Domestic medium-hair cat
AT A GLANCE: The domestic medium-hair cat
- Playful, affectionate, and independent
- Medium, muscular build
- Medium-length, double hair coat
- One- or two-colored, tabby, calico, tuxedo, or tortoiseshell
Physical characteristics of the domestic medium-hair cat
The domestic medium-hair cat has a mixed ancestry, making the breed’s exact lineage difficult to trace. The end result is a medium to large cat with a relatively muscular build and average height. Domestic medium-hair cats generally weigh 10 to 16 pounds as adults, but their size can vary. They have a slightly angular face that is softened by their fur; pointed, erect ears; large, alert eyes; and a long, feathery tail.
Domestic medium-hair cats have a unique double coat that is neither long nor short, but somewhere in between, giving them a fluffy, cuddly appearance. They can be found in any number of colors, including single colors such as white, black, or orange, two-toned such as the tuxedo or orange and white, or multi-colored such as the calico, tortoiseshell, or tabby. Their eyes also vary in color, and come in shades of green, brown, hazel, or blue.
Personality and temperament of the domestic medium-hair catGiven their mixed breeding, domestic medium-hair cats are diverse in personality and temperament. Most cats are playful, friendly, and easy-going, while others are quieter, or more independent. Early training and desensitization, including playing with their paws, ears, and face, can help kittens be more tolerant and affectionate adults, although this is not guaranteed.
Common health concerns for the domestic medium-hair catThe domestic medium-hair cat is susceptible to many of the same health concerns as their domestic short- and longhair counterparts. Some of their common ailments include:
If left to free feed, most domestic medium-hair cats will consume more food than they need and, combined with inadequate exercise, they can quickly become overweight and eventually, obese. This is a common problem in today’s domestic feline species. Obesity puts cats at risk for secondary diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, respiratory problems, and joint problems such as arthritis. If your cat is overweight or obese, seek veterinary care for a weight-loss plan. To avoid obesity in your cat, consider portioning out his food every day, nixing treats, and ensuring daily activity.
Generally diagnosed in older cats, hyperthyroidism involves an overproduction of thyroid hormone, usually caused by a tumor on the thyroid gland that is often benign but occasionally can be cancerous. Hyperthyroidism signs include weight loss, increased appetite or thirst, hyperactivity, increased vocalization, or an unkempt, matted, or greasy hair coat.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
A common ailment in many cat breeds, CKD is a degenerative disease that usually manifests later in life and is characterized by decreased kidney function over time, which can be months to years. Clinical signs are not generally seen until kidney dysfunction reaches 67% to 70%, when signs can include increased drinking or urination, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, inappetence, or an unkempt coat.
Other health concerns include:
- Periodontal disease
- Cancer, such as lymphosarcoma
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Ear mites or infections
- Bladder stones
Caring for the domestic medium-hair cat
Domestic medium-hair cats are generally healthy, robust cats who aren’t too finicky or demanding, which makes them great choices as pets for first-time cat owners. Their easy-going attitude means they will likely get along well in larger families, including those with other cats or dogs. This is especially true for kittens. If you are considering adopting an older cat, first verify his history and particularities to ensure he will be a good fit for your family.
Although their coats are not especially long, domestic medium-hair cats require regular brushing, at least weekly. Ideally, their teeth should be brushed at least three times per week and their nails clipped every few weeks.
Like all cats, domestic medium-hair cats are safest if kept indoors, but owners of indoor cats must enrich their cat’s indoor environment to prevent boredom, weight gain, and behavioral problems from developing. Scratching posts, elevated perches, interactive toys, pheromone products, and indoor “hunting” feeders will help keep your indoor domestic medium-hair cat physically and mentally stimulated.
The domestic medium-hair cat is the perfect cat for you if:
- You are a first-time cat owner
- You have a family with children, or other cats or dogs
- You are willing to devote time and effort to grooming
- You live in a small apartment or a large house
- You are looking for a playful, affectionate, long-term companion