Official judge of the International Feline Confederation



I. In defence of cats
II. The Spirit of Cats
III. Friends of Cats
IV. Natural History.

V. Breeding
a) The Cattery
b) Choosing a Breed
c) Choosing Breeding Stock
d) Reproduction
e) Gestation and Birth
f) Caring for Kittens
g) Feeding Adults
h) General Hygiene

VI. Attending Cat Shows
a) Show Cats
b) The Exhibitors
c) The judges

VII. The Infirmary and the Vet
a) Ear Mites
b) Eye Conditions
c) Skin diseases
d) Intestinal Worms
e) Simple Gastroenteritis
f) Mild Coryza
g) General Illnesses
h) Other Diseases
i) Castration

VIII. Cat Clubs


I. Origins and classification
Table of Breeds

II. Descriptions and Standards


A) Persian cats: General
1. Black Persians
2. White Persians
3. Blue Persians
4. Red Tabby Persians
5. Self Red Persians
6. Cream Persians
7. Tortoiseshell Persians
8. Tortoiseshell-and-white Persians
9. Blue-cream Persians
10. Brown Tabby Persians
11. Chinchilla Persians
12. Silver tabby Persians
13. Smoke Persians

B) Sacred Cats of Burma [Birman]
C) Khmer


A. Brazilian Margay
B. Siamese
1. Beige Siamese
2. Blue Siamese
3. Yellow-eyed Siamese
C. Abyssinian
D. Manx
E. Chartreux
F. European Shorthair

1. European Tabby:
a) Tawny
b) Slate Grey
c) Silver
d) Chestnut
e) Blue
f) Red

2. European Classic Tabby
3. Slender European
4. Ratting Cats


1. Exhibition Rules and Regulations
2. Stud Book [Book of Origins] Rules and Regulations
3. Cattery Register Rules and Regulations


N.B. - Reproduction of the photos which illustrate this book is strictly prohibited. [Translator’s Note – this has now expired]

1. Sacred Egyptian cat (Geneva Museum of Art and History).
2. The Grace of Kittens ... (photo A.M.C., Geneva).
3. Kittens ... and More Kittens.
4. What are They Saying ...
5. "Bright Beacons ..." (photo Luigi Stucchi, Milan).
6. The Tomb of Madame de Lesdiguières's Cat (engraving by Coypel).
7. The Cat Theatre (engraving by Coypel).
8. Pussycats Often Have Odd Ideas ...
9. Tenderness ...
10. Awaiting Judging ...
11. Miss Kath. Yorke judging Int.Ch. Kissme du Léman (photo Press Diffusion, Lausanne).
12. A Page from the Geneva Cat Club Studbook.
13. Int. Llantarnam Boy Bubbles, bred by Mme Ravel, Paris.
14. Tanit du Léman, bred by Mrs. Ribordy, Montana.
15. Ch. Pigeon du Léman, Orange-eyed white Persian, bred by Miss C.L. Perrin, Lausanne.
16. Ch. Trésor Blanc du Léman, Orange-eyed white Persian, bred by Miss C.L. Perrin, Lausanne.
17. Ch.Talisman de la Chesnaie, Blue Persian, bred by Miss B. Chamonin, Geneva (photo G.-G. Vuarchex, Geneva).
18. Véra de la Chesnaie, Blue Persian, bred by Miss B. Chamonin, Geneva.
19. The Beautiful Expression of a Blue Persian, Int. Kissme du Léman, bred by Miss C.L. Perrin, Lausanne (photo Heutger, Lausanne).
20. A Nice Quartet of Blue Persians of the Dunesk Strain, bred by Mrs Brunton, England.
21. Ideal Pattern of "Tabby" Cats.
22. Hendon Red Arate, Red Tabby Persian, bred by Mrs. Campbell-Fraser, England.
23. Tiger Tim of Hadley, Brown Tabby Persian, bred by Miss Fisher, England.
24. Ursa of Hadley, Brown Tabby Persian, bred by Miss Fisher, England.
25. Ch. Mint of Hanley, Cream Persian, bred by M. Lanthenois, Paris.
26. René de Valescure, Cream Persian Kitten, bred by Mrs. L. Gibbon, Paris.
27. Ch. Noxina, Tortoiseshell-and-White Persian, bred by Mrs. Axon, England.
28. Ch. Gillyflower, Tortoiseshell-and-White Persian.
29. Head Study of Farquhar Rapture, Chinchilla Persian, bred by Mrs. L. Gibbon, Lausanne.
30. Volubilis de la Chesnaie, Chinchilla Persian, bred by Miss B. Chamonin (photo G.-G. Vuarchex, Geneva).
31. Ch. Ténèbre du Léman, Smoke Persian, bred by Mme Dingler, Montreux.
32. Uriane de la Chesnaie, Blue-cream Persian, bred by Mme Décombaz, Geneva (photo G.-G. Vuarchex, Geneva).
33. A Pair of Birman Cats (photo L. Stucchi, Milan).
34. Dieu d’Arakhan, Birman Cat (photo Wide World).
35. Pablo, Brazilian Margay (photo A.M.C.).
36. Pablo's Mealtime (photo A.M.C.).
37. Typic Pita, Blue-Eyed Siamese, bred by Mrs. L.-K. Sayers, England.
38. Southwood Kuching, Blue-Eyed Siamese, as above.
39. Oriental Ting Sang, Blue-Eyed Siamese, as above.
40. Sirius Valentina, Blue-Eyed Siamese, as above.
41. Ch. Zy Azuré Phandah, Blue Siamese, as above.
42. Trio of Burmese Cats, Yellow-eyed Siamese (United States).
43. Two Burmese Females and Two Kittens (United States).
44. Abyssinian Cat (France).
45. Chartreux Cat (France).



I have always been struck by this paradoxical fact: there is barely a in the western world which is not quietly inhabited by a cat, and yet cats are misunderstood, disparaged, or slandered by an ignorant throng which often judges them by the extent of their supposed egotism or wickedness.

In fact, anyone who idolises his own image is incapable of fathoming the secret and aloof life of cats. To understand them, you need more than just vague sympathy or fleeting caresses because cats, unlike other domestic animals, reserve their friendship and do not give it to the first comer. Even when they love their master a great deal they do not noisily express their joy at his approach, but remain nonchalantly calm, which admirably testifies to their personal life. A few years ago, returning from a trip after fifteen days of absence, I was greeted by my Siamese cat Cha-Ming at the threshold of my house. Those who witnessed the scene told me of the leap she made towards the door at hearing my steps on the gravel, and of the joy that filled her and which she showed with extreme excitement, but as soon as she saw me, her excitment suddenly stopped, all her joy was compressed, so to speak, and only her soft, intensely blue eyes and feverish purring spoke of her feelings. Thus cats resemble children and poets; like them, they cannot express their emotions in such a vulgar manner. This is why so many cat haters also detest poets and children, whom they are unable to understand.

We accuse cats of the worst misdeeds. From time to time, when the silly-season stories had run out, the newspaper headlines proclaimed that Siamese cats had given leprosy to a young girl who had to be rushed to the Pasteur Institute in Paris. Information from the Pasteur Institute said the whole affair was pure invention ... And whenever a baby is left unsupervised by a neglectful mother and a cat suffocates him with its fur while trying to warm and comfort the baby, there are always loud voices accusing cats of some well-known wickedness ...

Basically, many people are afraid of cats. I can guess at the distant causes of this fear - it is an unconscious fear akin to the fear of the mysterious that haunts the minds of all men. Some move resolutely forward and, faced with a moving horizon that constantly pushes back the boundaries of their knowledge, they experience intense emotions. Others rebel and, because they cannot accommodate the great unknown within the narrow confines of their minds, they deny it.

This fear of cats, countless legends and, above all, naturalists like Buffon, with whom we can also class La Fontaine, has taken root in the minds of many shallow people. Read, for example, the famous portryal of the cat by that decorated naturalist:

[1781 translation by William Smellie] “The cat is an unfaithful domestic, and kept only from the necessity... Though these animals, when young, are frolicksome [sic] and beautiful, they possess, at the same time, an innate malice, and perverse disposition, which increase as they grow up, and which education learns them to conceal, but not to subdue. From determined robbers, the best education can only convert them into flattering thieves; for they have the same address, subtlety, and desire of plunder. Like thieves, they know how to conceal their steps and their designs, to watch opportunities, to catch the proper moment for laying hold of their prey, to fly from punishment, and to remain at a distance till sollicited [sic] to return. They easily assume the habits of society, but never acquire its manners; for they have only the appearance of attachment or friendship. This disingenuity of character is betrayed by the obliquity of their movements, and the duplicity of their eyes. They never look their best benefactor in the face; but, either from distrust or falseness, they approach him by windings, in order to procure caresses, in which they have no other pleasure than what arises from flattering those who bestow them. . . .the cat appears to have no feelings which are not interested, to have no affection that is not conditional, and to carry on no intercourse with men, but in the view of turning it to his own advantage.”

A hundred years before Buffon, La Fontaine - who is said to know animals well and who used them as characters in his lively fables - had already blamed cats for a good number of those faults. But aren’t the malicious poet’s fables really pantomimes about men, dressing them up as animals?

At that time, moreover, people were not tender towards cats. This little story reports singular facts on this subject. In Metz, until around 1750, a curious ceremony was celebrated every year during which an iron cage filled with cats was placed on a pyre which was then lit. In Paris, when the Saint-Jean fire was ignited in the Place de Grève, the cats were released when the flames rose very high; the poor animals could only save their lives by climbing to the top of the mast planted in the middle of the pyre and from which, suffocated by the smoke and blinded by the flames, they fell, most often to die, to the applause of the raving crowd. A quatrain from 1619 speaks of

A cat, who, with a brief run,
Went up the fire of Saint-Jean-en-Grève;
But the fire did not spare it,
And made it jump up and down.

In public opinion, cats were nothing more than wizards. Consider this fragment of a poem by Guyot-Desherbiers, Alfred de Musset's maternal grandfather:

Doubtless he is a sorcerer,
And the Cat is one of his familiars.
In theology, we teach
That hell must have no orgy,
And that the Saint John sabbath
Must have Master Cat preside.

And a little further on:

We know that the devout ladies
The misbelievers saw souls -
Inasmuch as a soul can actually be seen -
Pass through the infernal manor
In the guise of a Black Cat.

The belief in witch cats has existed for centuries since at the start of the 13th century Saint Dominic’s sermons represented the devil in the form of a cat. This belief has been perpetuated right up to the present day: how many men and women do not shudder slightly when they unexpectedly see the enigmatic and luminous gaze of a big black cat at night? The legends are dead, but parents still thrill to tales of witches and fairy tales, just like their own children.

It is true that the cat is a mysterious animal. The origins of most breeds remain unknown as scientists still disagree on a single common ancestor or on various strains of diverse races spread around the world, be it the European cat dear to Mother Michel, the fawn-coloured Abyssinian cat or the sacred Birman cat.

Its beauty is mysterious because it is continuous. Many animals have gestures and attitudes of unparalleled beauty, but they are temporary. Cats, whether sleeping or watchful, are always beautiful; even in their most violent games and their most vulgar pursuits, they have harmony and grace that transfigure everything.

Their eyes are an ocean of mysteries: blue eyes, yellow eyes, copper-coloured eyes, green eyes, all of them contemplate you with a singular acuity, a strange attraction, an overwhelming inflexibility that the naturalist Buffon did not see, but which the poet Baudelaire described in his immortal verses:

When towards my beloved cat
My eyes are pulled magnetically
I turn around obediently
And I look within myself,
I see with astonishment
The fire of his pale pupils,
Clear lanterns, living opals,
Contemplating me fixedly.

[Quand mes yeux, vers ce chat que j'aime,
Tirés comme par un aimant,
Se retournent docilement
Et que je regarde en moi-même,
Je vois avec étonnement
Le feu de ses prunelles pâles,
Clairs fanaux, vivantes opales,
Qui me contemplent fixement.]

The mystery of the secret little soul of cats excited Pierre Loti's concern. With the enchanting sweetness of his voluptuous style, this tender cat-loving writer wrote of his impotence to penetrate that mystery:

"In our ignorance of everything, in our powerlessness to know anything, what astonishment and perhaps what terror it would be to penetrate the strange windows of his eyes to the unknowable of this little brain hidden behind. Oh! if one could, for just a moment, conceive of this place and then remember. What a sudden and decisive solution, doubtless full of terror, would cause eternal problems. Are we very inferior and far away from these familiar creatures or terribly close? Is the veil of darkness that hides the cause and the purpose of existence from them much thicker than ours? ... But no, none of us will ever be given anything to decipher in these cuddly little creatures who are so lovingly caressed, held and massaged by our hands ... "

Isn’t it, therefore, a prodigious adventure to look into the mysterious life of cats, to scrutinize its depths to seize the light that illuminates them? Simple curiosity will gain us better knowledge of the material world around us, which haunts the loftiest problems of human destiny, seeing a little further and extending the field of our passionate investigations.

On the other hand, no book since the war has condensed in so few quick pages the experiences of breeders, scattered in specialized journals, taking stock of some disputed question such as that of the tail of the Siamese or that of blue-creams. In addition, when breeders on the continent take on selective breeding of the various breeds, it is important that they are guided in their steps to avoid regrettable errors such as those which have caused the degeneration of the beautiful Siamese cat. Finally, cat lovers are increasing in number in a delightful way thanks to the influence of feline societies and cat shows. However, just as one does not buy a painting or a dog at random - unless he is a man without taste - a cat cannot be bought haphazardly. All cats have a fundamental beauty, but they possess characteristics which, developed with intelligence and perseverance, produce a greater impression of perfection. These typical characteristics often escape the untrained eye. Here again, a guide is required to facilitate a very difficult choice.

So, ultimately, this little book has no other goal than to make cats better known through its text and images and, thereby, to make them better loved.


In writing this title, "The Spirit of Cats," I remember Toussenel's delightful book, “The Spirit of the Beasts.” I know that he has the gift of driving crazy those who condemn cats to ridicule just as he makes learned scientists stuck in Cartesian geometry smile on the souls of animals. Not that I even want to briefly consider the serious problem of feline intelligence and draw metaphysical conclusions from the innumerable facts quoted in newspapers, magazines and books ... It would be an undertaking which exceeds my strength and which would encumber this book with a heavy and indigestible chapter.

However, the cat lovers who leaf through these pages will seek arguments that do justice to the charges brought by Buffon, La Fontaine and so many other critics of the feline race. Because they guess, without always being able to give a valid explanation, that even though naturalists appear to have good reason to slander cats, they are nevertheless wrong in reality.

I have quoted the famous text of Buffon. It is necessary to add here that of Cuvier which helps to better ask the question:

"Although spread over almost the entire surface of the globe, the manners of cats are almost the same everywhere. Endowed with prodigious vigour, and provided with the most powerful weapons, they rarely attack other animals with open force; cunning and daring direct all their movements, and are the source of all their actions. Walking noiselessly, they arrive at a place where the hope of finding a prey takes them, crawling near their victim, crouching in silence without any movement betraying them, awaiting the auspicious moment with an unalterable patience, then suddenly rushing forward, they fall on the prey, tearing it with their nails and quenching for a few hours that thirst for blood which consumed them. Satisfied, they retire to the centre of the domain they have chosen for their empire. There, in a deep sleep, they wait for some new desire to urge them to leave. That of love, no less powerful on their senses than that of hunger, comes in turn to snatch them from rest; but the ferocity of their naturalness is not satisfied by this need whose only goal is the conservation of life ... The male and female call out with sharp cries, approaching each other with distrust, satisfying their ardour with menaces and parting in fear. Only the mothers show love towards the offspring; male cats are the cruellest enemies of their offspring. Distrust seems to be the most marked feature of the cat’s character; it is never completely erased by domesticity and it presents the greatest obstacle when one wants to tame them. The slightest new circumstance is enough to frighten them, to make them fear some danger, some surprise. It seems that they judge themselves as we judge them ourselves. "

This realistic description is quite suitable for the wild or semi-wild cats that you meet in the countryside. It is false in all respects if applied to one who better deserves the title of "prince of the hearth".

Dr. Lépinay, who for two years tried to demonstrate the cat’s true psychology at the Paris School of Psychology, highlighted the fundamental error of such a massive judgment:

"I believe I have demonstrated that though it offers disturbing appearances, though its attitude is not that of the other animals around us, though in the past the cat has been taken in turn for God or the Devil, though we meet it near witches and sleepwalkers, though he is even considered to be the embodiment of witches, though he is loved by some and considered a pest by others, or considered in turn to be a wicked, treacherous, aggressive animal, or on the contrary as a precious, gentle, attached, affectionate being, in reality we do not know him. It seems we cannot forgive him for his whimsical nature because we are used to seeing around us animals that are much more flexible, much more capable of being bent to our whims, it is because we must admit that we want all those around us to be more or less our servants and our slaves."

There is a huge gulf between the rat-and-mouse-hunting cat that lives only on what nature puts at its disposal and most often lives on the fringes of human society, to the feline prince of the hearth, cuddled, cosseted and pampered by friendly hands. This was shown by Mr. Armand Steens, a sensitive writer and honorary president of the Cat Club of Liège, in an article in a French review [Chasse - Pêche - Elevage, May 1933, pp. 3809-3810]. I will quote it in its entirety because it puts an end, in my opinion, to a long-standing controversy:

“I'm not talking about the cat whose cruel instincts have been sharpened in order to make it only a good rat hunter because, as a utility animal of this kind, Master Raminagrobis does not interest us at all, believe me. But those who know him well know that the graceful little feline of our homes not only has pitiless hunting qualities, but he also has the attractions of beauty and affection which largely redeem his bloody instincts and it is because of these attractions that we seek his company.

“Now, for the cat to condescend to show itself to us in the aspect which captivates us, we must begin by arousing its charming metamorphosis ourselves, by giving ourselves over to it. To do that we must above all love it ... We know very well that, if the art lover, for example, finds pleasure in contemplating the pieces of his collections, it is because he loves them; he is drawn to his prints, his miniatures, and his jewels, because he finds in them mysterious charms that the layman cannot appreciate. Now, we love cats at first sight in the same way that we love the pretty flowers of art. Just as the artist tries to surround himself with fine objects which he admires, the catophile - who is very often also an art lover - likes to see these graceful beasts around him, whose attractive figure enchants the eyes. Because cats are little things of pure beauty, and this speaks as strongly to the enthusiastic soul of the cat lover as an inanimate art object speaks to the art lover. They ask for nothing else in their thirst for illusion, than for cats to appear before them in the splendour of their shimmering coat and illuminated eyes for the sole pleasure of seeing them again and again. Sweet mania! you might say ... So be it! but in any case a harmless one, and one which gives those who share it the satisfaction that others may seek less innocently elsewhere, in the din or in the mud, and very often in vain ...

“Now, while the cat lover becomes intoxicated at the sight of the small luminous sphynxes which bewitch him, a current of sympathy is established between him and the object of his deep affection. It's like saying a magnetic flux goes between man and beast and comes to awaken in the soul of the beast a mysterious correspondence ... Is there some feline fibre concealed in the big strange heart of Man, a fibre that vibrates in harmony with the heart of the chosen animal, a fibre of the same essence? How else can we explain the cat’s affectionate reaction in response to its master’s love, rewarding the latter for his constant attentions? It is a fact that the cat, who remains aloof from those who disdain him and who hates those who mistreat him, is steadfastly attached to those who understand him and show him kindness and affection. He does not know ingratitude; ingratitude is a specifically human defect ... And this is one of the beauties of his intimate being, so precious and so complicated, contrary to what those who ignore him claim, the cat has, in fact, deep within him a very great wealth of affection, straight and unswerving, that he gives only to those he considers worthy. To those privileged people whom he honours he is affectionate, faithful, devoted and gentle. He is no longer the disagreeable little bandit with a wildcat’s cruel gaze, emerging from a grove with a bird between his fangs and dominated by the worst instincts that nature has given him. Instead, he is transformed into a little hearthside spirit, charming, pretty, full of gratitude and friendship for those who have awoken in his heart the good instincts that nature has also lavished on him; instincts we can stimulate to a very large extent through suitable upbringing.

“It’s true it is said that the cat - unlike the dog, an exclusive friend of its master - is only the slave of the places he frequents; that he likes the house he lives in rather than the people in it. But how inaccurate this is! Of course he loves the building he lives in, the garden where he plays, the fire by which he sleeps. He has a predilection for the chair he crouches on to dream. He therefore has a great affinity with some wise men among us who can also be found in their house, near a soft lamp, and in a favourite little corner where they devote themselves to the worship of their gods. ... In humans as in cats an ancestral instinct drives them both to take refuge in their lair. Once this ancient hideout was a cave, where man and beast sheltered from surprises and dangers. How much that rough shelter has evolved over the years! It is now a blessed refuge deep in our dwellings, sheltering us from noise and rancour, and it is here that our modern small cats follow us with muffled steps ... Thus attracted to the home that he likes, it is certain that the cat will also prefer certain inhabitants of the places dear to him. Obviously, he will feel attracted towards the one who shows him the most affection, who gives him the most caresses, who offers him the most treats and whom he thus instinctively considers as a kind of beneficial spirit, forming an integral part of this ensemble of comfort, tranquillity and happiness that constitutes the circle in which he lives: his lair. But then, why the reproach of wickedness and falsehood that his enemies often address to him? Because, given his attachment - let's say "selfish" attachment - to the places he haunts and of which his good master is automatically a part, how could he be unfriendly or spiteful to him? We do not destroy what we love, and the cat, which returns tirelessly to his chosen happy lair where he finds a fire, cushions, and a master whose kindness he is used to, will always feel a great sense of well-being to curl up in the small space he is looking for, and he will certainly never be either false or nasty towards those who participate in this small corner of the world of which he himself believes the centre: you don't do injure yourself! On the contrary, he will prove to his great friend, by cuddling and happily purring with pleasure, that he unreservedly associates his master with the joy and tranquillity of his "lair".

For this reason, one who has won the affection of his cats, and who loves their presence around him, will always have the satisfactions he expects. When he least expects it, he will feel at his feet the soft touch of the affectionate kitty, coming out of who knows where in order to ask for caresses. He will have it with him at the table, insistently begging, often impatiently, for a share of the meal. A mercenary presence, you say, but why wouldn't he ask for food from the man he instinctively considers the provider? But when the meal is finished, he will not leave his master, he will go to sit on his knees for a nap or he presses close, soliciting sweet talk. Self-interest, therefore, gives way to affectionate gratitude. We know that not all men gratefully acknowledge a meal, in fact many of them a quick to slander the one who welcomed them generously at his table.

“To get a cat to demonstrate such affection to its owners, they need to educate it intelligently. In order for the good instincts in his soul flourish as intensely as possible and outweigh the bloodthirsty ancestral instincts of his kind, those who raise him must treat him kindly as soon as he comes into the world; spoil him, pet him, welcome him into their apartments rather than relegate him to the basement or garden. They must never push him away or intimidate him. If they hit him or if they noisily pursue him, they will make him fearful, sneaky and unfriendly because there is nothing that cats, discreet guests of the hearth, forgive less than sudden movements, noise or blows. Cats that are accustomed to being violently scolded or chastised, even if only with threatening gestures, will be careful not to stay with you; you will gradually and permanently lose their confidence and their affection. They will become distant, fearful and suspicious. These will add further to the large number of unfriendly cats whom men have made that way through ill use...

“So always talk sweetly to your cats and scold them only gently if necessary. If they get used to jumping on the table, why chase them abruptly and threaten them? Simply remove them and place them on the ground. If you repeat this gesture at each offense of the same kind, they will quickly learn. By constantly encouraging and spoiling your animals you will teach them to be gentle, loyal, and affectionate creatures who will never scratch or bite you. As the playful, affectionate, exquisite kitten grows into an adult cat, its character will become fixed in the way you have moulded it, and you will thus obtain peaceful and faithful old cats, true companions of their masters, and who, by dint of living in the intimacy of their masters, understand each of their gestures, each of their words. Some little old women always understand; taking for companions in their solitude cats that they treat with kindness. They end up making them real little friends, confidants of their sadness.

If everyone would raise cats with kindness and gentleness, they would quickly create a generation of happily transformed creatures. And you would then see for yourself, dear reader, that the persistent legend of the cat’s falsity no longer existed. Because that legend dates from Buffon’s time when most people hated and mistreated cats and only kept them for destroying rats. Those cats, of course, defended themselves against man’s wickedness. Their character was distorted, embittered and hostile. Buffon did not know that these small domestic felines are moulded by man make them and what man deserved."

To this fine and compelling analysis of the cats' mind, it will suffice to add a few lines illustrating their customs. The maternal instinct of animals is well known. It is particularly well developed in cats. As soon as they give birth, nothing outside matters to them. They never leave their kittens, except from time to time only to eat, to void their waste, or to keep away other cats or dogs that prowl close to where they have hidden their young. As soon as the young can walk, the mothers encourage them to run, gently taking them by the neck and tenderly playing with them. They remind them with a special meow if they venture too far, correcting them if they play too roughly, but defending them fiercely if they are threatened by some danger.

Mrs. G. van Kerkhove, a great leader of the feline movement in Belgium, described in the Belgian Feline Review [Belgian Feline Review, 1934, -July, p. 6.] a curious and typical case of maternal love in cats:

"My two black Persian cats, champion Miquette and her daughter Mascotte de Sainte-Hélène, both gave birth on June 26, 1934. That day, from early in the morning, the mother and daughter did not leave each other, caressing each other, licking, and nibbling each other’s ears as if they had something to confide to each other. Slowly, the mother led her daughter to a box specially prepared for the big event, inviting her with a kind of coo to join her.

“Thus installed, the purring mother probably gave her daughter the usual advice. Around one o'clock, Miquette gave birth to her first kitten, followed by a second less than ten minutes later, then another four. Mascotte’s first youngster arrived at the same time as her mother’s fifth so that, at quarter hour intervals, ten young black and blue Persians were born.

“It was then that I witnessed a touching and maternal scene. When the daughter had difficulty delivering her third kitten, I saw her mother helping her to give birth by delicately taking hold of the kitten in her mouth and gently pulling until it was delivered, so leaving her own young she tender the mother and kitten with dedication.

But what was really moving was that during the time the two cats were giving birth, Grandmother Nenette stood guard outside the bedroom door, wanting to ward off any intruders. "

All breeders who closely follow their cats during and after birthing, speak of the marvellous maternal instinct of their cats. The famous German animal writer Paul Eipper even devoted an important part of his curious book, “Friendship with Cats” [Paul Eipper, Freundschaft mit Katzen. Berlin, 1933.], to describing innumerable maternal reactions in his Siamese cat Lulo.

This instinct can even take bizarre forms: haven’t we seen cats adopt small dogs, chicks, or sparrows, accepting with good humour the often absurd antics of these unusual children?

As for the ferocity of males with regard to kittens, this is true in semi-wild cats, but it is only a myth in domestic cats. The Siamese, Birman and Persian males that I had at my cattery showed either indifference or attachment to their young. Often they licked them like a mother does. None have ever killed a single kitten.

It is often said that cats do not become attached to their owners, but that they only love the place where they live. I can tell fantastic stories of cats that have travelled leagues to return to their original homes. Like that told in the Times a few years ago by the Rev. C. E. Green:

“A cat enclosed in a basket was sent from Dublin, Ireland, to Ipswich, Suffolk. After a while, the cat reappeared with its former masters. Since the cat had travelled in a closed basket, the fact of its having returned across the country and the Irish Sea, hidden in a boat, indicates that it had not simply obeyed its feline instincts, but also shown a wonderful sense of direction. "...

Magazines and newspapers are teeming with identical feats. I do not want to question their authenticity, nor to discuss the conclusions which can be draws from them. I just find that these cases are monstrous things, exceptions that engage our imagination precisely because cats are usually not loyal to their house, but to their owners. I moved my entire farm a few years ago, five hundred metres as the crow flies from our former home. Kittens and adult cats were transported in daylight in open-work baskets from which they could easily recognize the road. Since they enjoy great freedom at certain times of the day, they could have, if this famous instinct were to be realized, returned without difficulty to their previous home: none have done so. On the contrary, they all quickly adapted to the new cattery in which they found their preferred food and the friendly hands that caress them.

Two illustrations will complete this moral portrait of cats: that of kittens and that of old cats.

The first was sketched by Scheitlin [Quoted by Jumaud: Le Chat p. 129.]: “Their first voice is excessively soft and quite childish. These little beings are so restless that, still blind, they are already leaving their bed, to which their mother is then forced to bring them back. As soon as they can see, they no longer care for it and crawl all around the nest, mewing frequently. They immediately start playing with everything that rolls, runs, slides or flies; the instinct for hunting mice and birds is already beginning to show itself. They continually play with their mother's tail and their own, as long as it is long enough for them to grab it with their paws; they also bite it and do not immediately notice that it is part of their own body, just as our children bite their toes, which they consider to be something foreign to them. Kittens cats make the most singular jumps and the most graceful movements. Their movements and games, which they enjoy like children, amuse both them and the people who love them, for hours on end. As soon as they have their eyes open, they know how to distinguish the good from the bad, friend from foe. When a dog barks at them, they already arch their backs and greet them with growling; they are little lions."

Scheitlin could have added another trait to this charming sketch, that of a cat in front of a mirror. First he advances his nose towards the stranger he sees before him, then he steps back in terror, then creeps and slides his paw behind the mirror to catch this impossible to grasp enemy, however, he quickly withdraws his paw and returns to the attack. I have seen kittens indulge in this game for long periods of time; Finally, as if they had understood that there was only a friendly image there, they went away, a little sheepishly, to other more fun games. My typewriter always fascinates them; they quickly saw that by pressing a key, a bar rises that they can grasp with the other paw. What comic and harmonious attitudes they take then in this new type of hunt!

But cats don't stay young forever. They age, much to the chagrin of those who have loved them. Having grown old, cats deserve even more care. Kittens will always have friends whom they seduce with their playfulness, their grace and their games. While old cats, as a collaborator of the Belgian Feline Journal wrote [October-November 1935, P. 3.], “lose this brilliant attraction which makes youngsters so interesting in the eyes of those they distract by their amiability. Old cats no longer frolic. They no longer arch their backs ... They turn in on themselves; they flee from strangers and from those who do not really love them. On the other hand, they are deeply attached to the master who has always understood, loved and cared for them. They do not show him the sometimes annoyingly exuberant affection of young cats overflowing with youth, nerve and life. But what a treasure of sweet affection they show to the old friend who has always spoiled them” Asleep in their endless dream, their bodies weary with age, they always make the willing effort to run to meet him, and when he does not noticing their discreet presence, they remind him insistently by rubbing against his legs. They have chosen, over the years, the favourite cushion in the favourite corner. They have taken root. For them, there is only one master, a garden, a house, a home, a corner, a cushion. Anything that changes in this list constitutes suffering for old cats, who do not understand such upheavals, however small they may appear to our eyes."

So old cats must die where they spent their good years. They must at all costs avoid the sad fate of the exiled cats that Raoul Gineste so beautifully deplored [Quoted by Robert Lestrange, Animals in Literature and History, p. 81.]:

But in the inevitable setbacks,
Uncharitable successors
Prohibit the cats from their tables;
Now they become outsiders,
And on snowy, windy nights
They shiver in the porches;

Ethical and funeral shadows,
Looming in the darkness,
With their prominent backbones,
And when they see old wives
Passing with shopping bags
Wearily carrying dinner,

The good taste of golden crusts
Soaked in sweetened cream
Returns to their tight lips;
And the old cats, sorrowfully,
Haunted by the mocking odours,
Arch their backs and mew.

With rare exceptions, old cats are not sick for long. They go quickly, slowly, carrying in their last sleep the much loved image of their master. To get rid of them because they are no longer beautiful enough is an atrocious barbarity; it is better to provide them with quick euthanasia which puts them to sleep forever, without unnecessary suffering.

A thought by Pierre Loti will be the last word of this "cat psychology": "We have the cats we deserve", he liked to repeat. Let those who complain about their cats meditate on this brief and concise reflection and draw the necessary conclusion.


In a brilliant chronicle of "Le Temps" of December 22, 1932, Mr. Edmond Jaloux wondered if La Fontaine is not partly responsible for the hostility that so many ignorant people have proclaimed and still proclaim against cats. I do not believe that the sweet daydreamer of Fables is the only cause of this state of mind. At most, it echoes a tradition deeply rooted in the souls of peoples for millennia.

To find the origin of this tradition, it is necessary to go back to the more distant history of Egypt, to the moment when the democratic organization of the tribe evolved towards an aristocratic form. Very close to the people while she remained a tribal totem, the She-Cat moved further and further away as the importance of the chief increased. From a simple little beast useful in a country periodically infested with rats, therefore a protectress of man, the She-Cat "gradually climbed all the degrees of glory to emerge at the end of the shadows of prehistory, in the dazzling form of 'a goddess, good for those who loved her, fiercely cruel to her enemies' [A. Steens. In Hunting - Fishing - Breeding: The companions of the Cat, July 1932, p. 3025. (Chasse - Pêche - Elevage : Les compagnons de la Chatte)]

A temple was erected in Bubastis where the cat goddess was worshipped for centuries. At that time, and this goes back to almost 2000 BC, cats were considered sacred beasts which received curious tributes after their death. Diodorus of Sicily, in the century before Christ, gave the following example:

“The law was far more severe regarding those who made an attack upon Cats, whether deliberately or by accident. They were immediately handed over to the secular arm. The people seized them, and furiously tore them to pieces, so, as soon as an Egyptian saw a dead Cat, he took himself away from it, tearful and trembling, and went to announce this catastrophe, protesting his own innocence, and the whole Town was filled with clamour. Then the Magistrates ceremoniously came to remove the body; they embalmed it with scented Cedar oil, and several other aromatic herbs necessary to preserve it. They then transported it to Bubastis to be interred in a sacred building. [Cited by MONCRIF, pp. 32-33].

Excavations conducted at the end of the 19th century discovered, at several places in Egypt, vast hypogea which were cemeteries of cats. Thus, in Diana's grotto, near Beni-Hassan, archaeologists uncovered around 180,000 cat mummies, many of which were placed in coffins. Near this cemetery was a chapel dedicated to the cat goddess Bast by the kings of the 18th and 19th dynasties.

