Peterbald – Hairless Beauty

Cat of the Month ~ February 2020
Peterbald
Black Peterbald

Photograph: © Tica

 

With these cold, wet, winter days still upon us we at Moggyblog have turned our attention to a cat that has very little hair or fur and some are even classed as ‘nude.’ How they ever coped with sub-zero Russian winters we can only guess.

The beautiful Peterbald breed was first developed in 1993-4, when (it is said) a Russian breeder named Olga S. Mironova crossed Afinguen Myth, a brown tabby Donskoy, with an Oriental Shorthair female by the name of Radma Vom Jagerhof. At the time their offspring were gaining popularity in St. Petersburg, Russia, and they were quickly pronounced with the new title Peterbald. New breeding lines were created as Peterbalds were consistently bred out to Donskoy, Oriental Shorthairs and Siamese. TICA accepted the Peterbald in 1997 and recognized them for championship status in 2005.

Peterbald
Young Peterbald Cat at rest

Photograph: © Tica

 

Although recognised by The International Cat Association (TICA) since 1997, the Peterbald is still a relatively rare purebred or pedigreed domestic cat breed. Like the the Don Sphyx, the amount of hair or fur on a Peterbald can vary greatly from cat to cat. There’s even an “Ultrabald” type that doesn’t even have whiskers or eyebrows and they and never grow any hair at all. Then there is Flock or Chamois variety being ninety percent hairless. These cats have a soft silky feel. Other varieties of coat include Velour, Brush coat and Straight coated. However these coats can change significantly throughout their first two years of life, and their hair texture alter as time goes by either by gaining or loosing hair.

The Peterbald took its long and fine-boned, lithe body type and oblong head shape from the Oriental Shorthair. One unique feature about Peterbalds is that they have long front toes with webbing, which allows them to hold and manipulate toys and other items. Their tails are strong and thin with a graceful curl.

peterbald webbed foot
An extreme webbed foot of this Peterbald. © Unknown 
Large ears and ‘whip like’ tail © Lyudmila Baryshnikova


 

The breed are known to be intelligent, very active, friendly and playful, but because they are highly sociable they should always have companions around them, be these human or feline in origin. They can be fine lap cats in spite of their active natures. When venturing outdoors, care must be taken with the hairless Peterbald, as they are sensitive to very hot and cold weather. Sunburn and other skin issues are also potential concerns.

Peterbald showing the folds of his coat (er, his skin)

Photograph: © Tica

 

For keepers of Peterbald cats regular bathing is an important part of the weekly grooming routine. This will prevent the build up of oils on the cats skin, and will also remove daily dirt which may cause irritation. A vets advice should be sought which products to use.

Finally if you are drawn to purchase a beautiful Peterbald cat from a breeder, always investigate any hereditary or genetic conditions by asking about the breeding process. Kittens can also be examined by a vet to provide you with peace of mind before a purchase.

So, like all cat lovers, there is every excuse to stay home and dry and snuggled up with your Peterbald (or any other type of cat, for that matter) this winter and, for the Peterbalds, for the rest of the year too…

References: Wikipedia / Wikimedia Commons, The Spruce Pets, https://www.facebook.com/baryshnikova.lyida & Others

We’ve featured these other hairless felines if you’re interested? The Sphynx in 2007 and the Donskoy in 2012. How time flies reader.

A little dot with the cutest tail you ever did see.

Photograph: © http://alienhairlesscat.com/

 

The Mob

Cat(s) of the Month ~ November 2019
The Mob. New Jersey, 1961
Photograph: © Walter Chandoha
…looking for trouble no doubt… reminds me of a few of the moggies round these parts, Eh Osc?

In December 1949, late on a late winter’s evening, Walter was trudging to his three-room apartment through the New York city snow, when he spotted a kitten huddled in an alley. He cradled the shivering feline, slipped him into his heavy army coat, and carried him home to Queens, with the one thought of giving the poor creature a decent meal and bed for the night. Later, he gave the kitten as a present to his wife Maria, who was pregnant with their first child at the time. Around 11 o’clock that night, the kitten started charging around each room in the apartment like a demon possessed, astonishing Walter and Maria. “That cat is loco!” Maria exclaimed…. and the name stuck!

