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Discussion Starter #1
I have a mama cat who's had three kittens. Mama cat is a long-haired dilute tortoiseshell, with a pair of extra toes. She had two boys: one orange long-haired classic tabby and one short-haired brown spotted tabby. They both have thumbs (the latter has two sets, as well as additional non-rectactible claws). The girl is all black with the odd white hair sprinkled here and there and a full-blown grey/white/silver belly. She is also long-haired, but no thumbs. They all have yellow eyes except the orange boy (green).
I was wondering, with these informations, is it possible to determine what the father(s) might have looked like? And is there an explanation as to why the girl doesn't have extra toes?

I'm really curious!
 

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Kittens can come form multiple fathers. All cats are either black or orange initially (all other colors come from those two colors along with other modifying genes)... so the father was likely either black or orange. He may have been a classic tabby of either of those colors.

Classic tabby is recessive, both parents must carry it for it to appear in their kittens... odds are better that you'd get kittens with it if the father was a classic tabby, and not just a carrier of it like the mom is -- from 25% chance if they're both just carriers to 50% chance of a classic tabby kitten if he was also a classic tabby. (And if the mother and the father were both classic tabbies, you would get classic tabby kittens 100% of the time... but yeah... you don't.)

Here's info on the toes:
http://messybeast.com/poly-cats.html
 

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Thank you! This is fascinating.

This mama cat showed up on my balcony one day with her three gorgeous little furballs in tow. I've been wondering ever since which one(s) of the neighborhood tomcats was responsible. The boyfriend was quite dumbfounded that none of the kittens looked alike or like their mother!
 

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Since classic tabby is recessive to mackeral (stripes) tabby, I would say a brown classic shorthair tabby is the dad....any in your neighborhood like that? Polydactylism is a dominant trait, and since Mama has the extra toes, it's likely the dad doesn't.
 

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Actually, the girl has no real white on her. Her belly is more of a faded black, greyish color. Depending on the lighting, her coat can look brownish in spots. Could she be a REALLY dark dilute tortoiseshell? Or black smoke? Here's a picture:



I haven't seen any short haired tabbies around here, actually. A couple long haired ones. Most of the tomcats around here are black and white or grey (blue), short haired. And there was this one (he's out of the streets now):



How would one describe that sort of coloring? I mean, other than "beautiful"? :)

Thank you both, I could read on the subject for ages!
 
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