This is the most frequent email we get from exotic cat owners: “Hey, I’m really in over my head here!  I got this thing as an infant. I bottle-raised it. Everything was great. But I can no longer handle this cat. I cannot housebreak it. It tries to attack people. I just don’t know what to do with it.'” This was an actual quote about a Serval, but we have had hundreds of similar letters about every kind of exotic cat.


Ligers enjoy swimming, which is a characteristic of tigers, and are very sociable like lions. Ligers (and tigons) exist only in captivity because the habitats of the parental species do not overlap in the wild. Historically, when the Asiatic Lion was prolific, the territories of lions and tigers did overlap and there are legends of ligers existing in the wild.
Hi Farhood, thanks for reaching out to us! Thanks for taking care of this little stray 🙂 If you say she doesn’t display any of the symptoms and is eating well, it wouldn’t seem like she has any underlying issue. That is pretty hot, so make sure she has an area nicely covered by shade (plants, garden, etc). She isn’t panting, is she? Panting shows signs of heat exhaustion. Here, please read our article on keeping cats cool in the summer. Hope it helps! Best of luck.
A tigon is a hybrid cross between a male tiger (Panthera tigris) and a female lion (Panthera leo). Thus, it has parents with the same genus but of different species. The tigon is not currently as common as the converse hybrid, the liger.The tigon’s genome includes genetic components of both parents. Tigons can exhibit visible characteristics from both parents: they can have both spots from the mother (lions carry genes for spots—lion cubs are spotted and some adults retain faint markings) and stripes from the father. Any mane that a male tigon may have will appear shorter and less noticeable than a lion’s mane and is closer in type to the ruff of a male tiger. It is a common misconception that tigons are smaller than lions or tigers. They do not exceed the size of their parent species because they inherit growth-inhibitory genes from the lioness mother, but they do not exhibit any kind of dwarfism or miniaturization; they often weigh around 180 kilograms (400 lb).

Congestive heart failure is a life-threatening disorder which occurs when the heart doesn’t pump blood as efficiently as it should which causes fluid to back up in the lungs and abdomen, while other organs don’t receive enough blood to function properly. It can be caused by heart diseases such as cardiomyopathy, heartworm, myocarditis, endocarditis, congenital disorders, high blood pressure, tumours, hyperthyroidism and acromegaly.


Lots of places claim to be breeding cats to save them from extinction when in fact they are not involved in any real conservation effort and rather are justifying their breeding to have babies who will bring in paying visitors and worse yet to sell.  Many people contact us each week saying they want to start a captive breeding program to save the cats from extinction, but the only viable programs currently being operated in such a manner as to accommodate this goal are being run by accredited zoos who will not work with the private sector.  Unless you can trace your cat’s pedigree all the way back to the wild and you have been accepted into the Species Survival Plan for that specific breed, you will not be aiding conservation, but rather will be contributing to the over abundance of unwanted animals.

Thank you for your email. Without seeing Sharleen, I can't recommend any medication or therapies for her, and many OTC pain medications are toxic to cats. Your veterinarian will be able to recommend something for her discomfort since they have seen her and know her history. It would be a great idea to call them and let them know that you think she is in pain, and follow any recommendations that they may have. I hope that everything goes well for her.


