Mackerel, sardines are good for cats | Entertainment |
Wild or domestic, tabby cats with a blotched pattern are homozygous for a recessive form of the gene. The mackerel pattern is dictated by a dominant form of the gene. Carrying their investigation further, the researchers found that regulates tiger stripes, cheetah spots, and even the odd pattern of the southern African black-footed cat. The exotic and rare king cheetah (see photo) with dark whorls of coalescing spots and wide black stripes on its back is actually just the blotched tabby variation. Wild king cheetahs are native to a small region of sub-Saharan Africa, and those sampled are in captivity. The blotched variation, based on analysis of the genomes and pedigrees of these king cheetahs, suggests the mutant blotched form entered that population through one homozygous and two heterozygous animals.
Perhaps more importantly, breeders who work with pedigreed cats are working to preserve the colors and patterns that we have all come to appreciate in the tabby spectrum. Theoretically, if all breeding of cats was to revert to random selection by the cats themselves, we would eventually only have cats with the mackerel tabby pattern because it is genetically dominant over the other tabby patterns. Strangely enough, however, in the show ring, the mackerel pattern seems to be the least common in some breeds!
The most common tabby pattern is named after the fish! A good description of the vertical stripes that are parallel on the cat's sides. Some people also refer to mackerel tabbies as "the guys in the pinstripe suits"!Both the mackerel tabby and the classic tabby have stripes and bars on the legs and tail and the classic "M" (or fleur-de-lys) marking on the forehead and the belly is usually spotted. The background colour is an agouti pattern, meaning that each individual hair has several bands of colour along its length. The foreground colour is the solid colour (non-agouti) of the markings. The tabby pattern occurs in various colours where the markings are a darker version of the background colour. There are also versions where the markings occur on a silvery (grey) background colour. It can also be mixed with the tortoiseshell pattern to produced torbies or patched tabbies. In Britain, the classic brown/black tabby is most common especially in towns, to the point of being considered the quintessential "British Cat". Because the classic pattern is recessive to mackerel tabby, classic tabbies breed true for that pattern. Their bold blotched markings are considered to be more attractive or desirable than the mackerel tabby. Meanwhile, the typical Australian domestic pattern is described as neither truly spotted nor striped, but having a pattern broken into bars. This can be seen in feral cats which have reverted to a wilder-looking mackerel tabby pattern that may offer them better camouflage. Meanwhile, in the California Toyger breed, the mackerel tabby pattern has been selectively refined into a more tiger-like pattern of thin but solid stripes (sometimes called candle-flames) which do not break up, while in red self Persians, the classic tabby pattern has been refined to coalesce and to mask the background colour as far as possible in order to create the illusion of a "solid red" cat.The cat fancy recognises four basic types of tabby (ticked, mackerel, classic, spotted) with breed-specific variations on each of these types. For example the "marbled tabby" seen in Bengals is a variation on the "classic tabby". Nature isn't so restricted in its patterns and there are numerous variations found in random-bred cats and emerging breeds (particuarly those with hybrid ancestry) that aren't recognised by the cat fancy. So as well as the cat fancy definitions, I've covered as many variations as I can and there are no doubt many more out there! The most common tabby pattern is named after the fish! A good description of the vertical stripes that run parallel on the cat's sides. Some people also refer to mackerel tabbies as "the guys in the pinstripe suits"!