Categories: fur

What are britches on a cat?

People ask about britches on a cat. The use of language concerned with Western clothes and applying it to the appearance of cats is quite common amongst cat breeders. Personally I don’t like it. The ‘ruff’ is another term. I think the word ‘britches’ when applied to a cat is actually slightly misleading.

The word should be ‘breeches’. Breeches are half-length, slightly baggy trousers from days gone by e.g. the 19th and 18th century and earlier. This type of trouser (pants in America) matches the description of ‘britches’ in medium long haired cats with longer fur on the upper half of the hind legs above the hock. The picture shows this.

Britches on a cat

Today ‘britches’ means trousers in general as well as shorter length trousers. It would appear that the word ‘britches’ derived from ‘breeches’ and then the meaning changed somewhat in the 20th and 21st century.

An althernative to britches on cats is pantaloons. This indicates that the word is meant to come from fashion of previous centuries. This supports what I have written namely that cat breeders should have chosen the word ‘breeches’ to describe the long hair on the top half of a cat’s hind legs rather than britches.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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