European Shorthair Cat: History

European Shorthair Cat: History
European Shorthair Cat: History

Video: European Shorthair Cat: History

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Video: European Shorthair | Cats 101 2023, February
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The origin of the European shorthair cat is not covered with mysterious stories and exotic legends. Everything is much simpler. Its history begins with those ancient times, when the "sacred" cats of the Egyptians spread throughout the European continent.

Like their Egyptian ancestors, the domestic cats of Europe were mostly shorthaired until the 16th century, when cats with long haired began to be imported from Turkey and Persia. The first European "standard" for the domestic cat dates back to about AD 140 and is contained in the Laws of King Howell the Good of Wales. A full-fledged cat should have excellent eyesight and hearing, a long (that is, not chopped off) tail, a full set of teeth and claws, and “not have traces of fire” - in other words, burned hair.

Its rise to the rank of thoroughbred European Shorthair cat owes only the love and purposeful actions of several generations of specialists. As its name implies, the breed originated in Europe, namely in Great Britain. In the late 1890s, these animals - blue, white, black and marble - first appeared in British exhibitions. Continental lovers of short-haired cats were not far behind the British: various color variations of short-haired "aborigines" began to be systematically bred and exhibited at exhibitions in Germany and France shortly after the First World War. The first attempt to register a European as a breed took place in England in 1925.

European shorthair cat, photo of cat breed photography
European shorthair cat, photo of cat breed photography

Swedish, Danish and Norwegian breeders were the first to engage in targeted breeding of the European Shorthair cat. In 1946 the first European shorthair cat was registered in Sweden under the name "Swedish domestic cat". Felinological organizations did not separate these animals into a separate breed for a long time and at exhibitions they judged them according to the standards corresponding to the standards of the modern British shorthair cat, which at that time was called the European shorthair cat.

Долгое время различия между континентальной и английской короткошерстными кошками не существовало, фактически они представляли собой одну породу. Практиковались и спаривания особей, происходящих из этих двух различных групп. Однако постепенно различия между островными и континентальными кошками нарастали. В племенной работе с английскими кошками заводчики взяли курс на утяжеление костяка и большую массивность животных, постарались закрепить такие признаки, как круглая голова, небольшие уши, круглые глаза, густой и плотный подшерсток. С 1960-х годов в английской фелинологической литературе слово «короткошерстная» в названии породы начинает постепенно вытесняться определением «британская».

Fans of cats on the European continent, for the most part, did not adhere to such a selection policy. As a result, in the 1970s, the former shorthaired breed finally split into two independent branches - British and European. Under these names they were standardized by FIFe: the first - in 1980, the second - in 1982. Thus, from the official point of view, the oldest native breed of European cats turned out to be one of the youngest.

Today, the European Shorthair can rival the Persian and Oriental Shorthair in a variety of color forms. European shorthair cat is a beautiful, stately, healthy, harmonious cat.

European shorthair cat (EKSH)
European shorthair cat (EKSH)

Related article European Shorthair Cat (EKSH)

In our country, for some reason, many amateurs are dismissive of these cats. And the nurseries engaged in breeding this breed can be counted literally on one hand. The low popularity of the breed is due to the fact that at first glance it is no different from street cats. Why pay for a purebred cat if animals like her freely walk the streets of our cities and villages?

The large federations of the USA (TICA and CFA) and Great Britain (GCCF) still do not recognize the European Shorthair cat as a separate breed.

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