A puzzle for cat lovers. Can you solve this?

Ireland
April 24, 2007 6:11am CST
I have two cats who are from the same litter, which had a total of three kittens. The female is a tortoiseshell. The male is black with white paws and a white stripe on his chest. The third cat, which we don't have, was a dusky orange. They are all short haired and have normal colored eyes and standard tails. The mother of the kittens was also a tortoiseshell. Can anyone tell me what you think the father of the litter looked like, and if so, what is your reason for this answer?
4 people like this
8 responses
@ElicBxn (60016)
• United States
24 Apr 07
There were probably 2 fathers at the very least, maybe even 3. The father of the ginger cat (orange) could've also been the father of the tortie. The father of the tuxedo cat was probably also a tuxedo.
5 people like this
• Ireland
24 Apr 07
That is a fascinating answer! What is your reasoning for this?
5 people like this
@ElicBxn (60016)
• United States
24 Apr 07
Experiance. When my mom's cat came into heat, she had 6 kittens. We could figure out who 3 of the fathers were. There were 2 grey tabbies & we knew Timothy was their father. There was a black tom hanging around & there were 2 black kittens. Then there was a brown tabby who looked sort of like mom & a solid grey who's father was a solid grey tom that had come around when she was in heat.
2 people like this
• United States
24 Apr 07
Cats can have up to 7 different male partners that contribute to one litter so your guess is as good as mine ... but I would bet it is prodominent of the male runt of the litter
4 people like this
• Ireland
24 Apr 07
Seven different fathers! Holy moly! Is that cutoff because seven is the maximum nuber of cats in a litter? The runt of the litter was the little black tuxedo fellow. So you htink a black cat with socks is the most likely culprit? By the way, Mama was an indoor cat, so I wouldn''t have suspected many, many fathers but I guess that is certainly possible!
3 people like this
• United States
24 Apr 07
i'm guessing the father could be tabby. short hair,and white chest/paws sounds like a tabby trait.
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• Ireland
24 Apr 07
Ah ha. Plus, the ginger /orange cat seems to me could be genetically along the same lines as the tortie mother. It's my understanding that torties and calicos are a type of cat that carries it's dominance through the ladies. Since the orange kitten was male...? Could he have gotten his coloration from hism other?
3 people like this
• United States
24 Apr 07
i'd say the orange is from his father too-perhaps an orange tabby. 2 of my kittens had an orange tabby father-one was born tuxedo,and the other calico.their mother also was calico.
3 people like this
@Gemmygirl1 (2871)
• Australia
24 Apr 07
Chances are the father was Ginger - my reasoning - my cat, Knickers, had a litter of 4 kittens about 18 months or so ago, let me describe the 4 kittens to you :- 1) Ginger, male, short haired 2) Black & white, female, fluffy 3) Grey, white & black, female & fluffy 4) Tiger stiped with orange (so technically a tortoiseshell), female, short haired. Mum was a tortoiseshell - a weird looking one but still one all the same - short haired - the father (well the of the male cats we've seen around here) we're pretty sure was a big, fat, fluffy ginger cat. So the ginger from the dad & the 3 colours from the Mum just make up a mixture of all different colours! So just going on that i'd say the father would have been ginger coz you ended up with a litter that sounds a lot like my own litter! HOWEVER, your cat could have had numerous partners - the reason i say this is because unlike people, animals can get DNA from all mates & so they will get a little of eat mate, in each baby!
• Ireland
24 Apr 07
Here's another interesting tidbit from JSTOR: "Paternity was analysed in two domestic cat populations... A total of 312 offspring, 76 mothers and 65 putative fathers.... Our data showed a high rate of multiple paternity in the urban population (70-83% of litters with more than one father), whereas it was much lower in the rural population (0-22% of litters with more than one), as most males were able to monopolize the entire litter. Hmn!
2 people like this
@KarenO52 (2951)
• United States
24 Apr 07
If the father is the one with the black coloring, it should show up in the kittens, because black is more likely to show up as it's a dominant gene. If there is no black apparent, it's probably the orange cat who is the father. I think that tortoiseshell is a recessive trait, so it would show up if one of the males had that trait also. I could be wrong though. It's been a long time since I studied genetics in college.
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@KarenO52 (2951)
• United States
24 Apr 07
Nevermind my response, I goofed, I thought that the cats you were describing were the adult males. I have to wake up a little more.
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@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
25 Apr 07
I've read some of the other responses about how females can have several mates to create a litter...but I'm still puzzled..you see I've had females that had litters too...and it seems a bit strange that the mother of the kittens was tortoiseshell and one of her kittens also a female was tortoiseshell..I'm puzzled because usually..and I say usually the female kittens will take on the coloration of the father while the males the mother...---unless somewhere in the genetic make-up of the father was also tortoiseshell...as for the male kitten??? could be a reflection of the father cat.who may have been dark or black himself
1 person likes this
• Ireland
26 Apr 07
Well that is another interesting tidbit that I have never heard. I have never had a male tortie, but my siser had a cat that was a tortie and she threw a litter of 5, including a female tortie like her, an orange female and male tabby, a female many colored calico, and a another female calico with a lot of gray color. We had no idea who the father of that batch was.
• United States
28 Apr 07
First off, torties are only females. Second, female cats mate with many males. So, one litter of cats can have many different dads for each kitty. So, no way of knowing what daddy looked like.
1 person likes this
@jwfarrimond (4475)
25 Apr 07
This'll give you more information about the genetics of Orange/ginger and calico/tortie cats: http://www.askipedia.com/index.php?action=article&cat_id=015001&id=202
1 person likes this