White spotting gene charts

Here is a series of very useful charts showing various aspects of the effect of the presence of the white spotting gene including theories on how the gene works to create varying amounts of white fur. The charts come from Sarah Hartwell’s messybeast.com website with her permission. Sarah is the graphic artist. Talented lady.

The images on this page are thumbnails. This means that if you click on them you are taken to a large image with readable text! It is vital therefore that visitors click on the images if they are to benefit from them. If you are into cat coats, these charts will be interesting and useful. You can return to this page by clicking the browser’s back button.

The white spotting gene (also known as the piebald gene) causes cats to have variable amounts of white fur on a range of cat coats from solid colored coats, tabby cats to tortoiseshell coats. When the coat is solid colored, and the white spotting gene results in their being white fur as well, the coat is described as solid-and-white. Tortoiseshell-and-white is called ‘calico’ in the USA. Where there is lots of white fur with inverted triangular shaped solid colored fur around the ears the coat is the Van pattern and so on.

In general, where there is one copy of the piebald gene the cat will have a white coat anywhere between 0% and 50% of the total area of the coat. If there are two copies of the gene the amount of white fur will be between 50% to 100% of the total area.

Low grade white spotting means there is less that 40% white fur while high grade white spotting means the coat is more than 60% white.

Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important

The white spotting gene can cause odd-eye colors and deafness. What percentage of cats with blue eyes are deaf? Blue eyes are pigmentless eyes which can be caused by the piebald gene.

Links to more information:

Source: Messybeast.com

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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2 Responses

  1. Michele S. says:

    All three of my cats have some degree of white fur, so this is interesting information. Especially the differing theories as to how the spotting gene works in distributing colour. Looking at my own cats, I’m guessing it’s possible that all three theories could be correct.

    Phoebe has grade 2 spotting. She’s a ginger tabby with a tiny locket of white on her chest and little tufts of white fur on some toes, which is only visible when her paws are viewed from the underside. Charley is a grade 5 ginger tabby and white, whereas Horace is a grade 7 white cat with a few black patches and a black tail.

  1. September 29, 2021

    […] piebald gene (white spotting gene) caused this marking. It masks the black fur to varying amounts making those areas white. In this […]

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