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The Sisters & Libby

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I have had Libby (1 1/2 year old, 45 lb, Akita mix) since she was two months old. When I introduced her to my three babies they did not like her much but I figured she is a puppy I am sure they will warm up to her. Well Toonces (the Russian Blue) did after a month or two and now they play and rough house together but Buttons & Patches (the sisters) don't want to have anything to do with her. They hate her !!!!

Sometimes Libby can get too rough with Toonces but Toonces lets her know who's boss (that would be Toonces). Sometimes Libby is way too rough with her playing and my fiance or I will scold her. She will stop for a moment but resumes playing with Toonces. Sometimes Toonces wants to love on Libby (you can tell because she is purring and trying to rub on her) but Libby just wants to play.

The sisters are almost always in hidding when Libby is out. When Libby is let out they run to hide. When they do this Libby always chases them. We scold/punish her but she just wants to play with them. Sometimes they will chase her if they are mad enough. They seem to have a zone of how close they will let Libby get before all hell breaks loose.

My fiance suggests we get another dog to draw her attention away from the cats but I have reserves about doing that. I feel really bad!!! :disturbed I don't get to spend much time with them because they don't want to be out with her. I actually have to put Libby in her kennel so I can spend time with the sisters but then I feel bad about that! Am I a bad mommy for taking Libby in? Is there anything I can do to get the sisters somewhat comfortable or tolerable around her.
post #2 of 22
Hi Sabra - That is a dilemma! And I really don't have much knowledge about this. My dog (a black lab) has to stay outside by edict of my husband . However, sometimes I do let her in the house when he's at work. She wants to chase the cat, but I've trained her fairly well, and she listens to me. Muffy, the cat, couldn't care less about the dog.

I don't know if I'd recommend getting another dog. I think it might make the two cats even more upset than they are now. Maybe your dog will calm down as she gets older and will be less likely to chase the cats. You could also try obedience training her so she'll listen to you rather than chasing the cats (I know, easier said than done! )

Hopefully someone here will have more advice for you.

Good luck!
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Libby doesn't always play with Toonces either. Many times they are both doing their own thing. I think what entices Libby alot is that the sisters run. I don't know if there are any tactics out there that I can try with the cats to get them to relax a little?
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
These are all my babies which I would do anything for!!! I just want to help out my feline children to make things good for them.
post #5 of 22
I have two Australian Terriers with fairly high prey drives and now two cats (the first cat was here before the dogs). The dogs will chase the cats if not taught otherwise (wanting to play), and cats usually don't like this- and it's their instinct to keep running! So. I would think that the first thing you should do is teach the dog some manners on how to behave around cats. Cats and dogs can and do play together, but I'd be hesistant about letting a dog even as big as yours to play hard with the cats, since accidents do happen and most your kitties don't seem comfortable with playing with the dog anyway. It would also be hard on the dog if she is allowed to play with one cat, and not the others. Another thing is that dog and cat communication is pretty different and they may not understand each other- I know my dogs don't really realize what the cats mean by hissing, and they don't realize that running straight up to a cat to greet them may seem threatening to the cat. I would think that if you taught the dog not to chase the cats, and perhaps to not try and initiate play with them would make the cats feel more safe around the dog, and not hide all the time. Of course, it's your decision whether you want to let the dog and cats play together.

Does your dog know any basic commands like sit or down or stay? These would be useful. Punishment or scolding is not the best approach, IMO, because, firstly, they very often do not work, and secondly, you don't want the dog to associate *bad things* with cats. So. When you see the dog is *about to* chase a cat, call her to you and ask her to sit, go down etc, and praise and treat her. Great things come when she does not chase the cats but comes to you and listens to what you say! Also praise and treat her when she's calm around the cats, just sniffing carefully or being close to them without agitation, teach her that if she's calm around the cats, great things will come. It will take time, and it may be impossible to get her to stop chasing the cats altogether, but you want to get the dog to re-think chasing the cats- coming to you should be more rewarding than chasing the cats. I do all this, but if the dogs chase a cat (meaning I didnt' react fast enough with the come here and stuff) I usually just say uh-uh and then ask them to come and praise them. They're doing pretty well and the new kitten is getting used to having the dogs around (she still finds it a little intimidating when they come near her with great speed, not chasing though), the older cat of course knows just what the dogs do and handles them fine.

