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I was at a cat show recently and I enjoyed looking at all the beautiful cats, however when I got to the Siamese I was shocked. I know they have pointed heads but these cats were very 'extreme' and ratlike. Surely this is unnatural and uncomfortable? It reminded me of a photo I had seen of a Siamese from the 70s with a much rounder head. I believe these are called Classic or Applehead.
I have heard of other breeds that have been altered over the years, for example Chinchilla and British Shorthair.
What does everyone think about changing the look of breeds? Should the old version be kept, or a 'new look' introduced?
 

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well i think it depends.... (i'm really tired from studying finals week...so i dont know if i'll make sense) If its change for the better, making them healthier in one way or another, its a good thing..and maybe the standards should be changed..... But if its just for looks, and its pretty different, then they probally should aply for a new breed or classification. I havent been to a cat show, but i've watched that eukanewba one for dogs all the time ;) So like how they have a long haired version, and a short hiared version of the same dog, or different sizes of dogs, i suppose they could do the same thing with different aspects of the cat as well.

Although i think i'd like to see a bigger version of a cat out :D like big boy MAX :D one to make all the doggies run the other way!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I agree. I was thinking more of the animal's quality of life - it seemed to me that these cats might have difficulties eating or breathing. Also I have heard that new-style Siamese have more behavioural problems.
 

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I agree Tibber,
I don't think they should change it just to make them structurally different without a reason of health concerns and they should make it a new class or breed. Thats strange why would they want to make it look like a rat those suckers are so ugly!
 

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I have two Classic Siamese, and I hope I'm not stepping on anyone's toes, but I do not like the look of the Wedgehead Siamese at all. I get very upset when I see the running eyes and noses of Himalayans also.

The purpose of breeding is sustain the breed, and to improve the health, appearance, and personality of the animal (dog or cat). It's tragic when their health suffers for the sake of extreme change. :cry:
 

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There are many ways to interpret a breeds standard. For an example: A standard can say that a breed should have big ears. What´s big for me may not be big for my neighbour. As long as the change doesn´t effect the health in a negative way change can be good. If the type before was better people will go back to that type.

Just with the devon rex people have different ways to interpret the standard. Many give priority to the type while others (others including me) gives priority to the fur. What is a devon rex without it´s wavy wonderful fur? A sphynx.

The persian should have a very short nose. How short? Many of todays persians have a nose flat against the face and more and more breeders (of persians) are trying to get more nose on the persian, is that negative? The devon rex should have a very short nose but we´re not even close to the persians short nose and we´re not looking to get there either.

Most of the breeders of today is looking for the perfect cat. The problem is that we humans tend to never get satisfied.

As long as the breed stays healthy (at least doesn´t get sicker) I´m not against change as long as it stays to the standard.
 

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Sol, I agree that as long as there are people, there will be different tastes. However, with all due respect, I'd like to offer these points:

The breeders of doll-faced Persians(longer nose, as I'm sure you know) are sometimes attacked verbally for raising them. I know of a few cases of real intimidation. IMO, the running eyes and nose of the flat-faced Persian tells us nature didn't choose that conformation, and it is making the animal uncomfortable. I'll have to research that.

There is no use even showing a Classic or Applehead Siamese, but their look is essentially how they appeared 50 years ago.. The wedgehead is a man made look.

About the standard. If the standard is open to that much interpretation, a straignt back could be interpreted as a spine with no natural curve. In a human being that causes pain felt around the heart. My mother and daughter had that very problem.

The small eye of the collies (I bred and showed for ten years) led to detached retinas and microthalmic eyes. (For those who are not familiar with that condition, the eye is blind, and so tiny the eye doesn't open. If you open it surgically, it looks a bit better, but is useless.) These radical changes can prove to be devastating. The animal is more important than our taste. If we want radically different animals, it would be better in most cases to buy another breed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
One of my friends has a Persian. It's a very sweet natured cat but the shape of its face means that the tear ducts are blocked, so it often has very messy runny eyes. In all other respects it is a beautiful, lovely cat. Surely breeding any animal so that it has to suffer for purely aesthetic purposes is cruel.
 

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Sol, I agree that as long as there are people, there will be different tastes. However, with all due respect, I'd like to offer these points:

The breeders of doll-faced Persians(longer nose, as I'm sure you know) are sometimes attacked verbally for raising them. I know of a few cases of real intimidation. IMO, the running eyes and nose of the flat-faced Persian tells us nature didn't choose that conformation, and it is making the animal uncomfortable. I'll have to research that.

There is no use even showing a Classic or Applehead Siamese, but their look is essentially how they appeared 50 years ago.. The wedgehead is a man made look.

