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Cats/Black Silver Classic bred to Red Spotted Tabby


QUESTION: Hello Norman,
Can you tell me what colors are possible when breeding a silver classic tabby female to a red spotted tabby male (I believe he carries the dilute gene)?
She's had only one litter (by this male) and she had 2 silver blue tabbies and 1 smokey black.
Thank you!

ANSWER: Monette,

If your kitty had blue silver kitties by this male, than both are carrying the density (dilute) gene.

As you may know, the color of the cat is carried on the tail of the X chromosome that is absent on the Y chromosome. So males can carry only one color where females could carry two colors. It is also clear from the previous breeding that both are heterozygous for the agouti gene, so smoke kittens are possible.

The male is a classic, so that is the only pattern he would have.  The spotted tabby could be mackerel or classic tabby underlying the spots.  The spotting system breaks up and existing tabby pattern into spots, and there is much work yes to be done to understand how it works.

As you can see this is a somewhat involved question, so let's break it down into cases.

Males out of this breeding could be brown/blue tabby, black/blue silver tabby, red/cream  tabby, or red/cream silver tabby black/blue solid or black/blue smoke or red/cream solid or red/cream smoke.

Females out of this breeding could be brown/blue patched tabby (torby# or black/blue silver patched tabby #torby) or tortoiseshell/bluecream or tortoiseshell/bluecream smoke.

I think I have covered all the combinations.

Please come back to me with follow up questions.

Best regards... Norm.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


OK - this is great! I appreciate your detailed answer. I guess the hardest part is determining what the colors are once the litters are born. I wish there was a website that showed difference examples of cats and their colors that we could go to to identify colors of kittens!

Here's one more question. I just added a blue golden ticked tabby to my cattery (now have 4 girls). Her sire is a golden ticked tabby and her dam is a black silver classic. Can you tell me what colors she would produce?

Thank you!

Monette () Cattery: Celtic Folds Cattery


Wow does this really complicate everything.

It is only in the last few years we have begun to understand how the ticked tabby pattern and the mackerel/classic tabby pattern interact. There are two separate genes which are co-dominant. So I need to ask one question, first;

Do the ticked tabbies have stripes on the legs and rings on the tail and necklaces or is one or the other ticked but with little or no barring.  Being ticked with little or no barring usually denotes a cat that has 2 copies of the ticked tabby gene turned on, whereas ticking and more pervasive barring usually indicates one copy of the ticked tabby gene turned on and one copy turned off.

Depending on this, depends on how complicated this whole thing can become.  I would just go ahead and do the breedings and see what you get.

As to black silver vs. golden, depends on the silvering gene (which we covered in the answer to your previous question.  The golden has no silvering whereas the black silver has one or two copies of the silvering gene turned on (remember silvering, or the inhibitor gene is dominant).

When you get kittens, please let me know what colors come out.

Best regards... Norm.


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Norman Auspitz


I can answer most non-veterinary questions about cats. My particular expertise is pedigree cats, breeding and showing. However, I am versed in feline behavior, cat breeds and their characteristics, general feline husbandry, and the like.


I judged for the Canadian Cat Association from 1975 until 1982. I am currently an approved allbreed judge for the Cat Fanciers'' Association (the world''s largets cat registry), and have been judging for them since 1991. I have been breeding pedigreed cats since 1971 and have been exhibiting pedigreed cats in shows since 1970. I obtained my first pedigreed cat in 1970 and have never looked back. In 1971, I obtained my first Abyssinian which has become my primary breed. In addition, I have bred Manx and Persians. Currently, besides the Abyssinians, I am also breeding Maine Coons.

Cat Fanciers'' Association, inc. (CFA) and the Manx, Maine Coon, and Abyssinian breed councils. I am currently Abyssinian breed council secretary.

Cat Fancy Magazine, The Abyssinian Chapter in The Cat Fanciers'' Association Complete Cat Book, and Articles for various editions of The Cat Fanciers'' Association Yearbook

I received a B.S. from Drexel University in 1968, a M.Math from University of Waterloo, in 1970, a Ph.D. from University of Waterloo in 1975, and a MBA from McMaster University in 1980. I received my approved allbreed judging status in the Cat Fanciers'' Association in 1999.

Awards and Honors
We have produced a number of Cat Fanciers'' Association (CFA) National winning Abyssinian and Maine Coons. We have produced a number of Abyssinian and Maine Coon Distinguished Merit females (an award for a top producing cat), including the first Distinguished Merit Abyssinian in the red (sorrel) color. I am the CFA Abyssinian breed council secretary and belong and/or hold office in a number of cat clubs. I am also a member of the CFA Judges Association.

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