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Color & sex related?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
We just had a litter born the other day and Im a little perplexed.
I thought there was a "golden rule" that calico's were almost always female and oranges were almost always male.

Well it appears we have a female calico and a female orange. Out of 6 these are the only females.
post #2 of 17
I'm assuming this is a random breeding. You have the mother but don't know who is the father.

If you have a calico female and a red (orange) female - then those two females have a different father. What other colors are the rest of the kittens.

What color is the mother? I'm also assuming the mother is a tortie/calico too.

The color gene is on the X chromosone. The mother gives a color gene to the males and females. The father can only give the color gene to his daughers (XX = female; XY = male)
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks GoldenK here is a photo that will maybe help. Quite the colorful litter. No I have no intact males (or other females) she is the only one. When Im able to catch a wild Tom I have them fixed but so far I know there are two I have not been able to get.
HTH





The mother (Pumkin) is from this litter. She is 2nd from the left.
post #4 of 17
Ok, I see. The mother is not a calico - she is what is called a brown patched tabby (which is similar to the calico but substitute brown tabby markings for the black and the red tabby would be the normal red in a calico.

Kittens look like several brown tabbies (one looks like it COULD be blue tabby) and one cream tabby male, and the red tabby female and the dilute calico.

Since mom came from a cream/white, mom is carrying the dilute gene to produce the dilute calico.

The litter has several different fathers. Probably a black or blue male and a cream or red tabby male.

The 3 brown tabby males and the cream tabby male would have gotten their colors from mom. The red female has to have a red or cream father as he gives color to the females only and mom is carrying red too - so you have 2 red color genes. The father of the dilute calico is either the same red male or a black/blue male.

Not sure if this will make it clearer or not:

Mom is carrying the following colors: brown tabby, red tabby, and also the dilute gene (brown would be blue; red would be cream). She can give any of these colors to her male offspring. That is why you have 3 brown tabby males.

Now in order to have a calico (or dilute calico) you need one black gene and one red gene. If if mom gave the blue gene to the calico then the father was a red or cream (probably cream), so you would have one of each color. And if the mom gave the red (cream) gene, then the father would have to be a black or blue male.

The red female has to have a red or cream father. Remember the color gene is only on the X chromosone. So the females may have the same red or cream father or the calico has a black father.
post #5 of 17
Yah since the red color is sex-linked on the X chromosome it just means she is carrying red on both X chromosomes. Usually its just one chromosome and where it is active the red appears and where the other x is active the other colors appear. But in this case where one x is expressed is red and the other x is expressed is also red. Its unusual but not as abnormal as a male calico who would have a genetic abnormality of being an XXY male.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
That is a lot of color info to digest! So much more then horses ( I do breed horses but not for any special colors).
What is blue in a cat? Is there anywhere I can see pictures of some of the colors?
post #7 of 17
blue is a light grey color here is a link to see the different colors and what they are commonly called http://www.seregiontica.org/Colors/intro.htm
post #8 of 17
Ok
Red = orange (can be light to dark -darker the better)
Cream (dilute of the red) = pale orange or buff/creamy color
Black
Blue (dilute of black) = pale grey to darker grey - pale preferred.
Chocolate = warm milk chocolate color
Lilac = dilute of chocolate - pinkish blue color


Brown tabby is genetically a "black". I'm glad your kitty had both a red tabby and a cream tabby. Then people can really tell the difference between the two colors And your little red has a nice deep color too

One of the best red tabbies I've seen came from a mixed breed litter. Unfortunately I didn't get to adopt him. He'd have made a top quality household pet show cat! He was not only a very deep red color, he was a classic tabby too - with white paws - very very stricking.

I also had a very stricking red classic tabby cornish rex that was shown. Judges were very impressed with the color as it was rare to have classic tabbies in rexes - most are mackeral.

And looks like you might have both classic and mackeral tabbies. Classic is a bullseye swirl on the sides. Mackeral is the vertical stripes like a mack fish on the sides.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by princeegrl
blue is a light grey color here is a link to see the different colors and what they are commonly called http://www.seregiontica.org/Colors/intro.htm
Great link! I've concentrated so much on bengal colorations that refreshers on other colorations are fascinating.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
WOW who would have expected so much in just plain ol' barn cats!
Although I do love the colors (and extra toes).

Quote:
He'd have made a top quality household pet show cat!
Lord you can even show plain ol' normal not fancy bred cats too! I had no idea.

That site was a great referrence- thanks!

Its a little hard for me to eyeball and tell the different tabby markings yet, maybe once they have gotten a little bigger. They are only a week old and already 2 have opened their eyes. Momma is doing a great job (although she keeps trying to relocate them under my bed) and one of the grey/blue boys has been dubbed Fat Boy. B
oy can he scream when he gets knocked out of the line up too!
post #11 of 17
Tabby markings are pretty clear on young shorthair kittens. The darkest one looks like a nice classic brown tabby. If his stripes are more in a swirl pattern rather then just up and down in a line, then he's classic.

Also classics have a butterfly pattern between their shoulder blades and the spine stripes are totally different then a mackeral. I've seen both and no doubt you have at least one classic. The little red is a mack tabby - look at them side by side and you will be able to tell

And yes, you have some very nice household pet show cats there
post #12 of 17
It looks like Dad was an orange guy. Because Dad only passes his color genes to his female offspring, the color of the females gives you a strong clue as to the color of the father.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by semiferal
It looks like Dad was an orange guy. Because Dad only passes his color genes to his female offspring, the color of the females gives you a strong clue as to the color of the father.
I've never heard of that before... Can you elaborate a little?
post #14 of 17
Color is carried only on the X chromosone. The father can only give the X to his daughters; therefore if he's red, he only can pass the red color to daughters.

Moms give the color to all her offspring(male or female).

Remember females are XX and males are XY.
post #15 of 17
Ooooh I get it. Heh just had to think about it a little bit.

Wait... The only color that is sex-linked is red.. So this would only be true for reds?
post #16 of 17
I've heard before that Torties are almost always female..Any truth to that?
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trouts mom
I've heard before that Torties are almost always female..Any truth to that?
Almost always is true. It is possible for a male to have a chromosomal abnormality that causes him to be XXY instead fo XY. This will then lead to the possibility of a tortie male. You have to have 2 or more X's for the torie pattern to appear otherwise a male will be red as he has only 1 X. You can look at torties body as a map of where one X is active and the other is inactive. One X holds red and the other dosen't. In a male they only have one X so it is expressed throughout the body. Females can only have one X active in any one place so therefore one is inactive and red is tied to one of those X's.

Oooh so confusing to try and type out.
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