An article by B. J. Fox, the breeder and owner of the famous American Himalayan and Persian cat cattery "Foxy", begins with a real, full of emotions, hymn to Persian and Himalayan cats with chocolate and lilac colors.
The passionate desire of many breeders to have Persian cats that carry the chocolate-colored gene is clear - Himalayans with chocolate-point color and fully colored chocolate Persians. Himalayans with lilac markings - lilac points - and fully painted lilacs even more attract breeders' attention as the rarest, we can say precious color. It’s impossible not to admire these softly muffled tones of color: “they are so amazing that, once you see, you will eventually become the owner of such a cat,” writes B. Fox.
Chocolate Point Himalayan Cat CH Cherrybirdie’s Willie Wonka
These colors, notes B. Fox, have not been recognized by most breeders and judges for a long time, were considered marriage, and those who stubbornly continued to deal with them were almost outcasts and found themselves in isolation. In this struggle for new rare colors perseverance and, most importantly, the collaboration of nurseries and breeders working on these colors won. "The spirit of collaboration has triumphed among the breeders!"
History and origin of chocolate and lilac colors in cats. The grand champion list of lilacs and chocolates, both with marks and fully colored, is still very short. The Himalayans (Persian cats with Siamese color) were recognized as an independent breed by the CFA in 1957, cats and solid chocolate and lilac were later included in it. In the next 37 years, only 9 grand champions of chocolate points were registered, 3 lilac points and one completely colored chocolate and lilac (4 of them from the Cactusway nursery and 2 from the Tyland nursery). Since 1981, CFA management has divided the Himalayan breed into two “divisions” (sub-breeds): color-point cats with characteristic colored markings, and fully colored lilac and chocolate cats. And in 1984, the Himalayans were deprived of the status of an independent breed and included in the Persian as its sub-breed (Himalayan Division), and chocolates and solid laylaki merged into the main Persian breed.
Where did the chocolate and lilac colors (chocolates and laylaki) come from among long-haired cats? They appeared thanks to the efforts of three breeders, who first worked independently: Brian Stirling-Webb, Briarry nursery in England, S.M. Harding, Mingchiu nursery in England, Regina van Wessem van Wessem), Siyah Gush cattery in Holland. Subsequently, these three nurseries cooperated and intensively crossed their animals. Then the mixed lines of these nurseries were imported into the USA, and inbreeding continued there.
Himalayan Seal Point Cat CH Cherrybirdie’s Niguel
Quad GC, RW, 11th Best LH Cat in TICA 2014-2015
Briarry Bruno is the first long-haired chocolate cat registered with English cat lovers. His father is short-haired chocolate, which is now designated in the GCCF (The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy, England) as Havana Brown. At that time, this color was called chestnut brown. The strong Persian type, represented in his great-grandfather, the very famous cat Foxburrow Frivolous, was combined with the Siamese distribution of color (color point) of his maternal Siamese by maternal line and the brown-brown color of his father. B. Stirling-Webb began his work with color points in 1947. Prior to this, the Siamese chocolate point was defined as an undesirable color of force points and rejected. "The color was not understood and not accepted because of its unique beauty," said the famous breeder Betty White forty years later. It was only in 1950 that the standard for registering chocolate was formulated in England.
S.M. Harding worked with B. Stirling-Webb to breed the first purple long-haired cat, Mingchiu Lilak, a cat descended from Briatty Bruno. The first lilac-point in the English registry was the cat Mingchiu Sula Three - Briarry Tromo’s double granddaughter, also the result of Harding’s collaboration with Stirling Webb (see Sula Three pedigree in Friend magazine, 1996, N 6 - M.M. Aslanyan and A.S. .Spirin. Inbreeding - pro et contra). It was a mixed line of chocolates / lilacs as a result of the collaboration of two English nurseries that appeared for the first time in the United States and was subjected to further inbreeding.
The breed appeared in Great Britain in the 19th century. About 10 years were spent on selection. They managed to get the color by crossing recessive forms of British cats with chocolate and blue hues. According to statistics, only a quarter of the pets are born with a similar shade. About 30 years ago, felinologists officially adopted the color.
The belief that the color appeared by crossing a Scottish fold cat and a marble cat is wrong. The result will be the birth of kittens with disorders at the genetic level.
The British lilac cat is not a separate breed, but refers to British cats with short hair, the main difference with the rest of the representatives lies in the shade of the coat.
Breeds fold British does not exist. There are only British with short / long hair and fold / straight Scottish.
Types and standard of lilac color
Two pigments are responsible for the color: eumelanin (black) and pheomelanin (yellow-red). The combination and percentage of these pigments determine the color.
