You can find cats in all sorts of patterns and colours. Even in the same litter of kittens, you’ll typically see a mixture of colours and patterns. So what does this say about cats and their colours?
To find the answer, we turned to The International Cat Association and were surprised to find that only two colours – red and black – are responsible for the whole catalog of cat colours and patterns. From brown, grey, blue, silver, champagne, lavender, lilac, fawn, cream, cinnamon and chocolate, just black and red are responsible.
Is white a colour in cats?
But what about white? This colour is not a true colour but the result of a masking gene that covers the real colour. So a solid white cat or the white found on any cat is not classified as a standalone colour, and is essentially a trick of the eye.
Colours and patterns of cats
You can find every colour of cat in every pattern, which makes for a wide variety of markings. So cats of all one colour are called solids, and a cat with stripes is called tabby. You can have bicolour cats like tortoiseshell with only black and red, or tricolour cats like calicoes with patches of white. There’s also pointed cats with different colours on their face, feet and tail, which can be solid or tabby. Black and white cats are generally called Tuxedo cats.
Colours and breeds of cats
Though cats come in all patterns and colours, it has no reflection on the breed of a cat. It’s their features that determines their breed. So you can have a black and white Persian or a Tortoiseshell Himalayan.
So what does colour say about your cat?
For one thing, most orange tabby cats are male and most tortoiseshell cats are female. So gender can affect the genes of colour. Certain personality traits are said to come with different coloured cats. For instance, orange tabby cats are said to be lively and playful, while black and white cats are good mousers. Tortoiseshell cats are believed to be feisty and unpredictable; tricolour cats can be intolerant; and white cats are known to be aloof.
Black cats are supposed to bring bad luck and white cats are said to be lucky.
What do you think? Is there any truth to this? What does the colour of your cat say to you?