!Header Content 1

Arch Creek Animal Clinic
Call us today! 305-945-1223
Give us a call today! 305-945-1223

15372 W Dixie Hwy, 
North Miami Beach,
FL 33162

Meet The Salty Licorice Cat

May 15 2024

There is a new kitty in town! The Salty Licorice Cat is definitely staying on top of current fashion trends. These cats have ombre, or gradient, colored coats. Their pretty fur is dark—usually black—at the roots and white at the tips. Continue reading to hear from a local North Miami Beach, FL veterinarian about this lovely kitten.

What Does The Salty Licorice Cat Look Like?

Fluffy resembles a tuxedo cat, with the exception that the dark areas of her coat are flecked white. While the darker-colored fur on Salmiak cats is frequently black, Fluffy’s color scheme is not limited to that palette. Salty Licorice cats can wear their distinctive pattern over blue, brown, or tortoiseshell coats. Their tails are typically white or partially white. Fluffy’s eyes are usually green or yellow.

Is Salty Licorice Cat a New Breed?

The Salty Licorice kitty has not yet been classified as a new breed. As with other kitties, such as tabbies and tuxies, the name just describes her outfit. 

Where Is The Salty Licorice Cat From?

Fluffy is from Finland, specifically the hamlet of Petäjävesi. The town is located in a picturesque area famed for its lakes, farmlands, and an 18th-century wood-log church. Or maybe we should say it was once known for those things. They’ll probably have to add the Salty Licorice cat to the list of local legends, attractions, and fascinating residents now.

How Long Have Salty Licorice Cats Been Around?

No one knows for sure. We do know that  Fluffy started garnering attention back in 2007, when people realized that some of Petäjävesi’s kitties were extremely fashion-forward.

At first, no one knew if the cats were going to be able to procreate because all of the stray Salmiak cats had been fixed. However, after one was seen delivering a litter of super cute kittens, concerned kitty lovers were able to heave a sigh of relief.

Who Found The Salty Licorice Cat?

A geneticist at the University of Helsinki named Hannes Lohi directed the research, which was carried out by geneticists and animal rights advocates. Lohi’s team conducted experiments on five Salty Licorice cats. They discovered a few intriguing details, such as the fact that none of the cats possessed the particular gene mutations that are generally responsible for white fur. These differences are also strongly related to deafness, which explains why such a large proportion of white dogs are hearing impaired.

They then sequenced the kittens’ entire genomes, and also studied 178 other kitties, all of which wore regular jackets. The team discovered a unique mutation. The mutation affects a gene known as KIT, which is also linked to piebald patterns in horses and other mammals. The Salty Licorice pattern was shown to be associated with a KIT gene deletion.

All of the Salmiak kittens carried two copies of the gene variation.  The mutation is known as w-sal, which stands for salmiak. A handful of the other cats possessed a single copy. Because the gene is recessive, none of the carriers could wear Salmiak patterns.

In May, they published their findings in the journal Animal Genetics. The cats have declined to offer additional comments.

Why Is Fluffy Known As The Salty Licorice Cat?

The kittens were called after a Finnish dessert. As you might expect, it’s made of licorice seasoned with salmiak salt. The treat, sometimes known as salmiak liquorice or salmiac licorice, is extremely popular in Scandinavia, the Benelux region, and Northern Germany.

Do Salty Licorice Cats Cost A Lot?

It is difficult to say right now. The kitties are still very rare. Although they are gorgeous, as animal lovers, we must caution others about the detrimental sides of the designer breed mania, as it contributes to issues such as puppy mills and animal hoarding. We always encourage individuals to adopt rather than buy. There are many sweet, affectionate felines in shelters simply waiting for a home! Our feline friends are purrfect pets, regardless of what colors they wear!

Can I Give My Kitty Licorice?

We wouldn’t necessarily recommend licorice as a treat. However, it’s not toxic to Fluffy. In fact, studies indicate that it has anti-inflammatory qualities and may even benefit kitties with respiratory disorders. More research is needed on this topic, though. It’s also worth noting that you should never give your furry friend any herb or prescription unless your veterinarian specifically instructs you to do so.

Aside from that, certain cats appear to enjoy licorice’s flavor. This is another interesting quirk, as Fluffy really shouldn’t like licorice. Cats have a genetic abnormality that prevents them from consuming sweets. Of course, some of these tiny furballs appeared to have missed the notice, as it is not uncommon for cats to like eating not just licorice, but also cake, cookies, and donuts. We’re guessing that the kitties are attracted to the scent or texture, or perhaps the fat content. We know, it may be tempting to share a piece of doughnut with your furball … especially if she’s a skilled meowpulator who is good at getting you to share. However, we strongly suggest that you avoid giving your feline buddy any sweets. They are not just high in sugar, but many include xylitol, often known as birch sugar, which is harmful to felines. Too much salt can also be toxic to Fluffy. Ask your North Miami Beach, FL vet for advice on giving your kitty healthy snacks.

What Is Salted Licorice?

Salty licorice is particularly popular in Finland. These tiny black sweets first gained popularity in the 1800s. Candymakers Danish Galle and Jessen have been credited with inventing and sparking what has undoubtedly become a long-lasting gastronomic trend. You have to admit: the thought of curling up on a snowy night with a purring Saltiak cat and a bowl of candy does sound quite nice!

What’s In Salty Licorice?

There are many different recipes available online. These are only slight variations on the same fundamental recipe.

A typical rendition would consist of the following ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk.
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. anise essence
  • 1 1/2 tsp black food dye

Combine the butter, sugar, milk, molasses, and salt in a saucepan. Heat until boiling. Then, remove from the heat and mix in the other ingredients. For a healthier option, you can substitute heavy cream for condensed milk and brown rice syrup for dark corn syrup. Allow to cool on a pan lined with parchment paper. After around 30-45 minutes, remove and shape it. Do not forget to salt it!

If you’re going to make one of these goodies, you could go all out and get a mold to make it kitty-shaped. Many candy makers already do this! The official name for these sweets are katjes.

Schedule An Appointment At Your North Miami Beach, Fl Pet Clinic

Does your feline friend need an examination, vaccines, or parasite control? Has it been a while since your cat has visited us? Please call us, your local North Miami Beach, FL pet hospital, for all of your cat’s veterinary care requirements. We are here to help.