Thursday 28 July 2011

British Shorthair Breeding

Tabby British Shorthair Cat
Photograph: copyright Helmi Flick

The hallmark, in my opinion, of the British Shorthair is its natural body type and conformation. This is what makes this cat breed what it is. It is a natural cat after all. We need to keep it looking natural even if it is no longer natural (due to years of selective breeding)!

This is where I feel that breeders, particularly breeders in the United States need to be vigilant.

The British Shorthair is a popular cat, particularly in the USA. It is ranked 8th out of over 100 cat breeds on my reckoning. And in the USA breeders have a tendency to breed to extreme. By that I mean to breed cats that are cartoon characters of their true selves to use layman's language. Look at the flat-faced Persian, for example.

You will see Brit SHs with chunky high cheekboned flat faces that are..well...extreme versions of the natural shape of a cat's head.

The more popular the cat breed the greater chance there is of breeding to extreme because there are breeders chasing more customers. Breeding to extreme gradually defeats the cat breed's popularity because most people prefer a natural looking cat.

This tells us that cat breeders are not commercially minded people. They breed for themselves and hope to make some money. They are not thinking things through sometimes.

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