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January 15, 2011 12:13 PM   Subscribe

guide to housecat coat colors and patterns Just what it says....
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies (106 comments total) 109 users marked this as a favorite

 
Good grief. That's both wonderful and a bit scary. Thanks for posting this. I've often wondered about the odd tabby patterns I see on cats up here in the PNW vs. the typical patterns from the southwest. I was immediately struck by how different they all were, when I assumed a greater homogeny in such things.
posted by hippybear at 12:17 PM on January 15, 2011


I totally read that as "housecoat" and got excited.
posted by HumanComplex at 12:19 PM on January 15, 2011 [40 favorites]


Wow, that's a lotta cats. The disembodied eyes are very Sauron-esque.
posted by drjimmy11 at 12:31 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Okay, now I just want to hug a bunch of kitties.
posted by verb at 12:33 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Two cats are always better... unless they're both Calicos."
posted by ovvl at 12:37 PM on January 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


What a rubbish menu, there's no prices or dessert courses.
posted by Abiezer at 12:39 PM on January 15, 2011 [35 favorites]


Cats are just dogs for lazy people.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 12:45 PM on January 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


Dogs are just cats for the insecure.
posted by wreckingball at 12:48 PM on January 15, 2011 [100 favorites]


I totally read that as "housecoat" and got excited.

me too...
posted by Confess, Fletch at 12:57 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had no idea I was so interested in cat colouring.
posted by naturesgreatestmiracle at 1:05 PM on January 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


The....eyes are very Sauron-esque

Ah, I see you are well-acquainted with the ways of cats.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 1:16 PM on January 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


"We are Siamese if you please, we are Siamese if you don't please."
posted by Splunge at 1:16 PM on January 15, 2011


"Theoretical fawn-based caramel" is, truly, the unonoctium of the housecat universe.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:25 PM on January 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Hmm. My brown tabby has a white chest/stomach as well as white paws, in keeping with the same sort of pattern of color shifting on the piebald chart (my piebald fits closest with #7 there, but with only the spot by his black tail.)

What's odd to me is that if this kind of pattern color-shifting can occur with tabbies as well as straight black cats, you'd expect to see some "white" cats with tabby spots and tails, no?
posted by Navelgazer at 1:31 PM on January 15, 2011


Like this? You might also like:

"Why Paint Cats: The Ethics of Feline Aesthetics"

posted by victory_laser at 1:32 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


dog always eats cat.
posted by clavdivs at 1:33 PM on January 15, 2011


cat diary vs. dog diary
posted by puny human at 1:43 PM on January 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


It's the periodic table of kitties!

Can we get a poster of this?
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:49 PM on January 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


Beware of the four color calicos.
posted by jamjam at 1:50 PM on January 15, 2011


This is so great I want to put it on my wall. Navelgazer, my little guy is white with a tabby head and tail (or, technically, tabby with a full-body white spot); somewhere between Van and Seychellois Neuvieme. Required photo.
posted by 1UP at 1:58 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


here's a murdoch free link: to the artists deviantart page
posted by ennui.bz at 2:03 PM on January 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


I feel really boring. My cats are black. Just black. Apparently this is unlikely, since neither of them was intentionally bred, nor did we go out looking for black cats. But that is what they are.

I last stepped on one of them in the dark yesterday, why do you ask?
posted by agentofselection at 2:07 PM on January 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Theoretical fawn-based caramel" is, truly, the unonoctium of the housecat universe.

Or the current specialty dessert at Wylie Dufresne's restaurant.
posted by scody at 2:17 PM on January 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Guide to housecat coats and colors, nighttime edition
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:19 PM on January 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


The bicolor cat chart is a lot friendlier than Wikipedia's, which looks disconcertingly like they skinned a bunch of strays.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:24 PM on January 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


If it's a doggy dog world, is it also a catty cat world?
posted by tracicle at 2:24 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hm. I learned that my little guy RePete is a "mask and mantle" kitty. Or, as I prefer to call him--a superhero cat!
posted by Fuego at 2:30 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wasn't until I went to link this that I noticed it was on I Can Has Cheezburger. Lack of LOLspeak fooled me.
posted by emjaybee at 2:33 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks, ennui.bz. Somehow, I had a hunch that didn't originate at icanhascheezburger.
posted by clockwork at 2:35 PM on January 15, 2011


