1933 (out of print)



This little book is designed chiefly to help the amateur cat breeder, the lover of cats who, starting by keeping one or two, as time goes on finds his stock increasing beyond what was originally intended. These new fanciers often find themselves in difficulties as to how to rear healthy litters, how to mate their females with wisdom and discretion, how to treat the ailments and accidents which from time to time appear among their pets. These difficulties I hope, by simple descriptions of my personal experience during forty years of breeding pedigree cats, to help in overcoming.

I must sincerely thank Mr. Cyril Yeates, Mr. Western, Major Woodiwiss, Mr. Thos. Megroz, Miss Helen Hill Shaw, and all those friends who have so kindly given me notes and photographs. Especially am I indebted to Mr. Whicher for his professional prescriptions and advice on cat ailments.
I should like it to be clearly understood that I have been able to mention only a few names of breeders and their cats under each variety,
and I hope those not mentioned will forgive the omission and understand the reason.

As regards my suggestions for housing, feeding, etc., these are simply the methods I have found most successful, and are not meant to be laid down as the only correct methods.

E. B.-H.-S.
‘The Firs’
Cooden Sea Road,
Little Common,
April 1933






Photo: E. D. Cooke, Bexhill-on-Sea

Photo: Sport and General
Reproduced by permission. Photo: Keystone View Co.
Photo: Ladislaw
Photo: E. D. Cooke, Bexhill-on-Sea
Photo: Smith and Wheeley
Photo: Thomas Fall
96 Photo: James W. Howard, Ipswich
Photo: Herbert Vieler, Bexhill-on-Sea
Photo: E. D. Cooke, Bexhill-on-Sea
Photo: Thomas Fall
Reproduced by permission of ‘The Times'
Photo: Thomas Fall
Photo: Ladislaw
Photo: Thomas Fall
Photo: Pirie MacLachlan
Photo: Thomas Fall
Photo: T. H. Everitt
Reproduced by permission of the ‘Harrogate Herald'



>Since 1918 the Cat Fancy has increased enormously, even beating its own records before that date. Probably the hobby was taken up anew by men and women suffering from terrible losses sustained during the War, in the effort to occupy their minds and so for a little forget the tragedy brought into their lives.

Still, much as fanciers have increased in numbers, I hope to persuade many others to embark on this most fascinating hobby.

The word ‘Home’ to most of us conjures up a picture of a cosy room in winter, with a glowing coal fire — not electric, or gas, but sparkling, gleedy coals — and on the hearth a cat: a cat whom, as its owner enters, rises and stretches itself, rubbing against its mistress or master in loving welcome before it once more settles to sleep. Who is there who, having experienced the loving fussiness of puss, can help keeping one or two of these pets?

Again, if you are going to own a cat, why not a pedigree one whom every one admires,and the care of whom will bring untold interest into your life while you groom her, mate her, and tenderly guard her really valuable babies? Then, last but not least, there is the friendship of the fanciers. It is a thing to value very highly. We all love our cat shows and our club meetings. Every one has his or her own bit of interesting cat news, is pleased to see you and hear all about your cats and their doings.

For the lonely man or woman—and, alas, how many there are! — it is an ideal hobby. And it need not be an expensive one. The first purchase can be a well-bred female kitten at a few pounds, and there you are already started as a cat fancier.



We will start with the houses for our pets. In households where only one or two cats are kept, these of course live with their owners, sleep on the best and most comfortable chairs, stretch themselves on the sofa or hearth, and in fact live a very enviable life. But where several cats are kept they must have their own homes. My cattery consists of about thirty cats and kittens, so if I describe what I have found to be the most suitable houses it may be a guide to novices.

First, let the houses face the south, so as to get the most sun possible. Next, let them not be built cheaply of thin wood, or they will be draughty and cold. Build them of three-quarter-inch wood well seasoned; lift them off the ground, either by wooden sleepers or by cement blocks; and let them be covered with one of the many inexpensive rubber coverings now obtainable, to prevent draughts or cold winds affecting the temperature inside.

The large house shown in the diagram is 9 feet by 11 feet 6 inches in plan, and 7 feet high at the entrance, rising to 7 feet 6 inches at the far end. This slant is not shown in the sketch. It contains six pens, with windows to each, and two windows down the long side of the house. At the far end from the door is a pen 5 feet 6 inches long and 3 feet deep; next to this is another, 3 feet 6 inches by 3 feet; between them is a door, in case you need a long pen. Under these are two others similar. All four have trap-doors leading into separate wired grass runs, which are always left open in fine weather so that the occupants can run in and out as they wish. Down one side of the house are two more pens 5 feet 6 inches long.

Under the two side windows is a 2-foot shelf on which the cats love to lie. During the day all cats are free in the house, and a constant supply of ping-pong balls and empty reels keeps them quite happy.


Always pen two females together, by the way, it prevents them leading a solitary life. When studs have no visitors, let the males live with one or two big kittens of say four or five months old. I know nothing prettier than a big male cat mothering some kittens; they always seem to sleep close to him cuddled up between his paws. I am not sure if this is possible with all studs, but I can say that in all the years of my cat breeding I have never had one who did not love kittens. It keeps the male quite happy, and is much better than letting a female always live with him — a thing of which no one with experience will approve.

To return to the pens, the floors, and the floor of the house, should be covered with linoleum or cork lino. The latter is rather more expensive, but is much warmer. The walls and insides of the pens should be done with one of the many distempers — white for preference — which is cheap and effectual, and can so easily be re-done when necessary. Distemper is much better than whitewash, which rubs off badly. Each pen in my cat house is supplied with a good box containing bedding, and a large deep meat-tin with peat-moss or sawdust for sanitary purposes.

The plan of this cat house (on page 3) will enable the novice to copy it if he wishes.

I have another, smaller house placed some distance away. It is built on the same lines as the larger one but contains only three large pens, all facing south.

Lastly, in a room at the top of my house, there is a ‘Maternity Home’, just colourwashed, with cork lino on the floor and on the floors of the four very large pens. In here the queens have their families. It is much easier to attend to them indoors, especially as the babies so frequently arrive during the night. The mothers live here until their kits are a month old, when they are removed to the small cattery so as to grow and thrive in the sunshine.

Each of these places, the room indoors and the two outside houses, contains a very small electric fire, which hangs on a large hook and costs about one penny a day to bum. Needless to say this is only used in very cold weather and for newly-born kittens.

Please do not jump to the conclusion that having a cat-house is a very expensive affair. No one starts with a lot of cats, and while the numbers are increasing it should be a very easy matter to recover, say, ten pounds from the sale of kittens. This sum would cover even the large house I have described.

Females can be kept in an empty attic, but never allow a full-grown male indoors; their place must always be some distance from your own house. The wire runs outside the catteries can be covered with rambler roses, which, besides being beautiful all summer, will also shelter puss from the heat of the sun. Blacks and blues, it may be noted, lose their pure colour if exposed to much direct heat, so a little shade is wise, and absolutely necessary if these coloured cats are to be exhibited at shows. Another thing that spoils the colour of coats is damp, which indeed is quite as bad as too much sunshine.

Where a stud cat is kept, he should have a house, containing his pen and one for his wife, corresponding in size to the large pens at the far end of the plan. Only, where the wooden door is placed between the pens, let there be an inner door of fine wire netting. Then, when a queen comes to visit the male, the wooden door can be opened, thus leaving a wire door through which they can make friends and discuss their matrimonial affairs. It is wise to fix this house some distance away from the other cattery. Some stud cats are very sensitive to noise, and any distractions delay matings. Lastly, let them have a long grass run, well wired in, as exercise and fresh air are absolutely necessary for their health.


On no subject is there more discussion than on how to feed cats in captivity. Each fancier has his, or her, own way; and unless they had found it satisfactory I suppose they would have changed it. There are, however, certain rules we all keep, such as very regular feeding, a definite quantity for each meal, a generous supply of fresh drinking water, and the greatest cleanliness in all things.

House pets are usually fed on bits from the family larder, and thrive thus, but when numbers are to be considered this method is useless. Two good meals a day are sufficient, and certain cats do better with the addition of a saucer of milk middle day. Of course nursing mothers will require more, and rather different, meals. Every adult should have four ounces of good solid food daily, and studs six ounces (this is about an ordinary saucerful each meal). Studs that are very busy require more, and it pays to give them raw beefsteak, and an egg beaten into a few spoonfuls of milk after a mating.

Speaking of eggs reminds me of a visit to my old friend Mrs. Neate, who is world-famous for her red tabby studs and queens. She told me that her cats, who had almost entire liberty, roaming over the farm as they wished, were really too fond of eggs; one cat knew where all the fowls’ nests were, and having robbed an egg out of the nests would quickly demolish it. This cat would eat four or five eggs a day if not watched. Needless to say this would be an expensive cat for ordinary breeders to keep.

Endless discussions on raw meat versus cooked meat are continually cropping up in our cat papers. I cannot see where the advantage of cooked meat comes in. In their natural state the wild cats had no one to cook their birds or rabbits; nor did they live on milk or on a farinaceous diet; yet they throve exceedingly. So why not keep to Nature as much as we can?

In my own cattery we have horse-flesh delivered three times a week, and two cods’-heads each day.

Horse-flesh is not always procurable, but if it can be got it is usually cheaper than beef and very tender to cut up; I find the animals do excellently on it. Great care must be taken as to the quality of horse-meat. In London and other large towns there are shops licensed as sellers of horse-flesh fit for human consumption, but where I live it comes straight from the knacker’s, whose wife takes the greatest interest in my cats; during six years I have never had cause for complaint.

Cods’-heads must be well boiled and boned, and mixed with scalded biscuits or bread. There is a good broken biscuit on the market containing a small quantity of cod-liver oil which I often use. Cats must have some form of bread or biscuits mixed with food once daily.
Once a week, when possible, have two chilled rabbits. Cook them well, with pearl barley and vegetables, then pick the meat off the bones and mix with scalded biscuit or brown bread. This with its own gravy is a favourite meal.

I do not like chilled beef, but if it be used, make sure that it is brought to normal temperature, as chilled food is very bad for any animals. Some fanciers buy large pieces of chilled beef and stew it well with vegetables. This is a good food, but I find it inclined to cause looseness of the bowels. So I prefer a more solid mixture. Another change is a meal of good liver, but here again care is needed if the meat has been chilled.

This feeding is the least expensive form I know of, and produces very satisfactory results. It is, of course, for adults only; kittens need a different diet, which we will consider later on.

Much time is saved in preparing food if the fancier uses a good mincing machine. They can be had with quite coarse cutters, and the bread or biscuits can go through the machine with the meat. The very fine cutters can be used for kittens or invalids.

It is not, however, always necessary to mince or cut up meat for cats, especially for stud cats. Give them a solid lump of raw or slightly cooked meat, and they not only enjoy it more but it keeps their teeth in better condition. The only thing against this plan is that some cats with heavy coats get their fur very messy while eating a lump. Otherwise it saves trouble and is better for them.


Until kittens are a month old leave their feeding entirely to their mothers. Watch carefully that she has a good supply of milk, and then if the babies are fat and sleepy you may be sure that all is well.

In large litters it frequently happens that there are one or two rather weakly kittens who get pushed on one side. In this case take them away for a few hours, keeping them warm in a flannel over a hot bottle (taking care it is not too hot), and every two hours give one teaspoonful of cream and hot water in equal proportion. Cream is lighter and more easily digested than milk. This treatment often saves the kittens and gives them strength to fend for themselves when returned to their mother.

Should any kitten seem a poor specimen, or ill, or deformed in any way, destroy it at once. Never keep a miserable kitten, for even if it lives it will do no good. Most newly-born kittens will sip from the end of a spoon, but it is a good plan always to have a medicine dropper handy, with a pointed end, not the usual ‘lip’. On this place two inches of very thin rubber tubing. You will be able to draw the dropper full of the cream, and then, placing the tube in the little mouth, gently let the fluid run through, taking care not to loosen the end because of letting in the air. The baby quickly learns to suck it.

One hears a lot about whole litters dying from inflammation, caused by acidity in the mother’s milk. Why this should be I do not know, though I have lost litters myself from this cause. I now use Chas. Phipps’s ‘Milk of Magnesia’ as directed on the bottle for 'Infants’. I use it not only for the kittens when being weaned, but for their mothers ten days before they are due, and I continue to use it in any milk or milk food until the kittens are ten days old, when I gradually drop it. This simple and safe remedy is one used for babies in our hospitals. It can be added, early in the morning, to a pint or a quart of milk or food, and portions warmed and used as required during the day. Should the weather be very hot, however, it is better to mix it fresh each meal.

When the babies are one month old, start giving them a teaspoonful of food once a day for a few days; then twice a day. Then dip the little mouths into a saucer, and they will quickly learn to lap.

Now, in dealing with the question of food I wish to make it quite plain that I am not advertising any particular foods, there being so many good and suitable ones on the market. Personally, I use the three foods manufactured by George King & Co.: ‘Latrex’, ‘Oatrex’, and ‘Wheatrex’.

‘Latrex’ is made with boiling water only. All my babies are weaned on it for a fortnight, and on nothing else. Their mothers, while nursing, have three drinks a day made of either ‘Oatrex’ or ‘Wheatrex’. These last are made with milk, and at six weeks old the kittens have them instead of ‘Latrex’.

At seven weeks, give each kit one teaspoonful of very finely scraped raw beef, or well-boiled rabbit, or cooked fish. They usually eat this food eagerly, but don’t increase it for several days or a week; just continue the milk food and the one spoonful of solid. At this stage, the mother must be fed separately, as the kittens may steal her food — many indeed have been choked by trying to swallow pieces of meat never intended for them.

The kittens’ tiny solid meals may now be increased, but very gradually. Take care that the food is very finely scraped or minced. Don't try a lot of different foods; if the ones tried first seem to suit, keep to them for a few weeks. At eight weeks the kittens should be able to do with less milk-food and take more solids.

Make all milk-food early in the day, and feed the kittens while the mothers are out eating their solid meals. When the babies are old enough to be fed on solids I find a teaspoonful of animal cod liver oil over each saucer of food once daily is a grand grower and strengthener. Don’t use oil put up for humans, but crude oil, as this never causes diarrhoea. Kittens of eight weeks can be fed several of them together, off one large saucer or plate, but should there be a poor feeder, it must be fed alone.

This method of feeding sounds far more troublesome than it really is. In any case, remember each little life is of financial value, and if you don’t want to lose on your hobby, it is necessary to take a little trouble during the first few months. I am sometimes accused, however, of feeding kittens in too simple a fashion, and of not varying their food enough. But the ‘proof of the pudding is in the eating’, and I rarely show any cats or kittens that are not bred by myself; whereas many fanciers who take far more trouble than I do, seem to depend on what they buy for their show specimens.

At about seven weeks old, take the mother away from the kittens during the day and put her back to them at night. This gives her a rest, and accustoms the babies to do without her. Always keep kittens warm, especially if born in the early spring, as cold winds soon prove fatal. Large square boxes make the best beds, and thick flannelette blankets cut into squares make cheap and satisfactory bedding.

As soon as the wee things climb out of their boxes, place very shallow tins, with a small quantity of sawdust or peat-moss, in the comer of the pen: instinct will tell them what these are for, while their mothers will train them to be clean. Nothing is more annoying than a dirty cat or kitten, and a little care at the start will prevent it. Fine peat-moss is the best material for sanitary tins, but sawdust is next best. Be sure all tins are emptied each day. The cat is naturally a very clean animal and will not use a dirty tin.

A kitten is best sold at the age of two months, before it is troubled by cutting its second teeth. The first milk teeth should be twenty-six in number, and these change between the ages of five and seven months. During these critical months extra care must be taken, in case the gums become so much inflamed as to prevent the kit eating. If it suddenly goes off its food, examine its mouth, and if very sore, feed the kitten with a spoon for a few days. I have seen one kit waste nearly away because its gums were too tender to bite on, and its owner had not realized the cause.

Sometimes teething trouble causes fits, but keeping the little cat very quiet and two small doses a day of potassium bromide, three grains to each dose, usually effect a cure.

When rearing kittens it is important to remember that it is not what they eat so much as what they digest that makes them really strong and healthy. Therefore give very small meals regularly, and plenty of sunshine, and all will be well.

As to exercise, at a month old allow them to play about in the room for a quarter of an hour twice a day, to get their little legs strong. As they grow older let them play longer at a time, until they have an hour each time, but they soon tire, and, under eight weeks old, too much running about is bad for them.


The purchase of the first kitten or cat is a most important matter, for on her quality and pedigree depends your future success in breeding. Never buy from a shop, however good. It is a good plan to visit first one of our championship shows, and there decide which breed and colour you prefer, and then to go to some one who stocks that particular kind, and be guided by him in your choice.

There are colours and breeds for every fancier. The schoolboy’s opinion was: ‘Cats that's meant for little boys to maul and tease, is called Maultese. Some cats is rekernized by how quiet their purr is, named Purrsion cats. The cats what has very bad tempers is called Angorie cats, and cats with deep feelin’s is called Feline cats — I don’t like any cats.’ Now although his descriptions are not quite accurate, there are plenty of varieties for the novice to choose from.

In breeding pedigree cats of different colours the first thing to remember is to mate colour to colour — cream to cream, black to black, and so on. Even if only one or two cats are kept, it is still important to proceed on these lines. Occasionally it is a help to cross the breed with a different colour once, and then mate the resulting progeny back to its original colour. But these exceptions I hope to deal with later on. Any one owning a tortoise-shell female, or queen, as we call them in the fancy, will find her a positive bundle of charms, for she produces kittens of several colours — reds, creams, blacks, and tortoise-shells — in fact, the colours contained in her own brightly patched coat. But, again, her kittens must mate with studs of their own particular colour.

