Amberstorm gives us a comprehensive look into the genetics of Warriors.
Hello everyone, I’m Amberstorm233 and I’m back with another article. This time, it’s on Warrior genetics. Seriously, since I started learning about genetics, I grown very fond of it, loving every step of the complicated path. Though I’m still learning and by no means am I an expert at genetics, I’ve learned/know enough to hopefully create a good enough guide of sorts to work it out. So let’s begin.
A few words before I start:
Cats will only get their gene from their parents. There’s no skipping generations or cats getting their looks from other members of their family other than the parents. A she-cat or female cat will get her colors from both parents. Meanwhile a tom will only get his fur color from his mother due to the X chromosome.
Base colors are the four basic fur colors that are the gateway for genetics. They’re the stepping-stones for all appearances. The bases are red, black, chocolate and cinnamon. Red is the most dominant gene because it’s linked by gender. It’s found in the X chromosome. Black is the second most dominant color. After it, there’s chocolate and lastly cinnamon.
One letter represents each gene:
B/B- Black cat
B/b1- Black cat carrying chocolate
B/b2- Black cat carrying cinnamon
b1/b1- Chocolate cat
b1/b2- Chocolate cat carrying cinnamon
b2/b2- Cinnamon cat
*b can also be used for chocolate while b1 can be used for cinnamon*
Red cats are different here. As I said, red fur color is linked by gender. Males are XY and Females are XX. Males will only get their fur color from their mother due to them having a single X chromosome. Meanwhile, females get one X from their mother and another form their father.
O/O- Red cat
O/o- Red cat carrying or expressing no red(For example tortoiseshell)
o/o- Non red cat
Applied to Warriors:
Leafpool is impossible. Neither of her parents have white one them, which I’ll explain later, and they’re both ginger. In order for Leafpool to be genetically accurate, she has to become ginger. That, or Sandstorm would have to become a tortoiseshell.
If we apply this change to her kits, there would be some differences. Jayfeather would have to be changed to a tortoiseshell if we want to keep his gray coat. If not, then he’d become ginger. Hollyleaf would also have to become a tortoiseshell, but more on that later. Lionblaze however, is okay. This is because a red cat can look like a golden one.
Tortoiseshells are most common in she-cats than toms. While toms can be tortoiseshells, it’s very rare. There are two ways a tom can become a tortoiseshell. One is he’s just born that way. If this’s the case, he’ll be sickly and infertile. To get a fertile tortie tom, he has to be a chimera. A chimera is a cat that is made of two eggs that fused together in the early stages of development.
O/O- Red cat that still may carry other colored genes that aren’t expressed on the fur
O/B- Red and black tortoiseshell
O/b1- Red and chocolate tortoiseshell
O/b2- Red and cinnamon tortoiseshell
O/O-(Male) He’s red but will carry other colored genes that aren’t expressed in the fur
There’s a type of tortoiseshell called a cryptic tortoiseshell. Cryptic tortoiseshells are tortoiseshells that are genetically tortoiseshells but are either almost or completely one color. For example, a red and black tortoiseshell may appear all black, but may either have a few spots of red or none at all.
Applies in Warriors:
Foxleap is not a possible son of Ferncloud. So to correct that, Ferncloud has to be tortoiseshell. If her gray coat is salvaged, she could be a cryptic tortoiseshell.
As I said earlier, Hollyleaf has to be tortoiseshell if Leafpool is changed into a ginger cat and Crowfeather kept gray. A solid gray cat and solid red cat will only have tortoiseshell daughters. This is due to both parents giving the daughter x chromosomes.
Diluted cats come from a gene that works with the pigments of the fur. It decides the how much of the color is in the fur. Non-dilute colors are more dominant than diluted colors. Dilution is presented with D.
D/d- Non-dilute carrying the dilute gene
d/d- Diluted fur color only
The base colors each have their own dilution.
For tortoiseshells, they will either be diluted or non-diluted. They can’t be both.
