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Best of Birds

Best of Cats Best of Dogs Country Breeds Alpaca Beekeeping Cattle
Donkey Emu Goats Pigs Poultry Rabbits Rheas
Sheep Waterfowl Animal Artists Breed Profiles

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Abyssinian & Somali Asian Group / Burmilla Bengal Birman British Shorthairs Burmese & Tonkinese
Chartreux Desert Lynx European Shorthair Exotic Japanese Bobtail Korat
Maine Coon Manx Egyptian Mau Norwegian Forest Cats Ocicat Oriental & Javanese
Persian Ragdolls Rex - Devon & Cornish Russian Blue Savannah Siamese & Balinese
Siberian Forest Cat Singapura Sno Bob Sokoke Sphynx Turkish Angora
Turkish Van
Abyssinian and Somali
The Somali is longhaired Abyssinian, the latter being known in the UK since the mid-1880's, having originally come from Abyssinia, (now Ethiopia). They are very intelligent, outgoing and enjoy the home life. The original colouring was the ruddy brown ticked pattern, now known as the 'usual', although many colours are accepted today with eye colours of amber, green and hazel.

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Fawn-Silver Somali
Mrs Horsley, Cumbria

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Asian Ticked Tabby, GC Vervain Goldberry
Bred by Naomi Johnson,
owned by Ms Kaye Wilson

Asian Group inc. Burmilla
The Burmilla was the result of an accidental cross between a Chinchilla male and a Lilac Burmese female. So popular were the resultant kittens that a breeding plan was developed and several different types of Burmilla resulted over the generations. These became known as the Asian Group of cats.

This group includes the Burmilla, which may be shaded or tipped, the Bombay, which is a black self shorthair and an Asian if it is any other colour. Additionally, there is the long haired version - the Tiffanie and four varieties of Asian Tabby; Spotted, Classic, Mackerel and ticked.

The Bengal was created quite recently in the United Stated by crossing wild Asian Leopard cats with domestic shorthair cats. A fairly large, muscular animal with hind legs slightly longer than the front legs. The dense coat is short and glossy with a spotted or striped pattern. It is friendly and intelligent and has very little fear of other cats.

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Miss Claire Irvine
Mountain Maestro Brown Spotted Bengal

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Mrs J Lukehurst, CH. Panjandrum Krakatao
Photo by Alan Robinson

The Birman also known as the "Sacred Cat of Burma" is a clever, gentle and tolerant breed having a semi-longhair coat with distinctive white paws. This gave rise to the charming legend that for centuries these cats lived in a Burmese monastery and one cat sensing that a priest was dying laid its paws onto the man offering him friendship in his last hours. As the priest died the cat’s paws were turned pure white.

Birmans are only bred in the Himalyan or colourpoint pattern, the colours being seal; blue; chocolate; lilac; red; cream; tortie; tabby and tortie, tabby with points confined to the face, ears, tail and legs. In all Birmans the eye colour is bright sapphire blue.

British Shorthairs
This ‘Gentle Giant’ of a cat is loving and affectionate with a quiet voice and does not continuously demand your attention. British Shorthairs are medium-sized to large cats with males being larger than females; this is more obviously so than with other breeds. They have dense, short coats which do not require excessive grooming and are bred in a great many colours and patterns.

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Debbie - Miss Yvonne De Courcy, Devon

Burmese & Tonkinese
The first Burmese seen in the Western World was the result of a small brown female, almost certainly a Tokinese imported into America in the 1930’s and mated with a Siamese, the progeny producing all three breeds thereby demonstrating that the Tonkinese is in fact a cross between the chunkier Burmese and the lean Siamese. The Tonkinese is however, a relatively rare breed.
This is a French breed of cat and is very gentle and playful. These are a really solid cats that become devoted to their owners; coming to the call of their name and even retrieve a thrown object. Some think this is a Blue British Shorthair by another name but has a different standard in the US, where it is a recognised breed.
Desert Lynx
The Desert Lynx Cat is the exotic result of pairing the wild, feral blood of the bobcat with the affectionate, loving temperament of the domestic cat. Three or more generations removed from their wild ancestors, Desert Lynx cats are bred to resemble their wild cousins as closely as possible, with ear tufts, ruff, coat pattern and size very much like the wild bobcat. These gorgeous creatures have slightly slanted, almond-shaped eyes and often have polydactyl (six) toes with toe tufts.  In contrast with it's wild looks, the Desert Lynx gets it's sweet, laid back personality from it's domestic heritage, and is selectively bred to maintain and continually improve this gentle disposition. They are very intelligent and almost dog-like in personality, and although they can be reserved around strangers, they are very friendly and outgoing with people they love. Desert Lynx cats can have either a short or longer coat, and have very large, muscular bodies with powerful hind quarters. They look and move very much like their wild counterparts. There is no better place to experience the call of the wild than in your own living room! 

