Cats are known for their variety of beautiful coats. Just like hair color and eye color in humans, cat colors come down to genetics. If you’ve ever wondered “what color is my cat and why,” you can learn more about cat colors, genetics, and coats with this guide to the different shades of cats:

Solid Colored Cats

If your cat is just one color, then you have a solid colored cat. Many cats appear to be just one color, even if there are different shades of that color throughout their coat. These types of coats can come in many different colors, with some of the most common being:

  • Black
  • White
  • Gray/Blue
  • Orange
  • Cream
  • Cinnamon/Light Brown
  • Chocolate/Darker Brown

Though cat colors are related to genetics, that doesn’t mean that cats of the same color are necessarily the same breed. For example, many different cat breeds can have solid black coats, such as Persian cats, American shorthairs, and Bombay cats. 

Bicolored Cats

Cats with coats that feature two colors are known as bicolored cats.These cats usually have some sort of combination of white and another coat color covering their bodies. Pattern types include:

  • Van: These cats are mostly white with small patches of another color around their tails and heads.
  • Harlequin: These cats have multiple patches of the non-white color throughout their coats, resulting in a cow-like print.
  • True Bicolor: Cats that have a pretty even split between white and their other color are known as true bicolored cats. 
  • Tuxedo: These cats have coats that are around 25% white, with the rest being another color, resulting in a coat that looks like a tuxedo. Tuxedo cats are often thought of as only black and white, but this bicolored pattern can feature other colors combined with white.

Tricolored and Particolored Cats

Cats with coats that feature three colors are referred to as tri-colored cats, while cats with coats featuring more than one color (other than white) are referred to as particolored cats.

  • Calico: These cats typically have black, white, and red throughout their coats, but can sometimes feature other colors such as brown or blue.
  • Torbie: These cats also typically have black, white, and red or orange throughout their coats, but they also usually have stripes or spots. 

You can learn more about your cat when you bring her to Volunteer Veterinary Hospital. Our Knoxville and Maryville, Tennessee veterinary hospital specializes in providing quality services to all of our patients. Give us a call at (865) 609‑0311 to learn about our services and to schedule an appointment for your cat.