Birman Gloves

About the Pattern

A mutation in the KIT gene causes Birman cats to have clearly define white feet (gloves).

Two copies of the mutation, one from each parent, are required for Birman cats to be gloved. Birman cats should all have two copies of the mutation since gloving is part of the breed standard; this can be confirmed by the genetic test. The mutation is also found in other breeds of cat, especially the Ragdoll, but work has shown that most mitted Ragdolls do not have two copies of the Birman gloves mutation, which indicates there are other mutations causing mitting/gloving yet to be discovered.

Interpretation of results

Test Result Interpretation
Does not carry Birman Gloves (N/N) The cat has no copies of the Birman white gloves mutation
Carrier of Birman Gloves (N/wg) The cat has ONE copy of the Birman white gloves mutation
It will not be gloved but could produce gloved kittens
Birman Gloves (wg/wg) The cat has TWO copies of the Birman white gloves mutation
The cat will be gloved

This test is specific for the KIT mutation that has been identified in Birman cats to cause white gloving. It will not detect other mutations that also cause gloving patterns, but have not yet been identified.

Further information

View and print 'Genetic tests for cats: what the practitioner needs to know' from our Feline Update Archive

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