MSPCA-Angell Headquarters

350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130
(617) 522-7400
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Angell Animal Medical Centers – Boston

350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130
(617) 522-7282
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Angell West

293 Second Avenue, Waltham, MA 02451
(781) 902-8400
For on-site assistance (check-ins and pick-ups):
(339) 970-0790
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Angell at Essex

565 Maple Street, Danvers, MA 01923
(978) 304-4648
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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Boston

350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130
(617) 522-5055
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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Cape Cod

1577 Falmouth Road, Centerville, MA 02632
(508) 775-0940
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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Nevins Farm

400 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844
(978) 687-7453
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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Northeast Animal Shelter

347 Highland Ave., Salem, MA 01970
(978) 745-9888
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Tips to Find Lost Pets: Cat Color/Breed Guide

Breed and Cat Color Guide

Knowing how to best describe your pet will significantly increase your chances of being reunited with them.  Here are some resources to help you with the various breeds and colors of cats.

Cat Breed Information

The majority of cats fall into three breeds: Domestic short, medium, and long-hairs (based on the length of fur).  Siamese, Persians and Himilayans are also commonly owned breeds.  But, there are hundreds of cat breeds.  Cats can come in all types of colors, which do not determine breed.

Cat Color Guide

Use the guide below to determine the best way to describe your cat according to color.

Common Solid Colors


Solid Grey


Solid Black

Solid White

Common Tabby Colors

Tabbies are also often referred to as "tiger" cats due to their striped markings. Tabbies come in many different colors and patterns.

Brown Tabby

Buff Tabby

Classic Tabby (refers to swirl or circular pattern on cat’s sides)

Grey Tabby

Mackerel Tabby (refers to the striped patterns across the body, like fish bones)

Orange Tabby

Spotted Tabby (refers to the coat being spotted rather than striped or swirled)

Ticked Tabby (refers to the absence of distinct stripes or swirls, instead has a uniform ticked pattern)

Calicos, Torties, and Torbies

This group of cat colors is characterized by having at least two distinct colors, usually black and orange. Almost all calicos, torties, and torbies are female.

Tortoiseshell or Tortie (primarily black with orange flecks throughout)

Calico (large spots of solid black, orange, and white)

Torbie (a mix of tortie and tabby, these cats are usually brown tabby with orange tabby stripes or spots)

Dilute Calico (has the typical markings of a calico, but with a muted buff and grey, rather than black and orange)

Dilute Tortie (usually grey with buff flecks throughout)

With White

Any of the above colors may come with white markings as well.

Orange Tabby and White

Tortie and White

Brown Tabby and White

Black and White


Many breeds of cat have color points. The points refer to the fact that the cat's color is on their face, feet, and tails. There are many different colors of point, but below are some of the most common.

Tortie Point

Seal Point

Blue Point

Lynx Point (where the face and feet have tabby stripes, rather than a solid color)

Snowshoe Point (refers to when there is white on the feet and/or face on a cat with color points)

Flame Point

Chocolate Point

Coat Length

Short Haired

Medium Haired

Long Haired

Want to Help Homeless Cats?

Adult cats create one of the MSPCA’s great ongoing challenges.  Every year, more adult cats find their way to us than any other type of animal. Cat-vocates was created to start funding additional support for adoption promotions and spay-neuter initiatives.

Become a Cat-Vocate

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