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Just curious if anyone else with black or tuxedo kitties has seen this..

In the sun or other bright light, you can make out an orange cast on Lickorish (all black), and the black parts of Squeek (who is black&white). Their vet commented on this as well. I also find cat hairs that are white root with orange tip lying around. Lick also has subtle tabby markings, which I hear is common in black cats, but does anyone else with a black, or mostly black cat that has red low lights under the black?

both Squeek and Lickorish are girls, btw. They came from the same feral colony, but were not littermates.
 

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Both, B.B. & Belle have a dark auburn type undercoat.
This picture of B.B. shows what I mean. Just under her whiskers you can see where the sun's direction brings out the color

Cat Black cat Small to medium-sized cats Mammal Felidae
 

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When Maggie laid in the sun the red in her coat was very apparent, so much so that she looked chocolate brown.

Onyx also showed some red but not nearly as much as Maggie. You could also see faint mackerel stripes on Onyx.

Kobi is black as coal, no variation in his coat at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just under her whiskers you can see where the sun's direction brings out the color
Yup! thats exactly it! So I wonder does it occur more in girls than boys, as calicos with the 3 colors can only be girls as that combination can't occur with the XY chromosome (boy)?
 

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I always tell my little black cat she is a red cat in disguise because of the way a red tint shows up on fur in certain light. And it's not a rusty coat, it's a red tint. :)

She also shows rainbows in the sunlight:






Incidentally I know a blue cat who also appears to be a red cat in disguise, but it's more of an over coat than under. I think his blue hairs must be tipped with red, because he always seems to have a red aura around his body.
 

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Zephyr's undercoat is mainly grey, but he does "rust" in the summer. He's an indoor-only cat, but just the sunlight from the windows is enough to affect his coat.
 

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This isn't a variation of the "smoke" coloring is it? I thought that designation was only reserved for white/silver hair roots.
 

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I'm pretty sure it isn't... I went searching online and found a wide range of answers. Here was one:

G
enes may be dominant or recessive. A very black cat may appear to "rust" in the summer sun, possibly the result of a recessive red gene. I've observed that this seems to be more common in longhair black cats. You may also have seen black cats with white roots, which are called "smokes." Longhair black smokes are very beautiful when they move and their white roots flash before you.

To make the topic even more complicated, it is thought that the original color pattern of all domesticated cats is the tabby. Therefore, all cats today (with a couple of exceptions), carry the recessive gene for tabby. However solid colored cats, including black cats, have yet another recessive gene that suppresses the tabby pattern. If the tabby pattern is not completely repressed, you may see a hint of tabby markings in a black cat in bright light. The tabby "M" is the most distinctive of these.

I think I've given you enough information today to get the general idea of why all black cats do not always look alike. You are encouraged to look at the sidebar material to research more information.

I thought that wasn't possible? The cat is either black or red since the red is sex-linked on the X chromosome?

The Genetics of Calico Cats

Something I'm utterly baffled about on that chart of female and male cats becoming red/black/calico closer to the bottom of the page (which is why I'm linking the above URL) is how the black female cats should be somewhat rare yet in reality there's always more black female cats listed on Petfinder. Genetics. *sigh* Something I'm fascinated by but will likely never grasp. Too many factors floating around.

Another thing I saw was some answers to this mention health issues (issues with the thyroid/kidneys/liver/copper deficiencies/too much zinc/not enough tyrosine), but I think it's safe to say that since it's a wide spread thing this shouldn't be the case, especially since my cat has always looked like this.

Another thing of note, which is likely unrelated is: the sable Burmese appear black but in the sunlight, then they're chocolate! Which I looked up to find a mentioned: This Burmese gene creates a brownish coat for a genetically black cat (sable burmese).

Another answer was, when exposed to sunlight the coat lightens, like blond hair in people.

So. Yeah. Still have no idea. I'm not finding any definitive answer, at least not with simplified charts for a regular person to understand. :p
 

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diotima is black but has always showed the chocolate brown glint in sunlight. I always thought black has either blue undertones or chocolate. (and you see green when women use bad black hair dye lol).

the backs of her ears are starting to look reddish. I don't know what that's from.
 

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My black cat Newt isn't quite black - she's more black-brown. And in bright daylight (or when using a strong camera flash), the tabby stripes underneath her coat are clearly visible.

Her kitten Newton, is a much deeper black (he also has a thicker coat of hair). It's difficult to tell when they're apart, but when they're side by side, the difference is quite noticeable.
 

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My G has the same strange coloring! He's got an Auburn Coat (reddish brown in sunlight, but looks black inside the house) with BLACK mackerel tabby markings.

In the house he looks black, until you notice the darker black tabby lines running slightly vertically up his legs.

My Vet had never seen this color combo before, but likes it!

MsM
 

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My Beefy has this too in the sunlight as well, but if I brush him his undercoat appears grayish.
 
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