Long-haired Cat Breeds

Long-haired Cat Breeds

The Turkish Cat

These attractive cats differ from other long-hairs in that their heads are longer, the ears bigger and the fur not so long. Their fur is pure white with auburn, that is reddish, markings, on the heads and tails. Their eyes are amber in colour.

They are said to be very like the first long-hairs that came to Britain from Turkey a long time ago, where they enjoyed swimming in warm pools and streams. They were once called Angoras and are still known in Turkey today. In fact, they are being bred in a zoo in Ankara – the modern name of Angora.

The White Long-hair

A really lovely white with a beautiful long pure white coat and good tail. The head is broad and round, the ears small, and big eyes a deep orange colour. Sometimes Whites have blue eyes, or even one eye orange and one eye blue. The variety has been known as the blue-eyed white, the orange-eyed white and the odd-eyed white.

These cats too originated in Turkey and were known as Angora after the city (now Ankara) but as they came to Britain from France they were also known as French cats. In the early days the cats were thought to have an unresponsive temperament until it was discovered that they were deaf. Fortunately, crossbreeding has almost eliminated this disability but deafness does still occur particularly among the blue-eyed specimens, and where deafness manifests itself in the odd-eyed variety it is generally the blue-eyed side that is affected.

The Odd-eyed White may not represent everyone’s idea of beauty but the sight of a glorious long-coated white cat, with one magnificent blue eye, the other a perfect orange, is a fascinating sight to behold, worthy of at least a second glance.

The Blue Long-hair

The Blue is often known as the Blue Persian (it was said that they first came from Persia long ago). They are the most popular of the cats with long coats. Their fur is a bluish-grey in colour, and may be a light or dark shade; but it must always be the same colour down to the roots. There must be no white hairs in the fur.

The heads are round, noses are broad and short, the ears small, eyes are a deep copper or orange colour. The tails are short but profuse. The kittens may be born with tabby markings which vanish as the fur grows. They make delightful pets.

The Tortoiseshell Long-hair

The Long-haired Tortoiseshell has a beautiful coat of red, cream and black and appears to be an entirely female variety which, according to international cat judge, Mrs Grace Pond, appears to have little proven history, produced, as it were, by luck more than anything else. It should have a coat of bright red and cream patches, interspersed with black. The colours should be in separate patches spread all over the body, including the face, ears, legs, paws, tail and under the stomach. The patching must not be too large and should be of clear colours without white hairs or brindling. A cream or red mark, known as a blaze, running down from the forehead to the nose, is liked and does add character to the face. Large, wide open, copper or deep orange eyes set well apart are much sought after.

The Tortoiseshell-and-white Long-hair

This is a very attractive cat with a coat of red, black and cream patches, with some white. The head is broad, with big round eyes. Tortie-and-whites are always female and may have many different coloured kittens.

Long-haired Tabbies

The Brown Tabby Long-hair

This is one of the oldest varieties known, although there are now very few. Their coats are brown with black tabby markings which should form a certain pattern. On the head these look like a large ‘AT with pencil markings around the eyes and on the cheeks. Looking down on the back the markings may make the shape of a large butterfly. There are also Silver Tabbies and Red Tabbies, the name, incidentally, being taken from Attabiya in Baghdad in Iraq. This was the district where many centuries ago, a silk, known in Britain as Tabbisilk, was produced, and because these cats bore a similar pattern they were known henceforth as tabby cats.

The Colourpoint Long-hair

The Colourpoint is a supremely magnificent cat, intelligent, affectionate and with a dog-like devotion to its human owner. Colourpoints are very individual in temperament, each differing from another. They are more enterprising in adult life than the average self-coloured Persian and, according to the Colourpoint Society of Great Britain, far less domineering and boisterous than the Siamese. Colourpoints make the most perfect pets and are to be had in several attractive point colours, such as seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, tortie, red and cream.

Colourpoints were first recognized in this country as a true breeding variety of cat in 1955. Some eight years of intensive breeding in Britain was expended on their production before that date, largely by the late Mr B.A. Stirling-Webb. Colourpoints have turned up by chance matings among domesticated cats in different parts of the world, but the fine specimens seen on show benches today have not originated in that manner. At earlier dates during this century attempts had been made to create long-haired, or Persian cats, with the colouring of Siamese, but no stable lineages were produced. The object of Colourpoint breeding is to produce a Persian cat with as fine a type as exists in the best self-coloured varieties, but with a colour pattern and blue eyes of the Siamese.

Similar cats, called Himalayans, were being produced in California, USA, at the same time as Colourpoints were being developed in Britain, the breeders then being unknown to each other and hence the difference in the names of the cats. In the USA recognition of their Himalayans came in 1957. Colourpoints are not produced by a simple cross between a Persian and a Siamese. Such a mating results in self or even coloured short-haired cats, which, however, carry invisibly the heritable factors for long-hair and for the Siamese colour pattern. When two such carriers are mated together and many litters produced, one kitten in thirty-two, on the average, will show the Siamese pattern, blue eyes and long hair. This primitive Colourpoint breeds true, but it has much too long a nose and tall upright ears to pass for a good Persian cat.

A Colourpoint is not at all a long-haired Siamese. Much time, work and money has been expended upon eliminating the unwanted Siamese features introduced into the primitive Colourpoint from its Siamese forebears, so producing the fine Persian type seen in our best specimens today.

The accepted standard for the Colourpoint Long-hair cat requires good Persian type with well-defined colour to the points, I.e. the mask, paws, and tail, and pale body colour. The head should be round and wide with a short, well-demarcated nose, broad cheeks, small, outwardly directed ears with good width between them. The body should be short and wide with short legs, wide paws and short full tail. In winter a fine frill should frame the face and the coat should be long and silky. The eyes are round and the bluer the better. Any resemblance in type to the Siamese is considered to be a fault.

Good type in Colourpoints has been achieved by mating Colourpoint to Colourpoint and selecting at each generation the best offspring for future breeding. But good type has been produced more speedily, although in fewer numbers, by outcrossing Colourpoints to the finest self-coloured Persians. The resulting self-coloured carriers may be as fine as the Persian parent and when mated back to Colourpoints produce some much finer Colourpoints and more carriers. Both methods of breeding are in use.

Colourpoints are hardy when adult, but must be kept warm as kittens. They thrive best on plenty of liberty, but if at all possible must be kept away from roads with their ceaseless toll in feline lives. Each one selects his own particular occupations and they need plenty of company and affection from their owners. Kittens particularly need human companionship. Whether your Colourpoint loves you or not depends upon you, but he is prepared to do so, in full measure. But if you reap the extreme pleasure of such an animal’s devotion remember that it cannot easily be broken and should be taken on for the life of your pet.