Cats’ hair exists in many different colours and types.
While the cat’s original coat was identified as that of the agouti tiger cat, meaning a kitten with a coat distinguished by several alternating bands of colour on a yellow-greyish background and black tips, over the years due to genetic mutations and the mixing of different breeds a myriad of unique coats has emerged.
This is the most common coat in nature. We are talking about classic tiger cats, in which each individual hair has bands of colour. It can be divided into:
– Ticked tabby: the striping appears evenly over the whole body;
– Mackerel tabby: has a continuous black line along the entire back with uniform, wide lateral stripes;
– Spotted tabby: has small round or oval spots all over the body;
– Blotched tabby: has three broad black stripes with a butterfly pattern.
Unlike their predecessors, cats with this coat have a uniform colouring of the single coat, from beginning to end. At the same time, however, the colour distribution can change in the length of the coat. The most common one-colour coats are:
- Black: black without any streaks with reddish tones in summer;
- Blue: a gradation of black ranging from light grey to slate;
- Chocolate: a milk chocolate colour, while the fingertips vary towards cinnamon pink;
- Lilac: a variation of chocolate with a light grey-pink coat;
- Cinnamon: a mutation of the black coat that veers towards the cinnamon colour;
- Red or cream: while red is a uniform fawn, the latter is a lighter version of the former;
- Turtle scale: it’s a combination of red and black, mixed together with no white.
Two and three-colours coats
Two and three-colours coats are the classic coats that features white and any other colour.
In particular, we can find:
– The bicolour or tricolour: most of the body is coloured, while the rest is white;
– Harlequin: has a broad white base with large black spots;
– Van: the whole body is white, while head and tail are coloured;
– Mitted: the four legs, a small area of the muzzle and a strip in the lower part of the body are white.
Cats with this coat have a white base and only the tip of the hair is of different colours. This includes:
– Moke: the classic smoked coat with a narrow silver base while the rest of the hair is coloured black, blue or red;
– Shaded: in this case the shading is found only in the upper part of the coat, while all the rest is silvered;
– Chinchilla: a very small part of the coat is coloured, while the undercoat is snow-white;
– Cameo: a coat with a silver undercoat and a coloured band in the middle of the coat.
Finally, colourpoint coats are characterized by a pale base with coloured tips. This colouring is particularly found in Siamese cats, but there are also many other similar breeds. The tips can be blue, chocolate, cinnamon, fawn, red, cream, tortoiseshell and many other colours.
Here are all the coat colours of cats. Which kind of coat does your kitten have?