For preference I advise the novice to start with a six months old kitten, one past the baby stage and already showing her qualities. It will be less expensive, moreover, than buying an adult. The lady will probably evince a desire to mate when about eight or nine months old, but if possible let her wait until she is twelve months, for by then she will have grown to maturity. If she persists in ‘calling’ and comes in season several times, then, regardless of her age, allow her to mate. I believe the preventing of this natural desire is frequently the cause of hysteria and future barrenness.

If the buying of a queen is important, the choice of a stud is equally so. Never choose one because he is a full champion and the winner of many prizes; some of our best sires have never attained to these honours. Study show catalogues, and note which stud’s progeny have been the most consistent winners. Then write to his owner before your queen is ready, and ask her to book her a visit.

Some studs hand down their ‘points’ much more than others who happen to be big winners. A prepotent stud, if he be a really good type, is invaluable. He will pass down certain good points to generation after generation. There are many studs noted for handing down their strong points, as, for example, Barry Blue Prince, Rigside Dandy, and his sons Lanark Lad and Champion Nanook, Champion Azure of Hadley, and Blair Athol for eye colour; while for colour of coat there are Blair Athol, Champion Colneside, Billy Bumpet, Dazzler of Henley and his descendants, and Son o’ Flick.

Some females also are prepotent, and lucky is the fancier who owns one, always providing she is a good specimen.

When desiring to mate, a queen must be guarded carefully to prevent her choosing a husband who would certainly be undesirable. The signs of being in season are great fussiness and affection, a tendency to rub against everything, to roll over and over, and to give melancholy cries. This state lasts from a week to a fortnight, and puss should be sent to visit her future husband about the second day.

Pack her into a good sound basket with a lid, tie thick brown paper round the outside, and put bedding and flannel inside. How often does one see baskets labelled ‘ at with Care’ lying on station platforms in bitterly cold winds! The brown paper prevents these reaching the queen, and lessens the risk of cold and chill. Never line a basket inside, either with paper or American cloth — it is inviting infection and disease; an outside paper, on the other hand, can easily be replaced by new. Let the basket be large enough for puss to stand up and turn round in, but not too large, as smaller sizes are warmer. Never put any food inside, and do not feed her for three hours before starting on her journey. Label the basket carefully and fully, and insure her for at least five pounds, which just now costs one and threepence. More care is taken of insured animals.

When the lady returns from her honeymoon, keep her quiet and safe for at least a week. She will soon settle down, and it does not do to run the least risk of her escaping and finding another male, as she certainly would do while still in season. Stud fees vary from 21s. to 50s., with the return train fare. If the visit has not been successful, as sometimes happens with a maiden queen, and she comes in season again, let the stud owner know, and in nearly all cases a second mating is given free.

Gestation in female cats is from sixty-three to sixty-six days, but they vary by a day or two. About ten days before the kittens are due, settle puss where you wish her to have them, so that she may have time to get quite used to her new home. Give her a large sugar-box with a thick flannel bed, and put her sanitary tin in her pen; also see that she is in a room where other cats will not disturb her. During gestation let the queen have plenty of exercise and fresh grass, and let her lead her usual life. If it is natural for her to play and jump about, don’t prevent her; she will come to no harm. Don’t, however, have her in a room with high wardrobes, etc., for she is certain to climb up and try to make her bed in one of the drawers, and in jumping down she runs a risk of a miscarriage.

Guard against any shocks or frights, such as being chased by a dog. A bad thunderstorm will often upset her; and if one occurs take her in your arms and soothe her. Fright in a cat heavy with kitten is likely to produce a litter with open eyes, which is usually a bad sign for the kits. Indeed, when a litter is born with wide-open eyes they hardly ever survive. But if the eyes are only partly open they frequently close again, and the kits live and thrive.


When the time arrives for the cat to kitten great care must be taken not to fuss or interfere with her. Nature is the best maternity nurse, and unless anything goes wrong, there is no need for any other.

Don’t be constantly dosing the queen, though care must be taken that her bowels are properly opened. If not, give her a large teaspoonful of liquid paraffin or ‘Nujol’. Give it very slowly and carefully, for if she coughs and chokes over it there is a risk of it entering the lungs, or, as we say, going the wrong way. I once killed a favourite queen heavy with kitten by this accident happening. However, if the cat just drinks it slowly there is no risk at all. I consider ‘Nujol’ to be one of the safest and best aperients for cats; it is also a splendid remedy for carrying lumps of fur through the system.

When making the queen’s bed for her labour, take a piece of clean linoleum or cork lino rather smaller than the inside of her box, cover this with a piece of natural coloured felt, as used for placing under carpets; over that place a piece of white flannel, and, turning it over the edges of the linoleum, pin it firmly at the corners with four large safety pins. This prevents the babies from creeping under the bedding and getting smothered.

Once when I advocated this plan in an article in Fur and Feather, I received a letter accusing me of cruelty for giving the prospective mother so hard a bed. But the truth is that cats heavy with kitten like a smooth surface to stretch on, and the felt makes it nice and soft, and they always give up the arm-chairs and cushions, preferring to lie stretched out on the floor or table, because thus the weight of the kittens is removed and they are rendered more comfortable.

With a bed made like this in a large roomy box, and her sanitary tin at the end of her pen, puss will comfortably await the arrival of her children. Drop a curtain over the front of her bed, for cats love privacy at these times.

Let me repeat what I said before, that with large litters the first babies get pushed away and are apt to get cold before their mother can attend to them. When this happens remove the cold babies into a basket with flannel over a warm water-bottle, and leave them there until the queen is ready for them. Be sure the bottle is only warm; I have seen kittens nearly killed by too much heat. Offer the queen a saucer of warm milk, containing the drop of milk of magnesia before mentioned. She will usually lap it up, and can then be left quiet.

When you consider all the litter has arrived, don’t upset the queen by taking out the wet bedding, but gently slip a thick, warm blanket under her, and return the babies you were attending to.

Should any of the kittens not be separated, take a pair of rounded scissors, which have previously been in boiling water, and cut the cord about two inches away from the kitten. If the labour has been tedious give the mother some more milk and then leave her for some hours to rest.

Next day give the queen a nice meal of fish and milk, and either lift her and her family into another box ready prepared, or change the bed she lies on. I find it better to have a second box ready for her. Examine each baby, and should any of them be deformed or very poor, let them be destroyed at once. Drowning newly-born kittens in warm water causes no suffering.

A word of warning to the novice: Don’t mess about with the queen either before or during her labour. I know one fancier who massages poor puss and applies eau-de-Cologne to her nipples, to harden them. It is all so very unnecessary. Occasionally a birth is troublesome, and in this case call in a good veterinary surgeon. But in all the years I have owned cats I have only had occasion to do this once. Let Nature do her work with as little interference as possible. Sometimes a kitten arrives closely enveloped in a caul. In this event use the scissors very carefully to snip it. The kit comes out quite easily and seems none the worse. A few weeks ago I had a litter of four kittens, each in a caul, and all lived and did well.

Keep the temperature of the room about 55 degrees and let the window be open a little. Allow the curtain to hang over the little family until the babies’ eyes are opened, which will be when they are eight to ten days old. If their eyes are not open by then, feel if there is a ridge along the lids, and if so hold a little pledget of wool dipped in warm water to them and they will usually open. If they are very sticky, smear a little pure Vaseline or neo-protosil along them, leave for a few hours, and try again. The fact that the mother will wash off the grease means that she will also soften the lids until they open. Always buy Vaseline, by the way, or any other kind of ointment, in tubes, never in jars; with tubes there is no fear of the ingredients getting dirty.

Keep the mother and her family clean and free from fleas — no kittens can thrive if they are infested with fleas. Fresh blankets, a comb run through the queen’s coat frequently, and a little ‘Pulvex’ powder sprinkled in the corners of the box and under the blanket, will prevent this trouble. ‘Pulvex’ is a safe and most useful preventive. Any cat known to be troubled with fleas should have a little of it sprinkled in her coat and stomach, gently rubbed into the fur. Then, if left until next day, with the use of a fine flea comb you will discover nothing but dead fleas.

When expecting a valuable litter it is always advisable to have a foster-cat in readiness, in case the litter is too large for the mother to nurse, or in case her milk is late in coming, or scanty. Usually fanciers will have more than one queen due to kitten about the same time, in which case they can transfer one or two babies to another mother. But when this is not so, make inquiries in your neighbourhood so that you may know where you can find one if needed.

When the babies are a week old and the nursing mother has quite settled to her maternal duties, allow her to have exercise and rest each day. If the weather is fine it is a good plan to take her out of doors for just half an hour to enable her to obtain fresh air, a rest, and some grass to eat.


Male kittens should be neutered at from four to six months old. They can be done later, but it is cruel to wait until the kitten has reached maturity and probably already started mating. The operation is quite a simple one when performed by a qualified veterinary surgeon, and indeed should never be attempted by any one else. If done at about six months the kitten usually returns home the same day, but if done at a later age it is wiser to allow it to remain at the vet’s a couple of days.

There are a good many fanciers who are having female cats neutered as occasion arrives, and I believe that in the hands of a capable vet it is usually successful. But it is a thing I have never been able to consent to, for to make it a real success the operation is a big one and nothing like so safe or so simple as that on a male. The only occasion on which I feel it may be excusable is upon a female which is suffering from sexual hysteria but is otherwise a fine healthy cat.

Males that have been operated on usually grow greatly in size and weight, developing into fine large animals. As a rule they are rather lethargic and not given to roam abroad like the ordinary male. Very affectionate and domesticated, they make ideal pets. It is utterly impossible to have a male cat in our homes on account of the very strong odour; moreover, it is most unfair to one’s neighbours to allow one to prowl round the district, disturbing every one with the distressing noise with which they and other stray cats desecrate the stillness of the nights. So if you wish to keep a male as a pet, have him neutered.

I know of no grander sight to animal lovers than a long row of neuters at a cat show. They are very beautiful animals — so beautiful that in many cases it is sad to think they cannot reproduce their kind.

Among winners of late are Mrs. Crossman’s Rogue of Hyver, a chinchilla, beautifully tipped; Miss Dock’s White Plains Timothy, a lovely cream; Miss W. French’s Brown Tabby Rupert of Spell-land; Miss Simpson-Baikie’s Shah Jehan, another lovely cream; and a fine blue owned by Miss Grant Morris, Tutmosis of Thebes. Some equally good short hair neuters appear on the show bench: Mrs. Burls’ Silver Penny, a magnificent Silver Tabby, Mrs. Sharman’s Tsu-Zhi, a grand Siamese, and many others too numerous to name.


Some years ago I wrote to our official cat paper, Fur and Feather, on the subject of sex control in cats, making certain suggestions as to matings and asking fanciers to test them and let me know the results. I received, however, only two or three replies, and could gather no real facts to prove if there were any value in the ideas. Some writers have maintained that no one can control sex in animals. I did not lay down any law to the contrary; I only gave it from my own personal experience that if a queen is not mated until towards the end of her 'season’ the resulting kittens show a large majority of males.

It was a farmer who first spoke of this method to me, asking me if cat breeders went upon the same principles as farmers, and assuring me that he always mated sheep, pigs, etc., late or early in the ‘heat’, according to which sex he desired. Since then I have always followed his advice. That is many years ago now, and I still maintain that by mating late I get far more males than females.

It is often a most difficult matter to dispose of female kittens or cats, unless they are sired by a fashionable stud or have some other markedly good qualities. Male kittens, on the contrary, sell easily to be neutered as pets. One drawback to my suggested plan is that stud owners do not like queens sent late; another is that it is distinctly trying to keep the queen back and put up with her plaintive cries.

Many well-known writers have maintained that feeding has great influence on sex. ‘Wilkins’ says: ‘The food must be of influence upon the embryo in the mother’s womb, and the better nourishment favours the female, the worse the male’. According to ‘Landon’s’, ‘Food plays a most important part in the determination of sex. If the germ is richly nourished females are principally developed.’ Another much discussed point is, Do Studs while fresh and strong produce chiefly females? One writer, Mayerhofer, maintains that this is so, and assures us that if a stud is allowed a long rest the females mice again predominate.

When this little book is published I do hope fanciers who read it will try some of these suggestions and keep a record of the results. It would be most valuable to breeders of small stock. Personally I believe we can control sex in cats to a great extent.

Occasionally one meets a stud or a brood queen who nearly always produces one sex, and one sex only. I have a stud who out of nine litters has given me only three females; but then those litters were by the same queen, so I shall be interested to see if by other wives the same thing occurs. In a case like this I do not see that early or late mating is going to affect the results.


This is simply an interesting problem to breeders. I consider that, given good health, good food, good exercise, a stud should, used with discretion, sire equally valuable kittens for many years.

As an example of early siring it would be difficult to find a better one than Mrs. Yeates’s blue stud Lanark Lad. He was born in 1919, and unfortunately lived only three years, dying in 1922. But in those few years he left behind him most valuable progeny to carry on his type and colour.

Another sample of early siring was that splendid stud Ch. Swinton Dinna Forget, born March 29th, 1920, who sired Ch. Red Leader, A1 nil 24th, 1921, and Ch. Shazada, August H).: 1. So that he sired Ch. Red Leader when only thirteen months old. Another grand red stud, Hampstead Red Saia I, born in 1913, gave me a litter of five charming and winning kittens out of Soame Flamette in 1924 when the grand old man was eleven.

All these facts go to prove that we may expect equally good kittens when the stud is in the heyday of youth, or when he is growing old, so long as conditions favour his health and strength.


Don’t buy a cheap cat or kitten to commence breeding from.
Don’t buy from a shop.
Don’t feed at odd times, but give two or three meals a day at regular hours.
About half a tea-saucerful of food at a time is sufficient, for a four months’ kitten, a tea-saucerful for a cat, a breakfast-saucerful for the stud.
Don’t neglect to comb the coats of your nils and to see they have exercise every day, wot or fine.
Don't be continually administering doses; it is unnatural and unnecessary.
Don't interfere with your females when in labour, they like quietness and privacy.
Don’t let visitors see the mother and babies until at least a week after they are born.
Don't let your queens lead a lonely life; it is cruel.
Don’t let newly-born kittens be in total darkness; all that is needed is to shade the strong light from them for the first ten days.
Don’t allow a queen to have a second litter too soon; give her time to recover her strength.
Never allow a weakly or deformed kitten to live; drown it at birth.
Don’t allow your stud too many visitors; it never pays; his stock will only deteriorate and his value diminish.
Allow him plenty of exercise, let him romp and play with big kittens if he is fond of them.
An egg beaten up in a few spoonfuls of milk is a good pick-me-up for a stud after mating.
Handle your kittens frequently and get them used to being petted, or they will be nervous when sold and not show to advantage. I should like to emphasize this point, for some fanciers do not get their young stock used to petting.
After cats or kittens have been to a show be sure and keep them apart from your other stock for at least fourteen days.
Don’t dose cats or kittens before or after a show — it does no good; the only thing needed is a few spoonfuls of milk and brandy directly they reach home to prevent risk of chills.
Cats are very prone to canker of the ears; watch for this, and keep the ears clean. It is a good plan to ask your vet to examine the teeth of all your stock once or twice a year. He will then remove tartar and any decayed teeth. Cats are like ourselves and cannot eat or digest their food with bad teeth.
Don't have male kittens neutered until they are four to six months old, and always have it done by a qualified vet.
Never kill a cat, or even a big kitten, yourself; if it has to be done, let a qualified vet do it painlessly. If a male or female cat has done its best for you during life, let it pass out of life as easily as possible.


Canker of the Ears is a trouble that should never be seen in a well- managed cattery. There may, and probably will be, single cases now and then, but if the ears of all the cats are examined frequently and any suspicious case attended to at once we should never see cats with a deformed and dropped ear as is now frequently the case.

After an illness, or after a heavy cold, it may suddenly appear. The first signs are scratching the ear, and shaking the head and holding it on one side. Procure an orange stick, such as is used in manicuring finger-nails. Twist a bit of clean cotton-wool tightly round it, and, after finding a helper to hold puss firmly, very gently clean out the ear, using fresh pieces of wool after each effort. If it is a real case of canker, a dark-brown crumbly stuff will come out. Carefully cleanse the ear, then put a small egg-spoonful of canker powder into it; gently shake it in, and massage the root of the ear so that the powder gets right down.

There are several good canker powders on the market. I find all the remedies put up by ‘Shirley’ are good and safe. They can be obtained at any good chemist. Another good remedy is four drops of Friar’s Balsam dropped into the ears once a day. The treatment, whichever you choose, must be repeated for several days until the ears are clean and normal.

Sometimes the mischief has developed into an abscess in the ear, in which case you will find a thick discharge, but the treatment will be just the same.

As canker is infectious, care must be taken in burn all bits of cotton-wool used, and all crumbly bits that fall from the ear while being cleaned.

Sore Eyes in Kittens. — This is a most troublesome ailment, and it is difficult to find a cause for it. Some queens seem always to produce sore-eyed kits, and if it is her fault and not the sire’s, then it is best not to breed from her again.

If a tiny kitten has its eyelids stuck together, take a piece of clean lint or cotton wool soaked in warm water and hold it over the affected eyes for a moment to soften the lids, not wetting them more than you can help. This usually enables the lids to part; then wipe away all matter, and smear the lids with neo-protosil or pure boracic ointment. Repeat this two or three times a day until the eye remains open; only once a day is useless.

Another excellent remedy is to procure a glass dropper, and after cleansing the eye put one drop of medicinal paraffin into each eye once daily.

A third remedy is to procure a tube of golden eye ointment of one per cent and use as directed for neo-protosil or boracic.

I don’t care for lotions, or bathing the eyes.

Should there be several kittens affected in a litter, then carefully examine the mother’s nipples and surrounding fur. It is impossible for kits to have sore eyes without the matter getting on to the fur while they are suckling. Cleanse the coat and nipples as carefully as you have done the eyes.

Worms. — It is natural for cats to have worms, and even the most healthy cats have been found to have many. If fed on meat, a cat should not be troubled with them, but if they are passed in the motions, or the cat gets thin while still eating well, then have recourse to one of the many good worm capsules or tablets. Starve the cat for twenty-four hours before giving the medicine, then wait for an hour and give a drink of warm milk, after which the medicine usually acts in id puss can be fed in the ordinary way. If the dose shows she has many worms, then repeat it in a few days’ time.

