15 June 2022

The gene mutation that causes the distinctive copper colouring in British cats has been discovered by Professor Marie Abitbo of the Université de Lyon. Belle Ayr Cats contributed samples to the research project and is continuing to work with Professor Abitbo on research into the rare lightened sunshine variation present in our lines.

Belle Ayr "Moon" with the Sunshine Gene

Belle Ayr "Moon" with the Sunshine Gene

We are delighted to announce the discovery by Professor Marie Abitbol, from the Université de Lyon, VetAgro Sup, Marcy-l’Etoile, France, of the "copper" gene mutation that creates the copper, or "sunshine", type colour in British cats.

Belle Ayr Cats GB/UK contributed samples to the research and has received confirmation that we have bred cats that are homozygous (have inherited the DNA sequence from both parents) for the mutation.

Prof. Abitbol has informed us that some of our cats have a lighter variation of the sunshine colouring. She has asked us to contribute more samples to enable her team to try and identify the  mutation that lightens the copper colour.

We have a few litters now with this mutation across three generations. These litters display both the copper and the lightened sunshine gene.

Prof. Abitbol kindly confirmed we can share her research.

Abitbol, M., Dargar, T. & Gache, V. (2022) Golden cats: A never-ending story!. Animal Genetics, 00, 1–4.