Print's for sale.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:39 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


(And no, I don't know the artist. I saw it on the lolcat site and thought y'all would enjoy it.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:40 PM on January 15, 2011


Fascinating variety. My cat is an utterly handsome mackerel tabby, but after perusing this chart I really want a three-colour calico as well.
posted by mathw at 2:47 PM on January 15, 2011


A Russian Blue, a cream point Balinese, and a little black kitty. These are ours, and the two boys (Noodles and Alfie, and no, we didn't name them) love their little tiny sister Stella.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:48 PM on January 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Prince for free.
posted by hippybear at 2:52 PM on January 15, 2011


I've been holding my cats up to the computer screen, but I can't seem to match their Holstein pattern to the chart.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 3:01 PM on January 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


that is fascinating. its rare to get mr supermedusa's attention so completely with "look at this thing on metafilter" but we both had to spend a bit of time figuring out where our kitties fall on the chart. really cool!!
posted by supermedusa at 3:01 PM on January 15, 2011


Yes,yes, this is all well and good, but it doesn't tell me why my black cat is evil (evil I tell you!) and my gray tabby has suddenly turned ultra-affectionate.
posted by Relay at 3:12 PM on January 15, 2011


Awesome post, thanks! Here's my chocolate caliby.
posted by miratime at 3:14 PM on January 15, 2011


It finally makes sense why my all-black-with-a-white-priest-collar kitteh could actually be biological brothers with an all white kitteh.

Our boy, Spike. His brother Milkshake (RIP).

What's really funny is that Spike didn't have his little white priest collar spot until the vet had to shave him for something surgical...it grew back white there. He used to be totally black.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 3:24 PM on January 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I never would have known that Herbert (the squisher), a ticked tabby we adopted as a baby from the spca, must be a purebreed. he has a crinked tail, so perhaps he was rejected by a breeder? he's perfectly adorable though, as you can see. the pancake underneath is Bellatrix :)
posted by supermedusa at 3:38 PM on January 15, 2011


My vet lists this little heathen as a tabby, but I do not think that word means what he thinks it means. Unfortunately, I have yet to see any breed called "spastic dork."

(He just fell off my lap about five minutes ago.)
posted by Samizdata at 3:39 PM on January 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


According to this chart, Evil Cat is black. (Pictured foreground, here, serving as a cushion for Stupid Cat.)

I thought black cats were black, instead of a sort of sun-faded reddish brown. The important thing to know about Evil Cat is that the little fucker bites when provoked, and defines provocation as being within biting distance.
posted by cmyk at 3:54 PM on January 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


What about the correlation between color/fur pattern and personality? I've noticed some possible patterns, and would like some confirmation (or disabuse).
posted by yesster at 3:55 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, yesster, my calico tabby is (genetically--you don't really see it much in her appearance) half Siamese, and she's the noisiest, most affectionate cat I know, but I don't think that's a very typical combination so possibly not the best to judge by.
posted by miratime at 4:00 PM on January 15, 2011


Aw, my kitty's colouring isn't shown; tortoiseshell with small patches of white. Though what I'd really like to know is what causes her face to be exactly half black and exactly half orange, split vertically down the middle of her nose. It's quite striking. (Of course what I'd really, really like to know is why she deliberately finds tissues, crumples them, and carries them around while howling like a banshee, but I suspect science hasn't found a reason for that yet.)
posted by ilana at 4:04 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought I was the only one who named my cat Evil. Must be a common name.
posted by _cave at 4:04 PM on January 15, 2011


What kind of cat is this. I think Journey playing softly in the background really sets the mood.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:14 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Siamese cats are usually more vocal, amongst cat breeds. Or I heard that someplace once. Not necessarily even on the interwebz. YMMV.
posted by hippybear at 4:35 PM on January 15, 2011


I have a book called "Genetics for Cat Breeders" and have studied the section on coat color. Oddly enough, this makes me the go-to person when friends want to determine the paternity of kittens...
posted by acrasis at 4:36 PM on January 15, 2011


What is it with having one Evil Cat and one Stupid Cat? Is it some sort of requirement or something? Because we definitely fell in to that trap. Evil Cat is black and Stupid Cat is a tuxedo. Very fashionable, that one. Dumb as a brick, though.
posted by backseatpilot at 4:49 PM on January 15, 2011


acrasis: "Oddly enough, this makes me the go-to person when friends want to determine the paternity of kittens..."

