Cat breeds of the Civil War?

major bill

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Most of us know that purebred dogs existed before the Civil War. But what about purebred cats? Perhaps most cats at the time of the Civil War were just cat cats.
 

major bill

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Cat breeds ca. 1872. I have not found any examples of American cat shows before 1872. In the UK cat shows started in 1598.

cats.jpg
 

donna

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I did find mention of the Maine Coon. In book in 1861 it was referred to. As toh showing Maine Coons, found they were at cat show in NYC in 1895.

It hard to find actual breeds during Civil War. Know that there had to be some.

Any cat experts on forum that can add to this thread?
 

major bill

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Our cat is an American Fatty. Not sure that is a registered breed. He does look a bit like a Main Coon in coloring and type of fur.
 

John Hartwell

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Boston held a "Great Cat Show" in the summer of 1862. The following is from the Boston Evening Transcript of July 17th:
Boston_Evening_Transcript_1862-07-17_2.jpg
It doesn't quite sound like a high-class venue for true Cat Fanciers. "Premiums will be paid for the fattest* ... for cats with two heads, six legs, and two tails." I don't think there will be any entries from the London show. "Humbug & Sons" seem to be taking a page from Phineas T's playbook.


* @Major bill take note!
 
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John Hartwell

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On Sept. 11, 1865, it was announced that at Barnum's American Museum in NYC, "A 'Bull-frog Show' is to commence in the Museum on Monday next. And a Cat Show on the 9th of October. Both will be strictly moral." However "moral," I doubt that judging perfection in specific breeds was of high priority. Thus far I find no description of how the show turned out.

There are several other mentions of cat shows or cat and dog shows being planned (Providence, Hartford, Harrisburg), but no detail or mention of breeds.
 

gary

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Forgot which book but it is by a tailor’s apprentice who became a hand on a privateer. As an apprentice he made from scrap material a set of clothes for the family cat. One Sunday he was told to stay home and mind the fire. He used the time to fit the clothes on the cat. The unhappy cat dashed down a hole in the floor and could not be enticed out. The family including his master came home and much to the apprentice’s horror, the fully clothed cat emerged from its hiding place. The apprentice feared punishment but the master was so pleased he removed the cat’s clothes and displayed it in the shop’s window as a testament of the skill of his apprentice (and therefore his skill as a tailor).
 

Mrs. V

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The Maine Coon is the only cat considered “Native” to North America. For the most part I am guessing there were English Tabby’s and other cats brought over by immingrants and or ones that left the sea faring life for dry land. My father in law once said he thought all cats were tiger striped, because that was the only kind he encountered in his neighborhood!
 

luinrina

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Not a cat expert but a cat lover. Found this pic of the first winner of a cat show in May 1895 in New York:
Cosey_the_Maine_Coon_cat,_1895.jpg

Everyone, meet Cosey, a female Maine Coon brown tabby. :cat:

Here's an article about the Main Coon, with different stories about their origins and some history to the first cat shows. According to this article:
It was during the 1860s that farmers would tell stories and brag about the powers and intelligence of their Maine Coon Cats. During this decade these same farmers began having their own cat show at the Skowhegan Fair where Maine Coon Cats from all over the territory competed for the title "Maine State Champion Coon Cat."

And on this page, there's this paragraph:
Regardless of where the breed came from, the Maine Coon was one of the first breeds to be recognized by the late nineteenth-century cat fancy, and became an early favorite. Mr. F. R. Pierce, who owned Maine Coons as early as 1861, noted in The Book of the Cat that a tabby Maine Coon named Leo was awarded Best Cat in the New York City cat show of 1895 and was a consistent winner in Boston in 1897, 1898, and 1899.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
Forgot which book but it is by a tailor’s apprentice who became a hand on a privateer. As an apprentice he made from scrap material a set of clothes for the family cat. One Sunday he was told to stay home and mind the fire. He used the time to fit the clothes on the cat. The unhappy cat dashed down a hole in the floor and could not be enticed out. The family including his master came home and much to the apprentice’s horror, the fully clothed cat emerged from its hiding place. The apprentice feared punishment but the master was so pleased he removed the cat’s clothes and displayed it in the shop’s window as a testament of the skill of his apprentice (and therefore his skill as a tailor).
:laugh: Cool story!
 
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