13 Cutest Patterns & Coat Colors for Cats

The primary cat colors will be discussed in this post by Michael Hogan. provides information on different colored cat breeds. On you can read the article “13 most popular cat colors and patterns.”

Cat Identification

Cats can be recognized by their color, pattern, breed, and hair length. For instance, Taylor Swift’s cat Olivia is a Scottish Fold shorthair with a white and black tabby pattern. Using this system, you can learn everything in a single sentence.

The majority of people are unaware that cats are all primarily black with small amounts of white. The red gene, which is related to sex and only transmits on the X chromosome, is what causes the orange cats that we see. As a result, male cats with one X and one Y chromosome typically have either a black or a red coat. The full calico color of black, white, and orange can be achieved by female cats, which have two X chromosomes.

The 13 Rarest Cat Patterns and Colors

The colors and patterns on your cat’s coat are listed below in order of rarity to prevalence.

1. Albino Cats

The albino cat is the type of coat that is most uncommon. Complete albinism is caused by two recessive alleles in the C gene, and cats are extremely unlikely to have both of these alleles. The majority of cats will acquire one of the alleles and display the ColorPoint pattern. These cats should avoid the sun to protect their distinctive albino blue eyes, which are usually present. Additionally, the sun can harm their skin, particularly the area around their nose and ears.

2. White Cat

Although the white cat may appear to be albino, the KIT gene that we previously mentioned is what gives these cats their colors. Even if they have other color genes, cats with the right allele combination will appear pure white because the condition prevents the pigment from penetrating the skin. These cats’ eyes are the same as those of other cats, and they don’t suffer from the same health issues that albino cats do.

Despite not being true albinos, these cats are incredibly rare, and it’s unlikely that you will see one without getting in touch with a reputable breeder.

3. ColorPoint Pattern

The faces, ears, paws, tail, and majority of the bodies of cats with the ColorPoint pattern are white. The production of pigment in areas that are too hot stops due to temperature-controlled albinism. Usually brown or black, the color is more intense where the body is cooler.

One of the most unusual cat colors, this pattern provides more sun protection and enables the pigment to reach delicate areas like the ears and nose. Many of these cats have blue eyes due to the albinism that is present.

While colorpoint can occur in any kind, it is quite uncommon outside of the Siamese cat breed and a few other select breeds.

4. Silver Pattern

There are three different types of silver patterns depending on how much of the hair is colored. The silver coat pattern refers to a condition where only the tip of the hair contains pigment, giving your cat a smoky or silvery appearance but leaving the stripes and other markings still visible.

  • Half of the hair is colored when it is silver striped.
  • Less than 50% of the hair is colored if it is silver-shaded.
  • Silver-tipped, or chinchilla, refers to the fact that only the very tips are colored.

Breeders can charge a high price for any silver pattern because they are all rare.

5. Smoke Pattern

Similar to the silver pattern, the smoke pattern causes a section of the hair to be uncolored. In this instance, the pattern only affects cats with solid colors, leaving the bottom eighth of the strands in either white or cream.

Almost as rare as silver is the smoke pattern. However, because it’s not as in demand, you can usually find it for a reasonable price.

6. Tortoiseshell

Tortoiseshell is a three-color pattern that consists of a diluted mixture of red and black that is mottled or swirled. White may also be present, but it will only be in trace amounts, with no sizable white areas.

The tortoiseshell pattern is not that uncommon in male cats, but it is extremely rare in male cats because they need an extra X chromosome to have this pattern.

7. Calico

The colors in calico are identical to those in tortoiseshell, but they look more like patches than a coat that has been blended or swirled. Additionally, unlike tortoiseshell cats, calico cats have a lot of white fur, especially on their underside.

Similar to tortoiseshell, this pattern can only be naturally produced by females. Rarely, this pattern can also be seen in male cats born with an extra X chromosome.

8. Tuxedo

The bi-color pattern tuxedo features a cat that is entirely black with a hint of white on its chest. White paws are also an option for this pattern. The overall style is similar to a tuxedo for men. The majority are Vans, and it’s uncommon to get enough color and the right pattern coverage to qualify as a tuxedo.

