Glossary - Royal Canin
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A

Accepted

 

Said of a characteristic accepted in a breed standard, although not necessarily sought in breeding

Active

Describes a dog that is always alert, in action, on the lookout, moving, hunting.

Affix

Name added to the name of the animal which indicate the breeders where it come from.

Agouti

 

Said of a hair exhibiting alternate light and dark areas. Agouti gene A produces striping in the fur.

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B

Barring

Stripes associated with tabby markings.

Bib

 

The part of the body including the lower chin and the chest (said of the frill of Persians).

Bicolor

 

Cat with a coat consisting of white and another color.

Blotched (Classic Tabby)

 

A term indicating the classic, marbled tabby coat.

Blue

 

Coat color ranging from blue-gray to slate gray. Chartreux cats are blue.

Blue Cream

 

The colors blue and cream must be present in equal proportions and perfectly mixed, as in the Blue Tortie, a variety with even patches of blue and cream. Blue Torties are almost always female.

Blue Point

In the Siamese, Colorpoint, and Birman, a term indicating the slate blue-gray color of the points (mask, ears, legs, and tail).

Break

 

The sharp angle formed where the bridge of the nose meets the lower forehead.

Break

 

The sharp angle formed where the bridge of the nose meets the lower forehead.

Break or Stop

 

The well-pronounced angle between the nose and forehead (see Break, Stop).

Breed

 

A subdivision of the species consisting of individuals with common hereditary characteristics. These characteristics can be morphological and physiological. Individuals are said to be purebred if they descend from parents belonging to the same breed. There are relatively few feline breeds but endless varieties. Differences between breeds of cats are morphological and, more specifically, related to coat. New breeds often arise from genetic mutations (sudden modifications that can be transmitted genetically, as in the American Curl, the Sphynx, etc.). However, many breeds would have disappeared if not for the hard work of dedicated breeders (for example, the Chartreux).

Brindling

 

White, lighter, or depigmented hairs in a color, design, or pattern. Traces of color that contrast with the base color of the coat.

Brush or Breeches

In longhaired or semilonghaired cats, the longer, denser hair on the back of the thighs.

Brush or Plume

 

A thick covering of hair on the tail typical of longhaired, Persian-type cats.

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C

Calico

 

An American term indicating the tortoiseshell and white variety (white coloring on the underparts).

Cameo

 

• Silvery cats in which the tips of the hairs are reddish-brown or cream (tipping).

 

• Silvery reddish-brown or creamticked variety.

Carbohydrates

Organic compounds whose role is essentially energy-related, although some carbohydrates still play a structural or hygienic role in the digestive tract. They are split into two categories according to their function :

  • simple carbohydrates, aka sugars (glucose, fructose, saccharose, lactose, etc) are found in fruit, flour, milk, sugar and sugar products
  • complex carbohydrates, which include starch (energy sources) and dietary fibre (needed for general hygiene in the digestive tract).

Champagne

 

The American term for the Chocolate Burmese and Lilac Tonkinese (see Honey Mink in breed section).

Chinchilla

A coat in which the tip of the hair is black, with the rest being silvery white. This is the lightest degree of tipping.
• Original Persian, with black markings, surely the result of a cross between a Silver Tabby Persian and a Smoke. Very stocky body with short legs. Round, wide head with very pronounced stop. Round green or bluish-green eyes. Long hair. Chinchilla coat: pure white undercoat. Black tipping distributed evenly over the back, flanks, head, ears, and tail and covering approximately 1/8 the length of each hair. Brick nose with black outline. Black or seal pads. In the Silver Shaded Persian, which is darker than the Chinchilla, the black tipping covers approximately 1/3 the length of each hair.

Chocolat

A fairly light chestnut-brown color common in Oriental breeds.

Cinnamon

A honey or reddish-brown coat color.

Classic Tabby or Blotched Tabby

The rings on the tail and legs are wide and wellspaced. The “M” on the forehead, the parallel stripes on the skull, and the stripes on the neck are wide. The shoulders have bull’s eye or oyster-shaped designs. Three wide bands run parallel to the spine, from neck to tail. The flanks have wide markings resembling butterflies with outstretched wings. The stomach is blotched.

