Don't worry, you will not be overwhelmed with high sophisticated genetics.
The lessons are kept as simple as necessary. You will get many examples from the
breeding practice, because all science is as good as we can use it.
At least you should become familiar with some few basic terms which will be used in
the following lessons.
Genes have their special loci on the chromosomes and are the basic elements on which
heriditation is based upon.
There are genes responsible for each feature of your cat to be inherited, for eye colour,
bone structure, coat texture, coat colour, temperament, etc.
Genes are always present in pairs.
Alleles are different mutants of the same gene.
The gene responsible for the coat colour "Black" has 2 mutants, one for chocolate
and one for cinnamon.
Your cat is said to be homozygous for one feature when it carries in its responsible
gene pair the same gene twice, that means both genes of the gene pair are equal.
Your cat is said to be heterozygous for one feature when the genes of the responsible
gene pair are unequal.
How your cat looks like is called phenotype, it is the summary of all the features you
can see on the outside of your cat.
How your cat looks like inside, which features it can possibly inherit - you can't see
those - is called the genotype, it is the summary of all genetic information which your
cat carries and can inherit to its litter.
A gene is said to be dominant when its effect can be seen in the phenotype of your cat.
Only one dominant gene in the gene pair must be present to be seen in the phenotype of
For easy reading dominant genes are written in capital letters.
F.e. the gene B (for Black
coat colour) is dominant over the gene b (for chocolate coat colour).
A gene is called recessive when its effect can not be seen in the phenotyp of your cat,
when only one gene is present.
The same gene must be present twice in the gene pair that you can see its expression in
the phenotype of your cat.
For easy reading recessive genes are written in small letters. In our example: the gene b
must be present twice (bb) that the coat colour becomes chocolate.
That's all what you need to know first.