What do you think of this puzzling cat color. Genetic test results inside.

LunarFlower

Genetics Enthusiast
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Nov 13, 2022
Messages
93
Purraise
154
This summer I rescued two stray kittens from my neighborhood. Several of the stray neighborhood cats exhibit colorpoint patterns, including the one I highly suspect to be the kittens' mother. The suspected mother appears to be a blue lynx point with white mitted paws. I am not sure if the kittens share a father.

The sister (Sydney) of the kitten in question is a seal tortie point with high white spotting (or a non-dilute calico point, if you prefer that terminology). She is pictured as a color reference.

This kitten (Delphi) is the strangest conundrum of color I've ever seen. I have had her genetically tested, and I will provide a list of applicable tested traits and results near the bottom. I have not had the sister tested yet. I am still awaiting her Whole Genome sequence, which may provide additional information when it comes in. I think the test is by a reputable company, because I tested my orange male (not pictured) and got exactly the results I was expecting, so I do think the results are correct barring some weird lab contamination incident.

summary2.jpg


Her phenotype/what I am visibly seeing, is as follows:
  • She is colorpoint and her colors are slightly darkening with age as expected of a colorpoint.
  • Her eyes are blue, leaning towards aqua, not nearly as dark as her littermate's blue eyes.
  • She has mid-high white spotting, exhibiting white crossing over her pale markings on her back as well as on her paws and extending to part of her face.
  • She is a lynx point, showing the expected markings on her face and tail.
  • She is patched/calico, showing very faint orange markings on the left side of her face and her left ear, including a small, but bright orange lynx tip on her left ear.
  • The weird stuff: Her markings are very faint and pale, except for irregular seal-colored patches on the back of her paws, mostly her hind paws. The stripes on her tail are also a good bit darker than the rest of her markings, but still have a silvery cast between the stripes. On the rest of her body, her "black" areas are soft silvery grey, and the stripes overlaying them are brown, peach, or fawn in color, giving her a "warm stripes on cool background" appearance.
delphi1.jpg


The really weird stuff: her genetic test results:
  • She tests negative for any Siamese, Burmese, and Birman (not that surprising, she is a random-bred street cat)
  • She tests negative and is NOT a carrier for ALL SIX tested colorpoint alleles.
    • (She has a novel mutation that gives her colorpoint??)
  • She is a carrier for one Bengal Charcoal coat mutation.
  • She is NOT genetically dilute. (She is a carrier)
  • She is heterozygous agouti (tabby)
  • She is negative and is NOT a carrier for all of the following: Chocolate, Copal, Russet, Amber, Cinnamon, Lykoi, Curly, Sphynx.
The one gene I'm curious about that was not tested for is the Silver gene; would that cause this red on grey effect?
She is so different in color to her sister, I doubt that difference in shade is entirely due to the agouti gene, but maybe I'm wrong?
Alternately, could she be a chimera, with her test showing as non-dilute when she appears mostly dilute, especially with the irregular patches on her back paws being so much darker than the rest of her markings?

I have studied genetics, but I am fairly new to the world of feline genetics and was wondering if any feline genetic experts or cat color afficionados would like to have a go at seeing what they think is going on with her color.

TLDR: genetic test didn't match what I'm visibly seeing, so looking for possible explanations and opinions. Any breeders who have seen this same effect also welcome to chime in!

Thank you in advance!
I can post additional photos for reference if needed.
 

Maurey

Maine Coon Madness
Top Cat
Joined
Jan 21, 2021
Messages
1,592
Purraise
1,824
Where did you get her genetically tested? Chances are the test is just wrong. Some are known for low accuracy. Much more likely than a random mutation, especially as there are other pointed kittens in the litter.

Phenotypically, she’s a seal silver lynx tortie with white. I was initially thinking blue, but the backs of her feet are too dark for that. I’d imagine at least one other kitten probably has the inhibitor (silver/smoke) gene in the litter, unless it was small, as it’s dominant.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4

LunarFlower

Genetics Enthusiast
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Nov 13, 2022
Messages
93
Purraise
154
Where did you get her genetically tested? Chances are the test is just wrong. Some are known for low accuracy. Much more likely than a random mutation, especially as there are other pointed kittens in the litter.

Phenotypically, she’s a seal silver lynx tortie with white. I was initially thinking blue, but the backs of her feet are too dark for that. I’d imagine at least one other kitten probably has the inhibitor (silver/smoke) gene in the litter, unless it was small, as it’s dominant.
Thanks for the reply! I appreciate your input and thought the results seemed off, so I am in discussion with the genetics testing company regarding the possibility of something unusual going on. I used Basepaws, but am also having her whole genome sequenced separately so I can manually check later. (Because I’m a biology nerd) Those results aren’t back yet.

