24 February 2021

Lovely Cats - For Pet Lovers



Date of issue: 22 February 2021

Here is a set of beautiful stamps featuring cats issued by Croatia Post on 22 February 2021. This is a lovely set for pet lovers. The first Day cancellation and the sheetlet issued with this issue is wonderful.  These are very nice philatelic item for those collecting stamps on wildlife, pets and cats.

The Bengal cat

This breed of cat is a relatively new, that is, it is a cross between a domestic black cat and an Asian leopard. The people who own cats of that breed have a miniature leopard in their home. Its spotted fur and body shape resemble that of the leopard, while its behaviour has been adapted and is more similar to the behaviour of a domestic cat. Considering their father is a leopard, these cats are quite large and tall, can weigh up to 7 kg and live up to 15 years.

Their cultivation began in the middle of the last century. The first two generations, the so-called F1 and F2, are not recommended for pets because they have too many characteristics of their wild ancestor. Further generations can, with proper upbringing, become a wonderful pet in not only their looks, because their patterns are similar to those of a Leopard, but nature, too. Bengals are among the most expensive cats in the world and are one of the few breeds that love water. They like to bathe or play with water, so they need to be allowed to do so. Because they are crossbreeds, they can have health problems, and special attention should be paid to this.

These cats like to act as if they are the boss of the house and to keep things under control, but that does not mean that they are demanding, especially for cat lovers who lead an active life. Namely, these cats are constantly on the move - they like to climb, so it is important to provide an appropriate play area with climbers, a platform and scratchers. They like to play and can never have too many toys (even dog toys will do), and they will also respond to a marble as an invitation to play.

Bengals get along well with other cats, but they must be submissive because Bengals like to “call the shots". They produce a specific noise while eating or interacting with other cats. They are well suited for active families who like to be on the move and have enough space in the house, but also a garden or at least a terrace so that their pet can run off their energy and satisfy their need to move.

The Bombay cat

A relatively new breed (created 70 years ago), the Bombay is a cross between the Burmese and a black American Shorthair. Blending these two breeds from two continents created a breed of cat that resembled a miniature black panther. The breed was registered in 1976 and was named after the Indian city of Bombay which is considered the homeland of black leopards. Black leopards or panthers get their jet-black coat from melanism, a gene mutation.

The Bombay has a short coat with hair that is thick and shiny and easy to groom. You just have to brush them more often during the shedding season. When born, kittens do not have black hair, but after shedding their baby coat, its colour becomes black and shiny. These cats love warmth, so they will choose the warmest corner in the house, and they often crawl under the covers. They have large eyes, widely set on a beautiful round head usually of bronze or gold colour. Their ears are also set wide and are round, which contributes to the tame appearance of this cat. They do not have any special health problems.

Males of the Bombay cat grow to a weight of 5 kg, while adult females can weigh up to 4 kg and live up to 15 years. They grow relatively quickly and may reach sexual maturity by the young age of 6 months, but should not mate before twelfth months of age.

These cats are very intelligent and playful, although they do not have high demands for movement, so staying at home suits them. They like to play and can learn different tricks - they like to bring the ball almost like dogs, and they can be easily trained to walk on the leash, so they can enjoy outside adventures. They also get along fine with other cats, but will try to impose their dominance over the others. They get along well with all family members, but choose one person who will be their “boss”. They are a little distrustful of strangers, so they retreat to their safe place until they gain confidence.

The Egyptian Mau

In the case of this breed of cat as well, the name of the breed tells us about its origin. This cat originates from Egypt and is one of the oldest cat breeds in the world. Ancient Egyptian papyri show that the Mau cat dates back to the year 1500 BC. In other words, this breed is known for about 3500 years, but it has almost disappeared in the last century. It has been saved through determination and willpower of cat lovers, and currently there a stable number of specimens around the world.

The Egyptian Mau is a medium-sized cat breed. It can weigh up to 5 kg and has a typical lifespan of 15 to 20 years. It has a short coat that is easy to groom and has characteristic spots. Its main coat colours are silver, bronze and smoke. The spots are different in shape and arrangement in each specimen, and the "mask" on the head often has the shape of the letter M. Since their fur is short, these cats can be sensitive to cold weather and should have a warm corner in the home. Their eyes are also specific to this breed and are characterized by a beautiful green colour.

The body of the Egyptian Mau is athletic and muscular, and the hind legs visibly longer than the front, which enables them to jump very high. They are very fast and can reach speeds of up to 45 km per hour. These cats are sociable with a very strong hunting instinct thus they are not a good choice for a pet if they have to share a household with a pet rodent.

The Egyptian Mau gets along well with dogs and other cats, and they also love children. They are loyal, but distrustful of strangers. They get attached to the home they live in and to the person they perceive as the head of household. They are intelligent, so they often get people to pet them while communicating using different vocalizations, and they often show happiness by wagging their tails just like dogs. Because of their intelligence, but also their need for movement, they need a lot of toys, scrapers and climbers.

These cats are not demanding, but their diet and weight must be controlled. They should be provided the sufficient amount of food at the same time each day.

The Norwegian Forest cat

The name of the breed of this beautiful cat partly reveals its origin. It originated from a wild cat that lived in Scandinavia, especially in Norway. It is one of the most natural breeds on the planet thanks to the fact they have only been bred through natural selection. Given the harsh conditions in which it lived in the wild, it has retained some of the characteristics that make it a very popular pet today.

The Norwegian Forest cat has a semi-long coat, but there is still controversy about its origin. According to one story, these cats have semi-long coats due to their crossing with Persian cats which were brought by the sailors from their voyages, but it is also believed that semi-long coat is the result of a gene mutation. Its two-layer fur consists of an undercoat of soft fluffy fur and a topcoat of coarser fur which helps to fend off wind and rain.

Almost all fur colours and combinations are registered, except chocolate, cinnamon and their "diluted" shades. This cat sheds its coat twice a year and then needs brushing. It is a quite large cat breed, so males can often reach a weight of up to 8 kg.

The Norwegian Forest cats are very intelligent and playful, they love company and do not like to be left alone. Their companion may be another cat, but they also get along with dogs or other small animals. They are very gentle and well-suited for families with children. They like a lot of movement and mental challenges, they are curious, so during education and socialization they should be stimulated with games and toys. They are also called ‘gentle giants’ given to their somewhat wild appearance and playfulness, many are surprised by their gentleness and affection.

If you are a cat lover, they are a great choice for a pet, especially if you have plenty of space to make them a playground with climbers, scratchers and toys because they love exploring and are constantly on the move.

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