The International Maew Boran Association

Thai Grey (Blue) Point

BB cscs dd

Bb cscs dd

Thai Grey (Blue) Tonkinese
   BB cscb dd    

Bb cscb dd

5. Khao Manee - The Dominant white (W) cat


bb CC DD     bb Ccb DD      bb Ccs DD 

bb CC Dd      bb Ccb Dd      bb Ccs Dd



BB CC DD   BB Ccs DD     BB Ccb DD

BB CC Dd     BB Ccs Dd      BB Ccb Dd

Bb CC Dd     Bb Ccb Dd     Bb Ccb Dd

The Korat cat does not show points, therefore expresses the solid color (C) gene. Genetically, a Korat cat is a black cat (B), but because a korat is dilute (dd) the black color is diluted to a grey, or blue color. What becomes more confusing is when a Korat cat hides the recessive genes brown (b) or the siamese (cs) / burmese (cb) genes.

In Thailand and abroad, only the solid grey cat is considered a Korat, whereas the lilac and blue point variations are called Thai Lilac and Thai Blue Point. The Thai Lilac is a rare genotype, in which the cat is genetically brown (bb), but because this color is diluted (dd) the coat color appears to be more of a lilac color.

More controversial are the grey, or Thai blue points. These cats do not have a solid coat (C), instead they show points. Where are the points coming from? Lets take for example a Korat Father (BB Ccs dd) and a Korat Mother (BB Ccs dd). Both the parents are hiding the recessive siamese gene (cs); therefore, 25% of the kittens would be a Thai Blue Point (BB cscs dd).

However the genotype (BB cscs dd) is exactly the same as a Blue Pointed Siamese cat. Is the kitten a Siamese or a Thai blue point? It is also possible for Blue Pointed Burmese, and Tonkinese cats to be born. Other cat associations classify these as different breeds. TIMBA believes Korat, Thai Burmese, Thai Tonkinese, and Wichienmaat are in fact the same breed, Maew Boran. Maew Boran is a natural breed, that comes in different colors. If you would like to read more about Maew Boran, and Natural breeds you can continue reading about Maew Boran - A Natural Breed Here.

Thai Lilac Point

bb cscs dd

Thai Lilac

bb CC dd

bb Ccs dd

bb Ccb dd


BB CC dd   Bb CC dd

BB Ccs dd     Bb Ccs dd

BB Ccb dd     Bb Ccb dd

C = Solid        B = Black           b = brown (Chocolate)          D = Dense           d = dilute

3. Korat Cats - The solid (C), Genetically Black (B), grey (dd) cat
2.2 Pattern - Burmese (cb) gene, affect of color and dilution genes

cb = Burmese            B = Black                  b = brown (Chocolate)           D = Dense            d = dilute

As discussed above the burmese gene (cb) affects the eye color, therefore all four burmese cats above (cbcb) have golden eyes. The difference is in the color of the points, this is controlled by the color gene (B / b) and the dilution gene (D / d). These genes behave exactly the same as the the examples above with the four siamese cats. The difference here is that the burmese gene (cbcb) exhibits less contrast between the points and the body color. In other words, the points are less visible when compared to the siamese cats. The 'points' become more of a shadow effect.

Black (Sable) Point

BB cbcb DD

BB cbcb Dd

Bb cbcb Dd

Bb cbcb DD

Grey (Blue) Point

BB cbcb dd

Bb cbcb dd

Brown (Chocolate) Point

bb cbcb DD

bb cbcb Dd

Lilac Point

bb cbcb dd

Lilac Point

bb cscs dd


BB cscb DD


BB cbcb DD

2. Pattern - Colorpoint Restriction genes cs and cb

C = Solid Color                          cs = Siamese Point                cb = Burmese Point                C > cb = cs

The siamese gene (cs) results in high contrast between the 'points' (ears, face, paws and tail) and the body, whereas the burmese gene (cb) results in low contrast between the 'points'. Because cs and cb are Co-dominant genes, the Tonkinese cat (cscb) phenotypically is a mix between the Siamese and Burmese cat. The cb and cs gene affects pigmentation, therefore these genes influence the eye color. The siamese (cs) gene results in blue eye color, whereas the burmese gene (cb) results in gold eye color. Therefore tonkinese (cscb) eye color is a mix between blue and gold (yellow), resulting in an aqua color. However, eye color of Thai Tonkinese found in Thailand may vary as these cats are often found on the streets and in the temples. It is also important to remember this is a discussion about color genetics, the 'type' or shape of the cats head / body will not be important in this article.

Light Brown (Cinnamon)

b'b' CC DD

Brown (Chocolate)

bb CC DD

bb' CC DD





4. Dominant White

C = Solid Color

cs = Siamese Point

cb = Burmese Point

C > cs = cb

Genes that Control Color and Pattern in Thai Cats

There are four major, known genes which control the appearance of maew boran, Color, Pattern, Dilution and Dominant White

What are Dominant and Recessive genes?

A dominant gene, is a gene that dominates over a recessive gene. Dominant genes are strong, whereas recessive genes can hide.

                                                                                         Dominant Genes : B, C, D W

                                                                                         Recessive Genes : b, b', d, w            ( Note: b is dominant to b' )

In the case of cs and cb these are said to be Co-Dominant, meaning they mix together equally.

                                                      Genotype : The genetic makeup of the cat, when we talk about B, C, cb, etc. we are talking about the genotype

                                                      Phenotype : This is what we see, the physical appearance of the cat

Thai Cat Genetics


Feline Genetic Testing

Today is a new day when it comes to breeding the Natural Breeds.

