A block of four 22-cent commemorative stamps, each showcasing two popular cat breeds, was issued on February 5, 1988, in New York City, at the Winter Garden Theatre.
Compared with the dog, feline domestication is a relatively recent phenomenon. Cats first entered human habitats as pets and mousers ca. 2,500 B.C. Traditionally, people kept felines solely for utility or as companions. However, in the mid-nineteenth century interest grew in breeding cats and exhibiting outstanding examples at competitive shows. Owners soon adopted standards of excellence, and the concept of breeds began.
Today's most popular shorthair breed, the Siamese, appears along with the Exotic Shorthair. The Abyssinian and Himalayan appear in another design. The Maine Coon, the oldest natural breed in North America, is on the stamp with the Burmese, a striking breed with a rich sable coat and golden eyes. The final stamp shows the Persian and the American Shorthair, the latter perhaps the most common house pet in the United States.
Designed by John Dawson, the stamps were printed in the photogravure process by the American Bank Note Company and were issued in panes of forty.
Postal Bulletin (February 4, 1988).