Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Right Then. Colours. Again.

I was going to tell you about Freddie's new home today but that will have to wait as I am having a bit of a colour crisis.

Basically, I am wondering now if my two chocolates are not in fact blues, (and whether therefore Kurt is perhaps a chocolate) I am doing some snooping online... I shall bore you all with my findings over the next couple of days, no doubt!

Let me show you what I mean. Here's Freddie and Louis...


Freddie's always had a different colour coat to Louis, browner somehow. You can sort of see it here:

But see this foot? And that tail? Surely that's a blue foot and tail, right? That's Freddie's...

And here they are, front on. Fred on the left, Louis on the right. Friedrich IS a little bit browner, but come on, those kittens are the same colour... aren't they? But I swear last week Marta and Freddie were a totally different colour to Louis...

So. Assuming they are blues, then I have to decide whether they are minks or solids. Well, they are both obviously darker with less contrast between the points than Miss Gretl (who has a blue tail, so no chance of her being a sneaky lilac lol) but remember this little guy?

Yup, our Wendell, from the last litter. He ws a blue solid, here he is at approximately the same age as this litter are now, and he's definitely blue solid. Neither Freddie or Louis, or Marta for that matter, are this dark in the body, and they should be if they are solids.

So it's all very difficult!

For my new families, I would like to say this: colouring Tonkinese IS notoriously difficult- even the experienced breeders get it wrong sometimes. Often kittens don't 'settle' into their final colour until they are quite mature, browns turn out to be blues and so on. Yet we have to send off for their pedigree slips at seven-ish weeks old- ie I should do it this weekend, really. Plenty of room for error, then, and hence me having a major wibble now!

I do promise this though: If your tonk does end up looking very different to the colour it was supposed to be, send me some pictures and I will discuss it with other breeders to get their opinion. If they agree that the cat is indeed a different colour to the one registered, and if it bothers you that the wrong colour is recorded on the pedigree slip, I will apply change that pedigree slip at my own expense. Lots of ifs, there!


  1. Hi Beth,
    Just to say - we are completely not worried about the pedigree slip thing. Our two kittens are gorgeous, whatever they turn out to be! One question though - if Louis (Louisa???) turns out to be mink, does that mean that Gretl is a colour point (if I have the terminology right)? K

    1. You are along the right lines. What you mean is a 'pointed' but Indigo cannot have pointed kittens. So Gretl MUST be a mink.

      Basically there are two colourpoint genes, which are co-dominant. The siamese breed (and other breeds), and pointed Tonkinese have two 'siamese colourpoint' genes. The Burmese, and solid Tonkinese, have two 'burmese colourpoint' genes. Mink Tonks have one of each!

      Because Indigo is a solid, she will always pass on a Burmese colourpoint gene to her kittens, and the gene passed on by the stud will decide whether they are solid or mink.

      At the moment I am favouring registering Louis and Marta as blue solids and I'm undecided about Freddie. Probably also a solid. But Gretl is undisputably a mink :)

      What you will have to do though is keep an eye on their eye colouring and let me know what colour their eyes are at around a year old, that might help to decide once and for all!

      All Tonkinese, whether they have the pointed/siamese, mink/tonkinese or solid/burmese pattern are colourpoint cats, there will always be some definition between points and the rest of their bodies, even the 'solids' are not one solid colour. The question is to what degree.

      Edited my reply as I got my own terminology mixed up there... d'oh! It IS confusing, I admit!

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