Applied to Warriors:
Sandstorm, Birchfall, Doestar and Ferncloud are all examples of cats with dilution. Sandstorm is pale ginger, which can be taken as cream. Birchfall is described as a pale/light brown tom, which I see as lilac, though fawn is another possibility. Doestar has been confirmed as fawn, which is cool. Lastly, Ferncloud is gray which is a dilute of black.
White spotting is also called the piebald gene. It masks all other colors, making it the most dominant of everything so far. If a parent/the parents have white spotting, their kittens will have it too. White fur is technically “colorless” fur. When spread through the face, a cat can get blue eyes. Blue eyes only appear on cats with white spotting and are “colorless” much like the fur. The only expectation to this is the Ojos Azule breed, which is quite rare. Not to mentions the genes that make up the breed is deadly when breeding two of them together.
Moving on, this gene is known as a variable gene. This means it has several expressions to it.
S/S: 50%-100%(Grade 6 to 10) White spotting
S/s: 0%-50%(Grade 1 to 5) White spotting. These cats can look solid, but genetically, they still carry white so their offspring may have it.
s/s-: (Grade 1)No white spotting
White spotting has different degrees or grades to it.
Grade 10- Solid looking white cat, will usually have a few strands of colored fur.
Grade 9- White with a colored tail and head is very rare and known as the Moorish-Headed.
Grade 8 and Grade 9- In grade 8, through 9 the cat will be white with colored tail and head spots. This is called Van pattern.
Grade 7 and Grade 8- White with random solid patches, known as mitted.
Grade 6- The white mask, where the face is white, with a colored tail and back. This is called mask and mantle.
Grade 5- Half the cat is white. This is known as piebald. Piebald occurs between grades 5 through 9 of white spotting.
Grade 3 and Grade 4- Solid with white paws, belly, chest and muzzle which is a tuxedo. White tail tip also possible.
Grade 2- A small patch on the chest known as a locket. Also a button where there’s small white spots on the belly.
Grade 1- Completely solid, no white spotting or a few white hairs. Keep in mind, white hairs may also be scarred tissue that damaged the fur follicles.
White spotting also affects tortoiseshell patterns. Low white spotting(Grade 1-5) will produce a dense, brindled pattern. Meanwhile, high white spotting(Grad 6-9) will give a distinct, patched tortoiseshell pattern that looks like it has a white base coat. These are the cats that are also known as calicos.
Applied to Warriors:
Basically, every solid cat with blue eyes. Bluestar, Cinderpelt, Feathertail, Silverstream, Willowpelt, Ashfur, Mistystar and so many other cats. That’s a big no for each of them. Meanwhile, Mosspelt is a perfect example for white spotting. She’s a tortoiseshell with white spotting and blue eyes, working out genetically.
Lastly, going back to Ferncloud’s family, we hit Icecloud. Because Dustpelt and Ferncloud have no white on them, Icecloud can’t be white. Despite this, there are ways to make her white. One would be adding white to both parents. Dustpelt would be easy going because his mother, Robinwing, was a black tabby(brown tabby like Tigerstar) and red tortoiseshell with white on her. With Ferncloud, that’s harder. I don’t believe Whitestorm is the father of Brindleface’s second litter no matter what anyone says. So, this means Ferncloud would have to get her white from somewhere else and that’s a difficult thing to do. The easiest thing to do would be brining in albinism, but more on that later.
The dominant white gene, also known as the white masking gene, is different from white spotting. Unlike white spotting, white masking will completely mask the normal production of pigment cells. Cats who express this may carry any fur colors but will appear white no matter what. This also exists on a separate gene of colors. Some of these cats will have a dark smudge of color on their heads or brows that will later disappear.
W/W- Solid white cat
W/w- Solid white cat carrying a non-white gene
w/w- Non-white cat
Cats with this kind of white have the highest chances of being born deaf. This is due to the color of their eyes. Blue is the most common eye color connected to deafness as are cats with odd eyes. However, there are also many cases of amber-eyed and green-eyed cats with dominant white who are deaf.
