A to Z of Cats-Russian Blue

 

The Russian Blue breed are a sweet tempered, elegant cat. They are intelligent and suitable for most cat lovers, being very sociable animals. There are quite a few breeders in the UK, so finding a kitten should be fairly easy. Expect to pay around £400 to £500.

A new kitten might be a little timid when first introduced to you and your home. It’s best to provide food and water, plus a litter tray of course and eventually they will seek you out for a cuddle and affection. They do become very attached to their owners. They normally get on well with other cats and dogs. Breeders say it’s rare for them to scratch or bite.

As the name suggests, Russian Blues have beautiful silvery-blue fur which is velvety and easy to groom. It’s short, thick but fine with a dense undercoat. An occasional brush with a soft brush would be a good idea. They have vivid almond-shaped green eyes. The wedge-shaped head is topped with large, pointed ears. The body is long and graceful with long legs, a long, tapering tail. They have small oval paws. Their lifespan is about 15 years, although it wouldn’t be unusual to reach the late teens. They are not prone to illness and don’t have many health issues. They can appear to be staring into space or like they had one vodka too many.

It is thought that the Russian Blue was first shipped to the UK back in 1860 by British sailors returning from the Russian port of Archangel, so they were known as Archangel cats. The cats boarded the ships with the sailors and went all over Europe.

Russian Blacks and Russian Whites have been cropping up in litters for years and were first officially bred in the UK in the early 1960s. The GCCF has given preliminary recognition to these cats, which are identical, except for their colour, to Russian Blues.

HAVE SOME FUN WITH YOUR KITTEN/CAT!

 

It can be hard in these busy times, to find a few minutes to relax, but playing with your kitten or cat will benefit both of you.  Here are a few ideas to give your cat some entertainment.
Cats are very playful anyway and will often initiate a “chase me” game when you are sitting down in the evening feeling totally relaxed and planning to go to bed.  This can be when a cat will decide to run round in circles and if you chase her, they will hide behind the cupboards or curtains, or into the wardrobe if the door is ajar.  It’s an invitation to play “hide and seek”.
tigi-and-pet-rat
Cats don’t normally fetch objects like dogs do.  However, some will return light things thrown for them.  We used to have a kitten Dusty who loved to play a game on Sunday mornings when we’d have a lie in with coffee and pro-biotic drink in bed.  As soon as she heard the rustle of the silver lid coming off the drink, she’d leap on the bed full of excitement.  We would throw it on the tiled floor and she’d leap at it, skidding all over the place, then put it in her mouth and return it to us for a repeat performance.  For safety’s sake it might be better to use a larger ball of tin foil, rolled up tight so she cannot swallow it.
Some will play with fake mice, especially furry ones on a string.  It’s her chance to pretend she is a ferocious hunter, stalking prey.
Toys need not be expensive.  A ball of wool or a piece of string (it is best to keep an eye on the cat, so she cannot strangle herself), or ping pong balls can keep her amused.  An old sock filled with catnip and tied at the end.  They also like to play hide and seek in a large, strong cardboard box.  Put in some newspapers as they love to screw them up and hear the sound of the paper.  Cut some holes in the sides, so she can peek out.
If you can afford one, there are many scratch tree posts with one or more houses on top to hide in.

A FEW CAT FACTS

Throughout history the domestic feline has been protected, valued and cherished.  The ancient Egyptians worshipped the cat and most subsequent civilizations have held cats in high esteem.  The cat has managed to remain virtually unchanged in size and shape.  They tolerate a relationship with people and love the comforts of a good home, but barely concealed underneath its domestic appearance the cat of today still has all the hunting skills of its forebears.  If given the opportunity, even the most spoilt cats will react to the thrill of the chase.

Janice and Millie, Burmese kitten

Having a cat in the home is both therapeutic and rewarding.  They are easy to look after, are peaceful company and no other pet is as fastidious in its habits.  All cats are beautiful, but the individual tastes of cat-lovers are catered for in the wide range of breeds and colours available.  The cat is equally loving and ferocious, able to live happily with humans or survive as a feral.  Small in stature, the cat has always relied on its skill and speed to escape from predators and to hunt its own prey.

A female is capable of rearing two or three litters every year providing she is well fed.  They have highly developed maternal feelings and are reluctant to leave their litter, staying permanently on guard of her kittens.  As the kittens develop, the mother teaches them to wash themselves, to play and eat.  Young kittens start to develop predatory behaviour from about six weeks of age.  They will crouch in ambush, pouncing on each other.  Cats prefer to hunt alone.  They have excellent vision even at dusk and dawn and with their acute hearing, they are able to ascertain the location of their prey.  They attack with a strong leap, grasping the victim with extended paws before biting the prey.  However, a well fed cat will want to play with the prey for a while before a kill is made, having enjoyed the stalking and hunting.  Even the most domesticated cats will hunt if given the opportunity.  Indoor cats can satisfy their hunting skills by playing with catnip-filled mice. The cat is an excellent jumper and is usually able to clear four times its own height from a crouching position.  Climbing upwards is easy for the cat as the hindquarters propel the cat upwards, whilst using the unsheathed claws to grip.  Descending is a more difficult move as the weaker forelimbs have to take the strain.