9. Ticked Tabby

Cats with ticked tabbies lack stripes. Instead, these felines frequently have a sandy appearance and occasionally have colored bands. The most uncommon of the common tabby cats are ticked tabbies, and finding one can be difficult.

10. Spotted Tabby

Broken stripes that resemble spots can be seen on the spotted tabby. Different breeds are much more likely to have this type of pattern, and the spots can be of different sizes.

The Arabian and Egyptian Mau, Bengal, Maine Coon, and Serengeti are the breeds that are most susceptible to developing the spotted tabby coat.

11. Classic Tabby

The traditional tabby appears marbling or blotched. Cats typically have swirls on their side and three thin stripes running the length of their back. On the shoulders, a butterfly pattern is also frequent.

12. Mackerel Tabby

The sides of the Mackerel, or fishbone tabby, have vertical stripes. Unbroken or broken stripes that resemble bars or spots may be present in the pattern. The recognizable M on their forehead, which characterizes this typical pattern, is frequently visible. With the exception of Van, the Mackerel tabby pattern is the most prevalent tabby variety.

13. Van

A mostly white cat with color on the tail and top of the head is the focal point of the bi-color Van pattern. Additionally, the body may have colored patches, and secondary hues like brown and cream may also be discernible. The most typical pattern and color scheme is van.

The Color Genes

Let’s talk about the genes that determine your kitten’s color.

Eumelanin Pigment

The eumelanin pigment is affected by the primary gene for coat color B/b/b1 in all cats. The dominant allele B is responsible for the black color, while the recessive allele b creates a chocolate brown. The other recessive gene b1 creates a cinnamon color. The intensity of each color depends on other genes, as do the patterns and makings.


Phaeomelanin is affected by the red gene O/o. The dominant allele O is responsible for the red color in cats, while the recessive o result in black fur. The intensity of the colors is affected by other genes, and it is here that sex comes into play. Since cats have only one X chromosome, they can only receive one allele, and either be orange or black.

Female cats have two X chromosomes, which results in more options.

  • Allele OO – The female cat will have an orange color
  • Allele Oo – The female cat will have a tortoiseshell color
  • Allele 00 – The female cat will only have black colors

Dense/Dilute Pigment Gene

As the name of this gene suggests, this gene, D/d, affects the intensity of the resulting color. If the cat receives a D, DD, or Dd, the color will be deep and vibrant, while a d or dd, the result will be a faded color. A black cat will appear grey, and a red cat will take on a creamy color. It will do the same to the other colors, like chocolate, and cinnamon as well.

The KIT Gene

The KIT gene is responsible for determining how much white the fur contains, and there are several alleles.

  • Birman Gloving Allele

The Birman gloving allele is responsible for the white paws of many cats. It’s a recessive gene, and homozygotes will have the white paws. Heterozygotes will have the white paws but may also have other white patches.

  • Wild Type Allele

The wild type allele can be W/w and determines if there can be white in the coat. If they receive the dominant W, there can be white in the coat. If they get the recessive allele, it will prevent any white from showing in their fur.

  • Dominant White Allele

The dominant white allele blocks melanocytes from reaching the skin, resulting in a pure white cat no matter what other color genes they have. This gene will also cause blue eyes in your cat as well as deafness.

  • Dominant White Spotting Allele

The dominant white spotting allele is like the dominant white allele, but this one only blocks the melanocytes from reaching certain areas of the skin.

Tyrosinase Gene

The tyrosinase gene has three alleles, C/c/c1, and it affects the tyrosinase enzyme. If your cat receives the C allele, it will receive a full coat of pigmentation, while it will receive one of two forms of albinism, full, and temperature-sensitive.


The real albino cat is the least common of all the cats we covered. The all-white cats will have blue eyes and a white coat. Following other cats with white fur because of albinism or the gene that prevents color from reaching the skin are other cats with non-albino white coats.

The colorpoint, silver, and smoke patterns are all present in these animals. The next most odd cat would be a male tortoiseshell or calico pattern cat because this would indicate that the male has an extra X chromosome. The patterns are thus quite widespread, with some being slightly more widespread than others.

Michael Hogan

San Gabriel Valley California Bird Seed Delivery. Huge selection of Pet and Wild Seed & Food. Free delivery. Pick up option also avaulable.

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