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View Full Version : Cat color/sex...can males be dilute? *With pics post 28.



RedMare01
Aug. 7, 2010, 02:54 PM
A quick question. We have a stray/feral cat hanging around the house. (Apparently they know where to find the suckers, because we already have three cats indoors :lol:.) DH and I, being the aforementioned suckers, have been feeding it and it's already gotten much less skitish. Last night s/he let me get within a few feet. So we're making progress.

As to the question...the cat is light grey with a marbled swirly pattern in very light grey. I know dilute tortis are 99.9% always female. (I know this because we already have a dilute torti female :sigh: :lol:). So far, I can't tell if there is any of the peachy color of a torti in the swirly part of his/her fur. If so, obviously a girl. But...DH swears he saw male kitty parts on the kitty?

So can male cats be dilute? I know they can be solid grey, but this is the lighter grey of a torti?

We will trap/neuter/release (...or not depending on the temperament of the cat... :sigh: ;)) either way, but knowing the sex would be helpful. And I would prefer to just have one kitty to deal with and not five or six.

Caitlin

ReSomething
Aug. 7, 2010, 03:10 PM
I have what I've heard of described as a soft grey tabby, he is male, and he looks an awful lot like my MIL's female in coat color. Honestly I'd say there's a little orange in the midriff hair/belly hair. I'd never seen the coat color until moving here to KY, or anything I'd describe as a dilute torti either, my MIL's cat was the first I'd seen like that, so it may be a regional/local variation, like polydactyl cats.

Wayside
Aug. 7, 2010, 03:13 PM
Tortis and calicos are nearly always female, dilute or otherwise. Black and orange are base colors carried on the X-chromosome. Females have two X-chromosomes, and can have one copy of orange, and one copy of black. Males, being XY, should only have one X-chromosome with either Black or Orange, and not both. However, there are chromosomal abnormalities in rare instances, male cats that are, for example, XXY, or chimeric.

That being said, I have seen a fair number of sort of mottled grey cats that look like they could maybe be dilute torties that are really just some variety of grey male kitties.

Lazy Palomino Hunter
Aug. 7, 2010, 03:14 PM
I believe that tortoiseshell requires two X chromosomes, as both orange and black are carried on X.

"Male" tortis are actually XXY.

Kitty version of Kleinefelter's Syndrome. :) Rare, but it happens! Shouldn't cause any long-term health problems.

RedMare01
Aug. 7, 2010, 03:20 PM
Thanks. I've always lived in this area and have seen dilute torties, although maybe not as often as other cats, so I've not thought about them being uncommon.

To make it easier...this is Sadie (http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2541202290065236473fIOhzm), the dilute torti I already have. Now picture a cat without the peach color and no white. Just the two shades of grey. Could that cat be male? Everything I'm reading says dilute tricolor cats are female...but what about dilute bicolor cats? :lol: I'm really curious now!

Caitlin

Wayside
Aug. 7, 2010, 03:25 PM
Might be the same color as my Big Fluffy Kitty, who is male.

http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2071938170100789832lKYYGu

And for those of you following the thread for OT day, I'm sorry to say that this picture was when he first came home with me, so it was prior to any cat shaving adventures :lol:

RedMare01
Aug. 7, 2010, 03:29 PM
Might be the same color as my Big Fluffy Kitty, who is male.

http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2071938170100789832lKYYGu

And for those of you following the thread for OT day, I'm sorry to say that this picture was when he first came home with me, so it was prior to any cat shaving adventures :lol:

Pretty kitty! This one doesn't have the beige-ish cast to it's fur. Just two shades of grey in a marbled swirly pattern.

I will take pics, but it will probably be tomorrow. Heading to a horse show tonight!

Caitlin

ReSomething
Aug. 7, 2010, 03:38 PM
I have no pics but Felix is a short hair, dark grey on the spine, dark grey through the midriff with no visible striping or swirling but from the front has a tiger collar, very faint M, tiger leg stripes and a tiger tail. From the back and if you flip him over he has Big Fluffy's orangey peach, not dark but definitely not white on the soft undertail hair and belly hair.

My MIL's female is a little more tabby, you can see the swirls, definitely not a dilute tortie as there is no patching.

Wayside
Aug. 7, 2010, 03:39 PM
Thank you!

Fluffers and my other cat, Alvin, were dumped at a barn I used to board at. Both of them were declawed, and had no idea how to fend for themselves, so they came come with me.

Though I'm no expert on cat color genetics, I'm guessing that you've got more of a dilute tabby color if it's just varying shades of grey? If there's no peach/red/orange, then it's probably not a torti.

