The Russian White & the
Russian Black in the UK
(updated September 2012)
Blues in the UK can trace their ancestry back prior to the
1890s, and around that time white, black and tabby Russians
also featured occasionally in books and articles. However,
the Russian White and the Russian Black lines now in the
UK are descended from two lines, brought together in the
Netherlands in 1995. The first line was developed by Frances
McLeod (Arctic) in the 1960’s and the second the line
produced by Dick and Mavis Jones in Australia in the 1970’s.
Frances McLeod stated that her line was from a white female
kitten born in 1961, which she said was from a Russian boat
and given to her by a friend. The GCCF registered the kitten
as Arctic Chumvi, Breed No 26 AOV Foreign Type.
In the ‘60s, the gene pool of the Russian Blue was
stated to be low and limited out-crossing to blue-point Siamese
and domestic cats was carried out. As Chumvi had an excellent
coat, the well-respected breeder and judge Mrs Grace Pond
suggested mating that white female to a Russian Blue stud.
Frances McLeod followed a breeding programme with the assistance
of Miss F H Laugher of Jennymay Russians, mating Chumvi to
a GCCF registered Russian Blue stud, Meadliam
first two litters comprised white or blue kittens. However,
the third litter produced a black kitten. This showed that
Chumvi was in fact masking black under her white coat.
A male white kitten was put on the supplementary register
by the GCCF as Arctic Sumairki. On later GCCF certified printed
pedigrees for export he is shown as Breed No 14. In 1963
all records would presumably be handwritten, probably on
cards, and there would not have been a Breed number for a
Russian White. The new Russian Blue Cat Society was formed
then and was looking after the Russian breed, with a new
Standard being produced in 1965.
Sumairki was subsequently mated to a Russian Blue female
called Harvees Amanda Too and the litter included a white
green-eyed female called Osmunda, registered by the GCCF
in 1968 as Russian White 16a 14c.
Frances McLeod continued breeding and showing her Arctic
Russian Blues, Whites or Blacks in the UK for many years
and eventually went to Australia where she continued breeding
Russian cats. Over the years, other breeders continued the
white or black Russian lines.
A black kitten,
Arctic Lascatsya registered as 16a 15, was from a Russian
Blue dam Arctic Mishura and sired by a Russian White stud
masking black, Arctic Snowthistle. His line continued the
Russian Whites and had come down through Arctic
Arctic Osmanthus back to Osmunda, and all registered as 16a
bred on by Joan Lund (Lavengro) and her progeny in 1984 to
Russian Blue stud Arctic Dolphin
a Russian Black female registered as l 16a
Lavengro Gypsy Rose
|Frank & Joy Smith (Jofran)
carried on the black line with Gypsy
Rose and in 1986 produced
Jofran Emerald Eye, a Russian Black female sired by Ch
Emerald was exported to
Belgium to Andrea Duerinck (van Loth-Lorien).
Before she left the UK, Emerald was mated to a Russian Blue
male called Sini Ivan and in 1990 she produced a litter of
six kittens, three of whom became European Champions for
their breeder, one blue, two black. Emerald was mated several
times to Russian Blue stud, GIC Jofran
Sergi also born in
the UK, and living with Andrea Duerinck, and produced some
very successful kittens who went to Switzerland, Germany
etc. Emerald attained the title of International Champion.
A black son from Emerald’s first litter, European
Champion Black Shadow van Loth-Lorien,
was mated in the Netherlands to a Russian Blue queen owned
by Ingrid Nuyten (d’Affranchi) called Veruschka
van Marit Iris (whose sire was a Russian Blue EC
Tomanka Leonov also from the UK). That mating produced a Russian Black female
Tchornia Ludmila d’Affranchi.
Ingrid Nuyten had imported from Australia a Russian White
male kitten, Ch Yaralin Sjtsjoekin born in 1993, from a well-known
breeder there, Hilda Blackmore (Yaralin) who bred his sire,
Gold DGC Yaralin Kosikh from her first white DGC
Ramsallah Polar Viktor, bred by Mrs M Friebel.
