KaDoKits Exotics presents Basic Cat Color Breeding Genetics...
Basic Cat Colors

I am not an expert and I am learning new things all of the time.  There are plenty of terrific websites you can visit to learn about cat breeding genetics.  
My goal in creating these genetics information pages is to try to offer simplified color & pattern breeding genetics FAQs relating specifically to a

breeding program.

This information is based on what I have learned from the internet, other breeders, discussion groups, and my own background.
Thank you to all who have contributed!
The Easy Part

Most of the time, people want to know...

"How do I get (produce) a silver tabby Exotic" and/or
"What color kittens can I get from such-and-such parents?"


This is the
Easy Part....

...no matter what color or pattern your cat is, it is basically one of two colors...


When asking yourself one of the above 2 questions,
always, always,
start with the
Easy Part

is your cat BLACK or RED or BOTH (tortie)?

CFA has terrific color breeding pages that I will use as a reference throughout...


Basic Rules to Remember

You need to commit these rules to your memory and apply them before you start trying to figure out anything more about your
cat's color or the color of potential offspring.

1.  The Easy Part....black or red or both?

2.  Color is sex-linked....the gene is on the X chromosome only

3.  Males are XY so can only be ONE color....black OR red.
If a male is BOTH (a tortoiseshell), then he has XXY, an extra female sex chromosome, and will probably be sterile.

4.  Females are XX so can be black OR red OR both (a tortoiseshell);
they have a color gene on EACH X chromosome!
A black female has 2 black genes
A red female has 2 red genes
A tortoiseshell female has 1 black gene and 1 red gene


Be firm on this...
There's only black and red COLOR
Everything else is a modification of black or red by other genes

We call these modifications other "colors", but for the purpose of this discussion, the only
These are also called Dominant or Dense colors.
Modification of Dilute

The Dilute gene is a separate allele from the black or red color gene.

The dilute gene turns...

If a cat has 1 dilute gene, it "carries" dilute.  
It is still a dominant color.
It can produce dilute kittens when paired with a mate that also has a dilute gene.

If a cat has 2 dilute genes, then it IS a dilute.
It will produce only dilute kittens when bred to another dilute.
It can produce dilute kittens when bred to a dominant colored cat IF that dominant colored cat carries a dilute gene.

You MUST have dilute on both sides of the pedigree for you to produce a dilute kitten.  
You CAN get dilute kittens from 2 dominant colored cats IF both PARENTS carry a dilute gene.
The dilute gene is RECESSIVE so you need 2 copies, one from each parent, for you to have a dilute colored kitten.
black into blue

photo courtesy of
and property of
Sunsoar Exotics
tortoiseshell into blue-cream

photo courtesy of
and property of
Panei Exotics & Persians
red into cream

photo courtesy of
and property of
Panei Exotics & Persians
KaDoKits Exotics