Understanding Mendelian inheritance as it applies to KittycatS

This is an article for KittycatS breeders within the digital platform of Second Life.

Mendel discovered how genetic information was passed by or inherited by breeding pea plants and tracking which traits were shown and hidden by watching the variations of pea plant that the plants produced and tracking his results.

For KittycatS, we can use a rather simple punnet square to understand the possibilities but there are a number of things that we must take into account in doing so. This article seeks to explain these things.

This punnet square would be wrong

Look at the punnet square above. If we want to know the chances of a fur passing and let’s say we have a Russian Black male mating with a Balinese Cream Lynx. We’ll say that Russian is X and Balinese is O. If we simply place x on the top and o on the side, we get XO, but we are forgetting a basic principle. Each cat has two traits, one dominant and one hidden.

This punnet square would be correct

This punnet square accounts for both parents having two possible furs that can be passed, one being dominant (capitalized) and one being recessive or hidden (small letter). This square shows us that there is a 25% chance of both cats passing their recessive hidden fur. There is a 25% chance of both passing russian, a 25% of both passing balinese, and a 50% chance of one parent passing russian and the other passing balinese.

Now, this assumes that both parents have both russian black and balinese cream lynx furs. But, what if they don’t? What then do those recessive small letters represent? Well, now we have to go to our pedigree which KittycatS graciously provides for us. If we click our cat, we can choose info which then will give us a pedigree link in local chat.

While we can see the parents shown or dominant traits in the local chat, what we cannot see is their hidden or recessive traits and we must remember an important principle. Each cat passes one trait for each trait slot (like fur) onto the kitten and each cat has two traits, one dominant and one recessive. When you click the pedigree link, you will hopefully see their parents as well.

Unfortunately, if you are just starting out, not all cats have long lines which can you see going way back and you will be forced to make an educated guess on what traits they have. The dominant traits are easy to see, but the recessive may not be what you think depending on the cats in the genetic line. Mom got two traits from her mom and dad, which both got two traits from their moms and dads and so forth.

In these cases, you must be like Mendel and through mating, try to bring out those recessive traits. Ahhh…but now, there is something else to consider. Some traits are also dominant and recessive to others. You can find a list of these traits by clicking your cat and choosing online help, which take you to their website, then choosing forums -> breeding -> forum based dominance charts. Thanks to other breeders who are kind and share their findings, there are charts and a plethora of posts and pedigrees showing and proving which traits are dominant or recessive. If a cat receives two traits for fur and one is dominant to other, you are most likely going to have that fur showing. I say most likely because I did not script these cats but you are safe to assume you will get that trait showing.

Now, this is a simplified explanation of genetics and inheritance that you can use to breed your cats and use to look at what possible traits a kitten might have. You can use a seperate box for each set of traits, as that is simplest. I hope this helps you! If you want a more detailed explanation to take this further, see https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/gregor-mendel-and-the-principles-of-inheritance-593/#

Please keep in mind that I just love and breed kittycats myself, I am in no way associated with Kittycats, someone else does all that hard work and deserves that credit. Find them at https://kittycats.ws/blog/

Find our market at http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Bondage%20Bay/131/194/42

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