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Discussion Starter #1
Milly's a classic tabby and white, but there are a few things I was wondering about to do with her colour. I'd love to know how you guys would describe it?

Firstly it's weird how in some places she's grey and black (the "second half" of her body), and in other areas she's brown and black... here are some photos to show you what I mean:


The tabby part looks mostly grey and black...


The tabby part looks mostly brown and black (at least on the front end)!

I've wondered if it's just the lighting in the photos, but she looks like that in real life.

And secondly, when you part her fur it's all a light grey underneath. Is that something all mediumhairs/longhairs have? I've heard of it being called "shaded" but I was wondering if those terms are used to describe domestics (or if they're restricted to describing purebreds - Milly's a domestic).



Another thing is, I used to think she was more grey than brown, but now I think it's the other way around... she seems to have more brown than grey. Cats' coats don't change colour do they? I've heard kittens' coats can change, but Milly was two years old when we got her.

Perhaps I'm just colourblind, lol!

I'd love to hear your opinions!

P S Sorry if this is what all domestic mediumhairs/longhairs are like... I don't have other cats, and she's my first cat, so I have nothing to compare her to. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Sorry, one more thing: her facial markings seem a bit darker and more defined now too... is that quite common? Again, she was two years old when we got her...


Photo taken December last year


Photo taken today (lol, she looks a bit grumpy...)
 

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Silver deer said:
Sorry, one more thing: her facial markings seem a bit darker and more defined now too... is that quite common? Again, she was two years old when we got her...


Photo taken December last year


Photo taken today (lol, she looks a bit grumpy...)
Are you sure she was two years old when you got her? She looks like she may have only been a year in the first picture. When Lucky was younger, he had short fur, but as he got older, his fur got longer so now his fur is just a tad bit longer than Milly's is in the second picture. Either way, Milly is one of the prettiest cats I've seen on the Cat Forum. :luv
 

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my3kitties said:
Either way, Milly is one of the prettiest cats I've seen on the Cat Forum. :luv
Aww, thank you, my3kitties! That's sweet, I shall tell Milly you said that. :D

my3kitties said:
Are you sure she was two years old when you got her? She looks like she may have only been a year in the first picture. When Lucky was younger, he had short fur, but as he got older, his fur got longer so now his fur is just a tad bit longer than Milly's is in the second picture.
I was wondering the same thing! The people working at the shelter said she was two years old, but perhaps she wasn't - I remember her being a lot more little when I first brought her home than she is now. I thought maybe she'd just fattened up a bit, but she seems larger (not in the fat sense) too. I wonder if she was younger than the shelter thought, or if she's just a slow grower (if there's such a thing, lol)?
 

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I think tabby cats CAN change color. At least a little bit as they mature.
Malibu, when she first showed up here, was a light gray/silver and while I don't have pictures showing her progression, she is now (at age 5) a much darker gray with more pronounced tan at her face, belly and feet. I don't know if this has anything to do with her not being outside (sun-bleached) as much as when she was younger.

Agouti causes the banding on the tan/black hairs and I cannot locate my cat book at the moment to look up the shaded or smoked hairs you are showing in the picture, but that may be what they call it. Chinchilla is another name for an odd hair distribution of color, but I don't know which is which without my book.

Color-wise, I think if the tabby has tan at its' face, belly and legs they have to be called a tan or brown tabby, even if the body coloring looks gray.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, October! :)

Heidi, it was cool to hear about Malibu. Perhaps Milly has darkened then! And it didn't occur to me that brown tabbies can have grey, lol... I don't know why, now that I think about it, a lot of brown tabbies I've seen have grey and black tails. Thanks, Heidi! :D
 

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I think I'm trying too hard. I can't find my Book of the Cat for my LIFE! :( I wonder if I loaned it to someone?

Anyhow, from what I recall in the genetics portion, it discusss the different genome markers for specific attributes, like color, pattern, hair density, length and straight/curly... There are A LOT of variations. In the color part, there is a wide range with names like brown, lilac, chocolate, blue and ginger. In fur length we have from Rex super-short/curly to Persian super-long/fluffy and every combination in between.

The colors and patterns are what I found interesting... I believe it said ALL cats have tabby markings. Even in self-colored (solid black, gray or white) you can still see them...not in obvious different colors like a proper tabby, but in the different hair lengths at the "M" on their foreheads. (take a look...you should be able to tell that the black "M" has shorter hair than the mixed color agouti hair around it.) Agouti is what makes the patterns (classic, mackerel, spotted, abssynian) stand out from the solid color of the cat. Agouti is the banding of colors on the hair shaft, and this is usually a mixture of yellow/tan/brown and black bands.

Also, like your Milly, some cats have the pigmentation of the hair shaft that begin a ways UP the shaft, not beginning right at the skin. Some do, some don't. It all comes down to genetics.

I wish I could find my book!
 

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Milly has all the colors of Heaven. :luv
 

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Oh dear, sorry to make you turn your house upside-down looking for your book, Heidi!