When Walter began taking pictures of his new adopted pet, he was so inspired by the results that he started photographing more kittens at a local animal shelter. So began an extraordinary career that would span seven decades.

The photo above is one of Chandoha’s most celebrated photos. The story goes that at one time, quite a few cats called in at the Chandoha’s farm home. Because he often fed them, these cats developed the habit of following Chandoha (No surprise there!). One day, while walking down the road with his camera, a gang of cats began tailing him. He dropped on his stomach in the road and took an iconic image of five determined cats ambling toward the camera.

Additional subjects for which Walter is known are fruits, vegetables, flowers, and New York City street scenes. Over his long career, his archive grew to more than 225,000 photographs including approximately 90,000 photographs of cats.

RIP Walter George Chandoha (November 30, 1920 – January 11, 2019)

A book ‘Walter Chandoha. Cats. Photographs 1942–2018’ is published by Taschen, if you can afford it, that is!

Read more about the great man and his work on the New York Times website ,and another informative article about Walter here.

Himalayan

The Himalayan, Himalayan Persian (or Colourpoint Persian as it is commonly referred to in Europe), is a sub-breed of long-haired cat similar in type to the Persian, with the exception of its blue eyes and its point colouration which were derived from crossing the Persian with the Siamese.

The creation of the ‘Himmy’ took years of selective breeding as the two cats from which it is derived are totaly different. The Persian then: is short stocky and heavy-boned, with long fur, whereas the Siamese: is long slim, and fine-boned and with short fur!

Cat of the Month ~ October 2019
Himalayan
Himalayan ~ Eyes transfixed by ?

Photograph: © Robert and Eunice Pearcy

It was in 1924 that a swedish geneticist start the cross breed process, by crossing a Siamese, Birman and a Persian cat. These trials were not completed it seems, and, it took a jump across the pond (careful Oscar) to Harvard Medical School 1930, where two medical students crossed Siamese with Smoke, Silver Tabby and Black Persians, producing a large number of short-haired kittens. Two of these kittens were mated, resulting in the birth of the first long haired black female Himalayan. When breeding this animal with her father (look away now, Oscar!) the resulting cat was the first Himalayan, with both points and long hair.

Some registries may classify the Himalayan as a long-haired sub-breed of Siamese, or a Colourpoint sub-breed of Persian. The World Cat Federation has merged them with the Colourpoint Shorthair and Javanese into a single breed, known as the Colourpoint.

The Cat Fanciers’ Association considers the Himalayan Persian simply a colour variation of the Persian, rather than a separate breed, although they do compete at Cat Shows in their own colour divisions. It was for the colour (only) that the breed was named “Himalayan”: a reference to the coloration of Himalayan animals, and in particular the Himalayan rabbit.

A Seal Point Himalayan ~ ready for action

Photograph: © Robert and Eunice Pearcy

These cats are good natured, intelligent, and generally very social, but they have been known to be moody at times. Because of their heritage from the Siamese cats, they tend to be more active than Persians.

Himalayans are good indoor companion cats. They are gentle, calm and like most cats they are playful. Like the Siamese, most Himalayans love to stalk and chase balls of wool, mouse or fish toys and anything long and thin like string. Himalayans are devoted and dependent upon their humans for companionship and protection. They seem to really like the affection of a human and generally love to be petted and groomed.

Care for your Himalayan

If you want to bond with your Himalayan, why not spend half an hour grooming her a day/every day. She will love it if she is typical of her kind, and after all this grooming is though is essential to the wellbeing of a Himalayan.

if you’re serious about keeping a Himalayan. Because they have long, silky hair that tangles and mats easily, a Himalayan’s coat should be brushed daily. This will remove and prevent tangling and mats, and help remove any dirt and dust (after all the coat will act like a duster around your home). Professional grooming is also recommended every few months to ensure their coat is healthy and clean, but for most this may be a little expensive.

Like all cats Himalayan’s love to sharpen thier claws, and what better place than the legs of your favourite occasional table. Many advise trimming of claws but we wouldn’t advise it (would we Oscar, you like your scratching too much for that). How about finding some soft material and putting that around the legs of your precious furniture, then we will all get along just fine. (so, please for Oscars sake, leave them paws alone)!

