OMIA:001737-9685 : Coat colour, white spotting, KIT-related in Felis catus (domestic cat)

In other species: dog , ass (donkey) , Arabian camel , taurine cattle , goat

Categories: Pigmentation phene

Links to possible relevant human trait(s) and/or gene(s) in OMIM: 172800 (trait) , 164920 (gene)

Mendelian trait/disorder: yes

Mode of inheritance: Autosomal co-dominant

Considered a defect: no

Key variant known: yes

Year key variant first reported: 2014

Cross-species summary: Variable degree of white spotting ranging from tiny white spots up to completely white animals. The absence of pigment is caused by the absence of skin melanocytes ("leucism, leucistic"), not by failure in the biochemical reactions required for pigment synthesis.

Species-specific name: Spotting and salmiak

Species-specific symbol: Wand wsal

Species-specific description: see also "OMIA 000214-9685 : Coat colour, white spotting in Felis catus"

Inheritance: White spotting has an autosomal co-domiannt mode of inheritance, salmiak appears to have a recessive mode of inheritance.

Mapping: Cooper et al. (2006) reported that this locus maps near to KIT on FCA B1.

Molecular basis: David et al. (2014) reported the causal mutation of white spotting to be an insertion of an entire feline endogenous retrovirus (FERV1) into intron 1 of the KIT gene. David et al. (2014) identified in the same study that a 617bp insertion of a long terminal repeat (LTR) of the feline endogenous retrovirus (FERV1) is associated with domiant white - see OMIA 000209-9685 : Coat colour, dominant white in Felis catus’ for further detail. Frischknecht et al. (2015) confirmed the causal mutation for white spotting.
Anderson et al. (2024) report a novel coat colour phenotype in the Finnish domestic cat population and named the phenotype salmiak: "Whole-genome sequencing on two salmiak-colored cats was conducted to search for candidate causal variants in the KIT gene. Despite a lack of coding variants, visual inspection of the short read alignments revealed a large ~95 kb deletion located ~65 kb downstream of the KIT gene in the salmiak cats. Additional PCR genotyping of 180 domestic cats and three salmiak-colored cats confirmed the homozygous derived variant genotype fully concordant with the salmiak phenotype." 

Associated gene:

Symbol Description Species Chr Location OMIA gene details page Other Links
KIT v-kit Hardy-Zuckerman 4 feline sarcoma viral oncogene homolog Felis catus B1 NC_058371.1 (161389917..161303938) KIT Homologene, Ensembl , NCBI gene


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WARNING! Inclusion of a variant in this table does not automatically mean that it should be used for DNA testing. Anyone contemplating the use of any of these variants for DNA testing should examine critically the relevant evidence (especially in breeds other than the breed in which the variant was first described). If it is decided to proceed, the location and orientation of the variant sequence should be checked very carefully.

Since October 2021, OMIA includes a semiautomated lift-over pipeline to facilitate updates of genomic positions to a recent reference genome position. These changes to genomic positions are not always reflected in the ‘acknowledgements’ or ‘verbal description’ fields in this table.

OMIA Variant ID Breed(s) Variant Phenotype Gene Allele Type of Variant Source of Genetic Variant Reference Sequence Chr. g. or m. c. or n. p. Verbal Description EVA ID Year Published PubMed ID(s) Acknowledgements
1695 Coat colour, salmiak KIT w^sal deletion, gross (>20) Naturally occurring variant Felis_catus 9.0 B1 NC_018726.3:g.163792100_163887091del a novel 94 991 bp deletion in the 65875 bp downstream region of the KIT gene 2024 38721753
732 Coat colour, white spotting, KIT-related KIT S insertion, gross (>20) Naturally occurring variant Felis_catus_9.0 B1 g.164038110_164038111insN[7125] "an insertion of an entire feline endogenous retrovirus (FERV1) into intron 1 of the KIT gene." 2014 25085922 Genomic position in Felis_catus_9.0 is based on information provided by Leslie Lyons and Reuben Buckley.

Cite this entry

Nicholas, F. W., Tammen, I., & Sydney Informatics Hub. (2024). OMIA:001737-9685: Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals (OMIA) [dataset].


Note: the references are listed in reverse chronological order (from the most recent year to the earliest year), and alphabetically by first author within a year.

