Dominance of genes

Genetic terms in cats
Genome of the cat
Dominance of genes
Cat Breeding techniques
Crossing Table 1
Crossing Table 2
Crossing Table 3
Gene A: Agouti
Gene B: Black
Gene C: Full colour
Gene D: Diluted
Gene Dm: Dilute modifier
Gene Fd: Folded ears
Gene I: Inhibitor
Gene L: Shorthair
Gene Mc: Mackerel
Gene O: Orange
Gene S: Piebald spotting
Gene W: White
Gene XY: Sex
Quality Points for Cats


Dominance of genes in cats

abbreviation meaning dominance possible combinations phenotype


Agouti dominant A A
A a
coat colour with tabby pattern


non-agouti recessive a a coat colour without tabby pattern


Black dominant B B
B b
B bl
coat colour uniform black

In Pointed cats (f.e. Colourpoints), Burmese, Siamese the colour is called seal.
In Orientals these cats are called Ebony.


chocolate recessive b b
b bl
coat colour chocolate brown

In Orientals these cats are called Havanna.


cinnamon recessive bl bl coat colour cinnamon

In Abyssinian, Somali the colour is called sorrel.



full Colour dominant C C
C cs
C cb
coat is full coloured,  without points - no mask


Burmese points recessive cb cb Burmese points - coat colour is seal brown (called sable).

In lighter colours the points can be seen better, the points are of the same colour as the coat colour but slightly darker.

cb cs Tonkinese points


Siamese points recessive cs cs coat colour with points:
  • mask on the face
  • legs and tail are coloured with the same colour as the mask
  • light body colour
  • eye colour is intense blue


blue eyed Albino recessive   white coat with pale blue eye colour

Don't mix it up with white, which is caused by gene W.


Albino recessive   white coat

Eye colour has no pigmentation (is pink)



Curled ears dominant Cu Cu
Cu cu
ears are curled

Well known is the American Curl.


straight ears recessive cu cu ears are straight


Dense - non diluted dominant D D
D d
non-diluted coat colours:
  • black
  • chocolate
  • cinnamon
  • red


diluted recessive d d diluted coat colour:
  • black gets blue
  • chocolate gets lilac
  • cinnamon gets fawn
  • red gets cream
Dm Dilute modifier dominant Dm Dm
Dm dm
The dilute modifier works on diluted colours:
  • Blue with Dm is called  caramel.
  • Lilac with Dm is called taupe Taupe is a French word and means mole.
  • Fawn gets caramelized (there is no name yet for this colour).
  • Cream with Dm is called apricot.
dm no dilute modifier recessive dm dm This gene is present in non-diluted colours, as in black, chocolate, cinnamon and red.


Folded ears dominant Fd Fd
Fd fd
ears are folded

Well known is the Scottish Fold.


straight ears recessive fd fd straight ears


normal coat dominant Hr Hr
Hr hr
The whole cat is coverd with coat of normal density.


hairless recessive hr hr almost no hairs

Well known is the Sphynx.



Inhibitor dominant I I
I i
supresses pigmentation of the hairs, colour only partly present on the hair shaft, coat with silver white ground


non silver recessive i i coat colour without silver


shorthair dominant L L
L l
short coat


longhair recessive l l long coat


Manx dominant M M
M m
no tail or shortened tail,
prenatal lethal when homozygous

All Manx cats are therefore heterozygous.


normal tail recessive m m normal length of tail
Mc mackerel tabby (Tigre) dominant over blotched tabby Mc Mc
Mc mc
The coat shows a mackerel pattern (stripes).

This is the normal wild form of the tabby pattern.

mc tabby blotched recessive mc mc The coat shows a tabby blotched pattern (classic tabby).

Also this is the normal wild form of the tabby pattern.



Orange dominant

The O gene is linked to the X gene - this is called sex-linked.
Gene O is also a mimic gene, each colour is turned to red/orange.

O O Those cats are red females.
O Y Those cats are red males.
O o Those cats are females with a tortie shell coat, the coat colour is patched with red/cream patches.


non-orange recessive o o Females with non-orange coat colour.
o Y Males with non-orange coat colour.


straight hairs dominant R R
R r
straight hairs, i.e. the hair is not wavy or curled.


Cornish Rex coat recessive r r The coat is wavy or curled, as known in the coat structure of the Cornish Rex, Cornish don't have guard hairs.


straight hairs dominant Re Re
Re re
straight hairs, i.e. the hair is not wavy or curled.


Devon Rex hair recessive re re The coat is wavy or curled, as seen in the coat structure of the Devon Rex; the Devon has guard hairs.


straight hairs dominant Ro Ro
Ro ro
straight hairs, i.e. the hair is not wavy or curled


Oregon Rex hair recessive ro ro The coat is wavy or curled.

When matings between Oregon Rex and Cornish Rex or Devon Rex had been made there had been some kittens with straight hairs. The breed seems to be no longer a viable breed.



Piebald spotting dominant

This gene is said to be inherited with incomplete dominance. The normal ratio of 3:1 is turned to 1:2:1

S S Van
The cat has only colour on its tail and some patches on the head, sometimes a few smaller colour patches can be found on the body.

In some federations cats with this pattern are called Harlequins.

S s Harlekin, Bicolour
White colour can be mostly found on the belly, on the head, on the legs, the rest of the coat is coloured.


non-bicolour recessive s s The coat colour is without any white.
Se Selkirk rexing dominant Se Se
Se se
The coat is wavy and soft to touch. In the homozygous the coat is finer, more curled and sparse.
se non-Selkirk recessive se se No rexing (no wavy coat).


ticked dominant

The gene can be present in the mackerel tabby and in the tabby blotched.

Ta Ta

Well known are the Abyssinian and Somali.

Ta ta faint and fine stripes on the legs, in the face and on the tail.

Well known is the Oriental ticked tabby.


non-ticked recessive ta ta Coat colour is without ticking.


dominant White dominant

Gene W is called a mimic gene, it covers all colours and patterns.

W w
The whole coat is white.

The eye colour can be

  • orange
  • blue
    This gene together with blue eyes may inherit deafness.
  • odd eyed (one eye blue, the other one orange).

In Orientals these cats are called Foreign White.


non white recessive w w the coat is coloured with no white


Wide band dominant Wb Wb
Wb wb
This gene is said to change the normal tabby to a golden tabby, it is said to widen the agouti bands of the hair. The gene also tends to blur the tabby pattern - referred as golden shaded or golden shells.

The existence of this gene is not fully proved yet.


no wide band recessive wb wb If this combination is present the agouti bands are of normal width - referred as silver tabbies, chinchillas and silver shaded.


Wire hair dominant Wh Wh
Wh wh
The coat is extremly crinkled, the coat texture is rough and coarse.

Well known is the American Wirehair.


straight hairs recessive wh wh The hair is straight, not crinkled with normal texture.
[A] [B] [C] [cb & cs] [D] [Dm] [Fd] [I] [L] [Mc] [O] [S] [W] [XY]

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