Genetics Picture

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Agouti or non-agouti

In an agouti cat some of the hairs are striped, while others are fully colored. In a brown agouti cat, for example, the hairs in the black part are black, while the brown areas are mostly black- and brownish striped hairs.

The non-agouti variety corresponding to brown agouti is black. The allele for non-agouti is recessive. Both parents must thus carry the non-agouti allele for an offspring to become non-agouti.

The non-agouti gene doesn't work that well on red cats. Non-agouti red cats show the same tabby markings that they would show if they did have the agouti-allele. One usually can decide whether a red cat is agouti or non-agouti by looking at the area between the nose and the mouth. An agouti cat is white or very light colored in that area, while a non-agouti cat has approximately the same color there as in the rest of the face. The same thing applies to cream colored cats. If the cat is red-white or cream-white and has a white spot over the nose it will of course be impossible to decide whether the cat is agouti or non-agouti by using this method. One can look at the rim of the ears - they are lighter on an agouti than on a non-agouti.

Denomination: A = agouti
              a = non-agouti