A full-grown cat needs three of ‘Shirley’s Puppy Worm-tablets’, a kitten of eight months two, and (if it should be necessary) A kit of four months one. One of the best worm cures I know is ‘Castrique Tablets’ put up by J. F. Chambers, F.C.S., of the Laboratory, Nottingham. They require no starving beforehand and are absolutely safe, The tablets are easy to administer, and being almost tasteless can be powdered over the cat's food.

Don't dose little kittens unless you are convinced they need it, and never until they are four months old. It is a good plan to give every queen a dose before she is mated as a safeguard for the kittens.

Stomach Troubles. — This ailment is usually caused by over-feeding, wrong feeding, or chills. Borroughs Welcombe’s tablets of bismuth and soda are most useful in cases of sickness or diarrhoea; one tablet twice or thrice a day and very light food usually puts things right. If this treatment does not answer, small doses of Crooke’s kaiolin is an excellent stomach corrective. Should the cat or kitten be able to take its ordinary food, sprinkle half a teaspoonful of kaiolin over its meal, or give the dose mixed in a little milk three times a day. This is really more satisfactory as you are sure it has all been taken. This powder, being one which is used largely for humans, can be procured at any good chemist. It is only sold in rather large packets, but keeps good and is a satisfactory medicine for a cattery.

Diarrhoea. — Never allow this to continue, as it is most weakening and difficult to cure if allowed to get chronic. First give a dose of liquid paraffin or pure olive oil, in case there is something in the bowels that needs removing; then bismuth and soda tablets one, two or three times a day. Should these fail to cure, I find ‘Shirley’s Diarrhoea Powder’ very satisfactory. A change of food will assist in the cure. Stop any sloppy food, but give small meals of finely minced raw beef.

Should you find the diarrhoea is caused by ‘worms’ then treat accordingly, but don't wait until the kitten or cat has been debilitated before you dose it.

Colds. — How fanciers of any stock dread to hear the youngsters sneeze!—it usually means a cold which runs through all of them. It is wise to remove the affected cat into a warm, sunny room away from the others. As a rule, the extra warmth and attention will ward off a bad attack. A very excellent tonic for curing colds or strengthening invalids is 'Saccharated Carbonate of Iron’. This powder is almost tasteless, and can be sprinkled on the food — one grain for a kitten, three grains for a cat, twice daily. Keep the nose quite clear; squeezing a drop of warm olive oil up each nostril from a fountain-pen filler seems to help greatly. There is no cure equal to sunshine for any kitten ailments. Even if they are very ill, carrying them into the sun will always do them good.

Constipation. — A feed of raw liver (not the chilled) very often corrects this, or a teaspoon for a kitten and two for a cat, of liquid paraffin or olive oil. See that there is a supply of fresh grass, which in winter can be grown in pots.

Retention of Urine. — Sometimes a cat will be troubled with this after it has been to a show and not able to find its usual sanitary tin, and nursing mothers are occasionally worried in this way. A five-grain tablet of potassium bicarbonate, and being allowed a run in the garden, generally remedies it; if not, repeat the dose.

Skin Troubles. — Healthy cats very rarely have any rashes or eruptions, but occasionally a patch of eczema appears - usually a few tiny pimples or scurfy patches. For this, use a good sulphur lotion, just dabbing it on the affected parts with clean cotton-wool. Liquid paraffin used in the same way will stop all irritation and soon heal it. Don’t use any ointments; they annoy the cat, and worry her; she hates a greasy or sticky coat, which usually puts her off her food.

Should you have any doubt about the rash, show it to a veterinary surgeon at once, as 'mange’ though rare, does sometimes attack a cat and needs very prompt attention.

Ringworm also is to be guarded against. This starts by small round bare patches, and should at once be painted with strong tincture of iodine, using a camel’s-hair brush. If you suspect ringworm, isolate the cat at once, as it is contagious to other animals. If taken in time and the iodine put on a rather larger space than the bare part, it is, Al a rule, speedily cured. Should the skin show signs of cracking, stop painting for day or two and apply vaseline.

Ringworm is generally caught from using hay for bedding which has been infected by mice, itt is much wiser to use one of the modern materials, such as 'Elastene’ or wood wool, which make comfortable beds and can be easily renewed at very little cost.

Distemper and Infectious Enteritis. — I don’t think I can do better than give the article on these subjects written by Mr. Thomas F. Megroz. It is one of a series of cat remedies written by him some time ago and kindly sent to me:

Some diseases of the cat are so serious and dangerous that simple remedies cannot be given or suggested. In this class I would mention Distemper, Gastritis, Enteritis, Bronchitis, etc. In every instance when symptoms cause you to suspect one or other of these diseases, veterinary aid should be called in at once. By veterinary aid I do not mean a chemist, but a qualified veterinary surgeon. Do not wait until the cat is nearly dead, and then blame whoever is attending it for its death.

Distemper is a highly contagious and infectious disease from cat to cat, but cannot be passed from cat to dog. The disease may appear in various forms, and can occur at any time of the year, although it is more likely during damp and changeable weather.

The catarrhal form is the commonest and may at first be mistaken for an ordinary cold, but where other cats are kept, it is safest to isolate the suspect at once. The disease in this form affects the eyes and nose, from which there is a profuse watery discharge. Sneezing and snuffling accompanies these symptoms, and the coat becomes staring. The appetite appears to be almost lost, but if the eyes and nose are kept clear with cotton-wool soaked in a warm boracic solution, there is a better chance of the cat being able to smell and see a tempting dish. It should be allowed whatever food it prefers.

The disease in its abdominal form is very serious and often fatal, as we have continued sickness to contend with. In its acute form there is repeated and violent vomiting, great thirst and diarrhoea, cold extremities and offensive odour; the stomach is distended and painful when touched, the coat dirty, the eyes appear to sink in, and very soon comes prostration.

Infectious Enteritis. — For the average keeper of a domestic cat I might almost name Infectious Enteritis under the above symptoms.

Incidentally, the symptoms are almost identical with poisoning, and most owners often think that their pet has picked up a bit. A few weeks ago I visited a very closely populated district in Bath, having heard that many cats were being poisoned. In every instance I was satisfied that poison was not the cause. Nearly all the imagined laying of poison may be rightly put down to the very contagious and infectious ravages of Gastro-enteritis.

Food will, of course, be refused in any gastric form of disease. Directly your cat refuses food persistently give a dose of bismuth powder, a pinch about the size of a pea, dropped on the back of the tongue. Bismuth powder is an excellent and safe remedy in many cat ills, and should always be at hand.

Do not attempt giving any solid food. The stomach being nauseated will reject anything not of a very light nature, such as the white of an egg or Brand’s essence of beef. Drinking aggravates the complaint. All water should be removed, allowing only a few spoonfuls every hour or two. Everything given must be cold.

Bear these few points in mind and you will have assisted the veterinary surgeon considerably when he arrives.

This article by Mr. Megroz should be most helpful; with his large kennels and home for dogs and cats, his experience is of great value.

While on the subject of this terrible disease of infectious enteritis I must point out to readers that during the years 1919, 1920, and 1921 the epidemic among cats was so great that the mortality reached over one million, including not only long hair and pet cats but cats of every description. In an effort to find some remedy for this scourge I arranged for an influential committee of breeders and fanciers, with the Hon. Mrs. Clive Behrens as president and the late Miss F. Simpson as vice-president. At our request the University of London consented to allow Brown’s Animal Sanitary Institute to undertake a thorough research into this disease, and their superintendent, Dr. F. W. Twart, so well known in research work, kindly undertook the investigation. Our hopes ran high for some time. But, alas! the university, after trying to help us for two years, was obliged to give it up owing to lack of material. What was needed and asked for was the bodies of cats who had died of the disease, for examination directly after death. Fanciers, however, seemed unable to allow their dead pets to be so used, not realizing what a blessing the results might be to future generations, or what suffering might thus be saved, and what invaluable information and remedies might have reasonably been procured. And so, when another epidemic arrives we shall still be helpless to cure it or to prevent its recurrence. This was one of the greatest disappointments of my life.


So much depends on the way an invalid cat is nursed and fed that perhaps a few notes on the subject may prove of use to the novice. Every cat is devoted to its owner: that bare statement can be taken literally. Unless it happens to be really savage, in which case it should be put to sleep, a cat looks to its owner for love, attention, and food. So that, in case of illness, personal attention is more than half the cure.

It is fatal to allow a cat's or kitten's strength to ebb away at the commencement of any illness, so that when the crisis comes it is quite unable to cope with it and quietly sinks from exhaustion. I am quite aware that many veterinary surgeons say, ‘Never force a cat to eat.’ Well, I don’t agree with them! Would a good nurse go on that principle with a human patient? Never in this world, or she would often lose her patient and her post.

First keep the cat’s nostrils and lips quite clean, or it will not try to take any nourishment. Use small pledgets of cotton-wool – fresh pieces each time — soaked in warm water in which a few crystals of permanganate of potash or Condy’s fluid have been dissolved. And once more may I suggest that a few drops of warm olive oil inserted in each nostril is a great healer in cases of cold or distemper.

Keep the cat herself clean, gently drawing a coarse comb through the chief part of her coat daily without unduly disturbing her. One knows how much fresher one feels oneself during an illness when one has been washed and made more comfortable.

If there is any diarrhoea, and her coat gets soiled, clean it at once before it is too bad. During an illness never use ‘Elastene’ or hay, for they add to the difficulties. Clean pieces of white flannel, or even newspapers, are preferable.

Should there be rise of temperature, the invalid will endeavour to creep away to some corner where the oilcloth or floor is extra cold, but this she must not be allowed to do. Normal cat temperature is 101 to 102 degrees, and inspiration 20 to 30 a minute. If these are exceeded, keep her in a good large pen or basket with a lid, so as to prevent her getting a fresh chill. Even if she objects at first, she will soon settle if she knows her owner is near to her.

I remember the well-known veterinary surgeon Mr. Henry Gray telling me of a cottager who owned several cats having an epidemic of distemper among them which ended in the loss of all except the kitchen cat and her litter of four big kits. These lived in a dark cupboard chosen by puss for its warmth and privacy, and every one recovered — chiefly because they were quite warm, out of all draughts, and attended to by their mother. So never allow an invalid to wander about in her restlessness. Warmth is most necessary, but always have an open window.

Directly puss declines food, start coaxing her to have a little nourishment from a spoon. This can be given from the side of the mouth, without disturbing her at all. In cases of great illness feed from a fountain-pen filler, which as a rule a cat does not seem to notice.

I am a great believer in Valentine’s meat juice or Brands’ beef-juice. It is true they cost 3s. 6d. a bottle, but one bottle will see a cat through a long illness. Dilute one teaspoonful of the juice into a dessert-spoonful of water, the colder the better, and give in teaspoon doses hourly. This is most refreshing and nourishing. A few spots of brandy can be added if needed. Cream is valuable, but I find a sick cat does not like anything thick or greasy. One objection I have to Brands’ meat jellies is that they make the fur so sticky and stiff and so cause discomfort.

To a cat suffering from any stomach trouble a hot-water bottle, at just a nice temperature, is a great comfort, and as a rule she will lie on it for hours. As the cat improves, tempt her with tiny bits of raw beefsteak, liver, or sardines. If one piece is placed in her mouth and the jaws held a moment until the piece has been swallowed, it frequently starts her desire for solids.

Never allow a sick cat to sit over a bowl of water drinking and drinking; it does them no good. A few laps allowed now and then is wiser.

Should an illness occur in summer, carry the cat into the sunshine or place her in a sunny place. It is wonderful how any invalid, human or not, will improve in bright, sunny weather.

Don’t give a cat any nasty medicine; it only upsets her and sets her off her food. It is so easy to obtain most drugs in the form of tiny pills which can be administered in a spoonful of liquid nourishment, and this avoids disturbing her twice.

Should your cat be too ill to swallow enough nourishment, do not delay, but procure some nutrient suppositories. They can be easily inserted in the rectum after being smeared with Vaseline. Ask your veterinary surgeon to procure, the ones he considers best, but do not let him delay too long or her strength will have gone too far and nothing will save her.

Should you ever have the misfortune to have a cat ill with pneumonia and pleurisy, and her breathing very painful, then, however much you love her, or rather because you love her, let her be put gently to sleep. I once had a dear black queen very ill in this way, and when the vet came to see her he said, ‘I wish you could bring yourself to save her all this suffering.’ So, on my lap and with one hand still stroking her, he gave her an injection, and without struggle or discomfort the laboured breathing grew quieter and quieter and she was at rest.


This term is most misleading. Some breeders seem to think that as long as a cattery, or kennel smells strongly of Jeyes or carbolic all is well. I dislike strong smells anywhere, and once I notice them in a cattery I retire at once.

Should you have had an infectious case and, having removed it to an isolation pen, wish to disinfect the cat-house, first burn all bedding, boxes which have held bedding, and anything else easily burnt without loss. Then close windows and ventilators and either use a large-sized sulphur candle or a Lister’s formalyde lamp, and leave for a day and a night. Then let in as much sun, wind, and air as is possible and scrub everything with lint water and carbolic soap. When the building has then been left with open windows and doors for a few days, it should be sanitary once more.

Boxes used for beds are generally procured from the grocers, so it is best to burn the old ones and start afresh.

A spray of pine disinfectant freshens the cattery if it does nothing else. Some of our cat shows used to be sprayed constantly with some strong disinfectant that caused eyes to smart and water and cats to sneeze terribly. I am thankful to say this practice has been stopped, for cats’, and especially kittens’, eyes are particularly sensitive to strong sprays.

As far as keeping the average cattery free from trouble is concerned, I don’t believe anything is needed but care, cleanliness, and plenty of soap and water. Naturally if illness comes other measures have to be taken.

I should like to recommend a cure for the strong odour which always accompanies a male cat. Any breeder who keeps studs knows how very hard it is to prevent this. The remedy, sold by Messrs. Boots & Co., is called ‘Bonnaire Deodinizor’ and costs 8s. 6d., with a spray for use, and extra bottles can be had at 1s. 3d. each. If this spray is used once or twice a day in the males' house it does away with all objectionable odours. I have found it invaluable.


Bladder Troubles. — Fortunately the bladder of the cat is not frequently affected with disease. The commonest, and usually the only, disease met with among them is a cystitis, caused by small granules of a sandy nature being deposited in the bladder. These got into the urethra (the small tube leading from the bladder to the penis), and consequently prevent the cat from relieving itself.

At first the symptoms are not very noticeable; the cat simply lying about, off its food, and frequently going either into the garden or to its box, and straining. This straining is frequently mistaken for constipation, but if the animal’s abdomen is pressed between the fingers, a large swelling will be easily felt: this is the bladder distended with urine. Castor oil and the other purgatives are of no use in these cases, and the aid of a veterinary surgeon should be immediately sought. Until that aid is available, warm applications to the abdomen will give relief.

Convulsions or Fits. — Not common in cats. When fits occur in the kitten, or indeed in the adult cat, treatment is of very little avail. A mild dose of an aperient followed with a milk diet may be tried, and in the case of the kitten a dose for worms. But if the fits recur frequently it is usually advisable to have the animal painlessly put to sleep.

If teething is suspected as the cause of fits in the kitten, try three grains of potassium bromide given in the milk three times a day.

Distemper. — A very highly infectious disease affecting cats of all ages, but usually kittens of three or four months old. The patient is usually listless and completely off its food, and generally remains in one position, or attempts to get to somewhere where it is cold. The animal if handled feels limp; in fact this ‘limpness’ is one of the most characteristic symptoms of the disease. Usually the throat is very inflamed, and this is easily seen on examination. The cat will frequently approach the milk or food and will show a desire to drink or eat, but seems incapable of doing so. Frequently it will also vomit, sometimes only a watery thick vomit, but sometimes the vomit is tinged yellow. In older cats one of the first symptoms noticeable is the stringy saliva running from either side of the lips.

The treatment in these cases is always difficult owing to the throat being sore, and the cat consequently resisting anything being poured into its mouth; but as soon as the symptoms are observed the owner should immediately isolate the affected animal, and put it in a warm place with a nice comfortable bed. Quinine pills, half grain, given three times a day in the early stages, is one of the best medicines, and |beyond that teaspoonfuls of cold water frequently given, and sometimes a few drops of brandy added to the water. If the cat will retain milk or good beef-tea, these should be given in small quantities at intervals of two hours.

The great thing to attend to is the comfort of the animal, especially that it is kept warm.

As a preventive, if kittens are to be shown, it is a good plan to give them quinine pills for three in four days before, during, and after the show. And it is always advisable to isolate the kittens or cats returning from a show for at least ten days, as this is undoubtedly one of the most infectious and fatal diseases affecting the cat.

Influenza. - A disease affecting cats of all ages, but more especially older ones. The symptoms for all practical purposes are identical with those of the human. As with the human it is very infectious and as soon as a cat is noticed to be suffering from a catarrhal condition of the nose it should be immediately isolated, and a strict watch kept on any other cats with which it has been in contact. It is a question as to whether this is not a form of distemper. In any case, it should be treated on similar lines. But there is a condition in some adult cats of a chronic nasal catarrh, and when this occurs the owner should seek the advice of a veterinary surgeon, as home treatment is out of the question.

Apart from the nursing of the case of influenza, a very nice application for nostrils which are inclined to be blocked with a thick purulent discharge is an ointment composed of:

Chinosal, grain x
Vaseline, oz. j

It should be remembered that in these conditions nursing is of far greater importance than medicines.

Gastric Troubles: Common Ailments affecting the Bowels of the Cat.—Gastritis, or vomiting, is of very common occurrence in the cat. When the vomit consists of either the food or a roll of matted hair the condition is not alarming, but when a kitten or a cat consistently vomits, and the vomit consists only of a yellow mucus of a watery consistency, it is a question then as to whether this is a case of simple gastritis or a symptom of the distemper referred to previously.

