Tag: which cat breed is best

Amazing Cat Breeds: The Buddinese

Hello and welcome to Amazing Cat Breeds™, our new column about the finest cat breeds!

Savannah. Bengal. Toyger. Lykoi.

Those are just some of the names that come to mind when the topic of discussion turns to the rarest and most singular of cat breeds, those wildly expensive designer felines who are the exclusive animal companions of people with impeccable taste and equally impressive bank accounts.

But what if we told you there’s another option that stands above the rest in beauty, temperament and exclusivity? What if we told you there’s a breed that makes the mighty Bengal and the exotic Toyger look downright pedestrian?

Enter the Buddinese, a breed so rare and so difficult to acquire, most cat fancy aficionados consider it cryptozoological.

buddy_july2020_1a
The Buddinese: A cat breed so exclusive, you’ve never heard of it until now.

What is a Buddinese?

With its stunning emerald eyes hinting at deep sapience, its graceful gait and its sleek, powerful musculature, the Buddinese most closely represents a tiger in miniature, squeezing all the ferociousness of that majestic animal into a more compact form factor.

Those who count themselves among the lucky few to know Buddinese firsthand find it impossible to agree on the breed’s finest quality. Is it the Buddinesian’s fierce feline intelligence? Its regal presence? Or is it the breed’s astonishingly silky coat, shimmering like a beach of crushed diamond under starlight?

Putting guard dogs to shame

One argument frequently employed by those lacking discernment is that dogs, those olfactorily offensive beasts, are superior companion animals because of their watchful nature and ability to neutralize unwanted intruders.

But what if we told you the growl of a Buddinese strikes fear into the hearts of even the most accomplished burglars and home invasion artists? This breed is the dictionary definition of fearless, its dread visage enough to call forth rivulets of terror-piss from those who harbor malicious intent.

With a Buddinese guarding your home, the question isn’t “Will it be a match for armed intruders?” It’s “Will it even have to growl before the unfortunate souls who entered its territory unbidden are seized by mindless dread and involuntarily evacuate their bowels?”

buddesianjungle
Apex predator: No sane person or animal would willingly confront such a powerful felid.

The Adonis of cats

It is said that it’s impossible for a Buddinese to strike a pose, for every snapshot of this wondrous cat is worthy of its own Michelangelo. If the breed existed in antiquity we’ve no doubt its likeness would be rendered in marble and gold flake, guarding the tombs of pharaohs and emperors alike.

Dragons and other mythical creatures would become redundant, for how can something as limited as human imagination improve on peak magnificence?

buddy_july_2020_03
The breed in its native habitat, where it reigns as the apex predator.

Where did the breed originate?

Unlike lesser designer cats, the Buddinese owes its existence to a singular breeder: Mother Nature. It’s said these magnificent cats are native to Buddesia, a jungle region of New York rich with fauna and flora.

Buddesia is so idyllic that Buddinese have no problem adjusting to human homes: After all, what is Buddesia if not one large, comfortable living room?

The envy of every other cat enthusiast

There’s more to a Buddinese than dashing good looks, fur that feels like Egyptian cotton and unequaled intelligence. To have a Buddinese is to have a felid who will win every cat fancy event.

Your friends think they’re special because they’ve got Persians or Siamese? That’s cute. You’ll be able to smell their jealousy as they look upon your Buddinese, wondering how they can acquire one. They can’t.

Would you like to see your cat featured in Amazing Cat Breeds™? Drop us a line in the comments with a photo of your stunning feline and a short description outlining why it’s awesome.

 

The Truth No One Will Tell You About Cat Breeds

When I was looking to adopt a cat I spent hours on the web reading about cat care, kitten proofing, behavior and, of course, breed.

Run a Google search about looking for the right cat and you’ll get several pages of nearly identical results about different cat breeds, what their personalities are like and what to expect from them.

Yet it turned out advice from a friend — who grew up with cats and has two of his own — was more accurate than anything I’d read online.

