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Color palette of Siberian cats

There is a wide color palette of Siberian cats. We differentiate two main color types: achromatic (color point or so-called Neva Masquerade) and traditional.

According to WCF and FIFE standarts, such colors as chocolate, lilac, cinnamon and fawn are not permitted in any combinations in either traditional or Neva Masquerade color variety. All other color varieties are permitted, any amount if white is allowed.

Traditional colors

Black mackerel tabby

Black mackerel tabby, also called striped, brown mackerel tabby or just brown tabby / black tabby carries the code SIB n 23. Brown color, while it sounds confusing, has no connection to chocolate color (not accepted for Siberian cats). Our Evlampiya Vivalavita is presenting the black mackerel tabby on the picture.

Black mackerel tabby cats carry the dominant allele B. Black is the darkest color, while the space between stripes can be brown, gray or warm orange.

The color of undercoat does not play a role. The priority lays on how distinct and rightly placed the stripes are:

  • A classic letter M stripe on the forehead;
  • One stripe on the back;
  • Two long stripes on the sides parallel to the stripe on the back;
  • A “necklace” line;
  • Thin sharp lines from the back to the belly;
  • Two rows of “buttons” on the belly.

Siberian mackerel cats have very expressive eyes with a light liner. They have black paws, a raccoon-like tail and black tufts of hair on the ears. It is common for black tabby cats to have solid yellow or green eyes.

Black classic tabby

Black classic (or blotched) tabby carries the code SIB n 22. There are also diluted variations of this color: a22 (blue classic tabby), g22 (blue/cream classic tabby), d22 (red classic tabby), f22 (torbie classic). Reaching a clear pattern has been very challenging considering the long hair of Siberian cats.

Classic tabby is less common compared to mackerel tabby. A good example of black classic tabby is Blueberry Vivalavita. Siberian cats carrying such color should display:

  • A classic letter M stripe on the forehead;
  • One stripe on the back;
  • Two long stripes on the sides parallel to the stripe on the back;
  • A “necklace” line;
  • “Butterfly” shapes on the shoulders;
  • Circles on the sides;
  • Two rows of “buttons” on the belly.

Black spotted tabby

Black spotted tabby color carries the code SIB n 24. Spotted tabby is often confused with black mackerel. The former should display clear spots on the sides of the cat. A proud owner of black spotted tabby in our cattery is Grilyazh Vivalavita.

Golden color

The genetics behind golden color has not been fully explored by the experts yet. Golden color is considered modified black. This color is very rare and precious, as it is challenging to maintain the strong body structure in golden cats. Such color normally comes along with green or emerald eyes. Our cattery specializes on breeding golden cats, more details about which you can explore in the dedicated article. As an example please take a look at our golden Bounty Vivalavita.

Golden color can vary from cold, so-called green gold to bright red gold. Golden can also appear in diluted variants as well as in combination with white. Some cats can acquire the golden color over many years.

A person with little experience might not spot any difference between a golden and a red cat. Genetically these two colors are very different though. Golden color can be easily identified by the following features:

  • Warm peach undercoat. Should a cat have a gray undercoat instead, it will be identified as “warm brown”, or, tehnically speaking, black or blue tabby;
  • Black paws and paw pads, peach color feet;
  • Black hair ends;
  • Black tip of the tail.

Red color

Red cats are often confused with golden cats. Every expert however knows that red color originates from a totally different gene, gene O (orange). This gene is directly connected to the gender, therefore male cats are either black or red, while female cats can be a combination of black and red. Vivat Vivalavita displayed on the photo is representing the red color.

Siberian cats of red color often have dark orange eyes. This eye color is undesirable for other fur colors.

Other colors

Diluted colors

All of the aforementioned colors can have diluted variants which appear lighter and softer. Gene D (dilutor) is responsible for this, creating a variety of colors such as:

  • From black mackerel - blue mackerel;
  • From black classic tabby - blue classic tabby;
  • From black spotted - blue spotted;
  • From black silver classic tabby - blue silver classic tabby;
  • From black chinchilla - blue chinchilla;
  • From red mackerel - cream mackerel.

The photo displays Blue bird Vivalavita, blue golden classic tabby.

Should the color be missing the agouti factor (the pattern), cats will be carrying a full / solid color. Eye color can vary.

Smoke color

Smoke color is a result of combined full (non-agouti) and silver. As a result one can observe black smoke, blue smoke, red smoke or tortie smoke cats.

Ideally smoke can only be seen when the cat is in movement, as its key feature is the bright white undercoat (the stronger the contrast, the better).

Uneven smoke on different body parts and pattern spots are considered faults in such color.

Colors with white

According to the standard, Siberian cats can carry any amount of white in combination with their color. A cat can have white spots on its chest, stomach, paws; as well as color combinations defined as bicolor, van, harlekin. Brothers Diamond Vivalavita and Darwin Vivalavita depicted on the photo display their black spotted bicolor color.

White color in Siberian cats can be defined by either superdominant white allele W or recessive allele of angora albino. Should the gene W be passed over by at least one parent, kittens will be white (no matter the color of the second parent). In the second case both parents should be carrying the recessive allele of angora albino.

Color point

To obtain the color point one should pair traditional and color point cats in order to retain the original Siberan type.

Siberian color point cats are very popular. There are certain expectations towards color points:

  • Correct coloring of the points;
  • Clear border between the points and the rest body color;
  • Equal coloring of the points;
  • Points on paws, face and tail should have the same color intensity;
  • Absense of dark spots on the stomach.

Today's standards allow for Siberian cats to have exotic colors and various combinations of fur and eye colors.

This information is based on the article by Nekrasova I.