The origin of smokes is not known. Long time smoke breeders seem to agree that the smoke colored Persian cats evolved from breeding silver tabbies to blacks and blues. The early smokes had green eyes. Breeders began to cross their resulting smoke offspring from the silvers back to blacks and blues and eventually bred in the copper eyes.

One theory as to how the smoke color developed was published in a July 1963 issue of All Pets Magazine. The author of this article felt that originally the smoke came from a tabby in which the gene for marking mutated and, instead of producing black markings on top of a silver white coat, the mutation gave a solid black coat on top of the white.

Interesting facts about the smoke color include:

• It is one of the earliest colors on record
• Smokes achieved their own class in 1893
• The smoke is a breed that was much more commonly seen at the shows fifty years ago (from the year of 1958)
• During the first twenty years of the present century (also speaking of year 1958) there were a few smokes of outstanding quality
• More smokes at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century than there are now
• 30 smokes in the National Cat Club Stud Book and Register for the years 1900-1905
• 18 smokes when the newly-formed Governing Council of the Cat Fancy published its first stud book in 1912
• By the end of the Second World War in 1945, the smokes were practically non-existent
• Early smoke breeders were Alice and Judy Phillips of Inverness Cattery, Lydia O. Cypher of Akanta Cattery, Carrie and Lucy Clingan of Kerry Lu Cattery, Mrs. Mildred Joseph of Nani Lei Cattery all in the 1950’s
• In the 1960’s notable among smoke breeders were: Mr. & Mrs. Paul H. Raine, Mary Appleman and Eileen Gleeson of Miss Tiny’s Cattery, Wolfgang Cattery
• The most formative years for the smokes were between 1958 and 1978. Interest in the cameos was also greater. There was more interest in breeding for the smoke-torties, instead of only using them to produce more cameos.
• The blue smoke was recognized for championship July 1, 1962, about a year after the red smoke. In 1965, the smokes received their own class.
• In 1961 the cameo colors, which included the red smoke, were awarded championship status in CFA.

As time goes on, the Smoke color continues gaining popularity. As more breeders became interested in the smoke, the type began to improve as well. Today’s smokes are able to compete with any of their Persian counterparts.

Source: Can Fancy Association Online

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Written by: Connie Limon For more information about Persian cats visit:
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