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Black cats

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I've heard that black cats are genetically tabby [or maybe it's the other way around?]. I was just wondering if this was true. Gus is all black, but whenever he is laying in bright sunlight I can see the most faint stripes on his legs and big circles on his sides.
post #2 of 9
I have no answer but do you have a picture of him in the sunlight? I bet he is gorgeous!
post #3 of 9
IMO I think ALL cats are bascially some form of a tabby - classic, mackeral, spotted or ticked. I've seen many solid color cats (except the white ones) that have faint tabby markings in the right light.

Ling was born blue tabby/white - she's black and white now but in the sunlight you can still see some of the mackeral stripes
post #4 of 9
My B/W SH, Frasier, looked like a very dark charcoal brown tabby w/ black spots when he was little (~4weeks old) the black has really overtaken the spots now where you can't see them, even in sunlight.

Art
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
IMO I think ALL cats are bascially some form of a tabby - classic, mackeral, spotted or ticked. I've seen many solid color cats (except the white ones) that have faint tabby markings in the right light.
I agree. You can even see faint tabby markings on Ruin, my Siamese's points if you look close enough (she is a blue). Lots of my black cats showed tabby markings in bright sunlight also.
post #6 of 9
Its true - all cats have tabby stripes. The question is just whether you can see them or not.

The gene that encodes for the "agouti" trait is what controls whether tabby striping is visible or not. An agouti hair is light colored, with a dark strip in the middle. A cat who is agouti will show different shades of color, and so tabby striping can be seen.

However, a cat who is recessive for agouti is solid colored (i.e. hair is not striped) and so even though a cat has a tabby pattern, it cannot be seen past the solid coat color, or can only be seen in the light.
post #7 of 9
when Salem is in the sunlight I sometimes see stripes in his tail....
but I haven't seen any stripes on Sabrina...
post #8 of 9
All cats are genetically tabby. Solid coloured cats have a gene which causes the dark pigment (black, brown etc) cells to stick in the 'on' position, rather than switch on and off which causes the dark and light banding on the background hairs (agouti) in tabby cats. In effect a black cat (or a blue, chocolate, etc) is a tabby cat with the light background areas filled in using the same colour that would make the stripes/spots/blotches.

In some solid coloured cats you can see faint tabby markings, these are called ghost tabby markings and are caused by the red/yellow pigment component of the underlying tabby pattern showing through the black mostly at the roots of the hairs where the black pigment is less dense. Solid kittens often have ghost tabby markings but grow out of them as they get their adult coat, this is because kittens produce less dense dark pigment than adults.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Interesting! Thanks
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