Russian Black / White

The spectacular Russian Blacks and Whites.

We sought our first Russians from Frances McLeod of Arctic Russians back in the year 2000. We where looking for a Russian Blue and a Russian White. The litter only produced Blue kittens. So, we adopted Arctic Voinski Suvorov (aka Deejay) and his sister Arctic Mudrei Koshka (aka Nikita). It was in 2009 we found Tintola Polar Bear (aka Kaspa) from Kay Rogers and Craig Broad. In 2015 we adopted Tintola Marusya, a Black girl (aka Babushka who has unfortunately passed) and her brother, Tintola Makarw (aka Luka), a Blue boy. In 2017 we adopted Babushkablue Alik, our Black boy, and his sister Babushkablue Nooshka, our Blue girl.

The personality and physical characteristics are the same as the Russian Blue other than their coat colour. The whites are born with a blue or black patch on their heads which disappears by the age of one. This indicates the underlying colour which we will discuss in “genetics”.

 

IN AUSTRALIA

HISTORY

In the UK, Frances McLeod of Arctic began breeding Russian Whites and Russian Blacks in the 1960s.

In Australia, The Russian White program started on the 4 May 1971 by Dick and Mavis Jones of Myemgay Cattery. Below is an excerpt from an article by Mavis Jones.

Our project began in earnest when we acquired a genuine white Siberian cat, albeit a “domestic”, as she possessed no pedigree. She was the family pet of an official at the Thai Embassy, who brought her to Australia with him. We exchanged a Russian Blue for this beautiful white cat, and mated her to one of our Russian Blue studs. She produced two white kittens in her litter, the best of which we kept, and named White Rose, then applied for permission to breed White Russians. To our knowledge, the white cat from Russia or Siberia, is the only cat suitable to cross with a Russian Blue. White Rose grew to be a beautiful white queen, long, svelte, elegant, with all the appearances, and the charming characteristics of the Russian Blues.

Eventually we mated Rose back to her sire, Myemgay Yuri, who had already established quite a reputation for himself, as best shorthair stud cat for two successive years. Our two first generation White Russian kittens were registered in November 1971. They were exquisite and we were delighted.

Sadly, Rose developed milk fever when her babies were three weeks old, and we lost her. We raised the two wee girls with a dolls bottle and carnation milk, until they were old enough to digest solid food.

It would take far too long to enumerate all the difficulties and incidents that “happen” in a programme such as ours. Suffice to say they were many and varied, but we accepted them as they came, and managed to overcome most. Of course, there were some heartaches, but we accepted those too.

We mated our two first generation whites to two different Myemgay Blue Studs to produce our second generation whites and then two of the best whites (one from each litter) to produce our third generation kitten. We continued this procedure until we reached fourth generation and applied for full registration and recognition of our whites. They were granted full registration, eligible to compete for Championship status in July 1975.

Full register status was given by Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) Cat Club of New South Wales in November 1975.

BREEDING PROGRAME

 The white “Siberian cat” – which may have been of Siberian breed or simply and unpedigreed cat from Siberia – was mated to Myemgay Yuri, a blue male. She produced two white kittens, the best was kept and named White Rose (female) and this cat was the foundation female for the Russian White.

White Rose was mated back to Myemgay Yuri producing two first generation White Russian kittens. The only line of whites from this mating that we are aware of is Myemgay Arctic Girl (female) the first generation Russian White.

She was mated to Myemgay Little Lemon (blue) and produced Myemgay Arctic Star (female 2nd generation Russian White). Arctic Star was mated back to Myemgay Yuri (blue) and produced Myemgay Arctic Snowflake (female 3rd generation Russian White). Arctic Snowflake was mated to Eastern Ninotchka (blue) and produced Myemgay Arctic Kosack (male 4th generation Russian White).

At this time, no Russian Whites had left Myemgay Cattery as the RAS Cat Club only fully registered cats when they reached the 4th generation. Up to this stage, they had been on the provisional register.