Coat

 

All the hair of a mammal, considered in its external aspect (color, smoothness, softness to the touch, thickness, length ...). Felids usually have a thick, soft, supple coat. It is either solid yellowish or grayish in color, light or dark, sometimes black, sometimes spotted, striped, or marbled with a darker color on a light background.

Coat

 

The characteristics of the coat include the hair (texture, length, etc.), the color of the hair, and the placement of colored and colorless areas.

Cobby

 

A massive, stocky, short, muscular body with a wide chest and hips (Persian).

Colorpoint

 

A cat with a light-colored body and darker “points” (markings) of color on the mask (face), ears, legs, and tail. All Siamese varieties are colorpoints.

Cream

 

A very pale shade of buff, fairly common in the Persian.

Curly-coated

 

A term describing the hair found in the American Wirehair and the Rex.

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D

Dietary fibres

Components found in plants, including cellulose, hemicelluloses and pectins, that cannot be assimilated by the body. Although of no direct nutritional value, dietary fibres are nevertheless very important: insoluble fibres facilitate intestinal transit while soluble or fermentable fibres help protect the intestinal wall and fight against bacteria that cause diarrhoea.

Dilution

A paler version of a basic color: lilac, cream ...

Disqualification

 

Elimination for a fault serious enough to deny a cat a title in a show (for example, if the animal has a dyed or shaved coat or an abnormal number of toes, is aggressive, unclean, overweight, underweight, cryptorchid ...)

Domed

 

Describes the skull of a dog with a convex profile, having arched frontal bones. Example : Bedlington Terrier.

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E

Ears

 

• Medium-sized, erect (European Shorthair, etc.);
• Very large (Devon Rex);
• Folded back (American Curl);
• Set in a caplike fashion, flat against the head(Scottish Fold).

Energy

In order to function smoothly, an animal's body needs the energy contained in its food (whether animal or vegetable in origin). During digestion, food is broken down into nutrients that, once absorbed and metabolised by the body, provide energy, in prenium cat or dog food.

Energy requirements

The varying amount of energy required to compensate the body's daily energy losses. This amount depends on age, physiological status (growth, gestation, lactation...), physical activity, size of animal (in dogs) and neuter status (in cats).

Enzyme

An organic molecule with the ability to speed up or trigger biochemical reactions in the body.

Eyes

Oriental eyes: almond-shaped eyes set at a slant.

 

• White cats with orange or copper-colored eyes are not deaf.

 

• White cats with heterochromatic eyes (one blue eye and one orange eye) are deaf only in one ear.

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F

Fault

 

Any significant imperfection with relation to the breed standard and its specific features.

Fawn

 

A buff color in the black range. Delicate, pale color. Dilution of cinnamon, pale buff, light sand, slightly pinkish-gray.

 

• Fawn Point: pinkish-buff extremities.
• Fawn Tortie: ranging from cinnamon to golden honey and from reddish-brown to cream.

Feral

 

A term describing a domestic cat that has reverted to a wild state and subsists on game.

Flare

 

A white stripe on the forehead that often continues along the head.

Foreign

 

A term describing a fine-boned, long-limbed, elegant cat, such as the Abyssinian, Siamese, and Somali.

Frill or Ruff

A mass of long, dense hair around the neck.

Full Cheeks

Term describing the cheeks, particularly in the standard of the Chartreux.

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G

Gauntlets

 

White markings on the hind paws of a colored or bicolored cat, ending below or above the hock. Also called “boots.”

Ghost Markings

 

Tabby markings visible in young cats that are genetically self-colored. These markings fade as the cat reaches adulthood and sheds.

Gloves

 

Pure white areas of fur on the back of the feet in the Birman and Ragdoll.

Gold or Golden

 

A golden apricot color. Among rare colors:
• Golden Shaded: a dark apricot background with no trace of gray and with black tipping.
• Golden Chinchilla: a very warmapricot background with no trace of gray. Only the tip of the hair is black, on 1/8 of the lenght

Guard Hair

 

One of the three types of hair in a cat’s coat. Guard hairs provide insulation of a certain thickness (see Hair).