Also make sure the dog is getting enough exercise and play-time with you or other dogs, so she won't *need* to play with the cats. Oh, btw, I'm by no means an expert, these are just things that have worked for me and my two cat-chasing dogs and two cats. My kitten obviously found the dogs' running around etc intimidating and wouldn't move from a hiding place, but when the dogs were calm around her, she went to sniff them and would even lie down next to them. Others will probably have other ideas, but I do think that in order to make your cats feel safe, you have to keep the dog from chasing the cats or being too hyper around them and getting the dog plenty of other things to do is important here. And no, I don't think another dog would help. The dogs would probably play together rather than with the cats, but the cat chasing wouldn't go way IMO, and two dogs running around the house might be even worse for the cats' state of mind- and you might end up with two dogs chasing the cats! Hope it all works out!
post #6 of 22
I agree- I have grown up with 2 labs and 2 cats and they all have gotten along most of the time. Of course, Labs are the most gentle dogs ever known! I agree- the key is to get the dogs to NOT chase the cats and things should be okay. Also give them space- the cats won't like being too close to the dogs so make sure that dogs know not to get TOO close to the cats. I would recommend training the dogs as Eeva have recommended. I wouldn't get another dog until the cats have adjusted to the 1st dog at least!
Good luck!
post #7 of 22
I think Eeva has given the most sound advice. I wish I had had it before I learned all kinds of things the hard way. I started out taking in cats, and then a young puppy was dumped at my gate. The pup was at a disadvantage -- although already slightly bigger than the oldest cats, she was still a baby, and the cats easily intimidated her into doing things their way. But cats also chase each other about, and the pup naturally joined in. Being six or seven cats at a time to one puppy, the cats felt reasonably comfortable with this. They played fighting games as well, and the pup (her name is Zera) learned cat tricks on top of instinctive dog maneuvers, while the cats became familiar with the dog methods and began to use them in combination on each other and the dog. I thought all this was great, and used to sit out with my sketch pad and keep records of the interactions.

Only Zera began to grow, and grow, and grow, until she was grayhound height and build. Faster than a speeding bullet was a good description. within four months she could outrun the cats and by 6 or 7 months she could run around the house twice to their once. The began to take an interest in snatching up a cat and running with it. The cats, loving her, thought it was funny, and she never so much as caused a squeal from them. I thought that was great, but discouraged it because I thought one day she would make a mistake in pressure. Somehow we all got lulled into this happy, jolly interaction.

And then one day one of my young cats chased Zera around the yard, and then Zera was chasing the cat, and the next thing I knew, the cat had jumped for the window sill, thinking that Zera was still too small to reach that high, only Zera had grown substantially without any of us really seeing it clearly. She didn't want to give up the play, so she grabbed for the cat, jerked it by its legs to make it come down and play, and three operations later the cat (now 2 years old) manages pretty well, considering that half his pelvic shelf was crushed and one thigh is "floating" in his hip flesh, unconnected with the pelvis.

After that I lost my stupidity about children playing with elephants and with each subsequent dog, I have taught them never to even begin chasing. There is not a mean bone in their bodies, but when they play, they now play among themselves, as do the cats. At time of repose, however, they pile on top of each other, groom each other, and sleep together. I give them a very thick blanket on my bed in the daytime, and there are typically two to five dogs and as many cats all intertwined and sensitive to not rolling over on each other. Lucky, the injured cat, and Zera are often sleep partners by choice. Lucky never understood that it was Zera who hurt him, and so never developed any fear. Zera, on the other hand, whimpered and howled all the days Lucky was in the hospital, and often slept outside the bathroom door (where Lucky had to spend 4 months confined in a largish carrier-cage for his bones to knit).

