Smoke Longhair - Longhaired Cats

Picture: Tortoiseshell Smoke Longhair

Tortoiseshell Smoke Longhair
A female-only variety, the Tortie has a white coat tipped in patches of black, red, and cream. The face and feet should be a solid colour, and a red or cream facial blaze is considered a desirable feature.

As the British standard describes it, this is a beautiful "cat of contrasts". Deep tipping gives the appearance of a solid colour, but when the cat moves, the pale undercoat shows through momentarily to produce a delightful shimmer. Keeping the coat in optimum condition is a time-consuming task, and preparation for a sow may take weeks. Showing is generally best left for the winter months, because bright sunlight can cause the coat to fade.

Thought to have originated from chance mattings between Blacks, Blues, Whites, and Chinchillas, the Smoke Longhair is mentioned in the record books as early as 1860, and appeared in the first cat shows. Numbers quickly declined, however: only eighteen were registered in 1912, with the breed becoming almost extinct by the end of World War II. The 1960s saw a revival of interest, and although still uncommon, the breed's future is undoubtedly assured.

"Smokey" has the relaxed, good natured, and gentle character typical of most Longhairs.

Only the black-tipped and blue-tipped varieties of the Smoke are recognized in both Great Britain and the US. Other varieties have tipping in tortoiseshell, chocolate, lilac, and blue-cream. All varieties have orange or copper eyes.

Round and broad, with a sort nose. Black nose pad. Black mask.

Small and round-tipped. Silver ear tufts.

Large, round, and copper or orange in colour.

Facial Characteristics
Black Smoke Longhair.

Picture: Black Smoke Longhair

Black Smoke Longhair
Only when a kitten is some months old is it possible to tell whether it will mature into as fine an example as this. Until then, solid-coloured Blacks and Smokes in the same litter may be indistinguishable. One of the most attractive features of the Black Smoke is the contrast between the silver neck ruff and the dark head. If preparing for a show, it is advisable to keep the Smoke out of bright sunlight to avoid the coat becoming bleached.

A solid, cobby type, but which tends to be slightly lighter than is usual for Longhairs.

The fur is silky, thick, and dense. The undercoat should be milk-white, with black tipping that is solid to the roots in Great Britain, and white at the roots in the US.

Short and bushy.

Short and thick. They should be solid black in colour.

The paws are large and round; the paw pads should be black in colour.