The Sokoke is a breed of cat. The original name of the breed was Khadzonzos. This name was given to the cat by the local people, the Giriama tribe, who had known of the cat for a considerable time. It is speculated that this breed of cat had been around for possibly centuries before the intervention of the West. "Khadzonzo" means "look like tree bark" in the language of the Giriama people and it is plain to see why. The coat of this cat is a modified tabby (a marbled appearance much like the marbled Bengal), which looks like tree bark.

The Khadzonzos cats were discovered in the Arabuko-Sokoke forest, on the Kenyan coast, by Jeni Slater in 1978. Gloria Moeldrop, a friend of Slater's, brought some of the cats home with her to Denmark to breed because Jeni Slater feared for the survival of the cat in Kenya. In 1990, she imported more cats from Kenya to strengthen the breeding stock. The cats were first shown in Copenhagen in 1984. The breed was officially recognized by the FIFe in 1993, with the name changed to Sokoke, after where they came from.The Sokoke is also currently registered by The International Cat Association(TICA) the World's largest domestic Cat Registry, and is eligible to be shown in the Preliminary New Breed class at TICA-sanctioned shows.

There has been some speculation as to whether this is a domestic cat or a descendant of a wild cat that has domesticated itself. With recently published data from the Cat Genome Project,based on DNA swabs, it has been concluded that the Sokoke is part of the Asian Group of domestic cats, and has Arabian Wildcat genetic origins as well.

The Sokoke, the free-roaming streetcats of the Kenya coastal area, and the Cats of Lamu Island have now been put into a small genetic branch of the Asian domestic Group with the Arabian Wildcat influence. These three types of cat share regional and genetic similarities but are very different in coloration and structure when looked at closely.

Sokokes have blotched tabby coats in shades of brown, with amber to light green eyes. The center of the patterns are hollow looking due to the agouti gene producing a "salt and pepper" look. Their coats are short and coarse, with little to no undercoat. Recessive colors/traits are rare. Noted so far (and not accepted for showing) are Seal Lynx Point, Melanistic (Black), and Blue colors, with one long-haired kitten also known. Like all of the short-haired Asian Group cats,they do not thrive in extreme cold temperatures for extended periods of time. However, contrary to previous reports, they can be acclimated to colder climates and do not require special housing any different than similar short-haired Asian Group cats would. A special pattern trait is agouti body-ticking that can extend all the way into the tailtip itself. Chaotic, chained, and clouded marble patterns have been seen recently, with deviation away from the typical modified classic tabby pattern. Their bodies are long and thin, with long legs. The back legs should be longer than the front legs, similar to a wildcat. They also have a unique tip-toe gait, in part due to a straighter stifle as well as the afore-mentioned longer back legs. Sokokes are very active and enjoy climbing and talking to their human and cat families. They bond deeply to each other, as well as their owners. This trait makes re-homing harder for them,with a longer adjustment period expected in adult cats and older,bonded kittens. Once a Sokoke is comfortable and feels safe, their sweet-natured highly intelligent personalities come through.

The Sokoke does well in a controlled environment, due to their peace-loving nature, and also because of their limited resistance to common New World cat illnesses, found in multi-cat cattery settings. It is typical for the male to help raise the kittens, and if left together the mother will often wait months to wean her kittens, even though their development is fairly rapid once they leave the nestbox. One can expect one to two litters per year, per pair, and sometimes two close litters in a row, then have them go longer periods of time before producing again. Sexual maturity is usually around eight to ten months of age, and their expected lifespan is the same as any purebred domestic cat, with 15 years an average old age.The Sokoke is currently bred and/or shown in Europe and USA.

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Snowshoe Cat

The Snowshoe Cat is a rare and relatively new breed of cat originating in the United States of America. Snowshoes were first produced in Philadelphia when a breeder's Siamese cat gave birth to three kittens with the pattern. The breeder, Dorothy Hinds-Daugherty, began to promote the cat and began a breeding program dedicated to them. When Hinds-Daugherty left the program, Vikki Olander began working with the cats and recruited new breeders, as well as worked towards full recognition within cat associations. Despite having existed for 45 years, Snowshoes are rare due to the difficulty of reproducing the correct coat markings. The marks are based on recessive genes for color points and on the co-dominant but variably-expressed piebald pattern gene, making it difficult to predict the appearance of offspring.

