(short hair satin = shs, long hair satin = lhs, etc)

Go/* re/re sa/sa (Fr/* Fz/* ca/ca)

"High sheen coat with a satin-like or metallic gloss. White to be known as Ivory and to be as white as possible." (Standards for Satin.)

This article deals mainly with short hair satin. For long hair and astrex satins, see respective articles.

Breeding information below the pictures.


SHS Fawn doe
b. & o: Tia Vento
pic: Anniina Tuura


SHS Sable doe Evening Star's Amber Ornament
b. & o: Carita Tiikkainen
Pic: Arttu Väisälä

This Sable has a common fault of a sable:
too light nose. The back could also be darker.


SHS Pink Eyed Ivory buck Dragon's I Got You
b. Tuire-Sini Tukiainen, o. Tia Vento
Pic: Anniina Tuura

PEI buck with great type.

Quick Look

The hairs of a Satin mouse are hollow, giving the coat it's distinctive sheen. Satin is recessive to non-satin and best results are often achieved with mating satin to satin. Although satin is a "on/off" variety, there are minor differences in the depth of sheen, so the thing to look towards is having the shiniest possible hair. However, these minor differences are not caused by a mouse being "more Satin" or "less Satin", but on the overall quality of the mouse's coat. Remember: a mouse is a Satin or it isn't a Satin; it's an "on/off" variety. The mouse's colour affects how well the satinization shows, too.

With short hair satin, it is highly advisable to pay attention to the correct, short coat as well, as it gives the best overall appearance.

Genetic Background

The scientific name for the satin locus is "forkhead box Q1" and the symbol for satin itself is "Foxq1sa". The common name is satin and the common symbol sa. The gene is located in chromosome 13.

In More Practical Terms...

While it is quite possible to successfully breed short hair satins together with short hair mice, it may be best to breed satins as a separate strain in order to get the best possible colour. The satin effect, which is also called "satinization" makes the shade of a colour variety to be somewhat different than what it would be on a non-satin, so combining a great coloured Satin with a great coloured non-satin can give not that pleasant surprises as the modifiers for a good shade on a Satin can be quite different from those that make a good shade on a non-satin mouse.

Certain varieties benefit greatly from being satin. Among these are Fawn, Sable, Chocolate, the Siamese varieties and especially the darker tanned varieties. With the tan varieties, the satin effect gives extra depth to the belly colour. Red is an interesting case. With a sufficiently dark Red, the satinization effect gives the colour "extra boost" - but with a bit too light a Red, the result may be that the colour looks even lighter.

Agouti and Cinnamon tend to suffer from the satin effect, as it darkens the colour considerably and "eats away" desired effect of the colouring. As the satin effect changes white colouring into ivory, varieties where white plays an important part (like Marten Sable and Chinchilla) may suffer from satinization as well.

With Black, satinization is often visible in the belly area only, due to the Black mouse's naturally glossy coat. That is, with Black it is sometimes quite difficult to tell a SH and a SHS mouse apart, especially if the Black mouse in question lacks the common fault of tan ticking (which otherwise would reveal the true breed of the mouse).

Satin Myths

There are various "satin myths" or rather misunderstanding on this coat variety floating around...

"Putting Satin to Satin together makes smaller babies." - This myth originates from the time when satin was a new mutation and the first satins (British) mouse fanciers got their hands on weren't exactly of a good type or size. It took time to breed the bad type and size out of satins, but half a century and plenty of mouse generations have passed since those times.

It should be noted, that the satin gene itself is connected to repressed immune levels, which can make satin mice slightly smaller than non-satin mice. However, this problem isn't cumulative and the mice do not get smaller in subsequent generations.

"Never combine two Satins!" - Why not? Satin isn't lethal, it doesn't cause behavioral or structural problems. Furthermore, this claim makes absolutely no sense geneticswise either. Satin is recessive, so all Satins have "double-dose of the satin-gene" and are sa/sa. Combining two Satins doesn't make the mice "more satin" - there's only two slots for satin genes... Mating a sa/sa -mouse with another sa/sa mouse simply gives an all-satin litter. The mice themselves do not differ from those born from sa/sa & Sa/sa or Sa/sa & Sa/sa -combinations. Now, it is true that sa/sa causes the mouse to have a slightly repressed immune levels, but there are no mentions about this problem being eradicated by not breeding Satin to Satin, or increased by doing so.

"For best satinisation, always mate a Satin with a non-Satin carrying Satin." - You won't get better Satinisation this way, only less Satin mice in a litter...

"A mouse carrying Satin is a half-satin." - No it isn't. It's just a non-satin who carries Satin, undistinquishable from homozygous non-satin.

Other Satin Genes?

While satin / sa is "the" mouse fancy satin gene, there does exist other genes with satin-like effects. The availability of the "other satin genes" to the mouse fancy is more than questionable, as is their usefullness. These genes include:

- Satin-like (sal), which is a radiation induced mutation. This gene is recessive, although occasionally a heterozygote (Sal/sal) can be identified from a non-satin-like homozygote (Sal/Sal).

- Skin/coat color 40 (skcm40Jus), a chemically induced recessive, causing abnormal hair keratinization. Also called "satinm1jus".

- Velvet coat (Ve), a radiation induced semidominant. This gene gives "greasy looking" hair, but can't be mistaken for a satin, as the gene also gives the mice an untidy, disheveled look.

- Greasy (Gs), a spontaneous, sex-linked semidominant. Gs gives a shiny fur, but not without problems. In homozyous form (due to being sex-linked, only seen on females), it can cause both polydactyly (extra toes) and syndactyly (fused toes) and tabby-like striped appearance. Gs/Y (males) have oily looking and feeling coat and darker colouring with less yellow pigment than on a non-greasy mouse.