Pleural effusion is an abnormal buildup of fluid up in the pleural cavity, the thin fluid-filled space that lies between the lungs and the chest wall. It is a symptom, with an underlying disorder causing this fluid to build up. The buildup of excess fluid leads to difficulty breathing, due to the inability of the lungs to fully expand. Causes include congestive heart failure, liver failure, fluid overload, blood clotting disorders (usually due to ingestion of rat poison), lung lobe torsion, pulmonary edema, and diaphragmatic hernia.
Thank you for your email. Since Tortie was just seen by your veterinarian and was deemed healthy, her periodic bouts of rapid breathing may be normal, and may follow bouts of exertion or anxiety. If the periods that she is breathing rapidly become more frequent, or more severe, it would be a good idea to have her seen by your veterinarian and examined to make sure that she is okay. It might be helpful to video the episode, since she doesn't seem to breathe that way when she is at an appointment. I hope that she is okay!
^ "Colorpoint Longhair" has multiple meanings and "Javanese" has been used for at least one other breed; the WCF uses the "Javanese" name for the Oriental Longhair (not colorpointed). The WCF has also merged the colorpointed Javanese/Colorpoint Longhair, the Himalayan and the Colourpoint Shorthair of other registries into a single breed, the Colourpoint. In the CFA, the TICA and some other registries, the Javanese/Colorpoint Longhair has merged back into the Balinese as a division
My cat seems to be a really healthy cat. I recently brought him to the vet and he had a physical exam done. They didn't find any problems. However, I do notice that he has always been a fast breather. I have two cats, and one has always breathed faster than the other and meowed a lot more than the other. However, other than those two things he seems fine - eats well, very active, skin and fur look great, etc. Do I need to be worried enough to take him to get a blood test?
My 8 months old male cat is an outdoor cat and these days he started going outside the house fence for the first time( following my older cat) Today started raining and he came all dirty and wet and freezing. I immediately coverd him in a blanket and he’s been sleeping all day and not eating. He looks very tired and everytime I try to wake him he barely raises his head and also sometimes starts breathing very fast. Has he possibly cought a cold or maybe got injured ?? Help please 😩
My cat has started so breath really shallow more rapid breaths rather than his normal breathing rate and depth. The only thing I can think of that has occurred in the last couple of hours is that my fiancé fed him along with our other two male cats some beef tendon which she has done before. The other two cats are just fine. Kingston however seems to be having a hard time taking a full breath and breathing at a normal rate. I checked his mouth and did not see anything. He isn’t active like normal and will only sit in one spot and not move. I picked him up and held him in front of his back legs and behind his front legs and he let out a slight meow as to not like that. I am not sure what to do for him. We have some allergy medicine but I do not know if that would help in any way. I couldn’t even get him to take a treat which he never turns down. Please help.
They appeared under the name Archangel cat and competed against other shorthair cats. Though they are a shorthaired cat breed, it is not believed that they are related in any way to other shorthaired solid blue breeds (Korat, Chartreux, and British Blue) as their coats are very different. In 1912, the GCCF (Governing Council of Cat Fancy) recognized the breed as a breed of its own and gave it its own class called Foreign Blue. The breed grew in popularity but World War II almost completely wiped out the breed. After the war, breeders set forth to revive the breed and began to outcross with other breeds. Russian Blues were mated with British Blues and blue point Siamese.
Congestive heart failure is a life-threatening disorder which occurs when the heart doesn’t pump blood as efficiently as it should which causes fluid to back up in the lungs and abdomen, while other organs don’t receive enough blood to function properly. It can be caused by heart diseases such as cardiomyopathy, heartworm, myocarditis, endocarditis, congenital disorders, high blood pressure, tumours, hyperthyroidism and acromegaly.
Breathing rates may change for a variety of reasons and in some sleeping positions the airway may be slightly occluded which may result in altered breathing but without examining Kiki I cannot say for certain whether it is something to be concerned about or not. As for drinking, some cats may drink less that are on a wet food diet but you should ensure that she is keeping hydrated; you should visit your Veterinarian for a general check about the breathing and they can also check the hydration too. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
Thank you for your email. Without seeing Sharleen, I can't recommend any medication or therapies for her, and many OTC pain medications are toxic to cats. Your veterinarian will be able to recommend something for her discomfort since they have seen her and know her history. It would be a great idea to call them and let them know that you think she is in pain, and follow any recommendations that they may have. I hope that everything goes well for her.
^ Somerville, Louisa (2007). The Ultimate Guide to Cat Breeds. Edison, New Jersey: Chartwell Books. p. 44. ISBN 9780785822646. There is a lot of confusion surrounding the use of this name in the cat world, although it is always used to describe cats of distinctly Oriental type. It has been adopted simply because of the tradition which has grown up for using the names of countries and islands from south-eastern Asian for other Oriental breeds, such as the Siamese and Balinese.
Russian Blue cats can take care of and amuse themselves when their owners are away or preoccupied, but they do expect a lot of “me” time and play when you or your family members get home. Moreover, this breed doesn’t like to be ignored and demands equal affection from the one he or she gives. The cat can become overly anxious, stressed or fearful if you don’t pay attention for long periods of time.
The Bengal cat is a considerably older breed than the others in this list, but as a breed derived from a wild cat hybrid, it is worth a look. The Bengal breed, which developed from a cross between a domestic cat and an Asian leopard Cat, is also the starting point for other breeds in this list. There have been stories of naturally occurring crossbreeds in Asia from way back, with the oldest confirmed case in 1934. The breed as we know it began with geneticist Jean Sugden-Mills, who crossed ALCs with domestic cats in 1963. Twenty years of breeding resulted in the breed that was accepted as truly domestic by TICA. Bengal cats are large cats with distinctive markings. Generations F4 and beyond are considered to be good house pets.
A stray cat showed up at my house a couple days ago. She is very thin and I've started her on small throughout the day. She is eating, drinking, voiding, and stooling okay. Eyes, ears, and nose are all clear. The only major thing I've noticed is rapid breathing when purring or stress (loud noises make her skittish). I have pets of my own and really cannot afford a costly vet visit, and our local shelter and a rescue are overwhelmed with companion animals at this time. I've started her on antibiotics and am keeping her isolated from my own pets. My daughter has asthma and this looks very similar. Any advice? I've found out that her previous owner passed away and a neighbour tried to bring her to her house, the cat bolted and they couldn't find her, 3 weeks later she showed up at my place. She is a spayed 5 year old female who was up to date on shots.
A tigon is a hybrid cross between a male tiger (Panthera tigris) and a female lion (Panthera leo). Thus, it has parents with the same genus but of different species. The tigon is not currently as common as the converse hybrid, the liger.The tigon’s genome includes genetic components of both parents. Tigons can exhibit visible characteristics from both parents: they can have both spots from the mother (lions carry genes for spots—lion cubs are spotted and some adults retain faint markings) and stripes from the father. Any mane that a male tigon may have will appear shorter and less noticeable than a lion’s mane and is closer in type to the ruff of a male tiger. It is a common misconception that tigons are smaller than lions or tigers. They do not exceed the size of their parent species because they inherit growth-inhibitory genes from the lioness mother, but they do not exhibit any kind of dwarfism or miniaturization; they often weigh around 180 kilograms (400 lb).
Example a amazing Maine Coon can cost $1,200 (Parents HCM tested, fixed, shots, everything!) compared to a sickly Maine Coon (Parents not tested, no shots, not fixed and not pretty) post on a classified site that is $500. Some people blame the kitten mills, but the person to blame is some one funding those places. You can do the research, you can pick some one upholding proper ethics.
^ Somerville, Louisa (2007). The Ultimate Guide to Cat Breeds. Edison, New Jersey: Chartwell Books. p. 44. ISBN 9780785822646. There is a lot of confusion surrounding the use of this name in the cat world, although it is always used to describe cats of distinctly Oriental type. It has been adopted simply because of the tradition which has grown up for using the names of countries and islands from south-eastern Asian for other Oriental breeds, such as the Siamese and Balinese.
You shouldn’t notice breathing rates over 40 breaths per minute in a resting cat; an increase in respiration may be due to inadequate airflow, malpositioning of the throat, respiratory infection, heart issues among other causes. Without examining Roxanne I cannot say for sure what is happening, keep a close eye on her and if you decide to have her fixed speak with your Veterinarian then. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
If Mya started panting after playing suddenly, that may be a sign that something might be wrong. If is has been hotter than normal, and suddenly, that might explain the panting. It is difficult to say without the ultrasound whether she has a problem or not, unfortunately. She seems quite healthy otherwise, but if the panting is a dramatic change, having the ultrasound will let you know what is going on with her.