The coat coloration recognized by registries and associations is point coloration, and it comes in a variety of colors, though some associations do not recognize certain colors. Snowshoe cats have an affectionate and docile disposition. Due to this, they do not do well under circumstances where they are left alone for long periods of time. Snowshoes are also very vocal, though their voices are not as loud as the Siamese, a cat found in their breed heritage. They are noted as being very intelligent and have the ability to learn tricks and open doors. The cats also enjoy water, and may swim on some occasions.

Popularity and breeding

The Snowshoe is a rare breed, partly due to the difficulty of breeding cats with markings and patterns that conform well to breed standards. The Snowshoe's pattern relies on recessive genes and other factors to produce desired results. One gene, which causes the "V" facial pattern is an example of incomplete dominance. If the offspring produced as two dominant genes for the marking, then the feature will be larger than a cat with one dominant gene. However, other factors may influence the feature, which makes it difficult to predict the outcome. Another issue is the white boots, which can be caused by a pie balding gene or a gloving gene. The genes are difficult to control, and many cats' boots extend too far up the leg, do not reach far enough up the leg, or the cat completely lacks white. As such, pet quality Snowshoes usually have too much white, too little white, or white features are mismarked. The cats' body type further complicates breeding, as the breeder must achieve the correct head shape and ear set, while still maintaining the American Shorthair's body structure and the length of the Siamese.


The ear size ranges from medium to medium-large with slightly rounded tips. The head may be triangular, however can be an "applehead" shape with a traditional cat look. The short-haired coat consists of solid and white patterns. Points (ears, tail, face-mask and sometimes legs) are solid black-based colors. White patterns vary, typically falling along the face, chest, stomach, and paws. The body is an even coloration, subtle shading to point color on back, shoulders and hips; toning to a lighter shade near chest and stomach. Paw pads may be white, point color, flesh tone, or mottled. Their color will darken with age, even to the point of turning a chocolate brown shade. In purebreds, the eyes are always blue. The tail is medium-sized. Snowshoe cats come in blue, lilac, lynx, fawn, chocolate, and seal points. The Snowshoe is a medium-large cat and longer length wise than many cats, with many males reaching 18lbs or more.


In registries and cat associations, the recognized Snowshoe coat color is point coloration, with a light body color and darker ears, face mask, legs, and tails. The American Cat Fanciers Association and the American Association of Cat Enthusiasts recognize seal point coloration and blue point coloration while the Fédération Internationale Féline recognizes seal, blue, black, chocolate, red, cream, cinnamon, and fawn point coloration. The International Cat Association recognizes all pointed colors. Snowshoe kittens are born white, and markings appear within 1 to 3 weeks; each Snowshoe has a pattern unique to themselves.

The Snowshoe's coat should be of medium to short in length, and should be bright and smooth. It is considered a fault within cat associations if the Snowshoe has a plush or double coat, and should not have a noticeable undercoat. The Snowshoe's coat undergoes seasonal changes and does not require much grooming.


Snowshoes are generally affectionate and sweet-tempered, yet still mellow. They enjoy the company of humans and being petted, and are compatible with children and other pets. Snowshoes are very social and docile, and show great devotion and love towards their owners. Consequently, the breed dislike being left alone for long periods of time and are able to cope with working hours more if they have another cat companion. Snowshoes may express themselves and their complaints vocally, though their meows are not as loud as the Siamese. The cats are also noted as being intelligent; they can learn to open various types of doors, and can be taught tricks, especially fetch. Snowshoes also enjoy water, particularly running water, and may on occasion swim. Though very active, they are not restless or easily agitatable, and they have a fondness for perching and high places.

