Himalayan rainbow of colors including chocolate & lilac
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More Stirrin'

By Barbara Redalia

In the High and Far-Off times, O' Best Beloved, when Stirrin' Up the Gene Pool was written, there were more Persians cats and more Persian Breeders than there are now. The numbers of Persians, and of Persian breeders, have been thinned by infectious diseases such as FIP, by breeder response to polycystic kidney disease, and by the animal rights movement. If we wish to survive and progress as Breeders we would do well to breed animals for which there is a Market, rather than bewail the fact that nobody loves what we have been breeding. Examination of the numbers of Persians, of Himalayans and of CPCs being registered and shown within CFA indicates that cats with the 3000 numbers, comprising Himalayans and CPCs, now comprise about 2/3 of the total cats classified as Persians. The market for Himalayans has remained strong. We have been sufficiently encouraged by the market for lilacs and chocolates to continue breeding these colors, but we felt the need to analyze and "tweak" our breeding program, the basis for this article. If creating chocolates and lilacs in new patterns is of interest to you read on and profit from our experience!

Combining Chocolates and Silvers

The matings we have done which combined chocolate or lilac with coat patterns other than solid included:
1). Chocolate point and lilac CPC males X chinchilla silver female
  a. The chocolate point male used for this first breeding proved, upon re-scanning, to be PKD positive. He passed the gene for PKD to his shaded silver son, which we had kept for breeding. This male was thus neutered and placed as a pet.
  b. The second breeding of our chinchilla silver female to our lilac CPC male produced a singleton male kitten which, upon evaluation, we decided to place as a pet.
  c. The third breeding of this silver female, again to the lilac CPC male, produced 2 silver tabby females with sufficient type to encourage us to keep one for further breeding. This kitten has the genotype Aa Bb C- Dd Ii. When bred to a lilac CPC male of the genotype aa bb Cc dd ii they can produce:

Aa or aa half agouti striped; half solid
Bb or bb half chocolate or lilac; half black or blue
CC, Cc, or cc 3/4 full coat color; 1/4 Himy (if mom is a CPC)
Dd or dd half dense color; half dilute color
Ii or ii half smoke or shaded (tipped); half non-tipped

Chocolate Carrier X Chocolate Carrier
Since this silver tabby female is only 8 weeks old the results of her breeding will await Chapter 3 of Stirrin' Up. Because her sire is a CPC we do not know whether she carries the Himalayan gene (c). She had a 50% chance of receiving this gene from her lilac CPC sire, and no chance of receiving it from her chinchilla silver mother. If we do not wish to produce smoke color points (not recognized by CFA) we should breed her only to one of our non-pointed cats, CPCs or Persians. The breeding of this silver tabby female to our black smoke male (chocolate carrier) can be represented thus:

Silver tabby female X   Black smoke male
Aa Bb C- Dd Ii X aa Bb Cc Dd Ii

Possible alleles Phenotypes
Aa, aa Half agouti striped; half non-striped
BB, Bb, bb 3/4 black, 1/4 chocolate
CC, Cc, cc 3/4 full color, 1/4 possibly Himy
DD, Dd, dd 3/4 dense color, 1/4 dilute
II, Ii, ii 3/4 tipped coat, 1/4 non-tipped.

Inspection of the probabilities indicates that the majority of the kittens from this breeding would be expected to be either black smokes or brown tabbies. Not encouraging for a chocolate/lilac breeder.

If this silver tabby female were bred to our black and white bicolor male (who carries chocolate) these are the possible kittens:

Silver tabby female
Black/white bicolor male
Aa Bb C- Dd Ii ss
aa Bb Cc Dd ii Ss

Possible alleles Phenotypes
Aa, aa Half agouti striped, half non-striped
BB, Bb, bb 3/4 black, 1/4 chocolate
CC, Cc, cc 3/4 full color, 1/4 possibly Himy
DD, Dd, dd 3/4 dense, 1/4 dilute
II, Ii, ii half tipped coat, half non-tipped
Ss, ss half white-spotted, half non white-spotted

Again, the majority of the kittens from this breeding would be expected to be either black smokes or brown tabbies, with or without white. Once again, not encouraging for a chocolate/lilac breeder. Clearly this silver will need to be bred to a visual chocolate or lilac, something homozygous for that recessive bb gene.

