Mini Cat Town in San Jose, California, has seen all sorts of felines come through its doors over the years.
There's little that would surprise the experienced team of shelter staff. That was until the arrival of Mars and her adorable little family.
Unusual cat family
Not much is known about the feline family and what had led them to end up at Mini Cat Town's doors. Staff can only assume that the mother cat they named Mars had been regularly cared for as she was a good weight and was very friendly. However, as her paw pads were dry, they assumed she had spent most of her time outside.
With her long black coat and green eyes, Mars is a striking cat. But it's not her that's rare.
It soon became apparent that something was rather unique about her four kittens; something that had rarely been seen in a cat shelter. All four of the kittens, who are all girls, have beautiful chocolate or cinnamon brown fur. Two of the kittens have white socks and white markings on their face and chest. Meanwhile, the other two are a solid brown colour.
Staff also noticed that the kittens' paw pads and noses are a pinkish brown colour, which likely means that this colouring will remain as it is and will not darken to black like their mum. This may not sound much to you, but it means that these kittens are pretty rare.
It's very unusual to find a cinnamon or chocolate brown cat, especially in rescue cats. This unusual colouring occurs as a result of a genetic mutation of the black colour gene.
While everyone was amazed to see such unusual colourings, Mars remains unphased at her kitten's uniqueness. Since settling into her foster home, Mars has focused on keeping a watchful eye over her fur babies and enjoying lots of human attention. The four kittens named Hershey, Reese, Twix and Baby Ruth are all happy and healthy thanks to Mars' excellent mothering skills.
But while the kittens may be getting bigger and bolder, they've kept the gorgeous brown coats that make them that extra special.