enough how important it is to spay/neuter your pet before it reaches sexual maturity.

    In fact, unless you are buying your cat so you can breed them yourself, most breeders will insist that the cat be spayed or neutered, and you will need to sign a contract agreeing to this.

    An unneutered male cat will mark its territory by spraying, which leaves a foul odor that is nearly impossible to get rid of. An unsprayed female can end up with a variety of health issues, including endometriosis.

    Socialization

    The breeder will likely have already begun to socialize their Norwegian Forest Cat kittens, and it is your responsibility to continue the process.

    These cats are very loving, and they get along with everyone. So, make sure that they are introduced to a number of different people at an early age, and then they will want to make friends with everyone they meet, even neighborhood dogs.

    Yes, you can easily have these cats with dogs and there shouldn’t be any issues to worry about.

    Exercise

    Your Norwegian Forest Cat will need plenty of exercise, for a couple of reasons. For one thing, an overweight cat is not a healthy cat, so you need to make sure that they get enough exercise to help them stay slim and healthy.

    Also, these cats have tons of energy. By making sure that they get lots of exercise, you are making sure that they aren’t going to end up using their energy for things that you would rather they weren’t doing, such as destroying things around the house. Agility training is another option.

    Keep them indoors

    There are some people who think it is cruel to keep a cat indoors all of the time. It is actually a lot more cruel to let them roam around outside, where they can be attacked by other animals, get hit by motor vehicles, pick up parasites and diseases, and face many other dangers.

    Some breeders will actually insist that the cats they sell be kept strictly indoors, or only outside when on a leash and accompanied by you, and this will be part of your contract when buying the cat.

    Care and attention

    A Norwegian Forest Cat doesn’t need much more attention than any other cat you would have in your home, with one exception; they do require more grooming than their short-haired counterparts.

    You will need to make sure that your Norwegian Forest cat is groomed regularly, and that it gets plenty of attention. Of course, vet care is also important, and you should be watching your pet for any signs of health issues. 

    Here's some additional facts about Norwegian Forest Cats:

    Basically, give a Norwegian Forest Cat the same level of care and attention that you would any beloved pet.

    Norwegian Forest Cat Characteristics

    Now it’s time to look at the characteristics of the Norwegian Forest Cat. We have already mentioned that this is a rather large cat, weighing in at around 12 pounds for both male and female cats. It can stand around 16 inches in height, and some can grow even taller.

    Of course, the long fur makes these cats look even larger. They are not as large as their distant cousin the Maine Coon Cat, but the fur often makes it look as if they are.

    One of the first things we want to talk about in this section is how these cats behave. It has already been noted in this article that these are highly energetic cats, and that they can be a bit destructive if they do not have outlets for their energy.

    When it comes to temperament and personality, this is a cat that is mellow and loveable, or in other words, a big baby. This is a cat that is going to follow you around the house wherever you go, so don’t expect to ever use the washroom in peace again.

    If you have children or other pets in the home, a Norwegian Forest Cat is an excellent choice. These cats get along with just about everyone, and they are great with children.

    Often, you will find children becoming best friends with their Norwegian Forest Cats. Just remember, not only do you have to teach cats how to get along with children, you also need to teach your children how to properly interact with cats and other pets.

    These cats are also good with other animals, and there should be no problem having other pets, including dogs in the house, because the Norwegian Forest Cat personality is just that easy going.

    Cats by nature are highly intelligent creatures, and the Norwegian Forest Cat is no exception.

    While this is a cat that truly loves attention, it is also very independent, and very intelligent. So, be prepared to have a cat that may just be smarter than most of the people in your household.

    They are going to figure out how to read each and every one of you, and wrap them  around their massive paws. They are also going to make many attempts to communicate with you vocally, using various sounds, including meowing and chirping noises.

    Over time, you will likely come to figure out what each of their sounds means, so you can accommodate their needs as they feel they so rightly deserves.

    Now we get to the main characteristics of the Norwegian Forest Cat – the colors and patterns. One of the most wonderful things about these cats is that you are not limited to one or two colors or color combinations.

    Just about any color and combination you see on most other cats, you will see on Norwegian Forest Cats.

    Let’s talk about the coat before we get into the colors. These cats have what is known as a double coat.