I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking there is some silver going on. As far as I know, there were only two kittens in the litter or the rest didn’t survive. As far as the mutation, I’m definitely not implying that she is the originator of the allele, because there are so many colorpoints in my area, but that maybe it occurred upstream in the local population (which statistically probably has some inbreeding as a feral/stray community of cats).

Thanks for taking the time to read and reply!
 

Zara12345

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Messages
234
Purraise
276
This summer I rescued two stray kittens from my neighborhood. Several of the stray neighborhood cats exhibit colorpoint patterns, including the one I highly suspect to be the kittens' mother. The suspected mother appears to be a blue lynx point with white mitted paws. I am not sure if the kittens share a father.

The sister (Sydney) of the kitten in question is a seal tortie point with high white spotting (or a non-dilute calico point, if you prefer that terminology). She is pictured as a color reference.

This kitten (Delphi) is the strangest conundrum of color I've ever seen. I have had her genetically tested, and I will provide a list of applicable tested traits and results near the bottom. I have not had the sister tested yet. I am still awaiting her Whole Genome sequence, which may provide additional information when it comes in. I think the test is by a reputable company, because I tested my orange male (not pictured) and got exactly the results I was expecting, so I do think the results are correct barring some weird lab contamination incident.

View attachment 436109

Her phenotype/what I am visibly seeing, is as follows:
  • She is colorpoint and her colors are slightly darkening with age as expected of a colorpoint.
  • Her eyes are blue, leaning towards aqua, not nearly as dark as her littermate's blue eyes.
  • She has mid-high white spotting, exhibiting white crossing over her pale markings on her back as well as on her paws and extending to part of her face.
  • She is a lynx point, showing the expected markings on her face and tail.
  • She is patched/calico, showing very faint orange markings on the left side of her face and her left ear, including a small, but bright orange lynx tip on her left ear.
  • The weird stuff: Her markings are very faint and pale, except for irregular seal-colored patches on the back of her paws, mostly her hind paws. The stripes on her tail are also a good bit darker than the rest of her markings, but still have a silvery cast between the stripes. On the rest of her body, her "black" areas are soft silvery grey, and the stripes overlaying them are brown, peach, or fawn in color, giving her a "warm stripes on cool background" appearance.
View attachment 436110

The really weird stuff: her genetic test results:
  • She tests negative for any Siamese, Burmese, and Birman (not that surprising, she is a random-bred street cat)
  • She tests negative and is NOT a carrier for ALL SIX tested colorpoint alleles.
    • (She has a novel mutation that gives her colorpoint??)
  • She is a carrier for one Bengal Charcoal coat mutation.
  • She is NOT genetically dilute. (She is a carrier)
  • She is heterozygous agouti (tabby)
  • She is negative and is NOT a carrier for all of the following: Chocolate, Copal, Russet, Amber, Cinnamon, Lykoi, Curly, Sphynx.
The one gene I'm curious about that was not tested for is the Silver gene; would that cause this red on grey effect?
She is so different in color to her sister, I doubt that difference in shade is entirely due to the agouti gene, but maybe I'm wrong?
Alternately, could she be a chimera, with her test showing as non-dilute when she appears mostly dilute, especially with the irregular patches on her back paws being so much darker than the rest of her markings?

I have studied genetics, but I am fairly new to the world of feline genetics and was wondering if any feline genetic experts or cat color afficionados would like to have a go at seeing what they think is going on with her color.

TLDR: genetic test didn't match what I'm visibly seeing, so looking for possible explanations and opinions. Any breeders who have seen this same effect also welcome to chime in!

Thank you in advance!
I can post additional photos for reference if needed.
Not sure about genetics but she's so prettyyy😍 Her and her sister both
 

Mistawis22

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Nov 21, 2022
Messages
42
Purraise
87
Hey this looks like my girl! I just made a post about her. So maybe they have similar genetics? 🤩 I’m guessing she’s still cream because she is a kitten but she will eventually darken to the more distinct two color- that’s what happened with CiCi. She’s definitely got some Siamese in her though, her eyes are very crossed.
Your baby is so pretty! Can’t wait to see what she looks like when she’s older!
 