1. Sacred Egyptian cat (Geneva Museum of Art and History).

Egyptian literature has preserved traces of the veneration of cats. They appear in treatise that brint to mind several characters from La Fontaine. The Papyrus of Leiden tells of the tangles of the god Thot with the cat goddess Tafnouit. And the Egyptologist Laut has deciphered a number of fables that date from twenty centuries BC, some already presenting fine, cunning, and clever cats.

Besides the enduring popular tradition which views cats as evil beasts, another tradition was created, one that lives more willingly in the souls of scholars and artists, as if a thread of gold runs through history from the temple of Bubastis to the temple of Lao-Tsun where, according to an elegant legend, mysterious cats of regal beauty, which carry on their paws the white seal of the deity, are jealously venerated by the last priests of the god Song-Hio and the sapphire-eyed goddess Tsun-Kiankse.

2. The Grace of Kittens ... (photo A.M.C., Geneva).
3. Kittens ... and More Kittens.

It is true that the Bible ignores cats; the Hebrews, who had so much to do to protect themselves from the cult of false gods, must have hated the cult of the cat-goddess, a symbol of voluptuousness and unproductiveness. It is quite curious to note here, in this connection, two quotes from cats in the Bible, both of which are false. Jumaud, in his book “Cat breeds” [P. 29], writes this singular paragraph:

“In a recent article, the Vicomte de Simony says that the name of Haret Cat undoubtedly came from the name given it by the Hebrews who belonged to the tribe of Judas who owned a large number of cats. (Satus Haret, 1 Book of Kings 22).”

This passage is full of errors. The indication of the text is false: it should read 1 Book of Kings, 22. There is not, in the 5th verse, Satus Haret, but Saltus Haret. Here is, moreover, the Latin text and its translation:

Dixitque Gad propheta a David : noli manere in praesidio, profiscicere et vade in terrant Juda. Et profectus est David et venit in saltum Haret. — The prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold; go and come back to the land of Judah. And David went away and went to the forest of Haret. (Crampon translation.)

This Haret saltus has not been identified; it is certainly a forest in which David could easily hide. So, no actual trace of cats in this verse.

The other text that is sometimes invoked is taken from Jeremiah's letter found in the appendix to the Book of Baruch, VI, 22: “Supra corpus eorum et supra caput eorum volant noctuae et hirundines et aves similiter et cattae.” Crampon translated, "Owls, swallows and other birds flutter over their bodies and heads, and the cats themselves frolic."

This translation is faulty: the flying verb applies to Noctuae and hirundines and aves similiter and cattae. This last word, cattae, has two meanings: usually night owl and sometimes cat. The parallelism of the sentence is broken if we translate cattae as cats. Cats, as Crampon put, would require the word catti and not cattae. Finally, to accept the Crampon translation, you have to introduce a verb, frolic, which does not exist in the text and which is not implied in the meaning. If we accept the main meaning of cattae - "night owls" - the passage translates as follows:

"Above their bodies and above their heads, owls and swallows flutter and the daytime birds and the night-time birds."

So, while the Hebrews never spoke of cats, the Barbarians of the North, the Alains, the Sueves, the Vandals, all, carried the cat in their emblems which were, according to legend, of silver with a sable cat. Later, Muhammad, surprising his cat Muezza who lay on the sleeve of his clothes and appearing to meditate deeply, cut off the sleeve rather than disturb her. When he returned from prayer, Muezza thanked him for this attention by bowing to him. Muhammad, according to Arab legends, then secured a place for Muezza in her paradise and, passing his hand over her spine three times, gave her and all her fellows the power to always fall on their feet. This is why Muslims continue to hold cats in great esteem, while viewing the dog as an unclean animal.

Since this time, testimonies abound in favour of cats. It was Tasso who, in a beautiful sonnet, begs his cat, when poverty deprived him of candles, to lend him the light of her eyes. It was Petrarch who, in the solitude of Arca, after the death of Laura de Noves, surrounds with the most tender care a cat whose skeleton, it seems, is preserved in Padua.

[Translator’s note: About 1368 Petrarch moved to Arqua, near Padua, where he passed his remaining years in religious contemplation. His cat was embalmed and on the marble tomb on its tomb is a Latin inscription written by Antonio Quarenghi:

Etruscus gemino vates ardebat amore:
Maximus ignis ego; Laura secundus erat.
Quid rides? divinae illam si gratia formæ,
Me dignam eximio fecit amante fides.
Si numeros geniumque sacris dedit illa libellis
Causa ego ne sævis muribus esca forent.
Arcebam sacro vivens a limine mures,
Ne domini exitio scripta diserta forent;
Incutio trepidis eadem defuncta pavorem,
Et viget exanimi in corpore prisca fides.

Translated as “The Last Lay of Petrarch’s Cat” in “Notes and Queries,” Vol. V, Number 121, February 21, 1852:

The Tuscan bard of deathless fame
Nursed in his breast a double flame,
Unequally divided;
And when I say I had his heart,
While Laura play'd the second part,
I must not be derided.

For my fidelity was such,
It merited regard as much
As Laura's grace and beauty;
She first inspired the poet's lay,
But since I drove the mice away,
His love repaid my duty.

Through all my exemplary life,
So well did I in constant strife
Employ my claws and curses,
That even now, though I am dead,
Those nibbling wretches dare not tread
On one of Petrarch's verses.]

Joachim du Bellay who wrote over two hundred lines to mourn the death of his friend Belaud,

Belaud who was so beautiful
She’s worthy of being immortal.

It was Montaigne who saw in his cats a real subject for study. Even Richelieu, whom official history considered rather sombre, always worked with his cat Rita by his side. Under Charles IX and Henri III, who had such an unreasonable fear of cats that the mere sight of a tomcat made them swoon, the courtiers banished cats from the Court. But the great cardinal thereafter imposed his predilection for cats and installed principally in his little friends; some of whose names have been preserved: Lucifer, Pyramis and Thisbe, Gazette, Soumise, Rubis, Racan and Perruque. It was a kind of palace revolution ... And the courtiers made it a point of honour to have at least one cat in their house. Colbert and Fontenelle followed the example of Richelieu.

Then come the years of Wild Life, under the Regency. A mad infatuation with cats seized the lords and ladies. And just in time, an adviser at the Court of Aix introduced the first Persian cats to France. Fpor a prank, an enthusiastic little marquise asked François-Auguste Paradis de Moncrif to write a defence of the cat. In 1727, Gabriel-François Quillau, rue Galande in Paris, published the history of cats by this singular Livy, in the form of Letters to Madame la M. de B *** without the author’s name, under the title “Cats,” It was a literary event which earned Moncrif his entry to the French Academy, but also earned him ridicule and stinging epigrams. The Earl of Argenson, to whom the Encyclopedia was dedicated, even pleasantly nicknamed this historiographer a historioclawer (historiofriffe).

Moncrif's book, in addition to some delightful engravings by Coypel, contains a wealth of curious information and poetic evidence of the favoir enjoyed by cats with the greats of the Court. Here, Moncrif quotes the rondo (written in the style of Clement Marot) of the Duchess of Maine about her cat, Marlamain cat. This rondo appears in many anthologies. Here is the prettiest passage:

When I wish to paint Minon, my puss,
I must use an excellent paintbrush,
To depict her kindliness correctly,
And display her pretty flexibility;
But alas! a puny Poëtereau am I,
And naught can contain her sweet beauty
For even Cupid, though pleasing to the eye,
Has not the spirit of delicacy
Of my Minon.

It is also Moncrif who gathered the song-letters where Madame Deshouilleres does not hesitate to declare to her husband that, despite his absence, it is her attachment to Grisette, her admirable cat, that occupies her entirely! We also find in this book, so characteristic of its time, the Epistle of Scarron to Mme de Montatere on the adventure of a great lady who, having adorned her cat like a dancer with a splendid pearl necklace around her neck, lost both her kitty and her collar:

The angry cat has not returned,
His Lady’s embraces forever spurned,
Her own rage was not for the collar’s cost,
But for the beloved Tomcat she had lost.

And Coypel drew a picture of the tomb of Menine, Mme de Lesguidiere's cat, "a building which, by its simplicity and elegance, does honour to Architecture." "The epitaph which is engraved on it, adds Moncrif, sufficiently proves that this cat was the greatest pleasure in the life of her mistress, who was said to love her madly":

Here is a pretty Cat,
Her Mistress, who loved nothing,
Loved her madly,
Do you need to ask? - It’s plain to see.

We must wait for Chateaubriand's arrival to find a real cat eulogist. The Count of Marcellus, in Chateaubriand’s and his time, recounts the Spirit of Christianity’s author’s great passion for small domestic felines. In all the countries where his vagabond mood transported him, he was interested in them. He even wrote to the Count of Marcellus:

"I love in the Cat that independent and almost ungrateful character which makes him attach himself to no one, the indifference with which he passes from the salons to his native gutters. He is caressed, he arches his back; but it is a physical pleasure which he feels, and not, like the dog, a simple-minded satisfaction in loving and being faithful to his master, who thanks him by kicking him. The Cat lives alone, he has no need of society, he obeys only when he wishes, he sleeps in order to see better, and claws everything he can scratch. Buffon mistreated the Cat; I am working on its rehabilitation, and I hope to make it an appropriately honest animal, in the fashion of the times. "

During his stay in Rome as ambassador, Chateaubriand inherited Pope Leo XII’s cat. Here's how he narrates the event:

"I have for companion a large red-grey cat, with transverse black stripes, born in the Vatican, in Raphael's box. Leon XII raised him in a fold of his robe, where I enviously saw him when the pontiff gave me my audience as ambassador. When the successor of Saint Peter died, I inherited the masterless cat, as I mentioned when discussing my embassy in Rome. He was called Micetto, nicknamed the pope's cat. In this capacity he enjoys extreme respect from pious ladies. I try to make him forget his exile, the Sistine Chapel and the sun of Michelangelo’s dome where he walked far above the ground. "

Italy, in 1845, gave us Giovanni Rajberti who, in his funny book “Sul Gatto,” proved that he knew cats – and men – very well.

Consequently, almost all the great writers of the 19th century became passionate cat lovers. The names of their favourite animal shares their masters’ glory: there is Victor Hugo’s Chanoine, Sainte-Beuve’s Polemon, Alexandre Dumas’s Mysouf, Catulle Mendes’s Mime, Stephane Mallarme’s Lilith, Edmond de Goncourt’s Mie, Pierre Loti’s Mahmoud and Balkis right through to Mme Colette’s Kiki-la-Doucette ... and so on.

All cat breeds have found fervent admirers among writers and artists, from the common cats dear to the tender heart of Francois Coppee to the wild Margay of Brazil. While Pierre Loti liked the beautiful Persian cats, those silky long-haired felines, Steinlein, along with Baudelaire and Rollinat, preferred the close-lying fur and pure lines of the Siamese. Closer to home, Regine Marsay and Marcelle Adam were fascinated by the priestly Sacred Cats from Burma (Birman). Claude Farrere, when he could travel, carried with him in his distant peregrinations a Chartreux cat.

The prying press taught us that Clemenceau, not long ago, bought a blue Persian in London which he named Prudence. Geo London told the story in a rather pleasant way in “Le Journal” on December 25, 1919. Eight days before, “Le Petit Journal” revealed to the world that this cat was the daughter of Sally Brass and Nicolas Nickleby and that it had been bought in a boutique on from Bond Street. Gabriel Mourey, for his part, collected in “Les Annales” the confidences of Mr. Raymond Poincare, who was amused at the Elysee Palace by the unparalleled grace of his Siamese cat Gri-Gri. And it was whispered later, in the corridors of the presidential palace, that M. Doumergue, despite being so docile to the orders of M. de Fouquiere, disrupted protocol for his cat. Finally, is it possible to recall that, according to the testimony of Dr Loir, Pasteur's nephew and great friend of ratting cats, Mussolini showed a lively passion for cats?

The great poets and great prose writers of the 19th century, like those of the 20th, were not satisfied with having the warm presence of a few more or less beautiful cats by their side. They sang, often admirably, of the incomparable graces of their friends. We should mention here the greatest romantics, the cursed poets, the Parnassians, and the symbolists, without forgetting the twelve sonnets of the solemn Mr. Taine. We would have to continue with our contemporary writers starting from MMe. Colette, and recall the exhilarating pages of Alfred Machard, of Paul Morand who raised more than a hundred cats, to end up at the Académie Française {lit: under the cupola] with Mr. Pierre Benoît. But that would create a large anthology which would have to be completed by reproducing the works of the great masters who did not scorn at paying homage to their furry majesties in paintings or important statues: Cornelius Wisher, Gerard Dow, Teniers, Breughel, Coypel, Gericault, Delacroix, Watteau, Manet, Burbank, Mme Ronner, Lambert, Fremiet, W. Chance, Hokusai, and many others right up to Jacques Nam, whose pencil and chisel made the curves of cats so harmonious. A Swiss artist who had his hour of glory through his cats, is Gerard Mind, who earned the nickname "Raphael of cats".

Scientists, statesmen, poets, writers, painters and sculptors, and musicians, those who have made the cat their favourite animal are, therefore, legion. It is even quite amusing to compare what they say of the accusatory portrayal by Buffon. A few examples will suffice to destroy each of the naturalist's claims:

"Cats," wrote Pierre Loti, "have small skittish souls, small souls full of tenderness, pride, caprice, difficult to penetrate, revealing themselves only to certain privileged people and are repelled by the slightest insult and sometimes the slightest disappointment."

"Under the tense and vibrant immobility of the cat," claims Paul Morand, "the most delicate, the most nuanced, the most impetuous sensibility quivers ...

... I like cats because they are silent and, as such, misunderstood; I don't mean to say that they never meow, but they only meow wisely, to ask for specific things; very different than dogs or birds, whose chatter and grimaces soften more superficial spirits. Cats are misunderstood because they disdain to explain themselves; they are only enigmatic for those who ignore the expressive power of mutism. There is no living being whose face is more eloquent than that of a cat: curiosity, astonishment, apprehension, terror, gaiety, ferocity, gluttony, voluptuousness, disappointment, anger and even love (when, sitting on their behind they look at you, head tilted, eyelids half-closed, purring) pass in long flashes of their eyes. I only know one human whose gaze is richer in nuances, more infinite: that is Greta Garbo, and if she were tempted to be offended by this comparison, finding it sacrilegious, then she need only remember that 5000 years before her time, the cat was a goddess."

Ms. Marcelle Adam, secretary of the Union of French Novelists, actively participated in the cat fancy movement in France. She gave captivating reports to various feline journals that read like this:

"I would like to tell you the moving stories of the feline friends who, throughout my life, have surrounded me with sweetness. Loyalty, discretion, pride, they have a thousand qualities that are easily overlooked because they do not show themselves off. Having been separated from me, Jo, a Chartreux cat, died of grief. No human has ever given me such proof of attachment! Manou, my Sacred Birman cat, cannot bear to leave me. He makes a great scene when I get home a little late. He is a charming being whose language I understand ... "

Edmond Jaloux is no less enthusiastic:

“The most mysterious thing about cats is their extraordinary emotionality. What sometimes disturbs everyday life upsets their nervous system and puts them in a state of almost unbearable discomfort ... They have to live in an atmosphere

Where everything is order and beauty,
Luxury, calm and voluptuousness.

If the poets loved them, it is because no other animal is more like the poets. "

Thus, by peculiar irony, artists understood cats better than the naturalist scientist. Their love for

These large sphynxes lying in deepest silence,
Seeming to sleep in a dream without end,

According to Baudelaire’s song, triumphing over ancestral and superstitious fear so much that today, in many homes,

It is the familiar household spirit;
He judges, he presides, he inspires
Everything within his empire.

And there are many people from all walks of life, like Mr. Edmond Jaloux, think:

"The man who has no music in him, or who is not moved by the harmony of soft sounds, is made for betrayals, stratagems and theft (according to Shakespeare in a speech in The Merchant of Venice); the motions of his mind are as dull as night and his affections are as dark as Erebus. Never confide in such a man.

“I will not go as far as Shakespeare and I will not say that the spirit of the man who does not like cats is heavy like the night or that his affections are dark like the Erebus, but it is stronger than me, it is difficult for me to confide entirely in someone who does not like cats."

Cats are better than our friends; they are, as Mallarme said, mystical companions who lead us by the sweet reverie of their gaze, far from the pettiness of the earth, into the limitless region of the life of the spirit.

They cannot, it must be admitted, render the same services as dogs with such diverse jobs. But like dogs, they are our real friends, friends who never accept the lowly rank of the slave and whose subtle happiness is to take the noble attitude described by Baudelaire when asking about man

The fire of his pale pupils,
Clear lanterns, living opals ...

And this excuses me from taking sides in the famous quarrel between dog-lovers and cat-lovers. For example, I could never understand the hostility of the great dog-lover Maurice Maeterlinck, who shot Messaline, his wife Georgette Leblanc’s she-cat, because it was desperately crying her unfulfilled desires under his window. Because, even though I have been captivated for a long time by Siamese, Persians, Birmans like alley-cats, I still like and admire the dog. I often even dream of having, in my old age, one of those wonderful Briards whose loyalty and intelligence Sedir so lavishly praised ...


Naturalists tell us that the cat is a vertebrate mammal, in the order of carnassiers (carnivorous animals), the carnivore family, the digitigrade tribe, and feline genus which contains the lynx, puma, tiger and lion, the panther, leopard, serval, jaguar, cheetah and cat. It is characterized by a somewhat long muzzle, a rounded skull, short strong jaws, five toes on the forelegs with fully retractable nails, four on the hind limbs and a tail which is generally quite well-developed.

Some technical notes will be useful to everyone, from simple admirers to breeders and to the judges themselves. All too often at exhibitions there arise discussions about the classification of the best cats, based solely on superficial characteristics such as condition at the time or nuances of colour, while an anatomical study, even a brief one, would provide more convincing arguments.

The head consists of the skull, formed by nine flat bones - seven are odd-numbered and only one, the temporal, occurs in a pair - and by the face, which comprises the upper jaw - formed by nineteen wide bones, of which only one, the vomer, is unpaired - and the lower jaw. Generally, the rather short head has a convex profile on the upper part of the face; the parietal region is domed, the frontal flat, the nasal very short; the cerebellar compartment is very spacious. The English, through selective breeding, have managed to further shorten the nasal region and produce a kind of stop (angle change) in the best types of Persian cats, particularly in the blues and creams.

The thorax consists of the sternum and ribs. The sternum [breast-bone] is flat and elongated; it is formed by eight sternebrae (segments), occasionally seven, which are elongated from front to back, recessed in the middle and bulging out at their ends. There are thirteen pairs of ribs including four asternal [not connected to sternum], which, with the exception of the first, are thin and narrow; they increase in length from the first to the seventh and decrease in length from the tenth. The costal [rib] cartilages increase in length as they go further back. The cartilages of the true ribs articulate with the sternum; the cartilages of the false ribs are joined to each other to form costal arches.

The front limb is composed of the scapula, a small clavicle, the humerus, the radius and the ulna - almost equal in volume, slightly curved along their length and remaining separate throughout the life of the animal – the carpus, metacarpus and five fingers, the thumb with two phalanges and the other four with three phalanges.

Hind limb: the pelvis is longer behind than before; the ilium is almost vertical; the pubis is thick; ischium is equal to two-thirds of ilium. The femur is elongated, straight and cylindrical and the kneecap is wide and flattened from front to back. The tibia, long and thin, has a prominent anterior ridge. The fibula, the same length as the tibia, is completely separate, roughly straight, sharp in front, rounded at the back and sides. The tarsus is made up of seven bones. There are four metatarsals and a rudimentary fifth which is never accompanied by a phalanx. There are therefore only four fingers, each having three phalanges.

The cat's dental system has twenty-six teeth in the first dentition: six incisors, two canines and five molars, three of which are in the upper jaw. The second dentition comprises thirty teeth: six incisors, two canines, and seven molars, four of which are in the upper jaw; numbering of the teeth is understood to follow the dental formula for half of the upper and lower jaws.

The tip of the cat's nose is made up of a bare, wet and cool protrusion of skin, most often pink or black, sometimes divided by a median groove and having two comma-shaped nostrils having the shape of commas either side of the convex part. The nasal cavity is very short.

The larynx has a large and strong cricoid, a thyroid furnished with narrow wings and a large hyoid horn, a long and flexible epiglottis, very acutely angled, triangular in shape; the lateral ventricles are shallow. The upper vocal cords, four to five millimetres in length, are very thin, soft, and are far apart in front and meet at the back at the bottom of a sinus. The lower vocal cords are thick and close together and are separated from the foregoing ones by a cavity situated on a more internal plane, in contact at their thyroid end. The role of the two kinds of glottis is not yet fully determined: the upper vocal cords would produce the purring and growling, and the lower cords produce meowing. But the experiences of Segond and Longet lead to contradictory conclusions. It seems, however, that the lower vocal cords possess the qualifications that belong to the same organs in other animals and play the main role of phonation, and that the upper ones, while still able to vibrate, have only an accessory function.

Despite apparent uniformity, the meowing of cats is quite varied. The calling cry of males and females, that of females calling their young, the cry for food, those which express joy or suffering are all distinct enough to be separated by the ears of an attentive observer.

Some authors go even further and affirm, on the one hand, that cats are very advantageously arranged for music – thus says Moncrif - and, on the other hand, that cats use language in which one can distinguish not only vowels, but also consonants like M, N, G, H, V and F – according to Dupont de Nemours, in the United States. Champfleury and Father Galieni both amused themselves counting the notes of meowing cats: the former counted sixty-three nots while the ear of the latter heard only twenty. Moncrif supported his opinion that the sistrum was the attribute of cats among the Egyptians. Oddly enough, modern music theorists give credence to the historiography! We must read what the American Carl van Vechten wrote on this subject in the book published by Mac Millan in New York in 1937, The Cat in Music.

4. What Farquhar Rapture and Farquhar Valescure, male Persian chinchillas, saying about this sunny wall?
5. “Clear lanterns …” (Baudelaire)

6. The tomb of Mme de Lesdiguières’ cat.
(Engraving by Coypel, from the book by Moncrif, 1727)

7. The Cat Theater.
(Another engraving by Coypel, taken from Moncrif's book)

The cat's tongue is an extraordinary instrument. Its surface is rough, covered with hard protruding papillae. It curves when the animal eats and allows him to drink liquids easily and quickly. It is with its tongue that the cat indulges in its usual cleanliness routine; it spends long hours in this pursuit and manages to rid its fur of all dirt and make it shine.

His long whiskers are not merely decorative. They increase his fine and delicate sensitiveness and help him to navigate and better sense obstacles in the night.

The bones and muscles are approximately the same in all breeds of domestic cats. However, European cats clearly present two distinct types: one is elegantly shaped, slim, powerful and strong; the other is more slender, smaller and compact. Siamese are generally smaller than European cats. As for the Persian and Birman cats, they are medium to large size, but cobby and compact (cobby and massive, says the English standard for Persians). The ear shape varies according to breed, as do the face and the nose. These differences will be precisely indicated in the detailed description of each breed.

The cat's fur varies widely in structure and colour. It forms the basis for the classifications currently accepted in exhibitions: long-haired cats and short-haired cats, each group being further divided into species, breeds and varieties.

Eye colour differs from one breed to another and often from one variety to another. Thus, blue Persians have yellow eyes or, preferably, copper coloured eyes; white Persians have blue eyes and a variety of white Persian has yellow or orange eyes; chinchillas have emerald green eyes. The shape of the eyes and the distance between them also play a role during judging to find the best specimen.

The anatomical characteristics of the cat determine the particular physiology that makes it so endearing. Dr. Philippe Jumaud describes its exterior appearance as follows:

“The cat has a rounded head, strong whiskers, a short, stocky neck, an elongated, narrow body and strong limbs. The male is distinguished from the female by its larger size and a stronger and wider head. Its gait is supple and graceful; it always bends, curls up, bends, squats, lies down and walks silently, making no noise. Its legs are wonderfully arranged to give it lightness and to dampen any reaction from of the ground. At the time of pressing down, the toes extend and spread out slightly to distribute pressure over a larger surface. In addition, the cellulo-fibrous pads on the underside of the foot flatten out into the gaps between the phalanges and then return to normal as soon as the pressure ceases thanks to their elasticity."

It should be noted here that, among the beautiful specimens of various races, the forelegs are very straight and rest on very compact first phalanges. Breeders and judges must take this characteristic into account in their choices and, as far as possible, discard those with forelegs which collapse into the shape of rabbit legs.

Though Arab legends attribute to Mahomet cats’ ability to always fall on their feet, scientists were unsatisfied with this amusing and pretty explanation and looked for the anatomical causes. In 1885, Marey, whose studies on movement are authoritative and whose name has a special place in the history of cinema [See Georges Sadoul, History of Cinema, Paris 1946.], used his famous chrono-photographic method to analyse the movements of the cat falling through the air. By studying the photos thus obtained, he concluded that the cat turns on its own without using any force or any external support. “It is in the inertia of its own mass that the animal makes successive pivoting motions to turn itself around."

Note also that the cat lacks cervical ligament and that the interspinous ligaments are replaced by small muscular bundles. This confers an extraordinary flexibility which acts at the time of the fall. This same flexibility ensures the supreme elegance of its undulating walk, both fast and slow, and its prodigious leaps in flight or pursuit - because the cat cannot run. The very flexible tail further adds to the elegance and safety of all its movements.

The cat's senses are extremely sharp. Its vision is perfect, day and night. "At midday," writes Dr. Taskin, "the pupil of his protruding eye is vertical and retracted; the animal suffers in too bright light (which dazzles it) and it is painful to its very sensitive optic nerves. You can hardly see the imperceptible black point of the pupil, drowned in the centre of transparent liquid as if crystallized. Its particular shine comes from the velvety shine of the retina where it surrounds the optic nerve. The multiple veins which cross the cats eyeball give this the varied reflections which you admire, because its magnetic eyes are never a single fixed colour, but are iridescent and shimmering golden yellow, sea green or porcelain blue. When awake, the cat hides the whites from you and only reveals the glowing, metallic pupil. In the darkness, the dilated pupil receives the last remaining light rays and form a reflector.” [In “His Highness The Cat”, special issue of Vie a la Campagne, April 15, 1935.]

Father Huc, the famous explorer of China and Tibet, wrote in his Memoirs that the Chinese used this peculiarity to read the time in cats’ eyes.

Hearing is no less acute owing to the great development of the eardrum. The ear is rounded at the base of the skull and narrows towards the tip. It is very mobile and controlled by twenty-seven muscles, while man only has five muscles. The slightest noise is picked up by this wonderful flap and is sensed by the eardrum’s ultra-sensitive thin membranes.

We have noticed, without being able to give a plausible explanation, that white cats with blue eyes are frequently affected by a rather pronounced degree of deafness, this is the same in the long-haired Persians and in the short-haired Europeans.

While the sense of taste is very delicate, that of smell, on the contrary, is relatively undeveloped. However, some perfumes are very popular with cats. The smell of valerian, catnip and teucrium marum [cat thyme] sends them into extreme euphoria.

Dr. Taskin notes, about the hypersensitive emotivity of the cat:

"The cat's extraordinary acuity and nervousness explain why this animals is easily alarmed, something which makes it seem fearful, whereas it reveals, on the contrary, real courage when face to face with danger. When cornered he goes on his guard, regardless of his enemy’s stature, and in a stylised dragon posture, he bristles his long whiskers and reveals bright fangs ready to lacerate his adversary. His dazzling eyes seem charged with magnetic scents. An army of stiffened, electrified hairs stand up along the length of his arched back, which it is important to protect, and powerful claws are about to appear, fast as lightning, at the moment of attack ... This animal is one of those with the most highly developed nervous system. His nerve centres are always on the alert because of his particularly rapid circulation (140 pulses per minute) and this state of inner agitation excuses the swings of his sometimes excessively impulsive character.” [Loc. cit.]

Unlike those who deny the intelligence or heartfelt emotion of cats, the facts that I have cited in this chapter on the cat’s mind proves the attachment, dedication, intelligence, and memory of domestic cats. Their sensitive physiology corroborates these facts of common experience, further lifting the veil of mystery which envelops them. Cardinal Newman wrote of animals in general:

"Habit prevents us from being surprised, but finally is there anything more marvellous and disconcerting than the existence, alongside us, of a race of beings as little understood as the inhabitants of the sun or the moon? We use them, we are, so to speak, in constant contact with them, hardly less fabulous, however, than the powerful and docile genies whom eastern superstitions made the slaves of man. We know more real things about angels than about animals. "

This is especially true for cats and is reason enough to go ever deeper into their disturbing mystery.


For a long time, cats have been the princes of the home. Lying on soft cushions in middle-class houses, curled up near a fireplace or a stove at the peasant's or worker's homes, they spent a very pleasant life, pampered, cossetted, and sharing the lives of their owners who fed them with leftovers from meals. It is there, no doubt, that is still the most pleasant life for these domestic felines. They choose their mates during night-time escapades full of wonderful adventures. The only annoyance for females is that most of their young are taken from them at birth. As for the males, very often castrated, they become plump pashas whose sole concern is to eat and sleep. Under these conditions they have need to worry about their food or housing, they share these with their owners.

But from the moment the English, and later the Belgians, French, Germans, Swiss and Americans, selected and raised the cats methodically, their lives were completely transformed. They no longer live with a master or mistress in the warm and soothing atmosphere of the house, but in a cattery where care is no less attentive at every stage.

A description of the management of the breeding cats will be useful, one that is easy for all cat lovers to understand: for those who only have one cat for their pleasure through to large-scale or small-scale breeders who want to combine business with pleasure. In addition, it is helpful to discover other aspects of the original physical and spiritual physiognomy, so to speak, of animals that are so rich in unexpected ways.

The Cattery

The organization of a cattery depends on several factors: the financial capital we have for launching a breeding cattery, the number of cats we want to have, the chosen breed, the climate, the available space, etc. In France, for example, there are a few large catteries of a clearly commercial nature. One of them has two buildings, one twenty metres long, the other twenty-four metres by four metres wide. Experience has shown that these large farms were by no means ideal, since many years after their creation, Mrs. Gretta Yeates, one of the best English judges, wondered why the French produced so few valuable cats ...

In my opinion, based on fifteen years’ experience, the very character of cats is opposed to large-scale breeding. Cats need the friendship of their masters and refuse the anonymous treatment which is suitable for chickens or rabbits. This is why I prefer small- or medium-scale farming as practiced in England with great success.

Some breeders devote one, two or even three rooms of their house to a cattery. They install the necessary furniture there, two or three large cages, tables, stools, sanitary trays, and baskets where cats and kittens like to bask. They take the cats on walks themselves, of during the best part of the day they lock them in a yard surrounded by wire fencing. This type of cattery is especially suitable when there is no stud cat in service, since there is no fear of the strong and penetrating smell of males during the breeding season. It is therefore perfectly suited to apartment breeding in cities with a limited number of females.

But when the breeder intends to run a complete cattery with breeding cats and studs, he must settle in the countryside where he can build a medium-sized enclosure, with three or four separate areas into which the compartments of the cat house open, next to his house. In our relatively temperate country with its fairly cold winters, this must be built with walls and a wooden floor. The windows will be wide enough to let the light in. The door or doors will be closed with a hook that cats cannot meddle with.

Inside, we place everything that contributes to the pleasant life of the studs, females and kittens: crates, hampers or baskets, tables with cushions, sanitary trays with sand, peat or even shredded paper. Sawdust is not recommended, especially in catteries where Persians or long-haired Birmans live. Outside, cats appreciate low seats on which they spend long hours after meals, a tree where they can sharpen their claws or, failing that, a soft wooden stake, or a board on which one has nailed an old carpet.

Such a cattery must be heatable if the animals are to remain there during the cold winter. On the continent, where the temperature variations are very abrupt and significant, it seems preferable to bring the cats inside the owners' house where it is easier to monitor their health.

Finally, special kennels must be provided for cats during parturition. They can be simply be made from sugar crates or macaroni boxes; the upper part must be movable, and the front part must have an entrance covered with a dark cloth.

Choice of a breed or variety.

I get very embarrassed when a new breeder asks me to guide him in choosing the breed or variety that may interest him. To begin with, tastes are so diverse; some prefer long-haired cats and then there is the whole range of Persians, white, blue, black, creams, chinchillas, red-tabbies, brown-tabbies, self reds, etc., and Birmans. Others admire short-haired cats: Europeans of various colours, Siamese, Abyssinians, Chartreux cats, Manx, etc. Fashion also exerts an influence in turn, for example at present it favours very light blue Persians and very light chinchillas, creams, and Sacred Birmans, leaving other races in the shade. Tomorrow some varieties may come back into the spotlight, like the Siamese or Abyssinian. Money is a deciding factor for many. How many can afford the luxury of paying ten thousand Swiss francs for a breeding pair of Birmans? On the other hand, the Siamese cannot attract buyers even at paltry prices. Normally, breeders more readily turn to the more remunerative Persians.

I cannot, therefore, give here valid advice for everyone. This is important to all, however: before launching a cattery, the novice breeder would do well to request information from the various Cat Clubs of his country. He will avoid many setbacks and disappointments, especially if considering in a little-known variety, if several catteries have already made a reputation for this same variety.

Choice of breeding cats

The success of a cattery depends on the choice of breeding cats. A stud and queen bought without any study of their pedigrees can lead to a catastrophe. Their degree of inbreeding, the characteristics of their ancestors or if they have similar defects will all exert a crucial influence on their descendants.

Firstly, I would say, as if stating the obvious, that it is important to buy a male and a female of the same breed or same variety, unless one wants to engage in experimental breeding to obtain new varieties. Thus, breeders have already created the blue Siamese, and at the moment others are selecting blue Chinchillas by crossing the original Chinchilla with the blue longhair. These are fantasies that can be practiced by experienced breeders. Others are better advised to get pure-bred animals.

So, from the moment the choice of breed or variety is fixed, you must buy male and female of the same breed, of the same variety.

