Sunday 24 January 2021

Pictures of Blue British Shorthair cats with extreme features

The three pictures of blue British Shorthair cats on this page show cats that have been bred to an extreme appearance. They probably come from Russia where they are very good at this. But I'm going to refer to The International Cat Association (TICA) breed standard for the British Shorthair to point out how breeders end up magnifying a particular feature of a cat because the breed standard specifies it. How far they go down that road is up to the breeder because the cat associations don't prevent them breeding to extreme although they should because sometimes it creates inherently unhealthy cats which goes against the cat associations' policies.

Extreme British Shorthair
Extreme bred British Shorthair to emphasis the cheeks and to make the cat look very cobby and rounded per the breed standard. Picture in public domain.

So, the head shape of the British Shorthair under the TICA beach standard demands that a show cat should have "full round chubby cheeks. Broad, wide cheekbones with smooth transition to muzzle". It is self-explanatory. The outstanding feature of the cats that you see on this page is that they have enormous, chubby cheeks. It's as if they are giant hamsters. They been bred like this. It's called selective breeding. 

The breeders start off with foundation cats which have slightly chubby cheeks and they breed offspring back to their parents to gradually magnify this aspect of their anatomy (inbreeding). They select those offspring whose cheeks are particularly chubby! They select the cat hence the phrase "selective breeding". It is not letting nature take its course. It is an intervention by a person which is why you end up with an abnormal looking cat. A cat that nature would not create if left to its own devices.

Extreme British Shorthair
Another British SH bred to extreme. Picture in the public domain.

I'm not being particularly critical. I don't really care. I just want to write something about these cats and it has to be about their cheeks! Because they stare you in the face as if something is wrong. But the breeders like it. No doubt these cats have done well. They probably sell very well. However, the classic British Shorthair does not look like these cats. They look fairly normal with slightlyflat faces and slightly shortened muzzles. These cats are extreme in other areas of their appearance as well, such as being extremely cobby (stocky and rounded) for the same reason.

Extreme British Shorthair
British Shorthair. Picture in public domain.

P.S. There is a current craze for 'chonky' cats - big, robust male cats. These cats follow that trend.

Extreme British Shorthair
Extreme British SH. Photo in public domain.

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