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A Sweet and Beautiful Rare Cat with a “Teddy Bear” Personality

If you are looking for a large, docile, sweet cat that many say has the personality of a dog, there is a relatively little-known breed you might want to consider. It's called the Honey Bear, and it may just be your style. The name "Honey Bear" is said to come from this breed's habit of lying flat on the floor, giving it the look of a "bearskin rug." This, combined with its docile, sweet, almost doglike nature, makes it the perfect "Honey Bear."

History
The history is, as we say, spotty. Supposedly, a woman named Ann Baker created the breed in a California lab; Ann Baker is the same woman who created the Ragdoll breed, and some have said she was prone to flights of fancy. The reason so many doubt her creation of the Honey Bear – at least as she says it – is that she claims to have taken genes from a skunk and placed them within a female Persian cat.

Is this true? No one really knows, but given Baker's apparently “creative” imagination, probably not. Experts have also weighed in with the opinion that it is impossible to combine the genes of a skunk with those of a cat. Baker claims to have made the genetic "joining" happen in a laboratory rather than by mating the two animals, but even so, most think it's absolutely impossible that anyone could come up with a skunk/domestic cat hybrid.

The real story? Perhaps the Honey Bear is simply a derivation of the Ragdoll; it is not recognized by any registry except one, which calls it a derivation of the Ragdoll breed.

For now, it remains to be seen. Although the breed is rare in that very few people have a Honey Bear, you may wish to think that your pet was actually descended from a skunk and a Persian to make it all that much more interesting. The choice is yours.

Appearance
Despite the rather questionable origins of the breed itself, what is known is that the Honey Bear has an appearance that is absolutely gorgeous. Many say that the Honey Bear is simply a derivation of the Ragdoll breed. The "skunk" story may have come from the fact that Honey Bear kittens are often born with striped, dark coats that mimic the look of a skunk, and as the kittens mature, the coats become lighter in color, with white or light striping faintly remaining in a less dramatic fashion.

Honey Bears have coats that come in a variety of colors, and usually with striped patterns. Ears are small and rounded, and set well apart. The hair is exceedingly long, dense and luxurious, again harkening back to the skunk legend. The neck has a deeply lush ruff around it and the fur, despite its length and thickness, does not mat.

In adulthood, the Honey Bear is said to weigh between 10 and 14 pounds, with females smaller. Although these cats are often called "chubby," they are really quite muscular and look much bigger simply because they have such long fur. The tail is shorter than that of the average cat, which can look somewhat odd because of the cat's girth. The tail is puffy and flat along the sides instead of being rounded as with most cats.

Personality
This is where the Honey Bear shines. Very social and unerringly sweet, the Honey Bear has been said to behave more like a dog – although many owners contend that these cats are their “children” because these "babies" are so very affectionate and attentive. Don't be surprised if your pet brings you its toys at least once a day and wants you to praise it for doing so. In addition, these babies need their mommies or daddies if they get scared, so don't be surprised if your pet comes running to you to have a boo-boo kissed, or simply to cuddle when it is afraid or just wants some attention.

Your Honey Bear kitty will want to stay with you wherever you go, so make sure you have the time to devote to such an affectionate cat. Honey Bears don't like to be left alone, although if you must be gone during the day for work or something else on a regular basis, it's worth it to get another pet to keep your Honey Bear company so that your pet won't be lonely.

Finally, your beautiful and loving kitty does not talk very much, loves other children and pets, and likes to be your lap-hugging focus at all times.

Health
Because there's so little information on the Honey Bear, it's not quite known what its health profile is. However, if it is truly is simply a derivation of the Ragdoll as so many believe, it will likely be predisposed to similar health problems. Ragdolls can have kidney or ureter issues, and can suffer from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The Ragdoll lives an average lifespan of 12 to 17 years, so the Honey Bear may be similar.

Proper Environment
Relaxed and loving, these feline "teddy bears" will do well in just about any environment and can stay indoors for life. These couch potatoes have relatively little energy, so that they can be very happy even in a small space, such as an apartment. They can live with one person as long as that person is devoted, or a large family – and get along especially well with children and other pets. However, as with most cats, be aware that pet mice or birds may be in danger around your otherwise completely mellow feline companion.

Grooming
Surprisingly, the Honey Bear needs relatively little grooming despite its lushly thick, luxurious fur. A good brushing once or twice a week should be all that's required. Trim claws as needed, as well, and provide your pet with proper scratching posts to keep nails the proper length. If neglected, nails can become ingrown and infected.

References
Cat Breed Facts Honeybear.
http://www.critters360.com/index.php/cat-breed-facts-honeybear-27116/.
Retrieved December 8, 2014.

Honey Bear Cats.
http://www.catcustomer.com/honey-bear-cats/.
Retrieved December 8, 2014.

Honey Bear Cat Breed.
http://www.petmonk.com/brief-cat21.html.
Retrieved December 8, 2014.

The Honeybear: Sweetness And Beauty.
http://www.families.com/blog/the-honeybear-sweetness-andbeauty.
Retrieved December 8, 2014.

Ragdoll Cats.
http://cattime.com/cat-breeds/ragdoll-cats. Retrieved December 8, 2014.