There are two methods available to the breeder: buying a male and a female who are already adults or, on the contrary, buy them as kittens. The first method is faster, but more expensive. The second is slower, but less expensive and provides more pleasure. A male and a female bought between six and ten months, for example, allow the breeder to follow the development of his new friends, and to get used to feeding them well and caring for them. Finally, it is more difficult to find first-class adults who have already proven themselves because in their owner is not interested in parting with them except for very high prices. Meanwhile, breeders always have young animals from excellent stock at affordable prices.

Before purchasing, a double study must be done: that of the stud-books and that of exhibition catalogues. In England, there is also an excellent means of going this using the stud-book, a book listing studs and queens, published by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy. In other countries, to find a cat’s ancestry, you must contact the stud-book secretaries who, for a small fee, will send you a detailed copy of its pedigree. By knowing the various blood lines behind a male and a female, you can ascertain the qualities and defects of the specimens you want to buy. Before requesting this information from the cat club principals, it is important that you have can describe the essential characteristics which need to be present in the cats that feature prominently in the ancestry of your chosen cats: type, nuance of colour, hair quality, general conformation, eye colour.

Exhibition catalogues, supplemented by judges' notes, are a valuable aid. For example, a six-month-old kitten which ranks first in the kitten class in three different exhibitions under different judges and whose notes indicate it is an excellent beast, will be a first-rate starting point for a cattery.

Even after this study, the best way to buy a male and a female is to go to a breeder whose cats get top awards in exhibitions and who has a well-established reputation for perfect honesty. It is needless to point out here that you should never approach sellers who have shops on the street; the cats they offer to the public have, in most cases, never been bred by them and come from hard to control strains. A breeding whose affix - that is to say the official name registered by the qualified bodies and that is carried by all the cat from that cattery – that is known for its successes, gives you sufficient guarantees. Those who run it are qualified to help novices both in choosing cats and in the future management of a cattery.

The influence of the male is important as he will have to breed with many females during his lifetime. He should be solidly built, with a well-typed head, well-placed, large eyes of excellent colour, and fur whose structure and colour best meet the standard. The most beautiful champions have, if not faults, at least weak points. The female must be chosen to offset those weaknesses and from a totally different bloodline; of paramount importance are good health, beautiful fur, beautiful eyes, and a good head.

Here is what the great English judge and breeder Miss Evelyn Langston wrote on this subject [Fur and Feather, March 24, 1934]:

“A cat that we want to use as a stud must get as close as possible to perfection and have an exemplary pedigree. The pedigree is even more necessary than a beautiful appearance, because kittens often resemble ancestors, especially grandparents. I always hesitate to employ a cat, however beautiful it may be, if it has an ugly mother or a bad ancestry. There are of course exceptions, because females with good pedigree have the power to produce excellent offspring, even though mediocre in themselves. Other useful studs are those which are exceptionally good at one or two points and are thus very useful for correcting the weaknesses of these points in certain females. Even in this case, I prefer that the cat is good as a whole. A stud must have good health, a pleasant temperament and be easy to handle. "

In the same article, Miss Langston discussed the age when the stud begins his service most successfully:

“Cats can start to breed at varying ages. Some do it successfully at two months and others, not before two years. It is wiser to wait until a cat is eighteen months old to give it a queen. Male cats are not fully developed before the age of two and a half years, and allowing him to breed before maturity must prevent its perfect development, although giving one or two calling queens to a one year old can't hurt. The best studs are almost all late."


Actual breeding begins from the moment when the she-cats can become mothers. The first oestrus appears from the sixth to the tenth month, then it occurs regularly two or three times a year. It is preferable to let the first two heats pass and to introduce the queens to the stud only around the age of twelve months. However, oestrus should not be allowed to pass too often, breeders have found that unsatisfied she-cats become hysterical and unfit for reproduction.

M. R. Moussu, head of the veterinary clinic at Alfort, described this state of the she-cat [R. Mossy: Cats, Breeding - Diseases, p. 6.]:

"Oestrus results in swelling of the vulva which is congested and emits a little bloodstained serous liquid ... At the same time, the female’s character changes, she becomes more affectionate, more cuddly and above all she calls out with an almost continuous, dismal, deeply unpleasant meow. If she is not closely watched, she flees in search of any male attracted by her special cries ... The duration of oestrus is fifteen to twenty days, if she is not mated. "

As stated above, oestrus occurs two or three times a year if she is mated regularly. Otherwise, most females go into oestrus every five or six weeks until around six or seven years of age, It is therefore preferable to breed them, so as not to exhaust them, twice a year, in spring and in autumn. Kittens born then are stronger and more resistant to accidents from a young age.

When should you lead queens to the male? The second or third day of oestrus and never later. Present them to each other in a well-closed room, without furniture where the female can hide and by which the male is not distracted. If the female is well prepared, she will welcome the male without much difficulty. The best time for mating is at night or in the morning. It is done two or three times for twenty-four hours, after which the female must be separated from the male. The certainty of the success of the mating is given by these signs: the female howls at the pain caused by the penis of the male, which bristles with very hard papillae; as a rule, a fistfight finishes the mating and then the female rolls on the ground, curling and stretching for a long time.

It has been stated, and is still said, that the first fertilization leaves indelible traces in the female. R. Moussu demolishes this gratuitous assertion and the experience of breeders confirms what he writes on this subject [Les Chats, p. 7.]:

"It has been claimed ... that a purebred female, whose first conception was by a nondescript cat, gave in her subsequent gestations, after fertilization by a male of her own breed, offspring resembling the father of the first litter. This is called telegony or maternal impression and is still considered an indisputable phenomenon by a number of cat and dog breeders. The laws of heredity have made it possible to pronounce judgment on to this erroneous opinion which science most categorically refutes."

Although maternal impregnation is only a myth, it is not the same for the influence of the male. Also, many breeders are hypnotized by champions or grand champions covered with awards at exhibitions. However, among the big names in the English studbook, several of the best studs have never obtained the title of champion. It is not awards that make good studs and demonstrate their qualities as thoroughbreds. Their offspring are a better guarantor and facilitate the choice of the best stud for a female. "Some studs transmit their characteristics much better than others who have come to be great winners,” writes Mrs. Evelyn H. H. Soame [Evelyn Buckworth-Herne-Soame. Cats - Long-Haired and Short, pp. 21-22.]. “An excellent stud, if he is really of a good type, is invaluable. He will transmit certain characteristics from generation to generation. Some studs are known to transmit solid bones like, for example, Barry Blue Prince, Rigside Dandy and their sons Lanark Lad and Champion Nanouk; Champion Azuré of Hadley and Blair Athol the colour of the eyes, while Blair Athol, Champion Colnside Billy Bumpet, Dazzler of Henley and their descendants and Son o'Flick are renowned for producing beautifully coloured fur."

8. Queens often have weird ideas at the time of parturition. This Siamese cat never wanted to have her kittens anywhere other than in this dresser drawer.
9. Tenderness: these Siamese females with yellow eyes testify their affection.

10. While awaiting judgment, Fernleight Paul and Fernleight Beauty, a chinchilla couple, open their great eyes upon the room.
11. Miss Kathleen Yorke, judging Kissme du Léman, a blue Persian, in Lausanne, in 1946.

If the breeder has his own stud, mating presents no difficulties. But very often, you have to send the queen to another cattery. In this case some basic rules are necessary. First you must contact the owner of the stud whom you want to cover your queen. The conditions of the covering will be fixed in writing. In Switzerland, prices for various varieties of Persian range from fifty to one hundred francs. Payment is made in advance with the agreement that, if the first mating is barren, the cat may return free of charge to the male a second time, the transport costs being paid by the owner of the queen. If this second mating is also barren, the price paid remains with the owner of the stud. If the cat aborts, the price of the mating cannot be claimed back. Finally, if the cat has to stay in the cattery to wait for her next oestrus, the price of boarding her will have to be fixed.

With these conditions well established, the cat can be sent as soon as she is definitely on heat, no later than the second day of oestrus. A medium size basket with a lid is the best method of transportation. In winter, you must cover it in a large piece of wrapping paper securely tied and bearing the inscription in large letters: “Live cat.” The interior can be lined with flannel and an easily washable cushion. In summer, it is unnecessary to cover the outside of the basket, only the inscription is needed. Inside, a few layers of newspaper will suffice. Never put food in the basket. The cat should eat about three hours before she leaves. Regardless of the distance travelled by parcel express, the cat will not be in the best condition for having waited for her next new meal, while if she eats on the way, accidents can occur.

Lorsqu'elle revient de sa lune de miel, la chatte doit être installée dans un endroit tranquille d'où elle ne puisse pas s'échapper vers un autre mâle. Son rôle de mère commence.

Lady Eardley-Wilmot has intelligently described the problems facing the stud owner [Fur and Feather, August 1933.]:

"There is an old song which says: "A policeman’s lot is not a happy one. That of the stud owner is often not either. I do not think that breeders who have only females realize what difficulties or painful work the maintenance of a stud involves, such as, for example, maintaining the studs in good health and in good condition during the many months of the breeding season, keeping them attractive during the moult, whether they are fluffy or not, because their owner must always be ready to receive visits from breeders looking for a promising husband for their cats. And then comes the fact of having only the best.

A stud with well evident type is still beautiful to look at and even more beautiful when he has lost his fur than when he still has it, because all his good points are revealed in a more marked manner and he thus shows it to advantage. On the other hand, the stud who won thanks to his abundant fur and his perfect show condition, is a poor thing when deprived of the coat which covers a multitude of faults. Show condition speaks of the skill of the owner, who should win the prize. Anyone who can make big ears appear small and narrow heads appear wide deserves a prize! In my opinion, it has always seemed to me that condition should count less when it competes against type. What is the importance of slightly tarnished fur, compared to that of the quality of the muzzle and jaw? This latter quality represents what the stud can transmit, tarnished fur represents what happens to anyone, unfortunately.

But that is only a small part of the stud owner's troubles. If the cat is a fashionable stud, the risks of seeing the infection entering his cattery are all the greater, but there is an even greater responsibility: it is that of preserving the visiting cats from infections which can be present, undetected, not only in the cats’ living quarters, but in those of the stud, between each visit. The safest precaution is to have the dwellings constructed in such a way that a blowtorch can be used for disinfection [Such a dangerous instrument is not essential. Disinfection with a strong liquid is also effective.].

Now let's talk about the females. Some arrive ready to be covered, in good condition, with clean ears and are not troublesome. They mate immediately and everything is fine. But take a female who is a lamb at home and the opposite outside. There are even some that their owners cannot handle after they jump out of the basket. We know that it’s nervousness and dread and not spitefulness, but whatever it is, whether the cat is an angel or not, it hurts as much. They have to be handled and results in more than a bad bite or a torn arm or hand.

Here is yet another annoyance! If the cat, in oestrus at home, arrives with her oestrus completely finished or stopped short, it is then necessary to keep her, sometimes for several weeks, or return her and thus increase the owner's expenses. But each female that is kept costs five shillings a week, and very few breeders would keep her for less than five shillings a week.

Breeders are often swept away during exhibitions. They see a stud in perfect shape and reserve a mating. Later on, they change their minds - the train journey is difficult or, looking at the pedigree, they see that the stud is not perfectly suitable - and the cat is sent to another stud. I think that one could obviate this by instituting a registration fee of five or ten shillings for each mating reserved.

Another problem is the need for giving a free return mating when everything does not end as planned. It is considered almost obligatory to give a second mating when the first has not succeeded. We sometimes even ask for a third and very few consider this a favour. But the question goes further ... It would be interesting if the owners of studs say whether or not a free mating should be given in this case. Should it be given as matter of course if the young arrive prematurely, or if there is no sign that the female has been pregnant or has had a kitten, or if the kittens are all dead after birth? Some breeders think that a free mating should be given when they have nothing to show for their money, even if the stud has fulfilled his obligations. They even want this free mating to be given to any female if the original is not on heat, and also, if necessary, to postpone this free mating to the following year. I think it would be well to establish strict and firm rules on this subject - we can indeed ask or expect so much!

All these troubles are annoying and there are many others, but there are others even more troublesome. If a stud owner succeeds at shows, and deserves it, there are many people who gossip about his stud, as I have often heard them do at shows. When that does not succeed, there is nothing left but to criticize the owner himself. It is said that he does not have a righteous conscience, that he has more than one stud, that he did not use the one we had selected. I think this is defamatory, because it accuses someone of improperly receiving money. But that is not the question. Suppose that a stud owner is dishonest enough to use a stud other than the one that has been reserved. Why would he do it? For what purpose? What would be its benefit? If someone can give me an answer to these questions, it would help me to clarify a subject that has not yet entered the domain of my understanding. The only thing a stud owner strives for is to do his best for his client for the sake of his stud and cattery, but to use an inferior stud (when one is available) when a better one has been selected, seems to me to be the act of a stupid and dishonest fool."


It is curious to note that veterinarians do not agree with breeders about the average duration of gestation. Thus, Jumaud and Moussu affirm that it is fifty-eight days and that this duration varies according to breed. The two give this example: “In the Siamese in particular, prolonged gestation is the rule and it is often only on the 65th or even the 68th day that parturition occurs. "

However, my own experience, corroborated by that of many serious breeders, categorically refutes this assertion. I raised Siamese, Birmans, Persians and European cats. The average duration of gestation is the same for all these breeds and varies from 65 to 67 days. Mrs. Soame found an approximately similar duration: “Gestation in female cats is from sixty-three to sixty-six days, but they vary by a day or two.”

This difference of a day or two can come from whether we count the first or second day of the breeding as the starting point. One breeder even claims [In His Highness the Cat, p. 44.] that gestation "lasts 50 to 55 days, on average 52". To arrive at such figures, gestation was certainly calculated as beginning at the last day of oestrus. The length of oestrus being very irregular does not allow for any scientific calculation; it is better to use the day of the first mating and allow one or two days difference.

During pregnancy, the female’s life continues normally. Nothing is changed in her habits. It is simply necessary to surround her with more care and to ensure that she takes exercise, because it “is particularly favourable, not only for the good development of the foetuses, but also for the progressive development of the complex modifications which are produced on the side of the pelvis to promote rapid expulsion of the foetuses”[R. Moussu, op. cit., p. 9.]. The food must be healthy and abundant, but without being forced on her, because if she becomes too fat, birth becomes more difficult. At this time it is possible to ensure more resistant offspring by adding some of the recently developed vitamin products to one of the daily meals. From the first month of gestation, an additional meal will be more than enough for the health of the mother and the young. The menu must be very varied: fresh meat, boiled fish, boiled vegetables and milk.

Normally, says Moussu, accidents in gestation count for nothing, so to speak, in the cat, and abortion is rare. In catteries, it is a little different. Frequent inbreeding, the systematic search for perfection in type, fur and shape, make the animals more delicate, so that abortions are more frequent. It is therefore important, in a cattery, to monitor the females more, to protect them from great frights, rough clashes or awkward falls, especially during the last month of gestation. One of my Persian cats regularly aborted if she was frightened by dogs.

A few days before parturition, a spoonful per day of any fine oil will prevent temperature and constipation for the mother. At the same time, the birthing kennel must be carefully prepared. The inside must be lined in a very rustic way, several thicknesses of flannel covering the entire bottom are preferable and during birth will prevent the first kittens born for suffocating. The kennel must be positioned in a dimly lit place, sheltered from drafts. One or two days before, the cat will go and inspect it, either overturning the entire interior or, on the contrary, resting there from time to time in satisfaction. If the cat enjoys some freedom in the house, she will show a desire to give birth in the most unexpected places, the bottom of a wardrobe, the mistress's bed or the corner of a barn. One of my kitties is particularly fond of the bottom of an old grandfather clock, and knows how to open the case with an amusing dexterity ... It is therefore important to monitor the she-cats and make them understand, gently and patiently, that the kennel is for them. When their first labour pains start, they will quickly settle themselves to the task in the kennel.

The description of birthing given by the veterinarian R. Moussu will be useful for breeders [R. Moussu, op. cit. pp. 9-10.]:

“As soon as labour pains start, the cat lies down in an arc, her head close to her vulva. From time to time, violent contractions of the uterus and abdominal muscles push a kitten towards the pelvic entrance. After a short lull, the pains become more energetic and more sustained and soon the foetus appears at the vulva and is expelled. The mother cuts off the cord and takes advantage of a moment of respite following the birth to entice her baby and to lick it. Some less violent contractions expel the sacs [placenta], which the cat disposes of by ingesting them. The preceding stages soon start over and are repeated as many times as there are foetuses to be expelled. There are fifteen to twenty minutes between each birth, the number of offspring varying from one to seven or eight, with an average of four, and the duration of delivery is from two to five hours.

“When everything is going normally, there is no need to intervene. It is good, however, to exercise discreet surveillance, because there are females, especially primiparous females, which consume their young as they are born. It is therefore necessary to seize the young as soon as they are rejected, dry them carefully, wrap them in a woollen cloth and place them out of reach of the mother. When the delivery is finished, the kittens are suckled and we can then leave them to the mother now that all danger has passed."

Breeders will learn from experience that they must always closely monitor births in catteries. Two difficult cases arise quite often. For some inexplicable reason, the first kitten born is sometimes abnormally developed. After the first contractions, the mother struggles for almost an hour without being able to deliver this load. If the kitten does not appear, a fatty substance must be injected into the uterus; this is often enough to hasten the expulsion. If the kitten is already engaged, we can help the cat by performing traction on the foetus, according to the method indicated by Moussu:

“We hold it in the full hand, using a dry cloth, and we perform progressive, intermittent traction, synchronised with the mother's contractions. It is necessary to not only to perform straight traction, but mostly slightly oblique traction to the left and right alternately."

This method gives excellent results, but in most cases the kitten thus born does not survive.

The other case is just as common, if not more so. The mother, weakened by labour, only has contractions that are not incapable of delivering the foetuses. Subcutaneous injections of pituitary extracts, which are commercially available under various names, will make the job easier. The cat may be injected with the contents of one or more ampoules without reacting badly. The location of the injection does not matter: the thighs, flank or neck seem more favourable. Do not give this injection too early, it is best to wait until the kitten is engaged. A few minutes after the injection, the contractions become quite strong and the kitten is delivered.

Other cases of dystocia - difficult birth - can arise which require an embryotomy or hysterotomy, for example in order to save a beautiful purebred cat. The breeder is helpless in these cases and must call the veterinarian as soon as possible, otherwise the cat and kittens can be considered lost.

When everything has gone normally, the cat feeds her kittens and licks them with moving concern: a delightful spectacle that the mother is happy to show to those she loves. On the contrary, she is very fierce with strangers. Therefore, the person she knows best must be the one who proceeds with cleaning the kennel. The mother and kittens must be carefully removed and placed on a soft cushion, while the kennel is emptied of fluid-soiled cloths and filled with very clean, dark fabrics. Mother and kittens can then be placed in the kennel where they will spend almost a month.

If the litter is large or the female is delicate, it is good to add a wet-nurse. For eight years, I have had in my cattery a common black and white cat, which has suckled many Persian kittens. Birthing at the same time, or within a few days, of a Persian cat, her own kittens are removed, and we entrust her with adopted children without delay. She accepts them willingly and raises them to perfection.

If, for some reason or another – for example, a purebred female mates with an alley cat - the kittens must be killed immediately after birth so that she does not have to suckle them. It is necessary to stop the production of milk by administering a purgative - a teaspoon of castor oil, in the morning on an empty stomach - and by applying a cotton swab soaked in a solution of alum crystallized at 4% to the nipples. You can also coat your breasts with an ointment with camphor alcohol. Her meals must be very light for three or four days, and preferably only in the form of vegetable broth.

Caring for the Young

When kittens are born, their eyes are closed. If their eyes are open, it is a sign that the pregnancy was upset at some point, and most of the time such kittens live for only a few hours or a few days. Mrs. Soame mentions a case where the eyes were only partially open and stated that the eyes usually close and the kittens were not harmed [Book previously cited, p. 24.]. All the kittens that I found with eyes even partially open at birth did not survive and most of the continent's breeders that I have been able to consult have made similar observations.

As soon as they are born, or a few hours after birth, the kittens suckle vigorously with the help of their small legs. Then they sleep. For a few days, this will be their sole occupation and they will develop very well. The only precaution to take in a cattery is to prevent umbilical infection. It is true that is quite rare, but it often goes unnoticed and subsequently causes very dangerous, if not fatal, intestinal diseases. For this, disinfect the umbilical cord and the umbilical wound for eight or ten days by applying iodized glycerin.

Between the eighth and the tenth day, the kittens’ eyes open. At the same time, they show the desire to play. Stronger on their feet, they no longer crawl as before, but walk with a very funny gait, tumbling and righting themselves, only to fall again. They climb on their mother's back, nibble on her ears, hide in her fur and are keenly interested in her tail. They engage in long tussles that help their development.

Weaning kittens requires careful attention, because their future health is closely dependent on it. It can start towards the end of the fourth week and even towards the end of the third week, when there are four or more kittens. It ends around the age of two and a half to three months. In order to avoid mistakes, breeders will take into account an important and often overlooked fact: cat milk, like that of the dog, is richer in fat and albuminoid materials and poorer in sugar than cow's milk. As Moussu remarks, compared to cow's milk, it is unsweetened condensed milk. It is therefore not necessary, as is still common, to give kittens sweetened cow's milk diluted with a little water. On the contrary, do not add any sugar and thicken it with powdered milk until it takes on the consistency of a smooth cream. I have experimented with several baby milks with good results.

At the start, this cream must be offered to the kitten on a small spoon, the end of which will be licked. Great patience is essential; the kitten is very awkward at first then, little by little, he gets used to this new way of eating and greedily finishes the content of a teaspoon. The number of spoonfuls to give during the day varies according to the mother's state of health and the number of kittens. After a week, the cream of the milk can be placed in a low saucer. Accustomed to this food, the little ones will effortlessly take the amount that suits them. At this point, you can mix a very fresh beaten egg with the cream. The worst that can happen is that they put their legs in the cream and get their noses dirty. Their mother will quickly clean them by licking them vigorously.

As kittens get a taste for their cream and breast milk decreases, feedings will gradually be reduced. Around the sixth week, proper meals begin. Once a day, premium quality beef, raw and pulped - that is, reduced to a fine porridge by crushing with a grater to rid it of tendons and other matter indigestible for young stomachs - is added to a saucer of cream. Each kitten will eat around one teaspoon per day. This amount will increase during the following weeks, until around the age of three months when they are taking four meals a day.

At this age, most of the time, the female refuses to continue suckling the young and chases them away when they come to suckle her. Milk secretion is almost dried up and stops completely when her daily ration of food is reduced. If it persists, a light purgative and vegetable broth will stop it soon.

During the whole period of suckling, the cat must be overfed: three meals a day, composed of good quality raw meat, boiled fish and plenty of milk, will promote perfect lactation. R. Moussu advises, as a precaution, to administer 25 centigrams of freshly ground areca nut in a ball of raw meat, in the middle of pregnancy, and then once a month, to rid the cat of intestinal parasites which, eliminated in the form of eggs, could infest suckling infants.

If a cat dies after giving birth, the kittens can be fed artificially and develop normally. Kittens must be given a lukewarm feed every three hours, made from cow's milk with powdered milk, in a bottle for the first two weeks. Then, up to around six weeks, we must give four feeds per day, obviously increasing the amount. At six weeks, you can proceed to weaning. Use only a bottle that is absolutely clean and has a small teat with a fairly wide opening.

Some breeders recommend administering cod liver oil to young kittens after weaning. Excellent in itself, cod liver oil has a big drawback, that of surrounding the little ones with a repulsive smell. In my opinion, it is better to strengthen the bone and muscle formation of kittens by adding to their daily ration a well-calculated dose of the various vitamins on the market. I have obtained perfect results. At three months, by which time the kittens can be sold, they are in great shape, with beautiful fur and no foul odour.

From three to eight months, kittens will receive a diet commensurate with their appetite, varied enough to meet all their development needs. Raw meat, boiled freshwater or sea fish, sardines in oil, fresh vegetables, pulses, oatmeal, very fresh water and very fresh milk, are the essential elements of a cat’s diet. From four meals a day, kittens will progress to three meals around the age of five months, then to two meals a day around the seventh month.

It should be noted that many kittens and cats do not tolerate raw milk well. It sometimes even causes diarrhoea which is always annoying. It is therefore better to give the milk boiled and immediately cooled. Do not leave the milk permanently in a saucer as it gets bitter and picks up parasites.

During their, one point to bear in mind is that of teething. Miss Tzaut, who was president of the Cat-Club de Paris wrote in her breeding advice:

“Like children and young dogs, not to mention others, kittens have baby teeth. Sooner or later, as in children, kittens’ second teeth appear between three and seven months. The replacement of the small front or incisor teeth generally goes unnoticed, if one is not used to inspecting cats’ mouths frequently. Then comes, in general, the replacement of the four canine teeth, and with these, we often see two teeth superimposed for a while - the milk tooth and the final tooth.

Very often, during this period, kittens find it difficult to eat. It is necessary to inspect the mouth gently and, with the help of a small forceps, to pull out any loose tooth. Brush the spot with a mixture of equal parts tincture of iodine and tincture of aconite. If the gums are red, brush them with the same mixture. In kittens, as with children, the period of acquiring the adult teeth is a more or less critical period; it is very often the time when they get sick. Therefore, they need constant and careful monitoring during this period. Do not forget to give them phosphates as necessary for good dentition as well as for good bone structure."

Adult Food

A frequently asked question is: "How should we feed cats?"

For kittens, the answer has just been given. For adults, the answer is a little different depending on the case.

If there is only one cat in the house, it is fed with meal leftovers to which we add a little raw meat and milk. The amount sufficient for an adult cat is around 180-200 grams of solid food, including 60 grams of meat or fish per day.

In catteries, the diet of the animals must be carefully studied, since there can no longer be any question of simply distributing meal leftovers. The cat’s teeth and digestive system prove that it is above all carnivorous. Free-ranging cats eat mice and birds, that is to say raw meat. This natural disposition must be taken into account in the daily ration of cats in the cattery. However, cattery cats are more sedentary than free-range cats and adapt well to a diet with alternating raw meat, cooked meat and boiled fish. But what meat should we give? Beef, horse, mutton, rabbit, and preferably veal and pork. Boiled liver must be cut into small pieces. Lung or lights are much appreciated but are almost without nutritional value. Cooked tripe and cooked udder can be served two or three times a week.

12. A page from the Stud Book set up by the Cat Club of Geneva in 1934. Pedigree of Champion Talisman de la Chesnaie.

13. International champion Llantarnam Boy Bubbles, black Persian.
14. Tanit du Léman, black Persian, C.A.C. Geneva 1947.

Cooked fish is a food of choice: sea fish or freshwater fish, with the bones removed and mixed with bread crumbs, rice, macaroni, or oatmeal, form an exquisite and nourishing mash.

Eggs are especially suitable for kittens, stud cats during mating periods and cats who are going to give birth. Give them raw, but always very fresh.

Vegetables should be included in the cat’s diet, mixed with meat and gravy. Grated raw carrots can be given. On the contrary, green or dried vegetables, must be well cooked. I have already noted here that the inside of zucchini, pulp and finely chopped pits, can be used as a mild dewormer. On the other hand, all cats have a special predilection for boiled asparagus and for grass. Cats raised in apartments must have at their disposal a pot in which you must grow green grass shoots.

Long-haired cats swallow a large amount of fur during the moulting period. If the ingested hair cannot be evacuated from the stomach the cat risks choking to death. Evacuation will be facilitated by fresh grass and by adding a few spoonfuls of oil to the food.

As for drink, this should be distributed at regular times, especially milk. The most basic hygiene recommends not leaving milk or even water for long hours in a container placed near the ground, where microbes, parasites and filth of all kinds accumulate.

Finally, don’t forget to make a few large bones with strips of meat available to kittens and adults several times a week. Young and old alike enjoy gnawing and will thus strengthen their teeth. But avoid small bones of chicken, rabbit or veal, as they often cause dangerous accidents.

General Hygiene

The cat is a very clean animal. It spends long hours grooming itself, soaking its paw in saliva before licking all parts of its body with meticulous care.

However, this personal grooming is insufficient to ensure purebred cats, especially Persians whose long coat must be impeccable, their cleanliness and their beauty. Fleas are always a threat, especially to young and delicate cats, and, on the other hand, during the moult, dead hair is swallowed with the big risk of asphyxiation. Against fleas, we now have a veritable arsenal of various powders whose manufacturers claim marvels ... They are at least harmless, if not really effective. However, a de-fleaing with a comb and a brush must accompany the administration of powder when fleas are abundant, which happens in summer when cats are in the open air.

Cats that enjoy great freedom in the countryside come back from their country hikes with ticks, which must be removed with tweezers, avoiding breaking off the head of this ugly parasite. Then disinfect the small wound with a cotton ball dipped in Arnica tincture.

The most delicate job in cat grooming is combing and brushing. It does not offer any difficulty in short-haired cats, which tolerate these two operations well, followed by buffing with a woollen cloth. It is quite different in long-haired cats, which must be treated differently during normal periods and moulting periods.

Once a year, during moulting, long-haired cats - especially Persians - must be stripped of all dead hair to ensure perfect regrowth. The moult spans a time which varies from fifteen days to a month. Dead hair takes on a reddish, dull, dry colour and can be easily recognized. It must be ruthlessly torn off, even if for a few weeks or often a few months, cats lose their splendour. To do this, use an iron comb with slightly rounded, fairly close teeth. The ruff, back, sides, and legs must be carefully plucked, without touching the shorter and finer new hair which is at the base of the coat. With a little experience, removing the old hair becomes easy and the result is such that it is a real reward, as the quality of the new growth is beautiful and opulent. The use of a brush is not recommended.

After moulting, the cat is normally groomed once or twice a week. The technique is quite difficult, especially at the start. A breeder has given the following description:

“Combing is a delicate operation, especially if the cat was not used to it as a kitten. If possible, there must be two people for this procedure. First comb the underside of the neck, because the cat likes to be scratched under the chin and looks upwards with a very satisfied look. Take advantage of this attitude to comb lower and lower. Have the assistant hold the forelegs to comb the belly. If the animal does not tolerate it well, hold it by the nape of the neck. If you are alone, this second method is the preferable way. Then return to the back while still holding the animal. Comb it against the grain, so as to ruffle the animal and create waves. For the tail, comb it out wide so as to make a plume of this feline adornment."

The comb to be used for normal grooming must have larger and wider teeth than that used for the moult.

From time to time - and not every day - after a full combing, the hair can be brushed with a bristle brush. Brushes with rubber bases are best, but it's best not to use wire brushes because they break the fur. The technique is the same as that of combing. We start at the head by smoothing in the direction of the hair, then back-comb the hair, proceeding in small tufts each time and continue along the rest of the body to the tail. The most delicate part to groom is the underside of the belly, where no knot should be left. Cats that have not been trained to be groomed since a young age will scratch and bite when turned over to brush and comb them there.

You must powder white, blue, cream or chinchilla cats for both operations. For many years, our cattery has been using a powder, the composition of which per kilo is as follows: 750 grams of extra fine Venice talc, 125 grams of baking soda and 125 grams of washed sulphur. You can lightly scent this mixture. In use, this powder has proved to be excellent, both for the beauty of the fur and for the health of the animal.

Cats with striped fur: silver-tabby, red-tabby, brown-tabby, tortoiseshell, are only groomed in the direction of the coat to highlight stripes and spots.

When grooming cats, we must not forget that the ears require special care to avoid ear mites. The reader will find below how to treat this condition. Here it will suffice to state that young kittens must be used to ear care: clean them thoroughly with a small stick surrounded by cotton wool.

The eyes must be gently cleaned of the crust that forms in the corners and spoils the beauty of the gaze; a dry cotton ball will suffice.
Although he carefully licks his paws, the cat does not always manage to wash them completely, especially if he goes out a lot in the countryside. From time to time, we must check the state of cleanliness of the forelimbs and hind limbs. Sometimes washing with lukewarm water becomes necessary, followed by vigorous brushing.

As for the claws, even if they cause damage to the furniture, never cut them. We are accustomed, moreover, to let cats claw on an old carpet fixed on a board, or claw on an old woven mat. It is only in the event of an accident, for example if the cat breaks a nail, that it is necessary to even out the break using scissors: if the break made a small wound disinfect it with iodine tincture.

The cat's sanitary tray has sparked many discussions in feline journals. Here again, experience teaches what works best. In the cattery, after numerous tests, we use enamelled basins, similar to those called "beans" in hospital slang. They are solid, easily washable and do not retain any odour. We have tried sawdust, ash, peat, sand, but all of these is poorly suited to long-haired cats. On the other hand, cats hate trays that have already been used, even once, and will only use them with reluctance. These days we fill the trays with a little newspaper roughly torn into small pieces. Cats appreciate this method which has only one disadvantage, that of forcing us to change the paper after every use. But isn't that more hygienic than these smelly receptacles that you only change once a day?

As for dirty cats, follow the advice given by sweet Miss Tzaut:

“Never hit a dirty cat, it achieves nothing. Sometimes it is because he doesn’t like the location of the tray or that there are other cats in the apartment. Then he needs his own personal tray. Watch him and if he scrapes in a corner, take him without making a fuss, and especially not shouting, and place him gently in his tray. Make him scratch with his paws and force him to stay there. It is very rare that, with patience, you cannot make him understand. Do not ask a stud cat to be clean. It is very rare to find one with this quality. Hence the impossibility of keeping one in an apartment. The she-cat, on the other hand, is naturally very clean and if she is not, it is only when she is in oestrus or is ill."

Mothers-cats often teach cleanliness to their offspring themselves. Nothing could be more amusing then than seeing the mother grab a baby by the neck and lead him to the try or scold him if he has disgraced himself in a corner.

In this matter, the breeder needs great patience which is almost always rewarded. Beating, scolding or the stupid method, still too often used, of rubbing the dirty cat’s nose in its excrement, achieve nothing. Soft gestures, a calm voice and tireless perseverance will, on the contrary, lead the recalcitrant to understand how to use the sanitary tray and become a model of cleanliness.