It is advisable always to remember that when there is an inflamed part — in this instance the stomach — the affected organ should be rested as much as possible. It is no use giving such things as castor oil to a cat suffering from gastritis. Far better to withhold all food and give the cat a little of the following: White of one egg, half a teaspoonful of brandy, and a tablespoonful of water. Beat up sufficiently to mix, and give a teaspoonful every hour. Five grains bismuth dropped at the back of the tongue every two hours is also advisable; and even when the vomiting has stopped, still withhold food for some hours, and then give either a little well-boiled fish raw scraped meat, but do not forcibly feed if the cat is apparently well and just refusing food.

When gastritis is accompanied by diarrhoea the above treatment still holds, but the following is often better than the plain bismuth. Mixture composed of:

Bis. Carbonate, grain xl
Salve, grain xl
Liq. Paraffin,oz.j
A teaspoonful twice a day.

Solid food should be withheld for at least twenty-four hours, but the white of egg, etc., as advocated above, may be given at intervals of four hours.

Sometimes a cat is affected with enteritis, or inflammation of the bowels, that becomes chronic. In all these cases the advice of a veterinary surgeon is essential.

Pneumonia or Inflammation of the Lungs. - Fortunately a rare complaint in the cat, but always a serious one. The cat usually is very quiet, and one notices the breathing or respirations to be hurried or quickened. Entire loss of appetite, emaciation, and lack of interest in anything. A temperature anything from 103 F to 105 F may be recorded. As soon as the owner suspects inflammation of the lungs, skilled advice should be sought.

Diseased Condition of the Eye. — By far the most prevalent is purulent conjunctivitis, usually affecting kittens: a purulent discharge from the eyes often causing the eyelids to adhere, and, if not promptly attended to, seriously affecting the eyeball. Bathe with the following lotion:

A teaspoonful boracic acid to half a pint of warm water,

And then apply the following ointment:

Boracic Acid, oz.j
Chinosal, grain viij
Vaseline, oz. j

There is a condition of the cat’s eyes that a veterinary surgeon is frequently consulted about. The condition is that in which the membrane nictitans, or third eyelid, covers a third of even a half of the eye. This is not actually a diseased condition of the eye, but is produced by the eyeball receding and allowing the third eyelid to become prominent. This is due to the animal having recently lost condition and being out of sorts generally, and an Improved diet to which cod liver oil may be added will usually remedy this defect.

When an actual injury to the eye does occur, keep the cat in a dark place and apply the following lotion:

Liquid Ext. Belladonna, mxv
Chinosa, grain v
Aqua ad., oz vj

Apply three times a day.

Skin Diseases. — Eczema, mange, and ringworm are all comparatively common in the cat and occur in frequency in the order named.

Eczema usually occurs along the spine, but may occur on any part of the body. It may be of the moist or the dry variety. It is generally produced either by some constitutional disturbance, such as wrong feeding or a too monotonous diet, and in some cases is undoubtedly due to hereditary predisposition. Bare places are seen to occur, and in the case of moist eczema there is at first an exudate, and later, owing to contamination with dirt, usually from the claw, pus appears. In other cases the skin is comparatively dry, very scurfy, and the hair comes off over large areas.

The first treatment is a change of diet, with a liberal allowance of raw meat or raw liver. The following medicine may be given internally, mixed with milk:

Liquor Arsenicatis, mj
Aqua ad., oz. j

A teaspoonful twice a day for a week and then once a day for a week.

Externally, for the moist variety, the following dry dressing should be dusted on the affected parts once or twice a day. Equal parts of:

Boracic Acid (powder)

For the dry variety plain liquid paraffin has been found to be very efficacious — if well rubbed on the bare places once a day and not merely smeared on the coat.

Mange almost invariably starts, and usually confines itself, to the head and neck. In this condition there is almost always an unpleasant odour arising from the skin; also intense irritation and the skin becomes thickened and feels more like leather than the normal skin of the cat.

As this disease is caused by a specific organism, the greatest care should be taken not only to isolate the affected animal, but to see that the place in which the cat has been kept is thoroughly disinfected.

In the early stages of the disease ordinary sulphur ointment well rubbed in every day is often successful in effecting a cure, but treatment must be persevered with until there is no evidence of the spread of the disease to the neighbouring parts, and the new hair is seen to be growing. If the disease is not detected in the very earliest stages it is usually better to have the animal painlessly destroyed.

Ringworm is also caused by a definite organism, but in this disease any part of the animal may be affected. At first small, round patches denuded of hair will be noticed, and if the body of the cat is examined it is usual to find small, round, well-defined areas of the skin slightly raised. If the hair is removed the epithelium comes away with the roots of the hair, leaving a moist, shiny surface.

Here it is necessary to point out that this disease is very easily transmissible to a human subject, and great care should be taken by the owner in dealing with it. And it is the more necessary to be thorough in disinfecting everything that the affected cat has come in contact with, because not only is there risk to the human, but the organism causing ringworm is very difficult to destroy. In view of the very contagious nature of this disease, a veterinary surgeon should be consulted at the earliest possible moment—even if the ringworm is only suspected.


It is with pleasure I respond to the invitation to write on this subject. Our English method of judging is a simple and direct matter when one knows the way. Like most other things, experience is a valuable asset, and where this is lacking chaos and confusion result.

At our shows in this country exhibits are penned in galvanized wire cages, securely fastened to wooden tables. These pens are placed in order of the Breed Classes, and are numbered consecutively. This arrangement is essential if confusion is to be avoided. We have a system of duplicate entries which, if dealt with by the uninitiated secretary, steward or judge, can easily lead to disaster.

This system of duplication is a fundamental requirement if a show is to pay its way, for in consequence of duplicate entries an exhibit may be entered in several classes, and it is here that the unwary secretary or show manager falls into a trap. On more than one occasion I have judged a show where an exhibit has been given a different number in every class it has competed in, and it has been as bad as looking for a needle in a haystack to find the exhibit.

Once [you] recognize that one cat requires one pen and one number only and it is as easy as kissing one’s sweetheart.

Having. fastened upon this principle, it is comparatively easy to find the exhibits, whether wanted by the judge or by the general public. Prior to the arrival of the judges the exhibits have been penned, after veterinary examination. At an appointed hour, usually ten o'clock in the morning, the task of judging commences.

Each judge is allotted a steward, and after many years’ experience as a judge I at once raise my hat to the stewards, for it makes all the difference to a judge’s mental composure whether the steward is competent or not. Without hesitation I state my preference for a lady steward; she is generally gentler in her handling of the exhibits, and more patient with those which show signs of nervousness or temper. A bad-tempered cat is about the worst possible thing to encounter, and on a few occasions I have seen stewards terribly mauled by excited felines. It sometimes happens that the sweetest-tempered animal suddenly develops a resentful attitude and refuses to be taken from its pen for inspection. Provided with a steward, the judge starts off on his work, furnished with a small portable table and a judging book. The judging book contains numbers only, with a duplicate copy which is dispatched to the secretary’s office as soon as each class is judged.

Now we are ready to start. The finding of the early classes is easy enough, for the numbering is in consecutive order. Let us say we are starting off with Blue Adult Males. The numbers in the book are probably 1 to 12, in consecutive order. My usual practice is just to run through those pens to see if each is occupied. Perhaps No. 9 is empty, so the book is marked ‘Abs.’ (= ‘Absent’). Now, Madam Steward, let us have No. 1 out on the table. I examine him carefully, make my notes on the counterfoil of my judging book, and give him certain marks. The plan I adopt is to put small pencil dots against his number. In practice I find that my ultimate first winner has got six dots and my commended exhibit only one dot. Very seldom do I give more than one card of a kind. Some judges, after they have placed their winners, give V.H.C. cards (‘Very Highly Commended’) to every exhibit of any show excellence. I do not; I go from First to Commended, and by this method I communicate to exhibitors the relative merits of my seven best exhibits in each class. The granting of several V.H.C. cards is regarded as some consolation where the exhibits do not get into the actual prize money; but personally I incline to the view that exhibitors desire to know the judge’s opinion of an exhibit in competition with others, and if two, three, or more cards are given of the same value this object is defeated.

Having been through the class and made my notes and dotted my numbers, I now go for a final look at my most dotted exhibits. Usually it is fairly easy to find the winner - he generally stands well away — but there is often greater difficulty in determining second, third, and reserve positions. However, these places have to be determined and little points are often deciding factors.

One important decision has to be made before signing the slip and sending it in. Is there a championship certificate to be awarded in this class? ‘Yes’. Does my first-prize winner merit such an award? I have to decide that, and it is a more momentous decision than the first prize. Here again I part company with tome of my colleagues, for I have known several cases where a first has been awarded and the championship withheld for want of merit. My contention has always been that at a championship show in the Breed Class if an exhibit is unworthy of champion honours the first prize should be withheld. Happily the quality is generally so high to-day that these difficulties do not often arise. Judges are only (too pleased to award all possible honours, and find no satisfaction in withholding any prize which can reasonably be given without detriment to the variety. Having decided to award a championship, the judge writes ‘1st an Ch.’ on the slip, fills in all the awards in the class on the perforated duplicate slip, signs it, and sends it in to the office, from whence it is duly posted so that exhibitors present at the show can at once know their luck, for good or ill.

The Blue Female Adult Class follows along the same methods, and then the Male and Female Kitten Classes. When these are finished, probably fifty or sixty exhibits have been examined and adjudicated upon, and everything has gone pleasantly and without a hitch. The other breeds follow on similar lines.

But now come the Duplicate Classes — say, 'Any Variety Cat or Kitten, Long Hair or Short Hair, including Siamese, Abyssinian, etc.’ ‘Twenty-seven entries,’ says the judge, and the steward, who up to this point has been a perfect angel, becomes even more angelic and says, ‘How exciting! Now we shall have to trot about.’ The numbers in this class cover the whole show, from Pen 1 to Pen 399, a Blue Persian, a Tortie and White, a Manx, a Red Tabby, a Blue Cream, a Black, and so on: every kind of cat, and probably twenty out of the twenty-seven all good ones — winners in their own classes, perchance. This is where judgment is required, and, let me say, this is where a little more toleration on the part of some exhibitors would be advantageous. It is not easy to win a class of this kind, and it is not easy to judge these Variety Classes. I have often been asked by disappointed exhibitors, ‘What is your favourite variety?’ And my invariable answer is that my favourite is the best of every variety. ‘You don’t like Siamese, Mr. W., do you?’ ‘Yes, if they are good Siamese.' (One of the most lovable animals I ever had in my home was a charming old Siamese Neuter ‘Beppo’ — but that’s another »tory.)

In a class of this sort a judge must have no preferences or prejudices, he must find the best all-round exhibit whatever its colour, and act fearlessly to the limit of his ability. Without these well-filled Variety Classes no show could pay its way. And, besides, I really think that the all-round judge revels in these big mixed classes; they are the acid test of his ability to judge, as indeed they are often n a revelation of the true sportsmanship of exhibitors. The highest compliment the fancy can pay to any judge is to support these classes time after time. So long as a judge can draw entries in these classes it is evidence of the Fancy’s confidence.

‘I suppose you know quite a number of the best cats, although you only have their pen numbers in your book?’ is a question I have been asked. What matter if I do? It is impossible to see some exhibits without knowing them again; their quality stamps itself on one’s mind. Some judges have a wonderful memory for names of exhibits; fortunately I have not, and never encourage the use of names in the show; the pen number is the only thing a judge need bother about. After over a quarter of a century of continual judging I can happily count my personal friends in the Fancy by scores, but if judges stooped to remember their friends when judging, the game would not be worth the candle. It’s the exhibit we want all the time and every time. Any departure from this essential in a judge will soon meet its reward: he is no longer a judge, but a juggler; his services will not be required, the Fancy will wane, and our hobby be robbed of its friendship and uplift. Our English judging may sometimes be faulty, as all human undertakings necessarily are, but it is clean and honest.

When the classes are all finished and the stewards tired out with three or four hours’ running about and handling exhibits, we arrive at ‘Best in Show’ Awards. Each judge brings out his best exhibit, and the coveted honour is voted upon by all the judges, sometimes as many as seven, eight, or nine adjudicating. Next season we are making a new departure; not more than three judges will determine the ‘Best in Show’ Awards. Each judge will still bring out his best exhibit, and will then leave it to three selected judges, whose names have been announced in the Schedule for this purpose, and who have experience as all-round judges. This, I feel confident, will be a welcome change. It will do away with the evil of a person who is an excellent judge of a particular breed but who knows nothing of other varieties, being in the position of giving a vote when it comes to final verdict in which probably not one of the finalists happens to be of his one-known variety.

Heart-burnings there will then be, but on the whole the new move is a move in the right direction.

BY CYRIL YEATES, Chairman of the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy

The first cat show was organized by the late mM. Harrison Weir and held at the Crystal Palace in 1871, and cat shows have been held there annually, with hardly a break, to this day. From 1871 to 1895 the shows were organized by the Crystal Palace Co., but in 1896 they were taken over by the National Cat Club, which has run them ever since.

The National Cat Club was formed in 1887, and the Cat Fancy, as we know it to-day, may be said to date from that year. The National Cat Club — or N.C.C. as it is more generally called — drew up a set of show rules which with very little alteration have been in use ever since. The N.C.C. ruled the Cat Fancy without dispute until 1898, when there was a split in its ranks, and an opposition Club called 'The Cat Club’ was formed by Lady Marcus Beresford, and between 1900 and 1902 numerous other club and specialist societies came into existence. After six years, during which it ran several very good shows at the old Royal Aquarium, Westminster, ‘The Cat Club ’ came to an end and the N.C.C. became again the sole ruling body.

For the next few years the N.C.C. was unfortunate in its secretary, was badly managed, and there was considerable unrest in the Fancy. In 1908 eight clubs broke away and formed the Incorporated Cat Fanciers’ Association in opposition to the N.C.C. For two years the Cat Fancy was divided into two camps, but in 1910 peace was restored.

A conference was held at 11 Victoria Street, Westminster, at which it was decided to form a council to be called the ‘Governing Council of the Cat Fancy’, the said council to consist of delegates from the various cat clubs and societies. The N.C.C. agreed to hand over its governing powers to the new council and in return was given four delegates as against the one and two delegates granted to the other clubs.

The original council consisted of delegates from fifteen clubs. Of these the Northern Counties, the Scottish, the Richmond, and Wilson’s Cat Clubs have ceased to exist, but the following are still represented: The National C.C., Black and White C.C., Blue Persian C. Society, Chinchilla, Silver, and Smoke Society, Midland Counties’ C.C., Newbury Cat Society, Red, Cream, Tortoise-shell, and Brown Tabby Society (formerly the Orange and Tortoise-shell Society, and the Brown Tabby Cat Society), Short haired Cat Society, Siamese C.C., and Southern Counties C.C. Various other clubs have since come into existence, and the following additional clubs are represented on the council today: Croydon C.C., the Neuter Cat Society, the Siamese Cat Society of the British Empire, the Abyssinian C.C., and the Kensington Kitten Club.

The Governing Council is to the Cat Fancy very much what the Kennel Club is to the Dog Fancy. It issues rules and regulations for shows held under its auspices; grants championships; keeps a register of the pedigrees of cats and kittens, and issues pedigrees; issues a stud book; and is the final court of appeal or umpire in all questions or disputes of any kind whatsoever arising out of any show held by permission of the council.

I append some very brief notes on the various clubs.

The National Cat Club. (Subscription £1 1s., payable annually on July 1st. Hon. Sec. Mr. C. Yeates, 15 Pembroke Gardens, W. 8.). Founded in 1887 by Mr. Harrison Weir, the first secretary being Miss Gresham. These were succeeded by Mr. Louis Wain as president and Mrs. Stennard Robinson as secretary. I have not space to enumerate all the well-known people who have been associated with the premier club, but no notice, however brief, would be complete which did not mention those staunch supporters Sir Claud and Lady Alexander and the present president, Mrs. Slingsby. The N.C.C. holds an annual two-day show at the Crystal Palace, usually in the first week of December.

The Black and White Club. (Subscription 5s., payable annually on January 1st. Hon. Sec. Mr. C, Yeates, 15 Pembroke Gardens, W. 8.). Founded in 1902. Miss White Atkins and Miss Nora Kerswill held the posts of hon. sec. and treasurer fir many years. Shortly after the War the writer I minimi) secretary and Mrs. B. H. Soame hon. treasurer. For many years the Hon. Mrs. Clive Behrens was the club’s president and benefactress.

The Blue Persian Cat Society. (Subscription 5s. per annum; entrance fee 2s. 6d. Hon. Sec. Miss J. M. Fisher, Everley, Standford, Bordon, Hants). Founded in 1901 by the late Miss Frances Simpson, who was also the first hon. Sec. She was succeeded by Mrs. Wise and then by Miss Fisher, who has held the post since 1916. The club held its first championship show in 1931 with great success, and it will doubtless become an annual fixture.

The Chinchilla Silver and Smoke Society. (Subscription 5s. per annum. Hon. Sec. Miss Evelyn Langston, 8 Cranford Rise, Maidenhead.) Founded in 1908, it took the place of the Silver and Smoke Persian Cat Society, which had been in existence since 1900.

The Midland Counties C.C. (Subscription 5s. Hon. Sec. Mrs. Aubrey, Roseneath, Malvern Road, Worcester.) Founded in 1902, the first secretary being Miss Cope. It held shows at Birmingham from 1902 to 1908 and subsequently at Bedford, Worcester, and Cheltenham.

Newbury Cat Society. (Subscription 5s. per annum. Hon. Sec. Mrs. Fosbery, Black Nest, Brimpton, Berks.) Held its first championship show at Newbury in 1910, and shows have been held annually either there or at Reading ever since. Owes its great success to its popular and hardworking secretary.

