Rubanthom Russian Blues Rubanthom Russian Blues, Russian Whites, Russian Blacks

The History of the Russian Whites


Here is a brief history of the development of the Russian Whites in Australia,
in the early 1970's. This information is provided to educate, and to show
that this undertaking was not done lightly, but under the strictest controls.
Note, the White Siberian cat Mavis Jones aquired is no relation to the newer
cat breed called by the Siberian name, this White Siberian cat was a shorthair with characteristics of the Russian Blue

Here is a copy of a letter from Mavis Jones to the Russian Blue Newsletter
in 1977, please be advised that letter is as it was received including all typos...

“ ...a member wrote from Australia, with detailed information and color photos:
‘ I have gathered some material on our WHITE RUSSIANS.
Our program took twelve years to complete, to produce these very beautiful cats. We began by importing a White Siberian domestic cat, through a freind at the Thailand embassy in Canaberra; this cat was held in quarantine at the Thai embassy for 12 months. To my knowledge these are the only cats that can be bred to the Russian Blue. Any person breeding Siamese to the Russian Blue in Australia would immediately be banned from breeding for life, by our governing body. Even with the beautiful white cat we had brought into this country and who was sypically Russian in appearance and character, the RAS of New South Wales refused us permission to breed for the White Russian. It took two years of persuation, arguments and deliberation before they finally gave permission for us to go ahead with our experimental program.

During that two years, we bred several litters from our Siberian White with one of our best Russian Blue males and after being viewed by three members of our ruling body (at our home) we were entiltled to show them. They convinced the consultive committee that we were indeed breeding Russian type kittens, and we were granted our experimental program.

This was one of the strictest programs ever laid down by the RAS. One step the wrong way and we’d have been out for life. we had to report every kitten born, report every death and every kitten had to be desexed before leaving our cattery. No other breeder was allowed to particpate. We had to do it alone. We had to accept full responsibility all the way. We began by keeping two of the best white females and mated them to two unrelated blue males. Then we chose the best 1st generation white female from each of the two litters. Then two white females from the two second generation, and two from the third and finally, two from the fourth. We bred white females to blue males always, and always only the best males and females were used. During our program we kept seven Russian Blue studs to avoid inbreeding. We combined outcrossing and linebreeding to establish the finest type and characteristics of the Russian Blue to our exquisite Whites. The Whites sometimes didn’t call for 18 months. All were very silent and we had to watch their antics or miss a mating.

White Kittens and the silver striped grey found in Siberia appeared in early litters. After the third generation, the striped group disappeared and the self Blues and pure Whites only evolved. White kittens are usually born with a blue smudge on top, between the ears. We look for this, which is a reliable sign of perfect hearing; the smudge disappears as the kitten matures to adulthood. Our Whites now have the beautiful silky, pluch coat of the blues with the same thick fine undercoat. Eyes are brilliant green. Standards for the Whites is exactly as for the Russian Blue, except for coat color, which must be brilliant, dazzling, pure white, and soft as silk.

After breeding our 4th generation kittens, we contacted the Head Geneticist of Sydney University, whose advice we followed from the beginning. He wrote to our governing council that our cats were genetically 100% pure Russian and that blues in white litters, after four generations, should be accepted on full register and vice versa. Our governing council aibied by his decision. ***(Rubanthom edit: see his letter quoted below)

Fifth generation whites are due soon to our beautiful GgCh Myemgay BORZIOIS, and we shall send photographs of these kittens as we really expect something else from him. If one of your RB association clubs would like to exchange sashes with one of our Australian clubs notify me. It would help to promote popularity if USA would exchange sashes. There is no actual RBA in Australia much as we should like to have one. Unfortunately we are both hampered by ill health and haven’t the time and energy to even begin such as undertaking.

Dick & Mavis Jones
35 Jackson Av
Warrawong 2502
NSW Australia

***To quote Dr. F.W. Nicholas, Animal Genetics, Department of Animal Husbandry, University of Sydney, in a letter dated Jan. 22, 1976: "...about mating only blues to blues, and only whites to whites, and not accepting mixed litters, there is no sound genetical reason why you should have such rules. After four generations of backcrossing, the only important difference between whites and blues is in coat colour. The rest of the genetic background, and hence type and all other characteristics will be essentially the same. So, for example, a blue kitten from a registered blue stud out of a registered white dam has just as much right to be registered as would a blue kitten with only registered blue parents on each side of its pedigree."