What history of the British cat breed?, as well as to continental Europe, domestic cats originally got To Great Britain from Egypt, Asia Minor, from islands of the Mediterranean Sea. Not incidentally in the 12th century of cats of a marble color - nowadays the most widespread in England! - called “ Cyprian “.
Cats of the European continent and the British Isles quite long time, throughout several centuries of the history, significantly did not differ among themselves. The ecological rule according to which animals of the same look on islands have the big sizes and massiveness, than on the continent is known, however. But if this rule and “ worked “ concerning domestic cats of England, as at any natural process, distinctions between “ Europeans “ and “ British “ collected slowly.
At the very beginning of the felinological movement, at the end of XIX and the beginning of the 20th century, manufacturers did not notice a basic difference between “ British “ and European cats. At exhibitions these cats passed under the name short-haired - without further definition. At the same time “ foreigners “ the same short-haired, it is proud carried names of breeds: Abyssinian, Siamese, carat... Manufacturers of Europe and England exchanged breeding animals later: when after bombardments of London during World War II in England did not remain qualitative short-haired serebristo - marble cats, they had to be written out from France.
Approximately with 40 - x years of the 20th century British began the mass target selection among the pets directed first of all to integration and weighting of frame, formation of a convex skull, the rounded rather short muzzle with massive cheeks and a wide nose. There are data that this selection was followed insignificant, but important for fixing of massive, thickset type prilitiy blood of some other breeds, in particular, “ long-haired “ (then still being called “ Persian “) and “ French blue “ (Cartesian, Chartres) cats.
This the last still remains to the closest on all indicators to the British breed. The main difference of these cats, - in the form of the head, but under powerfully developed cheeks not any fan will distinguish at what cat the head round and at what - in the form of the rounded-off turned trapeze.
By the time of official division of these breeds, in 1996, distinction could be traced also on wool: short, not adjacent, soft, with the underfur equal on awn length (double) light-blue hair of a Cartesian cat though is a little and differed from so, short, semi-adjacent, with a plentiful dense underfur, but nevertheless not double, wool of British which besides had the right to be not only blue, but also other flowers. In a number of clubs of Europe, nevertheless, continued to knit the British and Cartesian cats, even apart from such knittings experimental. Especially loved such interpedigree crossings some German clubs. The rational link in it, perhaps, was - the benefit standards of breeds were quite similar.
Why still almost at all exhibitions blue British are in the lead? Partly it is result of old crossings with a Cartesian cat. In generations of blue British massiveness and weight of frame of Chartres could not but affect. Besides, blue wool in itself is characterized by soft texture. Hairs in which it is changed in relation to “ to the wild " type; a color an arrangement of pigmentary granules, become thinner and lose rigidity. To receive dense, soft, “ springing “ (like a moss bog) wool at descendants of white cats with their thin dry texture of a hair or grubosherstny red it is by no means not so simple. By the way, experts apply the standard in its full severity only to blue and lilac individuals. From here - and the toughening competition in group, and - as a result - its accelerated process. Now the morphological heritage of Chartres affects at some British in features of a structure of a muzzle - rather small and short under low and wide cheekbones. This small muzzle giving to a cat sweet, “ smiling “ (smiling) expression - the peculiar feature of Chartres which is written down in the standard of breed.
Long-haired cats - ancestors of present Persians - in many respects developed in parallel with the short-haired fellows - British. Both breeds systematically of a decade by a decade became more and more powerful and dense, increased kostnomyshechny weight and rounded the outlines. Their ways sharply dispersed only in the seventies, with the advent of the first extreme Persian cats. At the time of parallel development of breeds of their representatives for certain at least occasionally coupled - forming type, trying to improve a color or texture of wool. But with a divergence of long-haired and short-haired breeds on their modern versions - Persian and British - knittings between these individuals of breeds gained single character in world practice. In the majority of the felinological organizations of crossing of the British cats with the Persian are strictly forbidden. As well as crossings with representatives of exotic breed - modern short-haired “ parallels “ Persians. Nevertheless, the Persian and exotic cats, certainly, participated in creation of new color variations “ British “ - silvery and gold tippirovanny, and also kolorpoynt. “ Persians “ attracted in planned cultivation as carriers of the genes of a desirable color possessing besides, close pedigree type. “ Persian “ even modern type, nevertheless it is more similar on “ British “ than it is exaggerated elegant and “ long to a neveroyatiya “ modern Siamese cat.
The long way of the directed cultivation led to appearance of a thickset, round-headed, fat-cheeked cat of very cozy and at the same time serious shape - modern “ British “. Despite more than centenary history “ short-haired breed “ the British breed was completely recognized by the leading international felinological organization of Europe - FIFe - only in 1980. Certainly, on the homeland the British breed gained official recognition in Felinological Council of GCCF much earlier.
The majority of the cats who appeared under the name “ British “ at the first Moscow exhibitions, had very remote relation to coast of Albion. They did not shine with an aristocratic English origin and unless externally more - reminded the standard description of breed less. In cultivation they proved not in the best way therefore also the special mark in the Russian felinologiya was not left.
After these homebrew “ British “ more interesting cats began to appear at exhibitions also. The part them was imported (mainly from ChSFR, is more rare from Germany), and the part - represented result of difficult crossing of the European, Persian and new imported British cats. By the way, family trees of the Czech British did not differ in faultlessness too. However the Russian population of the British cats began the formation on these animals. The way done in accelerated by the Russian fans of the British cats, was not original at all, and carried obvious lines “ inventions of the " bicycle;. To buy high quality animals there was no opportunity, and there was a wish to get them very much.
By the way, judges from the majority of the European countries to our British livestock 80 - x years (more precisely “ russko - to the British " cocktail;) belonged very kindly and spoke of breeding representatives of breed with big warmth to what as proof - both titles, and special prizes, and nominations on BIS. And only in the next decade the great number of producers of the highest class - from the leading nurseries of Holland, Belgium, at last Great Britain was imported into Russia.
We wish all to know this breed better!