Our feline friends are very fashionable, and sport a variety of pretty colors and patterns. As it turns out, there are some interesting factors that go into Fluffy’s wardrobe choices. A Burlington, ON vet lists some fun facts about kitty coats in this article.
Brown And Out
Have you ever noticed that you don’t really see brown cats? That’s a bit odd, isn’t it? The truth is that black cats are actually brown: if your furball has a black coat, look at it closely when she’s in the sun. You’ll see that the fur is actually dark brown. You may even notice patterns! However, that doesn’t explain why we don’t usually see kitties with lighter brown coats. We’ll just assume that’s another one of Fluffy’s secrets.
Does your feline pal have a patterned coat? Kitties can wear one of several patterns, including tabby, particolor, tortie, and calico Our feline pals’ skin color shows the patterns of their fur. Fluffy’s ‘toe beans’ will also match the coat color and pattern she’s wearing.
Did you know that the vast majority of them—about 80 percent, to be exact—are boys? This is due to genetics. Girl kitties have two X chromosomes, which carry the gene for orange fur. That means they need copies of the gene from both parents. Boys, however, only need one redheaded parent.
Black cats have suffered from bad PR since at least the Middle Ages, when they were (falsely) accused of witchcraft. Sadly, those old superstitions still have power today. This is unfortunate, because it does affect their adoption rates. Black cats actually make up a disproportionately high percentage of shelter cats, and take longer to be adopted. That’s really unfair! In fact, studies have shown that black pets tend to be extremely sweet and lovable.
There are also some interesting kitty genetics at play with white cats. The gene for white fur is dominant but rare. It basically overrides Fluffy’s recessive fur color genes. This means that the white fur is actually masking your kitty’s true colors. When white cats are born, they usually have a few hairs on the top of their head that show the color they would have been had that white gene not intervened.
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