There are occasions when cats which have pure-bred origins are not considered to be pedigree. The most common reason is likely to be that their mother mated with either a moggie or a cat of another breed, which in turn often disqualifies the resulting kittens from being registered as pedigrees. This is far less significant for pet-seekers however, compared with breeders who are seriously interested in breeding and exhibiting their cats.
Non-pedigree cats cannot win the top breed prizes, but they make ideal companions, and are often much cheaper than true pedigrees. This individual clearly does not mind that his full ancestry is unregistered.
- BREED DEVELOPED: 1880s
- COUNTRY: United Kingdom
- TYPE: Shorthair
- BODY SHAPE: Strong, muscular
- WEIGHS UP TO: 8kg/18lb
- PLUS POINTS: Hardy and friendly
- WATCH POINTS: Males may suffer abscesses caused by fighting
The British Shorthair is a breed which originated from moggies in Victorian times, but today, these cats have evolved to have a very distinctive appearance. This has come about through selective breeding down the years, choosing those cats for breeding purposes that are most similar in appearance to the ideal described in the judging standards.
In addition however, other breeds, noticeably the Persian Longhair have also made a contribution, particularly in terms of increasing the size of the British Shorthair. In fact, it used to The standard practice to introduce Persian blood every fifth generation. Today however, this type of breeding programme is rare, partly because the range of colours in the British Shorthair group is very large and because the characteristic appearance of the breed is well-established. There is now a large gene pool, so that the potentially harmful risks associated with in-breeding can be easily minimised by using other British Shorthairs rather than outcrossing to other breeds.
- It is still possible to show such cats in classes held for household pets. Friendliness, condition and ease of handling are the main attributes sought by judges.
- The rules on what makes a pedigree differ between the various feline organisations. In the UK, the appearance of Persians in British Shorthair pedigrees is acceptable but this is not always the case in the USA.
- In the case of breeds currently being developed, crossings involving other breeds as well as ordinary moggies are often permitted. The short-legged Munchkin breed for example has been evolved by using ordinary moggies in its development.