Copyright 2002 - 2016, Sarah Hartwell

The concept of a white cat with coloured spots, akin to a Dalmatian dog or Appaloosa horse, has intrigued numerous people. In some feral colonies, white cats with numerous small black splashes have been found alongside bicolour cats with the conventional Grades 1 - 9 of white spotting. This suggests the presence of modifier genes which affect the distribution of colour and white. Inbreeding causes genes to double up so that recessive genes and traits controlled by multiple genes become visible. It would be possible to have genes which interact with the semi-dominant white spotting gene such that small patches of colour break through the white or which cause a breakdown in white spotting.

Some breeders report a consistently high incidence of numerous small splashes of colour on the body in certain breeding lines which suggests to them that some other gene(s) is being inherited alongside the white spotting gene.

Now we come to speckled legs! Keeley Rochelle Pilling ( Northernpaws) provided these photos of her cat Tedde who has dark speckles on his legs and feet. These were present right from birth and appear to be a mutation where the underlying colour breaks through th white masking. It is unusual to see so much speckling and on all of the limbs.

Then in 2014, Al in Michigan sent me photos of his cat, Jasmine, who also has dark speckles on her legs and feet and very well speckled limbs. Jasmine died in January 2012. All tells me she was a docile, affectionate, soft-spoken little thing who weighed less than five pounds andwho loved to be brushed. She was a black-and-white "tuxedo" pattern cat, but one with black polka-dots all over her white gloves and socks. Not visible in these images, she also had a black dot in the center of her chest in the place where some cats have a white dot, and a cluster of several black polka-dots on her white belly. Her ancestry is unknown. She was found on the street as a tiny kitten, taken in and hand-fed and hand-raised by a neighbor in 1997 or 1998.