Updated: Aug 21
Today, I'd like to delve into the captivating evolution of breed standards, particularly focusing on the array of colors exhibited by our beloved feline companions.
Allow me to introduce you to one such color that deserves your attention. However, before we delve into the specifics, I'd like to provide you with a bit of insight. As you're aware, breed standards are established by individual Cat associations. While these standards might vary across different associations, they share fundamental similarities. Cat associations serve to unify breeders who, in turn, engage in the selection and breeding of cats with novel color patterns or other defining traits of the breed. This often leads to a debate about the inclusion of these newfound qualities within the breed standard. If a certain trait is not endorsed by an association, it's considered a deviation from the breed's standard and can result in a lower evaluation or even disqualification of the cat. In some instances, associations may even prohibit the use of such cats for further breeding purposes.
Now, let's turn our attention to a new color variation among British cats – "Golden Light," also known as "Akita" or "ny13." I'd like to clarify that these color names are formally recognized only after being registered with an association. For the purpose of our discussion, we'll refer to this color as "Golden Light." This unique hue was first described in 2014 by two Russian breeders, Alexandra Shaura (from Galeksy Cattery) and Marina Bessergeneva (from MariBessa Cattery). Since then, the recognition of this color has sparked ongoing debates within various cat associations. The process of recognition is well-known within breeder circles, often being intricate and time-consuming. Major associations like WCF and TICA are especially meticulous in this regard.
Associations may withhold recognition at cat shows or designate a cat as "not for breeding," but these decisions are confined to their respective associations. It's important to note that no one can prohibit a breeder from registering a cat with another association where the color is recognized. As a result, the market may become saturated with cats of this color, pressuring associations to reconsider and potentially include it in the breed standard. In fact, it's been reported that "Golden Light" was added to the WCF registry under the code "flaxen golden," diverging slightly from the initial ny13 designation. Nevertheless, cats of this color can still earn high accolades at shows.
You might wonder why our cattery is invested in this color, despite it not yet being accepted by TICA. The reason is simple: we eagerly await the day when it gains recognition. For breeders, the ultimate validation comes not solely from show judges or associations, but rather from the affection and support of our cherished customers. While an association's grade at a show holds significance, it's the customer's hard-earned dollar that truly signifies approval.
This brings us to a thought-provoking question: Is it worthwhile for a breeder to invest in developing new breed colors, even when these colors are yet to be embraced by associations? It's a matter of passion, dedication, and the profound connection between breeders and their patrons.
Thank you for your time and consideration!