How cat colours work – basic genetics

Breeding Unusual Abys is easy if you understand basic colour genetics. It’s not that complicated. It’s useful to remember a few technical terms, which are just a shorthand way of saying things.

For instance – the colour a cat looks to us is called its ‘phenotype’ (pronounced fee-no-type) and its genetic makeup is called its ‘genotype’ (pronounced gee-no-type). So a Black cat has a Black phenotype, but its genotype can be more interesting from a breeding point of view.

All cats get one version of a gene (an ‘allele’) from their father (sire), and another version of the same gene from their mother (dam) (a second ‘allele’).