Is there a new cat breed coming out next year?

Cats as a fashion item

Cats as a fashion item

Is there a new cat breed coming out next year? This is an actual question I have been asked by a cat lover. Though what true cat lover would think of a cat as a fashion item with a new style each year? Was she collecting new breeds like other people collect stamps? Admittedly I collect information “as breeds happen,” but I’m a gene-geek.

As a rescuer, I’ve came across quite young cats being traded in when the owner saw a different breed in the latest series of advertisements for a product.

A young and very stressed British Blue female, bought because of the Sheba ads, was traded in for a Chinchilla Persian seen on carpet advert. The owner didn’t actually admit this, she just claimed the British Blue was “dirty”. A year later, the Chinchilla was packed off for rehoming as the owner had seen a breed of dog on an advert. In the dog world, much the same happened with “handbag dogs” after the public saw a celeb carrying a small dog like a fashion item. As for cats, Paris Hilton comes to mind. She had a dwarf cat at one time.

Some eccentric breeders have treated their breeds as fashions, regularly launching a new breed. Ann Baker and her Ragdolls, Cherubims & Honeybears springs to mind. All too often her ads ended with “and a new breed coming soon!” (for the curious, the touted “coming soons” were the Little American and the Catenoid).

Baker viewed her cats as commodities and sold breeding franchises. When she died, her other “breeds” mostly become the “RagaMuffin,” while the “coming soons” never materialised.

I’ve worked with a number of breeders, especially those whose cats contain wildcat genes, helping to define goals and identify pitfalls so that their new breed has a sound gene pool and sound temperament.

Sound breeding programmes progress, using lots of genetics theory rather than simply “let’s see what happens if we mate those two cats”. Far from creating this season’s new fashion, those breeders know it takes several years before they can show representative cats as “exhibition only.” Some breeds never even make it that far.

Just like fashions, many new breeds fizzle out for some reason or another. Maybe they are too similar to an established breed. Maybe their genetic health is suspect. The California Spangled has come and gone. The Bristol never took off (in part due to the roaring success of the Bengal). The Singhalese wasn’t distinct enough. The British Savannah was near identical to the American Serengeti. The rather gorgeous Rexed Maine Coon fell foul of cat fancy politics.

Just think how many unnecessary cats would be brought into the world to feed a demand for a “new breed next year.” What’s also worrying, is that a demand for novelty could lead to more extreme breeds – even stumpier Munchkins, wrinklier Sphynxes, even flatter-faced Persians. even longer-faced Orientals.

Then comes pressure to update breed standards to reflect the “new look” (as previously happened with Persians and Siamese) … and if that happens, cat shows could well and truly cross the line and become freak shows.

Sarah

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Is there a new cat breed coming out next year? — 4 Comments

  1. Thanks Sarah for letting me convert one of your comments to an article. I really liked it.

    As promised I have made a donation to Cats Protection Chelmsford:


    Date Name Amount Curr Type Status
    ——————- ——————– ———- —- ———— ——
    17.01.2014 12:51:00 Michael Broad 30.00 GBP Sale Okay

    Order : 15986

    Product Item Amnt Qty Amount
    —————————— ———- — ———-
    Donation 30.00 1 30.00
    —————————— ———- — ———-
    30.00

    Addresses
    Shipping Billing
    —————————— —————————–
    Name : Michael Broad Michael Broad
    Address : 2 Byron Court 2 Byron Court
    Parkleys Parkleys
    Town/City : Richmond Richmond
    County/State : Surrey Surrey
    Post Code : TW10 5LW TW10 5LW
    Telephone : 02085468126 02085468126
    Email : mjbmeister@gmail.com


    Cat breeding needs to change. Not everything is bad about it but as long as there are unwanted cats being euthanised it cannot be justified.

    Also people need to come around to the idea that cat ownership is guardianship and caretaking and not owning or possessing.

  2. I can’t get my head around the cat fancy and their ‘freakshow’ – that’s a good word for it. I agree with Michael that we don’t own cats and it should have been worded differently long ago.

  3. This is just crazy. There are two basic ways of thinking in our world. There are the realistic people and people who base their whole worlds on appearance. These are the type that need to carry the latest purse and wear the latest style. These are the people that used to tell me “I didn’t belong” in their neighborhood (I was working). They base things on image and looks. Not substance. There may be a new breed or maybe not… but there will be new kitties to adopts and boy will they be fashionable.

  4. yea i agree theres too many pedigree cats and so many domestic animals in shelters i just can’t understand why so many animals have to be put down. id love to have a main coon cat but its just too expensive. i would much love a domestic cat who has seen no love

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