Cat shows have been the most successful everywhere and have aroused the enthusiasm of crowds. Visitors get to learn about not only the little known breeds and varieties, but also the real qualities of the common cat, so beautiful when it is truly well-bred. They are essential for breeders whose efforts they encourage and who let the shows impartially judge the value of their breeding. Someone once said, "Brats are other people's children. It is rather the same for cats. Every cat owner believes that his or her cats are the most beautiful in the world. The impartial sentence of a qualified judge redresses admiration that is too easy or self-interested and encourages us to seek greater perfection.

All shows include exhibits, exhibitors and judges. In this chapter, I will indicate the role that belongs to each.

The cats

A cat show is above all a beauty contest. It is quite obvious that only cats in perfect health and without congenital or accidental defects can be exhibited there. Thus, cats with chronic coryza, eczema, or ear mites, should be ruthlessly eliminated by veterinary control at the entrance, even if these cats are real beauties or champions. If this discipline had always been imposed and observed, we would not have recorded the loss of so many cats and kittens following shows where the vets were too complacent.

Short-haired cats do not require any special preparation before the show. At most, it is recommended that the coat is buffed well with a woollen cloth and the ears and eyes are carefully checked.

Long-haired cats, whose fur is so important in the judgment points scale, must be methodically prepared. During the week preceding the show combing and brushing - very gently - must be done daily with the powder. Three days before the show, stop using the powder, but continue to groom; the presence of any powder in the coat is sufficient reason for the cat to be disqualified. The ruff, face, chin, underside of the belly and the tail, as well as the flanks, must be free of any knots.

I offer to novice breeders something I once learned from Mrs. Yeates, which I’ve already mentioned, how to decrease the apparent length of Persian’s ears. It consists in carefully removing the hairs which lengthen the extreme point. The operation is very easy and must be done by hand. But care must be taken not to damage the hairs which line the inside of the shell of the ear and whose length will be examined by the judge.

Transport to the shows is done using wicker baskets. We have also created special carriers made of strong cardboard with a grid on one side. Care must be taken to ensure that the cats do not get cold while traveling, exhibitions taking place in autumn or winter, these being the seasons when their fur is in best condition.

Remove any food three or four hours before the trip and discreetly invite your friends to take their precautions [use the litter tray]. This way they will be in good shape to withstand even long distances by car or rail.

If the journey is by rail, two methods are available depending on the country and the number of cats being transported. Some countries allow small numbers of cats to be taken in the passenger compartment. In this case, place them where they are protected from drafts. This is especially suitable if there are kittens who do not yet have the discipline of adults. From time to time, open the baskets and clean thoroughly if any of the cats get dirty. In general, compartment neighbours will be amused by the animals' grace and beauty and will not show impatience, provided there is no smell. The vibration of the train calms the cats and soon enough they stop meowing, especially if they hear from time to time a tender word from their master or mistress.

When they arrive at the exhibition, the cats play a rather passive role: installed in their cages, they eat, drink, sleep, bask in the beautiful drapes that surround them and, above all, are admired by visitors. Many cats visibly enjoy themselves in this curious atmosphere and give a thousand thanks to those who pass by their cage. Others, on the contrary, being too fearful, hide behind the drapes and growl while hissing at those who get too close. They all happily endure the trial of judging and let themselves be handled by the judge without scratching or biting. As for the kittens, they are the great attractions of the shows, as their varied games show their grace, flexibility and elegance.

As a precautionary measure, it is best to give them a few Kinaredoxon pills during days of the show. Cats tolerate it like people: flu and coryza will be kept at bay. After returning from the show, it is a good idea to continue this treatment for a week, separating, as far as possible, the exhibited cats from those who remained in the cattery.


If cat shows are a test for cats they are an even harder one for exhibitors whose nerves are on edge. Here are some tips to reduce the pain and anguish.

Once you have decided to participate in a cat show, you must get in touch as quickly as possible with the organizing committee, which will be happy to send all the relevant information: date, names of judges, general regulations and specific regulations, and registration forms. Regulations must be read with great care, as their text prevents difficult or contentious cases. The registration forms must be filled in carefully, using a typewriter or in capital letters. The signature is often illegible and must be accompanied by a clear translation! The full address must also be written legibly.

A perplexing question often worries breeders: "Which classes should I enrol my cats in?” Indeed, shows organized in accordance with Feline Confederation regulations include a fairly large number of classes. The reader will find this list in the regulations published in the appendix of this book. It is clear enough not to need long comments, however, I would like to emphasize two points to which I attribute particular importance.

The first concerns the open class, males and females. It is the challenge par excellence, that in which the most beautiful subjects, champions and non-champions compete, since it is, as its name suggests, open to all. It sometimes leads to magnificent confrontations where newcomers completely eclipse seasoned champions. The judges of this class operate a double discrimination: that of the qualifiers and that of the classification. The judges assign four qualifiers according to the value of the cats: excellent, very good, good, fairly good. According to the regulations, these qualifiers correspond to a certain number of points on the scale of points in the standards: 80 points for excellent; 65 points for very good; 50 points for good and 35 points for good enough. This dispenses with the need to register the number of points on the exhibition boards, which is awkward for the judges and exhibitors. Then, whatever the number of cats enrolled in this class - and I have seen classes of blue Persians, for example, with 16 or 18 entrants of very similar value! - only the top four are classified: first, second, third and commended, even if the “also rans” merited the qualifier “excellent.”

It appears from what I will call the “spirit” of this class that the classification is important for breeders who only want to win the first places, while the qualifiers are more important for those who want to know the value of their cats for breeding. I have a blue Persian cat whose type is splendid, the eyes extraordinarily dark, but whose fur is almost always a little short. Each time she obtained the excellent qualifier, but never the first place. I know that she therefore has first-rate basic qualities for breeding, but not for showing. She has, moreover, proven this with excellent offspring, among which is a marvellous stud, international champion, "Talisman de la Chesnaie".

The second point relates to the National Breeding class. This is the one that merits, after the open class, the greatest interest from breeders, organizers and the public. The aim of the shows is not simply to designate the most beautiful cats for the admiration of the public, but to help breeders produce ever more perfect specimens. However, before the war, we saw cats imported from England at great prices, winning titles and awards without any great effort other than that of the expense, and the national cats remained disturbingly mediocre. Additionally, Mr. Maurice Guingand, president of a French feline society, wrote very rightly:

“I must admit that my admiration goes to the breeder who presents the winner of this class (National Breeding). It is very nice to bring elite subjects from abroad at a high price, it is very interesting to find an almost perfect specimen of a sought-after variety, but on the condition of knowing how to use it for the benefit of our national breeding. There is more glory in having been able to obtain, by judicious crossings, by enlightened care, by tenacious and renewed efforts, a beautiful subject born at home than by presenting a wonder acquired by means of a large cheque.”[La Revue Féline de France, January-March 1935, p. 2.]

These judicious remarks guided Swiss breeders, especially during the war when imports were almost impossible to obtain, and the results obtained rewarded them for their efforts, since at the exhibitions in Zurich, Bern, Lausanne, Neuchâtel and Geneva organized in 1945, 1946 and 1947, the cats presented in the open class earned them the just congratulations of the foreign judges.

Thus informed about the relative value of each class and the meaning of the qualifiers and classification, the exhibitor must register his cats in those which suit him best - one registration form per cat - and must submit the forms within the time limit.

On arriving in the showroom, the exhibitor should decorate his cage or cages with care and taste. This trim consists, above all, of a drape that surrounds the three sides. Whether silk or velvet or some other fabric, its colour should match that of cats. Some exhibitors achieved small marvels of elegance by decorating their cages with ribbons or flowers. Any initiative is left to everyone in this regard. I saw, in Reims, a splendid cage of white Persians: the three sides and the top of the cage being surrounded by bevelled glass and the bottom covered with white moire satin. The effect was impressively beautiful.

During the show, the breeder must attend his cats with vigilant concern: care of cleanliness, food and drink are his responsibility.

The most painful moment is that of judging. To prevent any difficulty, the English found the best solution was to evacuate the room, the judges, helped by the stewards, taking care of the cats themselves. Exhibitors therefore do not interfere with the judges' work and do not influence them with their more or less relevant observations. Shows organized under the regulations of the F.I.F. do not impose such a rigid discipline, however, the cats are not presented by their owners, but by assessors or stewards.

We have summarized, in a rather pithy form, what exhibitors must know in order to cheerfully endure the anxieties of judgment which, while not being the Last Judgment, is nonetheless terrifying for many.

"You have to remember:

- The organizers, the judges and even the commissioners are not our servants . . . They are there out of pure kindness, for the benefit of the common cause and we must not abuse them.

- There can be no order in this kind of event without strict and sternly applied rules. It is therefore embarrassing to the organizers and wastes their time to request exemptions from these rules.

- We must remember that if we are granted a favour, all exhibitors would also have the right to ask for the same favour and the good organization of the show would become impossible.

- By knowing the names of the judges, before the judging, we implicitly accept their sentence by exhibiting our cats. It would, therefore, be in very bad taste to make reflections in public on the outcome of the rankings.

- If we are compelled to spend the day next to our cat’s cage or box, we must be patient in order to impassively hear all the nonsense that the visiting public will spread about them.

- We must not arrive at this meeting with blinkers that let us see only our own cats. We must admit that, in spite of the very human blindness of a creator regarding his own work, sometimes the neighbour has better than us.

- You must be near your animals when they are called for judging. It is the greatest rudeness to make a judge wait or to force an unfortunate commissioner to trot all over the place calling for you.

- You should not daze the judge with explanations to tell him that your cat has already had so many prizes, or that it looks bad today because it has indigestion or suffering from heartbreak. ... I must tell you that if the other competitors did the same, everyone would still be there in a fortnight’s time. Last but not least, it would be improper ...

- To become a perfect breeder and a fitting exhibitor, you need a little patience, plenty of tenacity and a great deal of philosophy.

- Your cat will be entitled, in the evening, to a first class meal because, whether it has been honoured with a reward or has not been classified, whether you are overjoyed or furious, it, for its part, will always be annoyed! "

And finally, here is a concise formula, which sums it all up: the exhibitor must be sporting, accepting success or failure with a smile and saying that he will do better next time!

The judges

The problem of judges is one of the most difficult. A great deal has already been written on exhibitions of all kinds and on cat shows in particular. Mr. Charles Fournier, the brilliant sponsor of the Cat-Club of Champagne, wrote in 1933:

"How many enmities judges make! How many times do we accuse them of being biased, of favouring certain breeders, of being breeders themselves, etc. How many exhibitors are surprised to have a first prize one day, then a third or even nothing another time! They forget that cats are not in their best shape all year round, that competition can be stronger or weaker, that certain types of cats are less – or more - pleasing to some judges than others, the points obtained being the same, etc."

Is the attitude of the exhibitors towards judges, but it is a curious fact to note that the number of judges has remained small on the continent, while in England a beautiful female and male team occupies the ring at each exhibition. For the future of breeding, it is important that new judges are trained, chosen as much as possible from breeders or from perfect connoisseurs of different breeds.

The judge is a dynamic element of breeding, since he is the one who designates the champions as models of beauty and best breeders, and his advice is listened to like an oracle. Depending on whether it is good or bad advice, it will contribute to the improvement or, on the contrary, to the degeneration of breeds.

The good judge has professional and moral qualities which confer on his judgments an indisputable value, although always relative.

His professional qualities relate to knowledge of the breed; one can be an excellent judge of Persians and know nothing about European cats, have the standard of Siamese cats at the fingertips and ignore that of the Abyssinians or Birmans. This is why my preference goes to the breeder-judges, because a large number of subjects of the breed they judge have passed before their eyes, they have followed its development since birth, they have seen its weaknesses, its flaws, and they know the ideal type to look for. They have a much better eye which, during the limited time of judging, can quickly detect the qualities and defects of the exhibits submitted for their examination.

Le bon juge ne s'occupe que de la beauté des chats et non de celle de leur propriétaire féminine. Il ne tient pas compte de l'importance de l'élevage d'où ils proviennent.

He proceeds methodically, by analysis and synthesis.

The Comtesse de Comminges wrote of cat judges:

“In judging the merits of a dog, whatever the breed - and this is where we recognize a quality judge - we must know how to balance his good and bad points rather than putting it on trial. As an animal, it has flaws. No-one has yet produced a dog that is perfect on all points ...

A good judge is one who, having perfect knowledge of the breed he is called to judge, has impartial taste, at the same time as being severe, honest and rigorous ... He must be enlightened and impartial. He must not get stuck in a rut, must be wary of his pet subjects, his preconceived ideas, the exclusivity of his tastes ... He should not be in a hurry. He must remain cold and indifferent to all public demonstrations, deaf and dumb ... The judge must not have any weakness. If a dog competes alone [in a class of one exhibit], he should only award him the reward he would have deserved in the middle of substantial competition ... Finally, a good judge must be adamant and resistant to all influence, wherever it comes from, and must never worry about displeasing someone.

I can see that this role is not enviable, we don't make friends there. The judges should suddenly descend from the heavens, with their skill, look long, reflect, judge, then go up in the clouds ...

We are rarely happy with a judge. But a good judge must disdain the asides of his thankless task; he should only consider the services he can provide to livestock and they are of the utmost importance."

The training of judges is the responsibility of the International Feline Federation and national societies. They will impose on those who wish to become official judges a training period in the form of assessment in at least three exhibitions, for each breed, under the supervision of an official judge, then an examination relating to essential technical knowledge. Exhibitors are therefore guaranteed a competent and impartial judgment.

Does this mean that the sentences handed down by the official judges are absolute and that a cat, for example, who has obtained a C.A.C. under such a judge, must necessarily obtain another at its next show? That would be to forget that judges are men and not machines, that personal tastes are very different and that when two cats obtain the same number of points according to the standard, it is very difficult to decide between them, even taking into account their condition at the time. Only a more in-depth examination of their basic qualities and faults allows a justified choice; but there, each judge has a particular conviction of what is ideal.

Good judges end up winning when they are honest, impartial and competent. The advice they give to breeders, if they lead to good results which is most often the case, further supports their competence. On the other hand, the proliferation of cat shows is developing the sporting spirit of the exhibitors. It is therefore not expressing an impossible wish to hope that one day soon, exhibitors and judges will no longer see themselves as ... dogs and cats, but as real friends collaborating in a beautiful common work.


Like all living beings, cats suffer from small infirmities or major illnesses that remind everyone of the inevitable and sad outcome: death. Very resistant to disease, they endure illness with great patience and accept care with gratitude, provided that they are given by the person who usually surrounds them with tenderness and affection. Fortunately, many small diseases of cats can be treated in the cattery: ear mites, mild eczema, common colds (coryza), non-infectious diarrhoea, mild ophthalmia, etc. Some minor accidents do not require veterinary intervention either. but when it comes to cases presenting more danger to the cat do not hesitate to ask the specialist's help. Breeders sometimes regard the vet as an abomination because, in spite of his help, they did not manage to save one or other animal they were particularly attached to. Veterinarians, no more than doctors, cannot work miracles. When an animal is doomed, the vet should not be blamed as he has only human powers, always limited, and not the mysterious powers of a miracle worker. The intelligent breeder must turn to a veterinarian in whom he has full confidence and turn to him alone for all cases that arise in his cattery. A profitable collaboration is thus established between him and the specialist who ends up knowing animals even better and caring for them better.

This book, which aims to be a breeder's guide, would be incomplete without a chapter dealing with the main cases that can be treated at the cattery, and where the breeder's experience is as complete as the science of specialists. For more details, those who are interested in a more extensive presentation would benefit from consulting the works of veterinarians Ph. Jumaud: ”The cat, breeds, breeding, diseases,” and of R. Moussu: “Cats, breeding and diseases,” and in particular the latter work, which seemed to me the most extensive.

Ear mites

This very common parasitic condition is also known as symbiotic mange, parasitic otitis, or auricular autocariasis. Whatever name it is given, it is always caused by infinitely small parasites, only visible under the microscope, which swarm inside the outer ear.

It can cause quite disturbing nervous disorders, but without real gravity: signs of vertigo, convulsions, epileptiform attacks, and vomiting. However, the hallmark of ear mites is intense pruritus which causes the cat to scratch the ear with its hind legs, shaking its head to the right and left. If you pet the cat behind the ear by kneading the base of the ear flap, the animal experiences visible pleasure: it presses its ear against you with some force, then pretends to scratch. This scratching reflex is a highly valuable diagnosis, says Moussu.

At this point it is necessary to inspect the interior of the ear flap: a chocolate brown earwax is present, and if the mange is already old, an ulcerated excoriation appears at the base or at the top of the ear. It is important to intervene without further delay.

Take a stick, slightly rounded at the tip, cover the end with cotton wool and dry clean the inside of the ear flap to get rid of the earwax, because the mites - the parasites that cause the scabies - live there in this favourite environment.

If the scabies is already old, each morning instil 4 or 5 drops of tincture of glycerine iodine into the ear, of which here is the formula:

Tincture of iodine – 4 gr
Glycerin - 40 gr

After a fortnight, if the scabies persists, try this more energetic treatment of Moussu, 4 or 5 drops of the following mixture:
Benzine + Paraffin oil + Creosote - 1 gr each
White oil - 17 gr

It is rare for ear mites to resist either of these treatments. All you have to do is keep the ear very clean and infuse with a spray of boric acid from time to time.

In mild cases, cleaning the ears thoroughly, then spraying in boric acid, drives out the parasites. This method should be used as a preventive measure, in particular when returning from exhibitions.

The ease of treatment of ear mites makes it inexcusable for breeders who present cats with acarids at shows. The judges must be severe in this case, disqualify them or, at the very least, remove all the points relating to condition from them.

Eye conditions

Adult cats are quite rarely affected by eye conditions, or they are serious cases, keratitis, ectropion, entropion, blepharitis, tumours, cataracts, dislocation of the lens, which require the use of the veterinarian.

Kittens are more vulnerable and quite often have mild illness, but they must be treated energetically and immediately to avoid fatal complications.

Conjunctivitis very easily becomes severe, with violent inflammation, swelling and closing of the eyelids, redness, and even discharge of pus. The kittens rub their eyes with their paws and further accentuate the inflammation.

It is sometimes caused by foreign bodies, in which case first carefully remove the foreign body, or is a result of chills or clawing. In all cases, wash the eye with the following solution:

Atropine sulfate + Cocaine hydrochloride – 10 cg each
Distilled water - 10 g.

Then instil a few drops of

Zinc sulphate - 0.5 g.
Distilled water - 50 g.

To prevent the kittens from scratching their eyes, it is a good idea to place around their neck a strong, fairly large cardboard disc. This is the only effective remedy.

Finally, I have obtained very good results with Argyrol 5% and with yellow ointments with yellow or orange oxide of mercury, e.g. Blache or Cusy.

Conjunctivitis should not be confused with purulent ophthalmia. This is particular to young cats whose mother suffers from vaginitis. It is extremely dangerous, contagious, and most kittens perish. It usually develops from the first to the twentieth day after birth, but it is not detected until the kittens open their eyes.

The eyelids are thick and allow a fairly thick, yellowish-white purulent liquid to filter through; the conjunctiva is red and swollen; often the cornea becomes cloudy, ulcerates and abscesses, then there is perforation of the eye with or without an iris hernia.

Treated at once, purulent ophthalmia is sometimes cured by treating the eyes with silver azotate and with potassium permanganate washes then, for quite a long time, by instillations of Argyrol 5%. Follow the advice of the veterinarian who must intervene in this case, because at the same time that it is necessary to treat the kittens, it is necessary to treat the vaginitis of the mother by hot antiseptic injections with potassium permanganate.

Skin diseases

Most breeders have noticed that cats often suffer from skin diseases, especially when the diet is too rich or the care of the fur is not frequent enough.

However, they find it difficult to accurately diagnose whether it is a parasitic or microbial disease or an internal disease. Also, when adult cats or kittens show signs of a skin disease, it is preferable, in the first place, to seek the opinion of the veterinarian, who will diagnose and fix the treatment, depending on whether he finds primarily the different forms of eczema or ringworm.

Here are the general considerations that R. Moussu makes about eczema:

“Eczema corresponds to a group of pathological states with external manifestations, the limits of which are far from being precise. Anything that is neither parasitic nor microbial in skin diseases is classified as eczema.

The eczematous manifestations reflect self-poisoning, that is to say the intoxication of the organism by its own waste. This intoxication can have its origin in an exaggerated production of toxic products, in an insufficient neutralization or elimination of these products or in an abnormal sensitivity of the organism.

At the start, there can be a defective elimination, a disturbance of the digestive functions, a functional disorder of the liver, the kidney or a special sensitization of the patient. This shows how complex the question is and how delicate the diagnosis of the primary cause is.

Eczema is especially frequent on adult subjects, heavy eaters and sedentary subjects. It is common in winter on lazy, slightly obese cats who stay permanently near the fire or radiator. The abuse of pastry, cakes and confectionery is often the cause of eczema. Elderly subjects with a kidney deficiency suffering from chronic nephritis are often eczematous and it should be noted that the appearance of eczema often corresponds, in them, to an improvement in the general condition.

From a clinical point of view, eczema comes in two forms: acute eczema and chronic eczema.

Acute eczema is exceptional, it is observed especially on youngsters in the form of irregular localized plaques ranging from the dimensions of a 2-franc piece to those of a 5-franc piece. At this level, the skin is red, congested and sensitive. Soon small papules appear, whose duration is ephemeral and which can pass unnoticed, because under the influence of scratching, they rupture and release a clear mucous liquid which agglutinates on the hairs and the plaques on the skin. From this moment, the pruritus, which was intense, becomes much less marked. The crusts dry and crack and soon the desquamation takes place, leaving a bare surface which becomes covered with hair after some time. Sometimes the lesion is complicated by infection by skin microbes, suppuration is established under the crusts. This is impetiginous eczema.

Chronic eczema sets in slowly and gradually. Especially common in adults and the elderly, it most often invades the base of the tail, the loins and the back. The skin is dry, hairs are dull and brittle hairs, crusts appear more or less abundant, but pruritus is not very marked. In the long run, the hairs fall out, become scarce, the skin wrinkles and the patient presents a very characteristic appearance. Eczema is not contagious."

Each of these forms of eczema has an appropriate treatment for which zinc oxide powder or ointment is the basis. The veterinarian will indicate the care that is appropriate for each case. The important thing to remember: there is no reason to separate eczematous cats from the rest of the breeding, since they are not contagious.

It is not the same when it comes to scabies or ringworm. These two afflictions are produced by parasites and are easily communicated to other animals and even to humans. It is therefore important to separate mangy cats or cats with ringworm cats from all the others and to take care of basic hygienic measures in such cases.

Nothing is sadder and more repulsive than a cat sick with scabies; the fur, which is usually makes its most beautiful ornament, almost completely disappears and what remains is dull, and covered with greyish and hard crusts. The skin is thick, hard, wrinkled, and cracked. The poor animal is constantly scratching, resulting in deep excoriations in the nose and ears. The rheumy eyes are reddened by oedematous conjunctivitis and the nostrils are partly blocked by inflammation of the surrounding tissues. Exhausted by the disease, the cat wanders miserably, driven from everywhere, and ends up dying of misery.

Scabies can affect even cats raised in perfect condition, if they have the ability to run free. The studs especially may engage in occasional fights from which, if they emerge victorious, they take away stinging memories. Frequent inspection of the health status of cats in the cattery prevents any scabies they might contract from reaching a fatal level.

Notoedric scabies, caused by Sarcoptes notoedres cati, usually begins at the nape of the neck. It is manifested by thick greyish crusts and very marked pruritus. At the first symptoms, start an energetic treatment. There is no need to fear possible contagion because, in man, notoedric scabies causes only limited lesions and which usually heal spontaneously. Contagion is easily avoided by taking a few precautions.

Remove the crusts by washing with lukewarm water. If they resist, rub oil of cade ointment into them for two or more days. Burn the scabs to eliminate any danger of contagion. Then rub the diseased area and surrounding area with the following preparation:

Benzine, Paraffin oil, Creosote - 1 gr each
Lavender essence - V drops
White oil - 17 gr

All objects in contact with the sick cat must be disinfected or even burned.

Breeders must apply this treatment by wrapping the cat in a sort of thick canvas bag, to avoid scratches and to prevent it from struggling. Usually, it is true, a mangy cat is easy to handle and shows its gratitude by purring.

The two kinds of ringworm, one known as tonsurante and the other called scaly, are rather rare in the cat. They are caused by small fungi and are therefore contagious to both cats and humans. They appear in the form of hairless patches and crusts of varying shape and size on different parts of the body. The veterinarian's diagnosis is essential. The treatment is simple, but requires persistence.

Soften the crusts, detach them, and burn them. Then apply oil or ointment based on oil of cade or:

Peruvian balm - 10 g.
Alcohol at 60 proof - 40 g.

or again (but with caution):

Chloral hydrate -5 g.
Tincture of iodine - 2 g.
Phenic acid - 0.25 g.

Intestinal Worms

The stomach and the intestines of cats are a place where strange fauna proliferate: worms of variable sizes and dimensions. These have been carefully classified by scientists, some under kinder names than others, from Gnathostoma robustum to Botriocephalus felis, via Ascaris mystax, Ollulanus tricuspis and Spirula gastrophila, etc., not forgetting the various tapeworms. They cause more or less serious disorders, ranging from loss of appetite to epileptiform attacks.

The breeder will distinguish in practice roundworms and tapeworms, the latter being less frequent. Quite often, there will be a marked reluctance of the cat to eat food that it usually likes. I have seen kittens and adults push away a dish of fresh meat or fish and scratch at it as if it were a sanitary tray! This loss of appetite passes quickly in adult cats, which get rid of their worms almost spontaneously after a few days. But in kittens, worms have disastrous consequences if they are not eliminated quickly. Breeders and veterinarians agree that all the proposed medications have only relative effects. Moussu says that "santonin remains in cats the drug par excellence of ascariasis (roundworms of the Ascaris mystax), at a dose of 2 to 5 centigrams, administered two mornings in a row on an empty stomach, in a small meatball". Jumaud prescribes the same amount of santonin, mixed with 5 grams of sugar in a little milk. Jumaud and Chassigneux also prescribe, against roundworms, semen-contra [artemisia] powder, 1 to 2 centigrams.

There are a large number of santonin or semen-contra products on the market, the results of which are very variable and sometimes disappointing, the reactions in kittens can be very violent, even fatal.

As a preventive and curative for roundworms, I have successfully used finely chopped squash and zucchini seeds mixed with the usual food. Sometimes the worms did succumbed to a few pinches of baking soda ... Swiss, French and English breeders have indicated other methods to me. This proves how tenacious these parasites are and that experience, in this case, is the best guide.

As for tapeworms, Jumaud and Chassigneux treat them with the etherial extract of male fern [aka “Worm Fern], while Moussu recommends the powdered areca nut.

Veterinarians recommend the administration of a purgative before treatment against worms; advice to be followed only with caution for kittens who, at this time, have a certain tendency to diarrhoea and it is important not to weaken them.

Miss Evelyn Langston offers the following thoughts on worms in kittens [Fur and Feather, June 23, 1933.]:

“Worms in a healthy kitten, although not at all desirable, are not particularly harmful; but in a sick kitten, they are dangerous. I usually give my cats a dewormer every three months. Frequently, they do not have any. But if one of them has it, I give him a new dose a week later. Even though all of my cats are fed in much the same way, with small modifications to meet individual needs, it is amazing that some have worms and others do not. And the more they are in good condition, the more I find. It seems that worms like to live in those who are healthy. This is not always the case in kittens, and many thrive better after receiving a dewormer. I am not in favour of deworming very young kittens; they should not receive it before the age of three months and it is even better, in general, to wait until the age of four months. However, there are certain preparations that can be given that are not conducive to the spread of worms. A pinch of salt on the food helps a lot."

This opinion of a breeder and judge appreciated in England is relevant. However, I believe that we must drive out the intestinal worms of kittens, as soon as we notice them, otherwise we expose ourselves to serious accidents: weakness caused by the worms facilitates gastroenteritis and others forms of the diseases of youth. The important thing is not to administer anthelmintics that cause inflammation and to measure the dose intelligently.

Simple gastroenteritis

Mild inflammation of the stomach and intestine is common in cats, both in catteries and in semi-domestics. Jumaud gives the following symptoms:

"We see a little dullness and restlessness, the patient gets up frequently, makes audible complaints, stops eating, tries to drink often, and vomits. Its breath becomes foul and its mouth is dry. Constipation is noted first, then diarrhoea and there is an exaggerated arch in the kidney area and the belly is hard and drawn up."

If the patient is not treated in time, it loses weight quickly, does not keep itself clean any more and declines until death. In some severe cases, there may be complications of ulcerative stomatitis, gangrene of the tongue, or nervous disorders.

Because gastroenteritis is the result of a poorly formulated diet or the ingestion of spoiled food, you must first change the cattery diet to prevent other cats from getting sick. As for those who are already affected, fight diarrhoea and vomiting at home by treating them with a water diet: such as unlimited Eau-de-Vals St-Jean, and three or four times a day give a teaspoonful of:

Sodium citrate - 1 g.
Distilled water - 50g.

When the vomiting has subsided, the patient can be given a vegetable or cereal broth, carrots, potatoes, turnips, lentils, dried peas, dried beans, sea salt, pearl barley, cracked corn, or wheat, barley, oats, rye, or maize.

Against diarrhoea, give a pinch of bismuth sub-nitrate, morning and evening, in a little milk.

Then return the patient to the normal cattery regime.

J'ai traité de nombreux cas de gastro-entérite banale avec les ampoules de ferments lactiques Tapo ; les résultats ont presque toujours été concluants. Le Lactéol est utile aussi.

Mild coryza

Coryza or inflammation of the nasal mucosa is common in cats, especially during the cold and wet season. Siamese, because of their origin, and Persians, because of the narrowness of their ducts due to the shortening of the nose, seem more susceptible than European cats.

Moussu describes the symptoms:

“The patient with coryza is slightly depressed, he sneezes frequently which provokes the expulsion of mucopurulent matters which stain the nostrils, where they dry out forming small cracked crusts. His appetite is normal and there is no fever."

In some catteries, simple coryza progresses to the chronic state through lack of care, and kittens contract it very easily. This is why the treatment, despite its complication, must begin when illness starts and continue until complete recovery.

Clean the nostrils with boric water, then coat them with a little white petrolatum. Be wary of mentholated petroleum jellies which aggravate external inflammation of the nostrils. Some authors recommend fumigations, but these are poorly tolerated by the cat. The instillation of Gomenol’s Nasal Oil or Argyrol generally succeeds in bringing about the cure.

It is obvious that a cat with coryza must be kept warm and slightly overfed. Especially avoid drafts and sudden changes in temperature. Monitor it closely to prevent phlegm from clogging the nostrils, cleanse them gently. If the eyelids become inflamed, instil a few drops of Argyrol and, in the evening, coat the edges of the eyelids with yellow mercury oxide.

Mild coryza often progresses to acute bronchitis, an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the bronchi. It is then necessary to call the veterinarian who will indicate the treatment of mustard poultices, fumigations, syrups of terpine, tolu balsam or others, subcutaneous injections of camphorated oil. Intervention must be rapid and forceful to avoid chronic bronchitis, tuberculosis or death.

General illnesses

Cats suffer from only a few general illnesses which, from time to time, take on the appearance of a veritable epidemic. In variable forms they affect the young as well as adults. Treated too late, or poorly treated, they lead to death in a fairly short period of time. It is therefore necessary, as soon as the first symptoms appear, to apply the therapy appropriate to each case as quickly as possible.


This contagious affliction of kittens has been noticed for many years in various countries where it has caused havoc, decimating entire regions. Often studied by specialists, it has proven to be very contagious and spreadable by droplets. Despite all the research, the specific remedy has not yet been discovered and the care that we give tends to support the heart, reduce inflammation, and then strengthen the subject who has stood the test. A vaccine remains to be found.

R. Moussu describes the symptoms of distemper in this way and I have checked it, twice, perfectly accurately:

“The disease begins with a few sneezes to which, very often, no importance is attached. But soon the appetite decreases, sneezing becomes more frequent and snuffles starts. At this time, the appetite is almost completely suppressed and the temperature is around 40 centigrade. The situation worsens quickly, the patient is exhausted, depressed and prostrate. The conjunctiva are inflamed, swollen and stained with a mixture of pus and mucus; this inflammation is sometimes so intense that the mucous membrane forms two swollen bulges which join and completely cover the eye. Foamy saliva stains the face. This picture is frequently complicated by the appearance of respiratory and digestive disorders. The former develop in the form of bronchopneumonia with frequent coughing, laboured breathing, mouth breathing and snuffles, and pleurisy with noisy breathing and signs of asphyxia. As for digestive complications, they are manifested by gastroenteritis with vomiting and especially profuse diarrhoea. Death is the usual outcome when either of these complications has appeared, but in other cases, recovery is possible, although it is the exception.

In addition to this medium intensity progression, we may observe acute cases with death occurring within twenty-four hours, with no other signs except extreme prostration and a fever close to 41 centigrade."

Moussu also notes some cases with slower progression in subjects aged 12 to 18 months in which healing is more frequent. He also points out that cured subjects can remain carriers of germs for at least a year, hence the importance of knowing the exact health status of catteries that exhibit cats at shows.

In all cases of distemper, the breeder cannot treat the affected cats alone and the science of the veterinarian is essential. If this is late in coming, the breeder can administer one Cibazol tablet, in quarters, accompanying this remedy with a certain amount of water.

I warn breeders against specialties launched with great publicity; they prove ineffective in the most cases. Moussu says that in England there is a curative and preventive specific antiserum, however, it is not found anywhere on the continent. Let us hope that, for the future of our catteries, young veterinarians tackle this very interesting problem and discover the real antiserum of this terrible disease.

Infectious coryza

During the cold season, infectious coryza threatens more or less all catteries. Extremely contagious, it only takes one case for all the other cats to be affected. Initially, the symptoms are similar to those of common coryza, hence the importance of first aid. It is only after two to three days that the disease becomes different: the patient loses his appetite, the fever settles at around 40 centigrade, and nasal breathing becomes impossible; the patient breathes through his mouth, often accompanied by foamy saliva. Complications appear: purulent conjunctivitis, pharyngitis, bronchopneumonia. The outcome is, in most cases, fatal.