Am I the only person who briefly thought the bolded word was misspelled? I was? Right. Carry on.
posted by maudlin at 4:52 PM on January 15, 2011


Cool! Now we know that we have sorrel/red Somalis (found in the special section way down at the bottom of the chart). I didn't know they came in some many flavors. The world of pure-breds is a mystery to me, we inherited these from my in-laws.
posted by kimdog at 5:05 PM on January 15, 2011


Yesster -- anecdotally, but across way too many cats, it's my experience that tortie-based colors tend to have more attitude than other females, and "with white" adds a fair dollop of "with goofiness".
posted by nonliteral at 5:06 PM on January 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


What is it with having one Evil Cat and one Stupid Cat? Is it some sort of requirement or something?

Yes! My in-laws have two longhair brother cats, one black w/ white and one gold w/ white. The black one is literally too stupid/lazy to groom himself and constantly gets mats. He also cannot manage to poop inside his box. His brother hates him and also most people and generally sits in corners glaring at everyone.
posted by emjaybee at 5:14 PM on January 15, 2011


Based on my observations, gray cats are timid and often affectionate, black cats are sneaky and cunning, tabbies are pretty much normal and orange cats are insane.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:17 PM on January 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Of course what I'd really, really like to know is why she deliberately finds tissues, crumples them, and carries them around while howling like a banshee, but I suspect science hasn't found a reason for that yet.

Probably the same genetic anomaly that made Zach obsess over used emory boards.

(Yes, this was just an excuse to post a picture. Zach passed in August after a long and extremely healthy and active 18 years.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:20 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


(And no, I don't know the artist. I saw it on the lolcat site and thought y'all would enjoy it.)

Um, if you look closely at the boring writing bit in the top left you might notice that the artist is Joumana Medlej, who's site is apparently cedarseed.com.
posted by fido~depravo at 5:29 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's the page on the artist's website. And it helpfully includes a link to a poster as well.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 5:38 PM on January 15, 2011


I have a calico and a dilute calico. They take turns being the evil one and the stupid one. Calicoes have a reputation for being hard to handle. We adopted Mabeline, the regular calico, first. When we went back for a second, the people at the shelter, ah, strongly suggested we get another calico. And luckily, they had just the kitten.

Turns out we should have named her Amelie the Destroyer instead of just plain Amelie. I'm not sure they weren't just ready for her to go.

The calico reputation for prickliness might be unfounded. It's been eight years, and now, especially if the furnace is set down around sixty, Mabeline and Amelie might sit next to one another without fighting. Maybe.
posted by sugarfish at 5:49 PM on January 15, 2011


Based on my observations, gray cats are timid and often affectionate, black cats are sneaky and cunning, tabbies are pretty much normal and orange cats are insane.

Funny you should say that, Faint of Butt, since both my kitties are gray (well one's a gray tabby) and timid, but affectionate with me. Obligitory photo Now I need to go figure out if my Kaylee is a "blue" or "lilac" tabby. Very cool chart.
posted by weathergal at 6:00 PM on January 15, 2011


Probably the same genetic anomaly that made Zach obsess over used emory boards.

Aw, Zach is so handsome! This is Pumpkin; 19 this past September, still absolutely stunning and going strong, despite the howling thing. (You think posting as an excuse to put up a picture is bad? I just used this comment as an excuse to upload to my Flickr account for the second time in, well, ever.)
posted by ilana at 6:03 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Darn. I read that as "guide to housecoat colors and patterns".
posted by ...possums at 6:09 PM on January 15, 2011


Housecoat house cat.
posted by wreckingball at 6:11 PM on January 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


And no, I don't know the artist. I saw it on the lolcat site and thought y'all would enjoy it.)

Um, if you look closely at the boring writing bit in the top left you might notice that the artist is Joumana Medlej, who's site is apparently cedarseed.com.