    When you press the coat with your fingers, you should see an impression left behind. The outer part of the coat is smooth and long, soft, but not dry, and has water-repellent guard hairs that cover the dense and heavy undercoat.

    There are three sections of ruff: short back, side mutton chops, and full-frontal bib. The britches are full on the hind legs, but the coat is uneven here, with the undercoat being much less dense. Here is an interesting tidbit.

    It takes approximately two years for the coat to completely come in for all colors of Norwegian Forest Cats except for those with the tabby markings and coloration. If you live in a warm climate, you may notice that your cat’s coat is not as long as others of the same breed.

    This is because they need to be able to stay cool, especially during the summer months.

    Let’s take a look at the coloration of the Norwegian Forest Cat. We can’t just say that these cats are a certain color or pattern. You can find these cats in many different color combinations and patterns, from solid colors to tabbies to calicos and more.

    Some will have white spots on their chests and chins (particularly those with tabby markings), and all colors can have white buttons, lockets, and spots.

    You will find tabby, orange, calico, black, and many other color combinations and patterns, and some litters can have this type of variety among the kittens.

    Norwegian Forest Cat Maintenance and Health Care

    If you are going to invest in a Norwegian Forest Cat, you need to understand about health care, and proper maintenance for one of these cats.

    There are some health issues in both pedigreed and mixed breeds that quite possibly might be genetic in nature. But, these are basically very healthy cats that can live 14 to 16 years, and sometimes even longer.

    Since it is important to understand the diseases that are seen in the breed, let’s take a look at the most common health issues of the Norwegian Forest Cat.

    Glycogen storage disease IV

    This is a rare condition that affects how glucose is metabolized. Kittens with this disease are generally stillborn, or do not survive more than a few hours past birth.

    Unfortunately, there are some instances where a kitten shows no signs of this disease until they are a few months, and they don’t usually live for more than a few months.

    In order to know if a cat is affected and/or is a carrier of this disease, DNA testing is necessary.

    Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

    This is a type of heart disease that is inherited in many cat breeds, including the Maine Coon Cat. It is not been proven that it is heritable in the Norwegian Forest Cat, but it is something to watch out for.

    Polycystic kidney disease

    This is a genetic condition that is progressive, and destroys the kidneys. Unfortunately, there is no DNA test available for this disease to use on Norwegian Forest Cats. But, it can be detected via ultrasound by the time a kitten reaches 10 months of age.

    Retinal dysplasia

    This is a defect in the eyes that can cause spots on the retina. Fortunately, this is not a serious condition, and it doesn’t have any effect on the cat’s vision.

    Now let’s talk about how to care for your Norwegian Forest Cat. As we have already mentioned earlier in this article, it is imperative that you brush your cat’s coat regularly. Some people recommend once or twice a week, but if you can do it daily, or even once or twice daily, it is best.

    Not only is it going to help keep your cat’s fur from becoming matted, it will also help to cut down on shedding, which is extremely important if there is anyone in the home who may have a cat allergy.

    It is rarely necessary to bath a Norwegian Forest Cat, especially since their coats are pretty much waterproof to begin with, making bathing quite difficult.

    Start brushing your cat’s teeth when it is a kitten. This is going to help to prevent periodontal disease. Again, weekly brushing is recommended, but daily cleanings are ideal.

    Also, make sure that you wipe your cat’s eyes daily to remove any discharge from the corners, using a soft, damp cloth. Do not use the same section of the cloth for both eyes, so there is no chance of spreading infection if one eye happens to be infected.

    Check your cat’s ears each week, and if there is any dirt, wipe it clean with a cotton ball or a soft, damp cloth (dampened with a half and half mix of warm water and cider vinegar). Never use cotton swabs, as they can damage the inner ear.

    If you have children, the Norwegian Forest Cat may just be the perfect pet. These are very docile, loving, and gentle cats, and many do not have a problem with being dressed up in doll clothes and wheeled around in doll carriage.

    Check the video below for some tips of taking care of your Norwegian Forest Cat: 

    They love attention, and will follow your children around everywhere in the hopes of being invited to play with them. This is also a great cat to have with dogs, and it is not uncommon to see Norwegian Forest Cats and dogs become the absolute best of friends.