Upon waking a cat generally stretches, yawns and is then ready for action.  It may well start self-grooming with its tongue and paws.  Mother cats spend long periods washing their kittens, creating a bond between them.  Sick cats may not be able to wash themselves and this function should be carried out for them as they are naturally clean and fastidious.  If they have been washed and gently groomed it may help the cat to recover.

CHOOSING CAT NAMES

It can be fun choosing a name for your new pet.  A lot of people base the name on the appearance such as Smokey, Misty, Blacky, Snowy, Tabby, Ginger etc.

Human names are popular such as Lucy, Fred, Pedro, Dolly, Fanny, Maisie and Chantelle.

Food and drink suggest names like Pepsi, Kahlua, Cookie, Peanut, Sushi, Coffee, Toffee and countless others.

For a posh looking cat there is Princess, King, Czar, Sheikh.

Religious names are Soloman, Sampson, Delilah, Sheba, Buddah, Zen and so-on.

There is plenty of choice in the world of music, Jazz, Opus, Beethoven, Trumpet, Cymbal, Madonna, Jagger, Jacko.

Models spring to mind for delicate princess type cats.   Ellie, Naomi, Kate, Jerry, etc.

If you become the proud owners of two animals, choosing a name can be even more fun.  What about Adam and Eve if they always like to stay together?  Sometimes it is best to wait a few days to see how their personality develops before settling on names.  Alpha and Beta could refer to the first two from a litter.  A pair who keep an exceptionally clean litter tray could be called Spic and Span!  Or what about Yin and Yang for a passive female and active male?  Brahms and List perhaps for a tipsy pair.?

The most popular names are Tigger, Sooty, Felix, Charlie, Fluffy and Lucky (most cats are lucky to get away with some of their antics, so it is an appropriate name.)

Persian cats could take an Iranian name like Atoosa, the name of an Iranian Princess or Bousseh meaning kiss.  Likewise two Siamese cats could be named Si and Am like in the film “The Lady and The Tramp”.

NAMES TO SUIT YOUR CAT

Janice and Millie, Burmese kitten 

Are you looking for that perfect name to go with your cat’s personality or physical characteristic?  For example, if your cat is funny and amusing you might consider names like “Joker”, “Doodles”, “Noodles”, “Squirt” or “Pickles”.

Fluffy cats could be called “Fluffy”, “Furby”, “Fuzz” or “Fuzzy-wuzzy”.

Black and white cats:  what about “Domino” or “Boots”?  Black cats:  “Midnight”, White cats:  “Bianco”, “Blanco”, “Chalk”, Aspirin, “Cotton” (as in cotton wool) or “Coconut”.

Clever cats can be called “Aristotle”, “Py” (short for Pythagoras), “Newton, “Einstein”, “Socrates” or “Winston”.  Incidentally, Winston Churchill was a cat lover and had several.  Apparently, he was particularly fond of ginger cats.  A ginger cat with white chest and paws was an 88th birthday present for Churchill in November 1962, and was promptly named Jock, after the private secretary Sir John Colville, known as Jock, who gave it to him. This cat was such a favourite that he is even seen sitting on Churchill’s knee in his grandson Winston’s wedding photographs.   Jock was only two when Churchill died in 1965, but lived on until 1974 at Chartwell and is now buried in the pet cemetery there.  In compliance with Churchill’s wishes, the National Trust – which inherited Chartwell on his death – has since acquired ginger cats called Jocks II and III.

Have you found a stray, or perhaps rescued a kitten?   Many strays are named after the street or town where they were found.  Another common way is to choose the day of the week when you found the cat.  Other suggestions for stray cats are “Abby” (as in abandoned), “Alley” (found in an alley), “Bones” (found as skin and bones), “Chance” (you took a chance with him), “Hope” (given a second chance) or “Velcro” (he found you and stuck with you).

Travelling cats:  What about  “KATmandu”, “Katar” (as in Qatar) or “Paris”.  Speaking of Paris, some French names are: “Houppette” (powder puff), “Bijou” (jewel, trinket), “Douceur” (gentle one), or “Mou” (softy).

Posh cats: “Aristocat”, “Princess”, “Champagne”, “Posh Choo” (Jimmy Choo) and “Diamond” spring to mind.

Feng Shui names: “Crystal”, “Tai and Chi“ (for 2 cats), “Bamboo” (as in wind chimes) or “Harmony”.  “Hibiki” is Japanese for “Harmony.”

