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Cats changing color (not Siamese)

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
This is very unusual and was wondering if anyone hase experienced this before. A little background (been showing pedigree/household pets for over 25 yrs - was a breeder of pedigree rexes). I know color genetics pretty good.

Situation: (barn cats) - mother is a tortie/white (oriental type - non pedigree). Father (we are assuming cause of the color of the kittens) - Blue tabby (probably oriental type and carrying Siamese gene). We think the father of the tortie mother is also the father of the kittens.

She had 5 kittens - all blue tabbies/white (3 F, 2 M). However, the kittens at 3 weeks of age all had pointed color (very dark blue/black) on ears, face mask, legs and a little on the tail. Over a few weeks the point color was clearly NOT blue but closer to seal/black.

Now at 3 months of age, the coats have darkened so that the points are not readily seen and the tabby markings are still seen. This is the totally weird part. None of the kittens are blue! They are all black and white! I'm serious - they were light blue up till 2 1/2 months old - then got darker and are black. I call the color "charcoal tabbies".

Has anyone ever seen/heard of this and what is going on?

Thanks.
post #2 of 20
since they may have colorpt in them of some type I would say normal
post #3 of 20
One of our Pixie Bob kittens did this. Her litter mates were all brown spotted tabbies, but she was a silver/blue. However, after a couple months, she began to darken and is now the beautiful brown spotted Pixie Bob she was meant to be. I have a few pictures of the transition.
Here she is at approx 8 weeks. Still has the blue/grey coloring.

And here she is today at a little over 2 1/2 years old.


A little hard to believe they are the same cat
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
But blue is the dilute of black. Isn't it impossible for dilute to change to dominate colors?

Does the Siamese gene (blue/seal) change colors? Your pixie bob is very pretty and weird that he changed colors as an adult. But did he have any brown tabby in the coat as a kitten? Maybe since the point color was seal (black), it made the coat change?
post #5 of 20
I am no color genetics expert, so I really can't answer your question. But I have seen kittens that had grey/blue markings turn to almost black as they grow. As for our Pixie Bob, she was blue/grey and turned brown. So, this time the color didn't just darken, but it changed. Now, our Bobcats (these are true pure bobcats) change color with the season. They go from a brown/grey in the winter to a orange in the summer. I am not sure if you are familiar with the Pixie Bob breed, but according to legend, they are part bobcat. Whether this is true or not remains to be proven. However, our bobcats are a grey/brown when they are kittens and change color as they mature and change for the seasons. I have one bobcat who is such a beautiful orange right now, but during winter, he will be brown/grey. For the bobcats however, I understand why they change. In the winter months, they need to change to their grey/brown for better camouflage. I find genetics quite interesting. As for our kitten, she had no brown in her coat whatsoever. She was all grey. Actually, it was fascinating to see such a change in her. I have pictures of her mom and dad as well.
This is Aurora, her mom

This is Tommyboy, her father
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Well I've bred cornish rexes. I've had blue, bluecream, black kittens and none of them ever changed their color they were born with. I can see how brown tabbies would go thru color changes. I emailed a breeder friend of mine who's quite good with genetics, so will see what she says.

I do know that blue is the dilute of black and brown tabbies are genetically "black".
post #7 of 20
My bengal cross is still changeing color from whit ewith some orange to red ,,,, she is 18months old ...
post #8 of 20
My two boys were blue and white when they were born, and were black and white by the time they were two months old.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Reds do darken with age (most times). That's why a tortoiseshell will only have a bit of red when born, but get more as they get older.

Arlyn, I'm assuming you have pointed cats (from your pic)? I don't understand how blue and whites can change to black and whites.
post #10 of 20
Bengals are notorious color changers. BST bengals will tend to get redder, or golder as they mature (seperate from the 'glitter', which they also get more of as they mature). Snow bengals shift during winter and summer months. My dad has a marble snow, and my mother a spotted snow. In the winter, they are clear white with defined markings...in summer, they darken to almost brown.

I've seen many 'black' kittens that were really a dark chocolate brown color in which the tabby markings could be seen...that darkened to a true deep black color as they matured. If brown can darken to black, I see no reason that blue could not as the kitten coat sheds out?
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Raven, I've seen "fever" coats on black persians. Blue is blue - there is no doubt about it. Its not like a grayish fever coat in a black cat.

Like I said - I bred rexes and know what blue is and what black is - this has never happened before.

Also red/golden would go thru changes (I've seen that many times) - blue/black doesn't. Its not the same thing.
post #12 of 20
Ah. Well, you would know more than I
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45
Raven, I've seen "fever" coats on black persians. Blue is blue - there is no doubt about it. Its not like a grayish fever coat in a black cat.

Like I said - I bred rexes and know what blue is and what black is - this has never happened before.

Also red/golden would go thru changes (I've seen that many times) - blue/black doesn't. Its not the same thing.
May I ask what a "fever" coat is? I've never heard that term before and im curious.
post #14 of 20
These are beautiful cats!!!
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45
Reds do darken with age (most times). That's why a tortoiseshell will only have a bit of red when born, but get more as they get older.

