Short-haired Cats

Short-haired Cats

The Havana

The Havana is a dainty, fine-boned cat with a coat of rich chestnut-brown, showing no ghost points. The type is ‘foreign’ with wedge-shaped long head, large ears and a long tapering tail. The eyes should be almond-shaped and green in colour. The legs are slim with dainty oval paws and the foot pads pink. The colour is exactly the same as in chocolate-point Siamese and this cat would be better described as self-chocolate. The Havana’s body is similar to that of Siamese but its rich brown coat is very different from that of the Burmese. Kittens are born with the coat colour they will carry through life.

The Rex

These cats, unlike any others, have curly or wavy fur. There are two kinds differing slightly in the shape of the head and thickness of fur. One is known as Cornish, and the other, Devon. Both have wedge-shaped heads and very large ears. The bodies are long with whip-like tails. They are both enchanting, looking, for all the world, as though they have just come out of the water with a permanent wave.

Cornish Rex

This is the original Rex mutation, first found in Cornwall in 1950. The early Rex were outcrossed to British short-hairs, but since 1965 breeders have aimed for ‘foreign’ type. The Cornish Rex resembles the sacred cat of Ancient Egypt. The coat forms waves over the body. The head, body, legs and tail are proportionately long.

Devon Rex

The second Rex mutation appeared in 1960. Matings to Cornish females produced straight-coated progeny, proving the two mutations to be dissimilar. This mutation was perpetuated by back-crossing the first filial generation to the sire. The Devon Rex coat is closely waved. Type is ‘foreign’, but the head is full-cheeked with a whisker break. Some folk find it hard to differentiate between the Cornish and Devon Rex. In fact, the Devon has a wider, pixieish face and the nose of the Cornish is more Roman. The Rex are endearing, mischievous little cats, very affectionate and exceedingly playful.

The Korat

The Korat has been described as the cat with the heart-shaped face. It is a comparative newcomer to Britain, with a small head and big eyes which are a brilliant green. They are silver-blue in colour and look most gentle and appealing. They originate from*Thailand and found their way to Britain via the USA.

The Manx Cat

The Manx differs from all other cats in that it has no tail and there should be a slight hollow where the tail should start. The head is round and large with a longish nose and full cheeks, the ears being a little pointed. The fur is short and soft and may be of any colour.

Because of their hoppity walk, they were once known as ‘rabbit’ cats. The Utters may contain kittens without tails and with very short tails known as ‘stumpies’.

It is not always easy to rear Manx kittens and very careful weaning is necessary. They are still bred on the Isle of Man where they first came from. Incidentally, the rump of the Manx is expected to be as round as an orange!

Although when speaking of the Manx one generally thinks of the tail-less variety there are also show classifications for the stumpie and the tailed Manx.

The Abyssinian

First seen in Britain in 1869 and mainly originating in this country, this attractive variety is considered to be very near in outline to Ancient Egyptian cats. Murals and statues of the time illustrate cats of this shape. Type is ‘foreign’ with long body, head long and pointed, sharp ears and fairly long tapered tail. The Abyssinian differ from all other short-hairs in the unique coat of ruddy brown with black or brown tickings. There must be no bars or other markings. The chin should not be white, but it is difficult to breed out this defect. It is also possible to produce red and blue coated Abyssinians and these colours are recognized by the Abyssinian Cat Club.

The Russian Blue

This is a most beautiful cat, originally known as the Archangel Blue. The first imports were Lingpopo and Yula, both from Archangel (on the north-west USSR coast) and owned by a Mrs Carew-Cox of Saffron Walden, Essex, England. The breed is noted for its short, thick, silvery-blue coat of a seal skin texture and dainty build. Their heads are small, with green eyes and large vertical ears, and they are very silent, sweet-natured cats.

