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Coat Color Help!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm having a tough time determining the coat color of one of my Van kittens. Although he was born all-black, I can confidently say he is NOT a black cat. As he has matured, I began to see ghost tabbing marking in his coat. I recently found that when I parted his coat in certain areas, he has a much lighter grayish/dirty white color at the base. This is most evident behind his ears and around his neck. In some areas, the black color extends fully to the base.
Pics are at age 3 1/2 weeks.
Lighter area behind the ears:


Lighter area on his back (notice where the black is still extending to the base)


When his coat is in its normal position, he looks like a typical black and white cat (pictures forthcoming ) That is, with the exception of his eye area, where you can see ghost mascara lines.

Also, FYI, I have the father, an import. He is high-white, so there is not much base color to observe. We (myself and both a current and former BCS) first thought he was a black, then waffled between blue and brown tabby based on some lighter hairs on his tail. The black in the top part of his tail extends to the base. I couldn't tell you much about the bottom part if I wanted; he won't let me get a good look Trust me, he won't.
I also have the mother (an import) and she is a warm brown tabby with great contrast.
post #2 of 17
It's not uncommon to see ghost tabby markings and pale hair roots in dark coloured kittens as kittens produce less dense pigments. They usually grow out when the adult coat starts to comes through. Is this the first time the parents have been bred? What other colours did they produce? It can be difficult if one of the parents has so much white that you can't tell what the white is hiding!
post #3 of 17
Was gonna say smoke, but the base of a smoke would have to be a lot whiter. The ghost tabby markings just mean that one parent was a tabby. Ling is black/white, but she was born blue tabby, so she has ghost tabby in strong sunlight.

The other thing is that blacks can go thru coat changes and younger ones sometimes get a "fever" coat that will eventually shed out to a nice black. Try to keep him out of the sun - that can bleach out blacks and make it grey looking or reddish looking.

What color is his parents and grandparents?

He could be a "cold" brown tabby - they would have more of a black undertone. Can you get a clearer picture of his fur that is colored (naturally - not parted) to see if there are tabby markings?
post #4 of 17
In this situation I would say 2 things...

1. Wait for 8 weeks and 12 weeks, even then when you've decided on a color, you may have to change it again at 8 months (sorry!)

2. I know that you may/may not know the entire 5-8 gen pedigree because these are the Turkey imports, but if you know at least 3 gens, that will help.

Right now I would say black and white and leave it at that until you're rerady to register!
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Epona: This is the first time the dam has been bred, I've seen three of the sire's kittens in person and all are high contrast tabbies; one brown tabby (the dam), one red tabby, and one brown patched tabby-- and all with white, of course. The father has also produced one blue tabby and one blue (could have been tabby. . .)

GK: The kitten lives in a room that does not get much sunlight, and he is unable to get near the window; of course, that will change once his legs are working! As for the parents and grand parents, we are working with many "unknowns"

Father - (assumed) brown tabby, Father's mother and father are unknown

Mother - brown tabby, Mother's Father - (assumed) brown tabby, Mother's Mother - brown-patched tabby

Anther breeder and I have considered fever coats, but she said that it is usually the tips that come out lighter, not the base.
I'll get a picture up of him, but he generally looks like a black and white cat unless he is under bright florescent lighting. His head is solid black, tip to root, as is his back.


Abymummy: I'm preparing to have to send in a lot of green slips with this guy. . . and depending on what he is, I might have to send in something for the father too. I'm thinking I might also take him to a show when he hits 4 months as exhibition only so that a judge can evaluate his color. He really shouldn't ever see the inside of a show hall, but I will have to make an exception in this case!
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by FerrisCat View Post
Anther breeder and I have considered fever coats, but she said that it is usually the tips that come out lighter, not the base.
I'll get a picture up of him, but he generally looks like a black and white cat unless he is under bright florescent lighting. His head is solid black, tip to root, as is his back.