RECOGNITION

Today the Russian White is fully recognised in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa and exists in various stages of recognition in the United Kingdom, many countries in mainland Europe, and the United States.

In 2010 the American Cat Fanciers Association recognised the Russian Black and Russian White for championship status. ACFA Russian Shorthair Standard.

Reference: wikipedia

UNITED KINGDOM

The Russian Blues in the UK can trace their ancestry back prior to the 1890s, and around that time white, black and tabby Russians also featured occasionally in books and articles. However, the Russian White and the Russian Black lines now in the UK are descended from two lines, brought together in the Netherlands in 1995. The first line was developed by Frances McLeod (Arctic) in the 1960’s and the second the line produced by Dick and Mavis Jones in Australia in the 1970’s.

Frances McLeod stated that her line was from a white female kitten born in 1961, which she said was from a Russian boat and given to her by a friend. The GCCF registered the kitten as Arctic Chumvi, Breed No 26 AOV Foreign Type. Sadly, Frances McLeod died earlier this year.

In the ‘60s, the gene pool of the Russian Blue was stated to be low and limited out-crossing to blue-point Siamese and domestic cats was carried out. As Chumvi had an excellent coat, the well-respected breeder and judge Mrs Grace Pond suggested mating that white female to a Russian Blue stud. Frances McLeod followed a breeding programme with the assistance of Miss F H Laugher of Jennymay Russians, mating Chumvi to a GCCF registered Russian Blue stud, Meadliam Lupun. The first two litters comprised white or blue kittens. However, the third litter produced a black kitten. This showed that Chumvi was in fact masking black under her white coat.

A male white kitten was put on the supplementary register by the GCCF as Arctic Sumairki. On later GCCF certified printed pedigrees for export he is shown as Breed No 14. In 1963 all records would presumably be handwritten, probably on cards, and there would not have been a Breed number for a Russian White. The new Russian Blue Cat Society was formed then and was looking after the Russian breed, with a new Standard being produced in 1965.

Sumairki was subsequently mated to a Russian Blue female called Harvees Amanda Too and the litter included a white green-eyed female called Osmunda, registered by the GCCF in 1968 as Russian White 16a 14c.

Frances McLeod continued breeding and showing her Arctic Russian Blues, Whites or Blacks in the UK for many years and eventually went to Australia where she continued breeding Russian cats. Over the years, other breeders continued the white or black Russian lines.

A black kitten, Arctic Lascatsya registered as 16a 15, was from a Russian Blue dam Arctic Mishura and sired by a Russian White stud masking black, Arctic Snowthistle. His line continued the Russian Whites and had come down through Arctic Finfreyer, Arctic Osmanthus back to Osmunda, and all registered as 16a 14c.

Lascatsya was bred on by Joan Lund (Lavengro) and her progeny in 1984 to Russian Blue stud Arctic Dolphin Chiricat included a Russian Black female registered as Lavengro Gypsy Rose 16a 15.

Frank & Joy Smith (Jofran) carried on the black line with Gypsy Rose and in 1986 exported a Russian Black female Jofran Emerald Eye to Belgium to Andrea Duerinck (van Loth-Lorien).

Before she left the UK, Emerald was mated to a Russian Blue male called Sini Ivan and in 1990 she produced a litter of six kittens, three of whom became European Champions for their breeder, one blue, two black. Emerald was mated several times to Russian Blue stud, GIC Jofran Sergi also born in the UK, and living with Andrea Duerinck, and produced some very successful kittens who went to Switzerland, Germany etc. Emerald attained the title of International Champion.

A black son from Emerald’s first litter, European Champion Black Shadow van Loth-Lorien, was mated in the Netherlands to a Russian Blue queen owned by Ingrid Nuyten (d’Affranchi) called Veruschka van Marit Iris (whose sire was a Russian Blue EC Tomanka Leonov also from the UK). That mating produced a Russian Black female Tchornia Ludmila d’Affranchi.

