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post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
The female to my litter is a polydactyl. I have had Poly's on my farm for about 4-5 years now. Her litter was 3 poly/ 3 normal toed kittens. Im just wondering...Obviously the poly kittens have the trait but what about the normal toed? I dont know much about what makes them Poly...we have had them in all colors starting with a blue eyed white male making its way all the way to black/white tuxedo types my first litter years ago was all poly and now its been 50/50.
post #2 of 8
Some of the normal toed cats will be carriers of the polydactal gene. Which means that if they have that gene as a recessive gene and bred to a polydatal, you can get a higher percentage of polys.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
So just because they do not express it they can still carry it. Ok I understand that. People always ask me since around here Poly's are not that common.
post #4 of 8
Hmmm...actually, that's not such a simple question. It's thought that there are both dominant and recessive forms of polydactylism. Offhand I'm not sure of the answer but I'll let you eavesdrop while I work it out.

Okay, we know that if the gene is dominant, Mom is heterozygous - meaning she has an unmatched pair of genes, Pp. We know this because she has non-polydactyl kittens. But if the gene is recessive, Mom is homozygous, meaning her genes match - pp. We would know this because she is polydactyl.

We can't know for sure whether the ratio of polydactyl:non-polydactyl in the litter is actually the ratio that would be statistically expected, but since we can't actually test that we'll just have to assume that the expected ratio would be 50-50.

So for different parental genes, this is what we'd have:

If the polydactyl trait is recessive:

Mom - pp, Dad - pp - all kittens polydactyl. We know this isn't right because there are non-polys in the litter.

Mom - pp, Dad - Pp - 50% polydactyl, 50% not polydactyl. This is very possible.

Mom - pp, Dad - PP - no polydactyl kittens. This isn't possible.

If the gene is dominant:

Mom - Pp, Dad - Pp - 75% polydactyl, 25% non. Possible but not likely.

Mom - Pp, Dad - PP - 100% polydactyl. Not possible.

Mom - Pp, Dad - pp - 50% polydactyl. Very possible.

Hmmm, so it looks like after all that I still don't have an answer for you! If the gene is dominant, then the kittens who are not polydactyl would not carry the gene. If it is recessive, then all the non-polydactyl kittens would carry the polydactyl gene.

The only real way to tell would be to see if you ever had polydactyl kittens from a non-polydactyl mom. I can't in good conscience suggest that anything other than spay/neuter would be a good idea for barn cats, of course, but it would be the way to get the answer.
post #5 of 8
Yeah, I agree, for the sake of "finding" out, you shouldn't breed a lot of cats. We had a very unusual cat and it would have been interesting to have bred her to a few different cats - she was a perfect bicolor (black/white) with ODD eyes - one Siamese blue and the other varied between gold (young) to solid green (as adult). Very very striking and won a lot of awards in shows.

We knew the somewhere she had to have Siamese (she was NOT deaf on the blue eye side) and I've always wondered what the kittens would have been if we had bred her to a pet Siamese. She was spayed at 7 months old, so we never found out what kind of kits she would have had.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Dont worry Im not that interested to find out if any of the non poly's can have poly kittens! Like I mentioned before (or another post) this is my only unaltered cat (period). She will be altered in another 4-5 weeks. I never expect to dump any cats...I would keep everything that I produced but I always seem to have people interested (specially in the poly's).
Unfortunately we do loose some of our barn cats (usually to wild animals) so having a litter now and then helps to replace what has been lost. When we moved here we had a real rodent problem and now that is very much in check. They also keep the snakes in line too (eek). I breed Warmblood horses so there is always grain and hay around to attract the problem critters.
Here is my website www.carosello.homestead.com (horses not cats)
post #7 of 8
I'm glad you're planning to fix the mama cat shortly!

I would suggest contacting local cat rescues if you need more barn cats. Obviously you will have attrition among outdoor cats but rescues are always in need of good barn homes for feral cats who can't stay where they are because their habitat is being demolished or something similar. It's a win-win solution to your needs.
post #8 of 8
I used to keep my horse at a stables in Surrey many years ago, they had a poly, she was tabby and a very loving and lively little cat.:lol3:
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