Shaded Silver Male Exotic
A most important aspect of color to all Silver breeders is the consistency of the tipping, the black hair tips that make this variety so glamorous. With every single movement it visibly shimmers above the arctic white background. With a Shaded Silver, the tipping may be 1/3 of the entire length of hair, with the lighter Chinchilla only 1/8. Considering how short the fur of the Exotic is, the differentiation between the two colours is often difficult.
Of course also dilute color variations are possible, Blue Shaded Silver and Blue Chinchilla Silver are recognized for championship in CFA. If you love gentle contrast, then these special colors are for you.
Genetically, because of the inhibitor gene ("I") which prevents the coloring of part of the hair, it is actually a "non-colour". We perceive it as white, but it is much more radiant than a genetically white cat - it is Silver. It is only perfect when the tipping is evenly spread all over the body and not arbitrarily scattered in different shades. Also crucial is that the length of the tipping is universally the same all over the coat.
Ticking scale of Silver and Golden Exotics and Persians
Silver and Golden Tabby,
Silver and Golden Shaded, and
Silver and Golden Chinchilla Cats
Needless to say, any other shading, such as a hint of gold, is taboo. Really, this means - and this is what the silver pioneers' annals say - only silvers and chinchillas should be interbred. That is what they were doing for decades to give us clean coloring. In America, these undesired shadings are aptly called, "tarnishing", the brilliance is simply lost. An incompletely dominant inhibitor gene may be responsible for this dirty-looking tarnish, which inserts a hint of the colour of brown and golden tabbies where there should be nothing but silver. The tipping is still black, but in between there are ticked hairs.
CH Jade River's Thunderbolt
Shaded Silver Male Exotic
So any colors other than white or black are undesirable. Here a little trimming or plucking can help to achieve the ideal phenotype on a Persian, but the coat of the Exotic is too short for this technique. Judges and professionals immediately spot any trace of the scissors. Even with Persians that are bred from solid colors, many a renowned champion wears a different color mantel on his back. What a shame, because he or she will pass on this horribly dominant factor - treacherously over many generations. While it may skip a generation here and there, the gene will remain active.
For far more than 100 years the Silver breeders have been busy carrying on what the British had started, i.e. breeding the "grey-blue 4-paws" into "radiant Silvers". Well, that is why the "Persian-people" today have a sufficient number of "clean" colored lines to fall back on, but what about the breeders of Silver and Golden Exotics?
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