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Color question

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I hope this is the right place to post this. I was wondering is "Tabby" considered one color? I know there are differnt forms & colors of Tabby, but I have 2 cats that are white & tabby. I am curious because I have seen many cats that are white & tabby. I guess I would consider that tri-color, but I know that tri-color males are not common. In addition I'm also wondering what the correct color description is for Jordan & Maggie. When I say what & tabby is that correct or is there a better term? I know it's silly, but these are the things I think about.
post #2 of 9
Tabby is a pattern, not a color.

You have two basic colors, black and red. Male cats usually have only one of the base colors, females can have black and red at the same time which would make them torties.

There are two colors derived from black; chocolate and cinnamon. Those colors can also combine with red to make chocolatetortie or cinnamontortie for female cats.

Then there are dilute colors, caused by the dilution gene. Under the influence of the dilution gene;
black becomes blue
chocolate becomes lilac
cinnamon becomes fawn
red becomes cream
In tortie cats both colors become dilute, so you can have bluetorties, lilactorties and fawntorties, those all have cream spots in stead of red spots.

White isn't really a color, but absence of pigment. There are two forms of white, one form that causes spots of white (can be very small or so large they almost cover the entire cat) and one form that makes the cat completely white.

Male and female cats with one color + white are bicolored.
Torties have two base colors and when they also have white spots that makes them tricolored.

Now for tabby; as I said before tabby is a pattern, that pattern can occur on all colors I listed above, except on white, because that isn't a color. You can have blacktabbies, bluetabbies, chocolatetabbies, creamtabbies, you name it.
A tabby cat with white spots is a tabby bicolor. A tabby cat without white spots is not a bicolor, because it has only one ground color. I know the pattern on the cat is made in a different color, but it's only the ground color that counts for the name bicolor/tricolor. Just one of those things
When a tortie cat also has the gene for the tabby pattern the resulting look is called tortietabby. A tortietabby with white is also a tricolor.

When people say tricolor males are rare, they mean males that are tortie, not tabby and white males. (unless they are tortietabby ).

From their profile pictures Jordan and Maggie look like black tabby and white cats to me. (there are some people who would say brown tabby and white, but because they have the black gene I prefer black tabby and white)
There are four different tabby patterns, ticked (each hair has colored bands but overall you see little to no pattern like on Aby cats), mackerel (stripes on the body), spotted (spots on the body) and classic/blotched (swirled pattern on the body). You could add the pattern to the description of your cats after the word tabby.

I hope that was helpful because I typed this up after I'd decided to go to bed, it's near midnight here and I'm a bit sleepy
post #3 of 9
If a cat is both tabby and tortie, that is usually called torbie or patched tabby.
post #4 of 9
Originally Posted by Nekochan View Post
If a cat is both tabby and tortie, that is usually called torbie or patched tabby.
Depends where you live, we don't use the terms torbie or patched tabby. We call them tortie tabby
post #5 of 9
Tabby stripes vary in color (darker) then the background color. Its not a specific color - its a pattern. The basic tabby colors are Brown Tabby, Blue Tabby, Red Tabby and Cream Tabby. Then you can get into the more exotic tabby colors like Silvers, Chocolates, etc.

When you have a Tabby and White, you would simply have Brown Tabby & White as the "color" of the cat. In CFA, the Tabby & Whites are in with the "Bicolor" division as a tabby pattern is considered to be a single color and not "tri-color".
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
I think I get what you are saying. Here are some photos that I think show their tabby a little better.



Both side by side.
post #7 of 9
I would call them brown tabby and white.
post #8 of 9
To be specific both are Brown Mackerel Tabby & Whites - as you notice, brown comes in various shades.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. I love them & think they both have the best markings, but I was just curious.
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