About the standard. If the standard is open to that much interpretation, a straignt back could be interpreted as a spine with no natural curve. In a human being that causes pain felt around the heart. My mother and daughter had that very problem.

The small eye of the collies (I bred and showed for ten years) led to detached retinas and microthalmic eyes. (For those who are not familiar with that condition, the eye is blind, and so tiny the eye doesn't open. If you open it surgically, it looks a bit better, but is useless.) These radical changes can prove to be devastating. The animal is more important than our taste. If we want radically different animals, it would be better in most cases to buy another breed.
Standards will always be open for interpretations but it is every breeders responsibility to breed healthy animals. I never said it was OK to breed without consideration of the healt. Few of the swedish persians have problems with breathing, eating and eyes (problems that people often say that persians have) but the swedish persians and the american ones are very different from each other. If I may say so, the american persians have a much more extrem look and I don´t know how healthy or sick they are so I´m not gonna say anything about that.

The judges at the catshows have a lot of responsibility to. If they continously gives the most extrem animals more points than the more regular ones many breeders will start to breed the kind of cat the judges like. If it doesn´t pay off to breed unhealthy animals who will continue?

When it comes to the siamese I don´t know anything about it except from it´s looks and in Sweden it´s still a very homogene breed without anything extreme about it.
 

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Sol, You are absolutely right. The judges have to take some responsibility. There are breeders who care more about the health of the animals. But the good breeder is not supposed to have money, glory, and ribbons as his reward. It is supposed to be the good of the breed.

This is happening, but as you say, some people care only about winning. Then their stud or sire will be in demand, and so will their kittens and pups. If the more responsible breeders are going to be threatened at cat shows, (isn't that ridiculous?) and have to travel across the state only to receive that kind of treatment, why go? They should tape the threats, and hand them to the judges, who should disqualify the person threatening them or staining their reputations verbally and in writing.

When the judges know that flat faces mean runny noses and eyes, they should check to see if the tear stains have been covered somehow. If they are, the cat should be disqualified, even it the conformation is excellent. Health should be number one.

I'm glad the Persian is not so extreme in Sweden. I have had some people who breed extreme Persians tell me that their kittens with longer noses also have running eyes and nose. I have never seen one, though.
 

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I won't really pick a side because both have good points and I'm more of a person that stays mutual to debates. What I will say though is why change something that functions fine as it is? A lot a people have and always will be concerned with looks of animals. I don't mean any offense to anyone but how many times do you go to a petstore or a similar place with kittens and puppies and someone saying. "Awww! How cute!" And when it comes down to it they purchase the cuter one. I've seen and heard it a lot. You would think they would be concerned on their personality and health of the animal more then the looks. So, most any chance a lot of people have to make something look better they will take it. I always say every situation is different for each individual but some aren't. I think its ok if you have a shorthair breed that you think would be better as a long hair so you then decide to try to change that for maybe show quality reasons or a personal trait or maybe a completely different reason all together. As long as you know what your doing. Altering head/feet/body, however, I have more of a problem with. This brings me back to my starting point. Why change something that functions right as it is. If it was meant to look different it would.

I understand people that actually show their animals as a hobby or way of living and people that breed them, too. Naturally, they have a certain guideline of rules such as appearance and behavior etc. So I don't have much of a problem with small alterations if it doesn't affect the health of the animal or isn't a way to switch the breed completely. So, basically, I am a little on both sides. I see how some people would want to and why and I can agree with certain cases but I can also ask the question why change something that is fine the way it is?

I'll leave it at that. Basically, I'm balanced in the middle. I know each individual has their own reasons for being pro or con on this issue and I don't hold their choice against them as long as the have the best interest of the animal at hand. I'm sure we can all relate with that. :) Anyway, that concludes what I was going to say. It's a little drug out and long but I just couldn't summarize what I wanted to say properly. Thanks for listening and have a great day. :)

- Randy
 

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Wow, all of this was quite interesting to read and find out. I didnt even know if someone wanted to change a cats head shape that they could do so with different breeding. I sincerely hope people consider the cats health when breeding for different traits. :wink:
 

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I personally think that the wedge-faced Siamese should have another class or name. The classic Siamese is one of the most gorgeous cats out there, and there is no reason to change it. It will be really sad if that's what happens in time.

As for the persian, breeders of this cat should take a page out of Sweden's book. Runny eyes and noses aren't their only health problem, as if that weren't bad enough -- but persians often have dental problems because of the shape of their face. Extreme in this case has done nothing good for the breed, and it is kind of appalling that judges and breeders who are supposed to know more about the cat than anyone, are encouraging this.
 
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