The Red, Cream, Tortoise-shell, Brown Tabby, and Blue-Cream Society. (Subscription 10s. 6d.; entrance fee 2s. 6d. Hon. Sec. Miss Lea, 2 Hillcrest Road, Sydenham, S.E. 26.) Founded as the Orange, Cream, Fawn, and Tortie Society in 1900, the first secretary being Miss Beal. The present secretary has worked indefatigably for this society since she became secretary in 1908. Miss Lea was also for some years hon. sec. to the N.C.C. and to the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy.

The Short Haired Cat Society. (Subscription 5s. Hon. Sec. Miss H. Hill Shaw, 15 Elgin Road, Addiscombe, Croydon.) Founded in 1901, the first secretary being, I believe, Mrs. Middleton. The present secretary has filled that post since 1922.

The Siamese Cat Club. (Subscription 5s.; entrance fee 5s. Hon. Sec. Mr. W. Cox-Ife, Linden, Rockfield Road, Oxted.) Founded in 1901, the first hon. sec. being Mr. L. S. Baker. Mrs. De Vere Brook and Mrs. Robinson were among its earliest supporters. The club, like all others, suffered during the War, but in 1923 it began to recover and had a membership of over fifty. From then, thanks to energetic work by Miss Busteed, Major Sydney Woodiwiss, and, more recently, Mrs. Wade, the club has grown tremendously, and now has the biggest membership of any cat club in Great Britain. It was the first specialist club to hold a championship show, and the show, first held in 1924, has now become an annual fixture.

Southern Counties Cat Club. (Subscription 1s. 6d.; entrance fee 2s. 6d. Hon. Sec. Mrs. Campbell Fraser, 6 The Approach, Hendon, N.W. 4.) Was founded in 1903 by Mrs. Sinkins, the first secretary being Mrs. Millar. Held its first show at Southampton in 1904, and in subsequent years held a two-day show at the Royal Horticultural Hall, Westminster. Since the War this hall has not been available, and the club has held a one-day show at the Kentish Town Baths, until last year, when it migrated to the Drill Hall, Handel Street, W.C. The present secretary, Mrs. Campbell Fraser, who is largely responsible for the club's big membership, has held that office since 1923.

Croydon Cat Club. (Subscription 7s. 6d. Hon. Sec. Miss H. Hill Shaw, 15 Elgin Road, Addiscombe, Croydon.) Founded in 1920, it was an instantaneous success, largely owing to its indefatigable hon. sec., Miss Hill Shaw. Holds an annual show, usually in November, at the Central Baths, Croydon.

Neuter Cat Society. (Subscription 5s. Hon. Sec. Mrs. Sharman, Coryton, Ormond Avenue, Hampton-on-Thames.) Founded in 1910, the first secretary being Mrs. T. B. Mason. Miss Perkins filled this post for many years, only retiring in 1928.

The Siamese Cat Society of the British Empire. (Subscription 5s. Hon. Sec. Miss Busteed, 20 Queensway, Hanworth, Middlesex.) Was founded in 1928 by Miss Busteed and has already a membership of over fifty.

The Abyssinian Cat Club. (Subscription 5s. Hon. Sec. Major Sydney Woodiwiss, O.B.E., Woodroofe, Danbury, Essex.) Was founded in 1929.

The Kensington Kitten Club. (Subscription 3s. Hon. Sec. Miss Manley Cardonald, Nottingham Road, S. Croydon.) Founded in 1929 by Miss Busteed. Its annual shows for kittens held at the Philbeach Hall, Earl’s Court, in July, fill a long-felt want.

The Yorkshire County Cat Club. (Subscription 4s, Hon. Sec. Mr. J. S. W. Budd, Fulwith Lodge, Harrogate.) Is affiliated to the G.C.C.F. But at present is not represented on it. Founded in 1930,its championship shows have not up to now received the support they deserve.


Each special breed or colour in cats has its own club and its own colour points, - at which we must aim if we are to win at championship shows. But there are certain points that apply to all long hair breeds. The head must be broad and round, wide between the ears, which should be small; the nose must be short, the muzzle broad, and the eyes large and bold. The body must be cobby, with short, lick legs, short tail, and long, flowing coat.

Very lovely is a jet-black Persian; but to-day there are fewer really good examples of this breed than of yore. There seems a temporary lack of striking specimens, though doubtless they will return to their old form soon. Blacks are rather difficult to breed for showing, the best adults having usually been brown and bad coloured kittens. Then, again, if blacks are allowed to bask in the sun, their coats acquire a singed brown look, which prevents them winning at shows. For cats are always judged on their condition and appearance on the day of the show, and it is therefore useless to show one out of coat or of a bad colour. Still, even with these difficulties, they are a fascinating breed, and well repay the patience required to procure them.

Presuming that the parents are both good blacks, don’t hurry to sell the kittens until they are old enough to have moulted; or, alternatively, sell them very young — at about eight weeks — before they get a brown tinge.

I spoke above of crossing two colours to improve one or other of them. The best cross for blacks is a blue. Choose the best type dark-blue female you can, and mate her to the best black stud. Do not use the males of this mating; have them neutered as pets. But keep the best females, either blue or black, and mate them back to their sire or to another good black male, their sire for preference. The females from the last cross can be kept to breed from, always choosing only the best, and using only black sires. By these crosses the future progeny should be greatly improved, and the colour is usually very sound.

The blues of to-day in England are of such a wonderful type, with long, flowing coats, that they make a very valuable cross for blacks which at present fail in these points. Moreover, the deep copper eye is correct for both breeds.

We have had several noted examples of this cross. Champion Dirty Dick, who figures in so many of our black pedigrees, was so bred; Champion Heathside Flanark was by a blue, Lanark Lad, ex Princess Flandria, a black; Champion Nanook was by Rigside Dandy, blue, ex Dawn, a black. This is sufficient to prove, I think, the wisdom of an occasional cross.
Having once procured improved stock, however, don’t cross again; breed black throughout.

A black cat needs a lot of grooming, as any dead hair left in the coat gives a muddied colour. When the cat is moulting, comb and brush each day, doing it both ways of the coat, up and down. Stroking the cat with damp hands, or with a damp rubber glove, which removes quantities of dead hair, is beneficial to blacks and to all long hairs. As the show date draws near, rub the coat with a flannel dipped in warm water to which has been added a little ammonia; next day rub a very little ‘Danderine’ well into the coat, brush well, and finally polish the right way of the coat with a selvyt cloth. The result should be a beautiful gloss.

Needless to say, the ears must be spotlessly clean, and the tufts in between the toes well pulled out so as to show to the best advantage.

One black queen still holds her own in England, as she has done for years, Champion Sally cat, owned by the well-known breeder and judge Mrs. C. Yeates. Sally was born in July 1921 by Earlscourt Black Prince ex Salambo of Highgate. She has won ten championships, the tenth being in 1931, when she was ten years old.

Black males of late years include Champion Heathside Flanark, bred by myself, and bought by Mrs. Sydney Evans, who eventually sold him to America; Champion Nanook, owned by Mrs. C. Yeates; and Champion Soame Desert Chief, also in America. All three were lovely cats with glossy coats and copper eyes.

Other fine specimens in black are Champion Ivanhoe of Hadley, owned by the well-known Miss J. M. Fisher; Champion Son o’ Jester, owned and bred by Mrs. Mackenzie; and Champion Toby Philpot belonging to Miss M. D. Alexander.

The black long hair standard is as follows:

Colour: Lustrous raven-black to the roots, free from rustiness, shading, white hairs, or markings of any kind - 25 points.
Coat: Long and flowing on body, full frill and brush, which should be short and broad - 20 points.
Body: Cobby and massive without being coarse, with plenty of bone and substance, and low on the leg – 20 points
Head: Round and broad, with plenty of space between the ears, which should be small, neat, and well covered; short nose, full cheeks and muzzle – 20 points
Eyes: Large, round, and wide open, copper or deep orange in colour and with no green rim - 15 points
Total – 100 points

N.B.— Black kittens are often a very bad colour up to five or six months, their coats being grey or rusty in parts and sometimes freely speckled with white hairs. Fanciers should not condemn them on this account if they are good in other respects, for such kittens frequently turn into the deepest blacks.


This is a most charming and aristocratic variety. But should you live in a town or in a smoky district, it is wise to choose a darker colour, although the whites are a particularly clean breed, grooming their own coats and not needing much more care than their coloured friends.

The type of white just now is not as good as it could be; the nose is apt to be too long, and the body not so cobby in shape as the blues. Of course we have some lovely examples, but the breed as a whole requires attention to these two points.

In trying to improve the whites, either a good cream or blue queen mated to the best type white male is advised. Cream, having the same kind of coat, is probably the better cross of the two. Proceed along the lines advised for improving the blacks, bearing in mind that it is not in the first or second cross that you must look for good results, but in the third or later ones.

The experiment will be well worth the patience required, for white cats, with their heavy coats and startling blue eyes, are lovely creatures. The deep sapphire of the eyes is simply wonderful and one of the chief attractions of the breed. The kittens usually have eyes of a pale misty blue, a foretaste of the glorious colour to be hoped for in the future.

Some whites have odd or harlequin eyes, one blue and one yellow. In America the clubs have classes for yellow-eyed whites, but our clubs consider the blue eyes necessary.

There is one failing occasionally cropping up in this breed, and that is deafness. One does not notice it much in kittens playing about in their homes, but in the shows it tells against them. I feel sure it is the fact of their not hearing the stewards coming to lift them out of their pens that makes them nervous and strung up. This failing only applies to a few of the breed, but novices should try to buy one whose hearing is really normal.

It should not be difficult to keep them nice and white, providing their beds and surroundings are clean. Sprinkling with Pears’ violet powder, and proper brushing and combing should be all that is needful, except when preparing for a show, when other means may be required.

Fanciers vary very much in their methods of cleaning cats for shows. One big breeder washes all her delicate-coloured exhibits — blues, creams, whites, and chinchillas; others never use a bath for them.

If a bath be decided on, there should be two large basins at hand, plenty of water of just a nice ‘baby’ temperature, and large towels to dry puss on. Personally I use the kitchen sink, which is nice and deep.

Pour boiling water on pure soap flakes and beat to a lather until all the flakes are dissolved. Then add more water to bring it to the desired temperature. Let the water be deep enough to reach the cat’s stomach, and swill her gently, leaving the washing of the head until the very last.

As a rule the cat loves the warmth and stands quite still, but it is very advisable to have an assistant to hold and soothe her in case she is frightened. Several waters will be required, for if any soap is left in the coat it prevents that soft, silky appearance which is so much to be desired. When quite clean, squeeze as much water out of the coat as is possible, then lift puss into warm towels and rub her well. Have a basket containing a hot bottle covered with a blanket to put her in afterwards, and keep her in a warm room until perfectly dry.

Next day brush and comb her with plenty of powder, which must afterwards be thoroughly brushed out. Do this very carefully, because powder in the coat at a show will cause the cat to be disqualified.

Some fanciers who object to washing their cats at all clean their coats by rubbing in plenty of white prepared fuller’s earth, and then brushing it all out and grooming them as usual.

A big breeder of whites and chinchillas, Mrs. Reynolds Sams, tells me she never washes her light-coloured cats, though she frequently has to wash the males’ tails. But this lady lives in the country, where she is not troubled with smoke and dust.

Among our chief breeders of whites are Mrs. Reynolds Sams, with Champion Lady Gay of Gaybrook, Champion Hercules of Runnymede; and Mrs. Cattermole, with Champion Beauty of Mayfield and Turkish Rose. Mrs. Oglethorpe’s Champion Jasmine of Farnborough is another beautiful cat.

The club points are:

Colour: Pure white, without mark or shade of any kind - 25 points
Coat: Long and flowing on body, full frill and brush, which should be short and broad; the coat should be close, and soft and silky in texture – 20 points
Body: Cobby and massive without being coarse, with plenty of bone and substance and low on leg – 20 points
Head; Round and broad with plenty of space between the ears, which should be small, neat, and well covered; short nose, full cheeks, and broad muzzle - 20 points
Eyes: Large, round, and wide open, deep blue in colour – 15 points
Total – 100 points

N.B. — Whites are very liable to get yellow stains on their tails from accumulated dust, etc. This very damaging peculiarity should be carefully attended to, and stains removed before showing. The yellow stain here alluded to can in a great measure be prevented by washing the tail in warm water in which pure soap flakes, or green soft soap, is dissolved, and to which borax has been added. When the coat is quite clean and dry, powder thoroughly with boracic powder. This must be brushed out well or the cat will lick it off. Occasional use of boracic powder will prevent a return of the grease. This treatment applies to tails of all male cats.


I notice that first one breed and then another tends to go off for a time, and then to return with added beauty. Smokes are at present a breed of which we are very short, and which we hope will soon increase in quality and numbers.

A smoke is one of the most handsome cats living; he is also very strong and very affectionate. His light silver undercoat is all lipped with black, while his frill, flanks, and ear-tufts show up pale and silvery against his body coat. His face, head, and paws must be jet black. Add to these points his grand copper eyes, and no more charming variety of long hair cat can be found. Alas! why does not some experienced breeder try to restore this breed to its old excellence?

One cross could be: the best black queen mated to a smoke male. Mr. C. A. House advises a light blue female, but many people prefer the black cross. To-day’s smokes are chiefly blue-smokes, or rather smokes with blue blood in them, and this tendency has resulted in a loss of the intense jet mask and feet.

Among breeders of this variety are Mrs. Reynolds Sams; Miss Bowden-Smith; Mrs. Graham Coltart, owner of Champion Selma Starlight; and Mrs. Yeates, owner of Champion Mounette; Mrs. Kidd, owner of Champion Twilight of Drinside; Miss M. D. Alexander; and Mr. and Mrs. Moon. One of the chief failings in this charming variety is tabby marking on the face. Champion Mounette, winner of four championships, is one of the few with a perfect black mask.

The club points are:

Colour: Body, black, shading to silver on sides and flank; mask and feet black, with no markings; frill and ears silver; undercoat as nearly white as possible - 40 points
Coat and Condition: Silky in texture, long and dense, extra long on frill - 20 points
Shape: Head broad and round, with width between the ears, and small nose; ears small and tufted; body cobby, not coarse but massive; short legs – 20 points
Eyes: Orange or copper in colour, and round in shape; pleasing expression - 10 points
Brush: Short and bushy – 10 points

N.B. - The above is also the standard for blue-smokes, except that where the word 'black’ occurs ‘blue' should be substituted.

Here we see a reference to blue-smokes. Originally there was no such cat, and I agree with Miss Simpson when, in her book on the Cat, she says: “It is also inadvisable to select a blue as a cross. The blue tinge destroys the purity of the white undercoat, which is one of the glories of a perfect smoke. It is a case of like to like in breeding smokes, and failing this, choose a good black sire with amber eyes.”

Smoke babies, when born, are almost black, and it is unwise to part with any until they are six months old, as frequently it is a case of the ‘ugly duckling’. It is heart-breaking to see some of the magnificent neuters of all breeds in our show classes, neutered because of their unsatisfactory appearance when kittens, when if their owners had only waited a few months they would have been invaluable as sires.


I come now to my own favourite breed, the Red Tabby, in which there is as great an improvement as there is falling off in smokes and silver tabbies. The red tabby of to-day is a gorgeous animal. His shape is very good, and the old failing of a narrow skull has disappeared and we now have lovely broad round heads with great red-copper eyes.

Many years ago, when I first took up this breed, the chief breeder was Mrs. Neate, and to-day she still owns magnificent studs. Champion Red Leader has won many championships. Champion Shazada, a self red, has been as big a winner as Champion Red Leader. Mrs. Fosbery, of ‘Eastbury’ fame, is another keen fancier who has bred many winners, and has done much to intensify the deep colours. Her Champion Trigo, Champion Eastbury Rosemo and Champion Eastbury Sunbeam are all lovely animals. Other breeders are Miss Hill, who owns Champion Princess Salyana and Champion Galdorn; Major and Mrs. Forsyth Forrest; and the late Mrs. Kennaway; all have helped to improve this charming variety.

It was in 1925 that I sent ‘Soame Flambeau’ a red tabby stud, to Australia, and since then I have shipped many reds abroad. Mrs. Fosbery also has sent some big winners across the water. Sad as it may seem to see so many of our best cats go out of the country, it is also a joy to feel they are helping to keep our English cats to the fore in other lands. Exporting also brings us many friends, and the constant letters from abroad with news of our late pets and their winnings is a source of great pleasure.

The red tabbies of to-day, and many good creams, trace their pedigrees back to Champion Swinton Dinna Forget, a fine cat owned by the Hon. Mrs. Clive Behrens. He was born in 1920 and had a most successful show and breeding career, though, alas! a very short one. I once tried to find a red stud not related to Champion Swinton Dinna Forget, and gave it up as hopeless. However, the breed has been so carefully crossed that only good results have arisen from the in-breeding, and these cats now hold a position never attained by this variety before.

Champion Red Leader was sired by Champion Swinton Dinna Forget ex Leading Lady, while Champion Shazadar was by Champion Swinton Dinna Forget ex Little Dorrit of Aldrington.

To-day the breed is shades deeper and richer than before, and in time looks like being as dark as our red setter dogs. This has one disadvantage, namely, that of necessity the markings do not show up as well as they might do. Some of us get anxious about this, for a tabby without good and distinct markings is apt to drift into a shaded red, a thing much to be avoided.

Several points still require care. One is the too frequent solid back, minus the two bold stripes. Another is a white tip to the tail. A third is that the ears are still too large for beauty. Fanciers have been known to pluck some of the white tip, but it is a fatal error, and one which any judge should detect and penalize. These failings must be bred out.

In colour breeding it is difficult to explain why the mixing of colours causes certain results, and readers must refer to works on ‘colour breeding’ to satisfy themselves. But it is certain that in red breeding a good cream cross helps to intensify the red. A black cross is also undoubtedly good, and one I use myself. A good type black queen mated to a deep red male should improve the stock.