Ingrid Nuyten had imported from Australia a Russian White male kitten, Ch Yaralin Sjtsjoekin born in 1993, from a well-known breeder there, Hilda Blackmore (Yaralin) who died in May. She bred his sire, Gold DGC Yaralin Kosikh from her first white DGC Ramsallah Polar Viktor, bred by Mrs M Friebel.

These whites were from the Russian White breeding programme started in Australia in 1971 by Dick & Mavis Jones (Myemgay) from an imported white cat stated to be from Siberia and the family pet of an official at the Thai Embassy. She was mated to their Russian Blue stud, Ch Myemgay Yuri, producing two kittens, and they kept one, White Rose. They followed a breeding programme and the RASCC recognised the Russian Whites in 1975 to compete for Championship status. Again, a black kitten had appeared in the third generation, which was formally recognised by the RASCC in 1977, and that line is still being bred on separately in Australia etc.

Polar Viktor was sired by Russian White DGC Myemgay Arctic Kosack bred down from Myemgay Arctic Snowflake, Myemgay Arctic Star and Myemgay Arctic Girl a daughter of White Rose.

Sjtsjoekin was mated to several Russian Blue queens and those lines still continue separately in Europe. As he was white masking blue, those lines only produce white or blue progeny. Whilst with Ingrid Nuyten, he was mated to the black female Tchornia Ludmila d’Affranchi from the UK black line. This is the only time in the records that shows a mating between a Russian White and a Russian Black, and it did bring back the ability to produce blue, white or black Russian Kittens, plus return the genes of the UK blood line, which had been lost in the UK.

The next three generations in Holland from that Sjtsjoekin x Tchornia mating produced Russian White females, masking black. GIC Bjella Dushka d’Affranchi (daughter of Tchornia) had joined Evelien Bronsveld (Chatuliem Russitiem’s), who took her cats to Scotland, including EC Chatuliem Russitiem’s Orli and her daughter, Chatuliem Russitiem’s Yentle born in 2003. She had produced a Russian Black kitten in the Netherlands, showing she was genetically black.

After Chatuliem Russitiem’s Yentle joined Jennifer Sedgwick (Catwo) in England, Yentle was mated to Russian Blue European Champion Ursus Blue-bis (bred in Poland) and in November 2007 produced six kittens, one Russian Blue, four Russian White and one Russian Black, all able to be registered and shown with the GCCF with the Breed Nos of 16a, 16a 14c and 16a 15.

Yentle’s second litter in 2008 to a Russian Blue stud born in the UK, Grand Champion Lubimiyeh Vaska, produced eight kittens, 7 Russian Whites and 1 Russian Black. As with the first litter, all colours of the kittens were hearing tested, but this time all the whites were also DNA tested, and it is interesting that 5 of the 7 whites were shown to be masking black.

To the middle of 2012, there have been around 40 litters of kittens descended from the imported Russian White queen Yentle. Eight UK-born Russian Blue studs and twelve UK-born Russian Blue queens have been used. More than a dozen breeders throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland have been involved with continuing the Russian White and the Russian Black, using some excellent Russian Blues.

The Russian Blues from these matings were included on the GCCF Supplementary Register and can be shown at Championship level. Several of these Blues have been shown and have been awarded Best of Breeds and CCs.

The Russian White and Russian Blacks were recorded on the Experimental Register and shown in Assessment Classes. From 1st June 2011, the Assessment Classes became competitive, the cats being judged and awarded a Merit Certificate if worthy (as previously) and also placed against each other with a Best of Breed awarded (if available). The winner could also be considered for Best of Variety/Best-In-Show. Russian Whites and Russian Blacks are entered in the same class, though it can be split male/female. Four Merits were required to qualify, of which two could be from kitten classes.

