Basic Cat Colors and Patterns

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cat colors Basic Cat Colors and Patterns
Tasos Kostopoulos via Flickr.com

 What Colors is my Cats?

Cats come in a variety of colors and patterns one can imagine. Other than being cuddly it is the color of the cat that attracts the attention of most people. The cat colors and patterns are one of the most striking and attractive features that grab our eyeballs. It is generally noticed that kittens of one cat can have different color coat and patterns, which is opposite to their mother’s coat. The cats have two basic and primary colors, which is black and red. The black and red colors are called dominant colors. There are even dilute of each color for example the dilute of black is blue and dilute of red is cream. A dominant color can produce both the dominant color or dilute color kittens, but a dilute colored cat when bred with a dilute cat will produce dilute colored kittens.

The other cat colors that we notice are a variation of black and red except solid white. The white color is a masking gene. It has the ability to hide or mask all the other colors. So when you notice a solid white cat it is either red or black, but is generally masked or hidden by the white color. According to breed standards a breed is recognized and registered in a variety of colors, but certain cat breed like the Russian Blue is given recognition only in one color that is grayish blue. The following are some of the commonly known colors, breed and patterns that we hear frequently.

Solid Color

Cats are called solid when their whole body is covered with a solid color with patterns or stripes. The solid options are solid grays also known as blue, white, black, and brown. Orange colored cats are also called marmalade or ginger and cream color do not fall under the solid color as they have slight tabby patterns on them.

Bi-color

A bi-colored cat is one that has one solid color and other white color that are evenly covered. The examples of bi-color are gray and white or black and white with white being one half. The classic example of a bi-colored cat is a tuxedo cat, which looks as if a cat is wearing a tuxedo with a black and white shirt and white cuffs.

Bi-color and White

It is any solid colored or color pattern cat with markings that are white in color. When you say that your cat is bi-color and white it should have large patches of the color white. If your cat doesn’t have large patches of white and just small patches of white color, then the term used are different. Cats with white paws are called white mitts, cats with white chest is called white bib and a cat with a little patch of white on their chest are called white locket.

Van or Van bi-color

They are fully white colored cats with small spots of color in between their ears and on their tail

Harlequin

A harlequin is usually a white cat with large colored spots with white being the most prominent color.

Smoke

Smoke cats have solid black or grey hair that has white roots, which gives the cat a Smokey look.

Dilute

A dilute is a lighter version of the original color pattern. The dilute of orange is cream, or pale orange while the dilute of black is grey or blue. Calicos, tabbies and torties are also called dilutes.

Tabby

Tabby is the most commonly found cats. Tabbies also come in a variety of colors the most common being the brown grey tabby with a blend of brown, grey and black, and brown tabby. There are grey, cream and orange tabbies. The silver tabbies have grey or white markings on white colored roots, which give them a silvery look.

Tri-color

The tri-color is a term used to describe the calico and tortoise shell cats that are usually female cats due to their gene composition. Calicos come in orange, white and black. The dilute calicos are the lighter version of the above colors. A calico tabby is a calico mixed with brown tabby along with brown and orange tabby markings. The tortoiseshell is not true tri-colored cats as they are orange and black in color.

Points

A solid pale cream or dark tan color with different color on their tail, feat, muzzle, and ears are known as points. Cat breeds like the Siamese, Exotics, Birman and the Himalayans are described as points.

These colors and pattern names are recognized by various cat registries and are commonly used to describe the cat colors and patterns.