Genetics Picture

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Rufism is a term representing the relatively large variation of brown pigmentation in cats. The amount of rufism decides whether a brown tabby cat will have a warm brownish color or a more grayish color. It will also decide whether a red cat will be a warm dark red or a pale orange. The variation between these two extremes is continuous. Hence, this characteristic is probably influenced by many other genes (polygenetically inherited), where many genes add small positive or negative effects.

Some consider the brown spots that one sometimes sees on silver cats, also as highly graded rufism, while others think that this is not connected to rufism.

The amount of rufism is often very important when breeding for color, as one does with Persians. In brown agouti cats one wishes to have as much rufism as possible. And a wild colored Abyssinian without a high grade of rufism wouldn't look particularly impressive. In red cats, one gets a Ędeep warm red color only with a lot of rufism: the more rufism, the warmer the color. A silver tabby show Persian should not have any brown spots. If you breed silver cats and support the theory that the brown in silver cats are caUsed by rufism, you will want as little rufism as possible. Even other colors are affected by rufism, but not as much as in the above mentioned variations.