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Colouring Question

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm not really sure where to put this thread, so I'll stick it here for now.

Delilah is a short-haired red tabby - her body colour is a nice, vibrant red. Mom was a calico and dad was likely a long haired red tabby. Her litter mates, all female, included a medium hair dilute red (with tabby markings on legs/tail/face), a short haired cream tabby, and a long haired dilute tortie.

What I've noticed about Delilah is that there are some areas that appear to have a grey tint. It's particularly pronounced on her legs and paws (I thought I was crazy until someone else mentioned it too). If you look closely at the hairs and separate them, you can see very obvious black hairs mixed in there. She has a black whisker as well.

I was reading up a bit on genetics this evening, trying to figure out what those marks were. I read about ticking and the agouti gene, but didn't see anything that referenced a mix of red and black colours like this. And it's not black bands on the orange hairs (not that I read about that being a possibility anyway), it's actual black hairs, from what I can see.

So, my question is, where do those black hairs come from. If she got red from mom and red from dad, she shouldn't have black hairs, if I understand. But if she got black from mom and red from dad, she'd be a calico/tortie.

Does anyone have a genetic explanation for this type of colouring?
post #2 of 11
The easiest, and most likely explaination is that she's genetically a tortie, with very few visible colors aside from red.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
The easiest, and most likely explaination is that she's genetically a tortie, with very few visible colors aside from red.
That's what I was thinking too, but I've never heard of a tortie that looks like a red tabbie. Most torties I've seen are mostly black with some red, or an even split.
post #4 of 11
I have a male cat we recently rescued, about 2 years old. He is a ginger tabby and has black hairs mixed in all through his coat....you cannot see the black hairs unless you get really close to him???
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by proudmamiof4 View Post
I have a male cat we recently rescued, about 2 years old. He is a ginger tabby and has black hairs mixed in all through his coat....you cannot see the black hairs unless you get really close to him???
Hmmm...there goes the "calico/tortie" threory, as your red guy is a male. Unless he is one of those very rare tortie boys...I have my doubts though.

At least my Lala isn't alone with her black hairs!
post #6 of 11
I will try to get an up close picture of him and post it....it is wierd, because from a distance he looks like a regular ginger tabby! and then when you get close you see he has black fur mixed all in????
post #7 of 11
More then likely your cat is genetically a tortie. But it could be outside influences (injury, etc.) that caused some of the hairs to turn black (in both cases of the cats mentioned).

I know of a case where a Black Rex was shown to her Grand Championship. She was bred to another Black Rex and had TWO tortie kittens! Needless to say the owner was totally shocked but then she and the other breeder looked the cat over with a fine toothed comb, they discovered a very tiny spot of red fur on the foot of the cat - making her genetically a tortie!

Of course the cat had to be re-registered as a tortie so the pedigree would be correct, but unfortunately she could not be shown as a tortie and she also lost her Grand Ch title too.

The only way to tell for sure would be to do a control breeding (which is too late now) or I think you could have her tested for color (DNA).
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
More then likely your cat is genetically a tortie. But it could be outside influences (injury, etc.) that caused some of the hairs to turn black (in both cases of the cats mentioned).

I know of a case where a Black Rex was shown to her Grand Championship. She was bred to another Black Rex and had TWO tortie kittens! Needless to say the owner was totally shocked but then she and the other breeder looked the cat over with a fine toothed comb, they discovered a very tiny spot of red fur on the foot of the cat - making her genetically a tortie!

Of course the cat had to be re-registered as a tortie so the pedigree would be correct, but unfortunately she could not be shown as a tortie and she also lost her Grand Ch title too.

The only way to tell for sure would be to do a control breeding (which is too late now) or I think you could have her tested for color (DNA).
Good to know. LOL...I don't really care what she is (red/tortie), but I was just confused by the presense of black hairs on a seemingly red kitty. Funny it's Delilah and not Belle, because Belle is the one you could say has "tortitude" in my house! Delilah is a very laid back kitty, although quite stubburn at times!

So, proundmamiof4, you might have a very rare kitty there, genetically!
post #9 of 11
I don't buy in to the whole 'tortitude' thing completely.

Spaz, as you can see in my sig, is a full on tortie.
She is the sweetest cat, puts up with more stuff than most cats would and she absolutely adores everyone she meets.
She's very loving, to everybody.
And she's very dog-like in her loyalty as well as her manners.
The only thing remotely 'tudish' about her is that she is the reigning queen of the house and I have nothing but girl cats.
post #10 of 11
Moose is an orange tabby with black hairs (you have to look closely at him to see them) and some black whiskers. I always knew he was special!
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
I don't buy in to the whole 'tortitude' thing completely.

Spaz, as you can see in my sig, is a full on tortie.
She is the sweetest cat, puts up with more stuff than most cats would and she absolutely adores everyone she meets.
She's very loving, to everybody.
And she's very dog-like in her loyalty as well as her manners.
The only thing remotely 'tudish' about her is that she is the reigning queen of the house and I have nothing but girl cats.
My Missy is the same way (except for being the reigning queen), now Little One on the other hand DEFINITELY has an attitidude!

I was always under the impression that orange/red tabbies were usually male, just like torties were usually female. IF that's the case, it sounds like Delilah is really a tortie at heart...she just hides it well.
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