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H

Hair

 

There are several categories of hair (grouped according to the author):
• Outer coat or guard hairs (primary hairs): long, thick, straight, pigmented, spatulate at the distal end. Protective element of the coat, abundant in the upper parts of the body.
• Awn hairs (also for protection): bent at the end and pointed at the tip, giving them a clublike appearance. • Undercoat, down hair, underfur: thin, wavy, very dense hairs, for thermal insulation. A coat is called “double” when it consists of an outer coat (guard hairs) and an undercoat. Down hair is abundant in the Persian, is the only covering in the Sphynx, and is absent in the Balinese:
• Tactile hairs (called “antenna” by French writer Colette.Whiskers, vibrissae).

Hairless

 

Hereditary alopecia is rare in cats. Mexican hairless cats, a breed created by the Aztecs, were described in 1924 as follows: skin slightly wrinkled, bluish on the back, and lighter on the belly.Well-developed whiskers and light winter coat on the back and tip of the tail. In 1930, Létard studied a pair of hairless cats, describing them as having fleshy, very wrinkled, piebald slate skin. A hairless cat brought back from India was observed in 1930. In 1935, Letard studied two male hairless kittens from a litter of Siamese. He demonstrated the recessive autosomal nature of genetic transmission (hr) in this case. In 1966 in Canada, crosses in a litter of hairless cats produced only hairless cats that gave rise to the Sphynx (Canadian Hairless) breed.

Havana

A warm chestnut color.

Heterochromatic

 

Said of eyes of two different colors, for example, one blue eye and one gold eye in white Persians (see Odd-eyed).

Himalayan

 

Another name for the Colorpoint Persian. A Persian with Siamese markings. The Himalayan is a lovely cat with large blue eyes and a coat with a distinctive contrast between the points and the body.

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I

Inbreeding

The mating of related individuals (from the same family). A cross between a brother and sister can reveal defects carried by the parents but can also help to rapidly establish the characteristics of a new breed.

Ingredients

The "visible" elements (the raw materials of food) in a recipe. An ingredient can be a source of several nutrients, and improved by eliminating its components with no nutritional value.

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J

K

Kilocalorie

The unit of energy used in calculating an animal's energy requirements and the food's energy density. 1 kilocalorie = 1000 calories = 4.18 kilojoules.

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L

Laces

 

A white area running from the foot to the hocks, particularly in Birmans and Snowshoes (“boots” on the back of the leg, to the hock) (see Gauntlets, Gloves).

Lavender or Lilac

A light pinkish-buff coat color with no markings.

Length, texture

 

• Short hair (outer coat): 4.5 cm (European Shorthair, Chartreux),
• Long hair (outer coat): 15 to 20 cm (Persian),
• Diameter of guard hair (Persian):40 to 80 microns,
• Diameter of down hair (Persian):10 to 35 microns.

Lilac

A light pinkish-buff color (see Lavender). Rare color. Taupe gray or even, extremely light pinkish-buff with no ghost markings. Platinum (Burmese and Tonkinese). Lilac Persians are very light in color on the entire belly, frill, and tail. Lilac Cream: a combination of cream and lilac. Lilac Point: the extremities are pinkishbuff, the body varies from off-white to extremely light antique ivory, with eyes as dark as possible.

Lipids

The main component of fat, lipids have a high energy content in a small volume (fats, oils). They also play a functional role in the body by means of the vitamins dissolved in them (vitamins A, D, E and K) and the presence of essential life-sustaining lipid molecules (essential fatty acids).

Lynx Point or Tabby Point

 

Said of a cat with a colored coat in which the extremities (or points: mask, tail, legs, and ears) have tabby markings (Siamese, Himalayan ...).

Lynx Tip

 

A tuft of hair at the tip of the ear, a characteristic sought in the Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest Cat, and Himalayan, and retracted for the Persian and Exotic.

Lynx Tip

A tuft of hair on the ear tip.

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M

Mackerel Markings

 

A tiger tabby design. Mackerel tabby: the legs and tail have thin, tight rings, as does the necklace. The “M” on the forehead and the lines on the skull, neck, and spine are continuous, tight, and parallel. The flanks, shoulders, and thighs have either striping in a fish bone pattern or thin, even, parallel lines. The belly is spotted.

Maltesing

A dilution of pigment in the hair follicle.

Marble

 

A term used exclusively for the Bengal, a breed exhibiting a classic tabby pattern with rosettes on the flanks, markings typical of wild cats. The marbled cat, a wild cat from Asia, has marbling on the back and flanks and a lighter line on the belly marked with back spots.