What I MEANT was I do not know the artist personally. Didn't want to get accused of Pepsi Blue or the feline equivalent.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:20 PM on January 15, 2011


What I MEANT was I do not know the artist personally. Didn't want to get accused of Pepsi Blue or the feline equivalent.

I imagine the feline equivalent is Pepsi Blue Russian.
posted by ilana at 6:33 PM on January 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


So the thin white line on my black-and-white kitty's (a 5 on the black and white kitty spectrum) hip probably indicates a scar. I suspected she had been abused when we found her starving and abandoned on a freezing January night two years ago. She didn't know how to jump at first; it took her several months of watching the evil cat (3 on the black and white kitty spectrum) and having us pull up on her front end while pushing down on her hind paws to get the idea. To this day she'd still rather pull herself up with her front legs than jump.

Whoever abused and then abandoned Maui made a big mistake though. She is the sweetest, most intelligent cat I've ever had; I feel like I've won the kitty lottery. She's learned several commands already, but I guess I'll skip teaching her to jump through hoops.
posted by Soliloquy at 6:41 PM on January 15, 2011


Ha, no Evil or Stupid Cat in my house. I have Mellow Cat and Mischief Cat.

What a handy chart!

Mellow Cat is a cream mackerel tabby and Mischief Cat is a apricot with diffuse mackerel tabby marks. The cream is sort of reddish and the apricot is not a bright color, so it's easy to confuse them at a glance. The fat one is Mellow Cat.
posted by Xoebe at 6:54 PM on January 15, 2011


I'm glad I'm not the only one who read the title too quickly, thinking it read "a guide to housecoat colors and patterns" and clicked anyway.... Nice to find all of those cats, though!
posted by analog at 6:59 PM on January 15, 2011


I don't see red tabby with one tiny black spot at base of ear (note: 1.7 MB image, but vets freak out when they find out the kitten is male, because apparently black and orange can only coexist in the same cat if it has two X chromosomes, i.e. is female or XXY).

Sorry, folks, Red Pirate Adventure Tabby been adopted (and goes home tomorrow! Yay!).
posted by amtho at 7:38 PM on January 15, 2011


Yes! My in-laws have two longhair brother cats, one black w/ white and one gold w/ white. The black one is literally too stupid/lazy to groom himself and constantly gets mats. He also cannot manage to poop inside his box. His brother hates him and also most people and generally sits in corners glaring at everyone.

I totally read that as "MY brother hates him and also most people and generally sits in corners glaring at everyone."

Which would have been hilarious.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:41 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Four years ago, I didn't have cats. In fact, you might have been able to say I didn't like cats.

Now, after a week of fretting because one of my cats has been traumatized by moving, I'm spending Saturday night chasing the other one around saying "hold still, so I can see what kind of coat you have!"

Remind me to thank my boyfriend for this.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:41 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Xoebe, I have similar, with two super friendly cats, one of whom (the tabby) is just super whiny, and the other of whom (the piebald) is prone to a few minutes every day when he just goes completely batshit and then returns to normal.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:50 PM on January 15, 2011


Four years ago, I didn't have cats. In fact, you might have been able to say I didn't like cats.

Same here! My girlfriend (Metroid Baby) took in a battle-damaged cat. (From cat battles, not, like, bullets.) We healed him up, and he's since convinced me that cats can be great! He is full of fight and quick-start enthusiasm. We test each other every day with challenges of stalking and attack, and someday we'll enter a tournament and win! Iron sharpens iron!

Also, since reading this info chart, we've been making fun of him for having broken his embryo skin.
posted by ignignokt at 7:54 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Based on my observations, gray cats are timid and often affectionate, black cats are sneaky and cunning, tabbies are pretty much normal and orange cats are insane.

This has been my experience also. I can vouch that my two orange tabbies (brother and sister) are two of the quirkiest cats I've ever known.
posted by Nixy at 8:12 PM on January 15, 2011


My ex-girlfriend's family had an orange tabby that hated everyone. You know how sometimes families will have an absolutely evil cat that doesn't like anyone there, but hey, they got the cat and they've got to take care of it? This was one of those cats.

