ROAN: FINNISH MUTATION
Copyright 2002 - 2022, Sarah Hartwell

This phenotype seems fairly uniform, but all of the reported cats have either been sterilised or were infertile due to inbreeding. It would be exciting to be able to breed and investigate this mutation. Most of the cats were found in Finland, withone turning up around 1000km away in a town in Russia. All were found as stray or feral cats. In general the torso has a mix of black and white fur giving a roan effect. The legs and tail are white with black dapples. The head is solid black with a white inverted V-blaze and a black nose. Some of the cats also have evenly spaced, well contrasting white spots on the torso. The shoulders and the front of the forelegs is darker than the torso.

Maria Heinola from Finland brought this cat (Kuura, alias Tuisku) to my attention in 2009 and cat rescuer Saila Tiainen (who has allowed the use of the photos) has provided background information. Kuuru is shown at about one year old and has dark, copper coloured eyes. Like Pandora, she initially appeared to be tortie without red pigment. However, with males also being born with the markings, it appears to be a whole new colour/pattern mutation. Saila explained that Kuuru is a domestic shorthair born in the small countryside province of Petäjävesi in Central Finland. She was born in a a household colony that had been inbreeding for up to a decade. There was no control over the cats' reproduction except for excess kittens being destroyed. No-one is sure when the white-tabby pattern first appeared. In August 2007, a rescue society removed several kittens and all the pregnant females. In December 2008, at the owner's request, they took the remaining 7-8 cats, half of which were put down due to FIP and severe behaviour problems (probably feral). There were mainly two types of colouring: at least 5 individuals had the white-tabby pattern, including males and females; there were also black cats and black-white bicolours. The cats' owner said that 3 females with the white-tabby pattern were infertile. One of those white-tabbies was Kuuru (female, now neutered) who also has an abnormal tail tip. There was a young male with the same colouring and an adult female with behavioural problems (probably feral) that was likely to be put down. It is not known how many generations had the white-tabby pattern, whether any were fertile or which of the black/black-white bicolours carried the pattern. The fact there are males with the colour means it is not, as initially thought, tortie without red pigment, but a new colour/pattern mutation.

 

Another such cat was born in 2015 and was posted on Facebook by Janette Kivari and passed on (with permission) by Iina Nokelainen. The cat is named Harmi and belongs to Janette's boss. Harmi was born around 10km from Kuura's place of origin, Hattulantie, Keuruu. She came from a litter of several kittens. All her siblings were mackerel tabbies or bicolors. Her mother was a mackerel tabby, but the father's colour is unknown. She was born with this colouration, except that the grey areas of her fur were paler, becoming darker as she got older. Harmi has yellow-ish eyes. It isn't known whether Harmi came from an uncontrolled population, but she is most likely related to Kuura.

 

The next Finnish mutation cat was reported around 1000km away in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia to unknown parents and was reported in November 2017 by Natalia Border-Rottys who took some photos of the cat at a show. He was shown as a neutered household pet. Once again the legs and tail are pale and dappled, the torso is black roan and the head is black with a white blaze and black nose.

 

MESSYBEAST : COLOURS, CONFORMATION & FUR TYPES