Last, but maybe most important is, if you can pay to see wild cats on your terms (ie: cheaply, in a cage, or being forced to let you touch them and have your photo with them or their young) then you aren’t learning anything about who these animals really are. You aren’t learning about how they fit into a complex environment when they are housed in a situation that does not duplicate all of the web of life that they are a part of in the wild. All wild cats roam territories that are calculated in miles, not square feet. To know anything about them, you have to see who they are in their real environment.
My cat has been sleeping at the foot of my bed as he gets older; keeping a closer eye on him. This morning he literally woke from sleep and started dry-heaving, followed by a deep and heavy shortness of breath. I thought he may have been overheated some but now when he is calmly breathing, he lets out what sounds to be a slight and quiet whimper. What is wrong with my kitty? He has been my right-hand (paw) wingman for years and I’m afraid of losing him... please help!
Pyothorax (pleural empyema) is the presence of pus in the pleural space in the chest cavity, the thin, fluid-filled space that lies between the lungs and the chest wall. Any pathogenic organism can cause pyothorax including fungal, viral, bacterial or protozoal; however, a bacterial infection is by far the most common pathogen. The collection of pus is due to dead white blood cells and dead bacteria. Common bacteria involved in pyothorax include Pasteurella spp (the most common), Nocardia spp,  Streptococcus spp, Clostridium spp, Proteus spp, Bacteroides spp and Mycoplasma spp.
Lethargy and increased respiratory rate are not specific symptoms as they are shared with many conditions; however I’m concerned that they are a common sign that an animal is in pain, but without examining Marilyn I cannot say whether she is in pain or there is another cause for the symptoms. You should visit your Veterinarian for an examination to be on the safe side especially if this has been going on for a day or more. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
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