The first cat to achieve four qualifying Merits in the UK was a Russian Black female from the first litter bred by Jennifer Sedgwick, Catwo Kira, and owned by Judith Noble (Larksong Russians).

Her success was shortly followed by a Russian White male, Catwo Dimitri, from the second litter, and now living with Catherine Kaye (Sithee Russians).

Further cats to qualify with four Merits have been Catherine Kaye’s Catwo Biaty Pantera (Best Assessment Russian at the 2009 and 2010 RBBA Shows).

Also, Catwo Cairnicatski owned by Wendi Johnson, both litter sisters to Dimitri. That was a very special litter of 8 Russians!

The next cat to qualify was also a Russian White female bred by Bev Pursglove called Adniosh Catwo-Crystal, now living with Stephanie Eborall (Warwick Russians), who had previously bred Russian Blue and Russian White cats in South Africa.

The sixth qualifying cat was a Russian Black female bred by Catherine Kaye and sired by her Dimitri.
Andrea Cherry (Brightlite Russians) quickly gained five Merits with her Sithee Madam Belladonna.

A further Russian Black male, Elenita Buskin Rascal, bred and owned by Sandra Hipkin (Elenita Russians) obtained his fourth qualifying Merit in October 2011.

Then in March 2012, another black female, Adelfsh Cosmos, bred and owned by Julia Watling achieved her fourth Merit.

Interestingly, that made 4 Russian Whites and 4 Russian Blacks achieving GCCF qualifying Merits.

However, a Russian White, Cairnicats White Royal, bred in the UK by Wendi Johnson and then owned by Beata Raszka (Colinsgarden Cattery) in the Republic of Ireland, also obtained five GCCFI merits by the end of October 2011. White Royal is now living with Sarah Williams-Ellis (Serennol).

Several other Russian White or Russian Black kittens/cats were awarded Merits, and these include Serennol Night Star, a beautiful Russian Black female, bred and owned by Sarah Williams-Elliss (Serennol Russians). Night Star, who was sired by Sarah’s UK IGrCh Serennol Dmitri, was Best Assessment Russian at the 2011 RBBA Show.

Further Russian Black merit winners are Elenita Melayzia Gipsyrose owned by Jim & Mary Bowdrey and Tocoya Zinoviy bred and owned by Jill Wakefield (Tocovya Russians). However, Cairnicats Magnus owned by Elaine Littlewood (Milov Russians) is a Russian White male.

At the October 2011 Council Meeting, the RBAC proposal was passed for the Russian White and the Russian Black to progress to Provisional Status and from April 2012 these breeds were able to compete for Intermediate Certificates, Best of Breed and Best of Variety.

The first winner of an Intermediate Certificate was Elenita Buskin Rascal (16a 15) on the 5 May 2012 at Bristol & District CC Show shortly followed by Cairnicats Magnus (16a 14c) on the 20 May 2012 at the Midland Counties Cat Club Show.

This was shortly followed by Catwo Biaty Pantera (16a 14c) winning ICs & BoBs at the Gwynedd and the Chester & North Wales Shows, plus Sithee Madam Belladonna (16a 15) also being awarded ICs & BoBs at the Teesside and Wyvern CC shows. The first Russian White or Black to win the three ICs was in fact Catwo Biaty Pantera who achieved her third IC at the Russian Blue Breeders Association Show on 6 October 2012. She was also Best Intermediate Status.

Catwo Biaty Pantera’s black daughter, Sithee Madam Belladonna, now living with Andrea Cherry (Brightlite), achieved her third IC by 17 October at the Yorkshire Cat Club Show. She then visited Ch Melkelter Gaspar Galena and in February produced 5 kittens, two Blue and three Black. These Brightlite kittens were the first to be allocated CS registration numbers for the now approved new breeds.

Kittens from these breeds can compete for BoBs and BOV, and the first kitten to be nominated for Best of Variety at the Teesside show was Brightlite Inki Black (16a 15) bred and owned by Andrea Cherry.

