What Color Will My Kittens Be?
PLEASE NOTE: These
genetics articles were written by Mindy Ferreira, and are the sole
property of the author including the tables that were developed.
All living things are made up of cells, inside each cell there are chromosomes, long strands of genetic material. These chromosomes are arranged in pairs: 19 pairs in a cat, 38 chromosomes. The chromosomes, under a microscope, have many many light and dark bands. These light and dark bands are the genes. Each gene is the code for a single feature or group of features, and each gene has a corresponding gene on the other half of its pair.
There are two basic types of behavior with the genes we are looking at: Dominant or Recessive.
A dominant trait will be displayed no matter what the other half of the pair contains. It requires only one gene, on one chromosome.
A recessive trait will be displayed only if BOTH halves of the chromosome pair contain this same gene. The cat needs two copies of this gene, one on each chromosome.
Many of the genes in the cat are indicated by a symbol, using letters of the alphabet. The capital letters are the dominant form of that gene, the lower case letters are the recessive form. The two genes we are looking at in the color prediction table below are:
For those who would rather not try to remember everything, there is a color prediction software program available free for download:
Feline Genetics Primer and FREE Feline Genetics Software
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