Gloves (Birman – White Feet)

Quick Summary

Birman cats have clearly defined white feet ("gloves") as part of their breed standard. This characteristic gloving is caused by a variant in the KIT gene and is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait.
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Birman Cat
Birman exhibiting the breed standard gloving pattern

Phenotype: Birman cats have clearly defined white feet ("gloves") as part of their breed standard.

Mode of Inheritance: Autosomal recessive

Alleles: N = no Birman gloving, G = Birman gloving

Breeds appropriate for testing: Birman

Explanation of Results:

  • Cats with N/N genotype will not have the Birman gloving pattern and cannot transmit this gloving pattern variant to their offspring.
  • Cats with N/G genotype will not have the Birman gloving pattern, but are carriers. They will transmit this gloving pattern variant to 50% of their offspring. Matings between two carriers of Birman gloving are predicted to produce 25% kittens with the Birman gloving pattern.
  • Cats with G/G genotype will have the Birman gloving pattern and will transmit the Birman gloving variant to all of their offspring.
Price

$40 one test per animal

Additional Details
Birman Cat showing white feet
Birman cat showing the breed's clearly defined white feet (aka gloves)

Birman cats must have clearly defined white feet as part of their breed standard. Research by Dr. Barbara Gandolfi in the Lyons Feline Genetics Laboratory at University of California, Davis identified a variant in the KIT gene (c.1035-1036delGCinsTG) that is associated with the gloving pattern characteristic of Birman cats. Gloving is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait, thus a cat must have two copies of the mutation in order to have the gloved white feet. This mutation is virtually fixed in Birman cats, implying that all Birmans must have two copies of it. The variant is found at lower frequencies in other cats such as Ragdoll, Egyptian Mau, Exotic Shorthair, Maine Coon, Manx, Seychellois, Siamese, Siberian, Sphynx and Turkish Van, but is not associated with gloving in breeds other than Birmans.

Purebred Birmans must have two copies of the variant, which can be verified by means of a genetic test. Testing for the Birman gloving pattern mutation in Birman cats can assist owners in understanding and verifying their animal's genetic makeup.

 

Note: This test is specific for the KIT mutation found to be associated with the gloved white pattern of Birman cats. It does not detect yet-to-be identified mutations that may cause gloving patterns in other breeds of cat.
Turnaround Time
2-6 business days
Type of Sample

Species

Cat

Breed

Type of Test

Results Reported As
Test Result Birman gloving
N/N Normal. Cat does not have Birman gloving mutation.
N/G Carrier. Cat has one copy of Birman gloving mutation.
G/G Two copies of Birman gloving mutation are present.
References

Montague, M. J., Li, G., Gandolfi, B., Khan, R., Aken, B. L., Searle, S. M., Minx P., Hillier, L.W., Koboldt, D.C., Davis, B.W., Driscoll, C.A., Barr, C.S., Blackistone, K., Quilez, J., Lorente-Galdos, B., Marques-Bonet, T., Alkan, C., Thomas, G.W., Hahn, M.W., Menotti-Raymond, M., O'Brien, S.J., Wilson, R.K., Lyons, L.A., Murphy, W.J., & Warren, W. C. (2014). Comparative analysis of the domestic cat genome reveals genetic signatures underlying feline biology and domestication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(48), 17230–17235. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1410083111