Cat Breeds

Layanese Hybrid Cats Burmese Siamese Tonkinese Persian Angora Cat Breeding Program



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The term Layanese is used to describe a cross breed cat of Tonkinese and Himalayan parentage. Found mainly in Australia and unrecognized by the Cat Fanciers Association, the Layanese is a controversial "designer cat" bred by unregistered breeders outside of a breeding program.

What this means is that whilst the semi long haired mink colored coat may be desirable, these cats have not undergone testing to ensure suitability for breeding. Because of this the incidence of genetic diseases is likely to be higher amongst this hybrid than its parent breeds.

The Tonkinese parent is itself a cross between a Siamese and Burmese cat which is now a recognized breed in it's own right, as the Layanese may be some day if a recognized breeding program is established to to eliminate genetic diseases.

Where the modern Siamese has the exaggerated triangular face and bat ears, the Burmese has a much less pronounced "oriental" appearance, and is often referred to as an "Asian short hair."

Between these two extremes of Asian cat breeds lies the Tonkinese.

The Tonkinese is most common in Australia, and produces "pointed, mink and self-colored cats" who may be "spotted, ticked, tabby, tortie and tabby-tortie."

The Himalayan parent is a Persian cat with a colorpoint pattern coat. This is the long haired parent, which may be similar in appearance to a Turkish Angora, or may be the more modern, cobby type of longhair with a muscular build, round eyes, short nose and small ears.

The resulting kittens may resemble the oriental parentage, but on a stockier frame, or may have the pug faced appearance of the Persian parent with bat ears. Hair length is generally that mid length which may produce the appearance of a slightly shaggy Saimese, or of a sheared Persian cat, depending on the face shape and coloring. Although the mink color is the desired outcome, results produced range from off white to deep brown, and the pointing may be minimal or highly pronounced.

Although with supervised breeding, these results may be stabilized, at present the Layanese kitten represents a risk to it's owner in that it may be prone to polycystic kidney disease, and the parents may not have been tested for this.

Other common "designer labels" for these Himalayan/Persian and Asian cross breeds include Burmalayan, Himbur, Iranese, Mink Longhair, Mink Persian, Silkanese, Tibetane, Tonkalayan.

Mink Longhair, Mink Persia and Tibetane are the terms used by registered breeders breeding experimentally, so if this cross breed ever does achieve recognition, it will probably be under one of those names.

More about this author: Gail Seymour

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