But for whatever reason, the cat adored me. It was seven or eight years old and a total misanthrope, but it made a connection to me immediately. I always got a kick out of that.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:31 PM on January 15, 2011


kommander kitty neck tie
posted by clavdivs at 8:39 PM on January 15, 2011


Here's Mr. Pink-paws-white-belly


and Sammy Katz, a brown broken mackerel tuxedo, sans optional tail-tip.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:44 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is fascinating. I fostered (later adopted) a very black cat (red undertones) who had 7 kittens - 5 all blacks, one tuxedo and one with the 'locket'. Another all-black cat (assumed to be the sister) had her litter 3 days later - 2 blacks, 1 locket, 2 tuxedo. The assumption is both litters are sired by the same father, with sister mommas. I have the 3 of them now (the first all black momma, one black kitten and the locket kitten); all have striking yellow eyes (although they're probably orange according to this chart). Obviously hereditary plays a huge role here, but I guess I never really thought about it too much until now.

On the other hand, there's no way hereditary can have much of an influence on personality. These three cats, identical with only a single locket (I love that that is what it's called!) between them, are as different as, well, siblings could be. One hates everybody, one loves everybody, and I'm pretty sure the third has cat ADD.
posted by cgg at 8:45 PM on January 15, 2011


I read that orange cats typically have the "friendly" gene in the "friendly/aloof" continuum but also the "anxious" gene in the "mellow/anxious" continuum (whereas it's more typically friendly+mellow and aloof+anxious) and that this accounts for much of their bizarre behavior.

We had a stripey orange cat who was the friendliest thing on the planet but TERRIFIED OF EVERYTHING, including petting hands. That must keep petting him because he loves both you and your petting. BUT OH MY GOD THE HAND, IT'S TOUCHING HIM. He would constantly walk skittishly away from the petting and then look back at you going, "Wait, why'd you stop?" Weirdo. :)

I was forced to give up on the coat characteristics of my Small Cat, who is probably a cross between a tabby (classic, I think) and a colorpointed cat (probably Siamese, complete with blue Siamese eye -- he only has one eye, as do all cats adopted at Chez McGee). Also, he's built like a dauschound, with a long body and disproportionately short legs. He kept running away when I tried to examine him. Pretty speedy for a cat with disproportionately short legs.

My Big Cat is basically a Russian Blue. The fat-ass subvariety, with the nice round Maneki Neko-type head!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:00 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


What is it with having one Evil Cat and one Stupid Cat? Is it some sort of requirement or something?

I briefly lived with a guy who'd named his cats Chaos and Carnage. I'm sure you couldn't possibly guess what sort of personalities they had.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:13 PM on January 15, 2011


"A Mitted cat has white bootees on all 4 feet."

It's true.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:39 PM on January 15, 2011


In a city as with other cities across our great divide lies a house, a cathouse, that’s right a house bought and paid for by humans and inhabited by cats, lots of cats, a cat haven, a cat underground. “They” will not take your full new born litter because you do not have the sense to care for them no, its a house were cats go and be cats when humans can no longer care for them, that’s right human frailty or death leaves some cats, no matter if there smoke cream or smoke torty with lilac crème despite the plight of the brindled bi-color, without a home or faced with a choice: the cat place or uncle blanks with a 2 dogs, one hunter- one tracker. The cat, my insurance buying, chip loving, cat scratching ethical folk, preferred the cathouse paws down.

I saw the cat a year from that time while canvassing ‘insurance’ for some people. The cat came near me then sort of nodded and motioned its head towards the water vat. I went ahead and forgot the location, but I know this, cats have needs that outweigh our wants.
posted by clavdivs at 10:53 PM on January 15, 2011


MetaFilter: We Don't Celebrate Caturday. Except When We Do.
posted by tspae at 11:11 PM on January 15, 2011


What's odd to me is that if this kind of pattern color-shifting can occur with tabbies as well as straight black cats, you'd expect to see some "white" cats with tabby spots and tails, no?

Coming right up!

Actually, 1UP beat me to it, but here's an additional example (who happened to be sniffing around the printer as I was reading this thread).