    Types of Norwegian Forest Cats

    While with many cat breeds there are a variety of types within the breed, there are no specific types of Norwegian Forest Cats. But, there are things to look for that will tell you that a cat is a Norwegian Forest Cat.

    Remember, these cats can come in a variety of colors and patterns, so you need to know specific signs to look for. One is the fact that they have those thick double coats.

    Their coats are insulated and waterproof, and designed to withstand colder Scandinavian temperatures. Their fur is long and coarse, with guard hairs over the dense undercoat.

    They also tend to have a full frontal ruff, a bushy tail and rear britches, and tufted paws, all of which help to provide protection from the snow and cold.

    There are only a few colors you won’t see in Norwegian Forest Cats, including chocolate and lilac, and the only pattern you won’t see is one that is like that of many Siamese cats.

    A black Norwegian Forest Cat is truly a sight to behold, as is a Norwegian Forest Cat white. There are also orange Norwegian Forest Cats, as well as black and white Norwegian Forest Cats, and most other color combinations in between.

    Comparing Norwegian Forest Cats to other Cats

    Now it is time to take a look at Norwegian Forest Cats and compare them with their distant cousins, Maine Coon Cats, as well as with average house cats. Let’s start with the Maine Coon comparison.

    When it comes to Norwegian Forest Cats vs Maine Coon Cats, both are ideal to have as pets, but there are differences. What is the biggest difference between Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cats?

    First, we need to look at Norwegian Forest Cat vs Maine Coon size. The Maine Coon can grow to be about twice as large as the Norwegian Forest Cat. They are similar in appearance, and can come in many color combinations. The fur is different, with the Main Coon having much softer and silkier fur that is not waterproof.

    Now let’s look at Norwegian Forest Cat vs Maine Coon vs. Siberian. They are all long-haired cats, and all grow to be quite large. Also, all are bred for colder temperatures. But, they all come from different parts of the world, and have very distinct differences in characteristics. All are friendly and loveable, and make great house pets.

    As for the difference between Norwegian Forest Cats and regular cats, the biggest difference is the price. Wegies are also a lot larger than a typical house cat, and it is going to require a lot more grooming than other long hair cats, because of the double coat.

    Conclusion

    If you are thinking about investing in a pedigreed kitty, and you want one that is as beautiful as it is affectionate, the Norwegian Forest Cat is definitely an option to consider. These cats are gentle by nature, and ideal to have around children and other pets.

    Bengal Cats: The Ultimate Guide to their history, types, characteristics, temperament, and care

    How would you like to own a cat that looks like a leopard, but has the personality characteristics of a house cat? If this sounds like something you would like, you need to check out Bengal cats. These cats are a hybrid of domestic cats and Asian leopard cats. They have been developed by numerous breeders, with the most well-known being Jean Sugden Mill, who began her Bengal breeding program in 1963, with the goal of creating a wild-looking cat that had the temperament of a house pet.

    Over the years, and with a lot of careful breeding, this goal has been reached. Today’s Bengal cats all descend from the cats bred by Mill in the early 1980’s. The breed was recognized by the International Cat Association in 1991, but is still not recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association.

    So, what is a Bengal cat? Well, as mentioned in the opening paragraph, this type of cat is a cross between an Asian leopard cat and a domesticated house cat. It has many of the physical characteristics of the leopard, without the huge size, but the disposition of a lovable house pet. Their coats are sleek and shiny, and they seem to glitter when the light hits them.

    Bengal cat colors have two common patterns. The one that is best known is the spotted pattern, and then there is a swirled, marbled pattern. Both of these patterns are often tri-colored, and their markings can be made up of many different shades.

    It is the tri-colors that create the “rosettes” on a Bengal. Each spot is outlined with a dark color, so they look like the spots on a jaguar. This is not something found on all Bengal cats. Many have spots that are more leopard-like, with no dark outline.

    Bengal Cat History

    It is a common misconception for Bengal cats to be mistakenly known to be named after the Bengal tiger. This is actually a myth. There are some brilliant Bengal cat facts which proves that it is named after the Prionailurus bengalensis, which is the Latin name for the Asian leopard cat, which is part of the Bengal at origin. They have the very distinctive, spotted coats that leopard cats are known for, without the wild temperament. The Asian leopard cat is shy and timid by nature, and quite small when compared to other wild cats.

