There is something about keeping an animal around that puts you in a better mood and reduces your stress levels. The objective is to have a companion that can adapt to your lifestyle, no matter how stressful it can be. Some animals that make great pets include dogs, rabbits, birds, and of course, cats. The domestic cat is a member of the Feline species that makes a great friend and a loyal partner. We cannot talk about cats without narrowing them down to a specific breed. The breeds of cats that exist are numerous, and you can make choices based on their differences. One type of cat that makes the right pet is the Bombay Cat, and in making your decision, you should know what characteristics it possesses. Definitely, personal preference will also come into play when choosing this feline housemate. These preferences might be influenced by some traits and features which will be explained in this article.
The most characteristic feature of the Bombay cat is its jet-black coat which has earned it the name ‘mini panther.’ The black fur is as a result of its Burmese heritage. The hybrid has American Shorthairs on the other end of its ancestry. It is primarily Asian with a glossy, sleek black coat as well as most of its features colored black. This mixed breed indeed resembles a panther and might share some characteristics with it. These features include their nose, soles, and mouth with the eye color ranging from copper to gold. The animal can be intimidating at first sight, but after a while, you will get accustomed to the majestic animal. Its hair is usually short, and the kittens are sable or brown color. In this article, the characteristics of this pet will be studied into detail for you to make a well-informed decision concerning choosing the animal.
History of the Bombay Cat
The genesis of the Bombay cat can be traced to Louisville, Kentucky, where Nikki Horner began attempting to create cats that looked like panthers. In 1958, the breeder made her first attempt and failed but was successful on his second try in 1965. The crossing involved a sable Burmese and an American Shorthair and was recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1970. The International Cat Association caught up in 1979 to acknowledge the mixed breed. Because of differences in the body types of the parent breeds, the frequency of their mating has reduced significantly.
The Burmese cat is an Asian breed originated from mating a female brown cat called Wong Mau with a seal-point Siamese called Tai Mau. She was then crossed with the offspring from the initial mating to form the distinct Burmese breed. The breeding occurred when Dr. Joseph Cheesman Thompson brought the female cat into San Francisco in the year 1930. It was later found out that Wong Mau herself was a mixed breed of a Siamese and Burmese. The breeding of the Burmese cat encountered some ups and downs due to the effort in preserving the pure breed. There were suspensions by the CFA on the crossing of the kind until around 1954 when the ban was lifted permanently. The aim was to not overwhelm the Siamese breed since there was so much outcrossing to increase its population.
The American Shorthair is a breed that was brought into North America from Europe to protect cargo from mice. The migration occurred in the 20th Century, and due to their new environment, they were bred in a way that preserved their best qualities. They were initially called the Domestic Shorthair but were later renamed to American Shorthair in 1966 to differentiate them from other shorthairs. They were known as the ‘working cats’ due to their usefulness in controlling rodent populations.
Quick Facts About the Bombay Cat
- The Bombay cat is not from Bombay
The only reason why the mixed breed cat has this name is that the breeder wanted to resemble a black leopard in Bombay. This cat was originated in America with the idea of that wild cat in mind. The wild creature was spotted in the exotic port city in India and Horner decided to name the cat after its inspiration. Even though this kind is a manipulation of human efforts, it has a breathtaking appearance like that of a naturally occurring breed. The breed looks fascinating, so it fits to name it after a place that gave the same captivating feeling as a glance at the cat.
- Intimidation at first sight
Some Bombay cats are jet black from head to toe. Initially, you can get quite a scare when you see them mainly because they can hide in dark places. Indeed, their appearance sets them apart from the other cats because instead of the usual pick paws, theirs is entirely black. They come off as independent or reserved, but it will surprise you to know that they are loving and clingy creatures. They are sometimes called ‘velcro cats’ because they tend to stick to or stalk their owners when they bond with them. That behavior is unexpected from an animal that looks very much like a wild one.
- Training them is easy
Bombay cats love to play, and so it is easy to train them especially using hand signals. They playful pets will be a delight to have around guests as they are quite impressive entertainers. They are fast learners due to their high intelligence and so quickly make associations. If you are playful yourself, then you will have a good time with the animal. This breed of cat is also inquisitive so would love to know what everything is about. Some owners have even had successful attempts at teaching the cat tricks that were meant for dogs. With all the playtime, you will become the feline’s best friend and will have great memories together.
- They love to cuddle
When you get past the intimidation, you will realize that this cat will come around you more often than not. Your bed is not a restricted area to the Bombay cat, and it will try to get one or two snuggles with you. The cat needs its own bed for the days where it might need them but if you find it in your bed do not be surprised. As the cat is easy to train, so it is easy to reverse the behavior if you are not comfortable having it on yours. You might just need a little time and patience to achieve that.
- Do not leave them alone
Like most other felines, the Bombay cat does get lonely when left alone for too long. The cat might get depressed and will definitely show it through destructive behaviors: tearing through your books or papers etc. If you are someone who often travels, then it will be wise to keep other pets around or get a sitter. This way your cat might feel your absence, but a companion will make up for it.
Things You Should Know About The Bombay Cat
Typically, the Bombay cat lives between 12 to 16 years. Within that time, their most prominent health issues include craniofacial defect, excessive tearing in the eyes, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. They are also prone to some sinus problems, snuffly noses, and gingivitis. The craniofacial defect is caused by a gene mutation that affects the development of the fetus’s head and facial areas. The autosomal recessive trait is inherited for the Burmese part of the Bombay cat, which is prone to the disease. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy occurs when the heart muscles thicken and produce symptoms in other parts of the cat. The disease reduces the efficiency of the heart, increasing its oxygen usage and depriving other body parts of oxygen. The defect is also caused by a mutation and does not show obvious signs. Rapid breathing might let you know that your cat is having a hard time and needs to be checked out.