Eeva is a good observer also of the differences in body language that often cause that first fatal scratching of the dog's nose from a frightened cat. Tail wagging in a dog is joyful greeting or tentative hope-I-found-a-friend, where a cat twitches its tail in rage, or when it feels conflicted about what action to take. The interesting thing is that cats and dogs reared together learn to read each other with increasing accuracy as they mature, and misunderstanding only occur when a new cat comes into the pride, or a puppy arrives at the gate. Since I work at home, I can spend literally hours monitoring behavior until there is some understanding developed. There is a great deal of joy in having dogs and cats together (my present family is 16 cats and 5 dogs), but be smart. don't let them even begin the chasing games.
post #8 of 22
There have been some good suggestions here. I would just like to add a few thoughts. I do believe dogs and cats can live very great lives together. I have the 11 cats and the one dog (for now). My cats rub and cuddle with the dog. Over time, he has been trained that the cats are not play toys. He doesn't ever chase them or try to get them to play. However, if he was Akita,Siberian Husky or any other hunting dog bred to hunt small animals, he would not be in my house. As much training or love a puppy gets sometimes the breed kicks in and one of the cats is lost. In my clinic I have a family who had 3 cats and the Akita. One day the Akita decided to go after one of the cats. Even though this Akita was with the cats since he was 6 weeks old, they only have 2 cats now. My only point is that if you choose to have a dog like this, please watch every move or find a breed or mix that does not hunt small animals.
post #9 of 22
I am in agreement about hardwired hunting dogs. Unfortunately, most dogs -- both purebred and mixed -- that are likely to be found in the southern part of Israel are from various kinds of hunting dog strains, even when it is pretty far back in their breeding. Since I am taking in strays (as puppies only), I have ended up with two rodent killers --- Mulder is actually related to ferret and mole hunters and has absolutely colossal teeth -- he led the other dogs to herd a large rat for him and then dashed between them to break the rat's neck on the run with a single bite, an episode seen both by myself and my nextdoor neighbor. However, of all the dogs, he is the least likely to chase the cats, considering them very fragile and letting them suck on his belly when they are small. The other, Vivette, is a jolly and wholly motherly little creature who has "nursed" all the kittens for the past two years, beginning when she was only a puppy herself. Mulder is so-named because he simply appeared in my garden one day -- someone threw him over the fence, and in addition to being slightly hurt from the force of being thrown, he howled by the wall for several days for his owner to come back for him. Vivette was so-named for obvious reasons. But as full of life as she is, she is always careful with the cats, and sometimes moves between them when they growl at each other.

The big dog, Zera, is anybody's guess. The body of something between a grayhound, a doberman (her color is all wrong for this and she lacks many of the doberman behavioral characteristics), and some kind of large indiginous Arab hunting dog. These types of dogs are used by Arab horsemen to course small game. Zera, at least, is the fastest dog I have ever seen. She is almost entirely white, with long straight hair and almost no undercoat, even in winter. As an adult she has become very reserved and quietly companionable. The medium-sized dog, Angel, is obviously part saluki and probably the indiginous Arab Caanana dog (a sheep dog), while the newest addition (I wish I could find her a good home) is unnamed -- a puppy-fat dog of about 35 kilos already -- golden red and something of the labrador/red or gold retriever/pyrenees. She will outweigh and probably outgrow (in height and width) Zera, who is larger than a Doberman.

The dogs were adopted into an existing family of cats, which is also added to almost every kitten season (because of the climate, that's THREE times a year here). Except for the new dog, they are experienced and very loving with kittens, and have even made my newest cat -- the 9-month old tom -- welcome with properly restrained sniffs and no tail wagging.

But I confess that I watch the dogs, or listen for them, whenever they and the cats are out together. They do know not to chase now, but it is tempting when the cats themselves play chasing games. And the problem is not one-sided. Whenever I get a new cat, even a tiny 5-day old, I have to spend some time sitting with the newbie and the dogs so that the cats understand that they shouldn't hiss, growl, or batt with their claws. Even the sweetest dog may react to having its nose or eyelids scratched. And if anyone thinks a 5-day old kitten doesn't have claws, I should tell you how much bleeding I used to do when I tried to bottle feed a newcomer. Now, of course, I protect my hands with garden gloves...

