When I got my first RagaMuffin, one of the things I noticed on RagaMuffin breeder websites is that none of the cats looked alike. Coming from a background of pedigreed dogs, I found that odd. But, after consideration, I realized that this breed was still in development. When I made the decision to throw my hat into the breeding ring, one of my objectives was to develop “type”.
What is type? Type is what sets an animal of one breed apart from other breeds. As a Labrador judge, I should be able to look at a dog and recognize immediately that it is a Labrador and not a Golden Retriever, a Newfoundland or any other breed. In most cases, this is easy as breeders have been working on this for many generations. The foundation of type in a Lab is known as head, coat and tail. These three features are very important in the written standard.
In RagaMuffins, I had to look at what was bred before me, read the written standard and develop my eye for what I felt an ideal specimen of the breed should look like. The standard addresses everything from head shape to coat texture. One feature that stood out to me was “sweet “ looking when describing various parts of the cat.
In breeding, meeting the standard for looks is important, otherwise, why have a breed? But, health and temperament are just as important. So the goal of a breeder should be to put it all together. For me, the eyes are the primary feature that makes a sweet looking cat. That doesn’t mean other features can be ignored, just that the eyes are a focus for me.
In spending time with my cats last night, I took some quick snapshots with my phone of one cat and a number of kittens from different litters of varying ages. Some of the kittens are outcrosses. The thing that stood out to me is that they really resemble one another even though they are different combinations of bloodlines with high heterozygosity. Let me know what you think.