What are the differences between these two cat breeds?
Except for his dramatic black coat, the Bombay looks much like the Burmese, but with a few physical differences such as a larger, longer body and longer legs. He has a rounded head with mediumsize ears set wide apart, eyes that range in color from gold to copper, and a straight, mediumlength tail. The short, fine coat feels satiny to the touch and shines like patent leather.
Although the gene for the black coat is dominant, a sablecolored kitten is sometimes born in a Bombay litter. Some associations permit these kittens to be registered as Burmese. The Bombay is a mediumsize cat; when lifted, he feels heftier than he looks. The breed develops slowly and males may not reach full size and musculature until they are 2 years old.
The Russian Blue’s elegant yet muscular body led one cat judge to proclaim him the “Doberman Pinscher of cats.” He has what’s called a semiforeign body type, meaning it is moderate in shape, falling somewhere between the short, compact body of breeds such as Persians and the sleek angles of Oriental breeds such as the Siamese.
Large ears are wide at the base with pointed tips, the interior lined with thin, translucent skin, and rounded vivid green eyes are set wide apart. A long, slender neck segues into high shoulder blades and a fineboned body that is firm and muscular, covered with a short, thick double coat with a plush texture, often described as similar to that of a seal or beaver. If you were to run your fingers through a Russian Blue’s coat, the patterns they made would remain until they were petted smooth.
The Russian Blue stands out for its coat color. To the uninformed, he might look gray, but in cat show terms he is an even, bright blue with silvertipped hairs that make him seem to glisten. Some Russian Blue kittens are born with “ghost stripes,” a reminder of the tabby gene that all cats carry, even if it isn’t expressed in their coat, but these generally fade, leaving the cat with the solid blue coat of maturity.
The lively and affectionate Bombay loves people and is adaptable to many different environments and lifestyles. His calm nature makes him a good apartment dweller, and he is amenable to life with other pets, although he definitely wants to be a top cat. Expect to find Bombay hogging the warmest spot in the house. That includes under the covers at bedtime. Most will converse with their people in a distinctive but not loud voice.
Bombays are often good at playing fetch, and some have learned to walk on a leash. This is a smart cat who loves to play and will thrive with a family who is willing to teach him tricks, play games with him, and provide him with plenty of interactive toys.
The Russian Blue has a reputation as a gentle, quiet cat, somewhat shy, but don’t get the wrong idea. This cat may have a reserved nature, but he loves to play, being especially fond of retrieving, and enjoys jumping or climbing to high places where he can study people and situations at his leisure before making up his mind about whether he wants to get involved. Guests will not receive his immediate attention and may never see him unless he decides they are worthy of his notice, but toward family members, especially his favored person, he is ever loyal, following them through the house and even riding on a shoulder.
The Russian Blue is a sensitive cat who doesn’t like to be ignored and will be hurt if he doesn’t receive the same amount of affection he gives. Lack of attention can cause him to become anxious or fearful. While the Russian Blue loves your company, he is capable of entertaining himself during the day while you are at work. Unlike some active, intelligent breeds, he is not destructive but moves through the house with the lithe grace of a Russian ballerina. When you are at home, his subtle sense of humor and manual dexterity will never fail to entertain. Just make sure you laugh with him, not at him. He has a strong sense of selfworth and doesn’t like being made fun of.
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