Abymummy: I'm preparing to have to send in a lot of green slips with this guy. . . and depending on what he is, I might have to send in something for the father too. I'm thinking I might also take him to a show when he hits 4 months as exhibition only so that a judge can evaluate his color. He really shouldn't ever see the inside of a show hall, but I will have to make an exception in this case!
I don't think it's a fever coat, nor do I think the baby is a smoke. If the head is solid black then IMO (for now at least) he's a black and white!
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Below are two very recent pictures of the kitten. I apologize for the size, but I wanted to show in detail how black he looks on the surface!



post #8 of 17
I stand by my conviction (for now at least again) that he's black and white!
post #9 of 17
I disagree Adeliah; if both parents are tabbys, the kitten has to be a tabby. Tabby is dominant.

Look on the back - looks to me like a hint of a tabby stripe. I'm thinking this is a brown tabby (cold color) rather then black/white. And it appears to have faint tabby down the back of the neck too.


Ferris - is there ANY hint of the tabby M on the face?
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I disagree Adeliah; if both parents are tabbys, the kitten has to be a tabby. Tabby is dominant.

Look on the back - looks to me like a hint of a tabby stripe. I'm thinking this is a brown tabby (cold color) rather then black/white. And it appears to have faint tabby down the back of the neck too.


Ferris - is there ANY hint of the tabby M on the face?
No hint of the tabby M at all, only faint Mascara lines around the eyes. He's squirmy, but I'll try to get some pictures. You're correct about the ghost tabby markings, we had him under the halogen heat lamp to make them stand out a little bit more.

We have the father registered as a brown-tabby, but once again, he's got so much white on him that we only assume he has tabby markings due to a pale strip at the base of his tail.
http://www.mimesiscats.com/boys.html

I'll be sending out samples from both the father and the mother to the Dr. Lyons's Lab at UC Davis. Hopefully that will help to answer some of this mystery. . .
post #11 of 17
You own the father? Or is that from the breeder? And if he's listed as a brown tabby, I think that's what you have to base it on.

What are you sending to the vet? Will they be able to determine the genetics if tabby or not?
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yes, I also own the father. He's registered as a brown-tabby because the BCS and I couldn't think of anything else that fit him better. We don't know anything about his parents' colors.

The lab will test for agouti; we'll have the full spectrum of coat colors on him. It's through the VGL lab and you can see their available tests here: http://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/services/cat/
post #13 of 17
Please let us know the results - this is interesting and vital if you are breeding as you want the correct colors for registration/pedigrees.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Here are some fairly recent photo of the kitten in question with mama Sabre. The ghost tabby lines in his face have become more pronounced as the fur around them has turned paler.


post #15 of 17
Well mom IS a brown tabby - that's obvious. I'm willing to bet that kitten is a brown tabby too. Tabby is pretty dominate.
post #16 of 17
Looking at the kitten and hair root, as I have seen on some of my solid blacks, I am going with black and white. I bred 2 tabbies, a torbie classic and a brown mack with white and got a red, 2 solid blacks and a black tabby with high ruffousing. Keep in mind this is a queen that was bred to the same cat before and NEVER had a solid. Cats don't always read the books lol.
Daisy
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonandstarkatz View Post
Looking at the kitten and hair root, as I have seen on some of my solid blacks, I am going with black and white. I bred 2 tabbies, a torbie classic and a brown mack with white and got a red, 2 solid blacks and a black tabby with high ruffousing. Keep in mind this is a queen that was bred to the same cat before and NEVER had a solid. Cats don't always read the books lol.
Daisy
Black tabby with high ruffousing? Do you have any photos?

I'm just now starting to understand how to breed for ruffousing, I'd love to see that and compare it to my own girl.

If my girl didn't have so much white on her, I'm pretty certain she'd show some high ruffousing too. It's so hard to tell with a high-white cat! The spot at the base of her tail (where the white ends and the color begins) is such a reddish-brown, I would have thought she was a brown patched tabby if the color didn't fade to brown at the base of the hairs.

I'll get some more pics of the baby up later to show how his color developing.
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