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Highlander

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Is the Highlander right for you?

The basics:
The Highlander is a new breed of cat, and they’ve quickly become known and loved for their clownish, playful, and affectionate personality. They’ve been described as dog-like in temperament, but the Highlander is all cat, and a distinctly good-looking one, too! Though fully domestic, the Highlander has a wild bobcat-look, with a short bobbed tail, and long, powerful back legs. However, you’ll probably never see a bobcat with the Highlander’s distinct and unique backwards-curling ears or extra toes, or one with the loving companionship that the Highlander provides!

This gregarious breed finds its roots in the Highland Lynx, a breed currently only recognized by the Rare and Exotic Feline Registry. While the breeds are quite similar, the Highlander distinguishes itself by having a traceable pedigree through The International Cat Association. This has allowed the Highlander breed to establish specific and strict breed standards, a process that developed the Highlander independently of the Highland Lynx, and distinguished them as their own breed.

Appearance / health:
The Highlander is a medium to large cat, weighing between 10-20lbs, though males have been known to get even larger. Their substantial frame is muscular and athletic, with their powerful back legs boosting their hind end a little higher than shoulder level. The tail is naturally short, rarely longer than 4” and may have kinks and curls, or it may be lacking entirely. The Highlander’s feet are large with prominent knuckles, and the breed has a tendency towards extra toes (polydactyly). The toes may be tufted with longer fur.

The head appears slightly longer than it is wide, with a long, sloping forehead, a wide nose, and a boxy-looking muzzle. The eyes are wide-set and large, with flattened-oval-shape and slightly angled. They come in a wide array of colors from gold to green to blue, with color generally corresponding to coat color. The Highlander’s ears have a loose, backwards curl, though some may be born with straight ears. The curl should be no greater than 90 degrees, and may be much looser.

Highlanders come in both long and short-haired varieties. The short-haired coat is dense with an undercoat. The long-haired coat may be shaggy, particularly on the belly. They are most often tabby-patterned, and even pointed coloration expresses underlying tabby stripes. They can be mackerel, spotted, or marbled tabby. Solids, tortoiseshell and silver/smoke are also possible. All colors are acceptable.

Highlanders are overall a healthy breed, but they may get a natural waxy build-up in their ears that will need to be cleaned out regularly. It’s also important to know that some Highlanders have a bad reaction to the Ketamine anesthesia, and alternatives should be discussed with your veterinarian.

Behavior / temperament:
Clownish and fun-loving, the Highlander isn’t one to sit around. They’re playful, though their favorite games are ones they play with you. They love to jump and chase things, and many even enjoy a game of fetch. This is a very people-oriented breed that likes to be the center of attention, and you shouldn’t consider a Highlander unless you enjoy spending lots of time with your cat. They’re also an intelligent breed, so if you leave them alone for long periods of time or neglect them, expect that they will find ways to entertain themselves that you don’t always approve of.

The Highlander is confidant and social, and they’re likely to greet you and your company at the door. They make great family cats, andthey often enjoy the attention they get from children. They aren’t overly bothered by a noisy household. They also do well with other pets.

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