CINNAMON-POINT AND FAWN-POINT BRITISH SHORTHAIRS IN RUSSIA
Tatyana Barzik, of FELIA Cattery, is the only breeder in Russia currently working with this rare and beautiful colour of British Shorthair cats. 4 years ago these colourpoints were bred by 4 catteries, but 3 of those stopped their breeding programs and now Tatyana is the only breeder of these cats. She wishes to attract like-minded people to work with this colour, to introduce fresh blood and to work with her beautiful male cat. At present there is only a cattery working with Scottish Fold cats (which are related to British Shorthairs) that is also working with Cinnamon Point and Fawn Point.
What are colourpoints? Colourpoint is also called acromelanism and is a type of thermos-dependent albinism. It originated in native Siamese cats that were first depicted in 8th century manuscripts, but it did not reach western cat breeders until the 19th Century. Colourpoints are characterized by the beauty of their colour expression. Colour is present on the coldest parts of the cat – called the points – the ears, muzzle, tail and paws. The warm parts of the body – such as the torso - are paler than points. Typically the body will get darker as the cat grows older.
By cross-breeding and selection, acromelanistic colours from the Siamese breed have been introduced to more than a hundred cat breeds of completely different types, sometimes very far from the original source. That is why many people still call this colour "Siamese".
In the 1950s, the colour-point pattern was introduced into the Persian breed, resulting in the Himalayan (the breed name in America, known as Colourpoint Persian Longhair in Europe). Later, in the 1980s, the old-style Himalayan/Colourpoint Persian cats were crossed with British Shorthairs and the colourpoint pattern was introduced into the British breed.
For many years, cat fanciers working with colourpointed British Shorthairs tried to introduce new acromelanistic colours. Currently there are many different colourpoint varieties in this breed - solid (self) colours from seal (genetic black) to lilac, from red to cream, tortoiseshells, and numerous patterned (lynx-point) colours. One of the rarest, mesmerizingly beautiful, point colours at this time are Cinnamon Point and Fawn Point.
The Cinnamon colour is a gentle warm shade of reddish-brown, reminiscent of cinnamon spice, with pinkish-brown nose and paw pads. This is one of the new, rare and extremely hard to breed colours in the eumelanistic (genetic black) series. The diluted form of Cinnamon was called Fawn and is a gentle warm shade of sandy-beige reminiscent of the color of a newborn baby deer, with pinkish-beige nose and paw pads.
Cinnamon was introduced into Siamese cats by crossing to red (sorrel) Abyssinians. This happened in in 1960 (by Maureen Silson of Southview Cattery, England) and in 1964 (by Maria Falkena-Rohrle of Cattery van Mariendaal, the Netherlands). The van Mariendaal cinnamons had a slight different colour than the Southview cinnamons; her cats had a sparkling brandy-colour, while the English ones had a duller colour. On April 19, 1980 the Cinnamon Oriental and Cinnamon Siamese were recognized by the Dutch club N.K.F.V. in "foreign short-haired", in 1982 some independent Dutch clubs recognized Fawn as the diluted version of Cinnamon color. Recognition of Cinnamon by major cat registries stretched on for almost half a century. FIFe recognized Cinnamon Self Orientals in 1991 and recognised the Cinnamon Point Siamese in 2004. This colour was then recognised in other breeds and by other registries. In the WCF system, Cinnamon and Fawn were recognized in the British breed only in 2009.
In the British breed, Diaspora, Catbalu and Olly's Nest catteries worked on the colour introduction. In Russia, work with these solid colour varieties was conducted by "Cat Land" cattery since 2003, and work with the pointed version has been conducted by "Goodwill House" Cattery since 2007.
Why is this colour so far so rare and difficult to breed? Being a recessive colour, Cinnamon and its diluted version, Fawn, is extremely difficult to obtain, even with plenty of carriers of this color. Being introduced into British cats by Oriental lines, poor thought out selective breeding for Cinnamon can result in incorrect type appearing in British cats, this must be corrected only by carefully thought out breeding work. Breeders in Russian and foreign catteries carefully select which cats to mate together and expend much efforts to improve the conformation of British cats in Cinnamon and Fawn colours.
Because it is a type of albinism, point colour is always linked with blue eyes of different intensity. In Cinnamon Point and Fawn Point, and also in their tortoiseshell versions, we see the same blue eyes. Currently the following variants of Cinnamon and Fawn points exist in the British breed:
Pictures (all provided by Tatyana Barsik):
Cinnamon Point British Cat (c) "Felia" Cattery.
Cinnamon-tortie-point British Cat (c) "Felia" Cattery, breeder Alla Alina Schischkin of "From Sham" Cattery;
Fawn Tortie-and-White (Calico) British Cat (c) (c) "Felia" Cattery, breeder Alla Alina Schischkin of "From Sham" Cattery;
Fawn Point British Cat (c) “Super Fold” Cattery (photo from open source of the Internet).