Rubyfree
Aug. 7, 2010, 03:41 PM
Males can be dilute. It *sounds* like what you are describing is more of a marbled tabby than a dilute torti.

I bet s/he is really cool looking. I love grey cats. :D

TKR
Aug. 7, 2010, 04:05 PM
Any two colors patterns, light or dark can be male. The 3 colors are all female except in rare cases and then pretty much sterile. The swirl pattern of a tabby is the "classic tabby", the striped is called a "mackeral tabby" because the pattern resembles a fish skeleton. They can also have spots -- I have a really pretty kitten who was born to a feral mother that is tabby stripes and spots and she's also a dilute torti. Very pretty kitten! I also have a dilute torti who could be Sadie's twin at the barn. The pretty kitten's mother is a mostly grey torti that also looks like she has some Maine Coon cat in there by the looks of her face and her fur. She's beautiful, too. She's been spayed, dewormed, shots, deflea'd and released and I feed her at the barn. Still need to nab the Tom and one kitten that was missed. God bless you for taking on the kitty who needs some help! We have alot and they all have a story!
PennyG

sk_pacer
Aug. 7, 2010, 07:48 PM
I think what you have is a tabby, the pattern called classic. Any cat can be dilute - blue is dilute and I have a blue here with classic tuxedo markings

Some pics of different tabby markings can be found here: http://www.cc.ysu.edu/~helorime/TabPat.html

hoopoe
Aug. 8, 2010, 10:42 AM
I agree with sk sounds like yu are seeing the less common "classic" tabby

Perhaps a silver- gray or a smoke dilution

this is my classic tabby, ignore the fat wibble

http://www.flickr.com/photos/meanderingwa/4864933996/

CatOnLap
Aug. 8, 2010, 10:49 AM
Ooh Hoopoe, looks a lot like my male kitty! including the wibble!

http://images.yuku.com/image/pjpeg/9ff26d815424b660c610cb0477f89f0d355cd0ce.jpg

hoopoe
Aug. 8, 2010, 11:53 AM
aka "Panther pouch"

though wibble is more approachable

"I pinch your wibble!!!"

Coyoteco
Aug. 8, 2010, 01:00 PM
This has probably been said already, but here goes.
Most cats that are three colors are famale. However, a color can be the same color but dilute. When that happens, it is still just two colors.
Such as a gray tabby who has some beige on it. That cat isn't technically "three colors".
I had asked my vet about a young male cat we had. He appeared to have three colors, white, gray and brown. She said that was technically still only two colors with a dilute gene on one of them.

tikihorse2
Aug. 8, 2010, 06:01 PM
As a cat lover, I just have to say that everyone's cats are simply gorgeous! Skritchies all around to them! :yes:

"Panther pouch", "wibble", LOL! One of my nephews named it "dingleflop" when he was little because of the way it flops when the cat runs!

Great thread--please keep the pics of the kitties coming. My tortie is just an ordinary red/black tortie, so I love seeing the beautiful variations. :)

Kim

summerhorse
Aug. 8, 2010, 11:27 PM
I have/had several male dilutes, my friend has a gorgeous little dilute cream boy right now she's fostering.

RedMare01
Aug. 8, 2010, 11:42 PM
Thanks guys! So he could be a boy!

He's still hanging around, but he comes right at dark and it's hard to get pics.

I think he's curious about our cats in the house. He will come up and eat the food I put out on the patio table (have to put it up high so that the dog across the street won't eat it...grrr). Then he will sit at the patio door and stare in the house. Two out of my three cats are fascinated at this development...:lol:. Tonight I opened the window next to the door and talked to him while he was sitting there. He looked at me like I was crazy, but stayed for quite awhile.

Caitlin

walktrot
Aug. 9, 2010, 06:05 PM
My truly huge lavender oriental shorthair male with very muddy tabby pattern is reading this thread with me. My other little guy is red with a lousy tabby pattern. He's off somewhere complaining. I've read any number of times that if you really want to understand color genetics, study the orientals. More colors and patterns.

columbus
Aug. 9, 2010, 11:24 PM
I was taught the classic pattern is a butterfly tabby. The wibble is a tiger pouch. Dilute torty tabby is a torby. I have an orange and white mackrel tabby who has dark spots...the kids at the clinic I adopted from called him Dirty Kitty and it does look like dirt. Very definately a third color but less than a half inch square of third color volume and only on one side and the front quarter including the head. Almost like a bloodly shoulder marking on an Arabian. PatO

hoopoe
Aug. 10, 2010, 10:42 AM
tri - color ( calico) does not refer to any three colors but rather black red (orange) and white

here is an excellent page that talks about tordie and its dilutions

http://www.seregiontica.org/Colors/tortietorbie/tortietorbie.htm

Rubyfree
Aug. 10, 2010, 01:12 PM
OK, I thought I had a fairly functional layman's grasp of feline color genetics but this thread has shown me the error of that thinking. Clarify for me please?

