British Shorthairs have been mated with Scottish Folds for a long time so a classical breed type has been lost, - expert Sinitsina O.



Interview with Olga Sinitsina, all-breed cat expert

Today you’ve particularly judged Maine Coons, British Shorthairs and Siberians. What are the trends in these breeds, what changes have happened in them lately?

The point is, British Shorthairs have been mated with Scottish Folds for a long time so a classical breed type has been lost. With great joy I can see that the breed’s recovery has leaned towards a heavier British Shorthair with stumpy legs and wide cheeks, and I’m most pleasured that it’s happening in all colourings and not just in a blue one. The blue colouring is traditional, as they say. This pleasures me very much. I’m also pleasured with Maine Coons, although there are certain problems with them. Different standards and different methods judge in different ways. There are European standards, there are American standards. People buy a kitten even in the US and, let’s say, they come to us but we doesn’t have the right to judge them according their true value, since the standards…


It’s like at Grand-Prix Royal-Canine where 6 rings of 6 federations have been held. And they have different standards.


Yes, they do have different standards… Some breeds aren’t much different. But Maine Coons are drastically different. That’s why, regrettably, the number of so-called mixes (when European animals are mated with cats from America) has increased. It’s frustrating. But nonetheless at the same time the number of the European type’s specimens is growing.


And what’s the European type, what’s the American type?


The cat of the European type must have upright ears, I mean, they must look pretty much like the German Shepherd’s ears, if you visualize it. It has a long muzzle, there is a term for this characteristic, namely a box. It must be just as long as a whistle flute.


Must it be a little bit rectangular?


Yes. And the American type implies shorter box and it’s quite allowable if the cat doesn’t have such large ears as in the case of the European system. Furthermore they can be turned a bit sideways. And these are the crucial moments of the standard.


Don’t they differ by size?


The standard describes from medium to large. Of course a large and strong specimen is more preferable, other things being equal.


Aren’t there any differences in size in Europe and America?


Yes. Simply the highest number of large animals indeed came from America at one time. I’m tracking such moments. Our people have brought them as well. They are much larger, more massive than European cats. But… the standard doesn’t specify it strictly.




And what’s going on with our native Siberians? What are the trends?


What’s happening is that traditional animals are falling behind a bit. The number of Nevsky Masquerade cats is growing since they are more attractive for a buyer. They look really elegant and the appearance of ordinary Siberians with blotched, spotted and tabby coats are more familiar to the look. Well, they say that there’s no point in buying a kitten if such a cat already runs around their backyard. Or they can say that their grandmother had such a cat in her village. And that’s why we got such an interesting cycle, when the Nevsky Masquerade cat is mostly sold within the country. The majority of cats are sold locally although lots of them are also exported abroad. And the cats with traditional coat patterns which have actually become scarce are primarily sold across the border. So as an expert, I feel bad that the number of solid, high-bred, massive Siberians of traditional colourings has tended to decline.


Is the livestock of your breeding going extinct?


Yes, that’s right.


Perhaps since their number has gone down, the cats with such a colouring have become more expensive, haven’t they? Or has it influenced the price in a minimal way?


It has zero influence on the price. They are just no longer in demand in our country, because a soviet citizen are used to their appearance.


Much like the British are used to the blue British Shorthair.


Yes.


Do you think that this trend will remain unchanged in the near future? Or will they soon return to the old type in the same manner as the British have returned?


You know, the situation with the British has turned out this way, because they’ve followed very strict breeding rules and always mated British Shorthairs with Scottish Shorthairs. Then they’ve finally prohibited interbreed mating. That’s why it’s happened this way. Presently, until the mating between Nevsky Masquerade cats and traditional Siberians is disallowed, this will continue.




And are they permitted?


For now.


But are they showed as the different breeds?


They are standard as far as it concerns their physique, coat, that is, they look exactly the same, unless they have different coat textures and different colourings.


Thank you for the interesting story!




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