musings, mutterings, and creative muddle. . .

Friday, November 12, 2010

What Kind of Cat is That???

You've wondered. . . and assumed. . . . and guessed. . . and asked:  Exactly what kind of kitty does Robin Z have, anyway?  Is it sick?  Shaved?

 

Nope.  They're called 'Russian Peterbald'.  A male Don Sphynx and a female Oriental Shorthair were bred in Russia in 1994 and Ta Da!  We got the Russian Peterbald Cat!



Now, I'm sure you've noticed that the kitty on the left (Fritzie) appears to have no fur and Frazer (on the right) is furry.  Believe me, they are sister and brother - literal littermates - and both are quite normal for their breed.

Fritzie is called 'flocked' and feels just like a warm peach when you pet her.  It's kind of like velvet, actually.



When you hold her you can feel the heat generating off her body - she doesn't have a coat to keep it all in.  But, no worries, she never gets that cold.  She finds sun spots during the day. . .



And has a basket with a pet-safe heating pad (which Frazer also likes to share) when she's not otherwise cuddled on someone's lap.



We tried to put a little kitty sweater on her the first winter we had her. . . but it apparently 'rubbed her the wrong way' and she slinked around like a 4-legged snake.  Itchy sweater?  Perhaps.  We haven't worried about it since - and she's stayed healthy and warm.

Now, Frazer does have fur.



The unique thing is, though, is he doesn't have the undercoat that most kitties have.  This is the fur that grows in thicker in the winter and sheds in the summer.  He does still shed - but not nearly as much as if he had all of his fur.  This is a very-very good thing!  And his fur is absolutely amazingly soft!




The other style of 'coat' (or lack of, actually) within the Peterbal breed, is called a 'true naked.'  They feel a lot like your forearm when it's wet or sweaty.  I did NOT want a 'naked' cat. . . I really wanted a 'flocked' one.  Of course, 'flocked' is the desired breed standard.  So, naturally, they are more expensive.  Cats like Frazer are not Peterbald breeding stock and much less expensive.


Peterbalds come in pretty much every color with any marking imagineable.  I was really wanting some Siamese looking 'Seal-Pointed' (scroll down on the left of the Siamese link for an example photo) kitties, but the breeder I was working with was not having good luck with her Seal Pointed Girl Kitty 'taking.' 

In the meantime, another breeder had an ill-timed 'Lavender-Pointed' (the Siamese link has a great photo on the top right that looks just like Frazer) litter and needed to secure a home for them.  The litter started out with four, two naked girls, and Fritzie and Frazer.  Due to the genetic combination which creates the Peterbalds' unique coats, naked girl babies are extremely fragile.  Caring for a new Peterbald litter, I understand, is extremely intense and can be enormously emotional.

We stayed in contact with the breeder from the day of their birth until it was time for them to come home to us.  We got e-mail updates and photos on a regular basis - so we were already 'bonding' with them over the internet.

My kitties were flown in a pet crate from the Northeast United States when they were about four months old and after they had received all but their last set of shots and each were 'fixed.'   We drove to Kansas City to pick them up from the airport.  So exciting!  I couldn't wait to get them home and pet them, and play with them, and hold them, and get to know our new kitties.



Once they arrived, we had to keep them 'quarantined' for a couple of weeks then introduce them to the rest of the house and family (this, of course, includes our pair of Vizsla Doggies) gradually.  I don't have any readily available pictures, but the dogs and the cats (and usually even the humans) all get along famously.  Everyone has their own beds and feeding stations and toys - and all get plenty of lovin'.

Fritzie and Frazer, like all Peterbalds, are extremely inquisitive, love to play, and don't want to be too far away from their people.



When anyone comes to the door -they come running to see who it is.  If they were sleeping somewhere and woke up to find you gone, they will wander around the house meowing loudly to find you . . .  



Fritzie loves to sit on your lap and be petted and will cuddle up any chance she gets.  But please don't pick her up, she's not overly fond of being held like that.  And her motor runs constantly.  Just say her name and she'll start purring.  Frazer, on the other hand, won't necessarily jump into your lap, but he's always happy to be picked up and loved on.

We don't have to do anything special as far as caring for them.  No special food, or litter, or anything.  We do have to periodically bathe Fritzie as she has no fur to keep the dirt off of her skin and she can get dirty looking.  She handles this indignity with class - I let Hubster handle that job:-)  I do wash her face, eyes, and ears with a warm, wet washcloth whenever she needs it.  Frazer even likes having his face washed - even though he doesn't need it.

Having a kitty without fur is a little different and did take a bit to get used to - but they are the most wonderful kitties we've ever had - fur or no fur.  Besides. . . just look at that cute little kitty -



Seriously - you want a Russian Peterbald cat now, don't you?

Have a Purr-ful kind of day ~

Robin Z

P.S. Just in case you'd like to see more pictures. . . 


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