..more pics at http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v3...ets/Boo%20cat/
Hi, I know it's been a long time since I posted this, but for anyone interested in future I just found this today which explains it better than anything I found when I made the post -
The difference between a calico and a tortoiseshell is this:
With a calico, there is a significant amount of white, and the two colors are broken up into distinct patches. This has to do with the interaction of white spotting.
With a tortoiseshell, the three colors are blended and don't form distinct patches. A tortoiseshell may have significant portions of white as well, but the remaining colors are blended (this particular pattern is called a tortoiseshell and white).
A torbie, or patched tabby, is a tortoiseshell where the tabby pattern is very distinct all over the cat. A calico or tortoiseshell may have distinct tabby pattern on the red or cream patches (has to do with another gene we won't get into at this juncture), but no patterning on the other color. This isn't a torbie. A torbie is clearly patterned all over the cat -- though never on the white. http://fanciers.com/cat-faqs/tricolors.shtml (What is the difference between a Calico and a Tortoiseshell? And what in heck is a Torbie?)
Same in the UK. Torties are mingled red & black, tortie & white have white and the red & black tends to develop in larger patches as in the cat in the photo.
It really depends who you ask. For example in some cat associations, calico is not a recognized color so any tri-colored cat is either tortie or torbie (or sometimes torbie is called "patched tabby" in some associations)... So in some places, your cat may be called a tortie no matter what their markings look like, if they have white they would be called tortie and white. For example in TICA, if I remember right they do not use the term calico.