Your chance to watch a ginger tabby Maine Coon kitten grow up from 2 to 16 weeks of age in a 17 second video

I always like these short videos showing a charming Maine Coon kitten growing up. This breed grows up slowly; still developing at 4-years-of-age they say. And this particular individual is a lovely ginger tabby with a nice little dark smudge on the left side of his nose which I think adds to his attractiveness.

Screen grab of sweet ginger tabby Maine Coon kitten from video below from Lucki Maine Coons on TikTok
Screen grab of sweet ginger tabby Maine Coon kitten from video below from Lucki Maine Coons on TikTok.

He looks very alert and he is going to be a wonderful companion. Anecdotally, it is said that ginger tabbies of any breed or non-purebred have nice characters. It begs the question as to whether the coat colour affects the character or whether both the character of a cat and their coat type and colour are connected. As I recall it can happen that way if the genes that govern both these aspect of a cat are on the same chromosome.

I say “anecdotally” by which I mean cat owners say that their cat is more friendly when their cat is a ginger tabby. That’s the kind of evidence I’m talking about but as it happens there is a study called Coat Colour, Personality Traits and the Cat-Owner Relationship Scale: A Study with Cat Owners in Mexico. It was published online in 2022, April 15 and therefore is quite recent.

It’s interesting because I immediately noticed that the researchers came to the conclusion that “orange cats had the highest scores for being trainable, friendly and calm”. What did I say? It seems that my memory is serving me well. But this study is a survey based on a questionnaire and the result is still anecdotal evidence formalised in a scientific report. But it has value.

They also said that “gray cats had the highest score for being shy, aloof and intolerant”. The best-known purebred, pedigree grey cat is the Russian Blue; a pretty popular cat breed.

RELATED: J.D. Salinger’s Russian Blue Cats

Obviously, if a cat is friendly and calm compared to aloof and intolerant the cat caregiver is going to interact more with the former than the latter. And that’s what happened in this study.

And they also said that, “higher emotional closeness was related with an active, bold and friendly personality, and higher perceived cost was related with lower scores of boldness.”

Also, the following findings were reported in terms of a connection between coat type and personality:

  • Tabbies: bold and active
  • Tricolour: stubborn
  • Bicolour: tolerant

The above three coat types are patterns. The researchers said that there was “no significant differences in personality traits when comparing the groups based on coat colour”.

What they’re saying is that it is the pattern which appears to be linked to personality rather than the colour. I’ve never heard that before.

Most of the participants were women which is common in these sorts of studies. That’s because often single women live alone live with a domestic cat. That is the classic paradigms for cat ownership: independent woman with independent cat!

Only 211 cats were involved in the study and therefore it’s quite a small one which should be taken into account.

Also, despite the negative myths (and they are entirely mythical) surrounding black cats, the study concluded that the predominant trait according to their owners is friendliness. This doesn’t surprise me because black domestic cats are just like any other domestic cat of any colour and almost all domestic cats are friendly. But it goes further apparently.

In fact, I can add to that study finding by quoting from a New York Times bestseller, Temple Grandin in her book Animals Make Us Human.

She recommends that you adopt a black cat from a shelter because, “Black cats especially are friendlier than other cats, are better able to deal with crowding and urban life, and have greater aggregative tendencies which means they are more inclined to live in groups of cats.”

She praises them to the rooftops and says that you should adopt a black shelter cat. Sarah Hartnell, who used to work at a shelter and probably still does and who has a deep knowledge of cats, describes them as “laid-back blacks”.

Link to study: https://doi.org/10.3390%2Fani12081030

RELATED: Are black cats haram?

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Bicolor cats infographic

The infographic by me summarises information about bicolour cats. I hope you find it useful. There are image links to more pages on piebaldism and bicolour cats after the infographic.

Note: I am indebted to Sarah Hartwell of messybeast.com for her knowledge on piebaldism and the images in the middle of the infographic about grading. Other source: me and Gloria Stephens of Legacy of the Cat.

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

Harlequin (cat)

In the cat world ‘harlequin’ is a word that is occasionally (but rarely today) used to describe the bi-colour coat with more white fur than non-white fur. Bicoloured cats are white plus distinct areas of colour. For the harlequin, the coat should be 50-75 per cent white and 50-25 per cent coloured. This coat type is caused by the piebald (white spotting) gene which removes pigmentation from the hair strands which are ‘white’. They are transparent.

The white areas tend to favour the frontal parts of the cat and the undersides.

The word ‘piebald’ is a merging of the second part of the word ‘magpie’ and the word ‘bald’ which describes a lack of pigment in the while areas of the coat. In this instance ‘bald’ means without colour rather than without hair.

The magpie has a bicolour coloration and in the past piebald cats have sometimes been referred to as ‘magpie cats’. The term ‘bicolour’ or ‘bi-colour’ (American: bi-color) found favour over harlequin.

RELATED: Why do magpies harass cats and do they retaliate?

In 1957 a man by the name of Dechambre wrote this about bicolour cats: “By a pied cat is meant any cat with large patches of colour on a white background”. At that time ‘pied’ was used rather than piebald.

In 1970 ‘white spotting’ was used as an alternative to piebald.

