Cat Colors


Dilute Coloring

The pictures below give an example of the dilute counterpart for the basic cat colors. If your cat matches these colors, then the dilute gene is active.
Blue – Dilute Black

Blue Tabby – Dilute Black

Julius' Mom and Family

Lilac – Dilute Chocolate

Fawn – Dilute Cinnamon

Creme – Dilute Orange

Fill in the Gene Table…


Cats with Dense Coloring

If your cat does not have diluted colors, and seems to have the full intensity colors, you can fill the dilute gene table to show that dilution is not in effect.

Fill in the Gene Table…


Orange Coloring

There are different options if you cat is male or female…
Fill in the Orange Male Gene Table…
Fill in the Orange Female Gene Table…


No Orange Coloring

There are different options if you cat is male or female…
Fill in the non-Orange Male Gene Table…
Fill in the non-Orange Female Gene Table…

Tortie and Calico Cats

Tortie and Calico cats are predominately female.
Fill in the Tortie Female Gene Table…


Black Coloring

There are three different options for the black gene. These correspond not to a difference in pigment, but in how it is deposited on the hair. The grains are nearly round in the Black, and more oblong for Chocolate and Cinnamon.

Chocolate and Cinnamon are rare, so be sure that you are taking into account the all of the modifiers that can change the way a full black cat looks, such as the pointing genes and dilute, before deciding you have one of these options.
Black


Fill in the Black Gene Table…

Chocolate


Fill in the Chocolate Gene Table…

Cinnamon

Fill in the Cinnamon Gene Table…

No Black Coloring

If your cat shows no black, it still has a black gene that children can inherit. Sadly, you can’t tell what it is without additional information.
Fill in the non-Black Gene Table…


Shaded, Smoke, Chinchilla, Silver and Golden Cats

Two genes, Inhibitor and Wideband, modify how the pigment controlled by all the other genes is laid out on each hair. Inhibitor blocks the ‘background’ pigment entirely, leaving it white. This leaves the base of each hair white instead of a pale version of the main color or the brown-orange rufousing color on agouti hairs.  Wideband moves the colored portion of the hair outward to the tip, leaving more background visible.

There are Orange versions of these cats, called “Cameos”. They are less common due to the relative lack of contrast between the Orange and White.

Smoke and Silver Tabby Cats

These cats have the Inhibitor gene, but not the Wideband gene. So the pattern is in the normal place on the hair, but the background tint is entirely white – giving a silvery look. If the cat is a tabby, this results in a silver tabby. If the cat is a solid, a “Smoke” is formed.

The base of each hair is whitened, even under the stripes.

Silver Tabby

Black Smoke

Fill in the Smoke and Silver Tabby Gene Table…

Shaded Silver and Silver Chinchilla Cats

In these cats, the Wideband gene is active and pushes the color out to nearly the tip of the hair. The Inhibitor gene is also active and makes all the rest of the hair white. The paw pads are black and the lips are too, showing that genetically this is a black cat under all the modification.

photo – Truffle and Brulee (SweetPurrfections.blogspot.com)

If the color is just on the tip of the hairs, it is a Silver Chinchilla. If it is more, it is a Shaded Silver.
Fill in the Shaded Silver Gene Table…

Shaded Golden Cats

These cats have the Wideband gene but not the Inhibitor gene. So the “background” color remains over most of the fur. The breeders then select for high rufousing, which produces a genetically black cat that is a golden color.

Fill in the Shaded Golden Gene Table…

Normally Colored Cats

If your cat does not show the effects of these genes, follow this link:
Fill in the no Inhibitor/Wideband Gene Table…

Gene Tables


Gene Table (Dilution)

Diluted coloring is recessive. Both parents must contribute a dilute gene to have it take effect.

If the cat shows dilution, then fill these in on your table:

Locus Genes Notes
Dilute d/d Diluted coloring

Return to coat colors…


Gene Table (Dense Colored Cats)

Dense coloring is dominant over dilution.

If the cat shows no sign of dilution, then fill these in on your table:

Locus Genes Notes
Dilute D/- Dense coloring

Return to coat colors…


Gene Table (Orange Male)

Male cats have only one X gene, paired with a Y gene to determine sex. An Orange male cat must its gene as ‘O’.

Fill these in on your table:

Locus Genes Notes
Orange O/Y Orange

Return to coat colors…


Gene Table (Orange Female)

Because X-inactivation allows each gene to be visible in various regions on the cat, a completely Orange cat must have both genes as ‘O’.

Fill these in on your table:

Locus Genes Notes
Orange O/O Orange

Return to coat colors…


Gene Table (non-Orange Male)

Male cats have only one X gene, paired with a Y gene to determine sex. A non-Orange male cat must its gene as ‘o’.

Fill these in on your table:

Locus Genes Notes
Orange o/Y no Orange

Return to coat colors…


Gene Table (non-Orange Female)

Because X-inactivation allows each gene to be visible in various regions on the cat, a completely non-Orange cat must have both genes as ‘o’.

Fill these in on your table:

Locus Genes Notes
Orange o/o no Orange

Return to coat colors…


Gene Table (Tortie and Calico Cats)

Tortie and Calico cats have one O and one o. X-inactivation allows each to be visible in regions on the cat.

Fill these in on your table:

Locus Genes Notes
Orange O/o Tortie or Calico

Return to coat colors…


Gene Table (Black Cats)

If your cat shows full Black, which is dominant it could be carrying another variant.

Fill these in on your table:

Locus Genes Notes
Black B/- Black

Return to coat colors…


Gene Table (Chocolate Cats)

Chocolate is recessive to black, but dominant to Cinnamon. You know your cat is not carrying Black.

Fill these in on your table:

Locus Genes Notes
Black b/- Chocolate (no B)

Return to coat colors…


Gene Table (Cinnamon Cats)

Since Cinnamon is recessive, you know both genes are cinnamon.

Fill these in on your table:

Locus Genes Notes
Black b[1]/b[1] Cinnamon

Return to coat colors…


Gene Table (Cats with no Black)

Since you can’t see the black color, you can’t tell which sort your cat is carrying.

Fill these in on your table:

Locus Genes Notes
Black -/- Masked

Return to coat colors…


Gene Table (Smoke and Silver Tabby)

These cats have Inhibitor, but not Wideband.

Fill these in on your table:

Locus Genes Notes
Inhibitor I/- Inhibitor active
Wideband wb/wb No Wideband

Return to Variant Hair…


Gene Table (Shaded Silver and Chinchilla)

The Silvers have both Inhibitor and Wideband.

Fill these in on your table:

Locus Genes Notes
Inhibitor I/- Inhibitor active
Wideband Wb/- Wideband active

Return to Variant Hair…


Gene Table (Shaded Goldens)

The Goldens have Wideband, but not Inhibitor.

Fill these in on your table:

Locus Genes Notes
Inhibitor i/i No Inhibitor
Wideband Wb/- Wideband active

Return to Variant Hair…


Gene Table (Cats with no Inhibitor/Wideband)

Since both these genes are dominant, the normal case is to have none for both.

Fill these in on your table:

Locus Genes Notes
Inhibitor i/i No Inhibitor
Wideband wb/wb No Wideband

Return to Variant Hair…

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