I have always called black, red & white in large splotches calico. Black & red in closer company with no white tortoiseshell. Gray & peach dilute tortie, gray peach and white dilute calico. I guess I have been using horse terms for further variations :lol:- IE "few spot" for a mostly white cat, etc. So is "Calico" no longer used? It's just tortie with variations in the amount of white?

Examples from my feline herd, past and present:

Harley is in the middle here, she is what I call a Tortie:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v203/rubystheory/happycats.jpg
(That big guy on the end of the catpile was a true "Smoke", shock white roots under very black ends.)

Callie, AKA Girlygirlcatcat, what I call a "Dilute few spot calico" :lol:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v203/rubystheory/IMG_1157.jpg

Hope, what I call Calico.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v203/rubystheory/IMG_0930.jpg



Also, why are most orange cats male if the red is carried on the X? I'm assuming it's because a female getting red and another color on the other X will end up tortie, right?

grayarabpony
Aug. 10, 2010, 03:50 PM
OK, I thought I had a fairly functional layman's grasp of feline color genetics but this thread has shown me the error of that thinking. Clarify for me please?

I have always called black, red & white in large splotches calico. Black & red in closer company with no white tortoiseshell. Gray & peach dilute tortie, gray peach and white dilute calico. I guess I have been using horse terms for further variations :lol:- IE "few spot" for a mostly white cat, etc. So is "Calico" no longer used? It's just tortie with variations in the amount of white?

Examples from my feline herd, past and present:

Harley is in the middle here, she is what I call a Tortie:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v203/rubystheory/happycats.jpg
(That big guy on the end of the catpile was a true "Smoke", shock white roots under very black ends.)

Callie, AKA Girlygirlcatcat, what I call a "Dilute few spot calico" :lol:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v203/rubystheory/IMG_1157.jpg

Hope, what I call Calico.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v203/rubystheory/IMG_0930.jpg



Also, why are most orange cats male if the red is carried on the X? I'm assuming it's because a female getting red and another color on the other X will end up tortie, right?

Yes to your last question.

Here's an explanation: http://www.bio.miami.edu/dana/dox/calico.html. Calicos are tortoiseshell plus have a gene for "piebalding".

And an explanation of the orange gene:

"Unlike other coat color genes, the gene that determines red coloration can be carried only on the X chromosome. If you look at pictures of chromosomes (they look a bit like X-shaped breakfast cereal, with long arms), you will see that the X chromosome is normal sized in relation to other things, but the Y chromosome is smaller. It can't carry the gene that determines red color; only the X chromosome can do that.
The gene that determines red or orange coloration in cats is designated as O (for orange).

O = orange
o = non-orange
If the cat inherits an O pattern proper for its gender (I'll explain that in the following sections), the cat will be red or orange (I'll just continue to call it orange, even though most cat associations refer to this as red). This orange will cover up all other colors, except pure white. If the cat inherits an o pattern proper for its gender, it won't be orange." from http://www.petqna.com/cat/1-2839-cat-petqna.html. The first part reads like nonsense, gets better as you go down.

Rubyfree
Aug. 10, 2010, 04:00 PM
Thank you GAP. I'm studying up.

Before the last couple of years I had never known an orange female cat; lo and behold there are three at the barn, two solid and one orange and white.

grayarabpony
Aug. 10, 2010, 04:20 PM
My husband always said he wanted an orange cat and now we have one!

This cat http://inlinethumb21.webshots.com/47508/2726254380104972421S600x600Q85.jpg

showed up with a litter of 4 kittens 12 years ago, these two

http://inlinethumb17.webshots.com/38928/2634927190104972421S600x600Q85.jpg

http://inlinethumb41.webshots.com/46120/2777751840104972421S600x600Q85.jpg

and two brown tabby kittens. We gave the brown tabbies to someone who wanted barn cats (we never could tame them, even though mom and the two other siblings stuck to people like velcro cats) and kept the other two, and mom.


Edit: Hmm, here's another piece of info:

"What is the difference between a Calico and a Tortoiseshell? And what in heck is a Torbie?

The difference between a calico and a tortoiseshell is this:

With a calico, there is a significant amount of white, and the two colors are broken up into distinct patches. This has to do with the interaction of white spotting.

With a tortoiseshell, the three colors are blended and don't form distinct patches. A tortoiseshell may have significant portions of white as well, but the remaining colors are blended (this particular pattern is called a tortoiseshell and white).