Applied to Warriors:
Snowkit, Speckletail’s kit, most likely one of these cats with dominant white. He had blue eyes, was white and deaf, which fits the criteria.
Tabbies are also known as agouti and are dominant to any other patterns, solids included. It’s the gene that turns a solid cat into a tabby. The tabby pattern is caused by a signaling protein that causes some pigments to darken in the fur. Especially when they’re kittens, solid cats express a “ghost pattern” that fades when they get older.
A/a- Tabby that carries solid gene
a/a- Solid cat
The only expectation to this are red cats who are dominant over solid cats. This is why all red cats are tabbies. For red cats, there’s a difference between genetic tabbies and non-tabby cats. A red cat who’s genetically solid will not have the pale muzzle and underbelly that we see with true tabbies.
There are many types of tabby patterns. Most are cases where breeders have worked with several genes to give a certain look, hybrids and random patterns in certain populations. There is not always an established line of dominance. The main tabby patterns are ticked tabby, spotted tabby, mackerel tabby and classic tabby.
Ta- Ticked tabby
Sp- Spotted tabby
Mc- Mackerel tabby
mc- Classic tabby
Much like white spotting, the ticked tabby gene is a variable gene. A cat carrying two genes for ticking will appear solid with darker bands of fur on their forehead, legs, back and tail. If a cat carries only one gene for ticking, it will have bands of hair on its face, neck, tail and legs.
Spotted tabbies are different from breed-specific cats such as Savannahs and Bengals who have their own version of spotted tabbies. It’s been verified that spotted tabbies happen through the help of a special gene, which breaks up the tabby markings. This gene modifies both the mackerel and classic tabby gene. This is related to ticking which causes it to be hidden when ticking is present. A mackerel spotted tabby will have more vertical spots than a spotted classic tabby.
Ta/Ta- Ticked tabby
Ta/ta- Ticked tabby carrying non-ticked gene
ta/ta- Non-ticked cat
Sp/Sp- Spotted tabby
Sp/sp- Spotted tabby carrying non-spotted gene
sp/sp- Non-spotted tabby
Mc/Mc- Mackerel tabby
Mc/mc- Mackerel tabby carrying classic tabby gene
mc/mc- Classic tabby
Albinism and Pointism
The gene C codes for tyrosinase, which is an enzyme that works on the early stages of pigment production. Although it is a dominant gene, it has a whole range of recessive genes. This ranges from complete albinos to temperature albinos. Temperature albinos are also known as colorpoints. The colorpoint pattern is also known as the “Himalayan” pattern however, it’s more commonly called the “Siamese” pattern. The order of dominance is color, Burmese colorpoint, Tonkinese colorpoint, Siamese colorpoint, blue-eyed albino and then pink-eyed albino.
cb- Burmese colorpoint
cs- Siamese colorpoint
ca- Blue-eyed albino
c- Pink-eyed albino
C/C- Normal colored cat
C/cb- Normal colored cat carrying Burmese colorpint
C/cs- Normal colored cat carrying high contrast Siamese colorpoint
C/ca- Normal colored cat carrying blue-eyed albino gene
C/c- Normal colored cat carrying pink-eyed albino gene
cb/cb- Burmese colorpoint
cb/cs- Tonkinese colorpoint
cs/cs- Low contrast Siamese colorpoint
cs/ca- High contrast Siamese colorpoint
ca/ca or ca/c- Blue-eyed albino
c/c- Pink-eyed albino
Temperature albinos are affected by the climate they live in which is proven by their coat colors. The colder the climate they live in the darker the points will be. Kittens are born white, however as they grow, their extremities will darken because they’re the naturally cooler parts of the body.
Applied to Warriors:
As I said earlier, Icecloud would need to change to avoid changing either of her parents. She’s white and has blue eyes, which fits perfectly for a blue-eyed albino.
So, that is the genetics guide. Hopefully it’s clear for beginners and I’m sorry if it isn’t. If you have any genetic questions, I’ll be happy to answer to the best of my ability.