Isolation of the patient is essential. As for the treatment, as in distemper, the symptoms must be treated. However, under veterinary supervision, Cibazol may be used, at a dosage which must be determined in each case.

Infectious gastroenteritis

This is another serious disease that decimates catteries and entire districts of cities in autumn and winter. It appears suddenly, and immediately takes an acute form: the digestive symptoms are the same as in simple gastroenteritis, but the patient is exhausted, crawls with difficulty, remains lying down and deaf to the calls of his master. The fever is intense, around 41 centigrade and the limbs, head and ears are cold.

Cibazol has worked wonders when given on time, along with subcutaneous injections of caffeine or glucose. Similarly, vaccinations have been attempted with a vaccine consisting of a spleen emulsion taken from a sick subject during a feverish period. According to Moussu, immunity is acquired ten days after the last injection.

Other illnesses

Other diseases can affect cats, especially rabies and tuberculosis. I refer the reader to the special treatises in which they will find the description of these diseases - the first fortunately being quite rare - and their treatment.


Moncrif devotes some very amusing pages of a very pleasant turn to the misfortunes which occurred to Ratillon d'Austrasie, the third husband of Brinbelle, the famous cat of the Hotel de Guise, and he humorously describes the life of cats deprived of their gender:

“Let us carefully consider Cats at the moment of an outrage [castration] which we dare to do to their persons through the barbarous ministry of Boilermakers [tinkers]; before the perfidy takes place. A Cat, seduced by the caresses of a man whom he wished to have as his master, finds himself in the hands of an enemy. He finally escapes. He is outraged. He always has his claws, whose attacks have been exaggerated, but haughty contempt becomes his sole vengeance. He is content to flee those men who so inhumanely betrayed him, but is soon overcome by his unfortunate inborn inclination towards their company so he returns, and as his only reproach he shows them that taciturnity and languor in which he spends the rest of his life."

Even today, there are vehement opponents of cat castration and it would be easy and funny to quote their rather curious testimonies.

However, there are many cases in which castration is a pressing necessity. It is practically impossible to keep an intact male in city apartments. The strong and penetrating smell that it gives off during mating season, the fact that it sprays everywhere, the long cries it tirelessly makes for days and nights, running away from home, covered with wounds and sometimes covered with scabies. These are all unbearable inconveniences. Likewise, cats who mew miserably for long days, two or three times a year and almost without interruption, if they are not mated, or who give birth to two or three litters intended for immediate death, are hardly pleasant in apartments.

Fortunately, the barbaric method which consisted of getting cats castrating by boilermakers [tinkers] or by the butcher is dying out, and specialist veterinarians now castrate not only males - the operation taking only a minute or two - but also females by oophorectomy, a more delicate operation, it is true, but one in which they have developed techniques with great precision.

The only important point for breeders is that regarding the age when castration can be done with the least danger. Opinions differ quite significantly. Some speak of four or five months, others of ten or twelve months; I adopted the average age of eight or nine months, because at this time the cat is quite developed and supports the operation better. After 48 hours, the neutered cat will resume its almost normal life. If the operation is done on an adult cat, it often continues to behave like a whole cat, chasing the females and howling at the moon ... I will not imitate the humourists who speak of the inhumanity castrating tomcats; however, I believe that it is nasty to inflict undeserved suffering on our lower brothers, and that is why I advise the choice of eight or ten months old, when the kittens have not yet started the life of a stud cat.

To finish this chapter, I will rise in my turn against the odious practice of purely experimental vivisection, where cats are used as guinea pigs for hideous trials. Before the war, we cited the case of a gas factory in Germany where more than two thousand cats had been subjected to torture ... Perhaps the Nazi "scholars" were developing the methods of mass destruction they used during the war, with the success that we know, in Dachau, Belsen and other places of Dantesque suffering ... Maurice de Waleffe wrote at the time:

"Why, among all the animals, choose the cat? Are there not other small mammals with which man has not made an alliance, who flee from us or ignore us and on whom, therefore, we would be more excusable to deliver up, if such cruel experiences are necessary? "

If the famous writer had known the abominations of the concentration camps at that time, his protest would have been even more vehement. For those of us who have seen them in all their appalling horror, we must be persuaded that the experimental barbarism on poor animals leads one day inevitably to that practiced on humans. Therefore, true cat lovers will always be resolute opponents of vivisection.


The interest in purebred cats had to lead, some day, to the creation of specialized societies with the aim of preserving, improving or even creating cat breeds, encouraging the efforts of breeders and educating the public through competitions and shows.

The feline movement, as you can guess, was born in England, a country where great lords as well as the simplest people are passionate about breeding. It was in 1887 that Mr. Harrison Weir founded the National Cat Club which directed cat breeders until 1898. Disputes having divided its leaders, Lady Marcus Beresford formed The Cat Club, and several other societies were founded around 1900. Peace did not return until around 1910, when a federation of various societies was created under the name of "The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy”.

Today, the G.C.C.F. group, under the direction of its chairman, Mr. Cyril Yeates, comprises the following companies: National Cat Club, Southern Counties Cat Club, Midland Counties Cat Club, Black and White Cat Club, Blue Persian Cat Society, Siamese Cat Club, Chinchilla, Silver and Smoke Society, Red, Cream, Brown Tabby and Tortoiseshell Society, Croydon Cat Club, Short-haired Cat Society, Neuter Cat Society, Newbury Cat Club, Siamese Cat Society of the British Empire, Kensington Kitten Club, The Abyssinian Cat Club, The South-Western Counties Cat Club, The Southsea Cat Club, The Blue-pointed Siamese Club, The British Cat Club.

The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy has the final say on everything related to breeding in England. It is this body that establishes, modifies, and monitors the rules for shows organized under its auspices by affiliated societies. It is this body that maintains the Stud Books, issues pedigrees and transfer certificates, and publishes a Stud Book.

Thanks to the happy influence of this central authority, feline breeding has made great progress in England, where splendid exhibitions have shown the results obtained by the members of the numerous specialized clubs, particularly those dealing with Persians, Siamese and Abyssinians.

The first cat show, for which we have the precise date, was organized at the Crystal Palace in 1871 by Mr. Harrison Weir, who later founded the National Cat Club. From 1871 to 1895, the cat show was organized by the Crystal Palace Co. But from 1895 until 1936 (when the Crystal Palace was completely destroyed by a gigantic fire two days before the annual exposition) the National Cat Club assumed responsibility each year, with hardly any interruption, and with complete success. Each year, also, the other clubs invite breeders to their annual shows, which provokes a remarkable competition between them and maintains among visitors and judges the sportsmanship characteristic of breeding in England.

In France, the first cat show was organized by “Le Journal” in 1896 at the Jardin d'Acclimatation in Paris. There were a couple more in Paris up to 1910, when the Bordeaux Exhibition gave some breeders the idea to group together under the chairmanship of Mr. Philippe Jumaud, doctor-veterinarian in Saint-Raphaël, into a society they named the “Cat Club de France.” It organised shows in Nice and Cannes in 1912, Nice in 1913, Lyon d’Aix-les-Bains in 1914, then, after the end of the war, Cannes in 1922, 1923, 1924; Marseille in 1924 and 1925, Lille in 1924 and 1925, Angers in 1925; Paris in 1926, and since that date cat shows have multiplied in Paris and other major cities.

At the beginning, it was Dr Philippe Jumaud, Dr Hasse from Antwerp, and Miss Simpson, renowned judge and breeder, who judged these exhibitions. Later, other English judges came to the continent: Mr. Cyril Yeates, Mrs. Gretta Yeates, Miss Evelyn Langston, Captain Powell, and Mr. Western, among others, whose invaluable advice formed an impressive team of "European" judges. The Cat Club of France, which had opened a "Book of Origins" (stud book and register) in 1913, encouraged breeders to form other societies in Paris and the provinces. But, as in Great Britain, conflicts soon arose between their leaders. The Paris Cat Club and the Champagne Cat Club criticized the judgment methods and the other clubs’ Books of Origins. Efforts to come to an agreement calmed the spirits for a few months, then the opposing views arose again, so that on the eve of 1939, there were no less than four Books of Origins in France!

During the war, the Paris Cat Club managed to get around fifty of the most beautiful cats of French breeding to Switzerland, thanks to the generous initiative of Mrs. Gibbons and Mrs. Bridgett. Following the end of hostilities, the secretary general of the Paris Cat Club, Mrs. Ravel, has brought together her members and is trying to restore the French cat shows to their former glory. The first exhibition in Belgium took place in 1891. Various societies imitated the example of Great Britain. Dr Hasse, Miss van Kerkhove and Mr Armand Steens were among the first leaders of the Belgian feline movement. Unfortunately, on the eve of the German invasion, Belgian societies were divided, despite the peacemaking efforts of Mr. Steens and the Belgian Feline Journal.

In Germany, attempts were already being made at the end of the 19th century to interest the general public in the protection and better knowledge of cat breeds. There is mention of a cat show in 1897 in Munich, another in Lubeck in 1902 and a third in Hamburg in 1905. Incredibly by today’s standards, these feline exhibitions lasted up to five or six days. Mrs. Elisabeth Maderno mentions a cat show in Mannheim-Baden without being able to fix the precise date, around 1898-1900. From the catalogues of these exhibitions, one can get an idea of the prices paid at that time for purebred cats. A two and a half month old Siamese sold for 700 marks, while a Persian, or better, an Angora, was worth only 60 marks. Later, various cat clubs were created which organized large exhibitions in the main cities. Two journals continued to appear in 1939: “Unsere Katze,” (Our Cats) which proudly bore the subtitle: "Erste Katzenschrift Deutschlands" (Germany’s First Cat magazine), appeared in Berlin in Mensch und Tier Hedwig Dudzik editions; “Die Edelkatze” (The Noble Cat) was the organ of the Deutscher Edelkatzen-Züchter-Verband (German Association of Fine Cats Breeders ) of Nuremberg; it was headed by Konrad Hirschmann, a well-known breeder of self-red Persians and secretary of the oldest Book of Origins in Germany.

Some feline societies also existed in Holland, Denmark, and finally Italy, where, under the direction of Dr Da Maddalena, of Milan, the Società Felina Italiana (Italian Cat Club) introduced purebre cats to the general public of Milan and Turin by particularly successful cat shows.
In the United States, three large associations deal with purebred cats: The American Cat Association, headquartered in Chicago; The Cat Fanciers Association in New Jersey and The Cat Fanciers Federation in Stamford, Connecticut. They have their own Books of Origins, their exhibitions and their journals just like European associations. In addition, there are three groups that deal more specifically with the protection of common cats: The American Feline Society, in New York; The Allied Cat Lovers International Inc., in Minneapolis, and The National Cat Week, which is headquartered in Colombus and seeks to spark national cat week internationally and in all countries.

In Switzerland, I founded the first feline society in 1933, after the marvelous success of the first Geneva cat show, with the support of Miss Tzaut, secretary of the Paris Cat Club - a Swiss woman from Lucerne - and Mr. Charles Fournier, president of the Champagne Cat Club. I set up a Book of Origins that same year, according to the strict rules that we had developed with the two French clubs. Miss Claire Perrin took the initiative of the Vaudois Cat Club in Lausanne; then Berne and Zurich in turn set up their Cat Clubs. The war paralyzed the enjoyable activity of these Swiss clubs. But Zurich, Berne, Lausanne, Neuchâtel, Geneva and other cities have now taken up the tradition of major international exhibitions, in which the most beautiful cats in Europe come to try their luck. During the IVth International Cat Show in Reims 1933, the delegates of foreign clubs decided by agreement in principle to take the first step towards an international feline Confederation. Here is the text: “We, club and federation delegates from England, Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Denmark and Switzerland, agree to reach an accord for regulations, standards and exhibitions."

This was signed by: Miss Tzaut, secretary general of the Paris Cat Club; Mr. Boilève de la Gombaudière, president of the Paris Cat Club; Mrs. Ch. Fournier, secretary general of the Champagne Cat Club; Mr. Ch. Fournier, president of the Champagne Cat Club; Konrad Hirschmann, President of the German Feline Federation; Dr. Hasse, President of the Belgian Feline Federation; Mr. Rolandus Hagedorn, for Holland; Miss G. van Kerkhove, Secretary General of the Belgian Feline Federation; Mr. Fritz Werr, for the Cat Friends Club, Vienna, Austria; M. A.-M. Chamonin, for Switzerland. Mrs. Cyril Yeates, who could not engage the G.C.C.F., had simply written: "I will do my best to realize the underscribed accord for England.” Knud Hansen, president of the Circle of Purebred Cats in Copenhagen, signed the agreement a few weeks later. During the following years, the statutes and regulations of the International Feline Confederation (CIF) were studied, developed and accepted by the Paris Cat Club in agreement with the Champagne Cat Club, the Società Felina Italiana, the Geneva Cat Club, the Vaudois Cat Club and the other clubs in Switzerland.

It is to be hoped that, with the help of the C.I.F., the rivalries between the clubs in various countries will quickly disappear because the regulations for the Books of Origins, standards, rules for the C.A.C. (Champion Certificate) and C.A.C.I.B. (International Champion), for the choice of judges and the general cat show regulations adopted by the C.I.F., will remove many causes of friction. These documents can be found in the appendix.

* * *

This chapter would be incomplete without some words about the economic value of purebred cats and the value of pedigrees issued by those cat clubs maintaining a Book of Origins. The value of purebred cats is indeed undeniable. In England, France, Belgium and Italy as in Switzerland and the United States, purebred specimens, with good type, beautiful fur and good colour, command considerable sums. Beforethe war, studs and she-cats capable of becoming champions were sold in England for upwards of 50 pounds sterling. In Switzerland, Persian kittens, for example, are sold at the age of two or three months for between 80 and 150 Swiss francs, sometimes even more if they are of excellent breeding and almost perfect type. It is difficult at present to indicate a scale of prices commanded in European countries, because of the unstable exchange rates.

The most valuable breeds at the moment are Blue Persians, White Persians, Cream Persians and Chinchilla Persians. Birmans are practically unobtainable and were sold, before the war, at astronomical prices. As for Siamese cats, which have retained their full market value and fervent admirers in England and the United States, they have lost their vogue on the continent through the fault of breeders, who no longer sought the beauty of the type, the lines and the colour of this magnificent breed, but were content to earn small sums by selling off average quality or clearly inferior cats at low prices. It is to be hoped that Siamese breeding will be taken up seriously and conducted according to precise rules. I will return to this subject in the chapter devoted to the Siamese cat. Cat clubs have accustomed lovers of purebred cats to buy only cats with a pedigree issued by a competent authority. Similarly, when a cat crosses from one country to another, it is accompanied by a transfer certificate which is a guarantee for the buyer.

But what is a pedigree? Many breeders and admirers are unclear about its value and significance. They must first of all understand that a pedigree is not a certificate of a cat’s beauty, but simply proof of its ancestry. Consequently, a cat provided with papers that establish the nobility of its lineage could easily be judged as “Fairly Good” or “Good” at cat shows, while a cat without a pedigree might be judged “Excellent.” This does not man the judge is either incompetent or biased, in fact quite the contrary.

The pedigree is nonetheless very important as it alone allows breeders to study bloodlines in order to improve the characteristics of a breed.

The establishment of pedigrees of purebred cats is done in the following way. When a litter is born the breeder sends a registration request to the Studbook secretary, accompanied by a mating certificate signed by the owner of the stud cat. It indicates the name of the cat and that of the stud, both of which must already be registered in a recognized studbook, the number of kittens, and the sex and name chosen for each kitten. The Studbook secretary then issues, for each kitten, a Studbook registration certificate or a complete pedigree comprising the name of the cat, its date of birth, the name of the cattery that bred it, the breeder’s signature and registration number, the Studbook secretary’s signature and the cat’s paternal and maternal ancestry up to the fourth or fifth generation.

The value of a pedigree depends on the honesty of the breeder who establishes it, and on the honesty of all the owners of studs and she-cats that appear in the ancestry. However, when the pedigree bears the signature of the secretary of a studbook with the studbook’s official stamp, there is the maximum chance, or better the guarantee, that it is not faked. The control of catteries by clubs and the care taken to verify breeding certificates make fraud very rare, if not impossible.

When you want to register a cat of unknown origins you must exhibit it at a cat show where it must obtain the qualification of “Excellent” and be classified first, second or third in an open class. The surprises often caused by cats without proven ancestry are such that they justify this apparent severity. Thus a blue Persian stud of unknown origin might count in its ancestry blues, whites, blacks or even creams. A Persian female mated to it might produce a litter of kittens of these various colors or even, what is more serious, of mixed colors. This is the reason why it is important to know the colour of the parents when buying a stud, therefore, one should always indicate in the pedigree the colours, at least until the third generation, when they differ from the registered cat.

It is quite obvious that breeders can write unoffical pedigrees. The only value of these papers are to allow the prospective buyer to know the ancestors of the cat, even if it means having the origin checked officially by the secretary of the Studbook Before the war, there were Studbooks in which errors - not to mention fraud - were discovered. This is the reason why the C.I.F. rules that there is only one Studbook recognized by each country so that it can be checked more easily. Next to the Studbook there is a register of recognized affixes. The affix is the official name of a cattery, the name under which all the cats born there are registered in the Studbook and at cat shows. Thus, my cattery bears the name of Cattery of Chesnaie and the cats born at my home all carry this name e.g. Talisman of Chesnaie, Vira of Chesnaie, Vanda of Chesnaie. This affix, once it has been lodged in the National Register, is the property of the breeder and cannot be legitimately used by another cattery.

Though cat clubs are occupied with fondly raising purebreds, they do not despise common cats and especially unhappy cats. In France, Belgium and England, cat clubs have always been interested in the fate of abandoned cats and have even created homes for them. In Switzerland, the feline movement is too recent for such institutions - which require fairly large capital - to be established. However, the various clubs have never missed an opportunity to rescue homeless cats by finding them a welcoming home or by painlessly putting them to sleep. Specialized journals have even published articles on the method of providing enthanasia to our lower brothers, and other protest aainst vivisection. So there is no conflict, as we sometimes think, between cat clubs and animal protection societies, but instead an indirect collaboration from which all cats benefit.



The problem of the origin of domestic cats is, and will remain, one of the most debated topics in natural history. All the scholars and researchers who have tried to solve it have come up against the mystery that constitutes the variety of species of feline type and the fixity of these varieties in prehistoric times as well as in historical times. Moreovber, this is not a single problem but many, as it is also necessary to discover not only the origin of the European short-haired cat, but that of the Siamese, Persian cat, Manx, Abyssinian and Birman, etc.

To show the complexity of such a question, I will present in this chapter some opinions from the greatest naturalists on the origin of the European cat, leaving the origins of other cats to the chapters devoted to each breed.

The famous Swiss naturalist Tschudi tried to hypothesize the origin of the European cat by studying the wild cat of the forests: "We are inclined to consider the wild cat as the primitive form of the ordinary cat, for the reason that essentially everything in its organization is consistent to both types and that it is impossible to attribute any other origin to our cat who, it must be admitted, also lives in the South and was found embalmed in Egypt.

"It is in the East and not here at home that we find the origin of most of our domestic animals, so we want to see the ancestor of ours in Nubia’s little cat. But this species is still far from being adequately studied and seems to differ from the domestic species as much as the wild cat. We know how a thousand years of domesticity and the change of food can greatly modify an animal’s form. We attach less importance to the solution of this question to the opinion of those who claim that tame wild cats end up in distinguishable from domestic cats and that the latter, returning to the wild, show the same characteristics as the wild cat after three generations. The scarcity of observations of this kind makes the result not very positive and all the less conclusive that it is difficult to admit that a wild cat in captivity has mated with another wild cat under similar conditions. If there was such a mating, it was probably with a domestic cat, so that the half-breeds born under these circumstances could easily return to the domestic type." A certain fact is that the domestication of the cat in Europe traces back to times of great antiquity since professor L. Rütimeyer of Basel identified, by examining the remains of old lacustrine [lakeside] establishments in Switzerland, bones of cats mixed with bones of dogs, oxen, horses, pigs, goats and sheep. And yet specialists claim that the cat did not appear among the Romans until the second century ...

What type were these Swiss Stone Age cats and which cats were caressed by the gentle hands of the noble Roman patricians? This is what remains impossible to establish. Were they similar or did they differ in some points? We are reduced to the thinnest hypotheses.

Indeed, the modern domestic cat shows two clearly differentiated types. One has a long, slender, robust form, with long ears and slender legs. The other is smaller, compact and stocky, with small, rounded ears and shorter, thicker legs. However, according to Kretschner's work, the cat of the Greeks and the Romans, which Aristotle was the first to report, was quite small. We know, on the other hand, that the famous sacred cats of the Egyptians also belonged to two different types. Professor Virchow has in fact studied the bones of cats exhumed by the Egyptologist Naville in Bubastis, the city dedicated to the cat goddess Bast. Nehring has carried out the same investigations into the mummies of Béni-Hassan. Their conclusions agree: Egyptian mummies show two specific types, the "serval" type which includes the largest and most robust samples, and the "Nubian steppe cat" type whose samples are smaller. The cat statues seen in major museums, such as the Louvre in Paris, are clearly of the "serval" type, with slender forms, long pointed ears, and long, thin legs. Finally, we know the usefulness of the Egyptian cat in a country periodically plagued by rats.

We can therefore admit that these sacred cats were first smuggled into Europe and that they charmed the leisure activities of important people of Athens and Rome, just like the beautiful Persian cats and the curious Pekingese dogs charm women today. Then, when Christianity had stripped the small felines of their sacred character, they spread more easily throughout Europe by following the main communication routes, until the time of the barbarian invasions. For a few centuries, perhaps, interest in cats disappeared due to more pressing concerns. However, the invasion of devastating rats which carried plague prompted the knights of the Crusades to bring back home one or the other of the cats they had known in the East.

According to Mr. Steens, “Tradition says that knights returning from Palestine, where the cat was appreciated as a rat hunter, brought back some precious specimens which they gave as gifts to their family members to help them get rid of the plague of small rodents. These Palestinian cats came from Egypt, from where caravans had brought them back in the past, and the Crusaders had been struck by the efficiency with which these charming little creatures fought against rats."

The fact remains that in the 13th century, the cat was considered a valuable animal in Wales, where the law fixed its value and determined the fines to which those who killed them were liable. An edict in the Saxon language, dating from the year 1205, forbade abbesses of England the right to have any animal except cats. From these facts we draw the conclusion that the domestic cats - since their value was so great - did not come from a cross with wild cats because it would have been relatively easy to capture and domesticate wild cats.

It is more correct to think that our current cat is the result of crosses of the native domestic cat with the large cats reported by the Crusaders,hence the two types that you meet almost everywhere in the world: the slender cat and the chunky cat.

Jumaud notes this important fact: "In truth, since the world began, while many animal varieties have undergone metamorphoses, the feline type has remained almost immutable, unchanged even in its anatomy." And elsewhere he says:" Cats were transported by Europeans to all parts of the earth, but the diversity of climates had only a fairly limited influence on them. This fact is corroborated by the experience of breeders who may have produced secondary mutations, but never produced changes as profound as those claimed by the transition from the wild cat type to the domestic cat type.

Darwin has already highlighted the difficulty of determining the origin of domestic cats of various breeds because, to his mind, it is not yet known whether domestic cats are descended from several distinct wild species or from a single species modified by accidental crosses, but it is likely that our current breeds have had several wild ancestors.

Today, naturalists are therefore still forming hypotheses. Also, breeders do not have to worry too much about the problem of origins and can pay more attention to a more important issue: that of the classification of cat breeds.

The classification that we are going to establish is that of domestic cats. It is easy to understand that it could not be carried out as scientifically as for other animal races that are more clearly differentiated. Professor Cornevin created a classification which is generally adopted by scientists, based on the character of the ears, the tail, the color of the skin and the length of the coat. Interestingly for naturalists, Cornevin's classification is hardly suitable for breeders and admirerers. It takes into account breeds that never appear at cat shows and that no breeder has ever tried to selectively breed: the Cape cat, Icelandic cat, negro cat, Tobolsk, and the Chinese cats with drooping ears.

Jumaud, who tried to help breeders by putting some order in this classification, remains a prisoner of his strictly scientific point of view and also quotes breeds that are little known, or even unknown, in Europe, such as the cat of Gambia, the Creole cat from Antigoa, the Ceylon cat, the Cypriot cat and the Koumanian cat ... Is it even certain that these various country names designate clearly distinct races?

The classification which I have ended up at therefore has no scientific claim. It aims at a purely practical goal by only reporting the commonly known breeds of cats that breeders aim to improve according to an official breed standard accepted by clubs or specialized societies. However, it is close in principle to Cornevin’s classification disregarding the shape of the ears. It is based on the length and colour of the fur and, in some cases, on the color of the eyes. The classification of European cats results from the work of Professor Schwangart, who is an authority on the subject.

This classification has been accepted by the International Feline Confederation (C.I.F.). It differs from that of the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy for European cats. Finally, I introduced the two Burmese breeds that we have seen in exhibitions in Europe and the United States: the long-haired Sacred Birman and Burmese, the latter being a variety of Siamese with short hair and yellow eyes.

The reader will notice that the cat known as the “Angora” does not appear in this classification. This omission is intentional. The Angora name is given to long-haired animals such as the Angora rabbit and the Angora goat. Naturalists only recognise a single breed of long-haired cat under the name of Felis domesticus angorensis, thus, in the list of breeds accepted by Ménégaux (“Les Mammifères”), the Angora cat is number 11. Jumaud also made a special place for it in “Le Chat,” dated 1926, but in his 1930 book, “Les Races de Chats,” he no longer distinguished the Angora cat from the Persian cat. Professor Schwangart tried to save the European long-haired cat by accepting it in a few cat shows under the name of "boreal cat" which he reserved, it is true, for the slender type. The variety was pursued neither by the C.I.F., nor by the G.C.C.F., nor by the breeders.

The “Persian” cat is a relatively recent creation and is derived from the original Angora cat. This one, like the European cat, has two types: the slender and the stocky. English breeders have systematically sought its improvement in the stocky type, considering it to be more beautiful, more elegant, and stronger, in all colour varieties, and have come very close to their ideal with the blue Persian in particular. So much so, that today the slender type with long ears, long muzzle and thin legs can no longer defend its chances in shows where, on the contrary, the opulent form triumphs with their massive head of the stocky types.

Finally, I wanted to make room for the ratting cat, not because it constitutes a different breed, but to echo the work of Dr Adrien Loir, the son-in-law of the great Pasteur, who has led a vigorous and intelligent campaign for many years against the rat, that terrible enemy of man, and in favor of the cat, the ideal and natural instrument of rat extermination.


Persians: black, blue-eyed white, yellow-eyed white, blue, red tabby, red self, cream, tortoiseshell, tortoiseshell and white, blue-cream, brown tabby, chinchilla, smoke, silver tabby. Sacred Birman. Khmer cats.


Brazilian Margay.
Siamese: café-au-lait with blue eyes, blue with blue eyes, chocolate with yellow eyes (Burmese cats)
Europeans: Chartreux cat, Manx, black, white, blue, cream, tortoiseshell, red tabby, silver, brown, spotted.


The description of the cat breeds that we are going to read is based on hundreds of personal observations and the careful study of specialized literature. It is supplemented by the C.I.F. standard of points which agrees, most of the time, with that of the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy except for some varieties not recognized by the English. Finally, some historical or anecdotal notes will prevent the descriptions from becoming too dry, while making interesting contributions to our better knowledge of cat breeds.

The standard is the prototype of perfection which guides the breeder in his selective breeding and against which cats are judged at shows. The standards of the cat breeds were not established in a fanciful way, but result from the patient research of breeders and numerous observations made by judges in cat shows in Europe and America for nearly seventy-five years. The standards have an official character when they are recognized by specialized clubs or large feline associations.

It is obvious that the standards are not absolute fixed and that they can be changed by the governing bodies of these clubs or associations. Thus, the standard for blue-cream Persian was only established after long discussions in England and France, while that of the Siamese is still the subject of epic battles between breeders and judges over the tail of this singular animal. These standards are important, however, because they are the canon of beauty by which cats are judged at shows. Moreover, it is to be hoped that the international agreement advocated by the C.I.F. gives them even greater authority by extending their action to all the countries where scientific breeding in undertaken.

15. Champion Pigeon du Léman, white Persian with orange eyes, several times "Best in show" in Switzerland.
16. Champion White Treasure of Lake Geneva, white Persian with orange eyes.
17. Champion Talisman de la Chesnaie, Studbook No 729, blue Persian, C.A.C. and C.A.C.I.B. Berne 1945, Lausanne 1946, Zurich 1946, Neuchâtel 1946 and Geneva 194J. "Best in show" Geneva 1947.
18. Vera de la Chesnaie, blue Persian, daughter of Ch. Talisman de la Chesnaie, three months old.




The first known description of Persian cats is that of the Italian explorer Pietro delia Valle, who traveled through Persia in the 16th century. Buffon quotes it:

"In Persia there is a species of cats which properly belong to the province of Chorazan. Their figure and size are the same with those of the common cat. Their beauty consists in the colour of their hair, which is grey, and uniformly the same over the whole body, excepting that it is darker on the back and head, and clearer on the breast and belly, where it approaches to whiteness, with that agreeable mixture of clare-obscure, to use the language of the painters, which has always a wonderful effect. Besides, their hair is fine, shining, soft as silk, and so long, that, though not frizled [sic], it forms ringlets in some parts, and particularly under the throat. These cats are among other cats, what the water-dog is among other dogs. The most beautiful part of the body is the tail, which is very long, and covered with hair five or six inches in length. They extend and turn it upon their backs, like the squirrel, the point resembling a plume of feathers. They are very tame; and the Portuguese have brought them from Persia into India."

Tradition has it that Pietro della Valle introduced the first Persian cat to Europe around 1521 and that Ménard, arriving in France in the following century on his return from a trip to Rome, smuggled a Persian cat. Paradis de Moncrif has echoed this tradition. He writes indeed:

“Petro del Lavalé, this traveller, who seemed to have a great deal of good sense, revealed in his letter written from Ispahan that, as a good Citizen, he did not believe he could make a greater use of his voyages, for Rome his beloved Country, than to transport there a new race of Cats; he stated that he had married an Asiatic beauty named Maani, and that he passed a delightful existance between his Wife and these handsome Cats.”

For Moncrif, therefore, it was Pietro délla Valle who “enriched Italy with this new breed;, it is now preserved with so much care and jealousy that it was only after an almost entire century that these beautiful cats were transported to France. She has an obligation to the famous Mr. Ménard who brought a cat from Rome, on whose death he made a sonnet well worthy of illustrating his muse as he arrived. This cat was Brinbelle, of whom Moncrif establishes a curious genealogy.

Another tradition has it that it was De Peresc, adviser to the Parliament of Aix, who introduced the first Persians in France, around 1720. It is rather curious that Moncrif, on the lookout for everything concerning cats, ignored this fact, which should have made the great ladies of that time happy and provided grist to the mill of the "historiogriffe."

Do the Persian cats of England originate from cats smuggled from France or are they descended from Richard Whittington's cat, whose pleasant adventure Moncrif tells? This is difficult to establish with certainty.

As for the scientific origin of this beautiful breed, it is as discussed as much as that of the European. Some naturalists assume that the Persian is the result of a cross between a domestic cat that was a close cousin to the European and the wild cat that still lives in the Hindu jungle, the Manul cat. Hypothesis...

Today, Persian cats are widespread all over the world and enjoy the legitimate favour of a crowd of lovers and breeders, because of their beauty, their kindness and their intelligence.

Persian cats exist in several clearly distinct colours which constitute as many varieties. They have several characteristics in common which it is important to describe now. Starting with the Angora, the English sought by quite extensive inbreeding to develop the massive look of the stocky type, by fixing the traits of a solid, round head with a short broad nose, full cheeks, a well-formed chin, small, wide ears and large, round and slightly protruding eyes. They obtained at the same time a compact and powerful body, with imposing form, strong, short legs, a rather short and bushy tail, and a long, dense, silky coat of rare opulence except during the moult. The best example of the Persian cat obtained by such selective breeding is the blue Persian whose abundant and unmarked fur, deep copper eyes and supple, majestic gait at the same time, with its bushy ruff and solid, cobby head, give an impression of sovereign beauty and power.

Here is the description of the ideal for the general conformation of Persians:

Body. - Chunky and massive (cobby and massive, say the English), with powerful, but elegant lines; the frame is robust with solid musculature, with short, thick legs, and a short bushy tail with abundant long hair spreading a plume.

Fur. – Long, dense and silky, very prominent around the head where it forms a frill descending into a ruff on the chest.

Head. - Large and round, with a wide gap between the ears, well developed cheeks, short face and nose, small ears furnished with hairs coming out of the ear flap in a plume. Large, round eyes, well open and not slanted, colour to be as intense as possible.

Colour. - In the self-coloured Persian this must be plain, without any light or dark shades, at least on the back and sides. In chinchillas, the basic color must be bright and the speckling of the hair clearly marked. In tabby cats, the stripes are marked regularly and distinctly. In tortoiseshells, the ideal is an arrangement of clearly delimited patches.

General condition. - Apart from during the moult, the general appearance of the Persian is that of a majestic and robust cat, with immense, shiny and frothy fur, without any dead hair - dead hair is always of another shade - with lively gestures and supple.

The Persian cat deserves the enthusiasm of admirers, not only because of its beauty, but also because of its sweet and cheerful character. Very attached to its masters, it surrounds them with its affectionate presence and shows them this attachment with a thousand kindnesses. It does not readily run after mice and rats, but can be trained for this hunt like all its kin.


The black Persian cat, today little sought after, should arouse the enthusiasm of admirers by the beauty of its fur and the brightness of its copper-coloured eyes. A few years ago, there were some truly remarkable specimens of black Persian in England and France. In Switzerland, several breeders have specialized in this colour and have obtained excellent specimens.