Haha, I just tried to inspect Milly's head and got an "Excuse me, but wth are you doing?" look. But yeah, you're right, the black hairs on the M do look a bit shorter. That's interesting that even self-coloured cats have tabby markings, I had no idea. Do most mediumhairs/longhairs tend to have pigmentation that doesn't start right at the skin, or is that just depending on their genes again?

Thanks, Marie! :D :D
 

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I think that there is definitely changes in coloring as they age. Look at Holly's adult pics and you'll see her red coloring come down between her eyes on the right side (as you look at the pic). But if you look at her baby pics, there's barely a hint of color there.

http://www.catforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=52158

I think Millie was a lot younger than 2 when you got her. Her face and ruff have filled out significantly between those 2 pics. And in the first pic her face is very kittenish. I would venture she was between 6-12 months there.

She's gorgeous girl!
 

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Ohh, Holly's just too gorgeous! I love her ear-tips. :)

It's interesting how you and my3kitties both mentioned Milly looks younger than two years - I've wondered about that often. It'd be sad if she was between six to 12 months, because she was dropped off at the shelter pregnant by her previous owner! That sounds really young to be pregnant...

About her ruff, it's winter here now - do cats have longer winter coats?
 

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Thanks...I'll pass your compliment along to Miss Holly :lol:

Well, kittens typically go into heat around 7-8 months, but it can be as early as 4 months...so it's quite possible.

Holly was over a year in the photo in my sig and you can see that her ruff wasn't nearly as full as it is now. That pic was taken last Sept or Oct and look at her ruff now. In my experience, winter brings thicker fur, but not usually longer.
 

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Wow, four months! 8O I wonder why they said she was two! Perhaps her first owner said she was two, thinking that if she said she was any younger she might get told off for allowing her to breed so young?

Thanks so much for answering all my questions by the way! :D
 

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Silver deer, I just wanted to show you a few pictures of Lucky from when he was about six months old and a few pictures taken about a year ago so you can see the difference in his fur length.

Lucky was about six months old in these. As you can see, his fur wasn't as short as Milly's like I thought:




And there are pictures are from last year:





Sorry about the quality on some of the latter pictures. Those were taken with two different cell phone cameras.
 

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Silver deer said:
Do most mediumhairs/longhairs tend to have pigmentation that doesn't start right at the skin, or is that just depending on their genes again?
I think it is all different due to genetics for each individual cat.
I have two black long-hairs; Shadow and S-Jo. I just went and parted their fur and S-Jo is black from root to tip. Shadow's fur is like Milly's but where hers is the pale (white?) color, Shad's is a deep, smokey gray fading into black, where Mill's fades into the agouti and stripe colors.
 

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I agree with whoever said she was young when you got her! My torri had hair approx that length at 7 months...but i don't have a pic.

As for maturing, I got my oldest, Jitzu, when she was already 2 years. She's grown and filled out since then. I mean grown longer, and her body shape matured a lot. She doesn't look as kitteny now. And I know she was 2 then!

As for Torri she's long haired, but I don't think she's done growing it out and she's a year old now. I'm pretty sure it'll get longer.

most cats I've seen who are solid colored do have markings, or shorter fur or w/e. However Jitzu is B+W and she has no tabby markings in fur length, patterning, anything. My parents B+W male, on the other hand, has jaguar spots in his black, but nothing in his white. And he has a lighter undercoat.

it's pretty cool when you think about it!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Heidi - Hehe, that's so cool how you could check that since you happen to have two black longhairs! :D Thanks, I was really curious about the shaded/smoke colouring.

my3kitties - Lucky's hair did grow quite a lot! Wow, in Lucky's six month old photos, she really doesn't look too different (size-wise) to Milly when I first got her! If anything, Mil looks like she might have been a bit smaller!

librarychick - jaguar spots on black are pretty cool! :) - just like real black leopards (rosettes on black leopards can be seen too I think)!

I'm still baffled as to why the shelter/previous owner would have said Milly was two years old - not saying I disagree with you all, I agree with you all completely! Milly definately looks quite young looking back at some old photos! I would have thought the shelter would have wanted to "advertise" her as six to 12 months old rather than two years old, since kittens seem to get adopted more than adults. I suppose they would have had to stick with the info they were given when she was brought in though.
 

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Silver deer said:
I'm still baffled as to why the shelter/previous owner would have said Milly was two years old - not saying I disagree with you all, I agree with you all completely! Milly definately looks quite young looking back at some old photos! I would have thought the shelter would have wanted to "advertise" her as six to 12 months old rather than two years old, since kittens seem to get adopted more than adults. I suppose they would have had to stick with the info they were given when she was brought in though.
When Ive taken cats to the vet and asked the vet for an age some vet look at the teeth and give you an aprx. Ive had other vets just look at them and guess ~ which irratated me. They might of gotten info from a vet and led them to believe she was older than she was.

I dont think you can totally judge a cats age by it body weight or size. Because kitties come petite to big Toms. I bet that is what happened.

Milly is one gorgeous cat!
 
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