What genes make a Somali a Somali - what we know so far
For this section to make sense you need a basic understanding of genetics. If you haven't got this then I suggest you read my page Genetics made Simple and hopefully this then this page will make sense. If it doesn't then please Email me so I can help
The Somali is a long haired version of the Abyssinian. The breed was developed in the USA from long haired kittens produced in Aby litters. So what applies to the Somali applies to the Aby & vice versa - with the exception of the long haired gene of course
The table below shows the
genotypes of Somali colours (remember to add
So a usual Somali like
Ch Manot Nestles is chocolate carrying Sorrel, he's never had dilute kittens so his genotype is probably llAAbb1DDTaTa. Its very hard to prove a negative. Genetic analysis has come on in leaps & bounds in recent years and cats can now be tested for whether they carry dilute
Tortie aka Usual tortie
bb or bb1
bbOo or bb1Oo
bbdd or bb1dd
bbddOo or bb1ddOo
Sorrel (aka cinnamon)
Silver aka Usual silver
bbI_ or bb1I_
Chocolate silver tortie
bbI_Oo or bb1I_Oo
bbddI_ or bb1ddI_
Lilac silver tortie
bbddI_Oo or bb1ddI_Oo
Sorrel silver tortie
Fawn silver tortie
Gr Ch Stacym Quiddity & Ch Manot Nestles' genotypes do not have silver or the orange gene.
Gr Ch Stacym Quiddity has had sorrel kittens so this means she carries sorrel so I can therefore characterise her genotype even further as llAABb1D_TaTa. I do not know if she carries the dilute gene so cannot state whether she is DD or Dd.
Ch Stacym Capriciosso is a blue tortie silver female. She has had a chocolate silver kitten so she carries chocolate or sorrel. I don't know which because the father was a chocolate. She has also had non silver kittens and so is heterozygous for silver. Her genotype is llAAB_ddIiOoTaTa. Translating this:
l = long hair, l = long hair, A = agouti, A = agouti, B = brown, _ = could be b (chocolate) or b1 (sorrel), d = dilute, d = dilute, I = silver, i = not silver, O = orange, o = not orange (Oo shows as tortie), Ta = ticked tabby, Ta = ticked tabby.
If we look at Kooky Kat, she's a chocolate tortie female and has had a fawn kitten so she carries sorrel and dilute - her genotype is LlAAbb1DdiiOoTaTa. Translating this:
L = short hair, l = long hair, A = agouti, A = agouti, b = chocolate, b1= sorrel, D = not dilute, d = dilute, i = not silver, i = not silver, O = orange, o = not orange (Oo shows as tortie), Ta = ticked tabby, Ta = ticked tabby.
Want to know more?
A useful text here is 'Genetics for Cat Breeders & Veterinarians' by Carolyn M. Vella Lorraine M. Shelton John J. McGonagle Terry W. Stanglen ISBN 0 7506 4069 3
Again, please Email me if I can help