|The face of a silver tortie tabby and white kitten - she has |
red, black, white and silver colours in her coat
|Hey, I'm unmodified! So I look black all over. And I'm four weeks old, so there.|
|The kitten on the left is a red and white girl fathered by a tortie mother |
and a red tabby and white father
|A variety of Vieuxtemps kittens including a cream tabby boy, right - cream is the |
dilute version of red. (The funny little white one from a different, younger, litter!)
|Vieuxtemps Rosa, silver tabby and white kitten aged eleven weeks|
Tabby is dominant over non tabby. In genetics, the word Agouti is used for tabby and the gene has code A (tabby) a (non tabby).
A cat without the Agouti gene means it will appear solid coloured. Cats cannot carry the Agouti gene. So two solid cats can never have tabby offspring. Tabby cats can carry solid genes however, so two tabby cats can have solid offspring.
The effect of the Agouti gene on a black coat is to make the black brown. Hence, a brown tabby cat is genetically a black tabby (which is the term used in FIFe).
|This brown tabby and white kitten, Vieuxstemps Snygging, is technically |
black and white with added tabby!
All NFCs have a pair of tabby pattern genes, even if they do not have the gene that makes them a tabby cat. Sometimes “ghost” markings can be seen in solid coloured kittens, in some lights. The markings can always be seen in a red or cream cat, regardless whether or not it is tabby.
Spotted is actually classic or blotched, but with a broken pattern. In other breeds (such as Bengals) there are other spotted genes (eg rosettes, like leopards) and also the marble pattern, but not in NFCs.
Classic is recessive to mackerel, and mackerel is recessive to ticked. Ticked coats are sometimes known as “wild pattern” abroad as they are similar to the coat of a wild rabbit, hare, fox etc. There are no stripes or spots but instead each hair has several bands of contrasting colour, with the darkest colour at the tip.
There is some controversy over ticked tabby NFCs outside of Norway. Some people suspect that Somalis have been bred with NFCs to get this pattern. However going back to ticked novices, they were found in the Norwegian countryside the same as the other patterns. We do not know what is behind any of our Forest Cats but we do know that the Vikings travelled to places where there were ticked cats.
|Silver tortie tabby girl showing classic tabby pattern|
|Kyrrekatt Kohinoor, one of my very first Forest Cats |
(photo by Kevin Reah)