Mekong Bobtail: long-living guard cat
Interview with owner of the Mekong Bobtail
Hello. Tell me please what kind of the breed it is. Its colouring reminds me Thai cats and what’s really like?
We are a very distant cousin of Thai cats, this is an aboriginal cat breed, it comes from South-East Asia. The Thai cats come from there as well. It can be found in Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia. Few of its specimens were imported in our country. And through selective breeding, a uniform colouring, true seal point, has been achieved. The breed member with classical colouring has a sand-coloured body with pronounced points. Ideally they should be chocolate.
Should they look like on this specimen?
Yes. But in the standard there is also a blue colouring, namely a grey point colouring. And there are purple cats with red points. But the body retains a light colour all the time, it changes with age. Kittens are born with snow-white bodies without any noticeable marks. But the colouring of grown-up cats becomes more saturated over time.
And by what age do they shed their baby coats?
It happens at the age of about three months. But points begin to appear when kittens are only 5-6 days old. By the tenth day we can already see a quite distinctive point colouring. This coincides with the time of leaving the nest.
How widespread is the breed nowadays?
It’s not very common, unfortunately, since it’s a breed for true cat lovers, rather than a commercial breed. The main difference of the Mekong is its temperament. Its kindness, tenderness and attachment to the owner are expressed literally at the genetic level.
Is this a human-oriented rather than a place-oriented cat?
Can you say that it’s a companion animal?
Yes, in the case of our cat you can see it perfectly. It doesn’t run away anywhere, it quietly stays on the top of the cage rather than inside it and from there it can socialize with each and every passers-by.
And is the Bobtail’s gene independent? Or is there any kinship with Kurilian and other Bobtails, after all?
No, there isn’t any kinship with other Bobtails. The population of Bobtails is widely represented in South-East Asia. But you barely find there a solid seal point cat; most probably it will have some spots. Sometimes these spots are white, sometimes they are dark and are scattered all over the trunk. In Indonesia, on the island Lambo, we’ve seen the population of wild Bobtails of a very beautiful type. Although they’ve been purebred, they’ve also had spots.
It’s a bit like a situation with our native cats. Their traditional colouring is fairly unpopular at shows, but commercial breeders have already created cats of a point colouring and can produce whatever you want.
But according to legends a classical point colouring has been inherent to this breed for thousands of years.
Do only cats of a point colouring have blue eyes or can this characteristic be applied to the breed in general?
It’s a feature of the breed as a whole. It’s common for the entire Siam-orient all group. And there are legends that princesses who lived in Thailand chose these animals for their character, for the ability to defend and for the insensitivity to the bites of snakes. Look what a beautiful coat, it’s a real pleasure to stroke it, it reminds me a mink coat, and simultaneously it’s bulletproof, just like the Shar-pei’s skin. It has solidness, thickness and comes off the body. If someone bites, then the poison won’t go through the body. Princesses also entrusted these animals guarding duties. When they bathed they left their jewelry ashore, and the animal guarded them. And it also guarded the princess herself against the attacks of the snakes which crawled around on the shore of ponds. It’s a really active breed. Despite the fact that the leader of our gang is in the cage and demonstrates calmness, it’s a very agile cat, it needs an opportunity to run a couple of times a day.
It’s in a very good shape considering that it’s already 11 years old.
And it behaves itself as a kitten from time to time. It immediately remembers that it’s still so young and starts running around. And what does it mean, «11 years old»? They live to 25 years. So it turns out that by human standard it’s in the prime of life. It’s in its forties.
So it’s long-living cats. It’s a good choice for those who want a pet for long.
Another unique characteristic of these cats is that they remain reproductive and are capable of reproducing for as long as they live. They don’t turn senile. That’s quite normal for strong native breeds. They age at a very slow rate and stay physically fit for very long.
And how long have you had the kennel? Why and how have you selected this breed?
Our kennel is as old as this handsome guy itself. In fact, it’s all started out with it, when 11 years ago we completely unexpectedly bought this Mekong Bobtail. And we’ve taken it as a female, by the way. Neither we nor its owners have had enough experience in breeding at that time. In a couple of months it’s been discovered that it has testis that haven’t descended in time. And the funny thing is that at first we’ve named it Margot. It’s happened in 2005. So we’ve had to rename it in Gosha.
And what’s the name of your kennel?
Symaroza. We are a part of the club Karharusha.
Thank you for the interview!