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Discussion Starter #1
If you don't mind a few questions from a non-breeder who owns only strays... :)

My friend has a DSH kitty with an interesting pattern. He's mostly uniform charcoal gray (blue?), but with dark raccoon-like rings around his tail, and nowhere else. He also has two small white spots on his chest and belly, more frosted than pure white. He doesn't have a silver undercoat.

From a genetic standpoint, is he a tabby? And/or piebald? If not, is there another category he might fit into? He just doesn't look like any of the textbook pictures.

I don't have any photos, but I can try to get one if that would help.
 

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Hard to say without a picture, but he could be pointed. Does he have blue eyes and tabbymarkings in the face and on the legs and paws to? And with a lighter color on the body?

Like this (but without the white on the paws):

 

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Thanks, dragonfire! He doesn't look like the cat in the photo. He's much more of a uniform dark gray, everywhere but his tail. The stripes on his tail are a slightly darker shade of gray, nothing really dramatic, so it's possible that he has some subtle stripes on his forehead and paws that I've never noticed.

I haven't had time to visit him for the past week because I've had a family reunion going on. I'll definitely be seeing him this Saturday, and I'll get a photo then.

In the meantime, do you know of any good web pages that explain cat genetics (for the layperson) and have photos to illustrate how the different genes are expressed? I've found a few sites with good explanations, but accompanying photo illustrations seem to be rare. Thanks!
 

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Sorry, I don't know any such site in english. I would recommend my own website, but the genetics-section is only in swedish.

If you tell me wich colors/genes that you would like to se a picture of, I could find one for you!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all your responses! I'm continuing to do research, but in the meantime, I found a breed of cat that he resembles. He looks a lot like a Russian Blue:

http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/i ... =&ei=UTF-8

The biggest differences are that his tail is ringed in the darker gray color instead of solid, and he doesn't have that pretty all-over silver tipping, although he does have some spots on his chest that are frosted white. He does have thick fur and greenish eyes.

So could his genotype be similar to theirs, but with Agouti and without sliver tipping? :)

Are Russian Blues pointed? Their tails are dark, but they don't seem to have the rest of the markings.
 

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I've been told that many "domestic" (ie non-purebred) solid-color cats have ringed tails. Maybe they all have some tabby genes? I don't know. Tommy was a gray & white bicolor, and while the gray on his body was a solid gray, he had faint rings on his tail. :)
 

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coaster said:
I've been told that many "domestic" (ie non-purebred) solid-color cats have ringed tails. Maybe they all have some tabby genes? I don't know. Tommy was a gray & white bicolor, and while the gray on his body was a solid gray, he had faint rings on his tail. :)
All cats, even the purebred cats, have a tabby gene.
Here is one link: http://www.showcatsonline.com/x/tabby_genetics1.htm .
The TABBY gene is the gene that determines the pattern of a cat. ALL cats are tabbies, and carry one of the tabby patterns - yes, even your solid colored Persian has tabby genes! ;-)

The AGOUTI gene is what determines whether or not the tabby pattern is expressed visibly.

These 2 genes, working together, are what create a tabby.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I see that on my own cats. They're mostly solid black, but in the right light you can see that some of their fur is a deep sable brown, in tabby stripes. I guess that's the "ghost marking"?

I hope my friend's cat doesn't lose his cute raccoon tail as he grows older! How long do the ghost markings stay? He's about a year old now, same as my cats.
 

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Jet Green said:
I see that on my own cats. They're mostly solid black, but in the right light you can see that some of their fur is a deep sable brown, in tabby stripes. I guess that's the "ghost marking"?

I hope my friend's cat doesn't lose his cute raccoon tail as he grows older! How long do the ghost markings stay? He's about a year old now, same as my cats.
Ghost markings are usually seen in kittens and often disappear with age, but sometimes they stay or appear during the summer.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
These pictures are TERRIBLE. I was using an old digital camera that I wasn't familiar with, and also I'm just not very good at indoor shots in general. However, for what it's worth, here they are:



Clicking on each one should take you to a new page where you can see a larger (but equally blurry) version. Hopefully you can get the general idea of his coat color and ringed tail.

I was going from memory, so I got some things wrong. He does have white tipping, and his eyes are more yellow than green. I'm not sure if he technically has a silver undercoat, but it looks white or silver underneath in some places. I included the one shot where I pushed his fur back so you can hopefully at least kind of see it.

He has one frosted white spot on his throat, and a larger and whiter one between his back legs, but I wasn't able to show those because he wasn't that cooperative.

So can anyone tell me what he would look like genetically? My best guess would be something like B- dd L- oo T-, and maybe S-. But I haven't figured out A, C or I. Am I even on the right track? Thanks! :)
 

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He looks like a solid blue to me, with a little ghost markings on his tail. Not silver, not agouti(tabby).

Genotype:

B-dd aa C-ii L- oy (males only have one o or O, since it is places on the X-chromosome).

Wich genecode he has on T-locus is impossible to say, all the tabbypatterns have ringed tail (extept a ticked cat). So it could be either T- or tbtb. With or without the spottinggene (wich I cannot spell out, because I don't think it has been named yet, possibly Sp). It takes an A to show the pattern.

The white spots are probable what you call "lockets" wich are not caused by the S-gene, so he is probably ss.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks! :D So it looks like my guesses were heading in the right direction, although I forgot all about the o gene being sex-linked. :oops:

I'm still curious about the white tipping, though. It's hard to see in the photos, but it's definitely there. I thought that might be from an I gene? Or does it come standard with B- dd?

It's so complicated! But I guess if it were simple, we wouldn't have such a variety of pretty cats.
 

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well

i have a dsh she is completely black with orange eyes, looks alot like the halloween kitty and i am so happy with my nonpure kitty
 

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Jet Green said:
Thanks! :D So it looks like my guesses were heading in the right direction, although I forgot all about the o gene being sex-linked. :oops:

I'm still curious about the white tipping, though. It's hard to see in the photos, but it's definitely there. I thought that might be from an I gene? Or does it come standard with B- dd?

It's so complicated! But I guess if it were simple, we wouldn't have such a variety of pretty cats.
I think it's just a difference in shade of the colour, and not anything caused by a single known gene.
 
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