Marking

 

A tabby design or striping, called “ghost markings” when it fades with age or when the cat exhibits tabby markings but is genetically selfcolored. A clearly outlined pattern on a more or less even background. The pattern is created by a group of darker or lighter hairs that form stripes, marbling, or spotting, patches on the extremities, a mask on the head, or cuffs on the feet.

Mascara Lines

Dark lines connecting to the eyes.

Mask

The darker area of the face which stops between the ears and covers the nose, whisker pads, chin, and area around the eyes. Darker parts of the face in the Siamese and Birman.

Metabolism

All the biochemical processes occuring in a living being so that it may develop and survive. Some reactions make construction processes possible by means of synthesis (anabolism), others are degradation or breakdown processes (catabolism).

Mi-Ke

 

Tortoiseshell and white (calico) variety of the Japanese Bobtail. Tortoiseshell, light reddishbrown, dark reddish brown, and black on a white background.

Micronutrients

Nutrients present in tiny amounts in food (vitamins, trace elements).

Minerals

Ina food, everything organic matter or water consists of rock salt. Collectively they are also referred to as ash. According to their level of incorporation in food, one calls them "macronutrients" (eg: calcium and phosphorus) or "trace elements" (iron, copper, zinc...).

Mink

 

The result of the influence of point and sepia genes on the self gene. The cat has darker col-oring on the points and back and lighter coloring on the body, especially the underparts, while Colorpoints have coloring only on the extremities. The eyes are blue-green, as in the Tonkinese.

 

Examples:
• Chocolate Mink: points resembling theChocolate Point Siamese, light goldenbrown body.
• Blue Mink: points resembling the Blue Point Siamese, very light steel blue body.
• Lilac Mink: points resembling the Lilac Point Siamese, very light rice flour or pinkish-buff body.

Mink

The result of the influence of point and sepia genes on the self gene. The cat has darker col-oring on the points and back and lighter coloring on the body, especially the underparts, while Colorpoints have coloring only on the extremities. The eyes are blue-green, as in the Tonkinese.

Examples:

  • Chocolate Mink: points resembling the Chocolate Point Siamese, light goldenbrown body.
  • Blue Mink: points resembling the Blue Point Siamese, very light steel blue body.
  • Lilac Mink: points resembling the Lilac Point Siamese, very light rice flour or pinkish-buff body.

Mittens

White fur on the forepaws, as in the Ragdoll.

Morphological Types

 

Terms corresponding to body type. Three different morphological types can be distinguished:

 

• Medium-limbed or medium type. Balanced, harmonious proportions. Intermediate in size. Straight profile, head (face) is round or trapezoid-shaped; slight stop, medium-sized nose, ears, and eyes. Example: European Shorthair, British Shorthair, Chartreux;

 

• Long-limbed or Oriental type. Slender body, fine bone and muscle structure, long legs, small feet. Head fairly triangular and elongated, domed profile, no stop. Almond-shaped eyes. Large, pointed ears. Long tail. Examples: Siamese, Abyssinian, Egyptian Mau;

 

• Short-limbed or stocky type. Massive silhouette, compact muscle structure. Heavy bone structure. Short legs. Wide head is squareshaped. Concave profile, domed forehead, pronounced stop, short, wide nose, angular chin, full cheeks. Round eyes. Wide, short, wellspaced ears. Short, well-furnished tail. A longhaired coat enhances the short-limbed type by making the legs appear shorter. Example: Persian.

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N

Necklace

 

Continuous or broken stripes on the upper part of the chest in tabby varieties.

Non agouti

 

A solid-colored coat. (agouti gene A is what produces stripes in the coat, always accompanied by a design called a tabby pattern). Nonagouti gene aa produces self colors (uniform over the entire length of the hair), except in reddish-brown, cream, and orange varieties. All cats, for example, those with reddish-brown or cream coats, exhibit the tabby pattern to a certain extent.

Nose Leather

The hairless tip of the nose and nostrils.

Nutrients

Simple mineral elements or organic molecules that are the components of food, each one of them being essential to the functioning of the body. According to the condition of the latter, preparing a balanced food involves making a complexe jigsaw, each piece of which is a different nutrient. Nutrients are divided into families: proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, without forgetting the most important one of all : water. Nutrients are prime elements, just like there are prime numbers, from which all conceptions of a balanced diet must derive.

