Until relatively recently some breeders believed goldens to be the result of more recent mis-matings between chinchillas and self Persians. At present the genetics of the golden series are not fully understood. The naming convention is below. Being a newer variety, the naming convention is standardised hence [colour-name] indicates the tipping/shading colour e.g. Blue Shaded Golden, Tortoiseshell Golden Chinchilla. Where a cat is described with no addition "colour-name" the tipping/shading/tabby etc is assumed to be black. The Golden Tabby is equivalent to the Silver Tabby with distinct markings on a golden background.
Golden Chinchilla, [colour-name] Golden Chinchilla
Shaded Golden, [colour-name] Shaded Golden
Golden Smoke, [colour-name] Golden Smoke
Golden Tabby-Tortoiseshell (Golden Patched Tabby)
Golden Ticked Tabby, [colour-name] Golden Ticked Tabby
Golden tabbies are derived from Chinchilla/Shaded Silver cats. Because the Inhibitor gene is dominant, it is believed that a shaded/tipped cat might carry a hidden recessive form of that gene. If two recessive carriers are bred together, there is a good chance that some kittens will inherit two copies of the recessive gene and this was believed to be the cause of golden chinchillas, shaded goldens and golden smokes. This theory is shown below; the "silver agouti" means a tipped or shaded cat.
i (non inhibitor)
i (non inhibitor)
(Non-silver i.e. golden)
Non-silver cats with the agouti gene are known as Golden Tabbies, Chinchilla Golden or Shaded Golden depending on whether they have the tabby pattern, shaded pattern or chinchilla tipping. These cats are different from other tabbies. They are much brighter in colour due to wider colour bands on the hair shaft. The hairs are almost wholly golden with a darker tip and a pale or greyish undercolour near the base of the hair.
The variability of chinchilla and shaded cats, and the existence of golden series cats, has led breeders to hypothesise the existence of a separately inherited recessive "Wide Band" gene that would brighten brown tabbies to golden tabbies and brighten shaded cats to chinchillas (tipped cats). This affects the banding pattern of individual hairs, producing a wider-than-normal band of bright colour. Wide Band would determine the width of the hair shaft colour (the undercoat) between the pigmented tip and the follicle. The presence or absence of the Inhibitor gene does not affect Wide Band since Golden Shadeds lack the Inhibitor gene, but have a shading pattern comparable to Silver Shaded cats. According to this theory, golden series cats would not be golden due to a recessive form of the inhibitor gene, they would be golden due to the separately inherited wide band gene.
Still others consider it more likely that the colour is caused by multiple interacting genes (polygenes) producing a combined effects.
These photos from Lisa Wahl (www.blindcougar.org) show golden tabbies. Some have red markings and others have brown markings, but the background colour is bright golden. The cats came from a breeder who had died, leaving behind a line of golden "Maine Coon type" cats she had developed from barn cats, plus extensive breeding records. Some of the 50 cats rescued have very red undersides, and black paw pads.