Who are highland cats?

Highland catScottish cats today have two variations of coat length – Scottish Shorthair and Scottish Longhair. The longhaired variation of the Scottish cat is officially registered relatively recently and is gaining popularity literally every day. The Highland Scottish cats were not immediately recognized as a separate breed. For a long time, some felinological organizations considered the long-haired variation of the Scottish cats to be a tribal marriage. But the gorgeous beauty of these cats did not leave many people indifferent, thus gaining a sufficient number of fans who insisted on the official registration of such long-haired kittens. So the Highland received the official status of the breed and were recognized by international felinological organizations. And now they are so popular that they are already overtaking their Scottish Shorthair brothers in the number of sales.

Where did such an interesting breed name come from? As you know, all Scottish cats come from Scotland. So the Highland cats also got their name from a geographical basis. Highland is a region of Scotland, which is famous for its beautiful mountain scenery. The division of the long-haired Scottish cats is the same as that of the short-haired: Highland Fold and Highland Straight. But not everywhere they are called that way. In the United States, they are called “Scottish Fold Longhair” and “Scottish Straight Longhair”. In England they call them “Coupar”. The name “Coupar” was also chosen geographically – this is the name of the area – “Coupar Angus” where the ancestor of all Scottish cats appeared – the Fold cat Suzy. And the Russian felinological system MFA gave them the name like the Americans – Scottish Fold Long-hair and Scottish Straight Long-haired, based on the American breed standard. In our country, two names of these fluffy cats coexist – Highland Fold and Highland Straight, as well as Scottish Straight Long-haired and Scottish Fold Longhair, close relatives of which are Scottish Fold and Scottish Straight, as well as Scottish Straight Short-hair and Scottish Fold Long-hair. Although in essence they are distinguished from each other only by the length of the coat.

The fur of the long-haired is 2, 2.5 times longer than that of the short-haired fellow tribesmen, visually higher than average and more delicate to the touch. All this is practically the only distinguishing feature of the Highland cats from the shorthaired Scottish cats. On the positive side, the Highland cats lack that “wadded” undercoat that Persian cats have, due to this it is very easy to comb the Highland cats, their hair does not fall into tangles. Therefore, caring for the coat of the Highland cats is not as burdensome as it might initially seem. Indeed, they are distinguished from their short-haired counterparts only by elongated hairs. The number of hairs is almost the same. Remember that if properly cared for, Scottish cats will only shed when the seasons change. If a Scottish cat sheds all year round and excessively, then this indicates a lack of necessary vitamins and elements in its body, which undoubtedly requires a revision of the diet, or additional fortification.

And yet, how do long-haired Scottish cats come about? It is believed that Scottish cats inherited the gene for long hair from Persian cats, whose line was practiced in order to obtain a wider range of colors in Scottish breed. Hence, some Scottish cats have retained the recessive long hair gene in their gene pool. That is why two Scottish cats, carriers of the gene for long hair, despite the fact that they themselves may be short-haired, have Scottish kittens, both long-haired and short-haired. But only long-haired kittens will be born from two Highland cats. This is due to the fact that the gene for short hair in longhair Scottish cats is lost. In this case, the gene for short hair dominates over the recessive gene for long hair. This means that the likelihood of Scottish Longhair kittens being born from Scottish Shorthair cats is not high.

Breeding Scottish cats is very exciting and during the whole time of raising the offspring presents surprises. So, it will not be possible to understand on the birthday of Scottish kittens which one is Highland (long-hair) and which is shorthair. All Scottish kittens are born with a coat of the same length and only from the second week the coat becomes longer and only by the third week it becomes clear which kitten is long-haired and which is short-haired.

In recognized standards, the colors of the Highland cats are exactly the same as those of the Scottish Shorthair cats. Silver and golden colors look especially impressive on long hair. Highland kittens of such colors you can buy in our cattery “Foldlandia”.

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