Anyway, while I would NEVER buy a purebred hunting dog -- I think sheep dogs are the best for children and small animals... -- here, the strays all have some kind of hunting instincts. In fact, the Beduin dogs can be directly mixed with wild dogs or wolves at some point in their near ancestry. We are back to the old argument about which has more bearing -- environmental conditioning or hardwired genetic programming. I am now -- 3 years after my disastrous beginning with my poor Lucky cat and his beloved friend Zera -- convinced that the conditioning holds pretty well, unless you have something like terrier breeding or several of the other known breeds that go unstable over small things (children included), but that there is a 10% chance that, when your back is turned and even the dog wouldn't believe it of himself, he can suddenly get the urge to chase. And, as seen with Zera, a totally unintentional accident, with no malice or desire to bite, can happen.
post #10 of 22
This of course is totally unrelated to the topic, but Zera sounds like a Borzoi(sp?). We may be adding another dog sometime this year. I don't think I would ever have more than 2 in my house. I am one of those people who keeps the dog inside unless they want to go outside. I have decided on a Welsh Corgi which of course has been known to do a little hunting (tracking) but they are not known to rip open the throats of their prey. I have also found a breeder who is a vet and has raised her dogs with her 11 cats. As much as I love Akitas, I have decided to not take the chance.
post #11 of 22
Actually, I would think that a Borzoi relative would have much longer hair -- and of course the white with light blond on one ear and the other side of her head with a bit of black on the ear and a black ring around the eye (Zero developed into the feminine Zera) -- but then she has black spotted skin along her sides, but with white hair covering them! These mixtures here are totally off the wall.

The cats are some of the most beautiful and varied in color and body shapes and eye colors and shapes I have every seen. Any old alley cat is gorgeous, and when they get proper food and care they simply take the shine out of almost any cats anywhere, including purebreds. They are crossroads cats -- all the armies of the European and north African empires have been here: Roman and Greek (and no doubt Babylonian and earlier armies), Egyptian, British, Turkish (the gorgeous vans and angoras), and a range of oriental body styles -- and it is clear from the mixtures that the armies brought some of their cats along. I keep trying to fit the cats to the purebred standards to see what may have been combined to create such beauty, but I am not yet expert enough. One things many of them have in common is the large spots of dark color on their bellies. If they are red-tabbies, the spots are red, if calico, also usually red or light to dark charcoal, etc. And every ear-shape in the books.

I am trying to teach myself to take better pictures so I can do proper portraits of the different types.

But back to dog/cat relations, I managed to get outside late this afternoon to do a little grass and bush trimming, and of course all the dogs and all the cats came out to follow me around. So who was chasing whom? Several cats would walk up to Zera (they seem to love to tease her the most), stand on their hind legs and batt at her face from both sides (Balanchine would have loved their footwork), claws very carefully sheathed, I must note here, and then dash off. If Zera didn't follow them -- she had one nervous eye on me for my expected reprimand -- then they came back at a dead run, ran under her, wove rapidly in and out among her legs and then ran off again. It was a good moment to talk to the dogs about chasing, but surely the dogs were sorely provoked. When they couldn't get Zera to chase them, they leaped at the puppy (who is already twice their size in height), and got her to come after them, but she is clumsy and got tangled in the bushes ... the cats dashing out the other side and sitting down to appreciate her floundering around. It was funny as hell, but how am I to train the cats not to provoke the dogs without making them afraid of contact with the dogs? I kept up a rambling conversation with them the whole time I was out trimming grass, and eventually everyone came and flopped down under the nearest bushes and seemed to be comfortable with the sound of my voice. Five dogs and seven of the cats. Every day I learn something new about the cats. They really are very engrossing.

How are Libby and the sisters getting on now?
post #12 of 22
Hi Catherine

I was just browsing through some of these messages and came across yours about the colours/types in the cats there. I read somewhere that the Phoenicians (who pretty much came from the area that is now Israel? - I should look this up I know but am writing this on the run) were the ancient equivalents of modern-day used car salesmen and traded everything around the Mediterranean including cats from Egypt, which is pretty well how short-haired cats disseminated from Egypt and no doubt into and from surrounding areas of the Middle East. There's a lot of "hype" talked about exactly what the original Egyptian cats looked like, but my guess is that they were all sorts of colours and shapes which could well still be reflected in the cats in the ME today. Interesting to contemplate.

