What color is my cat?

“My cat is orange” may seem like a correct statement, but according to the CFA breed standards, Orange is not a coat color. Here’s some hints on how to help you label the coat color/pattern of your cat correctly in the CFA world.


First of all, if there is white on your cat, it is likely a bi color. So if you have a tabby, and it also has white spots, it will be a tabby bicolor.


There are three classes of tabbies: mackerel, ticked, and classic. Persians are usually mackerel or classic only. Classic tabby is where you see the “swirls” or “bullseye” pattern in a beautiful, intricate pattern. Classic tabby is where you get the beautiful simetrical stripes. If there are any type of stripes on your cat, it IS a tabby. 


Coat colors may seem a bit tricky, but once you get the hang of it, it is really easy. 

Red: what you call orange will be red

Cream: as it appears. It is the “dilute” form of red

Blue: will appear as gray, or gray with a blue hue.  Is the “dilute” form of black.

Lilac: will appear as purple gray. Not very common in persians. Is the “dilute” of brown.

Black: will appear as black or possibly grey around beards. 

Calico: red + black + white. There must be NO tabby markings. If there is tabby markings it is likely a brown patched tabby and white. 

Brown Patched Tabby and White: brown + red + white with tabby markings. May appear calico, but the stripes will make it a tabby. 

Dilute calico: dilute is a gene that must come from both parents. If one parent isn’t dilute (or doesn’t carry dilute), there will be no dilute offspring. Dilute calico= blue + cream + white.

Silver tabby: may look like blue, but when inspecting the hairs closely you’ll see it is mixed with black. 


On Persians and exotics, the likely eye colors for all of these will be copper. Copper is the color that may look orange to us. It is likely they could be blue or odd eyed, but most will be copper. 

  1. Lets try an example. What color does sully appear to be? 

Sully is a blue mackerel tabby and white.


  1. What color does Juliet appear to be?

Juliet is a brown patched tabby and white. She is not calico because she has tabby markings, and what appears to be black is brown.


  1. Last test, this one is easier. What color is beignet? 

Beignet is a Cream and white bicolor. With a fashionable Christmas sweater I might add.

Keely Bauerly