The whole kit and caboodle of cat and kitten color

Published: Oct. 15, 2016 at 7:17 AM CDT
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Cats come in an amazing variety of colors and patterns. It's not unusual to see many different colors in the same litter of kittens.

According to the International Cat Association there are two primary colors in cats: black and red.

All other colors, including brown; blue; silver; lilac fawn; and cream are variations of black and red, except solid white. White is a masking gene that hides colors. Confused?

Let’s move to patterns. All cat colors are also seen with different markings called patterns. A solid grey cat is known as a blue cat.

Tabbies, cats with stripes or tabby marking have four different patterns. Torties/torbies are usually females and are mixture of both black and red or their variations.

Pointed have points of color on the face, feet, and tail. Those points can be solid or tabby.

With whites, any of the above with white added are often called a tuxedo cat.

Calicos are predominantly white with patches of two other colors. That can often be orange tabby and black.

One more note: it's not color and pattern that determine a cat's breed. That is established by the physical characteristics so you can have a brown tabby Himalayan, or a Tortoiseshell Persian.

You can find cats in all variations of color and personality at the Nebraska Humane Society. They currently have a big selection. All adult cats, 6-months and up, are currently free adoptions. Kittens are just $75 and two-for-one. They're all spayed or neutered, microchipped and have first shots.

Nebraska Humane Society

  • 8929 Fort Street
  • Monday - Friday: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Saturday & Sunday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • You can always look up animals and find information at