can come in a myriad of different colors. Even in the same litter one can
find brothers and sisters with completely different colors and markings.
Two of the most common types of cat are the tabby or tiger and solid or
smoke colored cats. Most everyone is familiar with these cats. Tabbies
are striped. They can have different types of stripes such as mackerel
stripes that run parallel down the body like a tiger. They may have swirling
stripes, which is considered the classic or blotched pattern. A spotted
tabby has spots filled with mackerel stripes and a ticked tabby has tabby
markings just on its face. Solid colored cats obviously are one color.
However, the names of the colors for solids or tabbies can throw a person
off. For instance, gray is usually called blue, orange is named red (reds
are only found as tabbies and not solids), and silver tabbies are black
stripes on white. Cats can also come in cream, brown, black and white.
Solid colored cats have a gene that suppresses the tabby pattern, or with
white cats the gene suppresses all coloring. Smoke color cats come in either
blue or black and have white roots to their fur making them very distinctive.
Another twist on coloring is that many cats also have some white to them.
If they have just a little on their chest it is considered a locket, or
if it’s just on their paws it is called boots. If white is evident
on the head and tail then it is described as van. White belly spots are
called buttons. If a cat is mostly white with spots of colors it is harlequin,
while about half white is bi-colored.
Then come the multicolored cats. A red, black and brown cat is a tortoiseshell.
Blue cream cats are soft gray and cream color. A brown-patched tabby is
a combination of red and brown tabby. A blue-patched tabby is a mixture
of blue and cream tabby. These terms change, however, when white is added.
They then are considered tortoiseshell and white, calico, dilute calico,
and patched tabby and white respectively. Finally, a cat can be pointed.
The face, paws and tail of a pointed cat are darker than the body. Usually
associated with Siamese they don’t have to be Siamese to have this
coloring. With a myriad of genetic possibilities a cat’s coloring
can be quite unique and distinctive.