Monday, June 2, 2008

How to Identify a Chausie Cat

The Chausie is a hybrid between the African Jungle Cat and a plain domestic shorthair. It's a relatively new breed and was only registered officially in 1995. They take their name from the Latin term for the African Jungle Cat, Felis Chaus. Because of their ancestry they are consummate hunters and very active when they wish to be. Despite this they are also very sweet and love to play and interact with their owners. They don't mind being touched or petted, but this species doesn't really go in for cuddling, they act as if it were undignified. That's really the best way to describe the species; regal and fearless but not aggressive or anti-social. This guide will explain how to identify a pedigree Chausie.

Identifying A Chausie Cat
Step 1:
Look at the cat's general build. You should see a cat roughly one and a half feet high at the shoulder and almost three feet long. This is a big cat, Chausie's are known for being twice the size and weight of an average housecat. Despite their size these cats are not bulky, being possessive of an athletic build with a wide chest, small paws, long legs, and a thin but dense bone structure.

Step 2:
Examine the cat's coloring. There are only three official color patterns for the pedigree Chausie. The first is just plain black. The second is a brown ticked tabby. Cats with this pattern generally have a pale belly with a light tan body and darker brown stripes. The third color pattern is unique to this species and is called a silvered tip. The cat will have a sliver-grey coloring with black splotches all over its body similar to that of a leopard.

Step 3:
Take a look at the cat's head. It should have a long, but thick neck that leads to a tall and narrow skull. The jaw should taper sharply down to the snout and the eyes are comparatively low on the face. The entire head should be dominated by extremely tall and straight ears, sometimes tipped like a bobcat. In the cat’s resting position the ears should be angled to face directly forward like a set of headlights on a car.

Step 4:
Study the cat's behavior. A Chausie will typically have fluid and slow movements. They take their time, seemingly confident in themselves regardless of what situation they find themselves in. Their behavior has often been described as dog-like; they will obey commands and come when called. They follow their masters closely and will often sit patiently at his/her feet waiting for a command or attention. If you get the opportunity, watch the cat jump. Chausies are known for the incredible strength in their haunches, allowing them to leap up to six feet straight up. If the cat matches all of these criteria then it’s likely you’re looking at a Chausie. It’s a very rare breed not often found except in catteries.

Tips & Warnings
This species doesn't require almost any grooming; their short fine hair sheds very rarely. Chausies are very good jumpers and use this to pounce on their prey, but they are not inclined to climb, so you needn't worry about them getting onto shelves and countertops. This species gets bored easily when it's by itself, so make sure it has plenty of toys to play with. Cats of this species are known for leaping up great distances in the air to catch birds in mid flight.
Be careful if you keep other pets in the house with a Chausie, anything which could conceivably be the cat's prey, will be the cat's prey.

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