The blue gene can give a whole range of colours, from a pale, powdery blue over a white undercoat to a deep, rich slate down to the skin. The British blue represents the extreme dark end of this scale.
It’s a wonder really that we have the British blues we have today, really – the breeders have fought an uphill battle with them. Way back in the mists of time when the first blues appeared (1990) they were delicate little critters, prone to bleeding problems, skin problems, and allergies. There has been a lot of very careful selective breeding done to ensure that British blues now are every bit as strong and healthy as any other variety.
British blues are prone to a variety of faults. As well as the top colour often being too pale, they often suffer from pale undercoats, where the blue colour doesn’t go all the way down to the skin. And of course there are the usual self rat faults of silvering, white toes and rusting to watch out for.
Genetics: Non-agouti with the dilute gene (aadd), selected for deep, sound colour.
NFRS Standard: To be a deep steel blue without any brown coloration. Colour to be even with the belly colour matching the top. The colour of the fur when parted to be blue grey down to the skin.