Microscopic Views of Cat Hairs
pictures taken by Heather E. Lorimer, Ph.D. with Assistance from Daniel Drum.  They may not be reproduced without permission from Dr. Lorimer (helorime@cc.ysu.edu)

Black tabby (a.k.a. "brown" tabby, ebony tabby-CFA Orientals, "bronze" - Egyptian Maus, "tawny spotted", "ruddy"- Abyssinians, depending on breed and association) hairs, showing smoothly colored tapering black tip (top), and even transition to light warm color caused by the agouti gene.  The picturesbelow were taken through an Olympus AX-70 light microsope  at 40X with overhead illumination, on a white background, though it looks lavender/gray here.
 

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Blue Tabby:  The photo below, taken through an Olympus AX-70 light microsope at 100X on a white background with external overhead lighting as above overhead shows the typical irregular pigment distrubution caused by the dilute allele.  The pigment itself is black as above, just irregularly deposited, producing a gray appearance to the naked eye.  The region of the hair photographed is where the dark tip of the hair is going into the first light agouti band.  Notice that the transition is not as even due to the irregular deposition of pigment caused by the dilute alleles.

Below, a light region of a blue tabby hair at higher magnification

 

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