(Many thanks for your email by the way, it deserves more than a hurried answer, I'll get back to you in a few days.)

post #13 of 22
Dear Mary, Yes, indeed there was probably trading from the Levant, and a tamed cat would probably have made a rare gift for some rich and noble lady. The Phoenicians traded in everything that was marketable. The Romans also had cats, and doubtless took their little status symbols with them when they conquered most of Western Europe and England. There are statues of the Egyptian cats -- long-necked, long sleek bodies, triangular faces, and the cat Goddess Bastet was often painted black with green eyes. There are also some golden versions of her (real gold statues), but the shape is the same.

Cats were very popular. Temples dedicated to Isis usually had many resident sacred cats, and Isis temples were still all over the known parts of Europe up into the 5th century while Christianity was gaining converts. Once Christianity took hold, the priesthood was occupied with trying to break the worship of the pagan gods, and in particular, Isis (and her symbol, the cat) -- she was a very popular goddess under several names -- and so they condemned cats as being familiars of the devil and ordered them exterminated. They tortured them, burned them alive, and most cities had laws that forbade owning or sheltering one.

And then the Black Plague hit, and one of the reasons it took such a hold was because the cities had almost no cats, and the aggressive black rat moved into Europe from eastern trading ships, carrying the plague with the fleas on their bodies. They moved inland killed the more gentle gray and brown rats, and multiplied -- because there were almost no cats. You can still find gray or brown rats, but rarely in coastal towns and cities.

The plague was God's justice, or perhaps Nature's payback.

There is a beautiful spotted cat that is native to Egypt, and I believe that it is the one that has given our cats all the spots on their bellies and often on much of their upper bodies as well. I have a golden-red tabby male who has strips that are more marbled than real strips, and his entire belly is covered with symmetric golden-red spots about the size of a US dime.

I believet they will eventually do the DNA studies that will finally finger the closest wild relatives of our domestic cats. I have been looking at the web, but so far I haven't come across this kind of research. There seem to be studies that primarily try to see how cats can cope with the kind of mazes that were invented to test intelligence in rats.

What I am trying to locate on the web is research into the genetic links between color and/or body shape and various kinds of behavior and temperament. If anyone knows of some good websites along this line, I would be very grateful to hear of them.
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much!!! I have already started working with Libby on the chasing issue. I have been calling her when she begins the chase the sisters and when she starts to play too rough with Toonces. So far I have gotten 50/50 from her (50% of the time she listens & comes and 50% of the time she doesn't). It will just take some time and more work - I know it will work. Thanks everybody!!!!!
post #15 of 22
Glad you found our advice helpful. I just thought I'd remind you, that calling the dog to you should happen *before* she begins the chase. You know your dog's body language, and can see when she's thinking of chasing, and so you can call her to you and avoid the whole situation. If you do it after she begins, it's much harder for both you and her. If she's not too good at listening to you, you could start keeping a long leash on her indoors, so you can direct her to you if she doesn't come when called. She should learn that when you say 'come' it means she will come, not just when she feels like it. And of course, when she comes to you, give great rewards, even if you had to help her out with the leash! Coming to you should always be the best thing in the world for her.

Of course, you could decide that you don't want her to come to you rather than chase, but to, say, lie down, and then you'd just substitute the command down for come (decide and be consistent). But it is best to teach the dog an alternative behavior, a specific one, rather than expect her to learn a very broad definition like "do not chase the cats or play with them except for this specific cat and under these conditions". I'm sure you know what I mean and I'm just repeating myself needlessly.
post #16 of 22
Catherine, yes, it's just awful what they did to cats in the middle ages - and women. I've read that a punishment for adulterous women was tying them in a sack with several cats and drowning them. I go with your idea of the plague being one of Nature's paybacks.