    Of course, the temperament of a Bengal cat is also going to depend on the breeder. With any cat breed, it is important that you buy from reputable Bengal cat breeders, and not those that are known as “backyard breeders,” and who sell pets that have health and behavioral issues.

    The breed has become so popular and commonplace that there are also many cats that are part Bengal. Even if you do not have a Bengal cat, you may have one that is part Bengal. If you want to know how to tell if your cat is part Bengal, just look for the tell-tale spots.

    So, where can you get one of these pets, and how much does a Bengal cat cost? While some cat breeds can cost thousands of dollars, such as the Savannah cat, another spotted hybrid, the Bengal cat price range is on the lower end of the cost scale. You can get a Bengal cat full grown or a kitten from reputable breeders all over North America. The key word here is “reputable.” A good breeder is going to ensure that their cats and kittens are in the best of health, and that there are no genetic defects.

    The cost of a Bengal cat will depend on a number of factors, including the generation. You can expect the price of Bengal cats to range anywhere from $400 to $3,000. When buying Bengal cats, remember that older cats cost less, while healthy kittens from first and second generations are at the higher end of the scale (more on generations later in this article).

    Bengal Cat Standard

    Now it is time to look at all of the things that you should know about the Bengal cat standard before you decide to purchase one of these beautiful cats.

    Learn more about Bengal Cats below:

    First of all, know that you are making a commitment that is going to last for about 12 to 16 years, which is the average life span of a Bengal cat. First, let’s take a look at how a Bengal cat should appear.

    Head

    The head should be fairly small, rounded, and slightly wedge-shaped.

    Eyes

    A Bengal cat’s eyes are large, oval shaped, and somewhat slanted.

    Nose

    The nose should be large and wide, and slightly puffed.

    Muzzle

    The muzzle should be full and wide, with prominent whisker pads and high cheekbones.

    M

    There will be the “M” marking on the forehead that is found on most striped/spotted cats.

    Chin

    Bengal cats should have strong chins.

    Bones

    Bengal cats have strong bone structures, and are not delicate.

    Neck

    Bengal cats have long, muscular necks that are proportionate to the head and body.

    Chest

    Ideally the cat will have a broad chest.

    Torso

    A Bengal cat will have a long and substantial torso that is medium in size.

    Hind quarters

    The hind quarters will be muscular, particularly in males.

    Tail

    The tail will be thick and even, of medium length, and the tip will be rounded.

    Coat

    The coat should be short to medium length, dense, soft, and luxurious.

    Hind Legs

    The hind legs should be longer than the forelegs.

    Paws

    Bengal cats have big paws with prominent knuckles.

    As mentioned, they have a lifespan of about 10 to 15 years or longer. They tend to weigh up to about 15 pounds, but some can be larger. Females tend to weigh 10 to 14 pounds, while males can weigh around 12 to 16 pounds. Bengals are classified as being medium- to large-sized cats, with the average size range being about 13 to 16 inches tall.

    One thing you should know about Bengal cats is that they are very curious, and very playful. They are little bundles of energy, so they need plenty of exercise to keep them from becoming bored and getting into things that they shouldn’t. These are very athletic cats, and you can even teach them to do a variety of tricks.

    Remember, positive reinforcement works best when training any cat. If they know they are going to be rewarded, they will be more likely to do what you want them to do, or at least make you think that is what they are doing.

    If you are looking for a pet that is hypoallergenic, good luck. Many people think that Bengal cats are hypoallergenic, but when you come right down to it, there is actually no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic pet. There is going to be some pet dander, fur, and other allergens that bother some people.

    But, there are cats that don’t cause as many allergic reactions as others, including the Bengal cat. This is because they have such short fur, but it doesn’t mean that everyone will not experience allergic reactions. There are those who have Bengal cat allergies, which can be caused by Bengal cat shedding. Even though these cats have very short hair, it is still a good idea to groom them regularly, particularly if there is anyone in the home who has a cat allergy.

    The Responsibilities of Bengal Cat Ownership

    Owning a pet is a real responsibility. It is not something anyone should do on a whim, because if one is not prepared for this responsibility, they are either going to have cat that is not properly cared for, or one that ends up in a shelter. But, since you are obviously considering purchasing an exotic cat breed and spending hundreds of dollars, you are likely already somewhat prepared for a 15-year responsibility.

