New information on how white and white spotting works
In October 2014 a research paper on the genes for white cats and dominant piebald spotting was published. Now UC Davis (VGL) has developed a DNA-test for this locus.
What is new?
The genes for dominant white W (self-coloured white) and dominant white spotting ws (previously S) are found on the same locus, as different alleles – variations of the gene. Risk factors for white cats being deaf or hearing is dependent of which genes they carry:
- Homozygous white cats WW are likely to be fully or partially deaf
- White carrying white spotting Wws have a higher risk of being deaf than White carrying non-white Ww
- White cats carrying non-white have a higher chance of hearing
The number of tested and controlled cats is not large (270 cats from 30 cat breeds), but the study indicates that
- white cats should never be bred to other white cats (this is a rule in FIFe already)
- white cats should not be bred to white spotted cats, only non-white to lower risk of deaf offspring
The different possibilities for this gene: Genotype Colour – Farge WW White cat – helhvit Wws White cat, carrier of white spotting – helhvit og bærer av hvitflekk Ww White cat, not carrier of white spotting – helhvit og ikke bærer av hvitflekk wsws White spotting (highwhite) – hvitflekk: van, harlekin eller bicolor wsw White spotting (bicolour or white paws/bib) – hvitflekk: bicolour eller hvitepoter+bryst/mage ww Not white or white spotting – ikke helhvit, ikke hvitflekk