Attachments

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8

LunarFlower

Genetics Enthusiast
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Nov 13, 2022
Messages
93
Purraise
154
Hey this looks like my girl! I just made a post about her. So maybe they have similar genetics? 🤩 I’m guessing she’s still cream because she is a kitten but she will eventually darken to the more distinct two color- that’s what happened with CiCi. She’s definitely got some Siamese in her though, her eyes are very crossed.
Your baby is so pretty! Can’t wait to see what she looks like when she’s older!
What a striking looking cat! I think they are somewhat similar, but I’m pretty sure yours is a blue/cream tortie, while mine is a non-dilute torbie with something else going on to mess with the final color (maybe silver). Both do have the colorpoint trait, so they should both darken with age, and will probably continue to do so their whole lives. (Colorpoint is dependent on body temperature, so their color is generally darker in cold climates and when their circulation system ages) The easiest way to tell if you have a tortie or torbie is to check the tail; if there are heavy stripes on the blue/black/grey parts, it’s a torbie. If the stripes are only or mostly on the orange/cream areas, it’s a tortie.

Yours looks like she’s probably similar to a dilute version of this cat’s sister. Sydney:
B4183B0C-5EB7-420A-BBAA-E2A1CCC95011.jpeg
F6E9FCE1-AF8A-4B45-BC25-267063C8FC45.jpeg

See how her tail is patched, but not super striped? Either way, adorable! Thanks for sharing!
 

Meowmee

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
May 2, 2018
Messages
3,071
Purraise
3,852
This summer I rescued two stray kittens from my neighborhood. Several of the stray neighborhood cats exhibit colorpoint patterns, including the one I highly suspect to be the kittens' mother. The suspected mother appears to be a blue lynx point with white mitted paws. I am not sure if the kittens share a father.

The sister (Sydney) of the kitten in question is a seal tortie point with high white spotting (or a non-dilute calico point, if you prefer that terminology). She is pictured as a color reference.

This kitten (Delphi) is the strangest conundrum of color I've ever seen. I have had her genetically tested, and I will provide a list of applicable tested traits and results near the bottom. I have not had the sister tested yet. I am still awaiting her Whole Genome sequence, which may provide additional information when it comes in. I think the test is by a reputable company, because I tested my orange male (not pictured) and got exactly the results I was expecting, so I do think the results are correct barring some weird lab contamination incident.

View attachment 436109

Her phenotype/what I am visibly seeing, is as follows:
  • She is colorpoint and her colors are slightly darkening with age as expected of a colorpoint.
  • Her eyes are blue, leaning towards aqua, not nearly as dark as her littermate's blue eyes.
  • She has mid-high white spotting, exhibiting white crossing over her pale markings on her back as well as on her paws and extending to part of her face.
  • She is a lynx point, showing the expected markings on her face and tail.
  • She is patched/calico, showing very faint orange markings on the left side of her face and her left ear, including a small, but bright orange lynx tip on her left ear.
  • The weird stuff: Her markings are very faint and pale, except for irregular seal-colored patches on the back of her paws, mostly her hind paws. The stripes on her tail are also a good bit darker than the rest of her markings, but still have a silvery cast between the stripes. On the rest of her body, her "black" areas are soft silvery grey, and the stripes overlaying them are brown, peach, or fawn in color, giving her a "warm stripes on cool background" appearance.
View attachment 436110

The really weird stuff: her genetic test results:
  • She tests negative for any Siamese, Burmese, and Birman (not that surprising, she is a random-bred street cat)
  • She tests negative and is NOT a carrier for ALL SIX tested colorpoint alleles.
    • (She has a novel mutation that gives her colorpoint??)
  • She is a carrier for one Bengal Charcoal coat mutation.
  • She is NOT genetically dilute. (She is a carrier)
  • She is heterozygous agouti (tabby)
  • She is negative and is NOT a carrier for all of the following: Chocolate, Copal, Russet, Amber, Cinnamon, Lykoi, Curly, Sphynx.
The one gene I'm curious about that was not tested for is the Silver gene; would that cause this red on grey effect?
She is so different in color to her sister, I doubt that difference in shade is entirely due to the agouti gene, but maybe I'm wrong?
Alternately, could she be a chimera, with her test showing as non-dilute when she appears mostly dilute, especially with the irregular patches on her back paws being so much darker than the rest of her markings?

I have studied genetics, but I am fairly new to the world of feline genetics and was wondering if any feline genetic experts or cat color afficionados would like to have a go at seeing what they think is going on with her color.

TLDR: genetic test didn't match what I'm visibly seeing, so looking for possible explanations and opinions. Any breeders who have seen this same effect also welcome to chime in!

