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Chocolate, Lilac and Norwegian Forest Cats

by Jette Eva Madsen.

During the time where I have been an active "cat person" there has been a fantastic development in the numbers and variation of the colours of the pedigree cats. This goes for all breeds and I believe the two breeds that have developed mostly in this respect, are the British shorthair and the Persian/Exotic. That is understandable since those breeds traditionally have been breeds with great appeal to the breeders with a special interest in colour and colour-distribution.

But even for "our breed" there have been a great development in the existing colours (see my old article about colours). Also some years ago a new colour or rather pattern was added to the genetic makeup of our breed, namely ticked tabby. The ticked tabby gene came in with a novice cat called Raggen and as far as I know all NFC that show ticked tabby can find Raggen amongst their ancestors.

Shortly after the recognition of Raggen it was felt that it could be necessary to make restriction to the wording of the standard in order to prevent new colours and not original colours to be breed into the population of NFC. Therefore the paragraph in the FIFe-standard, concerning "colours" was changed to: All colours are allowed and all amounts of white with the exception of chocolate, lilac and the point colours.

Despite this wording a line of chocolate and lilac NFC’s has appeared in Sweden. Again all those cats can trace their colour back to the same source or family of cats, so there is no way that we can justify that this colour is a natural colour for the NFC.

At the show in Nacka, Sweden on 26-27/10/96 some of the lilac and chocolate cats are to be presented for the judges of FIFe. The future goal for the breeders of these colours are recognition so that we will be able to add a whole range of colours to our breed. We do not only get the chocolate and lilac but in short time we will have all variants with chocolate and lilac i.e. a lilacsilvertortietickedtabby with white!

Actually I believe that the question about more colours in our breed is not an isolated question that alone has to do with our breed. It is a general question that FIFe has to consider and the real question is if it is our future goal that all breeds of cats should have all colours?

An acceptance of all colours for all breeds means that we will reduce catbreeding to the mere breeding of type and coat quality since no colours will be breed specific any more.

Personally I believe that the cat breeding will loose a dimension and I believe breeders from all breeds would benefit much more if they tried to work with other aspects of their breed.

With the variance of colours and patterns that we find amongst cats today it should always be possible to combine a cat of a type and colour that pleases you. It seems strange to buy a breed where silver is not present if you really wish a silver cat. It also seems strange to buy a Forest cat if you really wish a pointed cat. Today we see even quite new cat owners and breeders start out with ambitious projects whose goals are to create new colours within the breed because they have fallen for a colour that they didn’t find in the breed.

If we still wish to recognise cats with the same type as a Norwegian Forest Cat and the colour that originates from the foreign type cats I suggest that we do the same as was done with the black Burmese and the silver Burmese. When they were accepted they were accepted as new breeds and called Bombay and Burmilla. I suggest the lilac and chocolate cats with the same type as NFC could be called Norwegian Chocolilac (or perhaps ChocoForest) ?