Brightlite Inki Black, who is a daughter of Sithee Madam Belladonna, had achieved three ICs and BoBs by January 2013. She then went to stud and produced a healthy litter of 6 kittens (four Blue, two Black) in April 2013.

Two further kittens, both bred by Kate Kaye, were shown as kittens, with both achieving 1st & BoBs. Sithee Izzizzbabie is owned by Sue Young (Siykat) who had previously owned Russian Whites, whilst Sithee Sparklingicemaiden lives with Stephanie Eborall (Warwick). In fact Sparklingicemaiden was the first Russian White or Black to achieve a Best of Variety Foreign award, which was at Kentish CC Show in October 2012, courtesy of judge Mrs Pam Wilding.

In January 2013 Sithee Sparklingicemaiden achieved two Intermediate Certificates and two BoBs at the joint Short-Haired Cat Society and RACCS Shows.

Russians were also in prominence at the London Pet Show on 11 and 12 May. The Russian & Abyssinian Cat Club of Scotland took Russian Blues on the Saturday, whilst the Russian Blue Breeders’ Association took two Blues and a Russian White on the Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Russian Registration Policy and the Recommended Breeding Policy for Russian Cats were both been approved by Council and are available on the GCCF and RBBA or RACCS websites. Russian White or Russian Black kittens can now be registered with the new full CS registration numbers.

The great news from the GCCF Council Meeting held on the 26 June 2013 was that in future new breeds would work through the Preliminary Section straight to Championship. Any breeds then at Provisional level would not be required to continue attaining the required number of Intermediate Certificates etc but would progress to Championship, technically from the 26 October 2013. After a good deal of discussion, it was pointed out by several Breed Clubs, including the RBBA that their annual Club Shows were earlier than that date. It was agreed that those Clubs could put on full championship classes for their own breeds.

In the meantime, Andrea Cherry’s Russian Black Female, Brightlite Black Caviar, was shown at the Gwynedd Cat Club Show on 20 July where she achieved Best of Breed, Best of Variety Foreign Kitten, then Overall Best of Variety Foreign. She has followed this up with three further Kitten BoBs including one in November in the new classes.

At the Russian Blue Breeders’ Association Show on 5 October 2013, there were champion / premier classes for the Russian Whites and the Russian Blacks. In their cases, there were joint classes for the two breeds, with the Russian Blues in separate breed classes.

The first winner of a GCCF Challenge Certificate was Catwo Biaty Pantera (16a 14c) (EMS Code RUS w 64) which was awarded by Ann Bond-Wonneberger. Poppy finished her day in a best in show pen as best Russian White or Black on show – the fourth time she has won this honour at the RBBA show. Also present at that show and obtaining 1st awards were Cairnicats White Royal (16a 14c) (RUS w 64) bred by Wendi Johnson and owned by Sarah Williams-Ellis, and Serennol Veronika (16a 15) (RUS n) bred and owned by Sarah Williams-Ellis.

On the 26 October at the Yorkshire Cat Club Show, Serennol Night Star (16a 15) (RUS n) bred and owned by Sarah Williams-Ellis, became the first Russian Black to win a Challenge Certificate; shortly followed on 9 November at the Cheshire Area Cat Club Show with a CC being awarded to another Russian Black female Sithee Madam Belladonna owned by Andrea Cherry.

A further Challenge Certificate was awarded on 26 November to Russian White female Catwo Biaty Pantera at the Supreme Cat Show by Charis White.

Then on 21 December 2013, at the Maidstone & Medway CC Show, the first non-blue Russian to win a show title in the GCCF was Champion Catwo Biaty Pantera (Poppy), the lovely Russian White girl owned by Kate Kaye and bred by Jennifer Sedgwick (Catwo). She was awarded her third Challenge Certificate by Val Anderson-Drew.