Breeding is quite difficult, because young kittens almost never have good colour; we have even noticed that the best adults have usually been mediocre, poorly colored kittens. The choice of studs and she-cats to keep for breeding is therefore made quite tricky. We have tried to improve the type of black Persians by crossing them with blue Persians. For this, select a blue Persian female of excellent type, but with a dark color, which is mated to a high quality black Persian. The females from this cross are the only ones kept for breeding; blue or black, they are mated to a black Persian stud. Often females from this generation, mated to a black Persian stud, give kittens, both male and female, of perfect color and excellent type with well-colored eyes. They are the starting point for a new line of great value. Several champions were obtained by such breeding e.g. champion Nanook, champion Dirty Dicky, and champion Heathside Flanark, whose names appear in the pedigree of today’s best black Persians.

Exhibiting black Persians at shows requires special care. Dead hair should be carefully removed. The sun gives a brownish tint to the fur, so the cat should avoid, as much as possible, direct sunlight during the weeks preceding a show. A few days before being shown to the judge, the cat undergoes its last toilet: clean the hair with a flannel moistened with lukewarm water to which is added a small amount of ammonia, then polish with a very dry flannel. Standard and Scale of Points

Colour. - Shiny black to the root, free from brown, gey or white hair, and from any other marking. Coat. - Long and silky all over the body, with abundant ruff and tail. The tail should also be bushy and short. Body. - Stocky, strong bone structure, set low on thick legs. Head. - Round and wide, small ears widely spaced, well covered with hair, short nose, full cheeks and wide muzzle. Eyes. - Large, round, very open, copper or dark orange colour, without any trace of green. N. B. - The colour of kittens is very often poor until the age of six months, the coat being slightly grey or brownish and dotted with white hairs. Colour - 20 Coat - 15 Body - 20 Head - 20 Eyes - 15 Condition - 10 Total – 100


It is very likely that the ancestor of the white Persian is the white Angora of Asia Minor where it was once fairly widespread. It is due to this origin that the white Persian with blue eyes has only rather rarely the stocky and compact type claimed for Persians in general, and that the head is quite often longer, like that of the slender European. The effort of English breeders, and then those in other countries, was to improve the type, so that in recent years really remarkable specimens have been presented at shows to the admiration of the crowds. It is by crossbreeding with blue, and better still with creams, that this improvement has been obtained. Patience is needed in this breeding, because it is often only in the fourth or fifth generation that we get both the physical conformation and the beauty of the eyes. The blue eyes of the white Persians are a delight; but the colour must be intense, deep sapphire blue and not the washed out blue so unfortunately common.

White Persians with blue eyes are often deaf. Some English breeders and also others consider this deafness as a characteristic denoting greater purity of breed. According to the work of naturalists, there is a connection between blue eyes and deafness in felines. This congenital infirmity does not interfere with the life of the animal. Moreover, it is compensated for by its aery beauty and its great gentleness. Be that as it may, American breeders today select for white Persians with blue eyes and perfect hearing. This weakness, which stems from albinism, can therefore be corrected by crosses with non-deaf specimens. In recent years, breeders have tried to fix a variety of white Persians with orange eyes, getting as close as possible to the type of the blue Persian. The results have been so encouraging that white Persians now form two separate classes at shows. It is normal that the eye color claimed for this variety is dark orange or even dark copper. The shape of the eyes must be perfect, small and oval eyes being considered faults.

The fur of white Persians has a silky texture; it is long, dense, and light, with a beautiful frill and a plumy tail. The colour is pure snow white, without any trace of cream or amber. This colour is very delicate and requires careful care, because the cat’s own personal care is not enough to maintain its shine. Many breeders bathe their animals from time to time, taking precautions so that they do not suffer from chills. Others only wash their tails to rid them of all kinds of stains that accumulate there giving a dirty appearance or straw-like color. Finally, others are content with frequent brushing and combing using a white powder. Whichever method is used, the result should be pure white. Exhibitors should also remember that the presence of powder in the fur is a reason for disqualification.

Standard and scale of points

Colour. - Pure white without any mark or shade. (The English standard says even more explicitly: "without any shadow of any kind".)
Coat. - Long and silky all over the body, with frill and bushy tail. The hair should not be woolly, but close and supple.
Body. - Stocky, with strong bones, set low on the legs.
Head. - Round and broad, with small ears widely spaced, well covered with hair, short nose, full cheeks and wide muzzle.
Eyes. - Large, round and very open; for Persians with orange eyes, the required colour is dark orange or dark copper; for Persians with blue eyes, dark blue colour.

Colour - 25
Coat - 20
Body - 15
Head - 15
Eyes - 15
Condition - 10
Total - 100


Blue Persian cats, according to Pietro della Valle, lived in their natural state in the province of Khorassan in Persia, and the Italians were the first European importer of the kind. This splendid breed, however, has only spread in its modern form since the last quarter of the 19th century. The English did not constitute a special class for it until the Crystal Palace cat show of 1888. Since then, the type and colour have been considerably improved and the number of beautiful specimens presented at shows has been constantly increasing.

For a long time, the colour of the blue Persians was quite dark. I remember having seen, a dozen years ago, a French champion who triumphed everywhere and who today, were he still alive, would hardly get the “excellent” qualifier and never the sufficient number of points to obtain a C.A.C. Breeders, like judges, look for specimens with a pale blue hue, no dark shadows, and with dark copper eyes and a very bright shine. Combined with the quest for conformation and length of fur, this pursuit of colour has led many breeders to close inbreeding, especially in England. The consequences were not long in coming. At the time of writing, the official journal of the G.C.C.F. is conducting an investigation in which almost all breeders of blue Persians are participating to find the explanation for the high mortality rate of kittens and weak females who give birth prematurely or who are unable to feed their litters. The most numerous responses attribute this situation primarily to inbreeding. My experience as a breeder leads me to believe that we have touched on the sensitive issue of current breeding. In order to consistently produce top quality specimens in terms of type, colour, coat and massive shape, breeders do the rouds of a reduced number of she-cats and marvelous studs. The kittens meet expectations, but little by little the studs and females become too delicate to give birth to vigorous litters.

How can we overcome this problem? We must bring in new blood found in females or studs that are lacking in one or the other point of the standard, but which have a strong constitution and are recognized as good breeders. "Poumzi", my blue Persian, whose fur is poor, but whose head and eyes are magnificent, was mated to a stud of a completely different bloodline and gave birth to strong litters, among which there are kittens of great merit. But unlike Miss Thompson, who provoked the inquiry in “Fur and Feather,” I do not believe it necessary to resort to studs or females of short-haired breeds; it would take too many generations to return to the ideal type. It would also introduce basic flaws that can always come out at the most unexpected moment. There are enough males and females of different bloodlines for regeneration to be possible, without using extreme means with long-reaching or unknown consequences.

A diet too low in vitamins during wartime has certainly contributed to the weakening of studs and females. It is therefore urgent to revitalize the kittens by adding a certain amount of various vitamins to their daily ration. On the other hand, the same artificial supplements must be given to studs in service and to females that are significantly inbred. Finally, these studs must be spared and even if you have to cut 50% of their matings, it is preferable to significantly reduce the number of visiting females. For two or three years, stud owners should refuse service to all females that are too closely related. As for females, if they show real signs of weakness, they should only be allowed one litter a year and given food supplements before and after parturition.

By using all these means combined, blue Persian breeders will again see, in the near future, large exhibition classes where fifteen or twenty studs and as many females competed in the open class and gave a hard time to the judges who had to decide between them. Blue Persians are the big attraction of cat shows. With their warm and shiny eyes, their opulent fur and their imposing bulk, they invincibly attract the eye. As for the kittens, their liveliness, gentleness and grace always win the sympathy of the public.

Raising blue Persians is one of the most interesting pursuits, but also one of the most difficult, because the maintenance of the fur requires daily care otherwise it forms knots that are impossible to undo. In addition, during the moulting period, dead hair requires unpleasant work, a kind of trimming. I know many knowledgeable breeders who are reluctant to do this radical cleansing because it reduces their beautiful cats to looking like short-haired cats, at least for a few months. However, this is the most effective way to activate the growth of new fur and give it its true solid colour. The tail also causes concern; often the skin is covered with yellowish deposits that weigh down the hairs. It is then necessary to proceed to a bath, then to energetic brushing to restore a bushy, flowing plume.

The character of the blue Persians is exquisite. They are companions full of tact and charm. They love caresses, flattery and long hours of dolce far niente (sweet nothing) in a ray of sunshine. They are as beautiful to see on the green background of a meadow as in the dazzling setting of a large living room. They know how to highlight their elegant and massive forms and sense the admiration they cause. Posers, you say? No, quite simply great lords like the pashas of the old Ottoman Empire, famous for their love of opulence and pomp.

Standard and scale of points

Colour. - Any colour of blue is acceptable, provided it is pure and even, without any marks, shadows or white hairs. The fur must be plentiful, soft in texture, with a long, abundant ruff.
Head. - Round and wide, with a very large space between the ears which must be trimmed with hair and very small; cheeks well developed.
Eyes. - Orange or dark copper, large, round and full without any trace of green.
Body. - Very stocky and set low on the legs.
Tail. - Short, very full and not ending in a point.

Coat - 20
Body - 15
Head - 25
Eyes - 20
Tail - 10
Condition - 10
Total – 100

19. The beautiful expression of a blue Persian: International Champion Kissme du Léman. 20. A nice quartet of blue Persians from the English Dunesk cattery. 21. Drawing of ideal long-haired and short-haired "Tabby" cats, based on a sketch from "Cat Courier", U.S.A. 22. Hendon Red Arate, red tabby Persian.


The red tabby Persian has been especially selected in England and the United States, where breeders have managed to obtain a bright, warm colour and well defined marks. The beautiful specimens seen in France and Switzerland had been imported.

The basic color of the red tabby is similar to that of the Irish setter, that is to say a warm red on which the darker markings stand out clearly. Obtaining this colour and these markings is difficult to explain, notes Mrs. Soame, author of “Cats Long-Haired and Short,” who is one of the foremost specialists in this variety. "But it is certain that in breeding the red tabby, crossing with a good cream intensifies the red. Crossbreeding with a black is good too, no doubt, and I have done it myself. A good type black female mated to a red tabby male improves the breed."

The tabby markings are stripes on the head, back, neck and paws and concentric markings on the shoulders and flanks. Better than a description is the diagram of the ideal tabby according to a sketch published by the major magazine “American Cat Courrier,” which gives a precise idea of these lines and these markings. It is also valid for all other tabby colours.

Standard and scale of points

Colour and markings. – Deep, rich red, clear and distinctly defined markings, continuing around the chest, legs and tail.
Coat. - Long, opulent, silky; short tail, without white tip.
Body. - Solid and stocky, strong and set low on the legs.
Head. - Large and round, small tufted ears, with a large space between; short and wide nose, round and full cheeks.
Eyes. - Round and wide, dark copper color.

Coat - 50
Body - 15
Head - 15
Eyes - 15
Condition - 5
Total - 100

N.B. - The C.I.F. has announced that this variety of Persian will be studied again during its next work.


Red Persians almost disappeared from breeding in England, as in France and Switzerland, where they have always been rare. The last volume published in the Stud Book of clubs in England has none.

This variety is, however, very beautiful. I remember seeing, at the Reims 1933 exhibition, some splendid creatures of this colour from the breeding of Mr. Konrad Hirschmann of Nuremberg, the founder of feline societies across the Rhine. They had remarkable type and abundant fur, the colour of which was a feast for the eyes. But what became of this breeding line in the storm of war?

Standard and scale of points

Colour. - Deep red, without any mark or stripe.
Coat. - Long and silky; short and abundant tail.
Body. - Massive and set low on legs.
Head. - Large and round, small tufted ears, widely spaced; broad and short nose, full cheeks.
Eyes. - Round and wide, dark copper or orange color.

Dress - 50
Body - 15
Head - 15
Eyes - 15
Condition - 5
Total - 100


Of recent origin, the cream Persian immediately enjoyed the favour of the public who were won over by their beautiful clear coat, their deep coloured eyes, their thick, long fur and their powerful forms. Miss Frances Simpson, in the work she published at the beginning of this century, remarked that the cream Persians seen at shows were darker than their name seemed to indicate, and that their colour was more reminiscent of fawn, i.e. "fawn colored". Since that time, strict selection has been made by English breeders, who have managed to produce cats that are admirable for their proportions and colour. This is quite difficult to define; some authors describing the tone contended it was ivory; others that it was straw yellow or very pale fawn, which corresponds fairly well to reality, according to the very beautiful specimens I have seen in London, France and Switzerland.

Jumaud thinks that this "sub-race probably comes from the orange Persian crossed with the white Persian". He also says that "fairly successful specimens have been produced by crossing orange Persians and tortoiseshell Persians". This last opinion is also that of Mrs. Soame. Whatever its origin, today the cream Persian colour is fixed and cream females are mated to cream studs to produce kittens of the same colour, however inbreeding has become too extreme and the new blood that we have sought from blue Persians has obscured the colour. It is to be hoped that the post-war period will give a new boost to this variety and that we will soon see cats as dazzling as “Buff of Hanley” or “Colneside Cream Bunne.”

Standard and scale of points

Colour. - Pure and solid, without any markings or shadows.
Coat. - Long and silky; short bushy tail.
Body. - Massive and set low on the legs.
Head. - Strong and round, small ears well placed and furnished, broad and short nose, cheeks very full.
Eyes. - Round and wide, copper or dark orange color.

Coat - 50
Body - 15
Head - 15
Eyes – 15
Condition - 5
Total - 100


The tortoiseshell Persian is more precisely a tortoiseshell female Persian. Modern biology has explained by chromosomes and by Mendelian law the fact that only females can be tricolor and that if, by a very rare accident, a male has all three colors, he is sterile.

This variety is very beautiful when the type come closest to the standard. It is also much sought after by admirers who often pay large sums for well marked pussies, which are quite rare. On the other hand, breeders like to have a tortoiseshell Persian in their cattery, because, if it has a beautiful head, it produces interesting kittens of different colours depending on the stud mated to it. Mrs. Soame, who owned very beautiful tortoiseshells, broke all records by obtaining a litter of five different colour kittens: a black, a red, a cream, a tortoiseshell and a blue-cream.

The tortoiseshell colour is made up of three shades: black, red and cream. It must be bright and the colors arranged in patches on the body and the legs. Mrs. Soame and Miss Simpson believe that tortoiseshells should have a blaze on the face “(with a three corner blaze going up the face).” This blaze, which should be red or cream in colour, is however not required by any official standard.

The tortoiseshell results from crossing the black Persian with the red Persian. Breeders have found them in litters of blue Persians mated to a cream stud. It is rather curious to note also that tortoiseshells tend to have long noses and large ears, as if European blood were flowing in their veins; no doubt, European tortoiseshells were called to the rescue to better fix the markings.

Standard and scale of points

Colour. - Black, red and cream. These colours must be well defined and separated; the colour should be bright and rich.
Coat. - Long and silky, very rich with an opulent collar.
Body. - Massive and set low on the legs.
Head. - Round and broad, small ears well placed and bushy, broad and short nose, full and round cheeks.
Eyes. - Large and round, orange or dark copper color.

Colour - 50
Body - 15
Head - 15
Eyes - 15
Condition - 5
Total – 100


This variety is very beautiful when the markings are clear and distinct, which is rather rare. Jumaud also touched on this subject in 1930:

"This cat is not much sought after at the moment for the simple reason that the colors of the tortoiseshell and the white are irregularly fixed. A really well marked Persian cat would be magnificent. In the ideal type, the black, yellow and orange should be distributed over the top of the head, ears, cheeks, back and tail. The white should be on the lips, chest and limbs, with a band around the neck."

Note that tortoiseshell-and-white cats are always females for the same biological reason.

Standard and scale of points
Colour. - Black, red and cream, well distributed and interspersed with white.
Coat. - Long and silky, opulent bushy ruff.
Body. - Massive and low on legs.
Head. - Round and broad, small ears well placed and bushy, short and broad nose, full cheeks.
Eyes. - Large, round, orange or dark copper color.

Colour - 50
Body - 15
Head - 15
Eyes - 15
Condition - 5
Total – 100


Mr. Cyril Yeates outlined the story of the blue-cream Persian in Fur and Feather, June 15, 1934. Here are the main passages of this study:

"For a number of years, these cats were not given special classes. When exhibited, they were sent to the class called ‘All Other Varieties’ (AOV), and it was not until 1928 that a separate class for blue-cream adults was provided at the Crystal Palace show.

There were seven entrants and the first prize went to Mrs. Neate’s ‘True-Type.’ At this show and for some time, the kittens were still entered in the A.O.V. class, and in a class of five entries they took the first two places, these kittens being Miss Manley’s ‘Judy of Cardonald,’ from, and Miss Langhorne’s ‘Lady Angela of the Combe.’

In 1929, the G.C.C.F. decided to recognize the blue creams as a distinct variety and certificates of merit for championship were offered to them for the first time. The first cat to receive one was ‘Judy of Cardonald’ at Croydon in November 1929. At that time there was no standard of points for blue-creams, but in July 1930 a standard was submitted to the G.C.C.F. by the Red, Cream, Tortoiseshell and Brown Tabby Society and finally approved."

This standard has remained the same until today despite heated controversy between judges and breeders. The great difficulty of the blue-cream is the exact shade of the colour which must be a mixture of blue and cream intermingled, without any distinct marks, therefore without patches. However, most of the cats of this variety which, because of the same biological phenomenon which prevents the existence of tricolor males affects the blue-creams which are always female, exhibit more or less marked spots, at least on the face or the top of the head. It has therefore happened that an English champion, ‘Rani of Brux,’ was refused a C.A.C. in an open class, by a French judge at the Bourges exhibition because she had too much orange in her color and spots on her head. After seventeen years of breeding, blue-creams still pose the same difficulties for judges and breeders, and the "delicately intermingled" colour remains an ideal that is difficult to achieve.

Besides, most breeders only use blue-cream to improve the type of creams or to lighten the color of blues. It is therefore an experimental variety whose only real interest is for breeders or a few rare admirers.

Standard and scale of points

Colour. - Must be composed of blue and cream delicately intermingled, without any overly prominent mark.
Coat. - Must be dense, soft and silky.
Head. - Large and round, with small bushy ears, well placed; short and wide nose, mixed color on the face.
Eyes. - Round, dark copper or orange.
Body. - Short and massive, set low on legs.

Colour - 50
Body - 15
Head - 15
Eyes - 15
Condition - 5
Total - 100

N.B. - For judges as for breeders, the scale of points should indicate separately the number of points to be awarded for colour and fur, otherwise incomprehensible differences in judgment will relate to the same cats. I agree with the opinion of several judges who give 25 points for the color and 25 points for the fur.


Breeding of the brown tabbies has gone through quite curious ups and downs in England. There were some great champions at the end of the last century then, after a long eclipse, remarkable new specimens appeared at English shows during the past twenty-five years. Today, this variety is in full bloom with several male and female champions. On the continent, on the contrary, the brown tabby Persian is rare and little known.

Standard and scale of points

Colour and markings. - Dark and warm fawn, with the head delicately striped with black. The sides are marked by two or three distinct marked spirals. The chest is also crossed by two narrow, unbroken lines and the shoulders are marked in the shape of wings. The fronts of all four legss are regularly striped from bottom to top. The rump and the ribs must have wide stripes and the tail is regularly ringed. (See diagram 21 showing tabby cat markings.)

Coat. - Long and silky; short, full tail.
Body. - Massive and set low on the legs.
Head. - Round and broad, with small bushy and well-spaced ears, short and wide nose, full and round cheeks.
Eyes. - Large, round, hazelnut or copper color.

Standard and point scale

Colour and coat - 50
Body - 15
Head - 15
Eyes - 15
Total – 100


A few words on the history of the Persian chinchilla were published in “Son Altesse le Chat” [His Highness the Cat] mentioned several times already:

“The chinchilla Persian is one of the most recently fixed varieties. In 1919, a society was established in London encompassing the breeders of Silver and Smoke. For selection purposes, the members decided to create two classes - Silver Persian and Self Silver Persian (solid silver) on the one hand, and Shaded Silver Persian on the other. No specimen of Self Silver has been obtained to date, and this class is still devoid of specimens at the exhibitions.

To fill this gap, judges decided to consider the less shaded specimens as Self Silver. Faced with the difficulty of clearly separating the two classes, that of the Self Silver, whose subjects were called Chinchillas, was abolished. This animal therefore derives from the Silver cat, but differs from it by an unstriped coat."

For quite a long time, the cats known as chinchillas, were of a rather dark shade. Little by little, the fashion evolved towards an increasingly clear shade, so that today, the ticking of the ends of the hairs does not form more than a light shade.

I do not know why contemporary breeders of chinchillas seek to give a fragile and delicate look to their specimens as if this slenderness added to the beauty of the animal. However, the standard is formal: the body must be massive and set low on the legs. The judges must therefore stick to the standard and not award C.A.C. except to cats that have "cobby body, short, thick legs", as the English standard says.

At the other extreme, other breeders, to accentuate the Persian type of chinchillas, crossed blue females to chinchilla males. It did not take long before the blue chinchilla Persian appeared on the scene and be presented to the judges. So far, no class has been granted for the blue chinchilla Persian and a standard has not even been outlined for it. Consequently, blue chinchillas must enter the class for "irregular Persians" which corresponds to class A.O.V. at English shows and the judgment must relate to the general points of the Persians only. Strangely, there are blue chinchilla females and also males. The females can be useful for the improvement of the chinchilla, but I would advise the breeders to castrate the males.

When choosing young chinchillas, breeders must remember that kittens are born very dark and often striped, but that little by little the color of the ticking becomes lighter as the fur grows longer. It is only around six or eight months that we can really judge the beauty of a kitten of this variety, since it is only at this age that the colour of the fur and the coluor of the eyes finally appear in all their splendour.

Standard and scale of points

Colour. - The undercoat must be pure white. The coat should be very regularly ticked in black on the back, ribs, head, ears and tail, giving the appearance of silver. The legs should be shaded with this ticking, but the chin and the tufts in the ears should be pure white. Brown, cream or red spots or shadows are defects. The tip of the nose should be brick red, the visible part of the eyelids should be black or dark brown, as well as the soles of the feet.
Head. - Round and broad with small bushy and well spaced ears; short and broad nose, full and round cheeks.
Body. - Massive and set low on legs.
Coat. - Silky and fine texture; long and dense with very long and very bushy ruff.
Eyes. - Large and round and expressive, emerald green or blue-green colour, bordered with black.
Tail. - Short and bushy.

Colour - 25
Head - 20
Body - 15
Eyes - 15
Tail - 10
Dress and condition. - 15
Total – 100


Why is there a public craze for this or that breed or variety of animals? Often there is very little reason. Thus, the silver tabbies, once held in great regard in England, are becoming fewer and fewer in number. Judges and breeders once discussed eye color. Should they be green or hazel brown? An agreement could never be reached, so the standard of this variety leaves complete freedom regarding eye colour.

The colour and markings of the silver tabbies are of great importance. The basic colour is the same as that of chinchilla - pale silver. As for the markings, they are those of all tabbies, stripes on the head, spine, legs, neck and tail, and concentric marks on the shoulders and sides. Refer to the diagram.

Mrs. Soame writes that the production of silver tabbies is like a puzzle. Some say that a good brown tabby female bred to a silver tabby male produces beautiful, well marked kittens. Others prefer a good blue female. Others, again, claim that a black one gives better results. Crossbreeding is really a game of patience, and you should not expect to have more than one or two beautiful kittens per litter. It is often only in the third or fourth generation that the colour and markings are fixed permanently.

Standard and scale of points

Colour. - Pale silver gray, with well-defined black markings; any shade of brown is a defect.
Head. - Large and round, with a wide gap between the ears, broad face, short nose, small and bushy ears.
Body. - Massive and low on legs.
Tail. - Short and bushy.
Coat and condition. - Silky, long and dense fur, very long on the belly.

Color - 40
Head - 20
Body - 15
Dress and condition - 15
Tail - 10
Total – 100


The singular beauty of the smoked Persians is well designed to tempt admirers and breeders. The silver undercoat of the fur, the head, the face and the black legs, as well as the beautiful copper colour of the eyes, give these cats an impressive and mysterious look. Unfortunately, breeding is quite irritating.

Smoke is obtained by cross-breeding and it is quite difficult to fix its colour. Some claim that it comes from crossing a black Persian and a silver Persian; others say it is from a black female with a smoke male; others prefer to use a blue female. Also, two shades are accepted: black smoke and blue smoke, for which the standard and the scale of points are identical.

Kittens can only be judged around the age of six or seven months when the color of the coat and that of the eyes are more or less established.

The standard I choose here is that of G.C.C.F., while the scale of points is that of C.I.F.

Standard and scale of points

Colour. - The body is black (or blue) shaded with silver on the sides and flanks, the mask and feet are black (or blue) without any markings; the frill and the ears are silver; the undercoat is as white as possible.
Coat and condition. - Silky texture, long, dense fur, very long on the belly.
Form. - Large and round head, with a large space between the ears, short nose, small and bushy ears, stocky body, not coarse, but massive and low on the legs.
Eyes. - Orange or copper color, round in shape with a pleasant expression.
Tail. - Short and bushy.

Colour - 25
Head - 20
Body - 15
Eyes - 15
Dress and condition - 15
Tail - 10
Total – 100

23. Tiger Tim of Hadley, brown tabby Persian
24. Ursa of Hadley, brown tabby Persian
25. Champion Mint of Hanley, cream Persian.
26. René de Valescure, graceful cream Persian kitten, five months old.


Ever since I saw the wonderful photo of Dieu d’Arakhan, taken by a reporter at a Paris show, I have undergone a kind of spell that still lasts. The sacred cats of Burma, more than the Siamese, more than the Persians, exert a singular fascination from which one cannot escape. Their soft, tender eyes, the strange beauty of their coats and their particularly endearing character, make them different friends from all other cats.

So, for fifteen years, I have been relentless in discovering everything that could shed light on the mystery of their origins.

In 1926, Ph. Jumaud wrote in “Le Chat:” "Originating, like the Siamese, from the Far East, Birman cats bred in temples are severely guarded and their export is prohibited. However, a few years ago, Mr. Vanderbilt was able to acquire a couple from which we got the specimens existing today."

Since that date, various journal articles and books have supplemented this all-too-too brief indication. Jumaud himself devoted nearly six pages to the sacred cats of Burma in the 1930 edition of his other work, “Les Races de Chats.” Dr. Fernand Méry published, in “Minerva,” the legend of Sinh, the ancestor of the cats of the temple of Lao-Tsun. Above all, Mr. Baudoin-Crevoisier has multiple articles in the Belgian Feline Review in 1931, in “Jardins et Basses-cours” in 1932, in the Feline Review of France in 1933, and in “Chasse, Pêche, Elevage” in 1935.

J'ai lu toute cette documentation sans parvenir à jeter plus de lumière sur l'origine de cette race splendide, dont j'ai tenté l'élevage après M. Baudoin-Crevoisier. Je peux aujourd'hui esquisser la synthèse de ce que Y on connaît d’elle, mais en avertissant mon honorable lecteur que sa soif d’inconnu n’en sera qu’accrue.

So, the American billionaire Vanderbilt, during a cruise in the Far East, managed to get, at a high price, a couple of sacred Birman cats, probably stolen from the temple of Lao-Tsun by an unfaithful servant. This pair was given to a certain Mrs. Thadde Hadisch. But the male accidentally died on the boat and the female, Sita, fortunately pregant, gave birth in Nice to a litter in which there was a perfect specimen, Poupee.

Baudoin affirms in 1933, in one of his articles: "Poupee could not be bred to a male of her own race, so she was bred to a Laos lynx cat, belonging to a doctor from Nice. This type of cat resembled a Siamese, with very blue eyes. This produced crossbreed Birman-Laotian kittens. By successive crosses, a perfect specimen was born, Manou de Madalpour, in all respects similar to his mother Poupée."

Better informed, Baudoin wrote in 1935: "This female was then covered by a Siamese male, who, at that time, had been baptized for the occasion a Laos cat ..."

In 1933, wanting to get to the heart of this bizarre story, I wrote to the famous doctor of Nice, M. Prat. He replied: "We have indeed had several Siamese cats, including Youyou, but we don't know anything about its origins ... I don't know anything about Mrs. Hadisch, from Vienna ..."

In addition I asked Mr. Guy Cheminaud, a great hunter of the Far East, who had lived in Laos, whose books are familiar to lovers of wildcat tales, what he thought of the "Laos lynx cats". The answer was categorical: there are no Laos cats as a distinct species from the Siamese cat!

The whole story built by Jumaud and Baudoin was, therefore, crumbling since the main witness, the owner of the legendary "Laos cat", knew nothing about the Lynx cat or Mrs. Thadde Hadisch. There was also, in their tale, a certain Mrs. Léotardi, an upper class adventuress, it seems, who had possessed the Birman after Mrs. Hadisch. Mrs. Marcelle Adam, who surrounded the last days of Manou de Madalpour with tender affection, confirmed to me in Paris that Mme Léotardi, before disappearing mysteriously enough, told the story of the Birman just as Jumaud and Baudoin had written it.

In 1933, I published an article in "Chasse, Pêche, Elevage" to obtain new information. Baudoin took it into account in what he wrote for "Son Altesse le Chat" in 1935. He then declared: "Apart from the writings of Sir Russel Gordon and Auguste Pavie, no document has come to specify the origin of these cats. After six years of personal research and ten years of breeding in France, the sacred Birman cat remains mysterious as to its origin and no new imported specimen has been seen and, therefore, studied."

What intrigued me most about this case was the testimony invoked by Jumaud and Baudoin to give an impression of truth to the history of Birman: that of the English major Sir Russel Gordon. Jumaud wrote: "Major Russel Gordon, one of the British troops charged with protecting the Kittahs, had the opportunity in 1898 to observe these sacred animals. There follows a note on the underground temple of Lao-Tsun, built at the beginning of the 18th century by the Khmer priests, the Kittahs, whose religion was absolutely closed and very secret to the common people and the laymen. He quotes Russel Gordon himself:

“The temple of Lao-Tsun is undoubtedly one of the strange wonders of India that few mortals have seen. It is located east of Lake Incaougji, between Magaoug and Sembo in an area almost deserted, surrounded by a barrier of impassable walls. In 1898 the last Kittahs were still living there and I was allowed the extraordinary privilege of observing them somewhat with their sacred animals. Following the rebellion and during the British occupation of the base at Bhamo, it was very isolated because of its remoteness from Mandalay. We had to protect the Kittahs against Brahmin invasion and we saved them from certain massacre and pillaging. Their Lama-Kittah, Ougji Yotag Rooh greeted me and presented me with a plaque representing the sacred cat at the foot of a strange deity whose eyes were made of two elongated sapphires (piece 4108 in my Mildenhall collection) and afterwards allowed me the great honour of viewing the sacred cats numbering a hundred and explained their origin.”

I took steps to obtain a photo of the piece mentioned by Sir Russel Gordon and the exact indication of the magazine or book where this text was published. This was in vain. I tried to obtain new details on the existence of Mrs. Thadde Hadisch and on Mrs. Léotardi, but also in vain.

Thus, the origin of the sacred cats of Burma remains enveloped in an impenetrable veil, as if to punish those whos sacrilegious theft had profaned the temple of Lao-Tsun. Besides, Baudoin, after having tried breeding Birmans and affirmed that this breeding was easy, gave up on it in 1935, when he sold Dieu d'Arakhan, a splendid male who had won the votes of all audiences in France and abroad, and the five or six males and females he had left, to Princess Ratibor Hohenlohe, for nearly 30,000 French francs at that time.

In Switzerland and in Belgium, admirers took up these cats without succeeding in saving the breed. In France, two or three breeders still owned poorly mitted half-Birmans at the beginning of 1940. As for the cats of Princess Ratibor, they had singular adventures. Bequeathed by the princess to HRH the Duke of Aosta, they were hidden for a while. It was a cousin of the latter, the Countess Giriodi Panissera, who finally, succeeded in gaining possession of the cats. In the autumn of I936, I had the honour of being a guest at the castle of Francavilla-Bisio, near Novi-Ligure, and of seeing first-hand the results obtained thanks to the kindness and patience of this fair lady. In addition to Dieu d’Arakhan and Queen of Rangoon, there were seventeen cats, including fourteen kittens, some of whom promised much. What has become of this magnificent collection of cats that I gladly call "the most beautiful cats in the world"? Since 1940, I have had no news from Francavilla and to console myself I have only the nostalgic memory of the large courtyard of the castle in which my dear friends frolicked under the gentle gaze of the lady of the white hands.

To make you like these animals better, I wish to quote here the legend told to Russel Gordon by the Yotag Rooh-Ougji. Dr. Fernand Méry, who published it in “Minerva,” says it was told to him "one summer evening, near the Spanish border, by a blonde friend of animals and poets ..." "At that time,” our friend began gently, “in a temple built on the slopes of Mount Lugh, lived in prayer the very holy Kittah Mun-Ha, great Lama holy of holies, the one of which the God, Song Hio himself, has braided his golden beard....

Not a minute, not a glance, not a thought of his existence was not dedicated to the worship, contemplation, and holy service of Tsun Kyankzé, the Goddess with sapphire eyes, the one who presides over the transmigration of souls, the one who permits the Kittahs to live again in a sacred animal for the duration of its animal existence, before resuming a body haloed with the full and holy perfection of the great priests. Beside him was meditating Sinh, his dear oracle, a white cat whose eyes were yellow, yellow from the reflection of his master's golden beard and the golden body of the Goddess with the heavenly eyes... Sinh, the counsellor cat, whose ears, nose, tail and extremities of his limbs were dark like the colour of the ground, mark of the stain and impurity of all that touches or can touch the ground.

Now, one night, as the malevolent moon had permitted the cursed Phoums, who came from hated Siam, to approach the sacred precinct, the grand priest Mun-Ha without ceasing to implore cruel destiny, slowly entered death, having his divine cat at his side, and before his eyes the despair of all his overwhelmed Kittahs...