    What do you need when you are bringing home a new Bengal cat? Whether it is a cat or a kitten, you will need pretty much the same items. These will include, but are not limited to:

    • Nutritious cat food (wet and dry)
    • Food and water dishes
    • Litterbox and litter
    • Plenty of toys
    • Cat bed (in time, they will choose their own bed, often yours)
    • Soft blankets
    • Collar, leash, and ID tag if you plan to show or walk your cat

    Taking care of your Bengal cat is like taking care of any other cat. Sure, a Bengal is a bit larger, but it is essentially going to be a house pet. Make sure that they have access to food and water at all times, and give them plenty of love and attention. Here are some more tips that will help you to be the best Bengal cat owner you can be.

    Spay/neuter

    Unless you are buying a Bengal cat with the intent to breed it, make sure that you spay or neuter your pet before it reaches the stage of sexual maturity. This is not just to make sure that they are not able to reproduce.

    A male cat will mark its territory by spraying, and it won’t hesitate to do it inside your home. The smell is not something that is easy to get rid of. Neutering will ensure this doesn’t happen. Spaying female cats can prevent a number of health issues, including endometriosis.

    Toys

    Bengal cats are known to be destructive, because they are so curious and active. So, in order to prevent the destruction of pretty much everything you own, it is a good idea to make sure that your Bengal has plenty of toys to play with. These toys should be out where your cat can see them at all times. That way, they will tend to go to the toys rather than your furniture, shoes, and other items you would rather not be riddled with claw and teeth marks.

    Water

    It is important to make sure that your Bengal cat has access to fresh water at all times, no matter where you are.

    If your cat is going to be strictly an indoor cat, there should be a couple bowls of water around the house so they can get a drink quickly and easily.

    Our feline pet are frequent water drinkers. You might even want to consider having a water dish in every room that your cat will be in, so they can always have easy access to their water.

    Toilets

    Speaking of water, it is probably a good idea to start keeping the toilet lid down. As we mentioned, Bengal cats are curious and inquisitive, and they are highly intelligent. They may decide that they like to watch the water go down the toilet, and figure out how to flush it themselves. So, close the lid, and avoid this little issue in the first place. Also, this will prevent the cat from drinking out of the toilet, which isn’t exactly the cleanest water bowl in the world.

    Socialization

    When you have Bengal cats as pets, it is important to start socializing them when they are kittens. This is particularly important if you have children, or are planning on having children in the near future. Bengals are great with kids, but they have to be socialized early. Once they are, they will bond with children easily, as much as they would with any adult in the home. Also, they need to be socialized so they don’t form a bond with one person and fear others.

    Other Pets

    In addition to making sure that you socialize your Bengal cat with people, it should also be introduced to other animals. It is nice to know that your cat is going to be friendly with other cats, as well as dogs and other pets. The earlier you start socializing your pet with other animals, the better. That way, you can bring other pets into the home later on without having too many behavioral issues from your Bengal cat.

    Agility training

    You might want to consider agility training for your Bengal cat. After all, this is an extremely energetic breed, and this is a great way to help them play off a lot of energy, and you will get to spend some quality bonding time with your pet. Did you know that there are even cat agility tournaments, and one of the most popular breeds in these tournaments is the Bengal cat? This is because they are agile, and very easy to train.

    Indoor pets

    When it comes to cats, they should be kept as indoor pets in order to avoid a lot of health problems, injuries, and more. There are way too many things that happen to an outdoor cat, from getting into fights to picking up parasites. The only exceptions are if you are taking your cat to shows, walking our cat on a leash, or if you have built a “catio” that allows your pet to enjoy the outdoors without actually being outdoors.

    Types of Bengal Cats

    While all Bengal cats should be the same shape and size, there are two different patterns, and they can be several different colors. It is important to note that not all colors are recognized by some cat associations, and not all will be qualified to earn championship status. First, let’s take a look at Spotted Bengals. They can have either plain spots or the rosettes, but ideally, at least for breeding and showing purposes, rosettes are the best.

