Although all cats are special, these breeds were formed because of something unique in each of them. Some are very easy to spot, a genetic mutation that marks the cat as being “different”.
Photo of a Scottish Fold, from Wikimedia.
I really don’t think they make cats cuter looking than this. He is a Scottish Fold. Their ears stay about the same size they were as kittens, and do not stand up, in fact they start to fold at about 3 weeks of age. This breed originated as a mutation in the 1960’s. Occasionally a cat who has had bad ear mites, or frost bite will have a similar appearance.
Photo of an American Curl, from Wikimedia.
The American Curl is almost opposite from the Scottish Fold, their ears curl backwards. The curling begins at about two weeks of age. This breed is very new, developed from a mutation that occurred in the 1980’s. If the ears curl too far back and touch the skull, the cat is considered inferior, and would be disqualified from a show. They may be long or short haired.
Photo of a Persian, from Wikimedia.
A lot of people think that just because their cat has long hair it is a Persian cat, but you can see most Persians have another distinctive feature, a “peke-face”. This refers to the pushed in appearance of their nose. They are prone to breathing problems as a result, but heck are they ever cute. Persians are noted for being reserved and a bit lazy. They are not especially cuddly cats, and do much better when kept indoors only. They are often considered the classic apartment cat, assuming the owner is willing to groom them often.
Photo of a Cornish Rex, from Wikimedia.
The Cornish Rex is a cat that lacks a lot of the hair that other cats have, thus they are often selected by people with allergies. They only have a fine downy undercoat which is extremely soft. They are subject to getting chilled easily so are best indoors only in drier homes, however they are extremely active so are better in homes, rather than apartments. This is a relatively new breed, that resulted from a genetic mutation in a litter of kittens in the 1950’s.
Photo of a Sphynx, from Wikimedia.
The Sphynx is a virtually hairless cat often sought after by people with allergies to cats. They actually do have a thin, peach-fuzz-like coat, and require baths at least every two weeks to keep their skin in good condition. This breed originated in the late 1960’s. Like the Rex, these are active cats who need lots of places to run but should not be allowed outside, they are subject to getting cold and sunburns.
Photo of a manx cat, from Wikimedia.
There are several breeds of cats who are tailless or who have short tails. The best known of these is the Manx, who may be born with any length of tail. There is also the Japanese Bobtail, and the Pixie Bob. The Manx breed originated in the 1700’s and is actually the result of a mutation in the spine, as a result many Manx have problems with their bowels. Their hind legs are longer than their front legs which give them a peculiar gait, and people often say they are the result of crossing a cat with a rabbit. This is not true. The true tailless gene is lethal in kittens when doubled. As such two completely tailless Manx should not be bred together.
Norwegian Forest Cat
Photo or a Norwegian Forest Cat, from Wikimedia.
Nothing odd to look at in terms of appearance, it is more of a behavioral thing that sets this breed apart. The Norwegian Forest Cat has a very thick, double coat, especially in the winter. In fact the coat is so thick it is water proof, and these cats have a greater tolerance of water than most other breeds. As we know, most cats are terrified of water. These are big cats, but are friendly and calm, they make great house pets, and are gaining popularity as such. Remember just because a cat is big, fluffy, and likes water, does not mean it is a Norwegian Forest cat, to be considered as such the cat must be registered.
Photo of a Ragdoll, from Wikimedia.
The Ragdoll is a newer breed of cat, that quickly gained popularity in North America because it was said to be more placid and “floppy”, than other breeds. As a newer breed the color initially was limited to being color point with white on the toes and face, but by genetically limiting colors, the breed was being weakened, and other colors are now accepted. I am not endorsing this breed as a specialty breed, it has come to be known that this breed was not as “floppy” as they were initially said to be. They are pretty, but close attention should be made to avoid getting one that is excessively inbred to avoid the genetic problems that are present in the breed. They are a quiet cat who does well to be kept indoors only.