Nutrition

All the phenomena by which the body breaks down food to absorb and use it for the purpose of development and survival in a given environment. Nutritional balance in food:

  • provides the energy constantly required by the body,
  • provides the materials needed to permanently build and renew organs,
  • provides small amounts of those substances that are essential to the smooth functioning of the biological phenomena permanently occurring in the cells.
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O

Odd-Eyed

 

A cat with one blue eye and one copper eye, for example. Only possible in cats with a white coat or with a colored coat with white markings (see Heterochromatic).

Odd-eyed

 

A cat with one blue eye and one copper eye, for example.Only possible in cats with a white coat or with a colored coat with white markings (see Heterochromatic).

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P

Particolored

 

A coat consisting of two or more colors, such as tortoiseshell and white.
• A coat consisting of several colors, for example, reddish-brown, white, and black.

Patched Tabby

 

A tabby coat with superimposed tortoiseshell coloring. Also called tortie tabby (see Torbie).

Pattern

A design characterizing the coat.

Pewter

 

The coat color of the Silver Shaded cat with orange or copper-colored eyes.

Point Score

 

A numbered rating of the various elements involved in evaluating a cat. A perfect score is 100. Each region of the body is assigned a number of points based on significance, in order to achieve an accurate rating. Point scores vary by breed (see point score table in Cat Fancy section).

Points

 

Colored extremities that are darker than the body, including the mask, ears, legs, and tail. A characteristic of the Siamese.

 

• Colorpoint: colored at the extremities. The contrast is variable in density and less pronounced in the Burmese pattern than in the Siamese pattern.

Protids

Protids or proteins are the only substances in the body that contain sulphur. They provide life-essential elements: amino acids, which are the building blocks of the cells that make up the body. They have a number of vital functions allied to growth, reproduction and immunity to name but three. Proteins are also required to manufacture the enzymes that trigger chemical reactions in the body.

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Q

R

Rex

 

A term describing animals with a wavy, curly coat and usually curly whiskers. Actually, this term encompasses several different mutations, both in terms of genotype and phenotype. The rex trait is always a monogenetic, autosomal trait which is usually recessive. Only the Selkirk Rex and Dutch Rex traits are dominant.

Roman

 

Said of a slightly rounded profile, especially in the Birman; the profile is arched in the Cornish Rex.

Ruddy

 

Term used in the United States to describe the original color of Abyssinians and Somalis. “Usual” is the British equivalent.

Rumpy

 

A Manx with no tail. The “rumpy riser” has one to three coccygeal vertebrae covered by a tuft of hair.

Rustiness

Traces of reddish hairs in the coat of a black cat.

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S

Sable

 

Atermused in theUnited States to describe the brown Burmese, the darkest form of the breed.

Sable

 

A chestnut-colored (brown, sable) variety of Burmese with a dark coat and a brown nose and pads. The Burmese, which arrived in France in 1956, was nicknamed “sable cat” due to its coat coloring.

Scarab Marking

 

A marking in the form of an “M” on the forehead of many foreign-type spotted tabbies. This marking is complex enough in design to evoke an ancient Egyptian scarab beetle. Also called “frown lines.”

Seal

A dark brown coat color in the black range.

Seal Point

 

A coat in which the extremities are the darkest brown possible. The body ranges from eggshell white to golden. This is the best known and most appreciated Siamese color.

Self

A solid-colored coat with no white.

Self

A solid-colored coat with no white.

Semi-cobby

 

Having a slightly longer and leaner silhouette than the cobby.

Semi-foreign

 

Having a fairly long-limbed silhouette but a relatively heavy bone structure.

Sepia

 

This color, specific essentially to the Burmese, slightly tones down the corresponding base color, making it lighter.

Shaded

The tone of the coat varies gradually, as in theBurmese.

Shaded

 

A “shaded” coat falls between chinchilla and smoke (in which most of the hair is colored), with tipping covering approximately 1/3 the length of the hair and the rest white or light-colored. Shading may appear as darker coloring only on certain areas of the coat, as the hips in Colorpoints (Siamese, Himalayan, Birman). The tone of the coat varies gradually, as in the Burmese.