    The rosettes can have many different shapes, and the legs and tails on Bengal cats are generally striped. If they have some spotting, it is preferred. It is not uncommon for kittens to be born without rosettes and then start to develop them when they are around eight weeks old. By the time they are about six months old, their patterns are generally pretty clear.

    There is also the Marbled Bengal. This Bengal cat has a pattern that is marbled, and horizontal for the most part. It has swirls of colors making up the marbled pattern, and for some reason, a Marbled Bengal kitten’s coat is more clearly defined than that of the Spotted Bengal, and it doesn’t seem to get what is known as the “fuzzies” that the spotted kittens go through. One thing to avoid in a Marbled Bengal is the bulls-eye pattern.

    Now let’s take a look at the various Bengal cat colors:

    Charcoal Bengal Cat

    Also known as a Brown or Black Bengal, the colors on these cats can range from many shades of brown to dark charcoal, and they can even be a rich tan color. While still registered as brown, Bengals with light gold colors are often called Golden Bengals. The spots can be shades of brown to black.

    Blue-Eyed Snow Bengals

    Also known as Seal Lynx Point Bengals, these are what some people refer to as a Bengal Siamese cat. This cat is usually born a white or ivory color, although there are some cases of marbling at birth, and then the lighter color coming through as they get older. They can be spotted or marbled in shades of brown.

    AOC Snow Bengal

    A Snow Bengal that doesn’t have blue eyes is called an AOC (Any Other Color) Snow Bengal. There are two types of AOC Snow Bengals: Seal Mink and Seal Sepia. Seal Mink is a mix of the Seal Sepia and Blue-Eyed Snow, with light markings and aqua eyes. A Seal Sepia is a snow with darker markings and brown, hazel, or green eyes.

    Silver Bengal

    A Silver Bengal has black spots against a pale gray/silver background. They often have pale green eyes, and if they have rosettes, the center of each one is medium grey. There should be no trace of brown in the coat (if there is, the silver coat is considered to be “tarnished”), and the tip of the tail is black.

    Blue Bengal

    The background color of the Blue Bengal should be off white, and it can have peach colored undertones. The markings should be a bluish shade, and very clear, with the tip of the tail being dark grey. These cats do not yet qualify for championship status with TICA or GCCF, but it is hoped that this will change soon and that they will be given full status.

    Chocolate and Cinnamon Bengals

    These Bengals are a lot like the Brown or Black Bengal, but there is no black in the coat. It is dark brown on a Chocolate Bengal and medium brown on a Cinnamon Bengal. Chocolates are also called Sorrel, and Cinnamons are often called Tawny. The tips of their tails are medium to chocolate brown.

    Maybe you would like to have a Ben gal mix cat. There are many domestic Bengal cats that are a mix of some of these colors. For instance, there are snow silvers, chocolate and cinnamon silvers, and blue silvers. There are chocolate and cinnamon snows. There are even blue snows, lilacs, and fawns.

    You can even find Bengals that are a mix of all of the colors, and you get a blue/silver snow. These new colors can be shown at TICA shows under the “new traits” category, but they cannot be entered for championship status. In this instance, the Bengal cat price range will be lower.

    Then there are the other mixes. For instance, although it would not be a show quality cat, there are many hybrids, such as a tabby Bengal mix. How can you tell if your cat is part Bengal? It can be difficult to tell if there is any Bengal in a cat, but if you notice those telltale spots, it is a pretty good sign that you may have that mix.

    Finally we have the melanistic Bengal cat. This is one that has the appearance of a black panther. They are black, with darker black spots or marbling. You may not be able to see the black on black, but those spots are definitely there.

    Bengal Cat Characteristics

    Let’s take a look at some of the most common characteristics of Bengal cats.

    You can refer to the video below for a short summary about Bengal cats characteristics:

    Patterns

    First, we’ll talk about their patterns. Bengal cats have two basic patterns: spotted and marbled. A Spotted Bengal can have plain spots or rosettes, with rosettes being the best for breeding and showing. These rosettes are in a variety of shapes. Marbled Bengal cats have a lot of horizontal markings, but it is best to avoid the bulls-eye pattern if you plan on showing or breeding your cat. You will find many different color combinations, and you may even see a long-haired Bengal cat or two.

