Monday, November 28, 2016
Hybrid Cat Breeds: Khaomanee
Some breeds are both ancient in origin and virtually unrecognized at the same time. Such is the case with the Khaomanee. Still a well-kept secret in its native Thailand, there are references to this majestic breed in the Tamra Maew, which is an ancient collection of Thai poems from 1350. So he's not exactly young, but he has only recently been discovered in the west.
It wasn't until 1999 that the first of these cats was imported into the United States by Colleen Freymouth. She bred the first American Khaomanee kittens even as Janet Poulson was importing a breeding pair into the United Kingdom. It took ten years, but TICA eventually accepted the Khaomanee for registration in 2009. Two years later these striking cats were advanced to Preliminary New Breed Status. Most registries, however, do not recognize the Khaomanee as a distinct breed at all.
If there is one defining characteristic of the Khaomanee, it is the eyes. The preferred eye color is actually one blue, one yellow. Sometimes the yellow eye will be more green, and sometimes a kitten is born with yellow or green eyes. Since odd-eye is preferred, kittens who are not odd-eyed are not generally included in breeding programs unless there are no other options.
The preferred coat color is white. This may, in fact, end up being the breed standard once the Khaomanee is more widely accepted. There are kittens born of other colors, however, and these kittens are as much Khaomanee as their white siblings. They're just not preferred for breeding programs.
In addition to coat color and the odd-eyes, the Khaomanee can be spotted by its heart-shaped head and high cheekbones. Ears should be large and entirely upright, giving the cat an alert appearance. All in all, the Khaomanee is a joy to behold.
Playful and a little bit naughty, the Khaomanee is devoted to his own people but sees himself as far above all who enter his domain. Humans, canines, other cats...they are all less than he is, and they all owe him a snuggle. Guests should expect a social and demanding feline companion the moment they step through the door. Once the guests have departed, however, he'll be right back in your lap, enjoying the company of his own human.
He is a curious cat and can often be found exploring cupboards, crawling thought the pantry, or scaling a bookshelf. He'll happily play fetch or climb the nearest curtain, so he has no trouble keeping in shape. You may have trouble keeping your curtains in one piece, however.
The Khaomanee is a fun loving and exciting companion. He's a wonderful addition to many households, but he's not great with dogs or other pets.