Description of color terms – Cats

Three color cat

Cats come in a variety of colors and patterns. Kittens from the same litter may all look different from each other. The terms used to define cat color can be confusing to the lay person. Here is a list of the commonly used terms and their definitions:

  • Solid or self – Cat is one color
  • Points – Paler body with darker color on face, legs and tail
  • Agouti or ticking – bands of color on a single hair
  • Bi-Color – Any color and white
  • Tri-Color or Calico – Brown or black with orange and white
  • Parti-color – solid color with areas of red or sometimes cream
  • Pied – uneven splashes of color
  • Brindle – streaks or swirls of color, usually darker than the base coat
  • Tortoise-shell – black with patches or streaks of red

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