    Temperament

    Like any cat, or person for that matter, they are going to have their bad days, and they may not always want you making of them. But, for the most part, Bengals are very affectionate, and they often form deep bonds with their people. This is why it is so important to socialize them with other people while they are kittens, so they will be affectionate with most people instead of fearful because they have only bonded with one person.

    Behavior

    When it comes to Bengal cat behavior, watch out! These cats have tons of energy, and they aren’t afraid to use it. They can really be a handful, because combined with that energy there is a high level of intelligence. Your Bengal cat is going to want to explore and get into everything, and they are very loud and vocal. If they want something, you are going to know about it.

    Activity

    Bengal cats need interactive play, so if you are away from the home for long periods of time, it is a good idea to make sure that you have another cat for your Bengal to play with. That way, you won’t have to spend your day worrying about what the Bengal is getting into while you are not at home. These are highly intelligent animals, and if not given the chance to explore and play, they are going to use their intelligence to your disadvantage.

    Health

    Bengals are healthy cats overall, but you need to make sure that you are buying your cat from an established and reputable breeder who is registered. Sure, you can save a bit of money by going to a backyard breeder, but you could be in for a lot of headaches (and an empty wallet) when the cat ends up having a lot of health problems and needs frequent vet visits and treatments.

    There are some health issues that Bengals are at risk for, including heart disease and chronic anemia. But, if you are going through a proper breeder, it is unlikely that you will have to worry about these health problems.

    Hypoallergic?

    If you or anyone in your home has pet allergies, you may be thinking that a Bengal cat is the best choice, since they are rumored to be hypoallergenic. The truth is, there is no such thing as any pet that is truly hypoallergenic. But, some pets, including Bengal cats, tend to cause fewer allergic reactions in people than other animals. This has a lot to do with the fact that they have shorter coats, so there is less shedding and less dander. Yes, some people will be allergic to a Bengal, but it is a better option to have around most allergy sufferers.

    Bengal Cats vs. Savannah Cats

    So, you want a spotted cat, but you aren’t sure which breed is the best option for you – the Bengal or the Savannah cat. Let’s take a look at the most significant differences between Savannah cat vs. Bengal cats. One of the most noticeable differences is the size. If you are looking for a cat that is closer in size to a regular house cat, the Bengal is your best choice. Savannah cats grow to be much taller and larger.

    Both cats are highly intelligent and playful, and they both have a lot of energy. They are also both very affectionate, and bond closely with their owners. When talking about a Savannah cat compared to a Bengal cat, both are going to make terrific pets. But, if you are in the market for a lap cat, the Bengal is going to be the better option for you.

    Bengal Cat Generations

    Finally, we are going to discuss the various Bengal cat generations. This breed began with the Asian Leopard Cat (ALC). Bengal cats are almost always bred with other Bengal cats, so their bloodlines remain consistent. The various generations are given names with “F” labels, including F1, F2, and F3. Let’s take a look at the meaning of these labels, and find out which is going to be the best choice for you.

    When it comes to the “F” labels, basically, the higher the number, the further away the cat is from the first generation. As we mentioned, it all started with the ALC, so the first Bengal cats are from the F1 generation. An F2 cat is a second generation cat, F3 is a third generation cat, and so on and so on. Confused? Let’s break it down in simpler terms.

    For first generation Bengal cats, an ALC was bred with a domestic Bengal mother. If an F1 Bengal mother is bred with a domestic Bengal father, you get an F2 kitten. When a domestic Bengal father is bred with an F2 Bengal mother, an F3 Bengal kitten is the result. An F4 kitten comes from a domestic Bengal father and an F3 Bengal mother. Finally, an F5 Bengal kitten is parented by a domestic Bengal father and an F4 mother.

    If you are not going to be showing or breeding your cat, and you don’t want so spend thousands of dollars, an F4 or F5 Bengal cat is going to be a great choice. In fact, because there are so many restrictions regarding hybrid breeding, it is likely that you will end up with an F5 or later.

    Conclusion

    If you have decided that you want a pedigreed pet, and you love the idea of an animal that looks exotic and like a wild cat, a Bengal cat is a great option for you. These intelligent and lovable cats don’t grow to be as large as Savannah cats, but they have that spotted or marbled coat that gives them the appearance of a wild animal.