The generally accepted standard divides the breed into 3 colors:
- Lavender. Mauve cold undertones.
- Hue lilac. Average color saturation.
- Isabella. Saturated purple tone.
It is impossible to distinguish the color gamut without special preparation, only specialized breeders will cope with this. The British kitten in the first six months of life has light stripes on the coat, which gradually disappear.
Breeding lilac Britons on their own is not recommended, because their blood has two incompatible subgroups. An improperly matched pair will produce unviable offspring.
The purple color of British cats can be present in various variations:
Uniformly colored wool along the entire length, without spots, stripes and interspersed.
It occurs in cats, in rare cases in cats. The mosaic pattern combines purple and cream colors. The standard for such a color does not impose strict requirements, since it is impossible to regulate the location of inclusions on wool at the gene level. Turtle color is individual for each pet and never repeats.
The main color is combined with white. The border separating the colors should be clearly defined. White hairs are absent on the main lilac color. One ear is always painted white. Variations of color: van (white tail and spots on the head), harlequin (lilac color covers an area of 15% of all wool), bicolor (white color is not less than 1/3 and not more than ½). The color bicolor is called megpie (from the English magpie), it was recognized in Europe and the USA in the last decades of the 20th century.
A distinctive feature is the presence of a white light undercoat. The belly of the pet is almost white. The most saturated purple color on the back, legs, head. The average color saturation on the neck, sides, ears. The lilac color tone is preserved only at the ends of the hair.
Purple pattern on lighter wool. The hairs are dyed with alternating colors. A drawing in the form of the letter M is obligatory on the forehead. On the back you can notice a pattern in the form of a butterfly. On the neck and tail a pattern in the form of rings. The borders of the pattern are clear. Pattern options: marble, striped, spotted. The name of the shade comes from the word "tabbis", which denoted a pattern on oriental silk, which was a success in Britain.
- Color point.
Painted in a purple mask on the face, ears, tail, paws, testicles of a cat, the remaining parts are less colored. There may be a picture on the bright parts, a similar pattern will be called lilac-tabby point.
The standard of lilac color requires that the color of the nose and pads correspond to the main tint and be lilac. Each color has a standard code.
General breed exterior
The standard for the British with short hair was adopted in 1950. The head of the representatives of this breed is round with broad cheekbones and developed cheeks, the neck is thick and short. A wide nose with a chin form a vertical. Pronounced pads under the mustache. The ears are small with rounding, without tassels, are low and wide. Wide-set round eyes. Eye color can be copper, amber, orange.
Kittens have blue eyes with a grayish tint, with the growth of pupils the color of the pupils changes to golden. Thick short legs. Powerful physique. The coat is short, it feels like plush with a pronounced undercoat. The tail is thick with a rounded end. The average weight of females is from 3 to 5 kg, and cats - from 5 to 7 kg. With proper care, a pet of this breed can live up to 20 years.
Do external factors affect coat color retention
The color point is affected by the air temperature: the lower it is, the darker the color.
The color may become less saturated as the cat ages. The preservation of the shade is influenced by nutrition, a change in color will indicate a violation in the diet of the animal.
Diseases and hormonal disruption can cause discoloration. With prolonged exposure to the sun, the cat’s hair may burn out. Under molting conditions, color may change due to the growth of a new undercoat.
British hair care
The condition of the pet's hair is influenced by its nutrition. Natural foods or industrial feed should be present in the diet. Owners need to know that this breed is prone to obesity, so they should monitor the size of the portions eaten by the cat. Obesity affects the health of the pet and can lead to diseases of the heart and joints.
Immediate hair care is combing and washing.
Cats need to be combed about 2 times a week, increasing the frequency of procedures during molting. The comb should be special - silicone. During molting, you need to use a furminator. You need to comb the animal, starting with the head, back and tail, ending with the stomach and paws. You can scratch both by the growth of the coat and against it.
Pets need to be bathed no more than once every six months, with the exception of cats of light shades. Bathing of such individuals can be carried out every 3 months. To wash cats you need a special shampoo that does not cause allergies. Bathing kittens before the age of one is not recommended. If desired, the animal can be cleaned with special wipes, dry shampoos and cleaning powder.
During the molting period, it is worth giving the cat special medications that prevent the formation of lumps of hair in the stomach.
The British Shorthair lilac cat is suitable for those who are often not at home, for families with children, for those who already have other pets. The character of these cats is calm and friendly.
You need to get a representative of this breed in a special nursery, there they breed viable individuals that meet the standard. Caring for a Briton is not burdensome and consists of standard procedures: feeding, combing, bathing, cutting nails, cleaning ears.