“When it comes to cats it’s a crapshoot, man,” my friend told me. “You never know what you’re gonna get.”

I wanted an engaged, friendly pet, and all the breed guides suggested Siamese are the best choice. But what I heard from shelter staffers echoed my friend’s observation: Don’t depend on a breed description because every cat is unique.

In the end I adopted Buddy, a gray tabby domestic shorthair. No particular breed, in other words. (Though he thinks he’s his own special kind of cat, and he’s not wrong.)

buddy_green
Buddy the Buddesian.

Buddy, it turns out, is vocal, bold and friendly. He’s constantly by my side. He’s got a vibrant language of trills, meows and chirps with which he shares his opinion on everything. Where other cats hide when guests are over or a delivery guy knocks on the door, Buddy runs up, curious to see who’s on the other side and if they’re going to be his newest friends.

So why is it so difficult to pin down a cat’s personality, and why don’t cats fit the behavioral profiles of their breeds the way dogs do?

The answer lies in how both animals were domesticated, and their respective paths to becoming companion animals.

Dogs have been working animals for 30,000 years. The earliest dogs helped their humans hunt and guarded their camps at night, alerting them to dangerous situations or intruders. Later, when humans domesticated livestock and developed agriculture, dogs were bred for different purposes: Some herded sheep, some scared off wolves and coyotes, others pulled sleds.

A wet Siberian Husky!
Siberian Huskies were originally sled dogs and require lots of play and stimulation. Credit: Hans Surfer

Today we’ve got dogs who sniff out explosives, drugs and diseases. Police dogs catch a scent and help officers track down suspects. Therapy dogs bring joy to the elderly, sick and injured, while guide dogs make it possible for people with disabilities to live independently.

The point is, human hands have indelibly shaped canis familiaris since long before recorded history. These days dogs are valued primarily for their companionship, but virtually every breed has a lineage that began with practicality, meaning humans shaped them for disposition and ability. A dog’s breed is a good indication of its temperament.

Cats? Not so much.

Cats are famously self-domesticated: When humans developed agriculture and began storing grain, rodents flocked to the abundant new food sources, to the dismay of early human societies.

That’s when cats just showed up, exterminating rodents while showing no interest in grain. Humans didn’t need to breed felines to hunt mice and rats — it’s as natural to cats as grooming and burying their business.

Cats didn’t take on many other jobs in addition to their mousing duties, mostly because they’re famously resistant to following orders, but their hunting skills were so valuable to early societies that they didn’t need to do anything else to earn their keep.

Because of that, no one bothered breeding cats until fairly recently, and the vast majority of cat breeding focuses on changing the way cats look, not how they behave.

siamesecat
Siamese cats originated in Siam, now known as Thailand. The breed is known for being vocal, but not all Siamese are talkative. Credit: iStock/Chromatos


We like to attribute qualities to cat breeds, and some of them are based in truth. Siamese do tend to talk more than other cats, ragdolls really do go limp when they’re picked up, and Maine Coons are famously chill despite dwarfing most other domestic cats.

But without the behaviorally-specific lineage common to dogs, cat breed behavioral attributes are more like broad stereotypes.

Beyond that, a cat’s personality is primarily determined by genetics and how they were raised in kittenhood. That’s why it’s crucial to handle and socialize kittens when they’re just weeks old, and why ferals will always fear humans.

It’s also why you should take stereotypes about cat breeds with a grain of salt when looking to adopt. If you’re adopting an adult, any good rescue will have information on the cat’s personality, likes and dislikes. If you’re adopting a kitten, you’re pulling the lever on a slot machine.

My advice is to put aside preconceptions about breeds, keep an open mind about looks, and find a cat who connects with you. Like people, no two cats are the same, and a cat’s personality is much more important than the color of its fur when it comes to bonding with an animal who will be in your life for the next 15 to 20 years.

Featured image: Natalie Chettle holds Rupert, a Maine Coone.