This is a cat breed selector in the form of a slide show. That might sound strange but it works well because you can control the way the slide show works by clicking on the relevant link which leads to the cat breed that you are looking for.
The information comes from various sources, mainly reference books such as Legacy of the Cat by Gloria Stephens. They are all good sources. People do want to know what kind of cat breed is most suited to their circumstances. However, perhaps you realise that this is not a precise science. Truly, you can’t say that all cats of a certain breed have the same character. And that is what you are trying to say if you argue that, for instance, the American Shorthair is well suited to apartment life.
All cats have their own personality. There are subtle differences
All the cats of a certain cat breed have their individual personalities. Breeders do not prioritise the character of their cats when selectively breeding. They prioritised the appearance. Although they will use foundation cats with a certain character and therefore the foundation cat’s character is handed down through the breeding line.
Even if the breeder is focusing on the character of the cats, selective breeding is not a science. It is not a precise process. Genetics are very complicated and multiple genetics play a role in deciding a cat’s character. We don’t quite know how they’re going to intermix and play out. I’m emphasising the point that you really should check out individual cats at the breeder’s home before adopting to see whether a particular cat’s personality suits your circumstances and your character.
As a consequence, this cat breed selector is no more than a guideline. It represents what the books on the cat breeds tell me. It’s a good starting point, put it that way. You can then check out individual cats of a cat breed.
There is no doubt that there are differences, in general terms, between the cat breeds regarding personality but just don’t over-emphasise the point. I think that would be inappropriate.
Inherited and experiences – nature and nurture
And it goes without saying that a cat’s personality depends upon both the character that they inherited plus their life experiences together with the current circumstances. Domestic cats are reactive. If the environment in which they live is highly suited to them you will see a contented cat expressing their character and their motivations. If, for example a cat is timid and is being bullied by another cat or the environment is stressful, you will not see that cat’s character. You will see a retiring, defensive cat.
A cat’s personality can only come through in the right environment. That is why, for example, assessing a shelter cat’s character can be problematic. The environment is inherently stressful and some cats are more affected than others.
The use of this cat breed selector should only happen after you have ensured that the environment in which you will be placing your new cat is suited to the domestic cat character. They are wild at heart, as you know. They are a cat’s whisker away from their wildcat ancestor. Their heritage is in the wild. They are born emotionally as feral cats.
A breeder immediately socialises them because they are born within the human environment. But without that socialisation during the first seven weeks of their lives, they would be feral cats and essentially unsuited for adoption into a person’s home. I’m restating the point that the fundamental character of all domestic cats including all individual cats of all breeds is that of their wild cat ancestor which is the Near Eastern wildcat.
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