Achieving ‘breed firsts’ is not a new thing for Poppy who was also the first Merit Qualifier and the first Intermediate Qualifier for the Whites and Blacks.

This completed the GCCF show year 2013. The Russian Whites and Russian Blacks can now continue to compete for all GCCF awards and titles

Sadly, the cat world lost in 2013 both Mrs Frances McLeod and Mrs Hilda Blackmore. They had contributed so much to Russians over their long and active lifetime working with the breeds. Both had been born in Australia, although Frances McLeod spent many years in the UK developing her Russians in the three colours before returning to Oz.

The GCCF Standard for the Russian Black states that it is a Russian Blue in all respects except for colour. The coat colour is a dense glossy black to the skin with black nose leather and paw pads.

The coat of the Russian White masks the genetic colour, which here in the UK is blue or black, and which can be checked by a DNA test. The coat must be pure, sparkling white with no hint of discolouration, although a kitten or young adult may temporarily carry small dark patches of blue or black on the head. Before any progeny may be registered from a Russian White or White of Russian type sire or dam, this cat must have a BAER or OAE certificate of freedom from deafness which is lodged with the GCCF. Russian Whites or Whites of Russian type without a certificate of freedom from deafness will be registered on the non-active register until such time as such a certificate is lodged with the GCCF and an application for transfer to the active register is made.

Blue-eyed Russian Whites (16a 14) (RUS w 61) and odd-eyed (blue or green) Russian Whites (16a 14b) (RUS w 63) should be registered on the Reference Register with no progression. Whites of other eye colours shall not be registered with the GCCF. However, all these cats may be shown in the GCCF Pedigree Pet Shorthair classes.

By Melva Eccles January 2014

Reproduced with the kind permission of Catherine Kaye Russian Blue Breeders Association UK.

COLOUR GENETICS

Roses are red
Russians are blue,
or White or Black
but there are only a few!

Roses are red
Russians are blue
or white or black
So one for me and one for you.

People think they know what a Russian Blue is but do they?

After all they only come in blue – don’t they?

“Only blue” is like saying how long is a piece of string…. after all they come in many shades of blue ranging from the very pale, silvery blue through to a dark, dull slate blue to looking almost black.

What about the white and black versions – how do they fit in?

Many questions are asked and statements made about these colours:

“Are they “proper” Russians?”

“Did the mother mate with the local tom cat?”

“They are “just moggies” not pedigrees.”

“If your queen/stud cat has been with another colour or breed it will contaminate them and they will never breed true again.”

“You can’t mate a Russian Blue to a Russian Blue that has a Russian White or Russian Black parent because they and their kittens will produce Russian White or Russian Black kittens.”

So many myths and misconceptions!!

Contrary to popular belief Russian Blues are not actually blue and have never, ever been purely blue. If we go back in history and the time of the fledgling beginnings of the “cat fancy” all blue cats, regardless of their ancestry, were shown in one class. However, as people began to breed with purpose it was apparent that there were differences in the look of the cats. Some being round headed with heavy bone structure and others who were altogether finer in head and bone and with differing eye colours and coat lengths, so it was eventually decided to separate them. The Persian, British Shorthaired and Chartreuse gradually developed from the first group and the Russian Blue from the second.

It would appear that the “Russian” breeders in those very early days followed a blue to blue regime of mating but they also used blue cats with unknown or mixed colour ancestry especially if the cat had the required “look” to their head or admired coat qualities. During the second World War, to ensure the survival of the breed, they used blue point Siamese – given this background there is no way we can say that today’s Russian Blues are “pure”! Since then we have learnt much more about colour inheritance and genes so that we now know that the Russian Blue is, in fact, genetically, actually a black cat!

Russian Blacks and Russian Whites first appeared in the UK during the early 1960’s when the registration policy still allowed outcrosses to unregistered cats whose background was unknown.

