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More color questions

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Can anyone (maybe Judy M) explain the differnce in the tabby markings. I have a red tabby right now and am not sure what to call her. My brain is like a sponge at this point and I am looking to fill it..
post #2 of 8
Well, I'm defintely not an expert on the subject. Would the tabby article be of any help, or are you looking for something more professional?
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I looked through there. It helped a little. I ended up asking some people at a cat show today. She is still young and it is very hard to tell yet. She has long wavy hair. She looks like a bomb went off in her coat. So far we think she is a red and white classic. Thanks Anne!!
post #4 of 8
Hi Sandie,

Can you be a little more specific about the markings?

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well, it is very hard to describe to me. It looks as if the lighter shades of red run the length of her. She may have a few darker red markings running along her ribs. Then she also has what looks like swirls or bullseyes on her sides. Then of course she has spots of white..her face, chest and feet.
post #6 of 8
From your description, it would be my guess from the "swirls and bulls-eyes" you mentioned that your kitty is a classic (blotched) tabby.

For those less familiar with the patterns, here is a bit of data. You never know, these little factoids could be good for those Trivial Pursuit nights at home with pizza and beer. *smile*

In all cats, one of three forms of a tabby pattern gene is always present. The most common is the classic or blotched tabby with broad, swirling markings. The mackeral tabby has narrower stripes. The third form is the ticked (see #3 below) tabby (also called Abyssinian tabby but this form is NOT restricted to the breed that typifies it), which has all-over agouti hairs (see #1 below), the only marking being a suggestion of the "M" mark (known as the Scarab mark in some cats) on the forehead that is common to all tabbies. A fourth form of tabby, the spotted, is thought to be a version of the mackeral form in which the stripes have become broken up. By convention the color of a genetically black tabby is known as brown (from the color of the agouti hairs, not the stripes).

1) Agouti is the fundamental coat pattern of many mammals, including cats, in which each guard hair (see #2 below) has one of more pale yellow bands known as the agouti bands between darker bands of any one of ten or so colors that gives the coat a flecked looking (ticking #3 below); in domestic cats a tabby pattern of unbanded hairs (in the same color as the darker bands in the agouti hairs) is always superimposed on the agouti pattern; removal of the agouti band by the non-agouti gene(#4 below) gives rise to overall solid color (but this gene is ineffectual on red, cream and apricot).

2) Guard Hair - The long, bristle-like hair that makes up the outer layer of the coat. Also referred to as awn hair or incorrectly, some also call it down hair.

3) Ticking - the flecked effect seen in the areas between the markings in tabby coats that is created by the darker bands on the agouti hairs.

4) Non-Agouti -Describes a coat or cat influenced by the non-agouti gene, which effectively converts the basic tabby pattern into an overall solid color (but this gene is ineffectual on red, cream and orange colors).

Hope this helps at least some. There are some real good books that can help you if you have an interest in this kind of stuff. Let me know if you want a "recommended reading list". *smile*

My continued best to you and yours,

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much, I had to print it so I can read it a few times. I am very interested in this stuff. So yes a reading list would be great. Patterns are so fun to learn about..along with colors and such. She is the only true tabby I have in the house, so I am not good with them yet. I have torbie,tortie and calico, along with solids and a pointed. I appreciate you being do thourough!!!
post #8 of 8
The best reading I could suggest is "The Book of The Cat", Michael Wright/Sally Walters.

It contains probably some of the best information I've see with regard to coat patterns in tabbies.

And since ALL cats are genetically tabbies, it is a real good all-around source of knowledge.

I have an extra copy of this book. I won the high bid for it on eBay not long ago, and a friend also found a copy in a used book store and bought it for me as a gift. If you are interested in having this book, please email me privately, and we'll discuss.

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