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Genetics

This section deals with the genetics of the 3 breeds.  The Selkirk and LaPerm are recognised in all colours and their genes for curly coat are dominant.  This means when you mate them to a straight coated cat, some of the litter should be curly.

The Russian cat is restricted in its recognised colours and these are explained below.

Russians

Russian cats have similar genetics to all other cats. In the Russian Blue there are a number of masked and diluted colour genes that result in the typical soft silvery grey which breeders call "blue".

The absence of some or all of those genes leads to the unmasking of other colours.  

W or w

White gene. This is dominant and will mask all other colours and markings. It is therefore possible to have a black cat "hiding" under a white coat.

A or a

The "agouti" gene controls tabby markings: In Russian cats the aa condition suppresses the tabby markings though these can often be seen in kittens as "ghost" markings.

The Russian Tabby has at least one "A" gene.  The presence of the dominiant "A" gene allows the markings to be seen.

B or b

Black gene. In all our breeding we have seen no evidence of a "b" recessive. We conclude that all Russian cats only carry the "B" dominant black gene.  If a recessive "b" was in the Russian population you'd expect to see chocolate and lilac kittens appearing in litters.  This has not happened.

D or d

Dilute gene. The recessive gene causes dilution of the black colour gene giving a grey/blue coat colour. In affect all Russian Blues are in fact black and have their colour diluted by this gene to a appear gray or "blue" as we refer to it. 

Russian Blue colour genes: wwaaBBdd

The Russian Blue is the end of the line in colour and markings selection. The effect of the ww, aa and dd recessives mean that Blue to Blue will always breed blues. Blues bred to blacks show a 50/50 blue black result and the resulting blues will again only breed blue cats bred to another blue.

Russian White colour genes: WWaaBBdd or WwaaBBdd

The Russian White carries a dominant white gene that masks all other colours. Therefore, under the white coat can be any other Russian colour: Blue, Tabby or Black. In white breeding 50% of the progency can be expected to be white.

Russian Black colour genes: wwaaBBDD or wwaaBBDd

The Russian black carries a dominant dilution gene 'D' (ie no dilution!). Russian blacks bred to blues produce only blues or blacks. In the rare event a black carries only DD genes then all progeny would be black.

Russian Blue Tabby colour genes: wwAABBdd or wwAaBBdd

Russian Tabby cats are either blue or black cats with tabby markings. A white cat can be a blue or black (brown) tabby cat underneath the white coat.  A blue tabby mated to blue will produce only blue or blue tabby offspring.  However when a brown tabby or black is introduced there is always a possibility of a black coming from a brown tabby/blue mating or a blue coming from a brown tabby/black mating (very low probability).