This kind of marking—mostly white, with large orange-tabby spots—seems to be common in my region. In the first couple months that I had my "pumpkin and cream" cat, I got a few scares from seeing similarly marked cats out strutting around the neighborhood; I thought mine (whom I keep indoors) had escaped.
posted by Orinda at 11:36 PM on January 15, 2011


I'm stuck figuring out one cat. One is a blue tuxedo cat. The other is also a tuxedo and a patched tortie. I'm trying to figure out what shade of tortie though. Her black parts are inky black but some of her orange is not that dark and edges to a darker tan / cream. Also her nose leather which is next to an orange fur patch is pink and not the brick red that a red tabby should have. She's part brindled and part patched. she lknda looks like she was made from spare parts.
posted by oneear at 11:43 PM on January 15, 2011


What is it with having one Evil Cat and one Stupid Cat? Is it some sort of requirement or something?

The proper Evil Cat requires a dim-witted sidekick. It's a law of Evil Cat survival, because the humans bond to the stupid sidekick cat and that one bonds to the Evil Cat, and if you got rid of Evil then Stupid would be dreadfully lonely, so you keep the Evil beast around for Stupid's sake.

You know how sometimes families will have an absolutely evil cat that doesn't like anyone there, but hey, they got the cat and they've got to take care of it?

That's my Evil Cat, who was a replacement we didn't really think through for the old Huttesque Attack Cat. I've considered putting up ads to sell her for scientific experimentation (One adult cat, free to mediocre home as she is evil & doesn't deserve a good one), but I doubt anyone would willingly take her.
posted by cmyk at 11:43 PM on January 15, 2011


So now finally I know: Sonoma, the Double Decker Cat (my 4 year old named him btw) is a Ginger Classic Tabby Tuxedo.
posted by echolalia67 at 11:48 PM on January 15, 2011


I spent way too long to figure out that my cat is a smoked (or shaded) blue tabby. Unsure whether it's a silver or gold base coat, though!

blue eye rims!

(I feel kinda bad about wanting to label her so badly, but maybe it's more like trivia)
posted by rubah at 11:53 PM on January 15, 2011


... Oh, and the older cat, Sancho (AKA Tub-Tub) is a Brown Mackrel Tabby Mask & Mantle.
posted by echolalia67 at 11:59 PM on January 15, 2011


Well, despite being a spastic dork, my Mr. J is a massive charmer. Even my best bud, although a serious dog-not-cat person, cuddles him and talks to him. He gets along amazingly with anyone, people or animal, and he is so playful and personality laden that after staying with my family for a bit while I moved, my stepmother was quite willing to try a permanent fourth cat to get someone like him.
posted by Samizdata at 12:07 AM on January 16, 2011


Well, I'm confused...the magnificent Rosa definitely has black in her coat rather than brown, but the red is a bit tabbied and she has green eyes. Being called a torbie would most definitely be beneath her dignity, so maybe she's a brown-patched tabby with grade 4 spotting. Breaking the categories, that's my girl! We call her a tortoiseshell and so does the vet.

(Don't tell her but after seeing this I am hatching a secret plan in my heart to bring a colourpointed cat into our house. But perhaps she'd be upset? *sigh*)
posted by calico at 2:38 AM on January 16, 2011


What's odd to me is that if this kind of pattern color-shifting can occur with tabbies as well as straight black cats, you'd expect to see some "white" cats with tabby spots and tails, no?

I had one too! Named Le Chat Malo (le chamallow means "marshmallow" in French). According to the chart it would have been Seychellois Septième coloring, pretty fancy-sounding for a kitten I adopted at the pound.

Now I have a brown mackerel tabby, a Maine Coon mutt who'd been abandoned as a kitten. Showing off his colors in the sun. His fur is so long that he mostly looks flecked brown, but when he was young the spots/broken stripes were pretty obvious. I love the coloring on his legs and paws.

My old Grey would have been a bicolor blue lynx point — he had beautiful fur.
posted by fraula at 3:14 AM on January 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


What kind of cat is this?

That looks like a Sphynx to me. I've never met one, but Mrs. Example tells me they're very cuddly and affectionate.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 6:14 AM on January 16, 2011


You had me from "bewildering array".
posted by Beardman at 7:17 AM on January 16, 2011


Mr. Bad Example: "What kind of cat is this?

