What determines a cat's paw pad color?

Or rather, how’s come my tuxedo cat with the white socks has pink toe pads only where his white sock fur is, and black toe pads only where his black “leg” fur is? Is a cat’s skin color tied to its fur color? (What color is a cat under all that hair?) My tuxedo cat has a black nose and black lips with paw pads varying depending on hair color, my brown tabby has a pink nose (a tabby trait, right?) with black paw pads, and my orange cat used to have a pink nose with pink pads and pink lips, but as time goes on they acquire more and more brown speckles. I’ve read some on cat coat genetics, which is interesting, but not on skin color and if skin color is the same thing as nose, lip, or paw pad color. What gives?

Yep. At least to some extent - my black cat has black toepads and as I’ve seen from when his ass got shaved recently, darkish skin generally.

You mean skin color or what is the base coat color? In this case the base color is black, overlain with a big white spot. Your cat has the dominant black ( really very dark brown ) allele, but the piebald pattern trait always overlays anything. In this case you have seperate alleles functioning for color ( black ) and pattern ( piebald spotting ).

If you mean the skin, I’m guessing pink under the white ( my piebald orange cat has a very pink belly under his snow-white fur ) and dark under the black.

This is the cat equivalent of freckles - it’s called “orange cat lentigo” and they all seem to accumulate them. My orange and white cat gets them too. Permanent but harmless accumulations of pigment.

You know I’ll revise that slightly. My black cat ( on ruffling his skin ) has sort of an off-white/light grayish color, not black like his toes. But it is a mile different from the pink on my other cat. More melanin in other words. Similarly my piebald cat has more pigmented ( but still light-colored ) skin under the orange fur compared to the pinkish belly. So there is certainly some sort of loose but definite correlation between skin tone and cat coat in terms of melanin concentration.

To some extent, it is hereditary. Our Bengals (in fact, all pure Bengals) have all their pads black. This pertains whether they are spotted, marbled or snow leopard. Also, the tips of their tales are always black too.

Our cats’ skin is sort of grayish.

I read somewhere that the only animal who has skin pattern the same as their coat markings are zebras. Just Googled it, and sure enough, it is true. Cool, eh?

When my grey-and-white cat was shaved heavily for medical procedures last year, I noticed that the skin under her white fur was pink, and the fur under the grey patches was a dull grey; you could still see the size and shape of the grey patches even when she was hairless in those spots. Her toe-pads and nose are pink.

I seem to recall that white patches is caused by a particular gene, which is actually a local form of ablinism, as it causes a total lack of pigment in the area affected, hence the pink skin in those areas. Otherwise, I think the skin of cats is mostly greyish-black by “default”. I fully admit that this might be completely incorrect - it’s just vaguely recollected ideas from a long-ago Intro to Genetics class!

That makes a certain amount of sense.

Of course anecdotally my orange cat’s skin appears lighter than my black cat’s skin. But that might be an optical illusion from all that different-colored hair. I need a spectroscopic analysis :).

I’ve noticed bi-colored pads with my mom and sister’s Shih Tzus.