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How do you tell cats apart?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have two black domestic shorthair sisters, and I sometimes have trouble telling them apart.

Artemis has shorter, blacker hair, a longer, thinner tail, is about 10 lbs, and has a patch of missing hair on the back of her neck ( scar tissue from mishap during our move across the country). Athena has slightly longer, browner, less smooth hair, is only 8 lbs, and has a thin horizontal line of white hairs on the bridge of her nose.

And if I don't have my glasses on, or I'm looking at them in poor light (which sometimes feels like anything but full sunlight), or I'm a few feet from them, I often don't know who I'm looking at. Their behavior is very different, so when they move and interact with anything (chair, foodbowl, me, whatever), it's immediately obvious who is who, and when they are right next to each other I can always figure it out very quickly.

But what do you breeders, who have cats bred to have similar dispositions, similar shape, and similar coat colors do to tell your cats apart? I imagine it is particularly difficult with a litter of young kittens, but, looking at many of your pictures in your sigs, I wonder how you do it even with adults!
post #2 of 11
I am not a breeder but I think even with well bred purebreed cats there are still some differences in their personalities that begin to show when they start exploring and interacting.
post #3 of 11
At first glance they would all look alike. But when you have them for awhile (as in a litter), you start to recognize the differences in body/head shape, etc.

I know what you mean. My first purebred litter was Russian Blues - so all the same color But I could soon tell by the shape of their heads as to who was who. That's one reason I got into Cornish Rexes so I could get more then one color in a litter.

If you use collars on your cats, you could get two different collars to tell yours apart easier
post #4 of 11
Color code them with collars. We often get swamped with several litters of identical kittens. We'll give each litter its own color collars, with a tape band on the collar that is blue or pink, so we can tell litter and gender at a glance. Then we write their names on the collars so we can differentiate them.
post #5 of 11
I am not a breeder, but I have heard of using different colored Sharpies on one little back claw. They are non toxic and they make them very bright now.
post #6 of 11
As an Abyssinian breeder who only breeds Ruddy Abys, you HAVE to learn quickly the differences between one cat and the other. From birth there are obvious differences between one kitten to the other...perhaps a difference in coloring, shape and size. For example, I had a new litter last weekend, and they are currently named Dark, darker and darkest.
post #7 of 11
I have 3 different colours and even mix them up at times Tawny and chocolate look the same when all you see is a blur of fur racing around.
post #8 of 11
When I am trying to sleep, if one of the kittens is nibbling my ear I know its "Kittie". If it feels really soft and doesnt go spastic and attack me, then I know its "Kat".
post #9 of 11
Oh now come on - you have a male and a female - just the size alone should tell you if its Tawny or Chocolate
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Oh now come on - you have a male and a female - just the size alone should tell you if its Tawny or Chocolate
You'd think.....but no
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enuja View Post
But what do you breeders, who have cats bred to have similar dispositions, similar shape, and similar coat colors do to tell your cats apart? I imagine it is particularly difficult with a litter of young kittens, but, looking at many of your pictures in your sigs, I wonder how you do it even with adults!
I've never had a problem telling my cats apart. Even if they're of the same breed and color they always have different personalities and characteristics. One might have bigger ears than the other, one has softer fur then the other etc.

Newborns can be a problem so I use fast drying nail polish and mark the ones with same color, but after 1-2 weeks there are no problems telling them apart from each other.
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