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What Color is Kitty?

Cats 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.


 

 


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