Also known as the Highland Lynx, this cat can have long or short hair, and comes with its characteristic short tailed nature and curled ears—where some fold downwards and others curl backwards, and some also have polydactyl paws. The cats have a long and sloping forehead. The muzzle is blunt, with the Highlanders featuring a wide nose.
History Of The Highlander Cat Breed
This cat was the result of the crossing of the Desert Lynx and the Jungle Curl, leading to a unique looking breed. With the hybrid parents’ origin, the Highlander does not actually come with wild cat genes, despite the uncanny resemblance.
Highlanders are a family-friendly breed. The Highlanders are medium-to-big cats, with many cats clocking 10-20 pounds. From 1st May 2008, The International Cat Association (TICA) recognized the Highlander for competition within the Preliminary New Breed class. Eight years later, it was moved to Advanced New Breed. The domestic cat can generally thrive in different climates. However, ensure that during those hot months that enough fresh water has been provided, and there is sufficient shade.
Temperament Of The Highlander
These are affectionate pets, with a gentle demeanor and well suited to families looking for social and playful cats. The furry little guys pack a lot of energy, and lots of playtime is needed to release it. Look into getting toys to keep them preoccupied, and also actually take time out of your day to interact with the cat—perhaps play fetch while at it. This acrobatic cat also likes the attention, showing off its skills. They are easy to train, and also don’t mind getting wet, as is seen from their fascination with running water.
The feline is friendly to kids, and also fairs well with the other pets in the household, including dogs. However, always ensure that the early interactions are supervised. Starting the socialization early will pay off well, especially when kids are involved, but ensure that you properly set boundaries on both sides.
Health Of The Highlander Cat
With regards to their health, these cats don’t have breed-specific health concerns, but like all other pets, be on the lookout for any signs of pain or distress, and schedule regular wellness visits to the vet. The extra toes for the cats with polydactyl feet may be problematic. The vet can help you with developing a care routine to keep your furry friend healthy. Have a chat with your vet on starting a teeth brushing regimen that will be suitable for your pet. Read more about your cats dental health in this article.
One of the most famous Highlanders is the Scottish Fold cat. This particular breed has a gene mutation that affects its cartilage, resulting in the ear cartilage fold. The Scottish Fold also affects the other joints of the Highlander, with the resultant defects causing the animal to get degenerative joint disease that may affect them all through their lives. As the disease slowly progresses, the joints of the cat become stiff, the bones fuse together, and original movement ends up becoming more difficult. While other cats can reach their ears to clean them, this is not the case for the Highlander, due to their curled or folded nature. Here, the owner has to come in and help out, removing the wax and dirt that has accumulated in the ear of the pet, to protect your furry friend from infection.
Grooming Your Highlander
When it comes to looks, the Highlanders can have solid point colors, or lynx points, where most of the body is pale, and the extremities (the face, feet, ears, scrotum and tail) are dark. This breed is fairly low maintenance. Here, the amount of work involved depends on the length of the fur.
For the short-cart Highlander cats, grooming the fur is easy—with the occasional simple brushing being enough to remove the loose fur, reduce shedding and prevent hairballs from forming. For the Highlanders with longer fur, more regular brushing will be required. Note that you should start the brushing from an early age, so that the cat can get used to it. Training the older cats to tolerate brushing can be difficult.
Are you looking for a Highlander? Finding a breed-specific rescue group for this cat may be difficult, since they are a mixed breed of cat. Check out rescues and shelters that take in all types of cats.