The Red Cream & Tortoiseshell Cat Society is a club set up to promote and support the Persian and British Shorthair cat. The Society has a Delegate to the GCCF Council and also on the Persian Breed Advisory Committee and the British Shorthair Group Committee.
The Society has an illustrious history from 1900 to today -
The R.C.T. was formed in 1900 and was ratified in 1901, making it one of the earliest cat clubs in this country only preceded by the National Cat Club, the Siamese Cat Club and the old' Scottish Cat Club. The Blue Persian Cat Society was founded in the same year as the R.C.T. At that time it was known as the Orange, Cream, Fawn and Tortie Society. The founder, Mrs Mildred Beale, was a keen breeder of Longhaired Oranges and Creams, and the Society was formed when she invited fanciers to join a new Society, whose objectives were:
To secure better classification for these varieties at the different shows.
To encourage fanciers to breed and show these colours by offering special prizes etc.
To improve the type of cat bred.
To ensure recognition for all shades of Orange, Cream and Fawn: and inasmuch as fanciers may disagree as to the merits of different tints for eyes, to encourage the breeding and showing of specimens with green, orange, hazel and blue eyes.
Even in the early days of its inception the Society made enormous progress and Miss Frances Simpson, writing in 1902, in the 'The Book of the Cat' recorded the founding of the Society and acknowledged the great success it had achieved promoting its breeds. With the reclassification of the Orange to Red and the 'dropping' of the Fawn, the Society became known as the Red, Cream and Tortoiseshell Society. And, of course, R.C.T.'s varieties no longer include blue eyes. Within a few years, the Society also welcomed breeders of Shorthairs and has catered for both types ever since. As the years passed more coat and colour patterns were included and club colours now include: Black, Red, Cream, Tortoiseshell, Dominant Tortie & White, Dilute Tortie & White, Brown, Cream and Red Tabby, Bi-Colour, Blue-Cream, Chocolate, Lilac, Chocolate Tortie, Lilac-Cream, and Red & Brown Spotted. Manx breeds, in RCT Colours, are also included.
At the start of the Cat Fancy it was not usual for a club to hold it's own show as the original role of breed clubs was supportive. Clubs would sponsor classes for their own varieties at the larger Cat Club shows, which were usually an integral part of the large agricultural, and 'Fur and Feather' shows. Sometimes, the clubs would provide their own specialist judges, but always they would guarantee classes (i.e. pay all expenses for putting them on) and offer special prizes. Society cups were also awarded and these formed the basis of the RCT trophies that are awarded annually at their shows. By the time the Society held its first show there were about seventy. The first exemption show was held in 1983 and this was shared with the United Chinchilla Association. Over time the Society progressed to full championship status with shows being held jointly with the Chinchilla, Silver Tabby & Smoke Cat Society.
In essence, the original aims of the R.C.T. haven't really changed and to this day it still attracts hard-working and dedicated people to support the Society. Long may it continue to do so!
Courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection
Fur and Feather, 1913