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Black and orange cat
The black and orange cat (also called bandit, black and white or black and white cat) is a breed of domestic cat with a characteristic color pattern. A small, stout breed, it tends to have a long face with a big muzzle and a long, rounded body. These cats have a black or chocolate-colored head, a light orange-colored chest, and two white feet. The black and orange cat is mostly found in the Mediterranean region, Asia, and Central and South America. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has listed the breed as vulnerable. The British Isles Cat Fancy lists it as a rare breed, and the Cat Fanciers' Association lists the breed as a standard breed.
There are two major points of origin for the black and orange cat: they were first bred in England by a breeder named Tom R. Ransome in the 19th century, and later spread to many parts of the world, including the United States.
Tom Ransome (1839–1911)
The black and orange cat was first bred by Tom Ransome (1839-1911) in Sussex, England, in the late 19th century, and was originally called the black and white cat. His cats were black with white markings on their heads and white feet, which is what distinguishes the black and orange cat from other breeds of cats, which only have white spots on the head or two white feet. As a cat show, the black and white cats are considered to be very small, but not toylike, they were designed as house pets. They gained widespread popularity in the United States in the early 1900s.
The breeder's aim was to produce a cat that was a cross between the shorthair and the longhair, but not to have the stripes on the long-haired cat. He believed that the reason that people did not want shorthair cats was that they were more active and had shorter coats, and thought that if he bred a cat with the active shorthair characteristics, but with the beautiful long-haired coat, people would be drawn to it. His first cross was between the shorthair and the medium-haired domestic longhair. The original black and white cat was born in 1871, and was the first black and white cat to become popular.
Ransome made several minor modifications to the breed, including moving the eyes from the head to the front of the skull, so that the eyes would not look as if they were pushed off to one side. He also removed some of the long hair, which created a more flat look, and replaced some of the orange with black, so that the color is closer to the longhair. As a result, some of Ransome's cats that were black with white markings had a tan-like appearance, and were known as "Tommycats". He often advertised that he was breeding for 'beauty', not for any particular physical characteristics.
He also produced the "black-pointed breed", in which the top of the head, like the body, was black, while the lower body was tan. The breed became extremely popular, and a few cats were even exhibited at the 1900 World's Fair in Buffalo. However, due to the high levels of disease, the breed never became popular in the U.S. He also produced a color called "white-pointed black". This breed is very similar to the black-pointed breed, but the color pattern is entirely white.
In 1875, Ransome registered his cat with the Cat Fanciers' Association as a new breed. For the next few years, however, he did not update the name of the breed to reflect the more logical cross between the shorthair and longhair.
A number of other breed registries were formed during the time that Ransome was a breeder, including the International Cat Association, in 1910. The Cat Fanciers' Association of America followed, in 1924. However, not long after that the breed was renamed to the American Shorthair breed. The only major change to the American Shorthair breed was the addition of white as a color.
When Ransome died, his sons continued the line of shorthairs that he started.
Category:American dog breeders