Cat genetics white spotting

Strange bicolour cat

My book on cat genetics (Robinson’s) tells me that there are three kinds of white spotting. Actually, it includes the all-white cat within cats described as having white spotting but, in this article, I will describe the following three types, (a) piebald spotting (b) gloving and (c) brisket spots and lockets. The pure white …

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White domestic cats often make bad mothers

Deaf white cats

The title sounds unfair and biased but it isn’t as it is based in biological fact. The prevalence of deafness in pure white domestic cats varies depending on whether they have two blue eyes (the highest proportion of deaf cats), odd-eye colour or non-blue eyes (least likely to be deaf in both ears). Where …

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Theory for the reason why grey cats are ‘blue’ (infographic)

Blue Female Scottish Fold12

You know that in the cat fancy grey cats are called blue cats. The best known is the ‘Blue British Shorthair’. This is a grey-furred cat. Grey fur is caused by the presence of the dilution gene. It causes the melanin pigment clumps in each hair strand to be dispersed with gaps as shown …

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Why are tortoiseshell cats nearly always female?

Dilute tortoiseshell Maine Coon photo by Robert Sijka

As you might well imagine, the reason why tortoiseshell cats are nearly always female is to do with the genetics and how the genes that dictate the coat colour and pattern are linked to the sex of the cat. Female mammals have 2 X chromosomes while males have one X and one Y chromosome. …

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What does ‘agouti’ mean in cats?

Common agouti

We see the word ‘agouti’ used a lot in the world of cats, particularly the world of cat breeders. This is because it is a word that indirectly refers to a very common type of coat; those with the tabby pattern. These are ticked, classic (blotched), striped (mackerel) and spotted. In the cat world …

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4-eared cats have 2 functioning ears

Midas a female cat with 2 normal ears and 2 extra ear flaps

It’s a point worth making. Domestic cats with 4 ears have 2 functioning ears. The extra pair, which are smaller than the original functioning ears, are, in fact, a pair of ear flaps (pinnae). They are appendages and no more. There are no ear canals that go from them into the skull to the …

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A non-hunting hypoallergenic domestic cat


The domestic cat is a brilliant companion animal for millions. However, the relationship is imperfect. There are two aspects of domestic cats which return in discussion forums like bad pennies over and over again: allergies to cats and bringing in dead or alive mice and birds. THERE ARE MORE PAGES ON GENETICS AT THE …

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