In general usage the word ‘harlequin’ means ‘in varied colours; variegated.’ You can see how the word was adopted by the cat fancy to mean a predominantly white bicolour cat.

Here is an example:

Red harlequin cat
Red harlequin cat. Picture in the public domain.

Below are some articles on bicolour cat coats:

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Stunning beauty: extreme high grade 9 white spotting adopted feral cat

Yes, the title is complicated. Deliberately so to catch the eye as does the cat who was adopted as a feral kitten. She grew up to be a genuine beauty: totally white except for a black plumed tail, all on a silky medium-longhair coat.

Adopted feral cat is a real beauty
Adopted feral cat is a real beauty. Click on the image for a slightly larger version. Photo: Reddit user: u/grizzlyperthy

I guess the woman who adopted her saw the beauty in the kitten at an early age. It must have been obvious. The face is very classic and regular. The ears are pink; normal for all-white cats. The nose leather matches the ears.

It is the stunning silky white coat juxtaposed with the black plumed tail which is eye-catching. This a Van type pattern except there are no inverted ‘V’ markings between the ears on the head.

This is a bicolour cat (solid and white). The piebald aka white spotting gene created this coat. High grade white spotting goes from 6-10. You can see the chart below.

Please click on the image to see a much larger version which is more readable. You will stay on this page as the link opens a new tab.

The cat’s name is Kiba.

Bicolours
Bicolours. The chart is by Sarah Hartwell of messybeastc.com. Many thanks. CLick on the image for a larger version.

SOME MORE ON WHITE SPOTTING:

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Picture of a domestic cat who wears her heart on her sleeve

If English is your language, you have probably heard of the phrase “to wear your heart on your sleeve”. However, if case English is not your native language, it means to show your emotions and feelings. Nowadays it can be a form of mild criticism denoting that the person is overly emotional and cannot control their feelings. I would disagree with that because I think it can be a good thing if a person wears their heart on their sleeve. But in this photograph, we have a literal example! Although domestic cats don’t have sleeves on which to wear their heart, they do have fur and this cat has a small heart-shaped pattern on each sleeve! It is the first time I have seen two hearts in these positions on a domestic cat. Sometimes you see black fur in the shape of a heart on a cat’s flank (see below) or under the chin but I think this example is the best I have seen. This is a bicolour cat.

THERE ARE SOME MORE INTERESTING BICOLOR CATS AT THE BASE OF THE PAGE.

Picture of cat who wears her heart on her sleeve
Picture of a domestic cat who wears her heart on her sleeve. Photo in the public domain.

The piebald gene (white spotting gene) caused this marking. It masks the black fur to varying amounts making those areas white. In this instance it almost covers the entire body leaving these small, black heart shapes. This is a random outcome and not the result of a God given design!

As a postscript, the phrase to wear your heart on your sleeve comes from the era before William Shakespeare in which a woman tied “her favour to a man’s leave”. I presume this to mean a tying a piece of cloth, perhaps a handkerchief, around the arm of the man she loves. He wears it as a sign of their love for each other. William Shakespeare coined the idiom in his play Othello from the year 1601: “But I will wear my heart upon my sleeves for daws to peck at”. The word ‘daws’ was a reference to jackdaws.

Here is another heart shaped patch of fur. This is more typical.

Hearts and Moustaches on cats
Heart shaped patch on the cat’s flank. Picture in the public domain.

SOME MORE ON CAT COATS:

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Amazing pattern on grade 8 bicolor cat

You’ve probably never seen a domestic cat coat like this before. The coat is bicolour meaning two colours: white and dark brown in this instance. The coats are sometimes referred to as ‘solid-and-white’. This coat is very strange because of the dark stripe running down the length of the spine. The markings on the forehead are reminiscent of the Turkish Van inverted V marking. There are dark patches behind the ear flaps (pinnae). This is reminiscent of the tabby cat.

The first question is whether the photos are genuine. Sarah Hartwell (messybeast.com) believes that the cat is neither dyed this pattern nor is the photo edited. It’s genuine she believes. In which case this is a very unusual and rare cat. Note: sometimes people do dye their cats. Remember the painted cats? They were amazing but they were not painted or dyed. They were photo-edited very cleaverly. Click here if you’d like to see some.

The photos of this strange cat went viral on social media in Feb 2021. Sarah is a cat genetics wizard but she’s unsure of the finer points of the genetics behind this cat except to say that it is probably caused by the piebald gene or white spotting gene as all bicolour cats are.

She writes that the face has some ‘ticking’ indicating that it is a tabby pattern. There are bicolor tabbies but this cat looks like a standard bicolour except for the amazing coat. The experts grade bicolor cats by the amount of white fur. Cats with very small amounts of white are graded 1 and cats with lots of white are graded 9. I suspect that this cat would be graded around 7-8.

She believes that it might be a primitive pattern seen on some mammals. It appears to be very similar to a cat depicted in an ancient painting from Thailand (see above) which is why she has called it a ‘Thai pattern’.

The cat is not purebred to the best of my knowledge. She certainly does on look purebred. She is a moggy but a bloody rare, perhaps unique, moggy.

Some peole ask ‘Cat cats be piebald’? The answer is yes. Perhaps they think piebald only applies to horses. It does not.

SOME MORE ON BICOLOR CATS:

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