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Cat Color and Patterns — 12 Comments

  1. Michael, greetings. Although the Khao Manee is referred to as a breed in the west, in its native Thailand this is a colour variety of the Maew Boran (the native Thai cat). With the generous help of The Thai International Maew Boran Association, TIMBA (http://www.thethaicatcenter.com/home.html) I put together some information and a colour chart to correct the misconception of what is a breed and what is a colour of the Maew Boran http://messybeast.com/southeastasian-breeds.htm

    Thai cat lovers feel that Western cat fancies are appropriating their much-loved native cats and using them to create breeds instead of preserving the real Thai native breed. Maybe you’d like to contact TIMBA for your own article?

    • Sarah, I am on your page and above the Khao Manee and other examples of Thai cats you have the heading: Historical Thai Breeds Illustrated or Described in the Tamra Maew.

      I have probably missed something but this states that the Khao Manee is a breed and not a color variety of the Maew Boran.

      • If you read the entirety, you’ll see that it is considered a breed in the West, but is a colour variety in Thailand (see the section on preserving the Maew Boran). It’s hard for many Western cat fanciers to get their minds around the concept of their “breeds” starting out as colourways of a single Thai breed. It’s a problem of different ways of thinking!

        “In Thailand, there is a single conformation. What Western breeders think of as “breeds” (Siamese, Korat etc) are just colour varieties of the native Thai cat. The different colours can be freely crossed and then given the name of their phenotype: Wichienmaat for colourpointed, Korat for solid blue, Suphalak for solid brown etc. Crossing any of the varieties with a Khao Manee gives a whole litter of Khao Manees, but the offspring’s descendants could revert to being Konja, or Ninlaret or whatever! The separation of the these variities into “pure breeds” in the West is illogical to Thai breeders, but is deeply entrenched in (and insurmountable after a century or more) the Western cat fancy. Some Thai varieties do have special characteristics that Thai breeders preserve through selective breeding. The silver tipping of the Korat is preserved by mating Korat-to-Korat, however it’s seen as perfectly reasonable to use a blue point wichienmaat in a Korat program. Any colourpointed descendants are simply not called Korats! Technically they are not Wichienmaat either, as only the seal-point is recognised as a variety.”

  2. If you’re interested in the huge range of colours and patterns, I’ve compiled a page of charts which I’ve placed the charts in the public domain. The charts show how the colours are related (dense, dilution, caramel, amber, russet), the grades of white spotting and how some of the colours and patterns interact. The page is a live project being updated as new mutations/gene interactions are documented.


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