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cat Color Patterns

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cat Color Patterns

Postby admin » Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:12 pm

http://cats.about.com/od/felinegenetics ... tterns.htm

Cats, both pedigreed and domestic, come in a rainbow of colors and patterns. These are all a matter of genetics, so a calico mother might give birth in one litter to calico, tabby, and solid or bi-colored kittens, depending on her genetic background and the background of the male cat(s) that fathered the litter. Cats, come in three basic colors (called "self" by geneticists): red (commonly called "orange," or sometimes affectionately referred to as "ginger," or "marmelade"), black, and white.
Common Color Patterns in Cats:
Tabbies
Tabby cats constitute the oldest and most common pattern seen, and are one of the most popular. They are easily differentiated by their stripes, whorls, and spots ( the latter generally found on their tummies). Striped tabbies are often referred to as "tiger," for obvious reasons. They are also known as "mackerel tabbies." The round bulls-eye marking on a tabby, identifies it as a "classic" tabby. While spotted tabbies sometimes crop up in "barn cats," they are also found in breeds, such as the Ocicat and the American Bobtail.
Tabbies may also wear white "accessories," such as a bib, vest, or "boots." Thus, they could be described as "tabby with white."
Solids
Solid colored cats come in four basic colors, plus "dilute" colors of each.
Tri-color Cats
Tri-color cats include:
Calico
Separate solid blocks of color, which must include red (orange), black, and white. They also may have blocks of tabby pattern, which produces an extremely colorful and beautiful cat. Dilute calicos, have the same separate blocks of color, only the colors are "diluted," i.e. "faded" shades of the original, which gives them an ethereal appearance. A dilute calico will have pale orange or buff for the red, and gray (or "blue") for the black.
A beautiful example of a calico girl is Sweet Pea, an About Cats forum cat.
Tortoiseshell AKA "Tortie"
Torties are not true tri-color cats, because they do not all contain white. Instead of solid blocks, torties' coats weave the black and red throughout, creating a tapestry of color. A forum member described torties beautifully, "they are cloaked in the lovely colors of Fall." Tortoiseshell cats may also be dilute, with softer versions of the colors. Like the tabby, some torties may also have white accent markings, creating a "tortie with white." They also sometimes have an interesting mix of tortoiseshell, with a bonus of tabby patterning mixed throughout. These cats are referred to as torbies. It should be noted that white plays a very small role in the tortoiseshell pattern - most of the color weaving is done with the red and black components.
Because of the associated genetic factors that creates their color patterns, tri-color cats almost always are females, although occasional males crop up (about one in 3,000, according to this excellent article by Barbara French) Those rare males are almost always sterile, also for reasons of genetics, so don't expect to gain a fortune by selling your male calico cat.
Tuxedo
Tuxedo cats were so named for their glossy black coats, enhanced with white bibs and "spats," (less flamboyantly described as white feet).
Bi-Color
Bi-colored cats may include tuxedos, as well as other configurations on one color plus white. A black and white cat might be better described as bi-color if the colors are present in large blocks on the cat's body rather than the "bib and boots" pattern. Other bi-colors might include gray and white, brown and white, or red and white.
Points or Pointed Markings
"Points," or darker shades of the body color, generally include the ears, muzzle, tail, and feet of the cat. The original pointed cat was the Siamese, and many years later, the Himalayan was developed by crossing Siamese with Persian cats. Many other breeds of pointed cats are now accepted by cat registries, including Ragdoll, Ragamuffin, Birman, Exotic, Balinese, and Javanese. Breed registries disallow pointed patterns in most other breeds. Many mixed breed cats display these distinctive points, which may be found in various colors.
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