March 6, 2013

The New Litter

Dottie's litter is three days old. I moved them into a handy basket while I changed their bedding and while Dottie ate her breakfast. I couldn't resist taking some photos, they were just too cute!
The cream tabby is a male; I know that without looking. A "red" female must have a red father. (A "red" cat is any shade of orange or cream.) I know that their sire is the blue-and-white male that roams the neighborhood, so this kitten will be a boy.
Dottie is a "patched tabby", in other words, she's a grey tabby with orange spots. She's not a calico because she has tabby stripes; a calico has solid "patches". The kitten's cream color came from his mother. If there were any patched tabby kittens, they would be females.
A cat's color comes from its parents only. A kitten with white markings must have a parent with white. Two cats without any red coloring cannot have a kitten with red coloring.
What is sometimes called a "throwback" results from "carried genes" that aren't visible. The father of these kittens is a classic tabby (this is the kind you often see on cat food commercials, with a black circle on the side like a bullseye), but the kittens are all mackeral tabbies (this is the more-common kind with stripes reminiscent of fishbones). In order to have classic tabby kittens, both parents must carry the classic gene. Dottie evidently doesn't, but some of these kittens will have inherited the gene from their father.
Dottie does carry the dilute gene though: she has blue kittens and the cream kitten. Dilute cats are cream or blue instead of orange or black. ("Blue" can range from light to dark blue-grey; their tabby stripes will be dark grey rather than black.) Dilute-colored cats had to have parents that both carried the dilute gene. Their father is blue and white - almost gun-metal blue - so he is a dilute.
I find cat genetics fascinating. I'm afraid I'm destined to be a crazy cat lady when I grow up. Note to my children: you have been warned.

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1 comment:

  1. Love that orange-cream color of that boy! I'd call him Julius after an orange julius! LOL

    Thanks for the info on cat's fascinating!


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