ExcitedCats is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

7 Shorthair Cat Colors for American, British, Exotic & Oriental Breeds (With Pictures)

One of the most unique things about shorthair cat breeds is the diverse range of colors and coat patterns they’re available in. While the main shorthair cat breed colors include black, white, red, cream, brown, fawn, blue, grey, and cinnamon, genetic mutations and selective breeding have also produced gorgeous color patterns.

If you’re interested in learning more about the shorthair cat colors for American, British, Exotic, and Oriental breeds, we’ve got you covered. Here is a list of the seven shorthair cat breed colors.cat face divider 2

The 7 Shorthair Cat Colors

shorthair cat colors

1. Tabby

tabby shorthair
Image Credit: Katzenfee50, Pixabay

Did you know that all cats can be considered tabbies? Well, they are!

Tabby patterned cats come in four basic varieties, including:
  • Classic tabbies: Also known as blotched tabbies, these felines have a combination of swirls, blotches, and stripes made up of different colors.
  • Ticked tabbies: These kitties feature banding on either side of their hair shaft with lighter colored fur at the base. This creates an iridescent speckled look. One breed with this specific color pattern is Abyssinian cats.
  • Mackerel tabbies: These tabbies have continuous vertical lines on both sides of their body, as well as a dark stripe that runs down their backs.
  • Spotted tabbies: As the name suggests, spotted tabbies have different sized spots on their coats. Bengal cats are considered to be spotted tabbies.

2. Solid 

adult solid red British Shorthair_Nynke van Holten_shutterstodck
Credit: Nynke van Holten, Shutterstock

Shorthair cats that are just one color are known as solid-colored felines. Sometimes, these kitties have one spot of color that differs from the rest of their coat.


3. Bi-Color

british shorthair bi-color_Oleksandr Volchanskyi_shutterstock
Credit: Oleksandr Volchanskyi, Shutterstock

Bi-colored cats have predominantly white coats with patches of a different color, including tabby or black, on their bodies. This is due to their white-spotting gene. Bi-colored cats can also be called harlequins (random spots and a colored tail), magpies (random spots), saddle (a colored saddle patch on their back), and capped.


4. Pointed

pointed shorthair
Image Credit: guvo59, Pixabay

Breeds such as the Siamese have a point-restricted pattern gene that gives them light-colored bodies with darker extremity colors, such as their paws, nose, tail, and ears. This type of gene is sensitive to temperatures, resulting in colors being restricted to cooler points of the body. Pointed cat breeds often have a light fawn-colored body with black, chocolate, or even lilac contrast points.


5. Tortoiseshell

Tortoishell shorthair
Image Credit: Sbharris, Wikimedia Commons

These cats have a unique mixture of black and red coat colors. Torties are mainly female felines.


6. Shading

shorthair cat golden lilac shaded with green eyes_OksanaSusoeva_shutterstock
Credit: OksanaSusoeva, Shutterstock

Shaded cat coats are characterized by color at the fur’s tips with a snow-white undercoat. Shaded cats are available in smoke, shaded, and chinchilla patterns. These patterns are determined by the amount of shading on the cat’s individual hairs.


7. Tri-Colored

Adult shorthair tricolor_Kucher Serhii_shutterstock
Credit: Kucher Serhii, Shutterstock

Tri-colored cats have black, white, and red or ginger color combinations. Also commonly referred to as calico, these cats can have diluted colors that present themselves as white, grey, or cream patches.3 cat face divider

What Colors Can Cats Be?

When it comes to cat coat colors, all cats are different colors and patterns because of gene and polygene modification. All cats are essentially black or orange unless they have modified genes and polygenes that change these two basic colors. Because of selective breeding, shorthair cats can virtually be any color known to mammals.

 

yarn ball divider

Final Thoughts

Whether you pick a solid, bi-colored, tri-colored, or pointed-colored cat, you can rest easy knowing that your kitty’s personality is as unique as her coat pattern. Be sure to brush your cat a couple of times per week to keep her fur sleek and shining.


Image Credit: Heikki Siltala, litter-robot