The black and white kitten is commonplace but uncommonly beautiful. I believe that this coat type is one of the two most frequently seen coat types together with the tabby cat.
Black and white cats are categorised as white spotted cats in Robinson’s Genetics for Cat Breeders and Veterinarians (“Robinson’s Genetics”). They might also be classified as having solid a white cat coats (on this linked page you can see the Zorro cat). Here he is:
|I call him the “Zorro Cat” – Photo by Giane Portal (Flickr)|
The black and white kitten is a bicolor cat. “The coat is coloured except for a variable amount of white. Often the head has a white “blaze” in the shape of an inverted V that extends to between the eyes. Robinson’s describes a “blaze” as “having white on the face in the form of an inverted V”. However the word is also used to describe the sharp boundary between different colours of a tortoiseshell cat on the nose, usually straight down the center of the nose. See Glossary of Cat Terms.
The white fur in the black and white cat is caused by the presence of the piebald gene or white spotting gene.
The body might be very white leaving a few coloured areas which may be limited to small spots on the head and the rump. The tail usually remains coloured for most of its length.
|Photo by Tom Leuntjens Photography on Flickr|
Piebald or white spotted cats are described as “exceedingly common” by the authors of Robinson’s Genetics. The gene manifests itself across the two extremes, from the all white coat to the nearly black coat. The spotting is graded from the near black being grade one (low grade) to the all white cat being grade 10 (high grade).
Where is the best place to adopt a black and white kitten? Well, I confess that I have seen few black and white purebred cats but lots of black and white moggies (random bred cats). I care for one myself. She is a tuxedo cat – a white chest on black coat:
When there is a minor white spot of white fur on the chest, throat, stomach or groin it is called a “locket”.
As I said I tend to see many more moggies with this coat than purebred cats. That tells us the best place to go in search of one: yes, the rescue center or shelter. Mine just walked off the street. I didn’t even have to go in search; there she was.
|Photo by Crystal Powell (Flickr)|
In cat fancy language, the solid coloured cats (as opposed to the shaded or tabby as two examples) are called “selfs”. Black is one of six basic colors, the others being: blue, chocolate, lilac, cinnamon and fawn. All self cats carry the non-agouti (aa) genotype.
Agouti Ticked Cat Coat (opens in new window)