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History of Exotics in Silver and Gold

History of the Exotic Shorthair Feline
CH Jade River's Twilight Treasure aka "Twila"
Shaded Silver Female Exotic


An in Depth Look at the Color and the Quest for Purrfection
Page Seven


Blue Golden
Rigoletto vom Klippeneck, Shaded Blue Golden Exotic
Rigoletto vom Klippeneck
Shaded Blue Golden Exotic

The youngest of the Silver and Gold line, is the Blue Golden. The dilution gene creates a pastel impression, a result of the base colour being some kind of wheat with a hint of yellow, tipped in blue-grey. The usually black line around the nose and eyes is pigeon blue, the nose leather is old rose and the paw pads are blue-grey.

Due to the lighter base colour and the reduced tipping the overall expression of the Chinchilla/Shell Blue Goldens is even softer than that of the Shaded Blue Goldens. Of course this distinctive colour range exists with all tabby types, classic, mackerel, spotted and ticked. The first blue goldens probably were quite a surprise for their breeders. Their characteristic colour, which with babies tends to show at the base of the ears and in the face, to a golden breeder, looks a lot like oatmeal. With age these kittens' charm improves as their colour intensifies. However, it took some years to get to today's radiant colours, and again it has paid off to rigorously select the best colours.

Blue Golden and Golden Baby Kittens
Blue Golden and Golden Baby Kittens

Genetically they owe their colours to those who inserted the diluted colors into the lines. Blue Golden is recognized by CFA and is the youngest recognized color in FIFE. Even so, the color is not a new one. Looking back at the first breeding attempts in England you find that already then blues were inter-bred, not yet Exotics, but Persians. We owe today's characteristic representatives to the fact that among others blue Exotics were the inspiration for them. Their charm is very obvious, gentle pastels, emerald green eyes with a soft, plush teddy fur. Who would not adore that?

Genetics of Coat Length
Breeding chart of Hair Length possibilities
Breeding chart
of Hair Length possibilities

Actually, it is quite simple, as Mother Nature provided only two possible lengths of hair, long and short. The latter is dominant and thus designated with an uppercase "L". Long hair is recessive and therefore referred to with a lowercase "l". Fantastic and easy to comprehend - isn't it? We breed an Exotic shorthair with a Persian and get a nest full of teddy bears! We wish! That only works if one parent is homozygous for shorthair. Of course one might be lucky breeding an Exotic with a Persian and end up with a litter of shorthairs. But that would be lucky indeed, and everyone knows that luck is not a common factor in cat breeding.

Got It? Basically, yes. But who has got a homozygous Silver or Golden Exotic Shorthair? Who knows?

We'd like to point out here, that this variety is still in its infancy. Every breeder will count himself fortunate to have a shorthair in his litter that complies with the standard and fulfills the difficult color criteria. Whether after some generations the dream of a homozygous Exotic has been realized, we will only know after some further years, when the Exotic prince has produced several litters of all shorthair offspring. Or when princess snowflake has given birth to her equals for maybe a third time.

Diehl Silver Exotic Kittens
Diehl Silver Exotic Kittens

At the moment that does not have top priority because we cannot underestimate the matter of fur quality. Experienced breeders of colored Exotics believe that exclusive Exotic-to-Exotic breeding will produce a diminished undercoat and thus an inferior quality of the fur after the third or fourth generation at the latest. So, the question is whether homozygosity should have priority at this stage. Also, although the substance of all colors has steadily improved in recent years, we should not lose sight of that factor. So, there is still so much to do. Every breeder will decide for himself what exactly that is.

Which is Which?

It would be nice, if the newborns could immediately be identified as longhair or shorthair. Unfortunately, that is not so. Many an evenly shorthaired newborn has decided, after six, eight or even ten weeks, to turn into a longhair! However, the typical Eton crop, the short fur of the head, might be an indication. Also, shorthair babies clearly have shorter fur around the neck than their long-haired relatives. But even for that they need to have opened their little saucer eyes.

Diehl's Love at First Bite, Shaded Silver Exotic Long Hair Female
Diehl's Love at First Bite
Shaded Silver Exotic Long Hair Female

In turn, being born with long fur does not mean that this is not a shorthair after all. Especially those have a particularly dense fur in the end. You may be certain only when the fur points clearly away from the body like a hedgehog's spikes. Here too, patience is needed. Long-haired cats that have two or even one Exotic parent often have a dense undercoat that would make any Persian proud.

Standard

Basically the standard for a Persian also applies to Exotics, with the exception of the coat length. Ideally, some allowances should be made where the shortness of the coat alters expression of the colour.

CH Jade River's Tourmaline, Shaded Silver Exotic Female
CH Jade River's Tourmaline
Shaded Silver Exotic Female

The body should be medium to large, of stocky, short built. The neck should be short, stout and well muscled which gives them their bear-like appearance. The short, chunky legs end in big, round paws. The tail must also be short; otherwise the squarish harmony would be ruined. And, of course it has to be bushy with dense fur. The head should be round, broad, with an arched forehead. They should have full cheeks, a strong chin and a wide jaw. The ears must be small, round and set far apart. The ideal nose is short and wide with a clean stop and open nostrils. It should be between the eyes and not above the upper or below the lower eye lids.

Especially with the Goldens and Silvers, the eyes are characteristically large, round, open, radiant, expressive and set far apart. The fur should be short, dense, plush and soft with an undercoat. It should point away from the body, (a little longer than that of the British shorthair), but not long enough to blow. These beauties have intensely green eyes, ranging from blue-green to emerald and olive. A yellowish tint or ring in the eye is a fault.

Escorial E-Sarastro as a baby kitten
Escorial E-Sarastro as a babyEscorial E-Sarastro as a baby

The longhairs, regardless of their parents, are recognized as Persians all over the world. Only CFA still does not get it. They insist on calling them "Exotic Longhairs." They cannot be shown in CFA shows. Genetically, this is complete nonsense as the long hair gene is recessive and will never produce shorthaired offspring.

Rarities

While the aesthetes among you might prefer the Silvers, the romantics melt away at the first sight of the clumsy little Golden teddy bears. Whatever your preference, you will definitely not go wrong when you can get hold of one of these special Exotics. Their breeders are as rare as the sweeties themselves. and that is a good thing. It protects them from the excesses of our throwaway society and preserves their exclusivity - be it their traditional or their modern look.

About the Author:

Dorothee M.C. Nottebaum is the owner of Escorial Cattery in Germany and has been breeding and showing Persian and Exotic cats for 15 years.

Article Translated and Edited by:

Article translated by Stefanie Pein, Edited by Ameena Lessner of Diehl Exotics and Persians and Elise Scafani of Jade River Silver and Golden Exotics and Persians




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