Ch Yaralin Sjtsjoekin
These whites were from the
Russian White breeding programme started in Australia in
1971 by Dick & Mavis Jones (Myemgay) from an imported
white cat stated to be from Siberia and the family pet of
an official at the Thai Embassy. She was mated to their Russian
Blue stud, Ch Myemgay Yuri, producing two kittens, and they
kept one, White Rose. They followed a breeding programme
and the RASCC recognised the Russian Whites in 1975 to compete
for Championship status. Again, a black kitten had appeared
in the third generation, which was formally recognised by
the RASCC in 1977, and that line is still being bred on separately
in Australia etc.
Polar Viktor was sired by Russian White DGC
Myemgay Arctic Kosack bred down from Myemgay
Arctic Snowflake, Myemgay Arctic
Star and Myemgay Arctic Girl a daughter of White
Sjtsjoekin was mated to several Russian Blue queens and
those lines still continue separately in Europe. As he was
white masking blue, those lines only produce white or blue
progeny. Whilst with Ingrid Nuyten, he was mated to the black
female Tchornia Ludmila d’Affranchi from the UK black
line. This is the only time in the records that shows a mating
between a Russian White and a Russian Black, and it did bring
back the ability to produce blue, white or black Russian
Kittens, plus return the genes of the UK blood line, which
had been lost in the UK.
|The next three
generations in Holland from that Sjtsjoekin x Tchornia mating
produced Russian White females, masking black. GIC
Bjella Dushka d’Affranchi (daughter of Tchornia) had joined Evelien
Bronsveld (Chatuliem Russitiem’s), who took her cats
to Scotland, including EC Chatuliem Russitiem’s Orli and her daughter, Chatuliem
Russitiem’s Yentle born in
2003. She had produced a Russian Black kitten in the Netherlands,
showing she was genetically black.
Yentle joined Jennifer Sedgwick (Catwo) in England, Yentle was mated to Russian Blue European
Champion Ursus Blue-bis (bred in Poland) and in November 2007 produced six kittens,
one Russian Blue, four Russian White and one Russian Black,
all able to be registered and shown with the GCCF with the
Breed Nos of 16a, 16a 14c and 16a 15.
|First Litter born in 2007 - 4 Russian Whites, 1 Russian Black and 1 Russian Blue
||photo by Photocat
Yentle’s second litter in 2008 to a Russian Blue stud
born in the UK, Grand Champion Lubimiyeh
eight kittens, 7 Russian Whites and 1 Russian Black. As with
the first litter, all colours of the kittens were hearing
tested, but this time all the whites were also DNA tested,
and it is interesting that 5 of the 7 whites were shown to
be masking black.
Second Litter of 7 Russian Whites and 1 Russian Black 2008
To the middle
of 2012, there have been around 40 litters of kittens descended
from the imported Russian White queen Yentle. Eight UK-born
Russian Blue studs and twelve UK-born Russian Blue queens
have been used. More than a dozen breeders throughout England,
Wales, Scotland and Ireland have been involved with continuing
the Russian White and the Russian Black, using some excellent
The Russian Blues from these matings were included on the
GCCF Supplementary Register and can be shown at Championship
level. Several of these Blues have been shown and have been
awarded Best of Breeds and CCs.
The Russian White and Russian Blacks were recorded on the
Experimental Register and shown in Assessment Classes. From
1st June 2011, the Assessment Classes became competitive,
the cats being judged and awarded a Merit Certificate if
worthy (as previously) and also placed against each other
with a Best of Breed awarded (if available). The winner could
also be considered for Best of Variety/Best-In-Show. Russian
Whites and Russian Blacks are entered in the same class,
though it can be split male/female. Four Merits were required
to qualify, of which two could be from kitten classes.
cat to achieve four qualifying Merits in the UK was a Russian
Black female from the first litter bred by Jennifer Sedgwick,
Catwo Kira, and owned by Judith Noble (Larksong Russians).
Her success was shortly followed by a Russian White male,
Catwo Dimitri, from the second litter, and now living with
Catherine Kaye (Sithee Russians).
Catwo Biaty Pantera
|Further cats to qualify
with four Merits have been Catherine Kaye’s Catwo
Biaty Pantera (Best Assessment Russian at the 2009 and 2010 RBBA
Also Catwo Cairnicatski owned by Wendi Johnson, both litter
sisters to Dimitri. That was a very special litter of 8 Russians!