2024 Anderson, H., Salonen, M., Toivola, S., Blades, M., Lyons, L.A., Forman, O.P., Hytönen, M.K., Lohi, H. :
A new Finnish flavor of feline coat coloration, "salmiak," is associated with a 95-kb deletion downstream of the KIT gene. Anim Genet , 2024. Pubmed reference: 38721753. DOI: 10.1111/age.13438.
2023 Awazu, A., Takemoto, D., Watanabe, K., Sakamoto, N. :
Possibilities of skin coat color-dependent risks and risk factors of squamous cell carcinoma and deafness of domestic cats inferred via RNA-seq data. Genes Cells 28:893-905, 2023. Pubmed reference: 37864512. DOI: 10.1111/gtc.13076.
2022 Górska, A., Drobik-Czwarno, W., Górska, A., Bryś, J. :
Genetic determination of the amount of white spotting: A case study in Siberian cats. Genes (Basel) 13:1006, 2022. Pubmed reference: 35741768. DOI: 10.3390/genes13061006.
2021 Rodney, A.R., Buckley, R.M., Fulton, R.S., Fronick, C., Richmond, T., Helps, C.R., Pantke, P., Trent, D.J., Vernau, K.M., Munday, J.S., Lewin, A.C., Middleton, R., Lyons, L.A., Warren, W.C. :
A domestic cat whole exome sequencing resource for trait discovery. Sci Rep 11:7159, 2021. Pubmed reference: 33785770. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-86200-7.
2015 Frischknecht, M., Jagannathan, V., Leeb, T. :
Whole genome sequencing confirms KIT insertions in a white cat. Anim Genet 46:98, 2015. Pubmed reference: 25515300. DOI: 10.1111/age.12246.
2014 David, V.A., Menotti-Raymond, M., Wallace, A.C., Roelke, M., Kehler, J., Leighty, R., Eizirik, E., Hannah, S.S., Nelson, G., Schäffer, A.A., Connelly, C.J., O'Brien, S.J., Ryugo, D.K. :
Endogenous retrovirus insertion in the KIT oncogene determines white and white spotting in domestic cats. G3 (Bethesda) 4:1881-91, 2014. Pubmed reference: 25085922. DOI: 10.1534/g3.114.013425.
2006 Cooper, MP., Fretwell, N., Bailey, SJ., Lyons, LA. :
White spotting in the domestic cat (Felis catus) maps near KIT on feline chromosome B1. Anim Genet 37:163-5, 2006. Pubmed reference: 16573531. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2005.01389.x.
2000 Christensen, A.C. :
Cats as an aid to teaching genetics. Genetics 155:999-1004, 2000. Pubmed reference: 10880464.
1987 Wagner, A., Wolsan, M. :
Pelage mutant allele frequencies in domestic cat populations of Poland. J Hered 78:197-200, 1987. Pubmed reference: 3611716.
1977 Davis, BK., Davis, BP. :
Allele frequencies in a cat population in Budapest. J Hered 68:31-4, 1977. Pubmed reference: 864231.
1928 Kuhn, A, Kroning, F. :
Uber die Verebung der Weisszeichnung bei der Hauskatze. Zuchtungskunde 3:448-454, 1928.
1919 Whiting, P.W. :
Inheritance of white spotting and other colour characteristics in cats American Naturalist 53:473-482, 1919.
1884 Bell, A.G. :
Deafness in white cats, and statistics of deafness and epilepsy in America. Science 3:243-4, 1884. Pubmed reference: 17808809. DOI: 10.1126/science.ns-3.56.243-a.
1883 Tait, L. :
Notes on deafness in white cats. Nature 29:164 only, 1883. DOI: 10.1038/029164a0.
1873 Tait, L. :
Note on a polydactylous cat from Cookham-Dean. Nature 7:323 only, 1873. DOI: 10.1038/007323b0.

Edit History

  • Created by Frank Nicholas on 14 Mar 2017
  • Changed by Frank Nicholas on 15 May 2020
  • Changed by Imke Tammen2 on 08 Apr 2022
  • Changed by Imke Tammen2 on 28 Nov 2022
  • Changed by Imke Tammen2 on 10 Nov 2023
  • Changed by Imke Tammen2 on 12 May 2024