There are two basic colors of cats, black and red. These are called “dominant” colors. The color of all cats relates to these two colors in some way, by changing the color or covering it up. There is also a “dilute” of each color.
Male kittens will always inherit their colour from their mother, whereas female kittens will be a combination of the colours of each parent.
According to The International Cat Association (TICA), all cat coat colors are a variation of black and red (orange); the exception is solid white, which is a “masking gene.” There are dominant colors (black, red, etc.) and recessive colors (dilute, cream, blue, etc.).
Solid white is a masking gene and is dominant to all other colours; black (or seal) are dominant to chocolate or cinnamon; tabby (agouti) is dominant to self or solid (non-agouti); shorthair is dominant to longhair, to mention just a few.
The co-dominant red gene (O/o), found on the X chromosome, determines whether there will be any red variations to fur color or not. This gene encodes phaeomelanin. The dominant allele O codes for orange tones, and the recessive allele o for the non-orange pigmentation (black or brown).
A mother cat can produce some kittens that look almost identical to her, as well as others that look completely different. This variation occurs because offspring are not identical copies of one parent, with the exact same set of genes. Instead, each offspring is a combination of its two parents.
Black Is the Most Common Feline Coat Color
The gene for expressing eumelanin—the pigment needed to make black fur—is dominant in black cats. A cat usually gets two copies of a gene, one from mom and one from dad. If one of these genes codes for black fur, then the kitten will be black.
Feral kittens, kittens who needed to fight for their food, and kittens that were allowed to play too aggressively may also grow up to be dominant cats.
If a mother cat is orange, her male kittens will be orange regardless of their father's color, Konecny says, and if a mother cat is tortoiseshell (a mix of black, white and orange), half of her male kittens will be orange while the other half will be black.
Researchers discovered some of the genetics behind cat coloring, from Abyssinians and tabbies to leopards and tigers. Color patterns in cats are determined in part by a gene called DKK4.
Albino. We'll finish out our list of rare cat colors with the rarest of them all: albino. This is when there's no coloring at all, and it impacts not just a cat's fur, but also its eyes and skin.
Orange tabby cats are usually male.
In fact, up to 80 percent of orange tabbies are male, making orange female cats a bit of a rarity. According to the BBC's Focus Magazine, the ginger gene in cats works a little differently compared to humans; it is on the X chromosome.
Perhaps orange male cats, due to their dominant status and bold personalities, feel more comfortable with approaching humans, who often frighten timid cats.
Domestic cats all cats carry the tabby pattern somewhere in their genetics. The A gene is responsible for patterns on cats. A or agouti, dominant, creates a ticking or band of colors on a hair. a or non-agouti, recessive, creates a solid-colored hair.
Cat breeders need to pay close attention to the behaviours and temperaments of their breeding cats (for both parents) as their behaviour traits may be inherited by their kittens.
No, your cat doesn't actually think you're the mama cat that birthed it. But cats show us a level of affection and respect that is very similar to the way they treat their mama cat. And this sweet fact flies in the face of anyone who thinks cats' “aloof” personality means they don't care about us.
Because the genetic determination of coat colors in calico cats is linked to the X chromosome, calicoes are nearly always female, with one color linked to the maternal X chromosome and a second color linked to the paternal X chromosome.
4: Orange/Copper/Amber/etc. is the Rarest Eye Color for Cats. Cat eyes in the orange range are rare to see. As melanin production maxes out, cat eyes take on a deep orange color, which can look copper or even brown. These darkest of cat eyes are also the rarest type, with blue (in adults) taking the second-rarest slot.
Only about 1 in 5 orange cats are female, so if you have an orange girl cat, consider yourself blessed with an extra special pet! Of course, a rare cat like an orange girl cat deserves an extra-special name.
These are “alpha cats.” They are natural leaders; they refuse to be led and attempt to take charge of practically every situation. These cats like their food when they want it and the way that they like it … or else. They may only let you touch them for short periods of time and then again, only on their terms.
When a cat gets described as an “alpha” (or sometimes just as “dominant”) what someone often means is that it's showing one or more of these behaviors: Doesn't stop when told. Continues unwanted behavior even when punished. Chases or pursues other cats.
Despite this, females are still less likely to be playful and will often dominate other cats, particularly if they try to invade her favorite spot! However, although the behavior of a cat can be influenced by its gender, the way that it is raised can also have a major impact.
Black cats tend to be male.
While they can definitely be either male or female, due to some genetic mystery, there are more male black cats than females.
Loyal: Black cats make loving family members. They love to cuddle and play. They might even meow to you over the phone when you are away from home. Black cats are wonderful at being both friendly to all and dedicated to their person/people.