Shading, Shaded

 

A “shaded” coat falls between chinchilla and smoke (in which most of the hair is colored), with tipping covering approximately 1/3 the length of the hair and the rest white or light-colored. Shading may appear as darker coloring only on certain areas of the coat, as the hips in Colorpoints (Siamese, Himalayan, Birman). The tone of the coat varies gradually, as in the Burmese.

Shell

 

In this effect, the tipping (darker marking at the hair tip) covers approximately 1/8 the length of the hair. A “shell” cat is lighter than a “shaded” cat.

Silvering

 

A silvery coat. A coat with colored tipping on a white background. If the term is not preceded by another color, such as blue silver, it indicates black tipping. In the Silver Egyptian Mau, the black spotting contrasts with a very pale silver background. In the Somali, silver black (black bands, white bands and underparts) and silver blue (blue bands, white bands and underparts) varieties are recognized. In Silver Tabbies, the affected hairs are confined to lighter areas placed between darker markings.

Smoke

 

A coat in which most of each hair is colored, with the base being white or light-colored.
• 50 to 80% of the length of each hair is colored, he rest being silver, as seen mainly in the Persian.

Smoke

 

The effect when color covers 50 to 80% of the length of the hair (black, blue, red, cream, etc.). The rest of the hair, down to the root, is a luminous, silvery white. A lovely Smoke Persian must appear to be a solid color. If the cat is black, for example, the white background should be visible only when the cat is moving or if the hair is parted.

Smoke Cameo

 

A smoke coat in which the pigmentation is orange.

Sorrel

 

Chocolate ticked coloring in the Abyssinian and Somali.

Spectacles

 

A lighter area encircling the eyes in a colored mask (Siamese, Birman, Himalayan).

Spotted

 

“Found only in the European Shorthair, this pattern corresponds to clear, non-overlapping spots that are oval, round, or rosette-shaped and vary in color or said to be “in keeping with the background color, “in the standard” (Chaudieu, 1974). Spotted tabby: Legs and tail ringed with fairly thin, tight markings. The spine may be covered either with parallel lines or spots arranged in a line. The flanks, shoulders, and thighs have spots of varying sizes and shapes, preferably round and even (like those of the ocelot or panther). In all cases, the spots must be well-separated and distinct. The belly is spotted.

Spotted

 

“Found only in the European Shorthair, this pattern corresponds to clear, non-overlapping spots that are oval, round, or rosette-shaped and vary in color or said to be “in keeping with the background color, “in the standard” (Chaudieu,1974).
Spotted tabby: Legs and tail ringed with fairly thin, tight markings. The spine may be covered either with parallel lines or spots arranged in a line. The flanks, shoulders, and thighs have spots of varying sizes and shapes, preferably round and even (like those of the ocelot or panther). In all cases, the spots must be well-separated and distinct. The belly is spotted.

Spotted (Spot)

 

Said of a coat having round, crisp, distinct spots. Spotted tabby: spotted or patched tabby coat consisting of spots on an agouti background.

Standard

The set of characteristics of the different parts of the body (head, ears, eyes, legs, tail, etc.) and coat (texture and length of hair, coloring, etc.) that an individual of a specific breed must exhibit.

Stocky

 

Having a compact body shape, as the British Shorthair.

Stop

 

The indentation between the forehead and nose; the separation between the top of the skull and the face. Depending on breed, the stop may be slight (British Shorthair), very pronounced (Persian), or absent (Oriental). A stop is less visible than a break.

Striping

 

On the tabby, distinct markings resembling fish bones.

Stumpy

Term describing a Manx cat with a tail 1 to 10 cm long and consisting of one to three caudal vertebrae, often with bone defects (“knotted tail”).

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T

Tabby

 

Tabby cats have a coat with striping, marbling, or dark spots on a light background, including:

 

• Blotched (or classic or marbled) tabby: wide, dark stripes curving over the flanks, butterfly

 

wings on the shoulders, three large stripes running

 

from the withers to the base of the tail.

 

•Mackerel (or tiger) tabby: thin, either continuous or broken stripes perpendicular to the spine.

 

• Spotted (or patched) tabby: round, even, distinct spots on a light background.

