Newsday Tuesday – Let’s Celebrate American Bred Cats

You might be surprised to know how many cat breeds originated here in the US. Some of them carry names that imply exotic beginnings. The Bombay, for example. You don’t hear much about the Bombay. I don’t think I’ve ever met one and I certainly don’t know much about them, but I would have thought they came from India. Actually this is a homegrown cat breed originating in Kentucky. A breeder there wanted to develop a miniature panther and in the 1950s he created one by breeding the sable Burmese to an American Shorthair. The Bombay breed became recognized in the 1970s.

Other homegrown breeds include the Maine coon cat—probably the oldest American breed. Also developed in the US are the Ragdoll (1960s), the Munchkin (1980s), the Himalayan (1940s), the Balinese and others.

Why are there so many different breeds of cats? I mean we have the curly cats, long-hairs, fur-less, tweaky-eared, tailless, sleek, short legged, pointed, bushy tailed, and more. And each of them have their fans. Tomorrow we’ll talk about cat styles and what attracts you to a particular breed or type of cat.

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