Miss Henrietta Lea, so well known as breeder and judge, speaking of reds says: “I have great faith in a cream cross and some, though not so much, in a tortoise-shell. Champion Red Leader is an illustration of the latter. My own experience encourages me to put cream first, as I consider it ideal.”

In preparing reds for exhibition, rubbing their coats with a flannel dipped in warm water containing ammonia cleanses the coat most beautifully, and nothing more is needed beyond endless brushing with a full, soft brush, and lastly polishing the fur — always downwards — with a selvyt cloth. Never use powder on reds, blacks, tortoise-shells, or brown tabbies; it is most difficult to remove sufficiently to procure the gloss needed for show conditions.

It is fairly easy to judge if the babies will turn out good specimens, for when born, and for two or three days afterwards, the markings are most clear. They then fade and become indistinct, but as they are marked at birth, so they will ultimately be when grown up. The shade of red deepens as the kit grows, until at about six months the permanent colour can be seen.

To see red tabbies at their very best they must be at liberty, sauntering about on a green lawn or lying stretched out basking in the sun — quite different to seeing them in a show pen.

The points for red tabbies are:

Colour and Markings: Deep, rich red colour markings to be clearly and boldly defined, continuing on down the chest, legs, and tail [no points]
Coat: Long, dense, and silky; tail short and flowing, no white tip – 50 points
Body: Cobby and solid; short thick legs - 15 points
Head: Broad and round; small ears well set, and well tufted; short broad nose; full round cheeks – 20 points
Eyes: Large and round, and deep copper in colour – 15 points
Total – 100 points.


We must not leave out this breed though there is very little that one can say of it, for so far we have none that come up to the standard. When the specialist club altered its points it did away with what was known as a ‘shaded red' and left only red tabbies and self reds. Many fanciers are now concentrating on selfs, and each season we have some with only very faint markings on legs and faces. So far none have appeared absolutely unmarked. They would be very charming if they were the same rich hue as the tabbies, but, alas! they all seem much paler.

I believe that a good cream cross would be far the best and most likely way to do away with the stripes: the cream to be the male and the queen to be as poorly marked as possible. Don’t use the males of this mating except as neuters, but mate the females to reds. Mrs. Neates’s Champion Shazada is greatly used in the effort to breed a self-coloured red, but he too is marked to a certain extent. But what a grand head he has! Simply perfect.

The club points for red selfs are:

Colour: Deep, rich red, without markings . [no points]
Coat: Long, dense, and silky; tail short and flowing – 50 points
Body: Cobby and solid; short thick legs - 15 points
Head: Broad and round; small ears well set, and well tufted; short broad nose; full round cheeks – 20 points
Eyes: Large and round, deep copper colour – 15 points
Total – 100 points


This is one of the very lovely breeds which have fallen on evil days. Frequently their classes at shows have only two or three entries and sometimes are cancelled. Luckily we have several lovers of the breed trying to bring it back, and signs are not lacking that next season will see a great improvement both in numbers and in type.

The well-known judge and writer Mr. C. A. House maintains that ‘its fall dates from the time when Miss Simpson and a few others imposed the green eye on the Fancy. From that day the markings grew fainter and fainter.’ Miss Leake, however, speaking of eye colour, said, ‘The correct colour for the eyes of a silver tabby is neither green, orange, nor yellow, but hazel, a deep nut brown.’ While another noted breeder, Miss Cope, says, ‘Some fanciers prefer green; personally I think nothing is more lovely than the hazel eye, enhanced by dark rims.’ I feel certain myself that until we return to the lovely expressive hazel eye we shall never get the wished-for dark stripes on the silver coat. The extraordinary thing is that the silver tabby club gives no points for eye-colour — a terrible lapse, though its members stick to it that green is the correct eye-colour. I hope to live to see these points corrected.


Those who take up this breed hardly ever tire of it. The faces of the cats are so markedly expressive, caused partly by the black or dark rim encircling the eyes: somehow, the self-coloured breeds never have so much ‘meaning’ in their faces.

The ground coat of this variety must be a pale, pure silver, and the markings black and distinct. Naturally, being long haired, they are not so plain as in a short hair silver tabby. Still, they must definitely be there. As a guide to the markings on any tabby cat, I include here a sketch, with apologies to the American Cat Courier. It should be a help to fanciers who wish to know what markings to breed for.

Some of us can remember Miss Anderson Leake’s My Lady Dainty of Dingley, a cat with wonderful black markings on a pure silver ground, and with lovely hazel eyes. But we have no specimens like that just now.

When the kittens are born they should look very dark, with narrow pencillings of silver: not until they are three or four months old does their real coat show itself.

How to improve this charming breed is somewhat of a puzzle. Some say a good brown tabby female mated to the best silver tabby male gives excellent results. Other breeders advise the use of a good blue female. Others, again, consider a black gives the best results. One advantage in the brown tabby cross would be that some of the resulting kittens might regain the hazel eye, as now seen in our browns; still, I do not advise this cross or we shall get a brown tinge. I have tried the black cross with some success, but was not able to carry it on long enough; no cross breeding will give a permanent good result under at least three generations. Cross breeding, to be a real success, is a slow business, and no one must expect to have more than one or two promising kits in a litter. But keep these to go on breeding from, and with care you will get the cat of your desire.

One fault in many silver tabbies is a poor head. Among our best specimens now are Champion Florizel of Frampton, owned by Mrs. Bryan; Champion Metu of Invergloy, bred and owned by Mrs. Ronald Bailey; Jenifer of Silverleigh, bred and owned by Miss Bracey; and Miss Roberts’s Champion Buffola of Silverleigh, Orlando of Frampton, and Melissa of Frampton.

Among our older breeders of this variety is Miss Edith Clarke, who still has a few beautiful specimens. Her June Dimity is winning to-day. She has been kind enough to send me the following notes: ‘In my opinion we should breed short cobby bodies, low on leg, with round heads and small broadly set ears, well tufted. The eyes large and round, as deep a green as watercress if possible. In this point and also in having a short nose, my Champion Devon Dimpsy excelled. Champion Devon Pixy’s eyes were even more beautiful in size and colour than were hers. He went to America at eighteen months old, after winning his first championship at the Crystal Palace and later his full championship there. The ground colour should be pure, clear silver, and the markings rich jet black, clear and distinct. The face well marked, as well as the body, paws and chest. I consider Silver Tabbies a most fascinating breed.’

The club points are:

Colour: Ground colour pure pale silver, with decided jet markings, any brown tinge a drawback - 40 points
Head: Broad and round, with breadth between ears, and wide at muzzle; short nose; small well-tufted ears – 20 points
Shape: Cobby body; short thick legs - 15 points.
Coat and Condition: Silky in texture, long and dense, extra long on frill – 15 points
Tail: Short and bushy – 10 points
Total – 100 points


The chinchilla is another most aristocratic breed, and one which has improved and increased tremendously of late years. It is a difficult and somewhat trying variety to breed, for the cats are subject to faint patches of brown. Some fanciers maintain, too, that the breed is delicate, while others indignantly deny the charge. Undoubtedly chinchillas are of a finer build, and not as massive or possessed of such thick, sturdy limbs as other breeds. This is supposed to have been caused by much inbreeding years ago. Needless to say it is not because they were ‘inbred’, but that they were unscientifically and improperly inbred. However, to-day we have some grand chinchillas, and at shows the class is well filled.

They are particularly lovely, their long, flowing coats of silver just tipped with dark, and their striking emerald eyes, added to their naturally graceful carriage, make them animals of real beauty. Their colouring is most difficult to describe. The fur at the roots is a real pale silver, the tips of the hairs are a shade of lavender black, giving the whole coat a wonderful sheen. The club points say that the undercoat must be 'pure white’ but place something white near to a chinchilla and the difference is quickly seen. Some fanciers seem to favour a silver without the dark tips, but this is a fatal fault, for such a cat soon assumes a dirty white appearance. I remember being horrified at hearing a little girl at one of our big shows say in a loud voice, ‘Mummy, this cat is dirty. Why didn’t they wash it?’ Luckily the cat’s owner was not at hand!

The kittens when born are likely to be a shock to the novice, for they are usually dark, mousy little things with markings. These all disappear as the kittens grow, and indeed the darker they are when born the better colour they usually turn out. Never do away with good-shaped kittens because of bad colour; keep them until about six months old, when their real beauty appears.

Among well-known breeders of the chinchilla is Mrs. Reynolds Sams, whose lovely stud, Champion Cupid of Hyyer, did so much winning. He took thirteen championships, fifty firsts, and was best cat in show five times. His death this year is a great loss to the Fancy. Miss Evelyn Langston is another well-known judge and breeder who has done much winning with her Champion Desmond of Allington, that fine queen Champion Nadine of Allington, Champion Dulcibell of Allington, Champion Vera of Allington, and many others whose names are well known on the show bench. Mrs. Aubrey, with her famous ‘Langherne’ strain, has also produced some lovely specimens; while other lovers of the breed are Mrs. Newton, Mrs. McLeod, Miss Tunks, Miss Steer, and Miss Heywood.

The club points are:

Colour: The undercoat pure white, the coat on back, flanks, head, ears, and tail being tipped with black. This tipping to be evenly distributed, thus giving the characteristic sparkling silver appearance. The legs may be slightly shaded with the tipping; but the chin, ear tufts, stomach, and chest must be pure white; any tabby markings, or brown or cream tinge, is a drawback. The tip of the nose should be brick-red; the visible skin on eyelids, and the pads, should be black or dark brown – 25 points.
Head: Broad and round with breadth between ears and wide at the muzzle; snub nose; small well tufted ears – 20 points
Shape: Cobby body; short thick legs – 15 points
Eyes: Large, round and most expressive; emerald or blue-green in colour - 15 points
Coat and Condition: Silky and fine in texture, long and dense, extra-long on frill – 15 points
Tail: Short and bushy – 10 points
Total – 100 points


We come now to our strongest and most perfect breed of long hairs.
I think it was in the year 1888 that the Crystal Palace Show had a special class for ‘Blues’ and since then they have gradually increased both in numbers and quality in a most wonderful way. The Blue Classes at our late shows are so large and the exhibits so beautiful, that it is a most difficult matter for even a very experienced judge to decide on the winners. The blue males, it is interesting to note, seem to surpass the females, though we have some lovely queens. I know of no finer sight than a long line of pens filled with these magnificent animals.

Why they should be so favourite a colour is difficult to say. It is easily understood why fanciers favour them, for it must be a great delight to try and take premier place and honours with so perfect a breed and against such strong opposition. But why the kittens should appeal to the general public so very strongly is rather puzzling. Probably it is because, in addition to their pretty fluffy personalities, they have proved a strong and healthy breed.

The chief, and almost the only, failing of our show specimens to-day is unsoundness of colour. They are so near perfection that it seems cruel to point out even one fault, but the fact remains that many blues are shaded, showing lighter especially round the ears, frills, and groins. A true blue must be the same shade throughout, so that if the hair is divided or blown apart the colour is sound to the roots.

Any shade is correct, but the pale tint is the fashionable one, the dark slate colour of our old winners being now quite out of date. Whatever the shade of blue, the coat must bo very long and flowing, and the cats must carry a heavy frill.

One word of warning to the novice: Do not start with this variety unless you can give personal daily attention. For unless blues are groomed every day it is impossible to keep their lovely coats in order. I have been sorely distressed at times to see a blue cut whose coat is a solid mass of lumps underneath its stomach, and even the top coat on its back knotted at the roots. Once neglected, it is a tedious business both for the owner and distressing for the poor cat to get the coat into condition again. In some cases of neglect the only remedy is to shave off the matted coat and wait for a new growth of fur. But a little daily attention, with some powder sprinkled in the coat to prevent it getting sticky, will keep the hair in nice condition.

When blues are moulting, the dead hair must all be removed, or it means ruination to next season’s coat. Follow the advice given for grooming blacks.

The gorgeous deep copper eyes deemed correct for this breed do but enhance their beauty. They should be large and bold, not shrunk in the skull; and there must be no green rim round the iris. The more glowing the copper the better.

Blues are noted as a most affectionate and healthy class. It is almost unknown to hear of a blue being labelled ‘savage’ at shows. I note that Miss Frances Simpson in her Book of the Cat, when speaking of blues, says: ‘I am very hopeful at some future time to hold a show for Blue Persians, and by dividing and sub-dividing, to give an attractive and liberal classification.’ Alas! this great breeder and judge died a few years before the Blue Persian Society held their first show for blues alone. The show was a great success and has been followed by several others. The Blue Persian Club is now a large one and has many members.

Among our breeders are Mrs. F. Stevens, with her noted ‘Mendip’ strain; Lady Eardley Wilmot, with Champion Gentleman-of-Henley; Mrs. Bazeley, owner of the late Champion Colneside Billy Bumpet; Miss Fisher, owner and breeder of Champion Azure of Hadley and many others; Mrs. Yeates, with Champion Misty Morning and Townfield Footprints; Miss Joyce Fair, owner of Champion Northways Thelmerdine; and Miss Winnifred Peak, owner of the ‘Speedwell’ strain.

Among the noted blues of to-day must be mentioned Champion Mischief, belonging to Mrs. Yeend; Miss Langston’s Champion Dion of Allington; Captain St. Barbs’ Blessing of Culloden; Miss George's Flick a Maroo; Lady Eardley Wilmot’s Cedro of Callow; Mrs. Yeates’s Son o’ Flick; and Mrs. Bergeman’s Mercury of Pensford.

The club points are:

Coat: Any shade of blue allowable, sound and even in colour; free from markings, shadings, or any white hairs; fur long, thick and soft in texture; full frill – 20 points
Condition: - 10 points
Shape: Head broad and round, with width between the ears; face and nose short; ears small and tufted; cheeks well developed – 25 points
Eyes: Deep orange, or copper, large, round, and full, without a trace of green – 20 points
Body: Cobby and low on the legs – 15 points
Tail: Short and full, not tapering - 10
Total – 100 points*


This breed, which fell off sadly for many years, and indeed at one time seemed likely to fade away altogether, has now revived in a marvellous fashion. In Miss Simpson’s day there were some grand examples of brownies, among whom was her own Champion Persimmon, a very beautiful cat. There were also Miss Southam’s Champion Birkdale Ruffle, who won all at the Crystal Palace in 1896; Miss Whitney’s Brayfort Princess; and many others equally lovely. But subsequently the variety seemed to die out, until there were very few either good or bad. The late Mrs. Kennaway still bred a few, but the old type was missing.

In 1925 I made an effort to restart brownies by buying a female from America. But I was unlucky, for she suffered badly from sexual hysteria, and after a short and troublesome life died, leaving no kittens. Then Mrs. George Riply bred Champion Vickers Vimy, a very fine cat, and my friend Mrs. Yeates gave me a nice brown queen, Soame Dinah, bred from a fine blue female, Contralto Connie of Porchester, by a stray brown tabby male. Contralto Connie, belonging to Miss Heywood, was a lovely cat, and Dinah grew very much like her mother. I mated her to Champion Vickers Vimy, and from that litter came Champion Soame Bronco and many others.

Now the breed is in full swing, and our classes at shows are well filled. Moreover, the specimens are mostly of that much-to-be-desired sable brown, and many of them have the lovely hazel eyes of the old champions. The light chin still remains, and I believe always will. Mrs. Kennaway bred a few without it, but very few.

Directly a few brownies appeared the Red Cream and Tortoise-shell Club came to the rescue and included brown tabbies in the breeds catered for. They are a strong, healthy class, carry heavy coats, and are one of the most affectionate breeds. I find men are very fond of them, so there is a constant demand for brown males to be neutered as pets. Still, by keeping the show specimens for breeding, we hope to increase, and still further improve, this charming variety.

The best example I have yet seen was Miss Cathcart's Trelystan Garnet, a most lovely kitten of a rich sable colour, sired by Champion Soame Bronco ex Trelystan Onyx. He should be heard of in the future. Another fine brown was Bold Marx, sired by Champion Vickers Vimy ex Mary Malone and bred by Mrs. George Riply.

The club points are:

Colour and Markings: Rich tawny sable, with delicate black pencillings running down face. The cheeks crossed with two or three distinct swirls. The chest crossed by unbroken lines; butterfly markings on shoulders. Front of legs striped regularly from toes upwards. The saddle and sides to have deep bands running down them, and the tail to be perfectly ringed [no points]
Coat: Long and flowing; tail short and full 50 points.
Body: Cobby and massive; short legs – 15 points.
Head: Round and broad, small, well-placed, and well-tufted ears; short broad nose; full round cheeks – 20 points.
Eyes: Large and round, hazel or copper colour – 15 points.


The blue-cream is another breed included in the combined ‘Red, Cream, Tortoise-shell, Blue-Cream, and Brown Tabby Club’. It is a very charming variety and at the time of writing very popular. Caused by interbreeding blues with creams or reds in the past, it is hoped to breed blue-cream to blue-cream in the future. That is, providing we produce some males.

They are usually a grand type; I hardly know of one who is not. They have beautiful cobby bodies, long, silky coats, big frills, and good, broad, round heads. These points, added to their deep copper eyes, make them very beautiful cats. There have been some lovely specimens in our shows of late. Captain Powell’s Champion Daphne of Hanley, Mrs. Crooke’s Champion Rani of Brux, Miss Manley’s Champion Judy of Cardonald, and my own Mist of Boreham, for example. And as there were many promising kittens about last season, it looks as if this variety will grow into a large class.

Recently, when ‘points’ had to be drawn up for this variety, there were great discussions, and even now the decisions do not satisfy everyone. Blue-creams must consist of the two colours only, not in patches, but, an the points describe it, ‘softly intermingled’. Some cats entered in this class at shows have a distinct red mingled with the blue and cream, and popular opinion is that these should be called Blue Tortoise-shells — the blue thus taking the place of the black. Later on we hope to add this to our club as a separate variety.