The Black Short-hair

A shining jet black coat with no white hairs or rustiness is not easy to produce, and a true Short-haired Black is most beautiful to see. Although once regarded as the ‘familiar’ of witches and connected with black magic, this variety with powerful body, deep chest, broad round head, and orange eyes is now a typical ‘British’ cat.

The White Short-hair

As in the long-hairs there are two varieties, one with blue and the other with orange eyes, I.e. Blue-eyed White and Orange-eyed White, the blue-eyed being affected sometimes by deafness. A very attractive cat, with pure white, short thick coat and no yellow tinges, the type as for other British cats. There is also a short-haired Odd-eyed White, with as in the long-haired variety, one eye orange and the other blue.

The Blue Short-hair, or ‘British’ Blue

A good blue is the most typical of the type required for the British short-hair varieties. It has a smooth, plush coat, powerful body, full broad chest and good round head with small eyes. The most popular of British, as opposed to foreign varieties. The coat may be light to medium blue but must be of an even shade throughout.

The Cream Short-hair

These are delightful cats with pale cream coats, good broad heads, small ears and big eyes which change from blue to copper colour. All kittens eyes are blue when first opened and it is some weeks before the true colour shows. Creams are quite rare as it is not easy to breed them with no tabby markings.

The Silver Tabby, or Silver Short-hair

The pattern of markings should be as for other tabbies and the type is typically British. A most distinctive variety with background colour of pure silver and dense black markings. The eyes should be green or hazel.

The Red Tabby Short-hair

The same symmetrical pattern of tabby markings is required, but these should be a very deep red on a lighter red ground. The eyes should be hazel or orange. The concept that all red tabbies are male is incorrect, as from red and tortoiseshell breeding red females may be produced and a red male bred to a red female produces all-red litters of both sexes. There is also a brown tabby short-hair which is not so often seen. It has a typical British broad round head, small ears and big round eyes which may be orange, hazel or deep yellow, with its pattern of black markings standing out from the rich sable background fur.

The Tortoiseshell Short-hair

Coloured patches of black, red (dark and light) and cream, as brilliant as possible, make up the pattern of this variety with no white or brindling. Patching must be all over the body. They are female with the odd freak and sterile male cropping up occasionally. At least one of the parents must carry the colour gene for red.

The Tortoiseshell,and-white Short-hair

These Torties are said to be very loving and maternal. The brilliant colour patches of black, cream and red should stand out clearly, but with additional areas of white. Colour patches should cover the top of the head, ears, back and tail, and also part of the sides. The white blaze on the forehead is light. Eyes should be copper or orange.

The Blue-Cream Short-hair

This is a rare variety in which the coat is intermingled pastel blue and cream and there is no patching. The type should be British. The cat is virtually a ‘blue tortoiseshell’ and invariably female. The variety may be bred through cream and blue matings.

The Foreign Lilac

This is as yet a rare breed in Britain, only having achieved Show Champion-ship status in 1977. It has a Siamese-type body and its coat is of an elusive pink-toned frosty-grey with pinkish nose leather and pads. Because there are few cats of this type at this time, mating may be made with the Havana from which this type originated, but once more stud cats are available, doubtless one will see more of this attractive unusual cat.

Other comparatively rare breeds include the British Tipped, the Smoke Short-hair, the Bi-colour Short-hair and the Spotted Short-hair. The British Tipped, which is of British type with broad round head, small ears and short, straight broad nose, is different from other British varieties in that the undercoat should be white-tipped with any recognizable British colour, or tipped with brown, chocolate or lilac.

Oriental Spotted Tabby

Also a Siamese type, but has a different coat pattern – clear scarab (beetle) marking on head, unbroken lines running from eyes and pencilling on cheeks. This variety should have a short, fine glossy coat with thumb prints on ears, legs should be barred, spotted or both. It has a kinked tail.

The Foreign Black

Developed from crosses between the Havana and seal-point Siamese. The short, fine, jet black hair, should be minus white hairs or rusty tinge. Siamese type with long head, large ears and oriental green eyes.