Thank you in advance!
I can post additional photos for reference if needed.
Beautiful girls 😻 I think she looks like a tortie or Torby point. All pointed cats have Siamese heritage no matter how far down the line. I would say she looks kind of blue in one of the photos but definitely looks like a sealpoint in most of them. I am not sure about the silver etc. but she has a lot of white and that could darken overtime. So she could be tortie point with white and a sort of a bicolor effect.

I’m not sure how reliable the genetics tests are. Most here say they are not reliable. it could be partly because there was not a lot of testing that has been done on cats. But there is one reliable lab that does testing for people who are breeding to look for health issues and likely colors that will happen etc.

I never did any of those on my cats because I thought it was too expensive. My only purebred cat I know that he is a Siamese etc. he looks just like the cats that came over in the 19 century.

Oddly enough when I did the Cat Scanner on him it said that he was 98% Siamese, lol.

I hope you figure it out since you know a lot about genetics it will be interesting to know. I could be wrong about this but from what I remember reading about color points I thought they had to carry the color point gene, maybe not.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

LunarFlower

Genetics Enthusiast
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Nov 13, 2022
Messages
93
Purraise
154
Beautiful girls 😻 I think she looks like a tortie or Torby point. All pointed cats have Siamese heritage no matter how far down the line. I would say she looks kind of blue in one of the photos but definitely looks like a sealpoint in most of them. I am not sure about the silver etc. but she has a lot of white and that could darken overtime. So she could be tortie point with white and a sort of a bicolor effect.

I’m not sure how reliable the genetics tests are. Most here say they are not reliable. it could be partly because there was not a lot of testing that has been done on cats. But there is one reliable lab that does testing for people who are breeding to look for health issues and likely colors that will happen etc.

I never did any of those on my cats because I thought it was too expensive. My only purebred cat I know that he is a Siamese etc. he looks just like the cats that came over in the 19 century.

Oddly enough when I did the Cat Scanner on him it said that he was 98% Siamese, lol.

I hope you figure it out since you know a lot about genetics it will be interesting to know. I could be wrong about this but from what I remember reading about color points I thought they had to carry the color point gene, maybe not.
Thank you for your input! That was one of the interesting things (The fact that she is obviously visibly colorpoint but is not genetically showing as colorpoint.)
Some possibilities that I came to for that result are as follows:
  • She could have a faulty test. (Most likely option, that’s why I’m double checking with a WGS test, they can take 9 months to return, though)
  • She could be a chimera.
  • She could have a known colorpoint allele that is not tested for
  • Someone higher in her bloodline has a novel TYR mutation, also causing colorpoint
  • There is a separate gene that can affect a functioning TYR gene to make it function as a colorpoint allele (least likely)
The TYR gene that causes Colorpoint in cats has at least six different alleles (versions of the gene caused by past mutations, most or all of which originated in eastern breeds like the Siamese). It is possible that she has an allele that is not currently tested for or that somewhere up her genetic line there was a mutation that spontaneously caused the TYR gene to cause colorpoint (an unknown allele). The TYR gene must be particularly susceptible to colorpoint-causing mutations, because there are six different alleles that all cause colorpoint in cats in that same gene. Colorpoint or equivalent colorings are also found in rats and rabbits, so the gene tends to mutate in ways that causes Colorpoint to occur and tends to be reasonably stable and non lethal when mutations do occur. We know that colorpoint mutations do arrive spontaneously in the TYR gene in other species, such as a rare color pointed Dachshund dog that is documented, so, while extremely unlikely, it is possible.

Either way, it will be fun to see the WGS results. I may also have another lab with greater specificity test just the colorpoint traits again to see if they test for different alleles.

I appreciate your time and input!
 

Meowmee

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
May 2, 2018
Messages
3,071
Purraise
3,852
Thank you for your input! That was one of the interesting things (The fact that she is obviously visibly colorpoint but is not genetically showing as colorpoint.)
Some possibilities that I came to for that result are as follows:
  • She could have a faulty test. (Most likely option, that’s why I’m double checking with a WGS test, they can take 9 months to return, though)
  • She could be a chimera.
  • She could have a known colorpoint allele that is not tested for
  • Someone higher in her bloodline has a novel TYR mutation, also causing colorpoint
  • There is a separate gene that can affect a functioning TYR gene to make it function as a colorpoint allele (least likely)
The TYR gene that causes Colorpoint in cats has at least six different alleles (versions of the gene caused by past mutations, most or all of which originated in eastern breeds like the Siamese). It is possible that she has an allele that is not currently tested for or that somewhere up her genetic line there was a mutation that spontaneously caused the TYR gene to cause colorpoint (an unknown allele). The TYR gene must be particularly susceptible to colorpoint-causing mutations, because there are six different alleles that all cause colorpoint in cats in that same gene. Colorpoint or equivalent colorings are also found in rats and rabbits, so the gene tends to mutate in ways that causes Colorpoint to occur and tends to be reasonably stable and non lethal when mutations do occur. We know that colorpoint mutations do arrive spontaneously in the TYR gene in other species, such as a rare color pointed Dachshund dog that is documented, so, while extremely unlikely, it is possible.

