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rec.pets.cats: Bombay Breed-FAQ

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Archive-name: cats-faq/breeds/bombay
Posting-frequency: 30 days
Last-modified: 12 Mar 1997

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                                 The Bombay
   _The Bombay_ is a shorthair breed of domestic cat, closely related to
   the Burmese. The Bombay is noted for its shiny black coat and copper
   eyes and for its affectionate and playful temperament.
   Copyright (c) 1994, 1995 David Thomas, All Rights Reserved.


     * History and Genetics
     * Characteristics and Temperament
     * Care and Grooming
     * Description
     * Recognition
     * References
History and Genetics

   The Bombay was developed by Nikki Horner, a breeder in Louisville,
   Kentucky. She set out to create a "miniature black panther" by
   crossing sable Burmese with a solid black American Shorthair. Her
   first attempts in the late 1950's were disappointing. A few years
   later, working with different breeding stock, she began to get the
   results that she was looking for: a cat with good muscular development
   and a very short, close-lying black coat. Recognition and acceptance
   of the new breed by the registering associations took 18 years; the
   Bombay was accepted for championship in CFA in 1976.
   Bombay breeders frequently outcross to Burmese to retain the body type
   and coat texture. Almost no one outcrosses to American Shorthair any
   more, because it is very easy to maintain the (dominant) black color
   in the Bombay lines and such outcrosses would usually result in
   undesirable body type. Some associations no longer permit outcrossing
   to American Shorthair.
   As a consequence, the Bombay shares many physical characteristics with
   the Burmese. Nikki Horner considers the Bombay a "black Burmese", but
   other breeders point out the physical differences. Bombays tend to be
   a little larger, with longer bodies and longer legs than the Burmese,
   and have a less pronounced nose break.
   The gene for the black coat is dominant, but many Bombays still carry
   the sable color as a recessive. A sable-colored kitten may appear in a
   litter from a Bombay x Bombay breeding. If both of the parents are
   heterozygous for black, one in four kittens will be sable, on average.
   A Bombay x Burmese breeding will frequently produce some sable kittens
   along with the black ones.

   The Bombay also shares many of the behavioral characteristics of the
   Burmese. They are adaptable to apartment living and are generally
   calm. A Bombay will often accept dogs in the household more quickly
   than it will adapt to the other cats. The Bombay often wants to be the
   dominant cat in the household.
   They are intelligent, actively seek interaction with humans and love
   to play games. Many retrieve and do tricks. Some have been sucessfully
   leash-trained. Like Burmese, Bombays are heat-seekers, and often like
   to sleep under the bedcovers.
   Both Bombays and Burmese have a voice that is distinctive, but not as
   loud or harsh as the Siamese voice. Some individuals are quite
   talkative, but others rarely vocalize.
   Bombays reach sexual maturity relatively quickly, so owners should
   plan on spaying females and neutering males between 6 and 9 months of
   age. A few males have been known to sire litters at 5 months of age.
   Their physical development, however, is somewhat slower. A Bombay male
   may not reach his full muscular development until he is almost two
   years old. An adult Bombay male will typically weigh between 8 and 11
   pounds; females between 6 and 9 pounds.
Care and Grooming

   Bombays generally have strong appetites. While most Bombays can
   free-feed without becoming overweight, some Bombay owners find that
   they must ration the food or switch to a low-calorie feed. Most
   breeders use and recommend a high-quality dry food, but will
   supplement this with raw meat to put on more muscle for showing. The
   use of raw meat is risky, however, because of the danger of
   The tight, short coat sheds very little and requires practically zero
   maintenance. The Bombay is completely capable of grooming itself, but
   a rubdown with the palm of your hand or a rubber brush is always a
   welcome activity. There is very little seasonal variation in the coat.
   In preparation for showing, exhibitors generally bathe the Bombay
   three to four days before the show. This gives the coat time to
   recover some of the natural oils that help give it the proper sheen
   and texture. On the day of the show, a rub with a chamois cloth puts a
   final polish on the coat. No texturizers, glosses, or powders are ever
   needed on the Bombay coat.

