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My Devon Mimi is such a sweetheart! Lana Marie
Cat breeds developed as mutations can have cute tufted ears, be darling miniatures with short legs, and even have extra toes. Like all living creatures, cat body-type mutations can occur naturally. With only a couple exceptions, the Mutation cat breeds recognized by cat registries are are relatively recent. This is especially true when compared to the natural cat breeds that developed over many years.
All domestic cats are thought to originate from a single ancestor, the African Wild Cat, because of the very similar tabby markings and other indications. From the genes that were provided from this ancestor, all other mutations have risen. They are often so striking or intriguing that they are then genetically encouraged through selective breeding. This has culminated in the many cat breeds that are available today.
Cat breeds with mutations that are widely recognized include breeds that have been bred for a specific look, one that is not normal and came about by "accident". They are defined as genetic body type mutations that people want to continue breeding for. These mutations include folded ears, flattened faces and noses, curly or wiry hair, shortened legs, no hair, a reduced number of toes or extra toes, and various others.
The list of cat breeds below includes many of the popular mutation cat breeds. Each cat guide provides the history and background of the mutation cat along with a description, care, and a picture. To own a cat is a great pleasure and extraordinary experience indeed. The uniqueness of each mutation cat breed adds a special intrigue and fascination of its own!
For more about keeping a pet cat, see:
Cat Care: How to Take Care of a Cat
Cat mutations generally show up randomly as recessive genes come out and different breeds of cats are mixed. If a mutation occurs which significantly alters the anatomy of the cat, there is usually great debate on whether it should be allowed to die out or if the mutation is harmless enough to encourage breeding.
In general, if the mutation causes severe disadvantages for the cat, it is agreed upon to let them die out. However, if the mutation causes no disadvantages or only minor disadvantages, then there are often people arguing for both sides of the coin. Oftentimes many people continue to breed them which allows the mutation to continue. Not all organizations will recognized mutated cat breeds. Many breeding programs for these specialized cats also make sure to minimize any genetic combinations that can cause lethal problems for the offspring.
The term "designer cats" is a relatively new breed designation. This is a term applied to cat breeds that are bred with stunning characteristics, and often for a very particular market or type of cat keeper. Newer cat types referred to as designers, can be either a cat body-type mutations are a hybrid cat breed. You may see designer cats making their appearance at some cat shows, but many do not yet have a recognized status with cat registries.
There are several different cat body-type mutations. Following is a list of the main ones:
This list of cats are some of the better known mutation cat breeds, and are recognized in various cat associations.
The age that brought back a respect and love for cats was really the Victorian Age during the 19th century. Queen Victoria herself owned cats and British artist Louis Wain portrayed cats through his art to children as friendly and intelligent companions. The 20th century brought about even better outcomes for cats. Advances in technology and medicine also brought about good results for the car of cats.
Study of cat behavior, psychology, and physiology brought about greater understanding of cats and many new innovative products came about that improved the lives of cats. These included the first canned cat foods in the 1920's and 1930's, and packaged cat litter in 1947 by Edward Lowe. Another breakthrough was realizing how important the amino acid taurine was to cats. In 1978 taurine was added to cat food and has since saved millions of cats lives. Regarding socialization, Eileen Karsh, PhD, demonstrated that kittens that were frequently handled between 3-14 weeks old adapted much better to humans than those that were not handled until later.
Breeds are defined by cat registries, and the natural cat breeds are well established. Registries determine which traits define a breed, and also which traits that are especially valued or shunned. A few of the feline organizations that register cats are the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA), the American Cat Fanciers' Association (ACFA), and the The International Cat Association (TICA).
If you want to see a pedigreed cat, cat shows are the place to go. Pedigreed cats that are accepted into the shows must conform to their breed's standards, which usually include distinguishing features like their overall look, personality, or body type. Only about 3% of owned cats are pedigreed.
Natural cat breeds are some of the most popular pedigreed cats. Besides the natural cats, you can find beautiful pedigreed cats that are Hybrid Cat Breeds, Cat Breed Mutations, and Exotic Cats. Designer cats can belong to any of these three breed groups, but are never natural cat breed cats. The term "designer cats" are those bred for particular stunning traits, like dwarf cats, jungle hybrids or hairless cats, and they are usually developed for a particular market. Designer cats are relatively new, emerging breeds. You may see designer cats making their appearance at some cat shows, but many do not yet have a recognized status with cat registries.
The first cat show ever recorded was in Winchester, Southern England in 1598, which gave prizes for the best ratter and mouser. By the second half of the 19th century, very serious, competitive cat showing was underway. The first major cat show was on July 13th, 1871 at the Crystal Palace in London. A total of 170 cats were shown, and this was the first time that cats were given standards and classes. In 1887 the National Cat Club was formed.
Today, there are at least 65 cat shows a year in Britain and at least 400 in the U.S. The biggest modern cat show is the National Cat Show in London that takes place every December.