What is the deal with this cloning situation:

I’m taking it on faith that this has been verified to be true. The question: Why would a clone have different markings?


Because in a calico cat the exact pattern of markings is determined somewhat randomly during development:

The genes for black and orange coloration are carried on the X chromosome. In females, one of the two Xs in each cell becomes de-activated. All cells descended from such a cell will have the same pattern of de-activation, producing orange and black spots.

It’s a bit more complicated than that, but basically coloration is determined not just by genetics, but also by development.

If I remember correctly, differences in the fetal enviroment among other things. Calico markings are determined to some extent by the conditions inside the mother.

The important thing in this case is that each cell deactivates one X chromosome at random. This happens early in development, so each cell leads to a patch of fur. Since the deactivation is random, the coat patterns are random too.

Which colour pattern is it that is directly related to the heat of the body? Like, if you shave a patch, and keep it warmer than th rest of the body, it’ll grow in darker (or lighter)…?

You’re thinking of Siamese cats, that are mostly light, but with dark fur at the extremeties.

Are coat colors random for all cats, or just calicos? My parents have two cats: a calico and a ginger tabby. If we cloned the tabby, would his orange and white areas be the same, or would they be different too?

The X-chromosome deactivation thingy applies only to calicos, but there’s some randomness involved in all coat patterns.

If I had to guess, I’d say if you cloned the tabby, the pattern would be similar, but not identical.

Probably for the same reason that identical twins have different fingerprints.