The next cat to qualify was also a Russian White female
bred by Bev Pursglove called Adniosh Catwo-Crystal, now living
with Stephanie Eborall (Warwick Russians), who had previously
bred Russian Blue and Russian White cats in South Africa.
Sithee Madam Belladonna
qualifying cat was a Russian Black female bred by Catherine
Kaye and sired by her Dimitri.
Andrea Cherry (Brightlite Russians) quickly gained five Merits
with her Sithee Madam Belladonna.
Elenita Buskin Rascal
A further Russian Black
male, Elenita Buskin Rascal, bred and owned by Sandra Hipkin
(Elenita Russians) obtained his fourth qualifying Merit in
Then in March 2012, another black female, Adelfsh
bred and owned by Julia Watling achieved her fourth Merit.
that made 4 Russian Whites and 4 Russian Blacks achieving
GCCF qualifying Merits.
However, a Russian White, Cairnicats
White Royal, bred in
the UK by Wendi Johnson and then owned by Beata Raszka (Colinsgarden
Cattery) in the Republic of Ireland, also obtained five GCCFI
merits by the end of October 2011. White
Royal is now living
with Pauline Nelson (Asara).
Russian White or Russian Black kittens/cats were awarded
Merits and these include Serennol Night
Star, a beautiful
Russian Black female, bred and owned by Sarah Williams-Elliss
(Serennol Russians). Night Star, who was sired by Sarah’s
UK IGrCh Serennol Dmitri, was Best Assessment Russian at
the 2011 RBBA Show.
Further Russian Black merit winners are Elenita
Melayzia Gipsyrose owned by Jim & Mary Bowdrey and Tocoya Zinoviy
bred and owned by Jill Wakefield (Tocovya Russians). However,
Cairnicats Magnus owned by Elaine Littlewood (Milov Russians)
is a Russian White male.
At the October 2011 Council Meeting, the RBAC proposal was
passed for the Russian White and the Russian Black to progress
to Provisional Status and from April 2012 these breeds were
able to compete for Intermediate Certificates, Best of Breed
and Best of Variety.
The first winner of an Intermediate Certificate was Elenita
Buskin Rascal (16a 15) on the 5 May 2012 at Bristol & District
CC Show shortly followed by Cairnicats
Magnus (16a 14c) on
the 20 May 2012 at the Midland Counties Cat Club Show.
This was shortly followed by Catwo Biaty Pantera (16a 14c)
winning ICs & BoBs at the Gwynedd and the Chester & North
Wales Shows, plus Sithee Madam Belladonna (16a 15) also being
awarded ICs & BoBs at the Teesside and Wyvern CC shows.
Kittens from these breeds can compete for BoBs and BOV,
and the first kitten to be nominated for Best of Variety
at the Teesside show was Brightlite Inki
Black (16a 15) bred
and owned by Andrea Cherry.
kittens, both bred by Kate Kaye, have been shown as kittens,
with both achieving 1st & BoBs. Sithee
owned by Sue Young (Siykat) whilst Sithee
Sparklingicemaiden lives with Stephanie Eborall (Warwick).
Some breeders are concentrating on Blue / White kittens,
whilst others are specialising in Blue / Black. Breeders
are listed on the RBBA website.
Elenita Litter of 3 colours
However, it is delightful
to see a litter containing the three colours such as this
October 2011 litter bred by Sandra Hipkin (Elenita).
These are great-grand kittens of Chatuliem
Yentle, the Russian White import from the Netherlands.
The GCCF Standard for the Russian Black states that it
is a Russian Blue in all respects except for colour. The
coat colour is a dense glossy black to the skin with black
nose leather and paw pads.
The coat of the Russian White masks the genetic colour,
which here in the UK is blue or black, and which can be
checked by a DNA test. The coat must be pure, sparkling
white with no hint of discolouration, although a kitten
or young adult may temporarily carry small dark patches
of blue/black on the head. Before any progeny may be registered
from a Russian White sire or dam, this cat must have a
certificate of freedom from deafness.