The spotted cats sound beautiful - but I wonder are they truly spotted or a transition between spots and stripes, like the Egyptian Mau? I've never seen spotting in any of the moggies here, I'm not sure that a true spotting gene (like appaloosa) exists in cats, but maybe it does. I used to know a lot about coat colour genetics but 10 years ago now, so there could well have been some advances in knowledge. All the same, I'm doubtful that there's any link between colour genes and temperament/body shape etc. The only colour linkages I know of are things like deafness in white cats, and the orange gene is sex-linked (torties are always female, most ginger cats are male).
post #17 of 22
The true Mau of ancient history was, as can be seen on some of the old pyramid paintings (inside the burial chambers, I mean) truly spotted, and the classic is depicted as a gray short-hair with shades of charcoal or black spots over the main part of its torso. I know the Mau shown on the cat breeders websites are partly tabby, and it is possible that the Egyptians left the stripes off their paintings -- but perhaps the stripes were considered a breed fault.

I have a number of cats with some spotting on their bellies (the cream and golden red tabby is my classic with quite symmetric spots running in fairly uniform lines from behind his forelegs back to his genitals). Many of the cats have tabby markings around the head and part of the sides but some spots where the stripes end and also more frequently on their rumps. White underparts, of course, wipe out any evidence of inherited spots.

I have a beautiful patchy calico whose fairly large gray to chocolate patches has darker gray or chocolate spots quite clearly defined. The reddish patches are generally not spotted and her head is tabby.

I read about some breeder in the states getting spotted cats from a particular set of parents and giving it a name and breeding true enough to register the breed. The phrase I recall is "...the only spotted domestic cat." I think that is an exaggeration. Perhaps the only truly spotted cat in the thoroughbred domestic cats.

I have seen many cats wild in nearby towns who are much, much more spotted on the bulk of their bodies than any of my cats. And I am convinced that it is the Egyptian Mau of historical times that drifted here with armies and traders.

If anyone has any further information on the Mau, I would love to hear it. My own "spotted cats" have more spots than the one photograph I found on the internet -- I believe the one attached to the breed description on the American Cat Association (right name?) website. They held up the cat by his forelegs to show a lightly spotted belly.

When I have a chance, I am trying to find websites that relate to temperament and genetics linked to color or other physical characteristics. Perhaps there isn't anything in it, and what I think is there is only coincidence. But I am reasonably sure that all color/genetic linked research has been done by people who are breeding thoroughbreds for registering in an effort to improve their cats' conformity to type. I think even a lot of "cat people" have not paid sufficient attention to the vast differences in temperament and character until fairly recently in time. So maybe there is a lot of scope out there for some ambitious and curious researchers...

It would be more interesting to my mind than trying to find out if cats are as smart at rats at running mazes,
post #18 of 22
"I read about some breeder in the states getting spotted cats from a particular set of parents and giving it a name and breeding true enough to register the breed."

Was this an Ocicat? First appeared about 1966 but took a lot of years before finally being given breed status. The Bengal also has a sort of spotting, like the Mau. I looked up info and pictures (through cats site mainly) and the standards state that although the spotting appears to be quite distinct (esp Ocicat) it is unknown whether a true spotting gene is involved, and that it's probably just a modification of the tabby pattern. That would be my guess as well. Only in the wild cats like margays, ocelots, leopards of course, does true spotting exist. Patching, as seems to be the case with some of your cats (lighter/darker areas of colour) can look like spots but is a different gene.

The cats there sound beautiful, though, quite unique. Any possibility of breeding them? (though not yours exactly, I realise they're neutered) Not as silly an idea as it sounds, it's how breeds do get started in the cat world.

Re trying to link colour to temperament, my background is the horse industry and it's a not uncommon belief that certain colours go with a certain temperament in horses. One trainer I knew disliked chestnut horses because he said they were bad-tempered. This was rubbish of course, but it can be very hard to shake some people out of these ideas. Probably he did have dealings with a chestnut that was unpredictable in temperament and so tarred them all with the same brush. Of course, if you have an initial dislike or mistrust of an animal, any animal, it's going to pick up on that and prove you right. Just my thought for the day.
post #19 of 22
Re. temperament and genetics. I haven't met a cat yet that I couldn't find appealing. Of course, perhaps some cats might be ferals because they have a gene for paranoia or something and others have a bonding-with-humans gene.

