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Rufism

Discussion in 'Cat Breeding' started by lillytheunicorn, Oct 6, 2019.


  1. lillytheunicorn

    lillytheunicorn PetForums Senior

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    Question for all your breeders with lots of points for colour especially @gskinner123 and your fab knowledge on BSH

    How do you breed to reduce unsightly rufousing in silvers? I saw one at the show and IMO really detracted from the overall balance of the cat making it harder to see the clean lines required on the head. Although there is only 5 points for colour there are 20 points for the head plus 5 for the eyes.
     
  2. spotty cats

    spotty cats PetForums VIP

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    It’s a crapshoot in many breeds.

    I breed for silver in every litter. We can’t breed silver to silver over generations as the contrast gets stripped out, I use highly rufoused Tawny’s and hot Chocolates in silver matings of various colours getting clear coats much of the time.

    Tarnish is not a written fault in my breed, but a highly tarnished cat would likely detract from the look if shown.
     
  3. gskinner123

    gskinner123 PetForums VIP

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    It's interesting that there should be such differences between breeds in achieving tarnish free silvers as I've no doubt of spotty cats' experience.

    As she has mentioned, it can be down to luck but in BSH it is very much a case of keeping the lines as pure for silver as you possibly can. That does of course have its drawbacks, limiting the gene pool and continually selecting for clarity of pattern and colour means that other attributes are often lost.

    By far the best silvers - for clarity - I have seen over several decades are invariably from traditional, 'pure' silver lines with a complete absence of non silver, dilute, or non agouti cats for many generations.

    You can be unlucky and find yourself with a slightly tarnished silver even from the most carefully selected breeding but they will be the exception to the rule.

    A friend has a litter of black silver tipped, the sire being that colour and the mother a golden tipped. A few of the kittens already show a few pale 'rusty' coloured patches. This is something you would never see in the (very long established, well known) black silver tipped sire line of breeding which include absolutely no non-silvers for more generations than I can remember. It's not a problem for my friend as the mating was done in pursuance of golden breeding but it's interesting to see how easily tarnish can be brought about and partly why so many silver breeders are reluctant to use selfs and non silvers in their breeding.
     
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  4. lillytheunicorn

    lillytheunicorn PetForums Senior

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    It’s really interesting, I would have expected you would need to use a low roufoused coat to clear the silver not a highly roufoused tawny or hot chocolate. That explains why I was told you use a red to clear silver by a Persian breeder.

    As we only have the ‘simple’ colours Norwegian breeders rarely have a good understanding of colour. We also have a lot of very low grade silver, Blue must actually be a blue tortie smoke as she had a very high grade silver kitten. She hasn’t got silver for 2 generations back. It wouldn’t be the sire as he is a brown tabby without silver for 5 generations.

    My two blue silver bicolour 4 month old kittens are a nice clean silver from a clean blue silver bicolour to a Black and white. Interestingly their half siblings (same sire) are showing tarnishing already mum is a blue silver which is a repeat mating of a nice tarnish free set of cats. So shows that it can be down to luck somewhat.
     
  5. OrientalSlave

    OrientalSlave Shunra Oriental Cats

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    Having no points for colour in gccf won't help nfo breeders get a good understanding of it.
     
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  6. gskinner123

    gskinner123 PetForums VIP

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    I do agree it is in some way down to luck also. I've seen friends' kittens - breeders who are very 'purist' about their silver breeding - despair when they have an otherwise lovely kitten with tarnishing that has appeared out of nowhere. For show purposes in BSH it would be heavily penalised unless extremely minimal and thought to be seasonal.

    On the other hand I have seen silvers with a very unconventional pedigree that are a lovely clear silver. I do think breeding will always 'out' in the end though.

    It's interesting, some of the notions that we have as breeders. I have bred a lot of blue spotted over the years and only consistently managed a warm (as it should be) background colour when I happened to include the chocolate gene...so my conclusion was "chocolate has an effect...etc...". However, we have an old wives tail in BSH that so many breeders to this day still seem to believe which is that using a black in your blue breeding will make for a paler (which we tend to like in BSH) shade of blue. The truth was that some years ago there was a very well known/well used black stud who came from a line of pale blues; he simply carried these genes forward in his blue offspring. Naturally it doesn't hold true of every black so my chocolate theory, based upon one line of breeding, is probably a nonsense too!
     
  7. lillytheunicorn

    lillytheunicorn PetForums Senior

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    We have 5 points for colour / pattern in FIFe but it’s still minimal.
     
  8. gskinner123

    gskinner123 PetForums VIP

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    Ah, quite a difference then. A tabby BSH (of whatever description) has 40 points for coat although that does include texture, length and pattern as well as colour. Very much a 'coat' breed.
     
  9. lillytheunicorn

    lillytheunicorn PetForums Senior

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    We have 20 points for coat (texture and length) plus the 5 for colour/pattern in FIFe. There are no points for colour in GCCF but 25 for the coat.
     
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  10. Tigermoon

    Tigermoon PetForums VIP

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    In Persians the coat equates to 40 points, colour being a main factor, along with length and texture.