Arlyn, I'm assuming you have pointed cats (from your pic)? I don't understand how blue and whites can change to black and whites.

I have two pointed cats, 1 dark brown mackerel tabby, 1 brindled tortie, and two black and white cats (1 cow spotted, 1 tuxedo).
My two black/whites were blue/white till they changed at around weaning, the whole litter was like that except for their dilute calico sister.
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
"fever" coat is a term used by persian people - usually blacks. Sometimes black persian kittens will go thru a coat change (due to vacinations, etc.) and you'll have patches of greyish color mixed in the black. The kittens will lose it as they shed out.

I've seen it on young 4-5 month old black persians at shows and have heard judges mention it as a temporary thing.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberThe Bobcat
One of our Pixie Bob kittens did this. Her litter mates were all brown spotted tabbies, but she was a silver/blue. However, after a couple months, she began to darken and is now the beautiful brown spotted Pixie Bob she was meant to be. I have a few pictures of the transition.
Here she is at approx 8 weeks. Still has the blue/grey coloring.

And here she is today at a little over 2 1/2 years old.


A little hard to believe they are the same cat
Nope. Not a change of color. Because of polygenes, frequently tabbies will start out looking like a silver and then mature into a simple brown tabby as the background color on a tabby can range anywhere from a very pale almost white color (which is what silver looks like) to a warm reddish brown background. She looks like a brown tabby to me at 8 weeks.

Barb A
post #18 of 20
[quote=GoldenKitty45]This is very unusual and was wondering if anyone hase experienced this before. A little background (been showing pedigree/household pets for over 25 yrs - was a breeder of pedigree rexes). I know color genetics pretty good.

Situation: (barn cats) - mother is a tortie/white (oriental type - non pedigree). Father (we are assuming cause of the color of the kittens) - Blue tabby (probably oriental type and carrying Siamese gene). We think the father of the tortie mother is also the father of the kittens.

She had 5 kittens - all blue tabbies/white (3 F, 2 M).

If they were actually BORN as blue tabbies/white, they are not pointed kittens. If they were born white, then they are pointed.

However, the kittens at 3 weeks of age all had pointed color (very dark blue/black) on ears, face mask, legs and a little on the tail. Over a few weeks the point color was clearly NOT blue but closer to seal/black.

Still, no surprise, but not tabbies. If they were, in fact, tabbies then you would NOT have solid blue/black coloring on the ears, face, mask, legs and tail - you would have tabby markings.

Now at 3 months of age, the coats have darkened so that the points are not readily seen and the tabby markings are still seen. This is the totally weird part. None of the kittens are blue!

Again, no surprise. Point coloring darkens with age. I take it you have never seen a 3-week old seal point Siamese kitten. For people who don't work with pointed cats, I guess they don't realize that in some lines kittens may have to be 6 weeks or older to be certain whether they are blue or seal points.


They are all black and white! I'm serious - they were light blue up till 2 1/2 months old - then got darker and are black. I call the color "charcoal tabbies".

If, in fact, these kittens are pointed kittens, and they also have white, then they are seal point and whites -- not tabbies. With pointed bicolors, you cannot even see the white on the cat until the points begin to come in sufficiently for contrast, and in pointed bicolors the body coloring is generally darker than it would be on the corresponding pointed cat which DIDN'T have white. Furthermore, although the color black does a better job at masking the underlying tabby pattern than the color red, in young cats it frequently DOESN'T entirely mask the tabby.

Since you say that you bred Rex (although I don't know whether you worked with solids) your color description in ACFA probably allowed for faint tabby markings in solid cats up to the age of 18 months. If it didn't in the Rex it certainly does in the Orientals.

Furthermore, you are looking at barn cats who have not been bred for ideal color, as are the pedigreed cats.

I hope this helps.

Oh, I hope you didn't learn genetics from ACFA. As of ten years ago, ACFA didn't believe silver lynx points could exist, although they clearly do and I showed two of them as AOVs, because ACFA believed that the silver gene was on the albino locus and therefore could not exist in conjunction with point restriction ---- WRONG!!!


Barb Amalfi
post #19 of 20
Funny, I started with reds and torties, and I've never seen a tortie develop more red than that with which she was born.
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
Tails, thanks for your reply. To try and clarify.

The kittens were blue (tabby or not - lets skip that part cause I know some have striping tho they are not true tabbies). The white on them was restricted to the paws and belly; so there was color to that point.

When about a month old (we brought them inside the house for training), they had darker points on ears, tail, above the white paws on the legs and the mask. All typical of pointed cats.

The body coat was still blue at that point, but the point color looked more seal to me - much darker contrast. Now at 3 months + they are black/white and if you look close you can still see some point color but its harder now cause of the black coat.

I'll forgo the tabby part as we don't know what the father really was. I've seen the black OSH with ghost tabby markings, so maybe that's the case.

I can't explain the fact they were BLUE when born. I've had all colors of rexes, solids, tabbies, bicolors, calicos. The blue rexes stayed blue, the black stayed black - no color changes.

My one tortie when born only had one red sport on her back (thought she was black till I saw it) and she did get more red as she got older - so its possible for the red to come in later.
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