Pedigreed cats are those that are of a certain breed. They have the same or similar traits, including length of hair, eyes, color, pattern, tails, and mannerisms. They are usually extremely expensive due to the fact that they are hard to find, and usually bred by humans who sometimes spend exhorbitant amounts of time and money finding cats of the same breed to mate with each other. While most cat lovers swear by mixed breed cats, who have lineage from many different varieties of felines, other people are almost obsessive about their need to own a cat that has only one heritage or background. Having a cat of a specific pedigree is seen by some as a sign of high class and wealth. Here are a few popular cats that are widely sought after for their pedigree.
The Maine Coon is a type of Tabby cat that is native to the Americas. It is the only breed of cat that is considered indigenous to the Americas, with its origins in New England. Most cat experts believe that the Maine Coon came to the Americas on the boats from Europe, and have been around since colonial times. Some say that they are direct descendants of the cats owned by Marie Antoinette, which were said to have been saved when she was led to the guillotine.
The Maine Coon is listed as the second most popular type of cat under the Persian. It is a long haired cat with a kind disposition, a rugged coat designed to withstand bad weather, and a tiny voice; ironic when you look at its relatively large size. This breed is known as the “gentle giant.”
Maine Coon cats like water, but only in small doses. This may be due to their history of sea travel to the Americas. Associations that determine and confirm the pedigrees of cats say that true Maine Coons can be any color except chocolate or lavender.
Persian cats are the most popular breed in the world with appoximately 25,000 Persian cats currently registered by the Cat Fancier’s Association. Persians originated in the area that was formerly known as Persia, now Iran. These cats were brought to Europe by caravan travelers in the 1500s. They were finally transported to the Americas in the late 1800s. They have been bred over a hundred years to have the characteristics that they boast today.
Persian cats are beautiful and elegant, with long lustrous hair, wide, round eyes, and full cheeks. Persians also have short round ears that are set lower on the head than other cats.
Siamese cats are most popular for their association with ancient rulers—they have a history of being favored by royalty, and thought of as the only cats worthy to live among royal opulence. These cats originated in Thailand, formerly known as Siam, thus we have the origin of their namesake.
Siamese cats are slim, have shortly cropped coats, and striking blue eyes. Their main body is a light color detailed with darker hues on the face, tail, and ears (called points). The CFA only recognizes four colors of Siamese cats: seal, chocolate, blue, and lilac points. There are two varieties: the show Siamese, and the traditional or “Applehead” Siamese. The show Siamese can best be described as “svelte.” They have a long thin body and a tapered, petite head. Their eyes are slanted and their ears are very large. Applehead Siamese cats are more substantial and robust, with larger, rounder heads and features. Some Siamese breeds had a strange trait of being cross-eyed, a trait which has been eliminated through the process of selective breeding.
Siamese cats are not quiet, gentle breeds like the Maine Coon—in fact they are just the opposite. They have a loud, yelping meow that is sure to get their owners’ attention. They are the “mean girls” of the cat world, seeming to think that the world revolves around them. Most of the time these cats own their humans, not the other way around.
Burmese cats are definitely not as popular as Persian cats, with only roughly 800 registrations in the world, but they are still one of the most distinctive and well-recognized pedigreed cats. Burmese are originally from Burma, an area now known as Myanmar. All Burmese cats in the United States and Europe can be traced to one cat that arrived in the Americas in 1930. Burmese cats in the US were originally mixed with Siamese to create a unique breed of Burmese that is still recognized by the CFA today. The Burmese is believed to be a breed that was once worshipped in Burmese temples. They are playful cats that love to show affection and attention to their owners.
Burmese cats have short satiny coats, and are built like brick houses. They are sturdy and strong, and have a rich brown coat that is sometimes described as “copper.” There are three main body types associated with Burmese cats: contemporary, European, and traditional. Contemporary Burmese are show cats that are stocky with round heads and widely spaced eyes. They come in several striking colors such as champagne and platinum. The Traditional Burmese have a slightly different head type than the contemporary ones, but otherwise the same. Finally, The European Burmese is a more elegant cat with slightly slanted eyes and a smaller body than the others. European Burmese also come in more colors than the contemporary or traditional, including seal, chocolate, and lilac.
While mixed breed cats are the most popular cats of all as far as numbers are concerned, pedigreed cats have a special place in the hearts of cat fanciers, some of whom dedicate their lives to the quest for cats of a specific breed.