Talk:Cat coat genetics

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Wouldn't it be better to explain the Orange/Black genes with better terms than O and o. The way I learned it was X^O and X^B. That way it showed it was on the X chromosome and that it was incomplete dominance. - not signed

O and o are the standard terms used among cat breeders. We're not making the terms up, we're reporting them. - Nunh-huh 00:25, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Where does one take that the O gene has incomplete dominance? I was always taught it is completely dominant.Ramdrake 16:48, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

I, too, like the X-superscript system, but I don't like using B vs. O. I see the letter B and think TRP-1. More correctly it should be upper-case and lower case O as the superscript, but given the limitations of the medium, I'll accept O/o. NOT an incomplete dominant but a sex-linked gene. And definitely NOT "the black" gene. They are getting close to finding it, BTW. Not MCR-1 as everyone (including me!) thought, though. Probably Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone, with the wild-type enzyme competing with ASIP on MCR-1, while the mutated form is non-functional --Lorraine

Nepetalactone, catnip, Nepeta effect is genetic too. Some cats ignore catnip. Sensitivity to catnip is an easy gene test. Does it correlate to colour" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:09, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

White Spotting Gene[edit]

The white spotting gene does not affect eye colour in cats. The colourpoint genes are the genes responsible for creating the blue eyes in cats. Snowshoes, Ragdolls and Birmans are examples of cats that have (or can have) the white spotting gene (ss) and the colourpoint (cscs) gene. The blue eyes comes from the colourpoint not the white spotting so it seems misleading to have a paragraph about ss and then talk about blue eyes. Is it okay for me to go ahead and change this? Cuddleton (talk) 08:00, 3 April 2008 (UTC)


BTW, Where did THIS come from? "Freckles are spots of pigmentation of the underlying sepia color of the cat (see B gene) and can occur on the lips, nose, or ears. The W gene does not prevent freckles or alter eye color, although most cats with this gene have either blue or orange eyes."

First of all "sepia" is a TICA term for a cbcb cat. The B (tyrosine related protein-1) locus is the black/chocolate/cinnamon series. The W gene most definitely is capable of altering eye color through melanocyte apoptosis!!

"Freckles" are simply hyperpigmentation and/or somatic mutation and reversion to wild-type in phaeomelanistic cats (the black spot on the red cat syndrome). In white and white spotted cats, surviving melanocytes can migrate just about anywhere and create a small spot of color. --Lorraine


The article haa been tagged for a year, but there ARE sources at the bottom of the page. Should I go ahead and remove? Kuronue 15:54, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Considering the strength of these sources, I'd say go ahead.--Ramdrake 15:56, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

useful separation?[edit]

Breeders usually find it useful to identify and separate cats with tabby genes ...

Why is such separation useful? —Tamfang 03:35, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

I've worked a bit on this section. I believe the intent was to identify, not separate, tabby cats. - Lorraine —Preceding unsigned comment added by Featherland (talkcontribs) 23:44, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Maltese dilution?[edit]

I was expecting this term to be mentioned, at least. Eroica 11:57, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I suggest that Bicolor cat and Tortoiseshell cat be merged into this article as both pages rely heavily on information found in this page. Repeating information about cat genetics in different articles is redundant, and I believe all of the articles could be simplified and made more cohesive if they were all placed together.Kpstewart (talk) 02:45, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Bicolor cat is too long for a subsection, imho. —Tamfang (talk) 17:31, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
Agreed with —Tamfang --6th Happiness (talk) 18:38, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree too long to go here Telecine Guy 18:24, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Two questions[edit]

I have two genetics-newbie questions that aren't answered by this article. First, why do housecats display such a wide variety of colours and coat patterns when, e.g., lions do not? Second, I read somewhere that the pattern of spots on cats' coats is related to circumstances in the mother's womb while the kitten is developing. I've heard that as an explanation for why even cloned cats do not precisely resemble one another. Is there a word for that scientific concept? --Hapax (talk) 19:15, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

If I can reverse your first question, why do lions display only one coat color and pattern? Because there is evolutionary pressure to develop characteristics that assist them as predators, and among those characteristics is a coat that helps them not obviously stand out against the background of the veldt. The occasional snow white lion doesn't do well as a hunter, dies early, and doesn't reproduce (if lions had predators, such a lion would be more prone to being killed as well). The housecat, though, is domesticated; by "adopting" it as our own, humans have more or less eliminated natural selection as the driver of their evolution and replaced it with our own breeding choices. And among the choices that we've made is that we like our cats in a variety of colors and hair lengths and patterns, and we've bred them specifically for that variety. As for the second question, while the general pattern and color of coats is genetically determined, the specific implementation of that pattern depends on environment and chance; it's that way with most traits. I think it's likely that pattern in particular is more happenstance than any specific womb-related variables. - Nunh-huh 02:55, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
Thank you very much for your informative answer. I would like to know more about the 'environment and chance' variables that lead to the placement of spots or stripes on an animal's body. If you can suggest a place to look, either here on Wikipedia or elseweb, that will teach me about that, I'd be much obliged. I don't even know what to Google. --Hapax (talk) 16:07, 1 October 2009 (UTC)


I take a degree of issue with the assertion :"Orange cats with the inhibitor gene (I-O-) are commonly called "cameo". Surely red silver tabby is also I-O and I-O-aa is a red smoke. So how do we distinguish red silver tabby and cameo - are they both I-O-A? Can we agree on what a cameo is? is it agouti or non-agouti and what are the non-agouti cameos really? poorly marked smokes? is a red shaded cameo distinguishable from a red mackerel tabby? does cameo deserve a page of its own? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Excellentone (talkcontribs) 20:25, 9 September 2010 (UTC) Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that 'Orange cats with the inhibitor gene (I-O-) are commonly called "cameo" in the USA' - where indeed there are cameo smokes and cameo tabbies - in the UK they are red smokes and red silver tabbies.Excellentone (talk) 22:34, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Nit-pick: Don't use "USA" in article prose, per MOS:ABBR. Use "US" or "United States". Less of a nit-pick: Trying to make this sound like a WP:ENGVAR issue is not very accurate or helpful. TICA is not US-only (the I stands for "International"). I don't know if CFA is UK-only. And there's the WCF now. These are principally organi[z|s]ational terms of art, not matters of national dialect vocabulary; the fancier/breeder orgs. made up these terms for the most part, and only the most basic ones like "tabby" come from the language outside of these orgs. Where each org. has its HQ is not tremendously relevant in matters like this. — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 05:57, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Merge proposed[edit]

This article badly needs work. It does not even begin to explain terms like smoke and shaded, for example. It also misses that CFA uses the term parti-color (British parti-colour) instead of tortoiseshell. And lots of other stuff. For starters, the information at Cats and humans#Coat patterns needs to be merged into Cat coat genetics, because a) much of it is missing here, and b) it's not really directly relevant in that level of detail to the article it is presently in. — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 05:36, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

I Agree with this merge proposal. That is not material directly relevant to Cats and humans, any more than discussing the skin colors of humans would be relevant. Agricolae (talk) 18:21, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Agree with merge: I realise I am late to the party but am working on these cat articles today; especially behaviour and colours. The merge of the above named section on coat patterns into this article would be profitable and sensible. Fylbecatulous talk 16:58, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

I think cats and humans should be merged into the domestic cat article because those are the breeds that live among humans. It should be made a section of domestic cat.--Nadirali نادرالی (talk) 23:14, 4 December 2014 (UTC)