 

• Ticked tabby (Abyssinian coat): striping is almost absent and confined to the legs, necklace, or tail. Tabbies exist in all colors.

Tabby Point or Lynx Point

 

Said of a cat with a colored coat in which the extremities (or points: mask, tail, legs, and ears) have tabby markings (Siamese, Himalayan ...).

Tail

 

The domestic cat has a long tail (slightly shorter in the Persian, may be totally absent in the Manx) which is often abundantly furnished and naturally curves backward. The photos illustrate tail variations based on breed. Several Asian breeds have short tails or caudal defects. Corkscrew or pompom tail (Japanese Bobtail).

Ticking

 

Stripes of color on a single hair. Each hair has dark bands alternating with light bands. Found in ticked tabby varieties. The Abyssinian has a ticked coat.

Tiger

 

Tiger or mackerel designs are dark markings on short or long hair that appear as:

 

• Rings on the legs, tail, and chest.

 

• A single stripe along the spine.

 

• Concentric, transversal stripes on the back, running from the spine to the belly. The wild cat sports this attire, which helps it blend in with its natural surroundings.

Tipped, Tipping

 

Only the tip of the hair is colored. The following distinctions are made, depending on the ratio of the dark part to the total length:

 

• Chinchilla Persian: tipping on 1/8 the length of the hair;

 

• Shaded Persian: tipping on 1/3 the length of the hair;

 

• Smoke Persian: tipping on 2/3 the hair.

Torbie

 

A female with both tortoiseshell (tortie) markings and tabby markings.

Tortie

 

A nickname for tortoiseshell, or a combination of red and black or cream and blue. In principle this coloring exists only in females. In a Tortie Point, the coloring covers the points and must be evenly mixed.

Tortoiseshell

 

A coat with a combination of red and black or cream and blue. In principle, this combination exists only in females. Black and orange coat color. Also exists in dilute versions. A term describing a coat in which two colors are more or less distinctly intermingled in an even reddish-brown, cream, or apricot color. The color pairs include black, chocolate, or cinnamon with reddish-brown or lilac; fawn with cream ; and caramel with apricot.

Tortoiseshell and White

 

A cat with tortoiseshell coloring and white markings.

Tortoiseshell or Tortie

 

A coat with a combination of red and black or cream and blue. In principle, this combination exists only in females. Black and orange coat color. Also exists in dilute versions. A term describing a coat in which two colors are more or less distinctly intermingled in an even reddish-brown, cream, or apricot color. The color pairs include black, chocolate, or cinnamon with reddish-brown or lilac; fawn with cream ; and caramel with apricot.

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U

Undercoat

 

Fine, downy hair lying close to the body beneath the guard hairs and providing good insulation. The density depends on the breed.

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V

Van

 

American van pattern: particolor variety in which the entire body is white and only the top of the head and tail are colored. European van pattern: particolor variety in which the entire body is white except for a small colored patch, and the head head and tail are colored.

Variation

 

Any modification affecting living beings, based on a type considered “normal” or average. In cats, variations involve head shape (round in the European Shorthair, triangular in the Siamese), tail length (ranging from long in some breeds to absent in theManx), coat markings (tabby, etc.), and coat length and color.

Variety

 

A variety is a subgroup of animals of a breed that selective breeding has rendered distinct from other animals of the breed. In cats, varieties in coat color are the most common (see Persian in the breed section, for example).

Vitamin

A vitamin is on organic substance needed by the body, with no energy value of its own, and that the animal cannot synthesize in sufficient amounts to function normally. Therefore an adequate daily supply of it must be provided by the diet.

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W

Wedge-shaped

Said of a head characterized by a straight line running from the outer base of the ear to the side of the muzzle. Flat skull, straight nose. Narrow face with angular features.

Whip Tail

 

A long, thin, flexible tail tapering from the base to the tip, as in the Siamese, Sphynx, and Oriental.

Whisker Pad

 

The area of the upper lip on which whiskers grow; the fairly fleshy part of the muzzle on either side of the tip of the nose.

White

White cats with blue irises are almost always deaf (Létard, 1925).

Whole

 

Cat or dog that has not been spayed or neutered.

Wooly

 

Said of a thick undercoat on the belly, britches, or tail in Persians. The coat has the wooly appearance of the Chartreux.

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X

Y