Discover the high white British Shorthair cat
High white British Shorthairs are cats that are more than 50% white. These cats can come in any of the colours and patterns of a normal British Shorthair cat. Tabby, cinnamon, chocolate, blue, colourpoint...you name it, the high white British Shorthair can be it!
The pattern: high white British Shorthairs, van and harlequin
High white British Shorthairs tend to have white tummies and white faces. Depending on the degree of white that they have, they then have a coloured tail with patches of colour on their body. Those with more colour look a little like cows, while those with more white can have as little as one or two patches of colour on their bodies. High white British Shorthairs are often referred to as Vans or Harlequins, and different cat registries have slightly different standards for each in terms of degrees of white and patches of colour.
The genetics of the High White British Shorthair
High white British Shorthairs are white because of the White Spotting gene. This is a dominant gene, and if a kitten inherits one copy of the gene they will be a bicolour. If they inherit no copies of the gene, they will be a self, if they inherit 2 copies of the gene they will be more than 50% white. That is when it gets interesting: if you put two high white cats together, then you start to get kittens that are almost all white - vans and harlequins. The gene is expressed as WS for white spotting, ws for non-white spotting.
ws/ws = no white, also known as 'self'
WS/ws = bicolour
WS/WS = high white
Our high white kittens
We have a home-bred lilac high white girl, who is a superstar and one of the most beautiful cats we have. She also carries cinnamon. Read more about the cinnamon British Shorthair cat.
Now and again, we get high white kittens, in a variety of colours and patterns. Have a look at our kitten page to see if we have any high white kittens available.
If you are interested in genetics, have a look at our article on the genetics of breeding British Shorthairs.