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Singapura Cat - Medium Sized Cat

The Singapura Cat is one of the smallest breeds of cats, noted for its large eyes and ears, brown ticked coat and blunt tail. Reportedly established from three "drain cats" imported from Singapore in the 1970s, it was later revealed that the cats were originally sent to Singapore from the US before they were exported back to the US. Investigations by the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) concluded no wrongdoing and the Singapura kept its status as a natural breed.

The Singapura Cat is a moderately stocky and muscular small to medium-sized cat, with a very short and fine coat. A full grown female usually weighs 5-6 pounds while the male weighs 6-8 pounds. The large, slightly pointed and deep cupped ears together with the large almond shaped eyes are characteristics of the breed. The tail is slender, slightly shorter than the length of the body and has a blunt tip.

The breed's coat pattern is that of a ticked tabby. That is, individual hair strands have alternating sections of dark and light color, typically two dark bands separated by two light bands, with a dark color at the tip. The underside, including the chest, muzzle and chin, takes the color of the light bands. The Singapura Cat is recognized by cat registries in only one color, the sepia agouti, described as "dark brown ticking on a warm old ivory ground color".

The Singapura Cat is described by the CFA as active, curious and playful. They are affectionate and desire human interaction. They have a tendency to perch on high places, to allow them a better view of their surrounding.

In the UK, a pet-quality Singapura can cost £300-400 (US$500-600 USD) while a show specimen can cost upwards of £600.


Of concern to breeders is the condition known as uterine inertia, an inability to expel the fetus due to weak muscles. This condition was present in one of the foundation cats and appears in some Singapura Cat females today. Individuals with uterine inertia may require deliveries to be made by Caesarean section.

There are no other known genetic health problems in the Singapura Cat, although breeders have shown concern regarding the genetic diversity of the breed due to inbreeding caused by a small gene pool. Researchers who completed the 2007 DNA study found that the Singapura Cat (along with the Burmese) have the least genetic diversity among the 22 breeds studied. The possibility of outcrossing with another breed to increase the genetic diversity had been raised among CFA breeders, but not many were receptive to the idea, preferring to use Singapuras from around the world that are not so closely related to the CFA line.

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Siberian Cat

The Siberian is a domestic cat breed from Russia. The cat, that has similarities with cat breeds Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat, is a natural breed and the national cat of Russia.

It is said to be hypoallergenic and produces less Fel d1 than other cat breeds.

The siberian cat is very dog-like. They are loyal cats that will come to greet you with their unique triple purr. This cat breed appears to be fascinated with water and they are likely to drop toys in it. They are a friendly breed, good with dogs, energetic, and smart.


Known to be an exceptionally agile jumper, the Siberian is a strong and powerfully built cat, with strong hindquarters and large, well rounded paws. They have barrel chests and medium sized ears, broad foreheads, and stockier builds than other cats.


Hypoallergenic qualities of the Siberian coat have been noted and commented on for almost ten years. While there is little scientific evidence, breeders and pet owners claim that Siberians can be hypoallergenic to many allergy sufferers. Since females of all feline breeds produce lower levels of Fel d1, Breeders often suggest that allergic families adopt female cats. If you are allergic, it is wisest to check your reactivity directly with the parent cats from whom you plan to adopt a kitten. Many people believe that the breed produces less Fel d1, the primary allergen present on cats.

In 1999 Indoor Biotechnologies tested the fur of four cats for Fel d 1; a mixed breed, two Siberians, and an Abyssinian. The results showed the Siberian and Abyssinian cat fur as having lower Fel d 1 levels than the mixed breed cat.[6] Indoor Biotechnologies cautions that the Siberian levels were still high, and that the mixed breed sample was "exceptionally high." Indoor Biotechnologies warns against using these results to make decisions of pet ownership.

This "test" of fur levels is shown on many Siberian breeder websites as "proof" the breed is hypoallergenic. It should be noted that the sample size is below statistical significance, was submitted by a Siberian breeder, and as mentioned, one cat was found to have Fel d1 allergen levels of 62,813 micrograms (roughly 60x higher than any published professional study).

