UPDATE: My discussion about terminology with Alanfalcon has spurred the adoption of several new terms among the CryptoKitties staff, which you might see them use in the near future. Instead of dominant (D0) and recessive genes (R1/R2/R3), they might refer to active (A0) and hidden genes (H1/H2/H3) for normal cats and H0/H1/H2/H3 for fancy cats. In addition, they prefer classifying genes found in Generation 0 cats as Level 1 while Wingtips is a Level 3 gene (instead of using the “Tier” keyword).
Every cat has a cattribute/trait in 8 different categories which each has an impact on the visual appearance of the cat (except for Fancy cats). There are also 4 additional categories which are normally hidden.
If you do not understand basic CryptoKitty genetics, including how dominant and recessive genes work, then I recommend you start with some older CryptoKitties411 articles:
The 8 primary cattribute categories are:
- Fur / Body
- Eye Color
- Eye Shape / Type
- Base Color
- Highlight / Pattern Color
- Accent / Secondary Color
One detail that is often missed is that the background of the cat image is determined by the Eye Color of the cat.
There are also 4 additional hidden categories. Basic Wild genes do not seem to do anything but Tier 1 Wild mutations (e.g. Elk, Trioculus) are additional cattributes which are displayed and impact the visual appearance of the cat. At this time, it is not known what Mystery, Secret, and Unknown genes do, though there is plenty of rampant speculation of what they might do.
Fancy cats of a given type all have the same physical appearance though the background color does change depending on Eye Color. Fancy cats are assigned a numbered Fancy badge instead of having cattributes displayed. However, they still have relevant dominant and recessive traits which can be passed down to their offspring. And while none of their family or mewtation jewels are displayed, these still exist and can be passed down as well.
Not all cattributes are the same. Some are much rarer or more valuable than others. To help you better understand the nature of cattributes, here are some broad categories that are sometimes used. Most of these terms are used colloquially (instead of there being an official definition) so there may be slight differences in meaning or usage.
Normal / Base Traits
“Normal” often means the standard traits that do not fit in any of the other categories (not mutations, retired / discontinued, or founder traits).
Sometimes, “Base” trait is used to refer to all non-mutation traits (which may include retired / discontinued and founder traits). So Jaguar might be considered a “Base” trait but not a “Normal” trait.
The first 100 cats are the Founder cats and they are each assigned a special Founder badge. Every Founder cat has the following genetic makeup for their dominant and recessive genes:
Fur: Himalayan, Munchkin, Ragamuffin, or Sphynx
Pattern: All Founders are 100% 🐎 Purebred Jaguar
Eye Color: Chestnut, Mintgreen, Sizzurp, Strawberry, or Topaz
Eye Shape: Crazy, Simple, or Thicccbrowz
Base Color: All Founders are 100% 🐎 Purebred Orangesoda
Highlight Color: Chocolate, Coffee, Lemonade, Royalpurple, or Swampgreen
Accent Color: Granitegrey or Kittencream
Mouth: Beard, Happygokitty, Pouty, or Soserious
Jaguar is a special case because among Generation 0 cats it can only be found among the original 100 founders. That means that any higher generation cat with a Jaguar gene is a descendant of at least one of the Founder cats.
Beard, Chestnut, and Simple are also notable cases because the only Generation 0 cats with dominant Beard, Chestnut, or Simple are some of the Founder cats. These genes may appear in non-Founder Generation 0 cats but only as recessive genes.
The traits listed above are collectively called Founder traits because they were present in those original cats. However, these genes can be found in other Generation 0 cats as well (except no Beard, Chestnut, or Simple as dominant and no Jaguar at all).
Since jewels were introduced much later, Founder traits are also notable because they do not have associated jewels (no diamond, gild, amethyst, or lapis). This can be an important consideration for players who want 8 jewel or 9 jewel cats.
There are also some additional jewel-less traits that are often considered Founder traits even though none of the 100 Founder cats technically had any of these genes:
Pattern: Luckystripe, Totesbasic F, and Totesbasic G
Base Color: Aquamarine, Greymatter, Salmon, and Shadowgrey
These cattributes can be found in some of the earliest cats (e.g. Bug Cat exclusive, 500-number cats) and other low number cats (e.g. Knight Kitty exclusives).
Retired / Discontinued Traits
Over time, some traits are phased out and no longer appear in new Generation 0 cats. These are referred to as “Retired” or “Discontinued” traits. Note that this is not an official designation. There is nothing to prevent Axiom Zen from including these genes again in upcoming Generation 0 cats but that has not happened so far.
An older list of Discontinued traits can be found here:
I do plan to write an article in the near future to update the list of Retired / Discontinued Traits.
Recessive traits (which is different than recessive genes) is sometimes used to refer to traits that show up in recessive positions (R1, R2, or R3) in Generation 0 cats but are not expressed (D0) in any of those cats. The only way for these genes to become dominant is to breed the cats until gene swapping causes them to move into the D0 position.
The following traits can be found as recessive genes but not dominant in Generation 0 cats:
Fur: Chartreux and Savannah
Pattern: Calicool, Camo, Ganado, and Spock
Eye Color: Doridnudibranch and Forgetmenot
Eye Shape: Baddate, Otaku, Serpent, and Stunned
Base Color: Dragonfruit, Harbourfog, Hintomint, and Nachocheez
Highlight Color: Apricot, Barkbrown, Lilac, Poisonberry, Scarlet, Springcrocus, and Violet
Accent Color: Belleblue, Emeraldgreen, Missmuffet, and Peach
Mouth: Belch, Gerbil, Wasntme, and Whixtensions
Since it requires gene swapping to get these traits into a dominant position, it is rarer to see these cattributes expressed among low generation cats.
Furthermore, some recessive traits are rarer than others. For example, Chartreux can only be found in the R3 position of Generation 0 cats while Camo can be found in R2 or R3, and Otaku can be found in R1, R2, or R3.
As a result, for Generation 1 cats, a Chartreux is rarer than a Camo, which is rarer than an Otaku, which is rarer than a normal trait like Totesbasic or Granitegrey.
I will be going into more depth on these recessive traits in an upcoming article.
When two cats breed, certain pairs of traits can mutate into a new trait. For a primer on mutations, please take a look here:
Mutation traits simply do not appear in Generation 0 cats as dominant or recessive genes. So if you see something like this:
You know there is something wrong because Tigerpunk is a mutation and Otaku is a recessive trait so neither should be dominant in a Gen 0 cat. If you actually look at this cat’s genetic code, you will see that its Pattern is really Totesbasic F and its Eye Type is Thicccbrowz. So this is a front-end bug with the website.
It takes time for mutations to propagate so low generation cats with mutations can be extremely valuable and 🐎 Purebreds are not even possible until several generations have passed.
Note that there is some variance with terminology. Most people seem to refer to Cloudwhite as a Tier 1 mutation and Wingtips as a Tier 2 mutation. However, there are some people who refer to all base traits (non-mutations) as Tier 1, which would make Cloudwhite Tier 2 and Wingtips Tier 3. Furthermore, Alanfalcon has been advocating the use of “ascension” instead of “mutation.”
About the Author
This article was written by Byzantinist (a.k.a. Byzantine Kitty), who is an expert on digital cat genetics. As a passionate aficionado of 100% 🐎 Purebred cats, Byzantinist runs a 🐎 Purebred Siring Shop that can be found here:
If you have any comments or feedback, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Discord @Byzantinist – 🐎 Purebred Sires#2992