Breeding street cats to come up with some spotted as well as beautiful cats? Now that would be a labor of love -- and an expenditure of a lot of money, but really interesting. You may be right about the tabby being spotted, rather than saying there could be a gene for spots. I would like to locate the burial chamber drawings I saw some years back. Maybe someone at the university ... although our studies of this area concentrate on the later Arab cultures.

Giving a horse a bad name for color? Perhaps, if it comes from a long line of bad tempered horses who happened to be also passing down the chestnut color. We used to live in Texas and I loved horses in my youth. My kids never cared for horses when they were little, even though I read them The Black Stallion books and everything Will James wrote. Then suddenly, after I had barely seen my son for over 20 years I suddenly find out that he had bought himself a pure Arab for use in some kind of cross-country rough riding club. So maybe there is a gene for loving horses, and his just had to come out sometime...!

Near Rahat -- the largest Beduin-Arab city in Israel (just down the road a piece -- One of the families I know raise thoroughbred Arabs and train them before selling them. The sons and sometime the old patriarch of that family can be seen carefully schooling their horses near the road into Beer-Sheva. Another branch of the family raises racing camels (as well as camels for eating) for the camel races in Saudi and the Emirites. You would love them. The Arabic horse is one of the loveliest creatures in the world -- almost as lovely as my cats.
post #20 of 22
From everything I have read, the spotting gene has to do with the tabby pattern. I would imagine with more studies we could find out weather a true spotting gene is there. Although I have been learning genetics, it is a very slow process for me.
You know, I don't see why personality couldn't be effected by color. I know enviroment does play a huge roll and so does inherited behaviors. I tend to lean more twards a sex&color gene that effects the personality.Male calico cats are very rare and female reds are also rare. The red females I have encountered are pretty snotty. I sometimes like to think that the fact that my two tortie females are sometimes on the cranky side is the red color. Of course I don't think I will be around when they finally do studies to prove or disaprove these things.
post #21 of 22
Sandie -
Yes, I agree it's tempting to try to link colour with temperament. When I was a child I had a tortie (female of course) and she was my first great cat love, in fact the one who really cemented my great love for cats, even though I was brought up in a predominantly dog-owning family that liked cats well enough, but always believed that dogs were more important. I don't think they ever were for me, looking back 50 or so years, cats were always number one. Anyway, I have had a great many wonderful cats in the meantime but amazingly, never another tortie, and because of my childhood cat, it's always in the back of my mind that they have superior temperament. My next cat is definitely going to be a tortie (provided I get any say in the matter). It's about time after all those years.

Catherine -
Interesting about the Arabs. They were my first commercial horse venture back in the 60s, I had a really top Arab stallion, brought for a pittance, he went on to be undefeated in Queensland for two years and could well have been the best in Australia when he was at his top, it was too far to take him south to the big shows down there to prove it, though good judges said he would have taken some tossing in any show ring in Australia. The show world is not a nice place though, and I grew right away from it after a few years. Your son sounds like he does endurance riding (competitive) or trail riding (non-competitive). I did both myself, again I had a really top horse, first purebred Arabian gelding to complete the premier distance event here the 100 mile Quilty Cup back in 1971. It's not something I continued with, despite rigid vet checks I feel that endurance riding is a bit on the cruel side.
Australian camels are finding there way over to Saudi for racing purposes, I believe they're highly prized and very good. Ungainly looking things, aren't they, esp compared with a top-class Arab.
post #22 of 22
The racing camals are even more ungainly than the regular riding and meat camals. They are all legs and leanness -- like thoroughbred race horses. I guess, coming from the wild west (Texas and New Mexico), I rather like the powerful look of the quarter horse or the Arab who, for all its delicacy, is very compact.

As to torties, I don't know. I will have to watch mine. I really should be more systematic and take notes. But Sandi, I redict that we will know a great deal about behavior and physical characteristics of cats's before we take the next step in our cycles.Science is discovering things at a highly accelerated pace as the mechanical technology builds upon itself. don't dispair yet.
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