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Mrs A Berry, Boston, Lincolnshire

European Shorthair
The Scandinavian European Shorthair is similar to the British Shorthair but without the influence of Persian. A breed with a mixed temperament depending on family traits - homeloving or the hunter! They are strong, healthy and friendly, enjoying the company of people and other cats - not too sure about dogs though.
The Exotic Cat is a short haired Persian. It is a wonderful breed with a round face and large round, level set eyes and full cheeks. Its ears are small and rounded, has a short nose with a good break and a round firm chin with a level bite. Its body is short and cobby on strong, firm, sturdy, legs, with rounded paws. The tail is thick and rounded and the coat is fill, dense, plush and soft, with a roll back texture that allows the hair to stand away from the body, giving a 'halo' effect.

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Red Tabby Exotic
Mr & Mrs M J Clark, Wiltshire

Japanese Bobtail
A variety with a short 'bobbed' tail originating from Japan, where it is seen to be a symbol of friendship and hospitality. They make excellent pets due to their very friendly nature. They are medium sized and have shorter front legs. Very intelligent and get on well with most other animals.
A very old breed coming originally from Thailand and arriving in the UK in 1972. Very intelligent with a loving nature but enjoys peace and quiet. They have a distinctive heart shaped face with green to yellow eyes - medium sized with good muscle tone.
Maine Coon
Originally from New England the Maine Coon became popular in the UK in the 1980’s. This large, easy-going cat has a shaggy, waterproof coat with a ruff effect around the neck; it has a bushy brush-like tail and tufted ears and toes. Although a profuse, dense coat it does not require as much grooming as the Persian Longhair. The breed is acceptable in almost any coat colour and pattern, the best known being the classic tabby-and-white.
Generally thought of as a tailless cat, however the breed comes in four forms; Rumpy, Stumpy, Tailed and Cymric (longhaired version), with the Rumpy having no tail at all and being the only exhibition type. The Manx has back legs, which are longer than the front giving them their recognisable gait. Very affectionate and make great pets.
Mau - Egyptian Mau (Oriental Spotted Tabby)
This is a spotted cat of modified Siamese type originating in the USA and called the Oriental Spotted Tabby in the UK. Their characterists are very similar to the Siamese, being outgoing and friendly with vocal talents.
Norwegian Forest Cats
Norwegian Forest Cats are a historic breed of large, robust, natural cats who really do come from Norway. It is a large but elegant semi-longhaired cat, the most important features being type and coat quality. As the breed originated as a natural outdoor working cat on Norwegian farms, the appearance of the NFC should reflect this natural heritage. A good Forest Cat has a special expression - intelligent, calm, dignified, maybe even a bit wicked - which makes it different from any other breed. This is known as the "NFC look".

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Ch Skogens Keema
Tortie Tabby & White

However, one of the most endearing characteristics of the Norwegian Forest Cat is its temperament - intelligent and fun-loving yet gentle and laid-back, energetic and sociable yet not too demanding - a "Wegie" makes an excellent and rewarding friend for life. As for grooming, this is easily dealt with by means of occasional combing - for their natural coats are largely self-maintaining. The NFC matures slowly, and full development can take up to 4 years.
A man-made breed originating as a result of cross breeding Siamese, Abyssinian and American Shorthair. This was in the early 1960's and occurred in America. The first Ocicat to come to the UK was at the end of 1988. The Ocicat is an exotic, spotted breed, selectively bred to bring the beauty of a wild cat to your home without the 'wild blood' or temperament.  Although having the 'wild' appearance they are intelligent, affectionate and enjoy playtime. They are a 'chatty' breed that require no special care and mix well with adults, children and other cats and dogs.

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Mrs M A O'Brien

Oriental and Javanese
The Oriental conforms to the requirements of the Siamese breed of cat but without the need for the Himalayan pattern. They need company and are very vocal wanting to take part in all that is happening around them. Both self and patterned colours are bred in this medium sized breed of cat. Foreign Whites are basically Siamese without the point markings while the Havana is a warm brown in colour. The Javanese is the longhaired version of the Oriental - similar to the Balinese but without the colour points.
The Longhaired
Persian is without doubt the world’s best known and most popular breed of cat. It is an elegant and sturdy cat with a long, luxurious coat. A friendly, good-natured breed with a quiet voice who gets on well with other cats and with dogs.

Like their ancestor the Persian cat, they have a gentle 'laid-back' personality with a very good temperament making them ideal flat dwellers.

