Melanistic cats often appear black because their background fur is a dark brown colour instead of the normal tan. Melanistic spotted cats still have spots, which are visible in bright sunlight. As melanism is a recessive gene, two black parents will only have black cubs. Two spotted parents can have black cubs if they both carry the recessive gene and mixed litters are common. The number of black cubs is determined by normal Mendelian genetics and on average one in four of the cubs would be black and three out of four spotted.
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