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Russian White

Riverlight History
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What better way to describe the origins of the Russian White cat, than to quote from an article, "Love is a Russian Kitten" by Mavis Jones of Myemgay Cattery written in c.1969:

"Our project began in earnest when we acquired a genuine white Siberian cat, albeit a "domestic", as she possessed no pedigree.  She was the family pet of an official at the Thai Embassy, who brought her to Australia with him. We exchanged a Russian Blue for this beautiful white cat, and mated her to one of our Russian Blue studs.  She produced two white kittens in her litter, the best of which we kept, and named White Rose, then applied for permission to breed White Russians.  To our knowledge, the white cat from

Russia or Siberia, is the only cat suitable to cross with a Russian Blue.  White Rose grew to be a beautiful white queen, long, svelte, elegant, with all the appearances, and the charming characteristics of the Russian Blues. 

Eventually we mated Rose back to her sire, Myemgay Yuri, who had already established quite a reputation for himself, as best shorthair stud cat for two successive years.  Our two first generation White Russian kittens were registered in November 1971.  They were exquisite and we were delighted.

Sadly Rose developed milk fever when her babies were three weeks old, and we lost her.  We raised the two wee girls with a dolls bottle and carnation milk, until they were old enough to digest solid food.

It would take far too long to enumerate all the difficulties and incidents that "happen" in a programme such as ours.  Suffice to say they were many and varied, but we accepted them as they came, and managed to overcome most.  Of course there were some heartaches, but we accepted those too.

We mated our two first generation whites to two different Myemgay Blue Studs to produce our second generation whites and then two of the best whites (one from each litter) to produce our third generation kitten.  We continued this procedure until we reached fourth generation and applied for full registration and recognition of our whites.  They were granted full registration, eligible to compete for Championship status in July 1975."

The Russian White program started on the 4th of May 1971.  Full register status was given by Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) Cat Club of  New South Wales in November 1975.  This document is on our website click here.

The White "Siberian Cat" was mated to Myemgay Yuri, a blue male.  She produced two white kittens, the best was kept and named White Rose (female) and this cat was the foundation female for the Russian White.

White Rose was mated back to Myemgay Yuri producing two first generation White Russian kittens.  The only line of whites from this mating that we are aware of is Myemgay Arctic Girl (female) the first generation Russian White. 

She was mated to Myemgay Little Lemon (blue) and produced Myemgay Arctic Star (female 2nd generation Russian White).  Arctic Star was mated back to Myemgay Yuri (blue) and produced Myemgay Arctic Snowflake (female 3rd generation Russian White).  Arctic Snowflake was mated to Eastern Ninotchka (blue) and produced Myemgay Arctic Kosack (male 4th generation Russian White).

At this time no Russian Whites had left Myemgay Cattery as the RAS Cat Club only fully registered cats when they reached the 4th generation.  Up to this stage they had been on the provisional register.

For the full article in pdf format please click on the link: Love is a Russian Kitten.

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Riverlight History

Myemgay Arctic Kosack (male 4th generation Russian White) came to Adelaide, South Australia where they were immediately accepted on full registration. Margot Friebel, Ramsallah Cattery, was the breeder to introduce the Russian Whites to another state of Australia outside of NSW.  I am not sure which year this was, however I bought my first Russian White female, Ch. Mankina Polar Queen, from Margot on 14th of June 1981.

Ch. Mankina Polar Queen was bred by Mrs M.E. Cox from her female Ch. Ramsallah Polar Star (5th generation White) and Margot Friebel's male Myemgay Grigori (blue).  Mankina Polar Queen was born on the 19th March 1978 and purchased by Mrs Friebel on the 27th June 1978.  She was shown and gained her champion title and on the 23rd September 1979 at the Sacred Siamese Cat Club show was awarded "Reserve Best Russian Cat".  Ch. Mankina Polar Queen had a litter while with Mrs Friebel and one of the white kittens went back to Mavis Jones: "Ramsallah Polar Nymph" (white female).

Ch. Mankina Polar Queen produced for me Riverlight Tsaritza, the first Russian White female to gain the title Double Grand Champion.  Tsaritza can still be seen in our pedigrees today.

Another Russian White very worthy of mention is Ramsallah Polar Viktor, born on the 16th of March 1977, bred by Mrs Friebel and owned by Mrs Hilda Blackmore, Yaralin Cattery.  Viktor, a 5th generation Russian White, can be found in many of our pedigrees today including my blue line and tabby line.

Although I have not bred a line of Russian Whites I now have a Russian White Male, Tushbah Ime Byeli Fyodor born 28th September 2005 (10th generation Russian White), from Pat Pages, Tushbah Cattery.  Unfortunately, Pat no longer has a Russian Cattery. I have been able to track his pedigree back to the beginning of the whites, if interested check our website.

Not long after buying Ch. Mankina Polar Queen, I purchased another white female, a kitten Yaralin Natalya, from Mrs Hilda Blackmore.  Natalya gained her champion status and bred a beautiful blue female Gd.Ch. Riverlight Nada Inskya, whos father was Bronze Db.Gd.Ch. Aislinn Nikolai Platov.  I can track Nicolai's pedigree back to Mrs Carew-Cox's "Lingpopo" 1893.  This is also on our website. This has continued to be our blue line and at times using the whites to improve the coat texture of the blues. Two other whites in our blue line are Db.Gd.Ch. Odessa Prinz Yuri, bred by Mrs Joyce Pix and Tzaritza's son Ch. Riverlight Tzarevich.

BarishnikovNow I'll talk about a white male a lot of people in the United States will have heard of: Barishnikov, born 13th of August 1989.  I mentioned in my Riverlight Black history that Riverlight Sebastopol our black male was mated to several blue and white females.  One of these was Riverlight Nicolya (white), her sire Aislinn Nikolai Platov and dam Rovene Balta Kaija (white).  Rovene Balta Kaija's sire was Rovene Sniegs (6th generation white).  Rovene Sniegs is also the sire of our first two registered blue tabbies: Rovene Alexandra and Rovene Viktoria.  I will get back to them in the tabby history.

Riverlight Sebastopol and Riverlight Nicolya produced Riverlight Khatyn (white) and she was Barishnikov's mother.

Barishnikov's father was Riverlight Llyas (blue tabby blotched) and his father was Riverlight Bashkir (blue tabby spotted).  Bashkir's father was Ch. Riverlight Rasputin (black) and his mother was Rovene Alexandra (blue tabby striped).  This mating was done to produce brown tabby but produced Bashkir instead.  Bashkir was mated to Rovene Viktoria (blue tabby blotched) and produced Riverlight Llyas (blue tabby blotched).

When Riverlight Llyas (blue tabby blotched) was mated to Riverlight Khatyn (white female) we bred a white male, Barishnikov, masking brown tabby.  Barishnikov has proven this by producing all the colours: white, blue, black, blue tabby and brown tabby, in blotched, striped and spotted.

In my early programs I was breeding and keeping all three of the tabby markings.

Barishnikov as a kitten was outstanding for type, his profile very straight with good length of head, his eyes vivid green and almond shaped, his coat short and very thick with body and legs very elegant.  His ears were upright but could have been larger.  His temperament was excellent, just a most loving and relaxed boy.

Riverlight Hollicka

The current Russian white is a true representation of the breed and capable of winning against the best of the blue Russians.

Double Grand Champion Riverlight Hollicka (left) is a successful white Russian who has won a range of awards since she was a kitten.



To find out about the generations of the Russian White at Riverlight and their role in the black and tabby program click here.


Gallery Photos

For pictures of the Russian White click here