The Amazing Black Cat Genetics

black cat genetics
Our boy Coco

Have you ever wondered about black cat genetics? What makes them black? What determines their eye color? Are they better hunters?

Black cats are considered to be good luck by some and bad luck by others and many cat lovers just simply see the cat rather than the color of the fur.

Whether you are superstitious or not I think there should be a balance when it comes to acknowledging the color of a cat’s fur.

All cats should be treated equally but I think we should pay attention to fur color and eye color etc… and investigate deeper into the meaning and reasoning behind it.

When it comes to humans, generally, people native to parts of the world with less sun have lighter skin and people in parts of the world with more sun have darker skin.

There are of course acceptions to this but can any of the same logic be applied to the color of an animal’s skin and fur?

Black Cat Genetics

To begin with, let’s talk about the golden rule…

For a cat to be solid black, both parents must have the black color gene present.

The genes that determine fur color are called alleles and the black allele is known as B. The most dominant fur color for cats is tabby and for a cat to not have a tabby appearance a recessive (a) gene needs to be present called a non-agouti.

This non-agouti gene effectively acts as a blocker and prevents the cat’s fur from being tabby.

Our boy Coco 1
Our boy Coco 1

Complicated I know!

black cat genetics
Stop taking photos of me!

Did you know that a lot of black cats are tabbies deep down?

I always wondered why I could see stripes on our American Shorthair’s back legs when sunlight was shining on him. Black cat genetics are in play again!

This is because the tabby gene is still present even though it was overpowered by the non-agouti gene.

One of the main reasons why I love building this blog so much is that I’m learning a lot during my research and my unanswered questions are being addressed.

Black cats fur can change color!

Do you have an ageing black cat or are you ageing yourself?

Much like humans, black cats can go grey but they don’t usually go completely grey.

I have been into the world of nutrition and supplementation for many years and many have a theory that when humans go grey it’s a deficiency of copper.

This deficiency could be related to aging as the digestive system becomes less efficient over time thus making it harder to absorb copper from food.

Could this be the case with cats? I’ll have to do further research to see if any studies have been done on this.

As well as going grey-black cats fur can fade and also appear to have a rusty brown color.

This can be due to excessive sunlight and possibly an enzyme deficiency, this enzyme is called Tyrosine.

Can the black gene give cats a stronger immune system?

During my research for this blog, I keep seeing a recurring theme and that is that black cats may be less prone to illness.

Genetic mutations that are found in black cats appear to be making them more resistant to illness. A strong immune system is usually the driving force when it comes to fighting off illness.

Bearing this in mind, how can a black cat signify bad luck? They seem to be pretty lucky to me…

My Final Thoughts

I find the subject of black cat genetics fascinating and I will definitely be adding to this blog post over time.

I think people misunderstand so many things in life and it really does a disservice to those involved.

I think black cats very much fall into this category and frequent references to their genes making them more resilient than other domestic cats show us just how wrong people can be.

I find black cats intriguing and I’m on a mission to understand more about them…

For daily black cat content check out the My Mini Panther Facebook page.

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Lee Harris

I'm a Brit living in the sunny Canary Islands with my beautiful wife and my wonderful black cat called Coco. I love to blog, build businesses, look after my body, and enjoy nature...
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