Either way, it will be fun to see the WGS results. I may also have another lab with greater specificity test just the colorpoint traits again to see if they test for different alleles.

I appreciate your time and input!
Yw 😀 So interesting. I remember reading about the tyr gene and cp in other animals…now I have to read more. I will look up the cp in dogs again. I hope you post back with her results. I heard the ucdavis lab is reliable for cat testing 😀
 

Mistawis22

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Nov 21, 2022
Messages
42
Purraise
87
What a striking looking cat! I think they are somewhat similar, but I’m pretty sure yours is a blue/cream tortie, while mine is a non-dilute torbie with something else going on to mess with the final color (maybe silver). Both do have the colorpoint trait, so they should both darken with age, and will probably continue to do so their whole lives. (Colorpoint is dependent on body temperature, so their color is generally darker in cold climates and when their circulation system ages) The easiest way to tell if you have a tortie or torbie is to check the tail; if there are heavy stripes on the blue/black/grey parts, it’s a torbie. If the stripes are only or mostly on the orange/cream areas, it’s a tortie.

Yours looks like she’s probably similar to a dilute version of this cat’s sister. Sydney:
View attachment 436799View attachment 436800
See how her tail is patched, but not super striped? Either way, adorable! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you!! So the blue eyes come with the white gene? And her tail, I’m not sure how to classify it, it’s like a mix of blue and fawn?
 

Attachments

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13

LunarFlower

Genetics Enthusiast
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Nov 13, 2022
Messages
93
Purraise
154
Thank you!! So the blue eyes come with the white gene? And her tail, I’m not sure how to classify it, it’s like a mix of blue and fawn?
In this case, blue eyes probably come from the colorpoint gene. Colorpoint is technically a type of modified albinism. Colorpoint cats will usually have some type of blue or aqua eyes with reddish tones to their pupils. Other cats without colorpoint can have blue eyes, but their pupils are usually dark and don’t have the reddish hint.
I would say her coat colors are dilute tortie, probably blue/cream. With dilute, black becomes blue and orange/red becomes cream. If you look up the effect of dilute on orange cats and black cats, that is what you are seeing, just those two together on one cat instead of on separate cats. I’m not seeing heavy tabby striping, mostly patching, so probably a tortie and not a torbie, although that may be more apparent in person than from a photo.
 

Mistawis22

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Nov 21, 2022
Messages
42
Purraise
87
Thank you for your input! That was one of the interesting things (The fact that she is obviously visibly colorpoint but is not genetically showing as colorpoint.)
Some possibilities that I came to for that result are as follows:
  • She could have a faulty test. (Most likely option, that’s why I’m double checking with a WGS test, they can take 9 months to return, though)
  • She could be a chimera.
  • She could have a known colorpoint allele that is not tested for
  • Someone higher in her bloodline has a novel TYR mutation, also causing colorpoint
  • There is a separate gene that can affect a functioning TYR gene to make it function as a colorpoint allele (least likely)
The TYR gene that causes Colorpoint in cats has at least six different alleles (versions of the gene caused by past mutations, most or all of which originated in eastern breeds like the Siamese). It is possible that she has an allele that is not currently tested for or that somewhere up her genetic line there was a mutation that spontaneously caused the TYR gene to cause colorpoint (an unknown allele). The TYR gene must be particularly susceptible to colorpoint-causing mutations, because there are six different alleles that all cause colorpoint in cats in that same gene. Colorpoint or equivalent colorings are also found in rats and rabbits, so the gene tends to mutate in ways that causes Colorpoint to occur and tends to be reasonably stable and non lethal when mutations do occur. We know that colorpoint mutations do arrive spontaneously in the TYR gene in other species, such as a rare color pointed Dachshund dog that is documented, so, while extremely unlikely, it is possible.

Either way, it will be fun to see the WGS results. I may also have another lab with greater specificity test just the colorpoint traits again to see if they test for different alleles.

I appreciate your time and input!
Looking forwards to seeing the results!
 
Top