Gingivitis forms in the mouth and on the teeth of the cat. It is caused by the formulation of dental calculus under the gums with signs including red gums and uneven gum surfaces. When food gets stuck in the gums, it can breed bacteria that release toxins to cause the illness. Over 80 percent of cats develop this illness, and it can cause them pain if not checked. To be sure about the health status of your pet, visits to the vet should be on your schedule. This way you can be a step ahead of the disease and offer your pet the best life possible.
When it comes to diets age, health, and weight, among other things, should be considered. Due to their innate carnivorism, it is wiser to have their meals come from animal sources. Bombay cats are more muscular as compared to other cat breeds, and their black coat hides weight well. It is, therefore, important to give them a diet that controls the weight. Because of their heart problems too, it is essential to pay attention to what they eat. A diet rich in protein will do your cat some good as it will help in the strengthening of its muscle. It is better to incorporate a grain-free diet which is lower in nutrients that the cat might not need.
After protein, fat is the next important part of the cat’s diet. It provides energy for the cat in concentrated forms, and because Bombay cats love to play, they will need it. The diet should also contain vitamins and minerals that will aid in things like hair and nail growth among others. Their diet can have a combination of wet and dry food, rich in meat. The diet should be balanced, paying attention to weight as it can affect the quality of life. A fat cat is more likely to have joint pain, and so it is necessary to maintain a healthy weight. Remember to give your cat clean drinking water and remove any food that might cause adverse reactions. If you are not sure what to feed the animal, do not hesitate to ask the vet.
Taking care of a Bombay cat involves paying attention to both their physical and psychological wellbeing. Because the breed is affectionate, it will be helpful to spend quality time with the animal. Even though the cat is clingy, it is quite easy to care for and does not need that much maintenance. Pay attention to signs of discomfort as well since the cat is prone to a variety of diseases. The cat’s coat is good at hiding weight, and so you might want to feed it a diet that will maintain a healthy weight. You can walk the animal regularly to get it to exercise a little to keep a healthy weight. Grooming is essential in keeping the animal healthy, and it should be done regularly. Keep the sleeping space of the animal as clean and dust-free as possible to give it the quality life it deserves.
Also do not forget to change the litter box as often as possible so you do not breed bacteria and other microorganisms that can harm the cat or even yourself. Make sure you are feeding the animal regularly, with a balanced diet. If necessary, create a timetable or schedule to make it easier for you to track. You can also journal your cat’s behaviors so that you can accurately explain them to the vet during check-ups. That’s right; veterinary checks will come in handy for a Bombay cat for all its medical needs.
This involves taking care of the hair, teeth, nails, and overall physical features of the cat. Bombay cats are short-haired and so do not shed much. Short-haired cats require brushing once or twice a week. The tool you use can give your cat a good or bad experience. For this shorthaired cat, a metal comb can get the job done. Brush in the direction of hair growth so that it is less painful. You might need the help of a Bombay owner when its time to brush for the very first time. Bathing can be done once a month, and the cat might not shed at all.
Trimming the cat’s nails is never an easy task. It is, however, a necessary one which can be done once a week for these cats. Introduce trimming at an early age so that you do not struggle when the cat is older. To get the best results, massage your cat’s paws until it is calm before trimming. Expose the nail and use a cat nail trimmer to remove excess growth. Always reward the animal so that each next session will be better than the last. Brushing your cat’s teeth does not take long if you use the right materials. For example, use paste without chemical ingredients to prevent burns and allergies in your cat. You can do this once a day or four times a week for healthy teeth. You can also have chew toys to keep the teeth busy and clean. Grooming ensures that your cat can have a better life, and it should not be taken for granted.
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Domestic cats, in general, are very subtle yet cozy animals. They love to be around others and are highly adaptable pets. The Bombay cat is no different: this animal is affectionate and highly intelligent. It does crave much attention but will make you feel appreciated. They quickly become attached to their human owners and more or less stalk them. Because of their love for attention, they are perfect for kids since playtime will be endless. The cats are courageous like their look-alike and also very sociable. Younger cats are less independent than older ones even though the breed is not totally independent.
It is not surprising if the breed is stubborn despite its friendly nature and the breed is likely to be depressed when it becomes lonely. Training this breed is a delight because of its intelligence and friendly nature. It is also a playful breed, and you will have a good time with it. Bombay cats have a loud purr and are likely to let you know its opinion. It is also highly adaptable and will live peacefully with other animals.
Whether you absolutely love cats or you just need a companion, knowing about your pet saves you a lot of stress. The Bombay cat makes a great pet regardless of all the attention-seeking and clinginess. Their color makes them look intimidating, but when you get to know them, you get a loyal partner. Their interest in your affairs is enough to make your heart melt. This breed of cat will be a perfect match to your collection if you are an animal lover as they cohabitate well with different species. It is safe to say that this animal is an excellent choice is you are a playful individual who needs a matching companion. They are not that high-maintenance especially if you visit the vet regularly. They come in only one color and so if you are not a fan of black you will not want it. Their personality, though, can make you overlook its gothy look but all in all, but it is worth it!
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