Do Gray Kittens Actually Exists?
Asking if gray kittens exist seems like a silly question. Of course they do, or do they? If you look through the breed listings and color charts published by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), the major registry for pedigreed cats, you will look long and hard without seeing a reference to gray kittens, or cats.
Almost Gray, But Not Gray - Of course we are talking about pedigreed cats in this case and most kittens we see in a box for sale or for free are anything but, and sometime in that box we'll find a gray kitten or two. But are they actually gray? The list of solid colors recognized by the CFA includes white, black, blue, red, and cream. Of these, the blue color comes closest to what might be considered gray. Gray kittens could be tabby colored with the stripes barely noticeable or smoke colored. This may not be important at all if you are simply looking for gray kittens and will be happy with one or two that seems to be about that color. If you are in the market for a pure breed or pedigreed kitten however, you might not be successful in finding any genuinely gray ones.
One could attempt to breed gray kittens of course. That might not be as easy as it sounds at first. The first step would be to find a male and female who together would be most apt to breed gray kittens. Past generations usually don't matter at all except in a very few instances when it comes to determining the color of kittens in a litter. It's really up to Mom (the dam) and Dad (the sire). So how to you go about picking the right parents? Here are a few of the rules that determine the color or pattern of kittens in a litter.
Mom And Dad Decide - For a kitten to have a dominant color (gray, black, red, etc.); one of the parents must display a dominant color. Dominant colors cannot skip generations. If neither parent has a dominant color, but one or more of the grandparents or great- grandparents were all gray for example, it wouldn't matter. You won't get a gray kitten. The immediate parents, and only the immediate parents determine the color of the kittens in the litter. All of the kittens won't necessarily be the same color unless the breed is pure, but whatever color a kitten will be, has been determined by the parents.
Male kittens take both color genes from the mother (dam), so will either be the same color as the mother or have one of the colors of the mother if she has more than one color (pattern or parti coloring). The female kittens take one color gene from each parent, so will always have one of the colors from each parent although one or both colors may be dominant or dilute.
What all this means is that if it is gray kittens that are desired, both parents must be gray, or have gray as their dominant color if any male offspring are to be gray. A gray mother would however give birth to gray male kittens. One might expect from all of this, if there are indeed gray kittens out there, the majority of them would probably be males. A true gray kitten in that respect is probably somewhat of a rarity, though it would seem that they would be quite common.
Go Gray! - The bottom line might be, if you are searching for one or more gray kittens and see one offered for sale, or to be given away, that looks gray to you, take it. The kitten probably doesn't know or care what color it is, but will be happy to have a nice home and a good chance to grow up to be a healthy gray cat.