The club points say:
Colour and Markings: To consist of blue and cream softly intermingled [no points]
Coat: To be dense, and very soft and silky – 50 points.
Head and Type: Head broad and round; tiny ears well placed and well tufted; short broad nose; colour intermingled on face – 20 points
Eyes: Deep copper or orange - 15 points.
Body: Short, cobby and massive; short thick legs – 15 points.
Total – 100 points.


This is a favourite breed among fanciers. A good torty queen is quite a valuable possession, especially to those who breed to procure pets for sale, for her litter always consists of mixed self colours. The kittens may be of any one of the colours in the mother’s coat — red, black, torty, and also cream.

I own a fine old queen, Soame Flamette, who usually has five or six kittens at one time, and these are always of different colours. She has been a most interesting lady, having visited red, black and cream studs and still persisted in giving one kitten of each colour. She beat all her own records last litter, when she presented me with a black, a red, a cream, a torty, and a blue-cream.

There are no fertile tortoise-shell males; Nature seems to object to them. Occasionally one is born, but it is never fertile, and we have to resort for a mate to one of the three colours in the lady’s coat.

The colours must be bright and in distinct patches over body and legs, with a three

The eyes must be a glowing orange or copper — the whole colour scheme making a most charming variety. The pointed head and big ears of the old days have disappeared, and the type now corresponds with the other broad, round-headed breeds. The chief faults to-day are too much black, the whole coat being too dark; one or more black legs unbroken with colour; and brindling instead of patching on the body.

There have been many beautiful tortoise-shell queens shown of late years: Champion Ginger-Belle of Barnsley, bred by myself, and owned by Mrs. Adams; Champion Devonshire Duchess and Champion Chintz, both belonging to Mrs. C. Yeates; Miss French’s Champion Polly Ebony; and Captain St. Barbe’s Champion Anne Goodcat. All beautiful specimens. The club points are:

Colour: Three colours — black, red, and cream — well broken into patches; colours to be bright and rich, and well broken on the face [no points]
Coat: Long and flowing, extra long on frill and brush – 50 points
Body: Cobby and massive; short legs – 15 points.
Head: Round and broad; small, well-placed, and well-tufted ears; short, broad nose; full, round cheeks – 20 points.
Eyes: Large and round, deep orange or copper - 15 points.
Total - 100 points


This is another of the varieties that have improved marvellously. Miss Francis Simpson, in her Book of the Cat, heads her chapter on this variety as ‘Cream or Fawn Persians’, and says: ‘It 1m true that the cream Persians seen in show pens are often much darker than is implied by the name, and indeed are really fawn-coloured.’ Now, that title and description of these lovely animals would never do to-day; they must be just the shade of rich, thick cream, even in colour, long in coat, and with great glowing orange or copper eyes. Great care has been taken to attain this perfection, and great care must still be taken if we are to keep to it. Breed cream with cream. Should one be too dark or too light, then mate with one in which these faults are lacking.

Cream kittens often arrive in a tortoise-shell litter, and then, even if mated to a cream male, the resulting kittens are not cream-bred, and frequently have tortoise-shell markings or a red tinge which spoils them. The female kits require mating back to cream studs, and so in time will give cream-bred babies.

If you have a cream male whose stock you wish to improve, Mr. C. A. House advises the use of a pale blue queen; but here again the blue tint is apt to crop up and spoil the even colour of the cream kits. If you can find a couple of massive, well-built creams, then keep cream to cream. The kittens at first may, and often do, show faint lines, but these fade away as the animals grow.

Creams are an unusually strong and robust class, and are very useful for the novice to start with. They are also very clean in their persons, rarely requiring more help in their toilet than is given by a sprinkling of powder, well rubbed in, and brushed out. When preparing them for a show more trouble must be taken, but I have never yet needed to wash a cream cat. Large boxes as beds, with plenty of ‘Elastene’, constantly changed, helps to keep clean the coats of any light-coloured cats.

Creams are like the blues, in that they carry an enormous coat, which must have daily attention. It is not really much trouble to run a comb through a cat’s coat each day. If left for a week or longer, it has time to knot and matt, and endless care will be needed or bare patches will result. It takes quite a long time for the hair to cover these bare places again, and they naturally spoil the cat’s appearance. So comb creams once daily save yourself and puss trouble.

We have some grand specimens of this variety. Champion Buff of Hanley, owned by the well-known Mrs. Stevenson, has been a big winner the last two seasons, as has also her Champion Pickles of Hanley. Other noted
creams of to-day are: Jasmine o’ the Coombe, owned by myself; Champion Shere Khan o’ the Coombe, owned by Miss Joyce Fair; Mr. J W. Budd’s Champion Mirza of Bredon, bred by Mrs. Yeend, and also her Champion Mick of Bredon; Miss Langhorn’s Champion Mignonette o’ the Coombe; and Miss Adie’s Endymion of the Balcony.

The club points are:
Colour: To be pure and sound throughout without shadings or markings [no points]
Coat: Long, dense, and silky; tail short and flowing – 50 points.
Body: Cobby and solid; short, thick legs - 15 points.
Head: Broad, round; small ears well set, and well tufted; short broad nose; full, round cheeks – 20 points
Eyes: Large and round, deep copper colour – 15 points
Total – 100 points


This is a most picturesque and fascinating variety. It is a great pity there are not more of them. The white should be in distinct patches on the chest, face, and paws, and the blaze up the face should be white. The eyes of tortoise-shells and whites must be deep orange or copper, and it is marvellous how they tone in with the bright colour of their coats. Fanciers are hampered in having none, or very few, males of the species or I am certain the breed would go ahead very quickly.

Some of the winners are the late Mrs. Kennaway's Champion Garbolisham Dame Motley, Garbolisham Bobby Dazzle and Champion Garbolisham Tess; Champion Gay Sally, owned by Mr. Blandford; Mr. J, S. Budd’s lovely Gillyflower, bred by Mrs, Western; Mrs. Yeates’s Champion The Mock Turtle; and my own Soame Kaleidoscope.

The club points are:
Colour: The three colours, black, red and cream, to be well distributed and broken, and interspersed with white [no points]
Coat: Long and flowing, extra-long on brush and frill – 50 points
Body: Cobby and massive, short legs - 15 points
Head: Round and broad; small, well placed, tufted ears; short broad nose, full round cheeks – 20 points
Eyes: Large and round, deep orange or copper – 15 points
Total - 100 points.


This is a variety of long hair cat I should like to see increase in numbers. They are so scarce that shows never give a class for them, thus making things difficult for anyone trying to work the breed up. At present, black and whites have to be entered in the ‘Any Other Colour’ Class.

A jet-black glossy coat, with perfectly white feet, white chest and throat, and with the correct three-comer blaze on the face, is the description. But until some breeders devote themselves to improving and increasing this variety, and endeavour to breed a male and keep it as a stud, we shall never have a club or a class for them. I feel sure that if this were done the breed would be a most popular one.

The best specimen I ever saw was Madam Flora, a very lovely female given to me, who won each time she was shown. She was much admired and I could have sold her many times. Madam Flora gave me several litters, being mated first to black and later to red studs. But she never produced anything as good as herself. I remember asking Mr. C. Yeates, so well known as Chairman of our Governing Council and Secretary of our Black and White Club, if I could show Madam Flora among the Blacks and Whites, but his answer was: ‘Not as things are now, but if the breed increases, then the club could add points for it and shows could give classes.’

So we can only wait and hope someone will come forward and bring this handsome variety to the fore.


Short-hair cats are quite a different type from our long hair cats: different in shape, coat, and habits, and far more active and agile in their movements than, for example, the languid Persians. Of a more slender build, they are very graceful rind energetic, and should have a lovely smooth coat with a real gloss on it.

They have one great advantage over the long hairs, in that they are never really out of coat, and consequently always look natty and well groomed. Of course they have the same moulting seasons, but never get the unkempt ragged appearance that their long-haired brothers and sisters get when changing coat. Nearly every cottage home owns a short hair cat, either black, white, orange, tortoise-shell, silver tabby, or brown tabby - much the same colours as are found among Persians.

The main important difference, obviously, between the two breeds is that the one should have quite short hair and the other quite long. A cat which has a coat of medium length cannot be a true breed; hence the risk of mating long and short hairs together. The progeny of such a mating is apt to fall between the two standards, and if shown would probably win nothing.

I give below the standard of points drawn up by the Short-Haired Cat Society of Great Britain:

Body and Tail: Well-knit and powerful, showing a good depth of body; chest full and broad; tail thick at base, short rather than long, tapering towards point, carried almost level with back - 10 points.
Legs and Feet: Legs of good substance and in proportion to the body; feet neat and well rounded – 5 points
Head and Neck: Head broad between the ears; cheeks well developed; face and nose short – 10 points
Ears: Small, slightly round at tops, not large at base – 10 points
Coat: Short, fine and close - 10 points.
Condition: Hard and muscular, giving a general appearance of activity - 5

The foregoing 50 points apply to all British Short-hairs, and leaves 50 points to be apportioned for colour and eyes in the individual breeds.


A glossy black short hair coat with eyes of the correct deep orange or copper, is very handsome. Many of this breed, to be seen in the country, in cottage homes, are beautiful, but have green eyes, which are a drawback, for nothing can compare to orange-coloured eyes for any black cat. The coat must be very close and the black of great density. The head should be round, with small ears.

The same breeding rules apply to short as to long hair cats. So if you own a good black male with unfortunate green eyes, mate him to a blue or black female with orange eyes. After a few generations you will procure the orange eye in the majority of your kittens.

Among short hair fanciers, Lady Alexander, owner of Champion Ballochmyle Midnight, winner of many prizes, is well known. The Hon. Mrs. McLaren Morrison has always shown the breed, among her best specimens being Maggy of Four Winds and Egerton House Ranee. Mrs. Sharman’s Aunt Jane of Coryton and Dinah of Coryton were also good specimens.
The points drawn up for short hair black cats are:
Colour: Jet black to roots, no rusty tinge, no white hairs anywhere- 25 points.
Eyes: Large, round, and well opened; colour deep copper or orange, with no trace of green – 25 points
Total – 50 points


These are more scarce than their coloured sisters. They must be pure white with a nice close, smooth coat and, to be really good, the exquisite blue eyes owned by the long hair whites. So often a nice white cat is spoilt by very pale blue, or yellowish green eyes.

There have been a few beautiful whites at shows lately, among them Champion Blyths- wood Douglas, owned by Mrs. McWatt; Champion Chelsea White Ensign, and Champion Chelsea Fairy Flax, belonging to Miss Cochrane.

The club points are:
Colour: White to be pure, untinged with yellow – 25 points
Eyes: Very deep sapphire blue - 25 points
Total – 50 points


Among Short Hair cats, the Siamese, the most popular and the most numerous breed we have, has increased enormously during the last few years. In 1907 Mrs. Leslie Williams, in her interesting book ‘The Cat,’ could write of them: ‘This very distinct and handsome variety is, though favoured by many exhibitors, practically unknown to the general public.’ In 1933, however, they are to be seen everywhere, and the members run a most successful show for this breed only.

Siamese are the only breed of cats for which we have two clubs. The one club is called 'The Siamese Cat Club’ and the other ‘The Siamese Cat Society of the British Empire’.

Among the big winners of to-day are Mrs. Duncan Hindley with Champion Prestwich Mata-Birn, Mrs. Fitzwilliams’ Champion Morgan La Fay, Mrs. French’s Champion Dido, Miss Dixon's Champion Limzette and Champion Simple, Mrs. Maturin’s Champion Kitza-Nama and Champion Bonzo, while Miss Busteed and Mrs. Wade have done much to advance this variety.

Siamese are wonderfully intelligent and affectionate cats, and once people own one they never give up the breed; in fact they fall so much in love with them that as a rule they cease to keep other cats. Personally I have never kept them, though I had a very handsome one given to me some years ago; but she had an unfortunate trick of suddenly running up my back on to my shoulder, which so startled me that I gave her to a real Siamese lover.

As I have so little personal experience of this variety — and experience, I maintain, one must have really to understand them - I have asked Mr. Theo. F. Megroz, so well-known as a breeder and exhibitor, to send me some notes. These should carry more weight and be of more value than any comments of mine. Mr. Megroz writes:

Of all cats, the most distinctive breed is the Siamese. Its unique combination of colour alone puts it in a class apart from any other breed recognized by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy. Much controversy in recent years has failed to elucidate the origin of the Siamese cat; undoubtedly any definite theory has long been lost in antiquity. Travellers from the East have told tales, biologists have woven traditions, zoologists have theorized, and writers have written stories, but all have only helped to deepen the mystery.

Let us, then, leave their origin a mystery — a mystery of the Orient. Sufficient that we have in the midst of our incertitude what might even be an incarnation of a divinity.

As far as this country is concerned we are at least certain that a pair of Royal Siamese cats were Imported from Bangkok by Mr. Owen Gould in 1884 for his sister, now Mrs. Veley. This pair, Pho and his wife Mia, were amongst the earliest arrivals. Their progeny were exhibited, and won first prizes at the Crystal Palace in 1885. Two other famous cats, famous if for no other reason than the fact that 50 per cent of the Siamese cats in Great Britain to-day can be traced back to them (with the aid of the three volumes of the Siamese Cat Register) were Tiam O’Shian, who was imported from Bangkok in 1885, and Susan; they were the property of Miss Forestier Walker.

The cult grew very slowly, but nevertheless very surely, until in October 1901 the Siamese Cat Club was formed for the protection and improvement of the breed. That the club has succeeded in its endeavours is evidenced to-day by its being the largest specialist cat club in the world, and the first cat club to hold a show entirely of its own. This show is now an annual event, held towards the end of each September. In more recent years another club with the same interests was formed, its title being the Siamese Cat Society of the British Empire.

Of the Siamese cat itself much has been written and will be written. The very definite personality of the cat calls for attention; it cannot be thwarted. Coupled with a marvellous intelligence, the breed has a charm and grace that knows no comparison. To understand a Siamese cat is to give your heart to it. It would be an untutored mind that failed to appreciate the beauty, the elegance of contour, and the marking of the most distinctive of all the feline species. Its endearing characteristics, its wealth of almost human affection, its interest in all about and around it, its delicately perfumed fur when in perfect condition, and its powers of conversing for as long as one cares to talk to it, have all gone into the small body that to-day is adored and admired by thousands.

But all cats have their faults: so, whilst we ponder over the virtues of the Siamese, we must inquire into their imperfections of character. Firstly, they are extremely apprehensive of being displaced in the love of a human by a supposed rival, and often suffer acutely as a result. Undoubtedly they are greedy, but they show their greed openly, and are honest enough to steal food before one’s eyes. If they want anything, and want it badly, the noise of the conversation that goes on until they get it is more than enough to cause the hardest heart to surrender.

Our present-day type, the type that is winning in the show pen, is a lean, slim cat, with very pointed marten-faced head, a long, straight whip tail, deep sapphire-blue slanting eyes, light body colour with deep seal points. Much discussion has arisen over the kink found in many a Siamese cat’s tail. Individual judges at shows give preference to the straight-tailed cat; to do this (for no other reason) is very unwise, for the kink has been proved to be not only an ancestral characteristic but an interesting peculiarity. To attempt to breed it out, when considered biologically, is tantamount to altering the origin of the cat, in so far as professors have been able to prove. The stump, or very short tail, might well be simply excessive development of the kink; it is certainly not of very recent origin, for we find record of a cat imported about 1887 with what was then called a bob tail. Whether the squint eye, now so common, should be allowed is still a debatable point. It does not appear in any ancestral research of the origin of the breed, and will, if continually bred from, do incalculable harm to one of the best features of Siamese cats.

It is not true that the Siamese cat is delicate and ill-suited to this country; it has been bred here long enough to acclimatize it. Given good treatment, and not looked upon as a hot-house plant, it will, after passing its kitten troubles, be found as hardy as any other breed. All cats have their illnesses, nearly all cats are poor patients, but it must be clearly understood that even if Siamese cats are slightly more delicate as kittens, they are as adults, as game and strong as any healthy cat could be. They are excellent mousers and ratters, can be trained to retrieve rabbits unmauled, and if brought up properly love the company of a dog, in or out of the house, providing, of course, it is a dog of the cat's acquaintance.

At this point it may be of interest to mention that, at birth, a Siamese kitten is white, with no markings at all; then gradually the ears, face, tail, and feet turn a smudgy, dirty colour. The change in colouring is very gradual. Brown is the next shade, and deep seal brown at maturity. At roughly six months of age the body colour changes to a light cream, eventually going to deep cream or fawn, and darkening with age. There is a shading off to the belly to almost white.

The revised points of both the Siamese Cat Club and The Siamese Cat Society of the British Empire are as follows:

Body and Tail: Medium in size. Body long and svelte; legs proportionally slim; hind legs slightly higher than the front ones; feet small and oval; tail long and tapering (either straight or slightly kinked at the extremity) – 15 points
Head and Ears: Head long and well-proportioned, with width through the eyes, narrowing in perfectly straight lines to a line muzzle, giving the impression of the marten face. Ears rather large and pricked, wide at the base - 15 points
Eyes: Clear, bright and decidedly blue; shape oriental and slanting towards the nose; no tendency to squint - 20 points
Body Colour: An even pale fawn, shading gradually into cream on the belly and chest. Kittens paler in colour - 15 points
Mask, Ears, Feet, and Tail: Dense and dearly defined seal brown. Mask complete and (except in kittens) connected by tracings with the ears - 15 points.
Coat: Very short and fine in texture, glossy and close-lying – 10 points
Condition: (? [no description provided]) - 10 points
Total – 100 points
The points of the ‘Blue Siamese’ are the same as above, except that for ‘seal brown, read 'blue’.


One of our greatest authorities on this breed was the late Mr. H. C. Brooke, whose love of them and research into their dim past resulted in his writing a valuable little book called The Abyssinian Cat, from which I propose to quote certain parts as being more valuable than remarks of my own.

