I don't see many brown cats. This one was on my back porch waiting for b'fast this a.m. I've seen it from a distance a time or two but this is the first time I've really seen it up close in the daylight.
I think her (???) coloring is really neat. And I guess it's time to break out the trap again. I'm in the same group as others here - you show up and stay around, you get fixed.
Happily, she seems a bit less fearful of me than I thought she'd be.
We have a brown cat too!! I always thought he was black until he was sleeping next to a black cat!! He is really chocolate brown - no tabby stripes, but a "smoke" with a white undercoat and bright green eyes!! Over the years we've gotten some really cool colored cats thanks to a roving tom cat. Now all the females are spayed, so no new colors.
What a sweet face! She's not JUST brown though, from her face markings you can see she's a tabby, likely a dilute. I've also seen cats who are a mix of tortie and tabby (likely some form of chimerism) which would give you a similar coloration.
Brown cats DO exist, but the colors range dramatically. Imagine a siamese, their tips are dark brown and it fades to cream, any of those shades are brown. I have a random SPCA kitten who is VERY dark brown, but as she's indoor only you can only tell if you see her next to our true back tuxedo cat. Makes me think deep dark brown might not be as rare as we think, just hard to notice unless next to a true black.
Why yes, I *AM* a color geek!
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No, not all brown. But I don't see many cats of this color at all so I just thought she/he was neat. Her color looks like a root beer float to me. It looks like a little silver is running through her coat so I would say there's at least some tabby mix in there somewhere.
Hmmm... I'm now off to find out what "chimerism" means. I've never heard that word before.
The cat is a brown tabby, the markings on the face are clearly tabby markings but there is some kind of dilution factor in there.
Cat colour gentics are quite as interesting as horse colour genetics - for example, colour point cats (not all are Siamese) are the result of a restricted albino gene where the white portion is restricted by the body temperature, leaving the extremities dark. To make that gene more confusing, there are base colours - seal, chocolate, and red - then come the dilutions: blue, lilac and cream, then the oddities: tortie and lynx. I researched colour point because I have had a few show up in the kittens here, the latest being a lilac frost, a dilution of chocolate, with the frost gene. There are also variations on the common silver, brown and red tabbies with frost genes, dilutions, and many other factors that affect not only colour but pattern.
A good explanation of a chimera is a tortise shell tom cat: they have both the black and red gene which is sex related. Tortie and calico toms may not be sterile but they only reproduce red while tortie and calico females can produce kittens of any colour; I have a blue and white tom whose mother is a dilute tortie that belongs to a friend of mine. She also has a true tortie tom that showed up on her doorstep last winter. I dunno if it means anything but he shows no interest in females, but acts just like a neutered tom.
A chimera is when one fetus grows around another incorporating it's DNA so different places on the animal will test with different DNA results. Some of the brindle horses are chimeras and there are some oddly spotted horses that are chimeras. Patchworked!
A male calico or tortie is an XXY individual as the cat colors are carried on the X so a male cat with a black on one X and a red on the other X will be calico or tortie. Most of them are sterile and even if not could only pass on red OR black.
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Colours in cats are faascinating. I really only started looking into colours a short while ago, but came across themessybeast when I was researching tails of all things, as I had two born here with curled tails. One, sadly, died last winter (laryngeal paralysis in cats is fatal - they usually don't make it past kittenhood, and this guy was 6) but his brother is still here.
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sk_pacer, thanks for that link. Lots of info there. I'll probably end up spending a lot of time reading there. Curly tails? I've never seen that, either. My blue point siamese that I had growing up had a kink in the end of her tail, but I've never seen curls in any cats I've been around (a lot!) LOL! Sorry to hear about the one that died.
Originally Posted by Penthilisea
I have a random SPCA kitten who is VERY dark brown, but as she's indoor only you can only tell if you see her next to our true back tuxedo cat. Makes me think deep dark brown might not be as rare as we think, just hard to notice unless next to a true black.
There are a bunch of cream (dilute orange) or cream and white cats here that I consider mine now. They are semi feral but I've had them all fixed and I feed them. Not tabbies, though. Also a couple of regular grey tabbies. There are also two black and white toms - one now not a tom anymore - that show up sometimes. I've just been seeing this brown one lately, though. There is/was a lot around here that could have been adding to the gene pool. People don't seem to spay/neuter much around here. Grrr!
Thanks everyone for the info! It's really interesting.
I haven't been able to get a good shot of Tippy, the living brother. Outside shots make him look faceless except for the green eyes and I never even thought to try for a picture of him when he was in for the winter. His curled tail is really a barometer of how he feels - the happier he is, the tighter the curl although he never did lay it flat on his back like Streak used to.
A friend and I have speculated that perhaps the ringed tail is an extreme expression of the tail kinking gene in some Siamese (the ones that can unkink it), since this line of cats do have a good shot of Siamese in them: head shape, body shape and the behaviour all show they have a good dose of meezer in them. That same site I posted earler also shows odd tails, and probably better pics than mine. At any rate, cats with curled tails look neat.
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