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Hi there!

I live in Southern Ontario and have a lovely 6yo calico cat (at least I think that's what you would call her--mostly white with orange and black splotches and some tabby splotches too, with a ringed brown tabby tail). She has badger-type markings on her face, a pink nose, and a lovely temperament. She shares her home with three Australian Shepherds, an African Grey parrot, a Hahn's Macaw, myself, my husband and my son.

Here's the reason I found the forum and registered. I have a question about color genetics. A few years back, my friend's brown tabby became pregnant with a litter by (probably) a solid black male tomcat. She gave birth to four kittens, all of which were colour-point. Two were brown tabbies with black and slightly striped faces, legs and tails, and two were grey (somewhat like a Russian blue colour) with black faces, legs and tails (no stripes).

The last time I saw them as kittens they were about 12 weeks old and had retained their birth color. However, at around 5 months old, they each turned solid black.

I've never heard of anything like this and have not found any Internet resources that explain this. Any thoughts?

I've attempted to attach a picture of Jade, my girlie. Hope it comes through!

Lisa Giroux
 

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Hi and welcome! I can't help you with the colours, but I had to tell you that Jade is definitely as cute as a button. Great wink :).
 

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I don't think from your description that your friends kittens were colourpointed, pointed kittens are born white, get darker with age and keep blue eyes throughout their whole lives.
This sounds more like they were fevercoat kittens.

You can't always be sure why it happened, but kittens are often born fevercoated it the mother has had an (often undetected) infection during the pregnancy and/or has been on antibiotics.
Most of the time the kittens have light bodies and more normal colour on their face, legs, tail etc, after a few months they will get their normal, permanent colour.

Just type in "fevercoat" in the searchbox on the top left of this page and you will find a lot of examples of fevercoated kittens. Most of the time you see it in black kittens that are silvery/blue on the body, but I've also seen fevertabbies and black kittens that had an almost orange rust-coloured body instead of silver.

Young kittens that have been sick or starving can get fevercoat too, not always as bad as newborn babies. One of my fosters was found starving on the street, he was black but after a few weeks his belly turned silver. After a few months he turned completely black again.
Another foster was both starving and very ill, she is black but developed a silvery patch on her shoulders and silver stripes on her back, she also turned jet black again after a few months.
 
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