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Well, I think I need to start this article with a clarification, not long ago we had shaded, shell, and chinchilla, today this is changed. I will go by the new names remember this so that you do not get confused. The Silver-variation is handled in the article: Shaded and Shell.

 

Designation

Golden Tabby All colors and patterns (ny, ay, fy, gy, dy, ey) and (21, 22, 23, 24 and 25)

Golden Shaded

ny 11, ay 11, fy, 11, gy 11, dy 11 and ey 11.

Golden Shell

ny 12, ay 12, fy 12, gy 12, dy 12 and ey 12

 


Goldens will have the (y) behind their normal color code, I did got dy and ey in the list, I dont think we ever seen one in the Maine Coon breed, but the exists in other breeds.
I know that there is believes that the wideband is is a different trait on the MCO then in for example the Persian or Brittish Shorthair, though I have some trouble with this since all other known traits is the same in every breed. I do not know if I'm correct, maybe time will tell if there during my lifetime will be a gene-test for the wideband and for silver, but for now we just have to settle with theories and what we can actually see. Remember as in the Shaded and Shell articles this is what I have learned and seen I have been looking at those colors for about 10-12 years even if it's just about 2 years since I actually started to breed for them. 

There has been a LOT of speculations and a lot of theories about Golden, I will quickly just mention them here.

Old theories about Goldens
Well I will not go into those other theories, you need to read the whole article to understand how the thought around those and in connetion to the theories about the silvershaded and silvershell. But there is a lot of different theories.
The full article of the different old theories: http://www.mat.uniroma2.it/~picard/Cats/Feline_genetics_notes.pdf



If you read the article about Shaded and Shell you will see that this is exactly the same inheritance, just without the silver.
Golden is a cat who does have the wideband gene but no silver.
For example lets say you got a ns 11 (a blacksilver shaded), then go got a kitten who is the same as the adult but without the silver, this kitten will be a ny 11 (a black golden shaded)
So the genetic designation would be like this:

ns 11  AA, II, wbwb
AA, Ii, wbwb
Aa,  II, wbwb
Aa, Ii, wbwb 
 ny 11 AA, ii, wbwb
Aa, ii, wbwb

 

A is the genetic designation for Agouti (read the other articles about color to fully understand this), a golden tabby, shaded or shell (same goes for the silvervariations), must be agouti (with pattern), the could be homozygous or heterozygous so AA or Aa, as seen above a shaded must have silver eighter homozygous II or heterozygous Ii, while a golden does not have any silver ii. Both variations need to have the wideband-gene in double. As you might know from the other article this was supposed to be a dominant trait but today it's believed to be a recessive trait.

Golden seems to be even more uncommon then shaded, I think thats because it's even harder to determine golden if it's not a good golden and this trait is even more unknown by many breeders even those who actually breed for the silvervariation. And I know that in some associations Golden is not even recognized and allowed.

Below is the same table as I used in the other article, here you can see the hairs of the different patterns.

Don't mind my very terrible skill in painting, but here are are some, well visually pictures of the coat of the different patterns.

 silvershell Silvershaded  palesilvertabby  Silvertabby  goldenshell  goldenshaded  goldentabby  blacktabby 
Silver Shell Silver Shaded   Silver (pale)
Still only in theory 
 Silver tabby  Golden shell  Golden Shaded  Golden tabby Normal tabby 


 

Below are some explanations of the different colors.

Golden Shell  1/8 Of the hair is colored, the hair from the root and up to the last 1/8 is very warm from dark yellow to apricot. 
Golden Shaded 1/3 Of the hair is colored, the hair from the root and up to the last 1/3 is very warm from dark yellow to apricot.
Golden Tabby The yellowish bands in the hair are somewhat wider then on a regular tabby, this gives you in general a lighter expression of color.
Still from dark yellow to apricot.
Normal Tabby This is somewhat tricky do not misstake a warm normal tabby for golden it's not the same thing. Remember that you need to see the wideband for the cat to be golden.

 

Determining Shaded, Shell and Golden Tabbies (wideband cats that do have more than 1/3 tipping)

When looking at those colors, keep in mind that on Maine Coon we have not selected for those colors for decades like the have done on, for example, Persians, so we cannot expect to have perfect goldens. The amount of tipping and the ground color should be correct if you want to register your cat as a golden.

 

Shell

 

Shaded

 

Golden Tabby

Golden tabbies is a cat where the yellowish bands in the hair are somewhat wider then on a regular tabby (see the pictures above).

 

One question I think is asked a lot is: How do I know if I got a golden kitten in the litter or not? 

There are a few things to look at, and remember. One thing that is making it very difficult for us is that golden is developing slowly.
Most golden kittens looks more or less like any other tabby we might have, though keep an extra eye on those who are born very, warm in tone.

EvGoldenTjej 01 EvGoldenTjej 02

A Black tortie golden classic tabby (fy 22)
This is a girl at some breeder friends of mine in the south of Sweden, she is a golden tabby.
I will show pictures of her as an adult below so that you can see the developement.
The light in this picture is not optimal but you can see that she got a warm tone.

A Black tortie golden classic tabby (fy 22)
You can see some wideband effect already in the fur but not that clear.
EvGoldenTjej 09 EvGoldenTjej 10
Here you can see the same girl as above as an adult.

And here is the bottom of the coat.
You can clearly see that this is not an normal tabby, she got the wideband effect, even if it's not enough for her to be shaded.

 

Here is a picture not a MCO but just to give a hint what to look for.

goldenbabybri marked 
As you can see here this kitten is very varm and yellowish in the tone between the eye and they ear, where the corresponding silver variation is white, a golden is apricot to dark yellow. 

 

There is so much more to say about this and I will probably get back to this with more pictures and more details when I get my hands on more pictures. Either by being allowed to use others or by getting the chance to take them myself. 

By: Malin Sundqvist