Understanding the Genetics of this Beautiful Feline Trait • Kritter Kommunity

I never realized how fascinating cat coat genetics could be until I delved into writing about it! Even though I’m a huge advocate for adopting from a rescue, learning about the genetics behind their different coats and patterns has been a total eye-opener. This post is all about the lilac coat heredity; cats and their genetics.

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Let’s chat about those fabulous cats with coats as pretty as lilacs.

They are seriously something else! This coloration is caused by a diluted chocolate gene, and the way it works in cat genetics is mind-boggling. What’s super cool about these lilac-coated kitties is that their unique color is a result of both parents carrying a specific gene.

I mean, think about it: if only one parent has this gene, their kittens won’t have that stunning lilac coat, but they might still carry it themselves! It’s like a secret code hiding in their genetic makeup, waiting to show up in future generations. It’s just so intriguing how these genetics play out in our beloved feline friends!

The lilac coat is a recessive gene, meaning that both parents must carry the gene for it to be expressed in their offspring. If only one parent carries the gene, their offspring will not have a lilac coat but may carry the gene themselves.

SUMMARY: Lilac coat in cats is a special and lovely color caused by a diluted chocolate gene. To have this coat, both cat parents must carry this specific gene. If only one parent has it, their kittens won’t have a lilac coat but might still carry the gene.”

Basics of Lilac Coat in Animals

Lilac coat color is a dilution of the chocolate gene in animals, including cats and dogs. This dilution results in a pale, grayish-purple coat color that is unique and attractive.

The lilac coat color is caused by a genetic mutation that affects the production of melanin, the pigment that gives color to hair, skin, and eyes.

So, here’s the deal with this mutation: it’s kind of sneaky. To get that gorgeous lilac coat color, an animal needs to win the gene lottery and snag two copies of this mutated gene—one from mom and one from dad. But if it only gets one copy, it’s not going to flaunt that beautiful lilac look. Instead, it becomes a carrier, like it’s holding onto a secret gene for future generations.

The inheritance of the lilac coat color follows the laws of Mendelian genetics. If both parents are carriers of the mutated gene, each offspring has a 25% chance of inheriting two copies of the gene and expressing the lilac coat color, a 50% chance of inheriting one copy of the gene and being a carrier, and a 25% chance of inheriting no copies of the gene and having a normal coat color.

It is important to note that the lilac coat color is not a breed-specific trait. While some breeds, such as the Lilac Point Siamese cat, are known for their lilac coat color, any breed of animal can exhibit this coloration if it inherits two copies of the mutated gene. In fact, the lilac coat color can occur in any animal species that has the chocolate gene, including rabbits and horses.

Alright, so just to wrap things up: that lilac coat color in cats? It’s a real head-turner! It’s this unique and totally attractive hue caused by a genetic twist that messes with how melanin is made. And get this, it plays by the rules of Mendelian genetics, showing up when this thing called the chocolate gene gets in the mix. And guess what? It’s not just cats! Any Kritter with that chocolate gene can rock this stunning lilac look. Cool, right?

Lisa Illman is the Founder of Kritter Kommunity, LLC. She has a tuxedo adult cat and has had him since he was a baby kitten. Before her cat Finnegan, Lisa had had two FIV-positive cats for over a decade. They inspired Lisa to invent a cat enclosure and a portable catio so they could safely sit outside and enjoy fresh air and sunshine. Lisa had a Poodle and a parakeet growing up. She currently loves to pet-sit for her neighbors’ dogs and cats.

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