It was then that the miracle happened ... the unique miracle of immediate transmutation: in one bound Sinh was on the golden throne and perched on the head of his collapsed master ... He leaned on that aged head which, for the first time, no longer looked at his goddess ... And as he remained in his turn frozen in front of the eternal statue, one saw the bristling hairs of his white spine become suddenly golden yellow. And his golden eyes became blue, large and deep like the eyes of the goddess. And as he slowly turned his head towards the south door, his four legs, which touched the venerable skull, became dazzling white, up to the place covered by the silk of sacred garments. And as his eyes turned away from the south door, the kittahs, obeying his imperative gaze charged with firmness and light, rushed to close the heavy bronze doors on the first invader ...

The temple was saved from desecration and plunder ... Sinh had not, however, left the throne and on the seventh day, without having made a movement, facing the goddess, and staring into her eyes, he died, mysterious and hieratic, carrying the soul of Mun Ha to Tsun Kiankze, now too perfect for the earth ...

And when, seven days later, the assembled priests consulted with each other in front of the statue to decide on the succession of Mun Ha, they saw all the cats in the temple come running ... And all were dressed in gold with white gloves, and all had changed the yellow of their eyes into deep sapphire ... And all in silence surrounded the youngest of the kittahs that the ancestors reincarnated by the will of the goddess thus designated ...

And now,” said the storyteller, “when a sacred cat dies in the temple of Lao-Tsun, it is the soul of a kittah which forever resumes its place in the paradise of Song Hio, the golden god.

But woe also,” she concluded, “to the one who hastens the end of one of these wonderful creatures, even if he did not intend to. He will suffer the most cruel torments until the troubled soul that he has disturbed is soothed ...”

As Sir Russell Gordon already noted, the legend is pretty, but it does not explain anything of scientific origin. This will remain mysterious for a long time. Some authors have claimed that the Birmans were due to the crossing of a Siamese with a white Persian. However, Russel Gordon, by comparing his own observations with those communicated to him by Auguste Pavie, wrote, on the contrary: "I therefore opine to believe with some probability that the long-haired Birman cat is the ancestor of the Siamese through crossing with the tailless Annamite cat imported by the English."

But this opinion does not shed any light on the origin of the sacred Birman cat, since he forgets to say what the Annamite cat was, and it obscures the origin of the Siamese cat a little more, as we will see in a future chapter. ...

Jumaud made a description of the sacred cats of Burma which, he declares, conforms to that of the standard published by Sir Russel Gordon. This description is partly correct: I have carefully checked it against the sacred cats of Burma in France, Switzerland and those of Franca-villa. The standard I publish here therefore differs in a few points.

The photos of the sacred Birman cats give a rough idea of the beauty of these extraordinary cats. They do not tell the exquisite character of these charming and mysterious beings. All those who have had the rare pleasure of having one at home say as I do: Once you have known the gentleness and the intelligence of the Birman, and have been able to study at leisure the unfathomable mystery of their eyes as deep as a dark sea, you always dream of having one close to you. Neither the countess Giriodi, who was surrounded by an admirable court of these precious animals, nor Mme Marcelle Adam, who was the devoted "mother" of Manou de Madalpour, will contradict me ... Also, I cherish the secret hope one day to find a pair who will give me back the tenderness and joy in my eyes which Sinh, Poupée de Mandalay, Kébir, Fakir et Fatma once filled me ... sweet Fatma, who let herself languish after the sudden death of her unforgettable Fakir ...

You are probably asking “But why do you call them ‘sacred cats of Burma’?”

On the one hand, because of the legend of their fabulous origin, and on the other hand to distinguish them from a variety of Siamese cat that exists in the United States, a Siamese with yellow eyes and chocolate brown coat that the Americans call "Burmese cats", Burman cats. “Burmese” cats are short-haired cats which will be described below, while sacred Birman cats are long-haired cats, with blue eyes and white-gloved legs.

Standard and scale of points

Behaviour. - The Birman is very sociable, intelligent, cheerful and affectionate. They obey commands and follow their masters like dogs. They are not very playful, or they play calmly. Without the presence of their masters, they are distant, aloof and nostalgic. They are house animals that lack the liveliness, the spirit of the Siamese. They seem to be aware of their sacred origin.

Appearance and size. - The body is elongated, but massive and carried low on short, strong legs, well proportioned. The claws are long, sharp and delicate. The size is intermediate between that of the Siamese and that of the blue Persian.

Head. - Large and strong, even massive and round like that of the Persian and not like that of the Siamese which is thin and elongated. The nose is short and snub, the forehead is slightly bulging, the cheeks well developed and the lower lip strong, which gives the impression that the mouth is ajar. The eyes, slightly oblique, are an intense blue (the sapphire blue of the legend). The whiskers are long and bushy like the eyebrows.

Coat. - The fur is long or semi-long, depending on the body parts. It is very long on the back and sides with an abundant ruff. The texture is silky, except on the belly where the hair is wavy and a little woolly. On the face, the fur is short, but becomes longer and longer on the cheeks. The tail, quite long, has a curious shape when the cat spreads it in a plume: thin at the root, it becomes very thick. At rest it droops, but it is carried over the back like that of the squirrel when the animal is playing or angry.

Color. - The Birman cat has, like the Siamese, characteristic markings on the face, ears, paws and tail. They are brown in colour, but with golden highlights. The rest of the coat is a very light cream shade. In addition, it has white gloved legs: absolutely pure white rises to the first knuckle on the front legs, while it forms a point behind the foot. These white markings, which correspond so well to the legend of Sinh, are essential in the standard of the Birman cat.

Tail. - The tail is quite long and straight, without any break and without any knot. The hairs that cover it are very long and silky, they lie flat and do not puff out like those of the Persian.

The scale of points that I propose is different from that of Jumaud and Baudoin and takes better account of the relative value of the different parts of the body:

Colour and gloves - 30
Head - 15
Eyes - 15
Tail - 15
Form - 10
Coat and condition - 15
Total – 100


Fifteen years ago, a French breeder, Mr. Jean Rieger, exhibited new type of long-haired cat several times under the name of "Khmer cats". In 1935 he published some historical notes and the description of this new breed in “Son Altesse le Chat”. I do not know if this breeding continued during the war and if Mr. Riéger succeeded in producing new specimens meeting his proposed standard. His Khmer cats, though in my opinion less beautiful than the Birman, were none-the-less interesting. Here I reproduce the essential documentary of his article.

Named because of its Indo-Chinese origin, the Khmer cat is presented as a variety or a very different type from the Birman, despite some points of resemblance. Representatives of this recently formed breed are few in number. The only known specimens are currently in France.

It was around 1929 that an old soldier, returning from Indochina, abandoned a pair of young cats of unknown breed to a farmer in the Paris region. These cats grew and bred in complete freedom. There were many births. Without attention, most perished. In 1934, Mr. Rieger was able to acquire the most beautiful specimens, including the original male. The female had died, leaving behind a daughter who helped maintain and perpetuate the variety.

Standard and scale of points

General appearance. - The Khmer cat gives an impression of well balanced harmonious strength, and intense life, underlined by its lively look. Good sized and strong limbed, it is very robust and has a strong frame.
Head. - Strong and round; fairly large and short nose. Mouth small, but powerful. Joined lips, white whiskers mottled with brown, well-developed and striking. These whiskers reach 14 cm in length. Jaws filled with strong teeth, with slightly protruding canines. Small cheeks. Large skull. Eyes set very slightly oblique, round, bright blue, limpid and expressive, appearing red in the dark. Quite long ears, filled with down. Short neck.
Body. - Long, natural withers, prominent chest, natural ribs, almost straight back; strong loins and rump.
Legs. - Strong and muscular, the front ones slightly arched. Long feet, furry, brown soles, strong and sharp claws.
Tail. - Always long, without break or nodules, carried low with the tip slightly raised.
Coat. - The hair is long and straight, forming a superb ruff around the neck, and wavy under the belly. The colour is that of the Birman cat: dark cream, becoming otter brown on the head, shoulders, legs and tail, with magnificent intermediate tones. In full sun, the Khmer cat looks golden.

The kittens are born pure white and develop markings later. From the third or fourth day, a dark undercoat appears which disappears at around four or five months. This dark undercoat in juveniles is a characteristic of the breed. Around six months, the body is almost white, the markings are very clear and the mask is splendid. With age, the mask becomes more imprecise, due to the dark colour of the hair (allow eighteen months for the animal to reach adulthood).

Unlike the Birman, which must have the four legs gloved in white, the Khmer’s legs must be entirely dark otter brown. Some specimens had white toes, most likely due to inbreeding and to mitted ancestors, but this peculiarity is reserved for Birmans and must be avoided in the Khmer by careful selective breeding.

Weight. - A good male must weigh 4.5 - 6 kg. A female must weigh 3.5 - 4.5 kg.

Faults. - Long head; pale or cloudy eyes. Thin legs.
Disqualification: poor boning skeleton, size or weight; coat too short.

Qualities and aptitudes. – The Khmer cat has a rare beauty comparable to the Persian in its magnificent fur, and has remarkable intelligence. It deserves to be appreciated for its gentle character which makes it an ideal companion. It adapts very well to apartment life. In the countryside, it is a fearless hunter and there is no better ratter. It loves its masters very much. Quite playful, but not rowdy, it gets along with all breeds of cat. The voice is very harmonious and without any wild intonation. It has no faults, except those that his master gives him!

Head and eyes - 30
Body, legs and tail - 30
Coat and markings - 20
Overall and condition - 20
Total - 100

27. Champion champion, tortoiseshell and white Persian.
28. Champion Gillyflower, tortoiseshell and white Persian, one of the most beautiful specimens of this variety.
33. A couple of sacred Birman cats.
34. Dieu d’Arakhan, one of the most beautiful sacred Birman cats.



For me, the name of the Brazilian Margay cat evokes a singular story in which I was, quite involuntarily, one of the principal actors, although always behind the scenes. You will understand why.

On November 18, 1931, while reading the “Journal de Geneve,” I came across the following brief: “Mr. Jacques Vittoz, an industrialist at Meillerie, who had come to hunt badgers in the woods of Chens (Haute-Savoie), killed near a quarry a strange feline measuring more than a metre and spotted like a leopard. The animal is a serval, according to a competent person. It is believed that it escaped from a menagerie or a property in the canton of Geneva."

However, on August 18 of the same year, a splendid adult Brazilian margay, which I had owned since May, had escaped from my home taking advantage of my inattention ... I immediately thought that the alleged serval must have been a close relative of my fleeing margay ... The next morning, I went to Thonon where the animal, it was said, was displayed in a grocer’s window. But when I arrived, the happy hunters had already shipped the animal to Lausanne to have it stuffed. I took with me a photo which we compared to that of the feline killed and there was no doubt left that it was my margay that had fallen to the bullets of the hunters of Chens.

Here is the story that Mr. Jacques Vittoz very kindly sent me about this wildcat hunt:

“On Sunday, November 15, 1931, I left Meillerie by car at 5 a.m., accompanied by four friends, in order to go and hunt badgers, having been invited to this hunt by local farmers, who deplored the damage caused by these animals. These people, known to us, told us where the badgers were and we went to those dens at 7 o'clock. We had dogs specially trained for this hunt; immediately they entered the holes from which they dislodged the animal in question. Fortunately for our dogs there were several exits, otherwise they would inevitably have been lost. After a short run, we were surprised to see an animal appear across woods which we first took for a tiger. As it passed nearby, we fired a first shot at it which seriously wounded it, but did not prevent it from making a formidable leap and then climbing a tree, where a second shot knocked it to the ground. Seeing the animal still struggling madly, we fired a third shot at point blank range. Our dogs, arriving in the meantime, approached the wildcat, one of them had a paw held in a bite and the other an ear split by the claws. To make it let go and to finish it off, we hit it with the butt of a gun to the head. In its last involuntary movements, it brought his right paw to his mouth and smashed it to the point that all the bones came out. "

It was a great curiosity in hunting circles and fired the imagination of many. “Le Petit Dauphinois,” then “Le Matin” of 22nd November, as well as other newspapers, published the feline's photo under a sensational title: "A wildcat hunt in Haute-Savoie!" And each gave their opinion or solicited an opinion from "competent persons" who affirmed that it was a serval, a panther, a wolf, a lynx or an ocelot, the latter being almost the truth. The photographic evidence that I provided finally identified the wild cat: it was a Brazilian, L felis tigrina.

During the few months that this cat was in my possession, I made various observations which supplement or correct what is said of the margay by Dr. Jumaud, in “Les Races de Chats et Ménégaux,” in “Les Mammifiers.”

This cat arrived in Geneva in May 1931, completely wild and around sixteen months old. As he caused a scare to those who approached him a little too fast I decided to keep him locked up until the time he would be a bit more docile. Believing that he would suffer from the cold, I kept him overnight in a room on the ground floor of the house. I took it out whenever the sun, so stingy in our country in 1931, made an appearance. It was there that three times I heard this cat meow; a very soft, plaintive meow, of short duration. He was watching a group of children play and did not miss any of their movements, as though he wanted to join their games.

After about a month, we got him used to taking all of his food and especially his meat - a pound - twice a day, from our fingertips through a door of his cage. He never tried to bite or scratch. Sometimes he took the pieces that I had purposely cut very small, with great delicacy, as if trying to do no harm. At first he was constantly growling, then he got used to those who fed him and gave no sign of fear. I realized that the margay is afraid of man and if he growls and hisses while showing his fangs, it is only to defend himself and not to attack.

When we were around him, he followed our slightest movements with very gentle eyes. He had thus noticed the way in which we lifted his door which was a sliding hatch. Also, one morning, I was surprised to find him roaming free in his room, running and jumping with obvious joy ... I admit that the first minute was not funny, but as he was trying to rush at me at all, I entered resolutely and then had the pleasure of seeing him land on his cage with movements of unparalleled beauty, in a calm and confident attitude. Then he quietly returned to his cage where he ate greedily. (A curious detail is that he never wanted to eat outside his cage; he often half emerged to catch the pieces, but he returned inside immediately.) From that day on, the door of his cage was opened and the windows were obviously kept closed during these half-freedom hours. One morning, one of them was accidentally left open and my poor Pablo - that's what we called him - fled to his death.

This margay measured around 1.20 m from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail. The head, small and well proportioned, had powerful jaws; in profile, a real wildcat head. On the contrary, from the front it was that of a local cat, or better still like that of the Abyssinian cat. The ears, small and rounded, were lined with white and fawn hairs; outside they were covered in a short brown-black down with a beautifully contrasting round, white spot about 12 mm in diameter. The eyes, placed obliquely, were light brown; their expression was sweet and denoted an instinctive state of continual alertness.

The body was long, lean, perfectly horizontal and very supple. The short neck carried the head well raised. As for the limbs, the muscles were powerful and the paws were broad and furnished with strong, sharp claws, indicating the strength of the animal. Built like this, we can explain why the Chens margay devoured the masters of the burrows which he took over, because the autopsy revealed a large tuft of badger hair in his stomach!

The tail, round and rather stout, was short and no longer than hock-length. Contrary to what A. Ménégaux asserts in the cited book, there are no long hairs at the end. All the hair that cover it are short. It was carried low.

The margay's fur is made of extremely tight, short hair; it must have been very hot, since my cat remained at large from August 18 to November 18. Now, the month of September 1931 was very cold in our regions, but the feline did not seem to have suffered. He was hungry, perhaps. In early August, he weighed about 18 pounds, but he only weighed 16 pounds when killed. So he was not cold. The margay could, therefore, beome well acclimatized in temperate European countries by taking some precautions for the winter.

The coat colour can be described as follows: the background is tawny yellow and white on the chest. Three lines start on the head and extend along the back. At the neck, these are joined by three additional lines. On the flanks are further very regular lines. These lines are formed by brown-black spots that almost touch each other. On the limbs they are larger than on the tail. The marks on the head were perfectly symmetrical on the individual I owned. At the corner of the eyes, two small lines joined together to form just one that went towards the ear. On each cheek, two lines went towards the neck; beneath it, lines formed semi-circles, but spaced apart. The great beauty of the fur comes from the contrast between the very light background and the regular, dark lines that make it look like a leopard.

His diet was very simple: beef, evening and morning; water, and a very little milk. He had tasted rice, meat and vegetable pasta at one time or another, but he didn't seem to like them. He never wanted fish. Several times he ate grass like a goat! He was very clean and used the ash made available to him and even a tray after he was released. Unfortunately, he produced an extremely strong smell of wildcat, which made it impossible in an apartment.

Since the margay can live outdoors, there is no reason why an amateur should not try the experience I missed in breeding it. I promise that one moments of intense aesthetic pleasure, because the Brazilian margay cat is an animal of great beauty, whose powerful and gracefully supple movements delight the eyes.

Despite the departure and tragic end of my dear Pablo, I do not regret having for several months had the daily spectacle of the supremely harmonious life of one of the prettiest beasts out of the Creator's hands.

35. Pablo, Brazilian margay cat.
36. Pablo's meal.
37. Typic Pita, Siamese male with blue eyes, best cat at the Sandy Show in 1946, best male at Croydon 1946.
38. Southwood Kuching, Siamese with blue eyes.


The origin of Siamese cats is lost in the deep night of the East. Auguste Pavie, who was a great explorer and resident French minister in Bangkok, thought that they came from an ancestral cross between the sacred Birman and the short-tailed Annamite cat. Far Eastern traders, biologists, zoologists and writers have put forth other theories. It remains a complete mystery. This is very regrettable as we cannot explain the crucial problem of the Siamese cat’s tail which was the cause of innumerable controversies between scientists, breeders and judges.

The precise appearance of Siamese cats in England and France is better known. Mr. Mégroz, a well-known English breeder and judge, wrote:

"A pair of royal Siamese cats was imported from Bangkok by Mr. Owen Gould in 1884, for his sister who became Mrs. Veley. This pair, Pho and his female Mia, were among the most recent arrivals. Their offspring were exhibited and won first prizes at the Crystal Palace exhibition in 1885. Two other famous cats, famous for this reason that 50% of current cats in Great Britain descend from them (the study can be done using books from the Siamese Cat Register) were Tiam O'Shian who was imported from Bangkok in 1885 and Susan; they were the property of Miss Forestier Walker."

Mr. Mégroz gave no description and, in particular, did not note the fact of a long tail or a short tail. In the rest of his note, he indicates, however, that a cat imported in 1887 would have deserved the name of "bobtail", and was without a tail.

Mr. Oustalet, professor of natural history at the Museum of Paris, published in 1893, in “Magasin Pittoresque,” a captivating article on the young Siamese who had just been given to the menagerie of the Museum by Miss Carnot. I quote some extracts which give a better idea of the standard of this breed:

"These cats, born in Paris, to a pair brought back from Indochina by one of the sons of the President of the Republic, belong to the breed known as the royal cat of Siam, a breed that has already been represented in the Jardin des Plantes in 1885 by two specimens donated by Mr. Pavie, the resident French minister in Bangkok ...

“Siamese cats are rather small and more slender in shape than most of our domestic cats and are no more than 0.75 m long from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail. Their face is strongly tinted with dark brown on the nose and below the eyes, this colour being less pronounced on the eyebrows and cheeks, and appearing more intense on the upper or outer side of the ears and contrasting vigorously with the pale grey tint at the top of the head, which is a very light Isabelline grey or even a dirty white in juveniles. The throat is a very pure white, like the abdomen, while the shoulders, the middle of the back and the thighs are pale grey fading, by imperceptible degrees, on one side into the pale colour of the lower parts of the body, and on the other side into the very dark brown shade of the tail and extremities. The tail is thin and cylindrical, chocolate brown, sometimes slightly mottled with white, and the legs, from the wrist and heel to the nails, are the same colour, but even more uniform ... This shading is barely noticeable in juveniles, the dark parts, although less rich in tone than in adults, contrast more strongly against the light background of the rest of the coat ... The hairs of the face are short, smooth and quite sparse on the forehead and the nose so that these parts seem bare. The whiskers, pure white, stand out clearly against the brown color of the cheeks. The muzzle is a little darker and duller pink than in our European cats and the eyes, instead of being green, are pale blue.

“By their slender form, their long, thin tails and their bizarre colouring, the Siamese cat differs so much from all those that we commonly see in our houses, and resemble so little the various felines which live free in the forests of Indochina that we don’t know which wild or domestic type we should relate them to."

We can also read in this article: “They do not have at all, as some newspapers have said, the coat of a dog; their fur, although less thick and far less bushy than that of our ordinary cats, is soft to the touch, a little fluffy at the base, but does not resemble the woolly hair of a barbet or the short, tight, slightly rough hair of the bulldog or terrier. It is rather in the physiognomy and in the colour of the coat that they offer analogies with certain dogs and in particular with pugs."

Professor Oustalet then proceeds to consider the probable origin of the Siamese. Like those of many scholars who have studied this problem, they are only a tenuous hypothesis.

This study, which only focused on the stuffed cats sent by Pavie to the Museum, and those of Mrs. Camot, has been completed and expanded based on the countless Siamese cats imported since that time from Siam or Indochina and on those born in France, England, the United States and other places. The specialized clubs have grouped all their observations with a view to developing the official standard. Unanimity was reached, except on one point, the tail.


In 1933, Miss Tzaut, secretary general of the Paris Cat Club, opened an investigation in the official journal to put an end to a discussion which annoyed judges as well as breeders. Not surprisingly, the breeders, scholars and judges who took part in this investigation did not take the question one step further. Dr. Paul Chevalier, who based his answer on a very thorough scientific study, came to the conclusion that the tail of the Siamese cat is a tail in regression and that long-tailed cats should only be tolerated, the short and broken tail must be a characteristic trait of the breed! He rejected all aesthetic considerations, precisely because they were not scientific.

To accept this extreme solution, the opinion of scholars must be unanimous. However, we are far from that point. Professor Schwangart expressed the opinion that a broken tail is a sign of degeneration and inbreeding. And Professor Hasse, whom I have questioned several times, has always maintained that a broken tail is a sign of degeneration.

Guy Cheminaud was impressed by what he saw in the Far East: you can guess that he does not want to take a scientific position. He refers on the one hand to a graceful legend and on the other hand to the fact that short tail and long tail coexist. Hence the conclusion that they are as natural as each other.

Breeders would like the two varieties to be recognized based on the disputed origin of the Siamese. However, it would first be necessary to firmly establish this origin.

Since the offerings of history and science offer no serious basis for discussion, there remains only one admissible solution, that of the experience of breeders and judges. The short and broken tail of some Siamese is not the prerogative of this breed. Indeed, it is the essential trait of the Manx cat. In addition, this same deformity appears in litters of Persian cats. Far from crying out that a miracle had occurred, breeders quickly destroyed these malformed cats. The judges noted on the other hand that the type, colour and shape of the short-tailed Siamese differed markedly from those with long tails: the head became more round and cobby, and the body tended be thicker, decreasing the animal’s elegance. Often, too, the eye colour was too pale and the markings of the extremities was less distinct. Crosses between long-tailed Siamese and short-tailed Siamese, far from improving the breed, quickly led to its degeneration.

The experience of over twenty years of breeding has shown what this cross can produce. The English, who, under the direction of Mr. Cox-Ife, have always selected more strictly in favour of Siamese cats with long tails while tolerating only a light hook at the end, currently have a large number of excellent males and females who approach the standard very closely. The London show of October 14, 1946, where the Siamese Cat Club presented a splendid collection of Siamese among which several great champions, proves that the English breeding was right.

On the contrary, on the continent belief in the alleged royal origin of short-tailed Siamese cats is very widespread and breeders, to better market their kittens, looked for the short-tailed type and the Siamese type is getting more and more degraded. I judged the Siamese at various international shows before the war and at each one I warned the breeders against this misconception, because their cats were too cobby, with eyes that were too pale and with indistinct markingss. Despite the controversy that divides clubs, breeders and judges, I have stayed with the teaching that Professor Hasse of Antwerp gave me: the influence of the short-tailed Siamese is causing the degeneration of the breed. I do not know the breeding of the Siamese stands in France and Belgium where it formerly flourished, but in Switzerland, it is in sharp decline. The number of cats exhibited is very small and the cats that dare to face the judges are most often inferior in quality.

Also, to return the breeding of Siamese cats its deserved place there is only one solution: reject short-tailed Siamese cats at shows and adopt the English standard as regards the tail.

It remains to say a word about the Siamese in catteries. Breeding them, while apparently easy, requires serious knowledge and a lot of patience and perseverance. The Siamese cat retains something of the little wild cat from its native jungle. Even domesticated, it remains a proud, independent animal, very playful, needing plenty of air and space, and also trees where it can climb and sharpen its long sharp claws. It suffers in city apartments where the lintels of the doors, the large drapes, even the panels, are nothing but vile substitute of his cherished forests. What Mrs. Guingand, a Siamese cat lover, has written will help to understand this suffering:

“This cat, with its Asian appearance and its behaviour of a little wild creature, is extremely attractive. With its exceptional intelligence, it is a true friend to his masters, moreover is loyal to the death! I had the sad opportunity to experience this: a cat tht we had to be separated from for serious reasons began to pine away despite all the caresses and care. Then, having been transported very far and understanding by the long duration of the journey that, for her, all hope of seeing us again was lost, she allowed herself to die by refusal of food. How many regrets such an end inflicts on the heart of the master! Like all truly loving beings, the Siamese is frightfully jealous,a blind and boundless jealousy capable of all cruelties; if you have a Siamese among your cats, give it first place in your heart, in your distributions of caresses, finally in your life - it will not tolerate any competition and will be terrible to his fellow cats if he senses he is sharing. The vivacity, the agility of the Siamese are without equal and very skilful. It can get into the most incredible situations in the house and leave them without damage if nothing startles it; it is not uncommon to find the Siamese perched on the curtain rod or on the top of a sideboard. Being mischievous, it waits to be alone before descending, keeping his means of ascent secret. In summary, this interesting cat takes a significant place in the house and in the hearts of its owners; the proof is that admirers who have had a Siamese can barely do without it."

This captivating cat has, however, been devalued by admirers and breeders themselves. Before the war, you could buy a Siamese kitten for a few francs in Belgium, France and Switzerland. This fact did not encourage breeders to seek breed purity or make the selective breeding that this pursuit implies. Cross breeding weas done without any real direction; the females were often matedto studs of unknown origin and any kitten, even poor quality ones, were raised to the status of stud, valued all the more since its services were cheap.

Anyone wanting to start selective breeding of Siamese cats on a solid basis should do the following: Import a stud and female of very good ancestry from England or the United States, not inbred and closely meeting the closely. Then keep the litters, waiting for at least six months before chosing the offspring that seem the best. Import a second stud and female that are unrelated to the first imports, to infuse fresh blood. Choose from the best native cats a few long-tailed females and continue the selection for several generations. The breeder will one day be rewarded for his efforts and expenses, but it is certain that he will no longer be selling his kittens for a mere five or six Swiss francs and that the price of his studs' services will have to come as close as possible to that of the Persians. Lovers of the breed mus therefore be educated.

The Siamese breeder must also take into account a crucial fact: the choice of kittens must be delayed for the reason that Dr. Paul Chevalier formulated as follows:

“Siamese are born ash white. Very quickly, the legs, muzzle and ears turn black. The tan color of the other regions develops later. It depends above all on age - the older a cat gets, the darker it gets - and also on food; this point is crucial - if you want to keep your cats clear – and this is a matter of taste - it is unadvisable to feed them almost exclusively on cooked meat."

Colour clarity is not just a matter of taste, as Dr. Chevalier claims. It is stated in the standard that the markings must stand out as clearly as possible. It is obtained by methodical selection. You can manage to produce Siamese which remain clear until an advanced age, but it is difficult, by examining three-month-old kittens, for example, to say which one will remain the clearest and will be the best marked and will have the best eyes. You have to wait at least six months, and often twelve or fourteen months to be certain.

As for the diet of the Siamese, it differs little from that of other cats, as described it in the general chapter on breeding. However, it follows from numerous observations that the light colour depends in part on diet, which should not be exclusively meat-based. Fish is much appreciated, by the kittens as much as by the adults. Don’t forget, however, that the Siamese is a born hunter who wreaks havoc among mice and rats, and who appreciates the delicate flesh of small birds. Raw meat is essential to him from time to time and, moreover, will not damage to the clarity of his coat.

Standard and scale of points

Form. - Medium size, long and slender body, proportionally thin legs, hind legs slightly higher than front legs; feet small and oval, long tail, tapered at the end (straight, only a slight hook is tolerated).
Head. - Long and well-proportioned head, wide at eye level and narrowing in perfectly straight lines to the fine muzzle, giving the impression of a marten’s head. Rather close-set ears, large, broad at the base and ending in a point.
Eyes. - Well spaced and large; pure, brilliant, intense blue; oriental in shape and tilted towards the nose. Strabismus is a defect.
Hair. - Very short, fine texture, shiny and close-lying.
Colour. - The fundamental colour is pure, solid, pale fawn, graduating to cream under the belly and the chest. The mask - which should include the cheeks, chin, eyes and lower forehead and reach the ears with a line – and the ears, legs, feet and tail are clearly seal brown. These marks must be clearly delimited. Any white spot on the legs disqualifies the specimen.

Forme (body and stature) - 15
Head - 15
Eyes - 20
Hair - 10
Colour - 15
Markings - 15
Tail - 10
Total - 100


For the past fifteen years, English and French breeders have tried to selectively breed a variety of Siamese, the Blue Siamese. The standard for these cats, official since being recognized by the G.C.C.F. and the CIF, is the same as that of the other Siamese, with the only difference being that the characteristic markings are blue instead of seal brown and that the fundamental colour of the dress gives the impression of the blue shadows that one admires on snow and glaciers lit by the sun.


Thanks to the extreme kindness of Mr. John C. Newton, the distinguished chairman of National Cat Week, of Columbus, Ohio, it is possible for me to publish for the first time in French a description of the yellow-eyed Siamese cat and give some characteristic photos.

Burmese cats, yellow-eyed Siamese cats, are among the rarest cats found today in the United States. Besides, even in their country of origin, Burma, there are very few pure specimens of this exotic breed. They were imported into the United States some 20 years ago by Dr. Joseph C. Thompson of San Francisco. They are seen quite frequently in catteries on the west coast, but much more rarely in those on the east coast.

The question remains debated as to whether Burmese cats constitute a simple variety of the Siamese cat or if they are really a distinct breed. Because, quite often, they are only hybrids of their first cousin the Siamese. But whatever the case, the three American associations that have set standards recognize Burmese cats as a separate breed.

The temperament and character of the Burmese cat are identical in all respects to those of the Siamese, with the same intelligence and the same affectionate nature.


The standard below is that adopted by the Cat Fanciers Association, the largest in the United States.

Colour. - The basic color is sable brown, lightening on the chest and abdomen. The kittens are lighter, brown at birth.
Markingss. - The mask, ears, legs and tail are clearly marked and are a darker brown colour than the body. The mask must be complete (except in kittens) and connected to the ears by a line.
Form. - Medium size, long and slender body, proportionally thin legs, the hind legs being longer, carrying the hindquarters higher than the shoulders; feet small and oval.
Eyes. - Round, the colour ranges from turquoise gold to yellow, without any trace of squint.
Head. - Small, with a large space between the eyes, narrowing into a small short muzzle.
Condition. - No fat, but musular.
Fur. - Really short, that is to say shorter than that of any other race, really fine, shiny and close lying.
Tail. - Long, ending in a straight point, or with a light hook at the end.

Faults. Pale eyes, or mismatched eyes. "Tabby" or ticking or shadow markings. White marks on the throat or white feet.

Scale of points

Colour - 20
Markings - 10
Form - 15
Eyes - 10
Head - 15
Fur - 10
Tail - 10
Condition - 10
Total - 100

Note. – These days, the Americans know about the Sacred Cat of Burma [Birman] from descriptions published in European magazines, but they also talk about a “Bush Tailed Burmese,” which looks like a Khmer cat. They also announce that Mrs. Arthur Cobb and Mr. Robert Haden Hood have successfully crossed the Persian and the Siamese ... let's wait to see! Similarly, they publish the name of the Swedish Dr. K. Tjebbes, who obtained long-haired Siamese; this variety was presented several times in exhibition in France and Switzerland before 1939. But there is no doubt that there is a valuable indication for sporting breeders who would like to create new varieties.


This breed of short-haired cats has been studied in particular by two English breeders, Mr. H. C. Brooke and Major Sam Woodiwise, and it is on their work that we must base a description of these curious and friendly cats.

In the opinion of the most eminent zoologists, the Abyssinian cat can be considered the one that comes closest to the type of the sacred cats of ancient Egypt. We could even compare the color of the Abyssinian with that of a cat mummy whose coat, fairly well preserved, showed the same fawn color.

It would have been imported into England around 1869. Dr. Gordon Stables described, in “Cats, Their Points,” in 1882, an Abyssinian cat owned by Mrs. Lennard, who would have obtained it at the end of the Abyssinian war. Since then, English breeders have worked hard, despite the difficulties, to obtain an ever more perfect type of cat.

This African cat looks a lot like the wild cat but, in particular, it does not have the savagery. It is, on the contrary, very gentle, even shy, not becoming attached quickly and yet very affectionate to its masters when it has adopted them. However, it suffers in captivity, which complicates breeding. It must be given as much freedom as possible. Curiously enough, the males were infinitely rarer than the females.

Standard and scale of points

Form. - Of medium size, quite small even, the Abyssinian cat is as different as it is possible to be from the Persian cat. The general appearance is extremely elegant, the lines being supple and sinuous, full of grace and slenderness. Only the Siamese competes with him on this point. The head is very graceful, elongated, with large ears and very bright eyes.

Fur. - The fur is reminiscent of that of a rabbit: the texture and colour are similar. However, the hair of the Abyssinian is reddish at the root, while that of the rabbit is grey. The basic color set by the English standard is red-brown; solid, without stripes or spots, except for a dorsal black stripe, which sometimes extends to the end of the tail. The head, tail and legs should not have marks or stripes. Mr. Brooke believes, however, that these marks should not be of excessive importance, thus, a cat absolutely without marks, but of coarse structure, lacking ticking or erring in its color, cannot be judged better than another cat of slender form, well-ticked,with beautiful colour, even if it has stripes on the tail and legs.