Today we have stringent breeding and registration policies that are backed up by known genetic information to ensure the continued wellbeing and development of the Russian breed as we know it.

Val Anderson has written two excellent scientific articles on the ins and outs of Russian Genetics which I recommend any Russian breeder to read and my intention in this article is not to undermine these. When I first started to be interested in breeding Russian Blacks and Russian Whites they were my first “port of call” but I don’t have a scientific mind and it took me some time to comprehend the information within them.

I needed a way of explaining, to myself, in simple terms the basis of the information in Val’s articles that I could work with. It soon became apparent from some of the comments made to me that many breeders, even those who do not want to breed Russian Blacks and Russian Whites, also found it all rather confusing. So, this is an attempt to explain, in VERY SIMPLE terms, the basic rudiments involved in breeding Russian Whites and Russian Blacks!

So how is it that when we mate a Russian Blue to another Russian Blue, we always get blue kittens?

It’s all down to the behaviour of the “Blue Jeans” they are wearing!

How we look, the colour of our eyes, some of the way we behave, our sex and the colour of our skin are governed by the genes we inherit from our parents and cats are the same.

Genes are little things that work in pairs. One is inherited from the mother and the other from the father. When they meet with the right partner they join up and work together in developing the aspect of you that they have responsibility for. Some of these genes are very strong and dominate others which have earned them the name DOMINANT, others are quiet, hiding away and receding into the background and are called RECESSIVE.

Dominant genes are so powerful that they, generally, never hide themselves – they usually always insist on being seen unlike recessive genes that are frequently quite happy to hide away until it meets a like-minded friend.
Recessive genes are not able to live with or “carry” a dominant gene but a dominant gene is happy to live with or “carry” a recessive gene.

When we consider the genes responsible for colour, if the dominant gene wins the race the cat/kitten will be the colour the winning gene is responsible for. As you can see the colour of the coat that gene has produced, we call the cat or kitten bearing this colour – “a visual” example.

The gene responsible for the blue colour in Russian Blues is a recessive, dilute gene. What the dilute gene, in effect does, is spread the colour granules out along the hair shaft so visually weakening or “diluting” the colour so black becomes grey (or blue!). Therefore, when you mate a Russian Blue to another Russian Blue it will always produce Russians Blues even if one or both of them have a Russian Black or Russian White parent. This is because the recessive, dilute gene that produces the visually blue cat, being at the end of the line, cannot “carry” the dominant genes.

Therefore, to produce a Russian Black or Russian White, one of the parents MUST be a visual – in other words, it must be black or white to look at.

Now it starts to get a little more complicated when we talk about the dominant black and white genes – remember they both can “carry” the blue gene but the black gene can’t “carry” the white gene yet the white gene can “carry” both the black and the blue gene!

If you mate a Russian Black to a Russian Blue, you will only get Russian Black or Russian Blue kittens because neither the black nor the blue gene “carries” the white gene.

However, if you mate a Russian White to a Russian Blue you could get all three colours! This is because the dominant white gene “masks” the other colours – in other words the cat is wearing a white overcoat to hide the fact it is wearing either black or blue underwear! Now if a Russian White is “masking” blue underwear then it will only produce Russian Blue or Russian White kittens however if it is “masking” black underwear it could produce either Russian Blue, Russian Black or Russian White kittens. The majority of the Russian Whites in the UK that have been DNA tested to date, are hiding black underwear.

In a nutshell:

Russian Blue to Russian Blue will always produce Russian Blues.

Russian Blue to Russian Black could produce Russian Blues or Russian Blacks.

Russian Blue to Russian White could produce Russian Blues, Russian Blacks and Russian whites.

Russian White to Russian Black could produce Russian Blues, Russian Blacks and Russian Whites.

NB: our breeding policy does not encourage Russian White to Russian White matings.

By Mrs Catherine Kaye

Reproduced with the kind permission of Catherine Kaye Russian Blue Breeders Association UK.

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