In his opinion and in that of certain eminent Continental Zoologists, the Abyssinian Cat may be regarded as the nearest approach to the Sacred Cat of Ancient Egypt now existing. The earliest reference to them seems to be in one of the late Dr. Gordon Stables' books, Cats, their Points, etc., 1882. He there describes one owned by Mrs. Lennard as having been brought from Abyssinia at the conclusion of the Abyssinian war.

Mr. Brooke considered the best Abyssinians ever seen in this country were owned by Mr. Sam Woodiwiss — Sedgemere Bottle and Sedgemere Peaty. Although not related, they were much alike and were the rich colour of a hare. Mr. Brooke eventually bought Peaty. Then, about thirty years ago, Mr. Heslop of Darlington owned some fine specimens, and later Mrs. Carew Fox devoted herself to the brood, and did very much to bring it to the fore. Indeed, she worked hard for over twenty years in the interests of this variety, and during that period owned many winners.

Major Woodiwiss owned Champion Woodroffe Rastus and Woodroffe Brutus, males, and Champion Pipburn Judith of Cavenuir and Woodroffe Ava, females. Another keen fancier was Sir Claud Alexander, owner of Champion Southampton Red Rust, winner of many championships. Mrs. Clarke owned various winners, among them Champion Ras Dashan and Queen of Sheba.

The Abyssinian Club is quite a flourishing one, and has for its Hon. Secretary Major S. Woodiwiss, to whom I am indebted for many of the items of information in this article.

Returning to Mr. Brooke, ‘The Abyssinians,’ he says, ‘are a most fascinating breed, though it is only lately that they have taken the public’s fancy.’ They are extremely graceful and very active, but strongly object to captivity, and do best when afforded a life of freedom. They are most affectionate and, like the Siamese, most companionable.

They are as unlike our Long Hairs as it is possible to be. Instead of the round, broad head and thick sturdy limbs of the Persians, we find in the Abyssinian a long, sinuous, and very graceful figure, and a pointed head with large ears and most lustrous eyes. Their coat is much like a rabbit's fur in quality and colour, or even more like that of a hare, for it has usually a reddish tone. Absence of markings on head, tail, face, and chest is an important point in this breed, while the body coat should be thickly ticked. The ticking is caused by blackish, or dark brown, tips to the hair. Some Abyssinians, the best ticked, have about three-quarters of the length of each hair rufous, then two or three bands of brown or orange shades, the darkest being at the tip. Others have merely the rufous base and the dark tip.

The standard of points approved by the Abyssinian Cat Club is as follows:

Colour and Type: Ruddy brown, ticked with black or dark brown; double or treble ticking, i.e. two or three bands of colour on each hair, preferable to single ticking. No bars or other markings, except that a dark spine line will not militate against an otherwise good specimen. Inside of forelegs and belly should be of a tint to harmonize well with the main colour, the preference being given to orange-brown; no white markings permissible.

Absence of Markings: i.e. bars on head, tail, face, and chest, is a very important property in this breed. These places are just those which, if a cat or other feline animal shows markings at all, will hold their ground to the last with remarkable pertinacity.

The less markings visible the better; at the same time the judge must not attach such undue importance to this property that he fails to give due importance to others. For instance: it does not follow that an absolutely unmarked cat, but of ‘cobby’ build, failing in ticking and colour, is, on account of absence of marking, better than a cat of slender build, well ticked, and of nice colour, but handicapped by a certain amount of 'barring’ on legs and tail.

Head and Ears: Head long and pointed, ears sharp, comparatively large and broad at base.
Eyes: Large, bright, or expressive; colour green, yellow, or hazel.
Tail: Fairly long and tapering.
Feet: Small, pads black; this colour also extending up the back of hind legs.
Coat: Short, fine and close.
Size: Never large or coarse.

Scale Of Points
Body, Colour, and Type – 40 points
Head and Ears – 15 points
Eyes - 10 points
Tail – 5 points
Feet and Legs – 5 points
Coat - 10 points
Size – 5 points
Condition – 10 points
Total – 100 points


This quaint and attractive animal hails from the Isle of Man. Why Manx cats are tailless is a mystery. Some writers maintain that they first came in vessels from the East; others say they swam from one of the vessels of the Spanish Armada which went down in 1588; still others believe that an ordinary cat mated with a rabbit. But, whatever happened, Manx are undoubtedly a race by themselves, being different in build and texture of coat from other cats. In build they should have roundness of rump and exceptional length of mid-quarters, a very short back, and a nice round head with small ears. The late Mr. Brooke, who was a keen fancier of Manx, wrote: ‘What we want is for the spinal column to come to an end high up on the back, so that, on placing the finger where the tail would begin, a hollow or depression is felt.’ This is the perfection, and it is not always obtainable in even the very best specimens. Next to be desired is that only a little tuft of gristle and hair, with, at most, a suggestion of a twisted and withered bone, should be present.

By the kindness of Miss Helen Hill Shaw, who is well known as a lover of this breed, I am able to give a photograph of her late beautiful Champion Katzenjammer’s Ghost, a great winner who was at one time owned by the late Mr. C. Brooke. This cat is an example of an almost perfect Manx. In her letter, Miss Hill Shaw says:

The gait (that of a rabbit) is one of the chief characteristics, and that can only be seen to perfection when the cat enjoys the freedom of the garden. In the show pen it is impossible to judge a Manx perfectly. As a breed they are all that can be desired; wonderfully intelligent and affectionate to their owners and to each other; living the ideal family life, they are the best of pals. We have been able always to let our Manx males run about the house without any fear of unpleasantness. The most perfect specimen I ever owned was Champion Finchley Boy, who died at the age of thirteen years. He was a most consistent winner during his show career.

Another wonderful Manx was Miss Cochrane’s white female Champion Chelsea Pillish Mona Veen, whose photograph is also given; while her daughter, Elian Vanonin, too, was very good, being like her sire, Champion Katzenjammer’s Ghost of Cademer, a beautiful brown tabby.

Other good specimens were the Hon. Mrs. McLaren Morrison’s Champion Egerton House Douglas and Miss Richardson’s Flurry Fops; while to-day there are Champion Josephus of Cadimuir, Blackberry of Cadimuir and Champion Kisser belonging to Mrs. Corps, Gloria Veena owned by Mr. Chas. Bufford, and Miss Alice Kent’s Eubonius.

Manx cats are very easily taught quaint ways. A good example is Miss Sladen’s black Manx, Moses, who took part in a London play called ‘Other Gates’ in November 1931, in which he took the part of 'Nerfeti of Stoner’, belonging to the ‘House of Amun the Scribe’ in Egypt. He behaved in the most exemplary manner, and won the hearts of all those taking part. So well did he play his part that he had a 'call’; walking on at the end of the play, he stood calmly to receive the applause and then retired gracefully — a born actor.

The Manx Cat Club, with Miss H. Hill Shaw as Hon. Secretary, gives the following points:

Manx Cats: Taillessness, height of hindquarters, shortness of back, and depth of flank are essentials in a Manx cat, as only with them is combined the true rabbity or hopping gait. The coat is what is termed ‘double’, namely, full and open like that of a rabbit, with — another essential — a soft thick under-coat. Great attention should be paid to roundness of rump — round as an orange being the ideal.

The following are the points allotted in each feature:
Taillessness – 15 points
Height of Hind-quarters – 15 points
Shortness of Back – 15 points
Roundness of Rump – 10 points
Depth of Flank - 10 points
Double Coat - 10 points
Head and Ears - 10 points
Colour and Markings – 5 points
Eyes - 5 points
Condition – 5 points
Total – 100 points


Taillessness must be absolute in a show specimen. There should be a decided hollow at the end of the backbone, where in the ordinary cat the tail would begin.

The hindquarters in a Manx cannot be too high, and the back cannot be too short, while there must be great depth of flank. The head must be round and large, but not of the snubby or Persian type. The nose is longish, but the cheeks being very prominent do away with any snipyness, which is a bad fault. The ears are rather wide at base, tapering slightly off to a point.

Eye-colour is of very secondary consideration, and must only be taken into account when all other points are equal. When that is so, it follows the ideals for the British cats, namely, blue for whites, and amber or orange for blacks, oranges, tortoise-shells, etc.

All colours of Manx are recognized, and here again, as in regard to eye-colour, markings and colour must only be taken into account when all other points are equal. Finally, gait, arising from the combination referred to in the opening sentence, is of primary importance.


This is a breed I admire immensely and have often felt tempted to keep; but, alas! my love for long hairs and the terrible way they increase has prevented it. British Blues are quite different to the Foreign or Russian Blue. They have beautifully rounded heads, the shape of which, since they have no frill round their neck, can be seen and admired. A charming cobby body covered with a coat like the best and deepest velvet or plush, and deep copper eyes, go to make a most fascinating variety.

I wonder more fanciers do not go in for this breed, but as a rule we find very poorly filled classes at our shows. Among recent winners are Champion Egerton House Scaramouch and Egerton House Katinka, owned by the Hon. Mrs. McLaren Morrison; Champion Chelsea Thistledown, owned by Miss Cochrane; Mrs. Jackson's Champion Bilateena; Mrs. Dore’s Champion Gionette; and Lady Alexander’s Ballochmyle Weasel.

The points of British Blues are:
Colour: Light to medium blue, very level in colour, and no tabby markings or shadings, or white anywhere – 25 points
Eyes: Large and full, copper or orange or yellow – 25 points
Total - 50 points


Russian Blues, so called because they were originally brought from Russia, are now known as ‘Foreign Blues’ They are quite a distinctive race, different in all points from our British Blues. There are not very many of them in England, and some, I fear, get mixed with the British Short Hair and so lose their chief characteristics.

Among our fanciers who favour this breed are Miss Wakeford, owner of Champion Prince Igor of Cleave; Miss Hill Shaw, with Champion Stephanie of Cademuir; Miss Barker, with Champion Teaser of Ashford; and Mrs. Egerton, with Free Hakushin of Petrograd.

The following are the points allotted to each feature:
Colour: Bright blue, even throughout, and free from tabby markings or. shadings; medium to dark shade of blue, and no white permissible – 25 points
Coat: Very short, close and lustrous, and of a sealskin-like texture - 25 points
Body, Build and Tail: Body long, lithe, and graceful in outline and carriage, with tail fairly long and tapering. The legs are decidedly longish and the feet are small, neat, and well rounded - 15
Head and Neck: The skull is flat and narrow, the forehead receding, giving a wedge-shaped effect, and the face and neck are long, giving, with the long, lithe body, the desired snaky appearance – 15 points
Eyes: Large and full and set rather wide apart; their colour should be as vividly green as possible – 15 points
Ears: Rather large, wide at the base, with very little inside furnishings; skin of ear thin and transparent, and not too thickly covered with hair. The tip of ears should be pointed rather than round - 5 points
Total – 100 points


There is very little to write about this breed. They are very scarce, and the few there are, are of a pale sandy colour, and indeed are called by their owners ‘Sandy Cats’. The real specimen should be like the long hair red; it should have a coat of bright deep orange colour with mahogany markings, and orange or copper eyes; in fact, except for the length of coat, its points are the same as for long hair red.

A very fine specimen is Champion Rufus Superbus, bred by Miss Bretherton and now owned by Lady Alexander. Other winners are Champion Paulinus, bred by Mrs. Dodgson and now owned by Mrs. Forsyth Forrest; Miss Mellor’s Champion Rosy Mom; and Champion Clayton Masher belonging to Mr. Clough.

The club points are:
Markings: Very dense and dark red, not mixed with the ground colour, and quite distinct from it. Ground colour and markings to be as rich red as possible [no points]
Eyes: Hazel or orange . . . . 50


In this variety the same points are required as for the long hair. The breed is, unfortunately a very rare one, and any one finding and procuring a really good specimen is indeed to be envied.

Well do I remember a party of fanciers staying at an hotel the night before a Champion Cat Show, when suddenly there walked in the best short hair silver tabby cat I ever saw. Competition to purchase her was great, and one of the party was lucky enough to be successful. But, alas! so far I have seen none of her progeny at shows, which is a great loss to the Fancy. She had that glorious pale silver coat, with jet black lines that looked as if they had been painted on — in fact, she was a gem.

We have had a few very lovely silvers shown, among them Champion Hampstead Sure Again, owned by Messrs. Brown and Wilson, a beautiful queen who won seven or right championships. Champion Silver Bell of Westfields, owned by the same fanciers also won many championships. To-day Mr Kuhnel’s Double Gift takes premier place as being an almost perfect specimen, while Mrs. Reynolds Sams’ Stripes of Runnymede and Mrs. Fuller’s Silva Jim are also big winners. Mrs. Burl’s Silver Penny, a very fine silver tabby neuter, is well known in the Cat Fancy, and constantly wins.

The club points for Silver Tabby Short Hairs are:
Markings: Dense black not mixed with the ground colour, and quite distinct from it. Ground colour, pure silver, uniform through¬out, no white anywhere – 50 points
Eyes: Round and well opened; colour green. [no points]


These are a very handsome breed whose club points are practically the same as those for long hairs. They are supposed to be a really old-fashioned British breed, but although one sees them scattered about the country their colour frequently has a greyish ground, and their markings are often of the thin fine stripes instead of the favoured bold and broader tines. On a well-marked specimen the lines are much more distinct and bold than those of the long-coated variety. Any white broach or breast quite spoils them, both for type and on any show bench. At present nearly all brown tabbies, both long and short hairs, have a pale chin, and I believe always will have, but we must try and breed it out if possible. They are one of our very strongest breeds, never seem to be ill, and are full of life and energy.

Among winners of late are Champion Brown Star, owned by Mr. J. Taylor, who, I believe, won thirteen or fourteen championships with him; Mrs. Higgins’s Champion Little Faye; and Lady Alexander’s Happy Chance; while Mrs. Beckett’s neuter Joe Beckett is a very beautiful cat.

The club points are:
Markings: Very dense and black, not mixed with the ground colour, and quite distinct from it. Ground colour rich sable or brown, uniform throughout, no white anywhere, tail neatly ringed [no points]
Eyes: Orange, hazel, deep yellow, or green – 50 points


The points laid down for Long Hair Tortoise-shells apply to this breed, except that in short hairs the eye colour is held to be not so important, though I cannot think why. At any rate, orange or copper is undoubtedly the most attractive. These short hair torties are most striking; their brilliantly coloured patches show up better than those of the long hairs.

Among winners of to-day are Miss Richardson's Deare Jane, Lady Alexander’s Ballochmyle Soup, Miss Bretherton’s Baroness Tiddlywinks, and the Hon. Mrs. McLaren Morrison’s Mersey Honey Dew.

The club points are:
Colour: Black and red, light and dark equally balanced, and each colour to be as brilliant as possible; no white; patches to be clear and defined; no blurring, and no tabby or brindle markings. Legs and feet, tail and ears to be as well patched as body and head.
Red blaze desirable- [no points]
Eyes: Orange, copper, or hazel – 50 points.


Another very rare variety. The colour should be quite even and of a rich cream colour, like the Devonshire cream we enjoy with our fruit: not biscuit colour and not approaching white. Very few of this breed are to be seen at our shows, but those few are very charming, and it is to be regretted that some fancier owning them does not try to increase them.

Among our present winners are Cream Courtier of Plaicey, belonging to Mrs. Harpin; Ballochmyle Cream Cracker, owned by Lady Alexander; and Miss Bowley’s Galbre.

The club points are:
Colour: Rich cream, level in colour, free from bars, no sign of white anywhere – 35 points
Eyes: Copper or hazel – 15 points.


The points, again, are like those for the long hairs. Examples of the breed are seen in country cottages more frequently than tortoise-shells. It is a very charming variety, scrupulously clean, the white always dazzling and showing up the patches of black, yellow, and red most wonderfully. One of our old English breeds, it is to be regretted that specimens of it are not more numerous on our show benches.

Among winners of this breed are Jude the Obscure, owned by Miss Isles;, Mrs. Gilbert’s Dolly Varden o’ the North-East; Mrs. McCowatt’s Blythswood Marigold; Lady Alexander’s Ballochmyle Honey Pot; Mrs. Miller’s Hollyhock Queen; and Mr. Naylor’s Rombaldsmoor Betty Prim; also Mr. Budd’s Toots of Cory ton, of whom I include a photograph.

The club points are:
Colour: Black and red, light and dark on white, equally balanced. Colours to be brilliant and absolutely free from brindling or tabby markings. The tricolour patchings should cover the top of the head, ears, and cheeks, back and tail, and part of flanks. Patches to be clear and defined. White blaze desirable - 50

All structural points to follow those given for Black Cats. No hard and fast rule can be laid down for the patching of tortie-and-white cats; the matter must be left to individual judgment; but white must never predominate - the reverse is preferable. Eyes as for tortoise-shells.


I have never seen a Mackerel-striped Tabby Short Hair at a show, though one often sees them in country places. I have bred a few among my brown tabbies, but have given them away because there are no classes for them at our championship shows.

The club points are:
Markings: As dense as possible, distinct from ground colour. Rings as narrow and numerous as possible, and running vertically from the spine towards the ground . 50 points

In all tabby cats the tails must be neatly ringed; chest ring or rings also are most desirable—in fact almost essential.


I can give no list of winners of this variety, which seems to be either very scarce or unpopular. This is a great pity, for they are undoubtedly very striking looking, and any fancier taking them up would, I feel sure, soon find a market for them.

The club points — or remarks on this breed — are as follows:

In judging spotted cats the first desideratum is good and clear spotting, all other properties being only of secondary importance. Turning, for example, to the spotted wild cats, in which this form of colouration reaches its acme, we find there are various kinds of Spottings; some have a great many small spots, others fewer and larger; some have round spots, some oblong and some rosette shaped. Any of these markings may be of equal merit ; but the spots, however shaped and placed, shall be distinct and not running into each other. They may be of any colour as suitable to the ground colouration. The fewer markings of the nature of stripes, even on legs and chest, the better.

Judging by points, a value of 75 should be allotted to Spottings, after which the ordinary short hair cat properties may be valued at the remaining 25 points.


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