Examination of your cat weekly will uncover a multitiude of problems (well hopefully not). For example, Himalayans’ pointed ears are susceptible to capturing dirt and whatever else can fall from the sky or a hedge in your garden. This, if left undisturbed, can lead to irritation and later infection. So, if you see or find debris in your cat’s ears, use a pet ear cleaner and cotton ball to gently remove it. It is not advised to use cotton buds as the ears of all cats are so delicate and full of small capilliaries carrying blood (it can get messy and Oscar won’t thank you, no sir). If the ears are very red or inflamed, very dirty, or smell strongly, take her to the veterinarian as soon as possible, and get it checked out.

Fianlly, we’re glad to say that Himalayans are vary playful, but they will get into mischief if they become bored. So, the golden rule is – Get those cat toys out and Keep Playing. It’ll do you good too …..

Sources: Wikipedia.org, The Pictorial Encyclopedia of Cats by Britt Strader & others

Singhsth the Tiger

Cat of the Month ~ August 2019

Singhsth (aka Tiger 57)
caught on camera, sheltering in a cave in India

Photograph: © David Yarrow

After more than two hundred hours spent in the humid furnace that is the Ranthambore National Park, India, this image of the elusive tiger was finally captured.

Ranthambore Park is a wildlife sanctuary containing a huge variety of animals, birds and reptiles within it. These include Tigers, Leopards, Striped Hyenas, Sambar Deer, Hanuman Langurs, Macaques, Jackals, Jungle cats, Caracals, Common Palm Civets and Desert Cats.

The well known 4 year old ‘Singhsth’ had retreated out of the heat of the day into the cool, dark recess of a cave. Vipul Jain could just see the tiger in the cave mouth and he then passed the message on to his companion, photographer David Yarrow. Luckily the sunlight was just strong enough to light up the tigers face in the shadow of the cave…. “if it was a foot further back in the cave, there would have been no shot” recalled Mr Yarrow.

Tiger 57 image
Singhsth prowling in his usual domain

Photograph: © Amit Vyas

Credits

Image 1: David Yarrow

Image 2: Amit Vyas

Ranthambore National Park, India

Original Article is here

The good news is that, after many years of decline, the Indian Tiger census is showing rapid population growth. BBC ‘Tigers in India’ News

Fluffy the Miracle Moggy

Cat of the Month ~ February 2019

They brought her in like she was a snowball!

Fluffy’s fur was matted with snow when her owners found her in a frozen ball and unmoving in a field in northern Montana, USA. Fearing the worst, they called the local animal hospital.

The veterinary team arrived soon after, and the poor creature was rushed to an emergency room in the local Animal Clinic of Kalispell. Here, the skilled vets used warm blankets and a hairdryer to slowly bring the feline back to life from her frozen slumbers.

Fluffy is hardly recognisable as a Cat

Photograph: © Animal Clinic of Kalispell

At long last, after a few tentative hours, Fluffy started showing signs of recovery. The clinic then made a Facebook post about Fluffy’s recovery, which subsequently went viral….and it’s no wonder! The post explained the story of this poor but lucky feline.

“…in an amazing success and survival story from this week. Some clients found their injured cat buried in snow.” “They brought her to us essentially frozen and unresponsive. Her temperature was very low but after many hours she recovered and is now completely normal. “Fluffy is amazing!”

The story was posted alongside pictures of Fluffy’s incredible recovery, including the image below of a vet using a hairdryer on the cat’s fur.
Fluffy is starting to dry out with the help of that hair dryer

Photograph: © Animal Clinic of Kalispell

Many hundreds of well-wishers commented on the Facebook post, which has had thousands of likes & shares since it was posted.

The final image showed Fluffy looking the picture of health with a completely snow-free coat.

Fluffy comes fully back to life, ready for some more adventures no doubt

Photograph: © Animal Clinic of Kalispell

Oscar and I concur that Fluffy is indeed one heck of a miracle moggy,..and a beauty too. We’re sending our love to her and to her family, on the other side of the pond.