In the first instance, those people working to preserve the Natural Breeds, outside their natural range, have the opportunity to import them directly from their native lands. This is big news. When breeds like the Siamese and Burmese were first established, the founding cats came from Thailand by boat, a long and arduous journey that few people were willing to make. Previously getting them to the west was just too difficult. Breeders had no choice but to breed mothers to sons and fathers to daughters because they had no access to new blood.  With the ease and convenience of air travel new cats can be imported when new diversity and colors are needed.

The cats native to Thailand, Maew Boran, are now imported readily and easily. In addition, science now makes breeding healthy Natural Breed of cats easier. The world renown cat researcher, Dr.Leslie Lyons, and her associates, have created genetic tests that reveal that nature of the Natural Cat Breeds.

This has two incredible results. First of all, breeders can use this genetic testing to understand the nature of the Natural Breeds. The ability to test the cats genetically allows us to understand them on a fundamental level.

Knowing information like this allows breeders of a Natural Breed the opportunity to do a better job at breeding. It allows breeders the opportunity to keep the Natural Breed healthy outside their native range while maintaining the desired colors.

Old school breeders did the best they could, using experience and a lot of guess work, to produce healthy cats. Genetic testing takes much of the guess work out of a breeding plan and makes it a lot easier to maintain the integrity of a Natural Breed.

TIMBA recommends the non-profit UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory for all genetic testing. Research over the last decade conducted by Dr. Leslie Lyons and her colleagues has lead to the discovery of many genes associated with both color and diseases in Thai cats. The majority of the ‘Profit’ at UC Davis VGL is reinvested into feline research to identify new genes and develop genetic tests. 

There are several other Laboratories around the world offering color coat testing. Dr. Leslie Lyons has provided a list and guide when selecting a laboratory for your genetic testing which can be found here.

Once a breeder has genetic knowledge of their cats, what does it mean? How can this logically be used in a breeding program?

Genetics, it sounds complicated but it does not have to be. Continue reading for a comprehensive, easy to understand guide explaining the genetics of thai cats.

W = White        w = non-white                    W > w

non-white Khao Manee



Khao Manee

WW           Ww

Any combination of B/b, C/cb/cs, D/d

The genetics of the Khao Manee involves a different gene, Dominant white (W). This gene is dominant to all other genes that have been discussed thus far. That is to say W >  w, C, cb, cs, B, b, D, d therefore a khao manee is hiding many different colors and patterns under the white coat. For this reason sometimes the W gene is referred to as the white masking gene.

Occasionally non-white Khao Manee cats are born from two Khao Manee parents. This is because both parents are Ww. Both parents are hiding the non-white (w) gene, therefore 25% of the kittens could be non-white. The color of these non-white kittens can be any color or pattern.

The Konja is a solid (C) Black cat (B) which is not diluted (D). The Konja is a very common cat found on the streets and temples of Thailand because the phenotype is composed of three dominant genes, C, B and D, allowing the recessive genes cs, cb, b and d to 'hide'. Related to the Konja is the Suphalak, a solid (C) brown cat (b) which is not diluted (D). Despite having 6 different genotypes the suphalak is a rare cat in thailand. In a natural breeding setting the combination of two recessive brown genes (bb) from both mother and father is a rare event.

4. Konja and Suphalak Cats - The solid (C), Black (B) and brown (b) cats

C = Solid        B = Black           b = brown (Chocolate)          D = Dense           d = dilute

2.2 Pattern - Tonkinese cats (cscb) affect of color and dilution genes

cs = Siamese       cb = Burmese        B = Black           b = brown (Chocolate)          D = Dense           d = dilute

The Tonkinese (cscb) cat is a mix between the Siamese and Burmese, therefore the eye color appears as aqua. Analogous to the the examples above with the Siamese and Burmese, the Tonkinese also come as Black, Grey, Brown and Lilac points.

Black (Sable) Point

BB cscb DD

BB cscb Dd

Bb cscb Dd

Bb cscb DD

Grey (Blue) Point

BB cscb dd

Bb cscb dd

Brown (Chocolate) Point

bb cscb DD

bb cscb Dd

Lilac Point

bb cscb dd

Brown (Chocolate) Point

bb cscs DD

bb cscs Dd

Grey (Blue) Point

BB cscs dd

Bb cscs dd

Black (Seal) Point

BB cscs DD

BB cscs Dd

Bb cscs Dd

Bb cscs DD

2.1 Pattern - Siamese (cs) gene, affect of color and dilution genes

cs = Siamese            B = Black                  b = brown (Chocolate)           D = Dense            d = dilute

As discussed above the siamese gene (cs) affects the eye color, therefore all four siamese cats above (cscs) have blue eyes. The difference is in the color of the points, this is controlled by the color gene (B / b) and the dilution gene (D / d). The most common Seal Point Siamese has black points, because the color is black (B) and the color is not diluted (D). The Grey, or Blue Point Siamese expresses the dilute gene (d) which dilutes the black color (B) to a grey color, therefore the points appear as this color. The Brown, or Chocolate Point Siamese expresses the brown color (b), therefore the points appear to be brown. The rarest combination, expressing only one genotype is the Lilac Point, in which the brown (b) color is diluted (d) to a very pale light brown color, or Lilac.

This article is intended for a general audience, therefore some concepts have been overly simplified.


BB cscs DD

1. Color

B = Black                          b = Brown (Chocolate)                   b' = Light Brown (Cinnamon)                   B > b > b'

There are three important genes for color, Black (B), Brown (b) and Light Brown (b'). Light Brown is rare, and to our knowledge this gene has not been identified in cats from Thailand and therefore will not be discussed.

W = White

w = non-white

W > w

D = Dense

d = dilute

D > d

B = Black

b = Brown (Chocolate)

b' = Light Brown (Cinnamon)

B > b > b'

2. Pattern
3. Dilution
1. Color