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 two breeds: Domestic Short-hairs and Domestic Long-hairs (based on the length of fur).  Siamese, Persians and Himilayans are also commonly owned breeds.  Besides these common breeds, there are hundreds of cat breeds which can be seen on the Cat Fanciers’ Associations Inc.’s website.  Cats can come in all types of colors, which do not determine breed.

Cat Color Guide

Solid

Solid cats have only one color and do not have stripes. Some white cats have a gray or black smudge on their forehead. These are still considered white-solid cats instead of gray and white.

Black

Black

Gray

Gray

White

White

Brown

Brown

Tabby or Tiger Colors

Tabby or Tiger cats have a stripes covering their body. Some stripes are faint, thin lines whereas others can be thick, swirled lines. It is common for tabbies/tigers to have white chins as well. Pure black tigers are black with stripes and are very rare, whereas brown tigers are more common and can have both brown and black stripes.

Black Tiger

Black Tiger

Brown Tiger

Brown Tiger

Gray Tiger

Gray Tiger

Orange Tiger

Orange Tiger

With White

Any solid-colored or tabby-colored cat can also have the addition of white. White markings can vary on location (paws, belly, etc) and size (small specks, large patches).

Black & White

Black & White

Gray & White

Gray & White

Orange Tiger & White

Orange Tiger & White

Brown Tiger & White

Brown Tiger & White

Calicos, Torties and Torbies

These three colors are used interchangebly; however, they are three distinct colors. Calicos have three colors (usually black, brown, orange or white). Each color are in large patches around the body. Torties, or Tortoiseshells, are usually made up of black and orange (though usually black is the dominant color), which is "mixed together" instead of in patches. Torties can also have patches of white on their body. Torbies is a cross between a Tortie and a Tiger cat color. Torbies will have stripes, which make them look similar to tiger cats, but they will also have the black/orange blend of the tortie coloring.

Calico

Calico

Tortie

Tortie

Torbie

Torbie

Dilutes or Shaded Colors

Dilutes have the same color scheme as their non-dilute counterparts; however, dilute-colored cats are lighter and not as strong, where the term "diluted" comes from. Dilute calicos and torties generally have a mix of gray (instead of black), brown, orange and white. Buff-colored cats are shaded orange cats, generally looking peach or cream in color. Buff cats can also be known as cream.

Dilute Calico

Dilute Calico

Dilute Tortie

Dilute Tortie

Buff

Buff

Pointed Colors

Point-colored cats generally have color on their face, feet and tail (points of the body). These points can be either solid or have stripes, whereas the rest of the body is white, light creme or gray. Lynx Points have stripes, most notably on their face. However, after breeding, each point-color has its own unique look. Point-colors are very common on Siamese, Persian and Himilayan breeds.

Chocolate Point

Chocolate Point

Seal Point

Seal Point

Flame Point

Flame Point

Seal Lynx Point

Seal Lynx Point

Snowshoe

Snowshoe

Lynx Point

Lynx Point

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