Chinese Tank Cats were developed in China by crossing a Napoleon cat from Hong Kong with British Shorthairs. The cat has a large round head and large round eyes set wide apart. The muzzle is heavy, wide, and provides a smooth transition toward the cheekbones. The nose is short and straight with a stop. The neck is short and heavily muscled, giving the appearance of no neck. In the short-haired variety, the coat is short and plush. Due to long hair being recessive, long-haired varieties do exist but are not as common. These cats come in a variety of colors and patterns.
Since the breed was developed by crossing
British Shorthairs with Napoleons, it is
important to understand the background of
the Napoleon cat, itself a hybrid, to fully
appreciate the breed. Napoleon cats were
developed in the mid 1990's by crossing
Persian-type cats (Persians, Himalayans,
and Exotic Shorthairs) to Munchkin cats to
develop a Persian-type cat with short legs.
Munchkin cats were developed by working
with a genetic mutation occurring in
domestic cats in the mid 1980's in Louisiana.
Munchkins carry the gene known as
achondroplasia, causing them to have very short legs. It is this gene that was passed
to Napoleon cats and hence to Chinese Tank Cats. In other words, Chinese Tank cats are essentially British Shorthairs with short legs.
The achondroplasia gene is a lethal gene in its homozygous form. This means that homozygous embryos for the achondroplasia gene never develop in the womb.
All Chinese Tank Cats are heterozygous for the short leg gene. This means that, when breeding two short leg Chinese Tank Cats together, approximately one third of the offspring will have long legs. When breeding a short leg Chinese Tank Cat to a British Shorthair or a long leg Chinese Tank Cat, fifty percent of the offspring will have long legs.
Chinese Tank Cats are known for their sweet and playful nature. They love being around people and make great pets.