Producing Chocolate Smokes
One year ago I purchased a Persian black smoke female to be bred to our lilac CPC
male, with an eye toward eventually producing chocolate and or lilac smokes. Breeding these two together can be represented thus:

Lilac CPC male X   Black Smoke Persian female
Aa bb Cc dd ii X aa BB CC DD Ii

Their offspring included 2 black smoke males, 1 black smoke female, and one solid black male. All the males were nice enough to be used for breeding. The female was placed as a pet. The remaining male offspring have the following genotypes:

Aa Bb C- Dd Ii Black smokes
Aa Bb C- Dd ii Black solid

Because this breeding produced a solid black in addition to black smokes we know that the dam was heterozygous for the inhibitor gene (Ii). The black smoke males produced from this breeding, which carry both chocolate and dilute, can be used to produce chocolate or lilac smokes by breeding to cats which are (or carry) chocolate or lilac. We do not know if they carry the Himy gene. That is something to be determined down the road.

Chocolate Bicolors
The mating of a chocolate CPC female with our blue and white bicolor Persian male produced two blue and white bicolors and one black and white bicolor male, Ch Tuleburg Fudge Baron. This male's genotype is described thus:

Alleles Phenotype
Aa Non-agouti (no stripes)
Bb Black, (carries chocolate)
Cc Full coat color, (carries Himy gene)
Dd Dense color, (carries dilute)
Ss White-spotting gene (heterozygous)

From the first breeding of this bicolor chocolate carrier to a black CPC chocolate
carrier female there were two black kittens and a chocolate and white female, which died several days after birth. A test breeding to a Himalayan female gave clear proof that the bicolor male carries the Himalayan gene. This breeding to a blue cream point produced a seal point female, a red male, and two Himalayans with white feet. Since this bicolor male carries the Himy gene we will, from now on, only breed him to CPCs, thus halving the probability of producing Himys with white feet. We are saving two kittens as future queens for Fudge Baron, an unrelated blue CPC and an unrelated blue cream CPC, both of which carry lilac. The first breeding can be represented as:

Black and White Bicolor
Blue CPC
Aa Bb Cc Dd Ss
aa Bb Cc dd ss

Their offspring can inherit the following genes:

Aa Non-agouti (no stripes)
BB, Bb, bb 3/4 black, 1/4 chocolate
CC, Cc, cc 3/4 Full coat color, 1/4 Himys
Dd, dd Half dense, half dilute
Ss, ss Half white-spotted, half non white-spotted

The most common kitten from this breeding would be a black or blue, with a 50% chance of being bicolor. The second breeding, to the blue cream CPC, adds the possibility of red factor to the above, allowing torties and blue creams, dense and dilute calicoes, and chocolate and lilac calicoes to the above. To increase the probability of chocolates or lilacs one would breed the bicolor male to a visual chocolate or lilac CPC female, thus:

aa Bb Cc Dd Ss
aa bb Cc Dd ss

Genotype Phenotype
aa no stripes
Bb, bb half black, half chocolate
CC, Cc, cc 3/4 solid color, 1/4 Himy
DD, Dd, dd 3/4 dense, 1/4 dilute
Ss, ss Half white-spotted, half non white-spotted

In summary this breeding of our bicolor male to a visual chocolate or lilac would result in an equal probability of black vs. chocolate, mostly solid colors, mostly dense, and 1/2 with the spotting gene. Sounding better.

Mr. Cream Genes, AKA "The Greater Ho Ho"
When I began to write this update to "Stirrin' up the Gene Pool," two months ago, another intriguing possibility had not yet arrived on the scene. On October 16th a litter arrived which contains two show potential males, a cream and a blue CPC, out of GC Tuleburg Lilac Totoro and Ch. Maitaiias Pr-Eyes Pkg. Now, let's see, if this cream male were bred to a female chocolate and white bicolor (from the previous breeding) we can expect to have, at last, chocolate or lilac calicos. Is that what this has all been about?

This article used with permission. © Barbara Redalia

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