Feline Index For Cat Lovers (2021): Russian Blue Cats Breeding

To be honest, after analyzing the catalogs, you are convinced that, as in previous years, cats of Russian breeding are visible only at major exhibitions. A truly folk breed did not become. Asking “Who is to blame?” and “What to do today does not make sense. And is it necessary to” push “this breed to bow to the ramp? In Russia there are enough owners of breeds that have become” massive “over the past 5-7 years, and much less of those who see beauty in simplicity.

“Simplicity?” – the owner of the Russian blue may ask indignantly. Yes, but the simplicity of Russian blues is multiplied by elegance and aristocracy. This is the very perfection of these “non-mass” cats! This phenomenon can be easily explained with the following example. Two or three singers-manufacturers from the “box” have millions of fans, and only a select few delight their ears with the baritone of Sergei Leiferkus, the marvelous tenors of the Mariinsky Theater, or applaud at the concerts of Marina Nikiforova, Olga Borodina …

The blue Russians had and still have problems. And in order to see perfect forms in each animal, it is necessary to strive for this with the whole world, having determined the main trends in the development of the breed. Discuss: is the selection being carried out correctly, is there an influx of new bloodlines, are black and white colors in the breed legitimate, is the refereeing competent? After all, isn’t there a quantitative “stagnation of old bloodlines” in the breed as a whole, or, conversely, a hasty introduction of new ones?

It makes sense to compare five standards, of which the GCCF and TICA have the most detailed, and TICA also gave a detailed assessment of each article in points. Absolutely all organizations treat eye color, coat length and color, and limb length in the same way. The discrepancies concern the shape of the head and eyes, the length and end of the tail, although many breeders consider these discrepancies to be insignificant. And of course, the discrepancy was in the score. So, the eyes (shape and color) of the GCCF and CFA are rated at 15 points, while TICA, FIFe and WCF give only 10. Wool (without color) is very high (30 points) assessed only by the GCCF, and 15 points for color. In American organizations, 20 points are allocated for texture and the same for color. The FIFe also estimates the quality of wool at 20 points, but gives only 10 points for color (the same points in the WCF standard). The shape of the head is given the most importance by WCF (30),

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Opinions Of Russian Blue Breeders

Europe and America have gone so far ahead in working with the breed that many Russian blues of domestic breeding already look like a different breed. Modern trends in European countries have appeared from overseas – the skeleton of the cat has become lighter, the legs are high, slender, “ballet”, the tail is long and the coat is thick, silk, double, short. The Russian Blue is today one of the most popular breeds in the USA, Canada and Japan, but for a long time it was in the shadow of the more “fashionable” breeds in our country.

In the last three to four years, the situation in Russia has changed markedly. More than 20 imported animals have appeared in domestic nurseries, which, in my opinion, contributed to a qualitative leap in the current number of Russian blues in our country. Looking at these cats, it is impossible to say: a simple gray cat. Now their fur is much lighter, bright sparkling silver plays with every movement, and their eyes are no longer greenish, but bright emeralds. Visitors to the exhibitions are surprised: well, not at all what we have seen before!

Each breeder is free to choose which type of Russian blue is closer to him: a sophisticated and bright American or more traditional, that is, large, brutal – European.

Breeder Tamara Martemyanova

I think that the situation with the new type of Russian blue in our country will develop in the same way as it happened with the Abyssinian breed. At first, the American light type of Abyssinians was received with hostility, many breeders did not welcome innovations, but only 4 years passed, and the European more massive Abyssinians began to give way at exhibitions to the light and graceful representatives of the American type.

And about the discrepancy in the standards. American, for example, declares wide-set ears, continuing the outer line of the cheekbones (in the form of the Latin letter V). European standards declare vertically set ears. Two views on their delivery cause heated debate among breeders both in Russia and in Europe, but in Europe they are more and more inclined towards the American type. I also find it more effective.

kennel Sunna (WCF, CFA),
Sunna Nordica (TICA)

Breeders Natalia Bonyaschuk And Evgeny Korneev

Problems in the development of the Russian Blue breed have both subjective and objective reasons. Fashion trends and even stereotypes of breed perception can be classified as subjective. Russian blue evokes a fairly even attitude of the population, unlike Maine Coons, Britons and everyone who is carried away by the wave of fashion, and the peak of popularity of Russian blue has long passed.

The livestock of breeding animals in Russia is small and diverse. Unfortunately, more and more “intermediate” animals appear between the main types of Russian blues. It is difficult to improve something when the choice is limited, and the low demand leads to the fact that only enthusiasts carry out breeding work, bringing producers from abroad. Most of the kittens are sold for castration and do not go to expert opinions, even if the quality of these animals is good. And those who bring, put the castration of future males as a condition for mating. You can, of course, understand them: why raise competitors to an imported cat, if the breeder fights one on one for the breed?

It is very difficult to make a forecast at this time. When promoting this breed, supporting nurseries, it is necessary to talk about eliminating dumping, limiting the mixing of types, conducting careful selection (it would be from whom), using early sterilization of inappropriate animals so that future owners would not have the temptation for the “health” of animals to engage in amateur activities. In our understanding, it is necessary to preserve the English type of Russian blue, namely: a straight profile, a flat forehead, an upright set of ears, silver wool, deep green eyes and an elegant silhouette.

Natalia Bonyaschuk and
Evgeny Korneev,
St. Petersburg

Breeders Maria Elagina And Ruslan Zykov

Currently, the breed is going through a difficult period of division into American and European types (their mixing is also observed), therefore, a certain problem has arisen associated with the expertise of both Russian and foreign judges. The difference between the two types was expressed in the difference in the standards of felinological systems. For the American type, CFA, TICA standards are adopted, and for the European type – WCF, FIFe, MFA standards.

The breeder, in accordance with the type of his animal, chooses which system it is preferable for him to exhibit. However, it is no secret that there are experts in systems with the European standard Russian blue who prefer to choose the best American type animal. When evaluating, we see a significant degree of judicial “discretion”, which, of course, is acceptable, but should be within the standard. It is very surprising to hear from an expert of the European system that he likes the American type more, so he chooses the animal that suits him, although this does not correspond to the standard of the system we enroll in.

It is especially difficult with foreign judges, since the Americanization of the Russian blue has intensified in Europe. We go to an exhibition in order to find out the opinion of an expert about an animal, and we always want to get an objective assessment, not based on the personal preference of the expert. Unfortunately, Russian experts do not always follow the changes occurring in the breed, that is, the modernization of the type of Russian blue. This leads to the fact that some breeders stop showing their animals at exhibitions, lose interest in them. As a result, we can come to the conclusion that the European type of Russian blue will practically disappear from exhibitions, and it was in this type that the breed was recognized in 1939 in England.

Hopefully, experts will be more guided by the standard in their work, and not by their own preferences.

Maria Elagina and
Ruslan Zykov,
kennel “Pearl of Heaven”,

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