  Bombay Breed Standard (paraphrased from CFA and TICA standards)
   The ideal Bombay is a medium-sized cat with substantial bone
   structure, good muscular development, and having a surprising weight
   for its size.
   The head is round and medium-sized, with no flat planes or sharp
   angles. In profile there should be a moderate stop; the forehead is
   rounded, but not domed. The nose indentation does not form a 45-degree
   angle, it is not to be considered a break, but there is an indentation
   above the bridge, thus forming the change in direction from the
   rounded forehead to the muzzle. The nose should be slightly rounded
   down at the tip. The muzzle is short, but not "pugged" or "snubbed".
   The chin should reflect a normal bite; neither receding nor
   The ears are medium-sized, and wide-set, broad at the base and
   slightly rounded at the tip; tilted slightly forward when alert.
   The eyes are round, large and wide-set. The eye color should range
   from gold to copper, with greater brilliance and depth of color
   The body is medium-sized, neither cobby nor rangy. The legs are well-
   proportioned to the body, with rounded feet. The chest should be ample
   and rounded. The back is level from shoulder to tail. The tail should
   be neither short nor long and whippy.
   The coat is short and close-lying, with a fine, satin-like texture,
   and patent-leather sheen. The color should be black to the roots.
   Allowance should be made in coat color and texture for kittens and
   younger cats up to two years of age.
   Faults which are grounds for disqualification (withhold all awards): a
   kinked or abnormal tail; incorrect number of toes; extreme exotic-type
   nose break; nose leather or paw pads other than black; lockets or
   spots; green eyes.
  Comments on the Breed Standard
   Although the CFA and TICA standards are worded similarly, there is a
   difference in the emphasis on the various features mentioned in the

    HEAD AND EARS                     CFA   TICA
       Roundness of head                7     10
       Full face and proper profile     7     10
       Ears                             7      5
       Chin                             4      5
       Placement and shape              5     10
       Color                           10     10
       Body                            15     20
       Tail                             5      5
       Legs                             -      5
       Shortness                       10      -
       Texture                          5     10
       Close-lying                      5      5
       Color                           20      5

   As in most breeds, it is difficult to correlate these point scores
   with the way cats are actually judged. The imprecise wording of the
   standard allows the judges considerable latitude in interpretation. In
   practice, there is a great deal more emphasis placed on head shape in
   CFA. This means that Bombays from "traditional" bloodlines, which
   typically have longer muzzles, might fail miserably in CFA
   competition, but become regional or even international winners in
   TICA. This is true in Burmese, as well.
   One is likely to see a significant variation in eye color, even in
   show-quality cats. Many award-winning Bombays actually have gold eyes.
   The standard calls for a brilliant copper color, but this is very
   difficult to achieve. It is thought to be the product of at least two
   genes: one for color and one for intensity. In addition, there is a
   tendency for this eye color to fade or turn green in some individuals,
   particularly in males around 3-5 years of age.

   American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA),
   Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA),
   Cat Fanciers' Federation (CFF),
   The International Cat Association (TICA).
   The Bombay has "experimental" status under the GCCF, but interest in
   the Bombay in the UK is growing.

   _  Magazine Articles_
       "Lucky Black Cat -- The Bombay", Cat Fancy, July 1981, pp. 29-32.
       "The Bombay", Cat Fancy, January 1988, pp. 36-41.
       "The Bombay", Cat Fancy, October 1993, pp. 24-25.
   _  Breed Associations_
       International Bombay Society
       Suzanne Zwecker, Secretary
       5782 Dalton Drive
       Canandaigua, NY 14425
   _  Breeders_
       There are a relatively small number of Bombay breeders in the
       world, and most produce very few kittens each year. You probably
       will have to get on a waiting list. If a breeder is not able to
       provide a kitten within a reasonable time, he or she may refer you
       to another breeder.
       Disclaimer: These breeders have been recommended in good faith by
       the author of this article. However, you are still responsible for
       verifying that a particular breeder meets your needs to your
       satisfaction. Additional breeder listings can be found in "Cat
       Fancy" and "Cats Magazine" in the US and Canada, and in "Cat
       World" in the UK.

	Louis and Joan Simmons
	(512) 263-2644

	Karen Simpson
	(805) 664-4744

	Fenton and Judy Kovic
	(903) 569-3793

	Gerard Scardino, MD
	(713) 665-1518

	Kats 'n' Klamms
	Ron and Wendy Klamm
	(318) 261-0835

	PiR2 Cattery
	Suzanne Ress
	(617) 629-2769

	Robin Williams and Lyn Schnug
	(206) 325-0269

	David Thomas and Deborah Reed
	(713) 499-1924

	Bob and Carol Winston
	(214) 404-1424

   Bombay FAQ                                   
   David Thomas,
   Last modified: 10 November 1994

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