Chocolate shouldn’t be fed to cats, but there is no harm in naming them: “Buttons”, “Flake”, “Fudge”, “Truffle”, “Kit Kat”, Cocoa”, “Bean”, “Mars”, “Bounty” or “Choccie”.

Playful cats: “Speedo”, “Zippy”, “Zoom”, “Chaos”, “Frantic”, “Hypurr”, “Rascal” and “Mischief”.

MORE CAT NAMES
It can be fun choosing a name for your new pet.  A lot of people base the name on the appearance such as Smokey, Misty, Blacky, Snowy, Tabby, Ginger etc.

Human names are popular such as Lucy, Fred, Pedro, Dolly, Fanny, Maisie and Chantelle.

Food and drink suggest names like Pepsi, Kahlua, Cookie, Peanut, Sushi, Coffee, Toffee and countless others.
For a posh looking cat there is Princess, King, Czar, Sheikh.

Religious names are Soloman, Sampson, Delilah, Sheba, Buddah, Zen and so-on.

There is plenty of choice in the world of music, Jazz, Opus, Beethoven, Trumpet, Cymbal, Madonna, Jagger, Jacko.

Models spring to mind for delicate princess type cats.   Ellie, Naomi, Kate, Jerry, etc.

If you become the proud owners of two animals, choosing a name can be even more fun.  What about Adam and Eve if they always like to stay together.  Sometimes it is best to wait a few days to see how their personality develops before settling on names.  Alpha and Beta could refer to the first two from a litter.  A pair who keep an exceptionally clean litter tray could be called Spic and Span!  Or what about Yin and Yang for a passive female and active male?  Brahms and List perhaps for a tipsy, energetic, slightly crazy  pair.?
The most popular names are Tigger, Sooty, Felix, Charlie, Fluffy and Lucky (most cats are lucky to get away with some of their antics, so it is an appropriate name.)

Persian cats could take an Iranian name like Atoosa, the name of an Iranian Princess or Bousseh meaning kiss.  Likewise two Siamese cats could be named Si and Am like in the film “The Lady and The Tramp”.

The A-Z of Cats – Pedigrees of the World – The Oriental Shorthair

 
The A-Z of Cats
Pedigrees of the World – The Oriental Shorthair

 


The Oriental is a man-made breed and comes in both a Shorthair and a Longhair variety. They were originally bred in the early 1950’s in Great Britain. The Oriental Shorthair has a short, fine textured coat, glossy or satin-like, that lies close to the body. Despite their svelte, tubular body they have surprising weight and muscle tone and are not a fragile breed.

The Oriental Shorthair, also called an “Ornamental” or “Foreign Type” cat, was originally bred to produce the body and personality of the Siamese in a wider variety of colours and patterns. There are over 300 possible colour and pattern combinations but they are usually green-eyed. It not only resembles, but also behaves similarly to its Siamese cousin.

Energetic and inquisitive, they require regular attention and are among the most vocal of cat breeds. A cat’s individual voice is caused by the way in which it produces its vowel sounds and some cats, mainly the Oriental varieties, often develop very distinctive voices easily recognized by their owners. Oriental Shorthairs form deep and long-lasting bonds with their owners; their intense loyalty is sometimes likened to that of the family dog, particularly because they become so attached to people. Oriental Shorthairs have been likened to a Chihuahua or even a Greyhound in appearance.

In the busiest moments, your Oriental will find a way to interrupt your activities; a little nudge while you eat, a close examination of whatever tools you may be using or some help tying your shoes before you leave in the morning. They like to poke their nose in when you are choosing food from the refrigerator! At quiet times they love to cuddle up on your lap, purring.

When you get home from work or shopping, they will chat away trying to tell you all about their day. Don’t think of hiding their favourite toy on top of the wardrobe as they are intelligent and curious enough to get up there and find it. They have been known to open a drawer, or empty your purse to discover their favourite toy. It might be a pen or a crumpled up piece of paper that they can chase around the kitchen floor. Give them the attention and affection they so desperately need, and they will do anything to please you. Ignore them, and they will show how unhappy they are. These elegant cats remain playful, spirited and loyal well into their old age.

Cats of Oriental descent loathe being left alone for any length of time. If this is the type that appeals strongly to you, why not consider having two? The cats, brought up together, will become inseparable friends, keeping each other company whenever they have to be left at home or in a boarding cattery.

When the Oriental Shorthair was accepted for championship status in 1977, it rapidly became one of The Cat Fanciers’ Association’s (based in Ohio) most popular breeds. In 1995 the Oriental Longhair was added into this family of sleek, muscular felines making it a cat for just about anyone. With over 300 different colours and patterns to choose from, you’re guaranteed to find an Oriental that will suit your taste.

In 1995 Orientals added the bi-colour pattern to their repertoire. They have a clear white underside, legs, chest and inverted V on the face and are very popular.

Finally, they cost around £500 in the UK and life expectancy is 15 years. They don’t have any major inherited health problems.