    In tipped persians, like the Chinchillas I breed, any sign of tarnishing is a withholding fault. Of course silver Chinchillas have been bred for over 100 years so the clarity is pretty good, but decades of silver to silver breeding has resulted in a smaller, finer boned cat than the rest of the Persian breed.

    I've never had tarnish in any of mine (so far), even though I have a mix of golden and silver, something which is supposed to 'encourage' tarnish. There are still breeders out there who frown heavily on goldens and their use in silver breeding programmes.

    The shaded tortie and white Persian I have has zero tarnish anywhere despite one parent having no silver background at all!! So quite what causes tarnish I wouldn't like to say. It might be proven to be a genetic anomaly in the fullness of time. It has been known for one Persian to be born silver and turn golden, not a trace of silver on him!!
     
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  11. OrientalSlave

    OrientalSlave Shunra Oriental Cats

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    I wonder if being smaller etc. is because the gene pool has been limited by the decades of silver to silver? If they are like Orientals & Siamese there were some very popular studs in the last centaury who were overused, and quite a lot of parent-child and full sibling breeding. All of these will reduce the genetic diversity of their descendants.
     
  12. lillytheunicorn

    lillytheunicorn PetForums Senior

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    Amber Norwegians are often smaller and light in boning that regular colour cats as Amber (the X - colours) have been selectively bred for their colouring. Apparently the same was true of silvers many years ago, when they’re were specific breeding programs for silver,

    I also wonder if the smaller size is also due selection of the best colour car rather at the expense of type in the breeding programme.
     
  13. Tigermoon

    Tigermoon PetForums VIP

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    Possibly in the early days, but the Persian people were never averse to importing fresh blood from abroad, even in the days of quarantine. Having said that Dalee Knickers probably had too much use!
    The Persian people are obsessed with colour, often colour breeding particularly in the selfs, but only the silvers seem to have suffered from the 'small' effect.
     
  14. Rufus15

    Rufus15 ~ Orrono Maine Coons ~

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    Isn't the small size due, in part, to the fact that the silver gene is an inhibitor? I'm sure I've read somewhere that the thought is the gene inhibits more than just colour. Silver to silver matings in MCO over generations also results in smaller, finer boned cats
     
  15. gskinner123

    gskinner123 PetForums VIP

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    I definitely agree with that, Rufus, and I know many other BSH breeders who would too.

    Of course we sometimes see silvers that equal in size and substance our non silver cats, the selfs in particular. But for the most part they do not and the difference in bone size is usually most noticeable.

    If you put two equally well bred, raised, nourished, etc, litters side by side, one silver and the other, say, blues, the blues would look like little tanks and the silvers much leaner and racier.

    The inhibitor gene in BSH can also have a marked effect upon coat quality.
     
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  16. Rufus15

    Rufus15 ~ Orrono Maine Coons ~

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    I have a real pickle with one of my girls, judges agree that she's smoke but isn't smoke enough to be shown as one. Hall lighting is so poor, she will likely be wrong coloured.

    Compared to my very well smoked girl who is very light, slim, and fine boned, she is solid like a tank, yet she is a cousin to my smoke girl - they share the same great grandmother/grandmother, and her cats are often more finely boned.

    The point of my rambling is that if she is a smoke, she's incredibly solid given her father's line. Her mother's line has no silver at all. She also has no rufism or tarnish to speak of, she's a very deep, rich blue.

    I'm finding her a really interesting study/learning curve
     
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  17. lillytheunicorn

    lillytheunicorn PetForums Senior

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    I have 2 blue silver bicolour kittens at the moment who are built like tanks, they are from a blue silver harlequin to a black and white (09). They are both good silver without any tarnish. There is less than 100g between them and the older litter who are 5 1/2 weeks older than them. The older litter are average size.

    Dad is a good and solid high silver boy. Mum is built like a Sherman tank. I

    nterestingly on a side but related note. Mum is short in the head for a Norwegian but always produces kittens who have nice long profiles even with a stud who himself was short in the head.
    Both her parents had long profiles so she was a bit of a surprise but she had many other desirable qualities including being built to carry kittens.
     
    #17 lillytheunicorn, Oct 11, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
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  18. spotty cats

    spotty cats PetForums VIP

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    Silver in many breeds has a softer coat, I don’t notice a real difference as all have a silky feel, but have felt a marked difference in other breeds.

    No size difference with our silvers, not being generation after generation perhaps, but other foreign breeds I know who are don’t have a size difference.
    Interesting topic :)
     
  19. lillytheunicorn

    lillytheunicorn PetForums Senior

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    Blue’s in Norwegians often have a softer silkier coat, which does not conform to the breed standards as Norwegians should have a woolly undercoat with water repellent top coat with long coarse guard hairs. A blue can have a good coat it’s just harder to get.
     
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  20. Rufus15

    Rufus15 ~ Orrono Maine Coons ~

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    Another one here with softer silver coats. It's very interesting.

    I don't know whether anyone else experiences this, but it seems blue tabbies (both with and without silver) often have really poor coat patterns.

    Is this an MCO thing and down to poor breeding, or is it a colour thing?
     
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