are brown cats rare

Brown Cats are Rare: Cat Genetics Explained

Cats come in all different colors and patterns and some coat colors are much more common than others. A true brown cat is rare and hard to find in the chocolate variety.

Brown cats are most often pedigree cats and are very beautiful. The cat’s coat color depends on the genetics of the parents and lineage, just as humans get certain characteristics from their parents and their family history.

What Makes a Cat’s Coat Color?

The cat’s fur color is determined by its genes, which can be recessive or dominant. Melanin is what determines a cat’s coat color, just as it determines human skin color. It’s a type of pigmentation with two components. Eumelanin produces different shades of brown and black. Pheomelanin determines the coat colors of yellow and red in cats.

A cat with dominant genes may have more eumelanin or pheomelanin in its coat to be a medium black, dark brown, or red color. If a cat has recessive genes of eumelanin or pheomelanin, they will be a different color.

Beautiful Brown Cats and Their Rarity

Cats with high amounts of eumelanin will display the coat color of B/b/b1, where the B code is for black and the b and b1 code are recessive codes with brown variations and reduced eumelanin.

This makes cats appear to be brown in their coat colors. It’s a mutation of the black gene that makes brown coat colors in all different species of mammals.

There are several types of brown-colored cats, including chocolate, cinnamon, and diluted chocolate and brown cats.

What are Chocolate Cats?

A black cat has the gene code of B/B, meaning it can only be black, so it can’t have any brown in its coat or produce brown kittens. Cats with the genetic code of B/b have a dominant black gene and a recessive black gene, making them carriers of the brown coat color.

This cat can give the chocolate variant to up to 50% of their kittens. If two cats mate with a B/b gene, then 25% of all their kittens could be chocolate brown. If a cat’s genes are b/b, it is chocolate brown and it can have all chocolate brown kittens. Chocolate cats and kittens are a beautiful rich chocolate brown.

What are Cinnamon Cats?

Most people think of the chocolate brown color when they think of the brown coat color of a cat. However, there is a variation that is called cinnamon that is actually a brown cat too.

Cinnamon cats have light brown coats, but they aren’t reddish brown. The light brown coloration may appear as a sort of smoky light brown.

Cats with the genes of b1/b1 are cinnamon-colored and will most likely transmit this color to their babies. If they display b/b1 genes, it’s the recessive brown genes for chocolate and cinnamon, then the kittens produced will be about 50% of the same cinnamon color. If two cats are b/b1, and they mate, then 25%of the offspring will likely inherit the cinnamon color.

What are Diluted Chocolate and Brown Cats?

The rarest brown variant color of cat coat that is only found in purebred cats is a light caramel color which is called fawn. It’s basically the same light brown as a baby deer is, but without the white spots.

It isn’t a diluted cinnamon-colored gene but is in fact a different gene in these rare and wonderful cats. The dense pigment gene of D for the dominant color and d for the recessive color produces a fawn cat. It lightens a cat’s fur greatly and makes it appear much paler.

With the recessive gene of d, both parents would need to have the gene combination of d/d for a fawn kitten to be born.

Furthermore, there is also a recessive gene of this code of d/d while is the rarest of all and it produces kittens in purebred types with a lilac or lavender coat which is also a variation of diluted cinnamon or brown cat.

Can Cat’s Coats Change Color?

The short answer is no. However, a black cat doesn’t have a brown gene. So its coat doesn’t turn from black to brown at some point in time.

A black cat that spends a considerable amount of time outside in the sunlight, may appear to be brownish though.

This is more visible in long-haired cats, such as the Maine Coon cat. When the cat sheds as it starts to get cooler, its coat will turn back to a darker black color.

Please remember that cats need some shade and shelter in the hot summer months because their ears and noses can actually be sunburned.

The cries of a cat with sunburn are very disheartening and not something you ever want to experience.

If you do have a black cat that is an inside cat and he starts to turn brown, it can be a sign of a tyrosine deficiency and he should be taken to your veterinarian.

Which Breeds of Cats are Available in Brown?

Four distinct breeds of cats have brown as the staple color of their breed. You can search for these particular breeds of cats in order to find you a rare and beautiful brown kitten or cat.

The Havana Brown

The Havana Brown cat is the only cat that has a true chocolate coat, although it’s rare. This cat breed was made by crossing a Siamese cat with a chocolate brown face, a black domestic shorthair, and a Russian blue.

The Havana Brown has a chocolate coat and its whiskers and nose are chocolate as well for a stunning appearance.

The Havana Brown is more docile than most of the other brown kitties. It has a huge desire for attention and is one of the most intelligent cats you can find. It’s medium in its friendliness to other pets and children.

The Havana Brown has a muscular and firm torso with a medium-length neck and a graceful appearance.

The end of the mouth is almost square with a well-developed chin that has sparse fur. The ears are round at the tips and large while cupped at the base. His ears are wide-set and tilt forward with little hair on the inside or outside of the ears.

The York Chocolate

The York Chocolate is a rich brown color that is slightly darker than the Havana Brown and it has a longer coat. It can be chocolate brown, or chocolate and white, or chocolate and lilac.

This type of kitty is playful with a pretty high activity level. It is one of the most friendly cats to other pets as well as to children. The grooming requirements are low, as its fur isn’t very long.

The York Chocolate loves attention and is very affectionate to the owners, as you can tell by it like to be a “lap cat.” This breed is very docile and intelligent as well as hardy and independent.

The York Chocolate is a medium to a large-sized cat. The neck is short to medium on top of a full and rounded chest.

It is very sturdy in appearance and the rear legs are a bit longer than the front, so the rump is a bit higher than the shoulders. It has a medium-sized head in proportion to the body with a rounded muzzle.

The ears are large and pointed with delightful tufts of hair on the tips and set far apart. The ears are also tufted inside but there is little hair on the rear of the ears.

The York Chocolate has medium-sized eyes that are almond-shaped with a slight slant to the nose. The eye color can be striking in gold, hazel, or green.

The Burmese Cat

The Burmese Cat is available in a rich dark brown coat or a warm beige, medium gray with fawn undertones or a pale gray coat.

This breed of cat is the most playful you will ever encounter and they are a bit vocal at times when insisting you play with them.

Their activity level is high and they thrive on the attention of their owners. They are an intelligent feline breed.

The Burmese Cat is medium-sized and very muscular as it presents a nice and compact appearance. The males tend to be a bit larger, as can be expected.

This breed has a large rounded chest and level back from shoulder to tail with front and hind legs the same length. The ears are medium-sized and set far apart.

The ear tips are rounded for a soft appearance as they tip forward slightly and give the cat an alert appearance. The eyes are large, round, and set far apart.

The Oriental Shorthair

The Oriental Shorthair can be chocolate brown, fawn or lavender, cinnamon, or any other color in between these. It has long legs and a long face and appears almost naked because the coat is so short.

The Oriental Shorthair cat is also super playful with a high activity level that thrives on attention. It is also quite vocal while being one of the most intelligent cats you will ever find.

The Oriental Shorthair cat has a slender and graceful body with fine bones and firm muscles. The neck is long and slender with a sophisticated and elegant appearance.

The eyes are set close together on a flat skull with a long and straight nose. The ears in this breed appear strikingly large and pointed while broad at the base. It has almond-shaped green eyes.

Finding a brown cat or kitten to add to your family may take a bit of research and waiting for one to be available as they are rare and absolutely beautiful.

No matter which breed of brown kitty you choose, you will have a long-term four-legged family member to spoil.

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