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The Breed

Cashmeres 
are the longhaired variety of the Bengal cat. They are vivid, 
mischievous cats with luxurious, semi longhair coat, incredibly soft and silky 
to touch. The hair is so fine, that it does not need grooming.

The very first beginning of the Bengal breed:

Tori of Delhi (left) Millwood My Thai Millwood Praline
Bengals are known as a shorthair 
breed and you may wonder why there are born long haired kittens from time to time: 
Bengals did not develop naturally like so many other breeds, but were created by Jean Mill, who had the vision of a little leopard with the loving personality of a domestic cat.
In the beginning there was a cross breeding with an Asian Leopard Cat (Felis Bengalensis) and domestic cats. The first attempts did not lead far and in 1980 she started from new. 
One of the first domestic cats Jean bred to the small forest dwelling wildcats was Tory, whom she found within the Delhi Zoo. He was a golden colored, nicely spotted male with dense and silky coat. Besides his emerald green eyes he brought glitter and shine into the breed. 
In the very beginning Jean Mill used 'what was right at hand (excerpt from her homepage). Domestic cats with unknown back ground and an Himalyan are belonging to the foundation cats of the breed. They brought with them a bundle of genes like red, silver, color point, solid and diluted colors, marble and/or longhair. 
The  dominant ones like silver, red and calico are shown by any cat, who has them, and therefore can be bred out easily, when not desirable. Other the recessive genes like blue, solid black, snow and long hair. From the outer appearance it is impossible to tell, which recessives a cat is be passing on. They stay undiscovered, until a kittens receives them by both parents. So they may be carried on for generations, until they pop up  again. That's why breeders say: Recessives are forever.
Egyptian Mau, Abyssinians, Exotic Shorthair and Ocicats are belonging to the ancestors of the Bengal breed as well. Later on there were bred in Burmese, who brought with them seal sepia (which combined with lynx creates seal mink), but also cinnamon and and chocolate. The latest outcross to American Shorthair blessed us with the silver Bengals.
Today it is impossible to tell which single cats brought the longhair gene  with them, but it is known for sure, that there have been born long haired kittens from time to time since the very beginning of the Bengal breed.
Bengals were created as a short hair breed and one may imagine that long haired kittens were not appreciated. Many beautiful cats carrying  for the long hair gene were eliminated from the breeding programs. Long haired kittens were - and mostly still are - not only petted out, but also denied and hidden away. Meanwhile the acceptance for the longhairs slowly is growing, but it still is quite difficult to get high quality Cashmeres for breeding.
Meanwhile a few breeders world wide are working with these beautiful cats. They are 
bred as long haired Bengals, Cashmeres or Cashmere Bengals.
While most of the American breeders are trying to get
 them accepted as variety within the original breed, the European 

breeders are working for their acceptance as 

New Breed "Cashmere".

 
Rasse Standard
 
 

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The website is Copyright 2009 Kadima Cashmeres.
Text and photos are Copyright Dorit Kersting. All rights reserved.
Designed by Dorit Kersting.