Over 100 high-breed cats were registered with the Feline Club of India (FCI) at Ahmedabad’s first Cat Convention at the banquet hall of Hotel Mann Residency on Sunday. It was a visual treat for cat lovers, with some magnificent looking young felines making their debut in Ahmedabad’s cat society. Some peeped out of boxes, others were in view in more elaborate containers and quite a few simply sat on their owner’s laps. Adding to the festive atmosphere were stalls set up by a number of cat food and cat product brands, offering free samples.
FCI also had a microchipping counter at the convention, where cat owners could implant their pets with under-the-skin microchips as a form of identification in case they wander off and get lost. One of the delegates to avail of this was Priyanshi Jariwala, who got Peach, her four-year-old Persian cat, implanted with a microchip. Priyanshi is immigrating to Canada later this year and she intends to take Peach with her. “The convention was an experience both for me and Peach. She is a house cat and had never seen so many other cats before. But she was fine so long as I kept her close.”
Another delegate was Zarin Sayyed who has 48 Persian cats at home, of which she brought only one to the convention. “I started with two cats and they just multiplied. At that time, I didn’t know about neutering. But my husband and I are happy having so many cats. We live in a two-bedroom flat and there’s enough room for them,” she says.
Addressing the convention, FCI president Saquib Pathan said first-time cat owners invariably had to deal with objections from their family members and neighbours. “All of us here have faced these battles and come through victorious,” he said. Pathan made a presentation on cat patterns and colours, as well the origins of cat breeds. He displayed his own Maine Coon, the world’s biggest domestic cat breed, weighing 7 kgs on an average. He also displayed a spotted Bengal cat, which has a leopard-like fur pattern.
Pathan, who is from Nashik, Maharashtra, said this is FCI’s first event in Ahmedabad, but it plans to return to the city in December for a cat show. “Dog breeding is well established but cat breeding is still fairly new in India. We need to catch up. Before the pandemic, we had already done cat shows in Surat and Baroda,” he said.
In a lively interactive session, Ahmedabad-based veterinarian Chirag Dave talked about feline health issues. He was followed by Professor Utpal Tatu of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, who made a presentation on new technologies in veterinary sciences. Tatu is associated with a company called Pet Biotech and informed the audience that “we can now do breed and parentage analysis to determine if your cat is really a pure Persian or Bengal cat.”