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Persian Chinchilla
Mr L B Jolicoeur & Mr L A Wallis, S Yorkshire

It is a comparatively new breed and began in this country by crossing British cats to Persian cats. The results being these beautiful Exotics. Even today when we breed Exotic to Exotic or Exotic to long haired Persians, there can be long haired kittens in the litters. These are classed as variants and cannot be shown but can be bred from. Exotics follow the Persian colour lines and can be seen in many lovely colours and coat patterns.
Originating in the USA, the Ragdoll is said to have originated from a Persian queen who had been mis-mated. Looking at these cats today it would be easy to assume that the sire had been either Siamese, Colourpoint or Birman.
This is one laid back cat. It is undemanding, very tolerant and is docile and gentle. A cat which will flop in your arms! A very trusting nature makes them easy to steal and so are better as indoor cats only.
Three different varieties are recognised, Colourpoint, Mitted and Bi-colour each in seal point, blue point, chocolate point and lilac point.

When born, Ragdoll kittens are all white, their mask, ears, tail and legs darken as they mature. Slow to mature, they can take 3 years to reach adulthood.

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Brookies Baby Wise

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Gr Ch Charnfield Capricorn
Devon Rex

Rex -  Devon & Cornish Rex
These are both naturally occurring breeds from the late 50's / early 60's and both have a curly coat but which are genetically quite different. The Cornish Rex is a medium sized cat with long legs, the head wedge shaped with large ears set high and oval eyes. The coat is soft and plush, with a distinctive wave. On the other hand, the Devon Rex is quite unlike any other breed. The wedge head has full cheeks, a short muzzle and large, wide ears set low and wide on the head. The coat is very short and fine. Rex are full of character and not perhaps for the house-proud or fainthearted.
Russian Blue
A classic all blue variety but with a different coat texture to the other blue varieties, being a short plush with a double coat that stands upright from the body. Characterised by their unique head shape; large ears high on the head, vivid green eyes and prominent whisker pads. Originating in Russia, they are large elegant cats that are quite shy - needing a quiet and peaceful household to thrive in.

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Gr. Ch Denillanne Xzasha

The Savannah is a hybrid domestic cat breed. It is a cross between an African wild cat called the Serval and a domestic cat. Savannahs are considered one of the larger breeds of domesticated cats. Their tall and slim build gives Savannahs the appearance of greater size than their actual weight. Savannahs have been described as friendly, assertive, active, playful and interested in dogs and children.

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The Siamese is one of the oldest breeds of pedigree cat and is instantly recognizable with its long body, distinctive markings and soft, short coat. The Balinese is the long-haired counterpart of the Siamese.  An outgoing breed with plenty to say but hates to be left alone. Becomes really devoted to its owner.
Siberian Forest Cat
Similar to both the Norwegian Forest Cat and the Maine Coon they have a distinctly shorter and rounder head. They are medium in size and well muscled, good climbers with a long to semi-long coat.
The Sokoke originated from the Sokoke Forest in Kenya and is a wild breed. A medium sized cat that is well muscled and affectionate. Their coat is very short and glossy and they come in tabby only with amber to green eyes.
A native of Singapore, this is a small breed of cat that, while at first appearing to be a little shy is very affectionate. A similar colouring to the Abysinnian but with large slightly pointed ears.
The Sno-bob is a white variety of Derert Lynx. A variety of American Bobtail, resembling Alaskan Bobcat - pale in colour, darker ear tips, bob-tail. Shorthair/Semi-Longhair with powder puff tail up to one third normal length, tufted ears. Some lines produce rumpies, stumpies and kink-tail cats.

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Mrs Janice Plumb

The most distinctive feature of the Sphynx is it appears to be hairless, but it is in fact covered in a fine down which makes it feel like a warm peach or chamois leather. Sphynx have long fine legs that are well muscled. Their front feet are like hands with long fingers; like that of a monkey. Medium to long body with a broad chest. Tail should be long and tapering. Head is slightly longer than the width. Ears are large and wide at the base, and held quite high. A slight stop to the nose and lemon shaped eyes. Sphynx have a very distinctive muzzle. Kittens are covered with wrinkles on their face and body, with some retained in adulthood. All eye and coat colour accepted.
Turkish Angora
This is a natural occurring semi-longhair breed that is very outgoing by nature. They can be lead trained and are very playful. A medium sized cat with a non-tangle coat but which does require some attention. Not to be confused with the Angora.
Turkish Van
This breed has a unique 'thumb print' mark between their ears and also enjoy a swim, given the chance. They are intelligent and sociable but should be kept indoors as they tend to wander rather than having a small territory. Quietly spoken they are generally white with auburn markings.

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Mrs Mary Prior - Essex