Why are gray cats called blue?

Gray cats are called ‘blue’ because the gray coat has a faint blue tint. This is because the grey coated cat is genetically a dilute black coat; the effect of the presence of the dilution gene.

The Russian Blue cat breed is gray but the breeder who created the breed decided to use the word ‘blue’ rather than ‘gray’ because cat breeders prefer blue to gray. Why? Because it sounds more interesting and technical. They could have called the breed ‘the Russian Gray’.

You’ll see some blue (gray) British Shorthairs from Russia looking almost blue! Weird (see below). How do they achieve that? Judicious use of vegetable die 😉

Russian Blue Brit SH

Russian Blue Brit SH. Excessively blue. Is this photo editing or a paint job!

A red (ginger) cat with dilution makes cream and you’ll see dilute calico cats (a faint tortie-and-white coat) – see below.

Dilute Calico cat

Dilute Calico cat (Tortie-and-white). Photo: public domain now.

In conclusion blue is gray and cat breeders prefer to use the term ‘blue’ over ‘gray’ as it makes the cat more marketable. That’s my opinion.

See a page on the cat coats affected by the dilution gene: click here.




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About Michael Broad

Michael is retired! He retired at age 57 and at Aug 2018 is approaching 70. He worked in many jobs. The last job he did was as a solicitor practicing general law. He loves animals and is passionate about animal welfare. He also loves photography and nature. He hates animal abuse. He has owned and managed this site since 2007. There are around 13k pages so please use the custom search facility!

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