Cat Colors "With White"
(Bicolors & Calicos)

Article by Beth Hicks
Photos by Helmi Flick

Spanish Translation / Traducción Español

Photos copyrighted by the individual photographers
Article copyright © ShowCatsOnline.com. All Rights Reserved.
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All colors and patterns of cats can also come with white - called particolors in TICA. This is caused by the white spotting gene.

Below are three names for with white patterns and their descriptions. However, the location and amount of white can vary tremendously. Mother Nature must think that "with white" cats are very special. That is why she paints each one individually so no two are ever exactly alike. Some purebred breeds such as Birmans, Snowshoes, Ragdolls, and Turkish Vans require that the white only be in specific areas.

"With White" Patterns

  • Mitted Pattern: The white may only be on paws, belly, chest and chin.
  • Bi-Color Pattern: White is allowed much farther up the back legs and on the face.
  • Van Pattern: A predominantly white cat with colored patches. The patches of color are usually seen on the face and tail.

NOTE: The color and pattern names used are the official names used by The International Cat Association (TICA).

Solid with White

Solid black and white cats are often referred to as Tux. That is not a breed or an official color name - just a great nickname since the black and white color combination looks like a cat wearing a tuxedo.

The picture of a Sphynx, the hairless breed, is included to show that a cat's skin is exactly the same color as their fur.


Cream with White
Cream with White
Black with White
Black with White
Black with White
Black with White
Black with White (van pattern)
Black with White (Van Pattern)

Tabby with White

The pattern on the body of any tabby can be very distinct or rather difficult to see. Regardless of the color, all tabbies have tabby markings on their head including stripes that form an "M" on the forehead.

The tabby markings on a classic tabby are always much wider stripes than the stripes on a mackerel tabby. A tabby with white in the van pattern, is just called a tabby with white since it is impossible to tell if the tabby markings are classic or mackerel or spotted or ticked.



Blue Mackerel Tabby with White

Brown Mackerel Tabby with White

Black Classic Tabby with White
Brown Classic Tabby with White
Red Classic Tabby with White
Red Classic Tabby with White

Silver Tabby with White
Silver Tabby with White (Van Pattern)
Red Ticked Tabby with White
Red Ticked Tabby with White

Tortie/Torbie with White

Torties and torbies with white are very eye catching colors. In the cat fancy, this is referred to as having "flash". The first two girls are excellent examples of different shades of the same color. One is a very dark blue color. The light blue is referred to as a powder blue in the cat fancy. Because the amount of white differs, the girl on the left used to be called a dilute tortoiseshell with white and the girl on the right was a dilute calico.

Notice the picture of the black tortie next to the brown torbie. You can see stripes in the red color on the tortie. This is very common. Since the black areas are solid instead of striped, she is a tortie.


Blue Tortie with White
Blue Tortie with White
Blue Cream with White
Blue Tortie with White
Black Classic Torbie with White
Brown Classic Torbie with White
Black Mackerel Torbie with White
Black Tortie with White
Brown Spotted Torbie with White
Brown Spotted Torbie with White

Brown Mackerel Torbie with White
Silver Classic Torbie with White
Silver Classic Torbie with White
Silver Classic Torbie with White
Silver Classic Torbie with White

Pointed with White

The presence of the white spotting gene on a pointed cat can cause patches of color to show on the cat’s body. Sometimes a lot of color will show but all pointed with white cats will still have blue eyes.


Seal Blue Point with White
Seal & Blue Point with White
(Bi-Color Pattern)

Seal Point with White
(Mitted Pattern)
Seal Tortie Point with White
Seal Tortie Point with White
Seal Tortie Point with White
Seal Tortie Point with White

Looking For A Different Color?
Click on the links below to see more examples of different colors of cats

  • Solids: Cats that are one color and do not have any stripes.
  • Tabbies: Cats with stripes - called tabby markings. The tabby markings have four different patterns.
  • Torties/Torbies: Usually females, these cats are a mixture of both black and red. They can be solids or tabbies.
  • Pointed: Color is only seen on the face, feet, and tail. Those points can be solid or tabby.
  • With White: Any of the above with white added. The term particolor means any cat with white.

Or return to the introduction to What Color Is Your Cat?

Photos courtesy of Helmi Flick Cat Photography
Copyright © 2005. All Rights Reserved.

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