That looks like a Sphynx to me. I've never met one, but Mrs. Example tells me they're very cuddly and affectionate.
"

My family has sphynxes - we had three, though one passed away a few weeks ago.
Something interesting and on-topic is that though they have no hair, sphynxes still have the same coloring patterns as other cats. It's just pigmented on their skin - as if you shaved other cats. My three kitties were a dilute calico, blue tuxedo, and white with #9 grade black spots (or, according to the chart, black with very high-grade white spotting I guess).
posted by Gordafarin at 8:27 AM on January 16, 2011


My stepkitty Ford is a blue-point Birman, so has the standard colourpoint markings plus the Birman-specific white toes. We are convinced that he is not a cat but actually a member of some kind of alien species masquerading as a cat that did not do the research.
posted by corvine at 10:00 AM on January 16, 2011


For those of you with Maine Coons/Main Coon-derived kitties, my cat has the oddest habit. He tends to stick his right leg out straight when sitting or laying on something narrow. It looks absolutely adorable when he feeds, as he plunks down on his furry little butt and arches his head into the food bowl, with his right leg sticking straight out.

Anyway, back on target. I'm told this is a common thing for Maine Coons. Is it?
posted by Samizdata at 10:46 AM on January 16, 2011


ovvl: ""Two cats are always better... unless they're both Calicos.""

Not True.

Also, this thread needs a hard-to-photograph green-eyed Tuxedo Cat!
posted by psyche7 at 11:01 AM on January 16, 2011


This thread needs another (not hard-to-photograph) green-eyed Tuxedo Cat! And also a Lilac Cream Torbie (I think), a Dilute Caliby (possibly?), and the most handsome boy in the house, who I can't seem to identify.
posted by cooker girl at 12:12 PM on January 16, 2011


Another white cat with tabby markings, Daisy is all white except for a patch on her head, two small blots on her butt and a ringed tail for that lemur look. All of her dilute red markings have faint tabby stripes. Her brother is your basic ginger tabby with orange eyes.

I see I've been calling my tux cats the wrong thing, mine have all been cap & saddles. The current b/w cat is Delia, who in addition to having faint striping in her black areas, has what cat breeders call "glitter", which means her fur has rainbow-y sparkles. Unfortunately, her personality is the complete opposite of rainbows and glitter.

And just so she doesn't get left out, beloved Monty, who doesn't appear on the chart at all because there's no entry for Condensed Cute.
posted by jamaro at 12:47 PM on January 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


What is it with having one Evil Cat and one Stupid Cat? Is it some sort of requirement or something?

Our evil cat IS the stupid cat. The other one is fat, lazy, and smart enough to know that there really is no point in getting up and burning a calorie, you will indeed bring that treat to her and no, she will never catch the infernal red dot that her sister keeps chasing like an idiot.
posted by sonika at 4:44 PM on January 16, 2011


Mine? Moonshadow is black - and almost certainly part Maine Coon. He does some odd things with his front paws, but not what @Samizdata describes. Sunshine is a tortie. And Puppy is a ginger tabby.
posted by jeri at 10:04 PM on January 16, 2011


(how on earth did I get the link to my cat to go to this page? what a spoon I am) Rosa
posted by calico at 12:43 AM on January 17, 2011


What I didn't see listed was the coat my black cat sports.

It's black. He looks just like your standard issue spooky black cat. Until you look at him with night vision optics, and that's when you realize that he's actually striped; black stripes on a black body.

It's absolutely weird (and just barely visible in really bright sunlight as well). Though apparently it's actually pretty common, but mostly unknown by people who don't stalk their cats in the night with night vision scopes.
posted by quin at 9:53 AM on January 17, 2011


Quin, cats such as yours are melanistic tabbies as opposed to a black self (solid). Sometimes the stripes redden and become more visible as the cat ages.
posted by jamaro at 10:36 AM on January 17, 2011


ovvl: ""Two cats are always better... unless they're both Calicos.""

Not True.


Just quoting a recent AskMeFi comment.

(Actually, I used to live with a small female Calico who was nice to human family, but a total bad-ass to other critters.)
posted by ovvl at 7:49 PM on January 17, 2011


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