A torbie, or patched tabby, is a tortoiseshell where the tabby pattern is very distinct all over the cat. A calico or tortoiseshell may have distinct tabby pattern on the red or cream patches (has to do with another gene we won't get into at this juncture), but no patterning on the other color. This isn't a torbie. A torbie is clearly patterned all over the cat -- though never on the white. " from http://fanciers.com/cat-faqs/tricolors.shtml#truetri



What do you call her? RF before you asked your question I always thought of her as tortoishell/ tabby (torby) with white socks and bib. I guess she is because of the combination of colors (the blue and cream are blended but the white is not)?

http://inlinethumb17.webshots.com/46288/2241202030104972421S600x600Q85.jpg

Rubyfree
Aug. 10, 2010, 04:47 PM
If I'm reading that right I'd still call your cat a tortie with white, a dilute one.

And I would still call Harley (1st link in my post above) a tortie and Hope (3rd link) a calico.

I am not sure what Callie would be- still calico, I guess. No marbling of her colors.

RedMare01
Aug. 10, 2010, 08:28 PM
Very interesting discussion. I had not heard of a torbie. According to those links, Sadie is actually a blue torbie.

Back to the original kitty, he finally came a little earlier than normal, and here are some pics. Still not positive that he's a boy, but I guess he's a classic tabby as far as color pattern goes! What do you guys think?

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/album.php?aid=30697&id=100000166839656

I made the pics available to everyone, so hopefully everyone can see!

Caitlin

Pancakes
Aug. 10, 2010, 09:49 PM
This is a very interesting thread!

I looked at the Torbies/Torties color page someone linked to, and I am really surprised to say that I have a male cat whose coloring is very similar to the brown mackerel torbie below!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/riverkeeper/4500282989/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/riverkeeper/4162242585/
I think he's a classic tabby though.

He does have some white on his chin/chest, not as much as the picture would suggest though (sun glare).

Could he be an XXY then!? He's always had such a tawny belly.
His "brother" is full orange mackerel tabby. (they may have been from the same litter but we don't know....they were definitely from the same stray colony).

vineyridge
Aug. 10, 2010, 10:01 PM
Coyoteco, now I'm confused.

I have a male barn cat. He's definitely dilute. He has peach and gray on his male parts and ears and one very light leg, but is predominately white. The peach is so light you'd miss it in places. He's also got some stripes on the gray on his back and legs. Are you saying that he ISN'T a tri-colored male?

Lazy Palomino Hunter
Aug. 10, 2010, 10:32 PM
What do you guys think?

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/album.php?aid=30697&id=100000166839656

I vote blue classic tabby. :) XY.

Rubyfree
Aug. 10, 2010, 11:32 PM
I also vote classic tabby, not marbled as I'd guessed before pics.

I think we're encountering confusion based on the assumption that three colors must be female, and that isn't so- as Hoopoe mentioned, the "must be female" comes into play only with black/red and sometimes white coloration usually referred to as calico or tortie. The way I'm framing this mentally- tri-colored paint or red & black brindle must = girl. Everything else is "Wait until you see the whites of their hardware". White isn't an indicator of xxy, etc- white, as in horses, is often "bling". Markings, chrome, over the regular pattern. Right?....

Pancakes, I'd think your guy is just a plain ol' XY tabby with some bling. Handsome though, I would bet. :) I

Vineyridge, I'd love to see pics of your boy cat.

pintopiaffe
Aug. 11, 2010, 12:22 AM
I LOVE this thread. :p

Viney--are you sure it's dilute red?

Or is it brown makeral... the brown makerals have 'peachy' coloured bits, but it's really just brown 'points' the way a bay has black points. ;) (legs, ears, chest, nose, etc. )

Callie is a classic COON CAT in appearance. That refined face, and all that tufty fluff. A double coat and large paws I bet? She's lovely. I had a dilute calico coon...

Redmare--your guy is Ceo's cousin for sure. Ceo is a dilute 'tiger.' Mama (Claire) is that blue-grey, she could pretty much pass for a russian blue. Ceo and Tadgh came out twins, but Ceo is dilute. Lastly, Domnaigh (DEFINITELY a boy... though I thought he was a she until the dangly bits appeared... :rolleyes: ) is also dilute, though his tiger (makeral tabby) is very faint.

My ginger kitty, Paidir, was orange, but had grey points. His paws looked dirty from the knees/hocks down. I always wondered about that.

Rubyfree
Aug. 11, 2010, 08:05 AM
Callie is a classic COON CAT in appearance. That refined face, and all that tufty fluff. A double coat and large paws I bet? She's lovely. I had a dilute calico coon...


Yup, and she loveslovesLOVES playing in water.