Ticking is an essential quality of the Abyssinian; it is caused by the black or dark brown colouration of the tip of each hair. So, by stroking the cat with the hair turned back, we discover a sort of alternation, double or triple bands giving the most wonderful mottled effect. The best Abyssinians have three quarters of the length of each hair fawn-coloured, and two or three bands of brown or orange shading, the darkest being at the tip of the hair. Others simply have a tawny base and a dark tip. The colour of the hair near the skin should be shiny and not dull. The hair of the belly and back of the forelegs is not ticked; it is a solid fawn color, without any white spots, and matches the coat, with preference going to the tawny colour.

Paws. - Thin, elegant, small feet; the extremities of the limbs and the soles of the feet are black, this colour extends to the back of the hind legs.
Tail. - Long and tapered.
Eyes. - Large, shiny, expressive, well open, oval in shape. The color is green, yellow or hazel.

Body, colour and type - 40
Head and ears - 15
Eyes - 10
Fur - 10
Feet and legs - 5
Tail - 5
Size - 5
Condition - 10
Total - 100


Where do the tailless Isle of Man cats come from, these “bobtails” of the feline genre? History and legend claim to give the answer. It is said that sailors returning from the Far East brought back the first specimens. Others say that the ancestors of current cats escaped, in 1588, from routed vessels of the invincible Armada. Legend has it that the tail was removed centuries ago when a lord tried to levy a tax on the tails of the island's cats. Comedians, I suppose, thought they had the answer in a hypothetical cross between a cat and a rabbit.

One fact is certain. As well as this typical characteristic, the absence of a tail, Manx differ in various aspects from other European short-haired cats which they otherwise resemble in colour, and they unquestionably constitute a distinct race.

The general shape of these cats is curious. They are medium size, and have a head quite similar to that of the European cat, a short spine, and deep flanks. The hindquarters are very developed and the hind legs are higher than those front. This gives them a characteristic hopping gait like that of the rabbit. Also, an English judge declares that it is impossible to judge a Manx cat in a cage.

The absence of tails must be absolute in show quality specimens. Mr. Brooke, a well-known breeder of Manx cats, even wrote that where the tail would normally start there must be a noticeable depression that can be felt under the pressure of fingers. However, this perfect trait is not found equally in the best specimens so a small tuft, formed by a cartilage covered with hair, is tolerated.

According to those who have had them indoors, Manx cats are charming companions, remarkably intelligent and very attached to their owners whose family life they share perfectly. Miss Hill Shaw even writes: "They are the best of pals", they are the best playmates.

Standard and scale of points

The absence of a tail, the height of the hindquarters, shortness of spine and depth of flank are essential in Manx. It must therefore resemble the rabbit and have its hopping gait. The fur is double, fluffy and light like that of rabbits, with a soft, thick undercoat. Another important point is the roundness of the rump; the English standard says that the ideal is the roundness of the orange.

The head is round and broad, but less cobby than that of the Persian. The nose is long and the cheeks well developed so that the face is not tapered like that of the Siamese. The ears are broad at the base and slightly pointed.

Eye color is of only secondary importance and should only be taken into account when several specimens are in close competition. The eye colour is that of same coloure European cats i.e. blue in white cats, amber or orange in blacks, reds, tabbies, tortoiseshells, etc. It is accepted in all the same colours as the European shorthairs.

Absence of tail - 15
Height of rear end - 15
Shortness of spine - 15
Roundness of rump - 10
Depth of flank - 10
Double fur - 10
Head and ears - 10
Colour and markings - 5
Eyes - 5
Condition - 5
Total – 100


In France before the war Miss C. Léger exhibited some charming specimens of blue short-haired cats under the name of "Chartreux cats". She published in “Son Altesse le Chat” some notes on this breed. Here are the essential points.

Buffon, René-Primevère Lesson and Trouessard all speak of the Chartreux cat, a short-haired blue cat, without indicating the reason for its odd name.

When Miss Léger moved to Belle-Ile, she was struck by the number and beauty of the blue short-haired cats that people called "hospital cats" (a hospital run by monks). Having acquired a few males and a few females, she tried breeding them and her efforts were crowned with success, her cats being different from the British Blue, a massive cat with gold eyes, and Russian Blue, a slender cat with green eyes.

Standard and scale of points

General appearance. - Extremely elegant, with innate grace; the female is of medium size, while the male is stronger and more powerful while retaining his lines and elegance.
Head. - Recalls that of the Siamese by its elongated shape andabsence of jowls. Silver gry nose, more or less dark depending on the color; in no case should it be pink or depigmented. Dark blue, almost black lips, as well as the palate. Pale gold or copper eyes. Large, straight ears, giving the cat an alert appearance. Fairly flat and fairly narrow skull, like that of a Siamese. Strong, well-set jaws. Smooth cheeks, without jowls. Quite long nose with a slight stop at the root. Long neck which contributes to the beauty of the cat and gives it a beautiful attentive bearing when it raises its head.

Body. – Long beautifully curved and well-muscled shoulders; the forearm is long and thin, the paws are small and round, exquisitely fine; the sole is dark gray, almost black. The chest is wide and deep, descending to the level of the elbow. Broad back, well muscled and supple. Not much of a belly, and short sides, which do not weigh down the lines. Lower rump which continues the line of the body. Very muscular, long thighs with a pleasant curve. Very long, tapered tail, carried high and cheerfully - this is one of the characteristics of this cat.

Coat. - Varies from silver gray to slate blue. White hairs or a white spot are disqualification defects. Often, these cats are slightly striped with darker blue when young, but with age these shadow markings should disappear completely.

Hair. - The texture of the hair must be woolly and when stroking the cat in the wrong direction must give the impression of touching velvet; in other words, short hair, woolly and tight. The skin is uniformly blue, with no white or pink spots.

Size and weight. - Females weigh 2.5 - 3 kg; malesweigh 3 - 4 kg. The size is that of the Siamese. Soft looking, very feline.

Defects. - White hairs, white spot; colour not grey-blue; stripes in the coat of adults; heavy structure; exaggerated size and weight, heavy, massive head, heavy jowls; green eyes.

General structure - 20
Eyes - 20
Head (shape, nose, cheeks, ears) - 20
Coat colour - 20
Hair texture - 10
Tail - 10
Total – 100


Mr. A. Steens has written a charming page on European cats:

“They are the outcasts of the feline world. It is they who are left abandoned, beaten and chased, who often spend their nights in the cold and almost always meet a cruel death. They deserve a better lot, however, because some of them are superb: blacks with golden eyes, blacks with jade eyes, whites with blue eyes, wonderful tabbies, blues, reds, tricolors. Unfortunately, we do not appreciate their value and, therefore, systematic breeding is ignored. The day when we make an intelligent selection in this breed, we will see the emergence of perfect specimens from this great disdained mass which, by their splendour, will become the equals of the Russian, Siamese or Persian champions. To this end, our cat shows should grant numerous cups to the European classes, in order to stimulate their breeding, especially among those cat lovers of modest means who cannot afford the expense of the thousand banknotes necessary to acquire a beautiful luxury cat."

Under the name of European cats are classed the variously coloured shorthairs which live in the intimacy of man, not only in Europe, but in almost all the parts of the world. They have not been the subject of selective breeding, and their colour is not hereditary any more than the general shape or the colour of their eyes. However, sometimes splendid cats are spontaneously born from any male or female. Thus, I judged in Milan a silver tabby, of slender type, which was remarkable in all points and whose origin was completely unknown.

The description of European cats that we will see here was developed by Dr Da Maddalena, based on the work of Professor Schwangart. It divides these cats into three classes: tabby, marbled and slender.


Standard and scale of points

Body. – Stocky with strong legs and a short, strong neck. In the selection of these subjects, it is necessary to take into account the power and the size in addition to the other characteristics of the breed.
Head. – Carried rather horizontally. The upper part is wide. The muzzle is short and broad at the tip. Straight or slightly curved nose. The forehead gradually descends towards the nose without bulging. Relatively small and somewhat narrow ears.
Tail. - Relatively short and a little thick.
Coat. - The coat is short, similar to that of the wild cat. The skin is white or pied, depending on the colour of the coat.
Colour. - Stripes can be continuous or interrupted. The colour can be greyish (tawny, slate, chestnut-brown, silver), blue or red. A small white spot is tolerated in tawny, slate or silver tabbies. Such a spot is a defect in red tabbies.

a) Tawny Tabby Variety

Hair a little coarse, like that of the wild cat, slightly tawny; ears well covered with hair inside, broken stripes, with little contrast to the basic color. It is more or less pale with yellowish, reddish or slightly brown shades. Eyes green and, depending on the basic color, even yellowish.

Shape and size - 25
Head - 25
Eyes - 10
Hair - 10
Colour and pattern - 15
Tail - 15
Total – 100

b) Slate grey tabby variety

Hair preferably a little velvety. Stripes which contrast more clearly than in the previous variety against basic steel grey colour. The eyes are green. Same scale of points as the tawny variety.

c) Silver Tabby Variety

The tone of colour has more value than the size of the animal. The coat is short, soft and velvety. The tail may be a little thinner than that of the other colour tabbies.

Shape and size - 20
Head - 25
Colour and pattern - 25
Eyes - 10
Hair - 10
Tail - 10
Total – 100

d) Chestnut-Brown Tabby Variety

Chocolate brown stripes on a grey background. Slightly coarse or velvety coat. The hair roots can be as light as in the smokes, however, the pattern must always be very distinct. Orange or amber eyes; when grey prevails, the eyes are yellowish. Scale of points similar to that of the silver variety.

e) Blue Tabby Variety

The basic color is the same as that of self blue. Short coat, soft and velvety. Green to dark yellow eyes. Scale of points as for the silver variety.

f) Red Tabby Variety

Red-brown stripes on a yellow or yellow-red background. Yellow, orange or amber eyes.

Shape and size - 25
Head - 25
Eyes - 10
Hair - 10
Colour and pattern - 20
Tail - 10
Total - 100

39. Oriental Ting San, blue-eyed female Siamese.
40. Sirius Valentina, blue-eyed female Siamese.
41. Champion Zy Azure Phanda, blue Siamese.


Standard and scale of points.

Body. - Superb general appearance. Powerful shape, not too heavy, but stocky. Medium length legs; moderately robust neck. Medium length tail, rather large, not dishevelled.
Head. – Carried high. The posterior part is slightly curved. The forehead forms a slight curved line with the nose. Muzzle straight, but not pointed. Ears wide at the base.
Eyes. - Large and clear. The colour varies according to the coat colour, as with the striped tabbies.
Hair. - Short, slightly velvety.

Colour and markings. - The characteristic design is that which the English reserve for "tabby" cats. The wheel markings of the flank and shoulder can surround a space with or without clear spots, but not white. The arc can be closed or slightly open. The pattern can be different depending on the cat, but it must be clear, especially the wheel marking. The back should have three long parallel stripes which can also merge into a wide ribbon. The best cats are those whose pattern is symmetrical on both sides. The colours are the same as those of strtiped tabbies: tawny, slate gray, silver, chestnut-brown, red, or blue. The most popular colours, when the markings are sharp, are silver marbled and red marbled.

Shape and size - 20
Eyes - 10
Colour and pattern - 30
Head - 20
Hair - 10
Tail - 10
Total – 100


Standard and scale of points

Body. - The opposite of short-haired striped tabbies. Rather slender, standing tall on slender legs; slightly curved slender neck. Long thin tail, completely smooth. We must first take into account the form when judging the slender European cat.
Head. – Carried high. Top of head is narrow, slightly curved. Forehead descends to the nose without a stop. Muzzle straight or slightly curved, long and pointed. Ears large but not too wide.
Eyes. - Slightly oblique. The colour varies according to that of the coat: green for blues; yellow for blacks, tortoiseshells, reds, etc., blue or yellow for whites.
Hair. - Velvety, a little thick, but not rough.

Colour. - No tabby pattern is tolerated. Only plain, smoked, patched and tortoiseshell, provided there is no pattern, are allowed. Tortoiseshells and tortoiseshell-and-whites, Russian Blues (the slender form of the blue short hair with eyes as green as possible) and spotted cats (whose coat is strewn with numerous small round or oblong spots, sometimes in the form of rosettes, clearly defined, but without forming lines) are arranged in this variety.

The C.I.F. offers the same scale of points for single colors and spotted cats. I cannot agree with this solution as it does not take into account the importance of markings in the spotted variety. So, here in my opinion are two scales of points on which the judging of this variety should be based:

Single colour variety
Shape and size - 30
Eyes - 10
Colour - 10
Head - 30
Hair - 10
Tail - 10
Total - 100

Spotted variety
Colour and markings - 50
Shape and size and tail - 20
Eyes - 10
Hair - 10
Head - 10
Total – 100


Many people love cats because of their beauty, their independent and proud character, their friendliness and their cuddliness. Others only care for them because they destroy rats and mice. Dr. Adrien Loir, son-in-law of the great French scientist Pasteur, who for fifty years has been dealing with rat extermination on board ships, explained how his attention had been drawn to the cat’s hunting character.

“At the beginning of the year 1926, in my capacity as medical doctor at the port of Le Havre, I went on board a ship, to watch its deratization [rat extermination] by toxic gas. I saw two men each carrying a crate; they told me that they contained the cats on board which they were going to carry to the the poop deck to shelter them from the gas. I said to one of them: ‘Do you like your cats?’ He replied in the affirmative and added: ‘Besides, they are good ratters.’ I went on: ‘Aren’t all cats good ratters? Isn’t it enough to starve them so that they become so?’ He surprised me by answering: ‘On the contrary! The good ratting cat must be strong and well fed. He doesn’t eat his catch, but kills the hated rat for fun, and often brings it to his master, to show to him."

Dr. Loir says he had never thought of a useful purpose when he saw cats aboard boats, believing that they were only used for the entertainment of sailors during the crossing.

Since then, with the help of his wife, he has become the propagandist of the ratting cat, publishing articles and books on this subject and even creating special prizs at shows for ratting cats. He has seen his efforts crowned with success, since important organizations have approached him to create stud farms for ratting cats. Le Havre and Lyon in particular have used his services.

Dr. Adrien Loir published an article in the Belgian Feline Journal of June 1934 in which he described the general characteristics of the good ratting cat. One could not find a better instructor than him in this matter. So I am borrowing the important part of his study:

Until now, ratting cats have been judged by the tales of their prowess. After the studies that have been done on the hunting cat, I can give a description that can be used to determine the characteristics of the ratting cat.

At shows of high-bred cats the animals are judged according to established rules. This is called the point system. We detail the qualities for each part of the body of the breed and give a score, from 1 to 10 points for example, and thus obtain a total allowing us to classify cats in their respective categories: Persian, Siamese, etc.

On March 15, 1933, thanks to President Herriot, we were asked to judge ratting cats at the Lyon Cat Club show. We had before us a marvellous specimen belonging to Miss Jane Leclerc; this cat allowed us to establish the type for a ratting cat. Its mother is a blue Persian, a very good ratter who educated her young well. The father is a tabby European, a very good ratter. The kitten has very close short hair, which protects it from rat bites. According to its owner, without jumping it can extend a leg 95 cm to immobilize a rat. It would jump after prey at 1.5 metres and jump 3 meters to seize its prey.

Based on the data from this cat, we have established the following type which will be modifiable:

1.) General appearance of the cat, its strength: from 1 to 10 points.
2.) Hair not too long, but nevertheless sufficient to protect against rat bites: from 1 to 10 points.
3.) Legs, strength and length of claws: from 1 to 10 points.
4.) Length of limbs: from 1 to 10 points.
5.) Spacing of the toes: from 1 to 10 points.
6.) Pigmented extremities: from 1 to 10 points.
7.) State of the hindquarter muscles: from 1 to 10 points.
8.) Pigmentation of the mucous membrane of the mouth: from 1 to 10 points.
9.) Jaws, strength and length of teeth: from 1 to 10 points.
10.) Jaw spacing: from 1 to 10 points.
11.) Merits of hunter: from 1 to 10 points.

The above type can be applied to cats of all breeds that are good ratters. It is to be studied further, since we are entering the realm of brand new and previously ignored aspects, no one ever having contemplated the zootechnical aspects of ratting cats, which have, therefore, never been defined or described.


Grand Encyclopedia, “Cat article” by E. Trouessart.
Larousse of the 20th century, various articles.
BUFFON, Natural history, VI.
CUVIER, Natural history.
DARWIN, On the Origin of Species.
DARWIN, On the variation of animals and plants.
MENEGAUX, Mammals. Paris.
Auguste-François PARADIS DE MONCRIF, Les Chats, Paris 1727.
Animal education treatise. Paris 1780.
A. LANDRIN, The Cat. Paris.
P. MEGNIN, Our friend the cat. Paris.
Dr Georges HASSE, Our cats.
E. LARRIEUX and Ph. JUMAUD, The cat: breeds, breeding, diseases. Paris 1926.
Abel DASSAY, The cat. Paris 1921.
Dr Ph. JUMAUD, The breeds of cats. Saint-Raphaël, 1930.
Dr and Mrs Adrien Loir, The Cat. Paris 1931.
Jacqueline CONAN-FALLEX, The cat in literature and art. Paris 1936.
R. MOUSSU, Cats, breeding, diseases. Paris 1938.
The Book of Cats. Spes, Lausanne.
The Tables of the Breeders. Saint-Raphaël, Var.
Revue féline de France. Paris.
Chasse - Pêche - Elevage. Paris 1932-1935.
Revue féline belge. Anvers.
Quatre Pattes. Paris 1935-1937.
Paul EIPPER, Freindship with cats. Berlin 1933.
Prof. SCHWANGART, miscellaneous items.
Our Cats. Nuremberg.
The Noble Cat. Nuremberg.
Gustav MICHEL, The Book of Cats. Berlin.
Harrison WEIR, Our Cats. London 1888.
Dr Gordon STABLES, Cats and their points. London 1888.
Miss SIMPSON, The Book of the Cat. London 1900.
Miss SIMPSON, Cats for pleasure and profit. London.
Mrs. Evelyn BUCKWORTH-HERNE SOAME, Cats long-haired and short. London 1933.
Cats and Cats, compiled by Frances E. CLARKE. New-York 1937.
Carl van VECHTEN, Lords of the Housetops. New-York.
Carl van VECHTEN, The Tiger in the House. New-York.
Michael JOSEPH, Cats Company. London 1946.
National Geographic Magazine, Nov. 1938. Washington.
Governing Council of the Cat Fancy. Standards of points. Stud-Book (9 volumes).
Fur and Feather, official weekly magazine of the G.C.C.F. Idle, Bradford, Yorkshire. Margaret COOPER GAY, How to live with a cat? New York 1946. Elsie HART, Shah-Pasha (Cat not Cat). Practical handbook on Siamese cat-keeping. Idle, Bradford, Yorkshire 1946.
John Hosford HICKEY and Priscilla BEACH, Know your cats. HARPER & BROS. New-York 1946.
L. H. FAIRCHILD and Helen G. FAIRCHILD, Cats and all about them. Orange Judd Publishing Cy. New-York 1945.
E. Booth SIMMONS, Cats. The World Publishing Cy. New-York 1943.
Cats Magazine. 751 State Street, Utica, New-York.
Our Cats Magazine. 212 W. 5oth Street, New-York.
All Pets Magazine. 2810 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago.
Giovanni RAJBERTI, Sul Gatto. Milan 1845.


FIRST ARTICLE. - The exhibition is open to cats of any breed, even if their origins are unknown. However, to compete, all cats must be part of one of the breeds recognized by the International Feline Confederation. Cats that do not belong to a recognized breed can be shown without competing.


ART. 2. - Eleven classes are planned for each breed.
The subjects will be judged according to sex in classes I, II, III, IV, V, VI, regardless of the number of specimens involved. A derogation from this rule may be authorized in youth classes for certain varieties of Persian and for European cat classes.

I. Champion class. For all subjects declared champions in shows organized under the patronage of the C.I.F. or by a recognized club.

II. Open class. For all subjects aged 10 months or more on the day of the show. This class will never be subdivided by age.

III. Youth class. For all subjects aged at least 3 months and at most 10 months on the day of the show. If the cats involved are numerous enough to form a subclass of 4 subjects, this class may be subdivided into two classes: from 3 to 6 months, and from 6 to 10 months.

IV. Limited class. For all subjects aged at least 10 months and who have never been classified first in an open class in previous shows. This class will never be subdivided by age.

V. National breeding class (adults). For all subjects aged at least 10 months, born in Switzerland, including neuters.

VI. National breeding class (young). For all subjects aged 3 months or more and 10 months or less, born in Switzerland, including neuters. This class may be mixed.

VII. Breeding class. For all subjects having at least three of their offspring entered in the show. This class can never be mixed regardless of the number of entrants.

VIII. Pairs class. For two subjects of the same race and different sex, belonging to the same owner.

IX. Group class. For at least three subjects of the same race, regardless of sex, belonging to the same owner.

X. Litters class. For litters of at least three kittens, 1 to 3 months old at most, accompanied by their mothers or their wet-nurses.

XI. Neuter class. For all castrated subjects, whatever their age.


ART. 3. - Cats belonging to judges or assessors in office or their close relatives - husband, wife, son or daughter, brother or sister - may be exhibted but may not participate in the competition. Their cages must be marked: Hors concours [not competing].

Cats belonging to commercial breeders cannot compete or even be exhibited outside the competition.

When a subject belongs to more than one person, the names of all the owners must be entered on the entry form.

To compete in classes V to IX, all subjects must be entered in one of classes I to IV. Neuter, entered in class XI, can compete in classes V or VI.

In the event of a registration error, the cat will be transferred to the class that suits it.

A cat can be entered and not compete, but the owner must make the request on the entry form and an “Hors Concours” poster, issued by the show's general commissioner, must be placed on his cage.

Any subject that has competed must appear on the prize list with the awards awarded to it.

Any subject entered must be present at the show throughout its duration. Any violation of this rule will result in the cancellation of the classification and any rewards obtained by this cat.

It is forbidden to place a cat in a cage other than the one assigned to it or to change the cage numbers.

Only the following have the right to remove cats from their cage: the owner, the judges or assessors and the members of the show committee.

Exhibitors who violate this rule will be liable to a fine to be paid at the show office, upon justified complaint from the owner.


Art. 4. - Entrants must be examined at the show entrance by the veterinarian officially designated by the committee. The veterinarian will take all the necessary precautions to avoid any contagion of communicable diseases.

The owners of entrants must certify, on the entry forms, that to their knowledge, there are no cases of contagious or infectious diseases in their breeding cattery. When a case of one of these diseases is declared in the cattery after registration, the owner must cancel the entries of his cats. In this case only, the entry fees will be refunded. Any violation of this rule and any false declaration on this subject will be punished with a heavy fine and the exclusionfrom all shows in Switzerland for two years.

Any infectious or contagious disease declared by a participant during the exhibition will result in the immediate exclusion of this participant from the exhibition premises.


ART. 5. - The organizing committee reserves the right to refuse registrations that it believes it should not admit and to reimburse the entries, even after having accepted them.

Cats suffering from skin diseases or contagious diseases, mutilated subjects (except those who have undergone castration), crippled or cosmetically made up will be refused entry or removed from the exhibition. In this case, the entries will not be reimbursed.

No un-entered cats will be admitted to the show grounds.


Art. 6. - The committee reserves the right to exclude from the competition or the show, without any indemnity or reimbursement, any person who disturbs the order by not complying with the rules, who publicly protests against the judges' decisions and members of the committee or who attacks their dignity or who is convicted of fraud.


Art. 7. - The judges will be chosen from among those recognized by the C.I.F. They will judge under their personal responsibility. The committee reserves the right to replace any judge prevented from attending. An assessor, chosen from among those wishing to learn to judge, will be appointed as much as possible for each judge.

The public will not be admitted to the judging panel and cats will be presented by the assessors or the persons designated for this purpose by the committee, and not by their owner.

Judgments will be final and cannot be restarted. Cats absent at the time of the judgment will not be examined afterwards, unless the committee decides otherwise in agreement with the judges. In any case, they may not receive any reward capable of modifying the classification already established.

In all classes, except Class I, the judges will assign to an entry one of the qualifiers: “excellent,” “very good,” “good,” or “quite good.” These qualifiers will only be given to cats deserving, according to the breed standard, at least 80 points for “excellent,” 65 points for “very good,” 50 points for “good” and 35 points for “quite good.” For group classes VIII and IX, the average points of the subjects in each group should be taken. The qualifiers will be followed in classes II, III and IV by the ranking of the first four only. However, a cat can only be classified first if it has been assigned at least a “very good” qualifier. If there is no “excellent” or “very good” in a class, the classification will be deleted. There will never be tied cats. All cats entered will receive a special card on which the qualifiers and the classification obtained in each class will be very clearly indicated.

In class I (champions), the judges will only classify the entrants in their order of merit.

Cats admitted to the competition will be classified without taking into account any previous rewards.

Class VII will always be divided by sex. The entrants will be classified according to the average points obtained by their offspring present at the show and entered in classes I, II, III or IV, according to the following scale:

an “excellent” grade will count fr 100 points;
a “very good” grade will count for 75 points;
a “good” grade will count for 50 points;
a “fairly good” grade will countfor 25 points.

The total number of points obtained by the offspring of a breeding cat will be divided by the number of those offspring and the result will be increased by 10% as many times as the number of offspring contain the number 3.


Art. 8. - Shows organized by recognized clubs and according to these regulations, may award a certificate of fitness for the championship (C.A.C.) and a certificate of fitness for the international beauty championship (C.A.C.I.B.) in the open classes - males and females - of each breed.

No cat can be offered at the C.A.C. if he did not obtain “excellent” in the open class and if he was not classified first. The “excellent” qualifier and the first classification do not automatically confer the title of C.A.C. The cat which obtains it must present a set of exceptional qualities which make it a typical example of its breed. In addition, this cat must be registered with the Swiss Studbook or to a recognized book of origins.


Art. 9. – A cat will be declared champion having won, under two different judges, three C.A.C. in open class in three shows organized by clubs in Switzerland or abroad by clubs adhering to the C.I.F.

A cat will be declared international champion:

1) a Swiss cat having obtained its title of champion and moreover four C.A.C.I.B. (certificate of aptitude for the international beauty championship) under three different judges in shows organized in Switzerland or abroad by recognized companies;

2) a foreign cat having obtained its title of champion and which gains in Switzerland its fourth C.A.C.I.B. under a third judge.


Art. 10. - Challenge cups, special prizes, and honorary prizes will be awarded according to the specific regulations of each show. The jury which will assign them must, however, be made up of all the judges of the show. A member of the committee will be present to explain the nature of these prizes, but will not be able to take part in their attribution.

Champions can only compete for the prizes specially designated for them.

Challenge cups can only be awarded to subjects who have obtained the “excellent” qualifier, and the honorary awards only to subjects who have obtained at least the “excellent” qualifier. The same is not true of special prices, the aim of which is often to encourage breeders of breeds or varieties that are still imperfect or little known.


Art. 11. - Cats without pedigrees that have earned the “excellent” qualifier in open class may be registered with the Book of Origins at their owner’s request and after the formalities and payment of the fees provided.

In certain cases, in which the judges have the sole authority to decide, cats without pedigrees may be registered with the Book of Origins even if they have not deserved the “excellent” qualifier.


Art. 12. - No commercial poster may be affixed to the cages. Only the title of the cattery whose affix is officially deposited at the C.I.F. may depart from this rule.

The mention “for sale” can be affixed to a cage, but it must be made on a card bearing the stamp of the show delivered by the general commissioner after payment of a sum to be fixed in each case.

It is strictly forbidden to display in the cages the prizes or diplomas obtained in previous exhibitions. Only cats that have obtained the title of champion or international champion have this right.


Art. 13. - The clubs which organize shows will have to pay the following dues:

1) 25 francs to the secretariat of the Book of Origins for the right to issue C.A.C. ;

2) 25 francs to the C.I.F. for the right to issue C.A.C.I.B.


Art. 14. - The scale of the entry fees will be fixed by the organizing committee of each show. A reduction of 50% must be granted to members of recognized societies. Other reductions may be granted by the committee according to the specific regulations of each show.

Any entry registration not accompanied by its dues will be considered void. A strictly personal entry card will be given to each exhibitor and will not be replaced in the event of loss. An additional card will only be issued to exhibitors with more than five cats. Exceptions to this rule can only be granted under the sole responsibility of the organizing committee.


Art. 15. All complaints must be made in writing within one hour of the event that gave rise to them. This period is not mandatory in the event of a material error or false application of the conditions of the regulations.

42. Trio of Burmese Cats, Yellow-eyed Siamese (United States).
43. Two Burmese Females and Two Kittens (United States).
44. Abyssinian Cat (France).
45. Chartreux Cat (France).


Art. 16. —- The organizing committee will take all measures in its power to ensure the most perfect setup, hygiene and maintenance of cats, but it declines any kind of responsibility regarding escapes, loss, theft, illness, death, etc., of cats, or damage caused by them, in any instance and for any reason whatsoever.

Exhibitors are solely responsible for injuries and other damage caused by their cats.

Cat food during the show is the responsibility of the exhibitors themselves and at their own expense.

By the mere fact of the entry of their cats, the exhibitors accept in an absolute way, without condition or reservation, all the articles of these regulations.

All cases not provided for in these regulations and all disputes relating to its execution will be judged immediately and without appeal by the members of the committee present at the exhibition.


First article. - The Book of Origins of Switzerland was opened by the Cat Club of Geneva on January 1, 1934 for the benefit of its members and all breeders living on Swiss soil.

Art. 2. - The Book of Origins is the property of the Cat Club of Geneva. It is the only one recognized in Switzerland by the International Feline Confederation.

Art. 3, - The Book of Origins is available to all breeders, members of various clubs or non-members, excluding merchant breeders.

Art. 4. - Cats meeting the following conditions can be entered in the Book of Origins:

a) cats whose purity of breed is indisputably proven by:

1) the fact that their direct ancestors are registered in the Book of Origins,
2) the fact that their direct ancestors are registered in a recognized foreign Book of Origins,
3) the fact that they are already registered in a recognized book of origin. In this case, the export transfer certificate will be required;

b) cats of unknown origin who have earned the “excellent” qualifier in the open class of a recognized show or who, in such a show, have been declared admissible by a qualified judge. In this case, ancestors of unknown origin will not be entered in the pedigree.

Art. 5. - Applications for registration in the Book of Origins must be accompanied by the covering certificate duly authenticated by the signature of the owner of the stud cat. The owner of the she-cat at the time of the mating is entitled to the title of breeder: he has the sole authority to request registration with the Book of Origins, sign the pedigrees and give the affix.

Art. 6. - The names of cats, to follow the usage of continental clubs, begin with a letter which designates the year of birth: V for 1946, W for 1947, etc.

Art. 7. - The names of registered cats cannot be changed. It can neither be followed by distinctive figures, nor be used more than once in the same year by the breeder.

Art. 8. - Only the names of cats registered in a recognized book of origins may appear in the lineage of cats.

Art. 9. - Registration requests must be sent to the Book of Origins’ secretariat along with the registration fees. These registration fees are 3 fr. per cat for members of recognized clubs and 6 fr. for the cats of other breeders. Copies of pedigrees cost 3 fr. Shipping is included in these sums.

Art. 10. - When the registration formalities have been completed and the fees paid, the owner concerned will receive a registration certificate bearing the Book of Origins serial number.

Art. 11. - Only cats belonging to breeds recognized by the International Feline Confederation may be registered in the Book of Origins even if they are the product of registered cats. Thus, any cross between long hair and short hair cannot be registered.

Art. 12. - Any cat registered or to be registered with the Book of Origins which is transferred - given or sold - must be the subject of a formal transfer. In the absence of this formality, the cat will be considered the property of its breeder or of the last declared owner.

Art. 13. - When transferring a cat, the current owner must give the new owner:

a) the Book of Origins registration certificate;
b) the transfer request that he will have received from the secretariat of the Book of Origins.

Art. 14. - The new owner must send this request to the secretary of the Book of Origins who will issue a transfer certificate in his name. Art. 15. - The transfer costs are 3 fr. per cat, postage included. These costs are payable by the owner of the cat who gives it up and not by its new owner. REGULATION OF CATTERY AFFIXES First article. - The Book of Origins secretariat maintains a Register of cattery affixes to protect them. Art. 2. - Any breeder, who is a member of a recognized Swiss club, may reserve the exclusive right to use, by registering, an official cattery name (affix or prefix). Art. 3. - The secretary of the Book of Origins may refuse to register a cattery name which does not seem appropriate to him and request that it be replaced by another.
Art. 4. - After registration, the interested party is given a certificate granting him, throughout his life, the exclusive use of the cattery name.

Art. 5. - The cost of registering the cattery name is 25 fr.

Art. 6. - In pedigrees, breeding certificates, transfer certificates, exhibition catalogues and other official documents, the names of the cats must be followed by the cattery name and the Book of Origins registration number, because they form an integral part the name of the cat.

Art. 7. - It is forbidden to replace or delete the original and registered cattery name or to add another to it in an official document. Cats cannot bear any affix other than that of their producer.

Art. 8. - A cattery name is only transferable to the widow of its owner or to direct heirs, who must notify the secretary of the Book of Origins of the change that has occurred. It is possible at any time to renounce the use of an affix, without this fact implying the right to reimbursement of the registration fees.

Art. 9. - The use of cattery names that have become free is only authorized ten years after the last registration made by them. The Book of Origins secretariat may authorize exceptions to this rule.

Art. 10. - Commercial breeders are excluded from the cattery register.

Art. 11. - All cases which are not dealt with in the above articles will be decided by the secretariat of the Book of Origins in agreement with the committee of the Geneva Cat Club.

Art. 12. - The Geneva Cat Club committee will rule on breaches of the foregoing regulations: the offender may have recourse to an honourary tribunal approved by the parties.

Art. 13. - These regulations are in accordance with those of the International Feline Confederation. The affixes registered in the Swiss Book of Origins cattery register are simultaneously deposited with the C.I.F. and recognized by all member clubs.

* * *

The texts of these new regulations, which repeal those of November 14, 1933, were approved by the committee of the Cat Club of Geneva at its meeting of December 16, 1946.

The members of the committee:
Henry WEBER.


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