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What makes a cat Calico or Tabby?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
i was just looking at my cat "Munchkin" who appears to hold traits of a normal tabby and a Bengal Cat. Yes i know it may be far fetched, but her personality matches perfectly...

anyways, she is also calico- i was wondering what makes a tabby cat calico or regular tabby?

She appears to be tabby on her back with Bengal stripes on her legs and some patches of spots on her belly. She has Mascera like a bengal-

but more importantly she has blotches of orange tabby and variations of brown tabby all over her...

what makes a cat calico or tabby?
post #2 of 24
calico is black/orange/white.

Tabby is striped.

If she had orange, she's likely a patched tabby.
post #3 of 24
This is My Tabby with Orange.
Not sure what she is called in Colors.

post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
This is My Tabby with Orange.
Not sure what she is called in Colors.

Your little girl looks like she has ticking in her coat from her picture.
post #5 of 24
This might help you a little bit: Hint for Determining color
post #6 of 24
Thanks, I wll check that site.
Meeko does have ticking in her coat
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by xXPunkKittenXx View Post
i was just looking at my cat "Munchkin" who appears to hold traits of a normal tabby and a Bengal Cat. Yes i know it may be far fetched, but her personality matches perfectly...

anyways, she is also calico- i was wondering what makes a tabby cat calico or regular tabby?

She appears to be tabby on her back with Bengal stripes on her legs and some patches of spots on her belly. She has Mascera like a bengal-

but more importantly she has blotches of orange tabby and variations of brown tabby all over her...

what makes a cat calico or tabby?
You are mixing up breeds and colors/patterns. Many many different breeds can be calico or tabby.

Calico means distinctive spots of black and tan on an otherwise white body.


Tabby is various shades of brown/black/tan/red/blue/gray/silver with stripes, spots, swirls, etc.


Bengals are a BREED. Technically a tabby in pattern. With a distinctive personality and wild look.


ANd if she were a calico and a tabby as you mentioned she would look something on the order of these (known as patched tabby or torbie):

post #8 of 24
The easiest way to think of it (IMO):

A tortoiseshell is a black and red cat (patches/blending of both colors). When you add a lot of white to that you get a calico.

A tabby can be basically brown, blue, red, or silver (not getting into the chocolate, etc. tabbys)

When you have a cat that is basically a brown tabby but has red tabby patches/blending, then you have a Patched Tabby (which is female just like a calico/tortie would be). Add white and you have Patched Tabby and White.

There are "degrees" of how much white makes it a calico.

Tortie and white is basically a tortie with white on the face, chest, legs, belly. A Calico is a white cat with patches of red and black (or the tabby patches). There are borderline cats depending on how much white.
post #9 of 24
Here in the uk we do away with the tortie & white/calico confusion - all tricolour non-tabby cats are called tortie & white regardless of the distribution of colour and amount of white. We have tortie, tortie & white, tortie tabby, and tortie tabby & white. Much easier!
post #10 of 24
Will have to admit it is easier But I'd still want to call the tortie-tabby a Patched Tabby
post #11 of 24
Hmm, so what is the difference between an orange cat and a red cat?

What color is my cat, Pooch? Orange or red? (His picture is next to my username.)
post #12 of 24
Red and orange are the same colour - 'red' is the official name for the colour as used in the cat fancy, so if you were to enter Pooch in a cat show he would be listed as "red tabby & white".

However a lot of people refer to them as orange or marmalade cats, it all means the same colour
post #13 of 24
Gotcha. Thanks, Epona!
post #14 of 24
I have to say that Pooch is an interesting name for a cat, it put a smile on my face Lovely looking creature too, his coat looks as if it would feel lovely and soft
post #15 of 24
Abbycat - I'd call your cat a Brown Patched Ticked Tabby
post #16 of 24
This was an incredibly interesting thread! when I first read the question I was going to write that Calicos are actually a repressed gene, which gives them lack of color,so they appear white -- but the answers were much more fun to read than my own scientific response!
post #17 of 24
GK - I use the terms Epona mentioned plus patched tabby, we have had a couple of those in the rescue. WE do have a very interesting looking cat, that I dont know fully what she would be called - she shoudl be a tortie tabby and white, but is mainly white, with just patches, which is what would normally be classed as calico.
post #18 of 24
Patched Tabby Calico (specify the color - brown, blue, silver, etc.) Got a picture of her?
post #19 of 24
Cool - here are some pics - her patches are really odd, it is like one patch of tabby, then a patch of ginger, and no mixing. She has very green eyes, and one of the kittens is like her, the other is white and ginger






post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Abbycat - I'd call your cat a Brown Patched Ticked Tabby
That is mews2much's cat. I was remarking that she had ticking in her coat. She sure is a pretty cat
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by xXPunkKittenXx View Post
i was just looking at my cat "Munchkin" who appears to hold traits of a normal tabby and a Bengal Cat. Yes i know it may be far fetched, but her personality matches perfectly...

anyways, she is also calico- i was wondering what makes a tabby cat calico or regular tabby?

She appears to be tabby on her back with Bengal stripes on her legs and some patches of spots on her belly. She has Mascera like a bengal-

but more importantly she has blotches of orange tabby and variations of brown tabby all over her...

what makes a cat calico or tabby?
Here is what The Cat Site has to say: http://www.thecatsite.com/Snips/200/Calico-Cats.html
post #22 of 24
Ok she's a Brown Patched Tabby Calico Pretty markings
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Ok she's a Brown Patched Tabby Calico Pretty markings
She looks perfect to me!!
post #24 of 24
Thanks GK, she is a lovely cat, and wonderful temperament.
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