Color Coat and Patterns

The British Shorthair's coat is one of the breed's defining features. It is very dense but does not have an undercoat; thus, the texture is plush rather than woolly or fluffy, with a firm, "crisp" pile that breaks noticeably over the cat's body as it moves.

Although the British Blue remains the most familiar variant, British Shorthairs have been developed in many other colours and patterns. Black, blue, white, red, cream, silver, golden and—most recently—cinnamon and fawn are accepted by all official standards, either solid or in colourpoint, tabby, shaded and bicolour patterns; the GCCF, FIFe and TICA also accept chocolate and its dilute lilac, disallowed in the CFA standard. All colours and patterns also have tortoiseshell variants.

The Tabby patterns include: Classic Tabby, Mackerel Tabby, Spotted & Ticked Tabby.

The non-tabby patterns include: Tortoiseshell, Bi-Colour, Van patterns Bi-Colour & White, Smoke, Lynx, Tipped (Silver Shaded/Chinchilla) & Colour pointed.

What is a Color Point Cat or what some call a Colour Point:

Point coloration in cats originated in the Siamese and closely related Asian breeds, and is found in many Western-developed modern breeds. It is a form of partial albinism resulting from a mutation that affects tyrosinase, an enzyme involved with melanin production. The mutated enzyme is thermolabile; it fails to work at normal body temperatures, but becomes active in cooler areas of the skin.[1] As a result, dark pigment is limited to the coldest areas of the body, that is, the extremities. Pointed kittens are born white, since the womb is uniformly warm. As the kitten ages, the cooler areas darken while warmer areas remain cream to white in color. Points are not limited to solid colors or dark colors. It is possible to have a red (orange color) or fawn (pale warm gray) point. It is also possible to have a tortoiseshell or tabby point. This coloration is also sometimes called colorpoints.

As the expression of the gene responsible for the pointed pattern is regulated by temperature, pointed cats who live in cooler environments often show darkening of their fur, with large patches along their sides sometimes developing.

Because of this restriction of pigment, pointed cat's eyes are always some shade of blue, because the top layer of the iris is not covered in another color, letting the blue show through. The back of the eye also lacks pigment, giving these cats' pupils an eerie red reflection in the dark, unlike a normally pigmented cat's green to blue shine.

The point gene is carried on the C locus, where pure albinism is also carried. It is shown with the sign cs, and needs two alleles of cs for the points to be expressed. Also carried on the C locus is the gene for the sepia pattern. This is the darkest of all of the pigment restricting patterns, and pigment is only paled at the warmest point in the body: the abdomen. This pattern's gene is represented by cb. When a cat carries the genes cs and cb, the mink pattern is formed, in which the pigment distribution is between a sepia and a point cat.

The lynx point pattern is formed by cross-breeding a colorpoint cat with a tabby cat (or breeding cats that already possess the lynx point pattern). It is characterized by a mixture of the darkening (reduced) of point coloration, with distinct tabby striping on the head, tail, and legs, and an otherwise uniform and comparatively pale body. It is an accepted pattern, in some cat registries but not others, for particular breeds, mostly Siamese-related. Lynx point coloration was also a feature of some of the foundation stock of the Siberian.

The British Shorthair is one of Breeds that carries the Point genes in some of the breeder lines.  I actually am trying to specialize in this pattern with my Chinchillas, Lynx and Silver Shaded British Shorthairs.  I now have a Chocolate Silver Chinchilla Point Female which is a very rare coloring.  At one of the shows a judge said I should have her genetic tested for the Minx trait for she felt my kitten showed signs of that pattern in her eye coloring.  At the moment the Minx pattern is not one of the British Shorthairs color patterns so I would be introducing a new trait into the breed. This means a long process to go through for that color pattern to be recognised in the British Shorthair breed.  I am very excited about the adventure and will be having my baby genetic tested soon.