A not-for-profit association of breeders, (Siberian Research Inc), was founded in 2005 to study allergen levels and genetic diseases in the Siberian breed. As of March 2010, fur and saliva samples from over 300 Siberians have been submitted for analysis, many directly from a veterinarian. Salivary Fel d1 allergen levels in Siberians ranged from 0.08-27 mcg per ml of saliva, while fur levels ranged from 5-1300 mcg. The high-end of these ranges is very consistent with results from prior studies, though the low end is below expected results.

All Siberians tested were found to produce some Fel d1, with the highest levels being found in Siberians that were "Silver" colored. About half of Siberians were found to have Fel d1 levels lower than other breeds, while under twenty percent would be considered very low. Within the low group, males and females had comparable allergen levels.


Siberians express the three natural types of feline fur: guard hairs, awn hairs, and down. These three layers protect the cat from the Russian weather extremes, and provide a hearty, easy to care for coat today. The fur is textured but glossy, which means matting is rare. A twice weekly combing is enough to keep the coat in good condition.

As with most other cat breeds, color varieties of the Siberian vary and all colors, such as tabby, solid, tortoiseshell and colorpoint, are genetically possible. The Siberian cat breed does not have any unusual, distinct, or unique fur colorations or patterns. Most breeders, enthusiasts, organizations, main registries such as TICA and the WCF, and countries accept the color point coloration as being natural. Color point Siberians are also known as "Neva-Masquerade". Neva for the river where they are said to have originated, and masquerade, for the mask.

Siberian cats molt once, sometimes twice, a year. The first molt is at the end of winter. The winter molt is instigated not by a change in temperature but by a change in day length. Many Siberians will experience a less intense "mini molt" at the end of the summer season. Perhaps this molt was intended to rid the fur of brambles and briars in the coat in preparation for the development of the heavy winter coat.


Siberian cats tend to come into reproductive readiness earlier than other breeds, sometimes as young as five months. It is thought that this is related to the breed's closeness to its natural wild state. Feral cats have difficult lives, often dying young. Therefore, it is a genetic advantage to achieve reproductive ability early and to have large litters. On average, a Siberian litter consists of five to six kittens, as compared to the average litter of three to four kittens in breeds who have been registered as pedigreed cats for many decades. Occasionally, Siberian litters consist of as few as one and as many as nine kittens.

Siberian cats are excellent parents, with the fathers helping to care for kittens if they are allowed access to the nest. Parents are often strongly bonded, and some mothers will only mate with one male. Even teenage male Siberians have been seen cuddling and grooming their cousins and siblings. This friendly, caring characteristic translates into a breed of cat who makes a wonderful household pet. Siberians, due to their communal nature, are often happier in pairs. Having a cat buddy to live with ensures Siberians remain active, engaged, and emotionally healthy their whole lives.

If a Siberian is not desexed, some queens (females) have been noted to have litters as late as nine or ten years. However, kitten mortality is generally lower when the queens are between 18 months and five or six years of age. This is due to several factors: physical and emotional maturation of the female, health and vitality of the queen, and nature's predisposition to healthier offspring from younger mothers.

Males can easily father kittens from as young as five months, to over ten years. In regions where the breed is rare and expensive a long term breeding career for a pedigreed male can create a risk of Popular Sire Syndrome, in which one male has an overly large genetic influence on the breed. In Eastern Europe, where the breed are very common and inexpensive, this does not arise.

During the early 1990's, catteries in Russia had limited foundation stock, and the number of Siberians that had been exported to Poland, Germany, Scandinavia, and the USA was limited. Although inbreeding was common, the excellent health of the breed prevented severe damage. However, HCM was fixed in almost all lines of "golden" Siberians. The pedigree link shows a queen that died from HCM, and illustrates the level of accepted inbreeding.

Siberians are basically a very healthy breed, though many lines have been impacted by one or more genetic diseases. The most common are Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), and Persian kidney disease (PKD-1). In an effort to reduce genetic disease in Siberians, several organizations maintain open-source reports of Siberian HCM and PKD, allowing breeders to be cautious of high-risk lines.

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