Edit: HUGE UPDATE!!!
As my most faved deviation ever, I wanted to re-do it to show not only how much I've
improved drawing-wise, but also because before they were kind of just people from my old Guild instead of actual cat fur colors. I don't claim to be an expert on cat fur in the least bit, but this is just kind of what I know about it. I hope it helps anyone who is looking C:
Original (for comparison): sta.sh/0ja3yvpuikw
A note: These are not BREEDS, these are pelt patterns!!!
So without further ado, here is the new one :3 Below are descriptions of each.
1. SOLID COAT
"Solid" refers to the fact that the cat is entirely one color. This color can be any color, really -- from white to black to brown to blue (these each have their own types of breeds as well, I suggest googling it) I have drawn a gray cat with two of different shades beside it.
I have heard somewhere that an all-black cat and other breeds that are not white will never have blue eyes. Also, if you find a white cat with blue eyes, it is more likely to be deaf in one or both ears, though not exclusively by any means. And for reference: (I'm not 100% sure this is accurate, do your research :3 )
Eye color is genetically related to coat color.
Pointed cats always have blue eyes.
White cats, and cats with a lot of white markings, can have:
green, gold, or copper eyes
or "odd-eyes" (one blue eye and one green or gold eye)!
Other cats can only have green, gold, or copper eyes, not blue eyes. The most common eye colors are in the middle of the eye color spectrum (greenish-yellow to gold). The colors at the ends of the eye color spectrum (deep green or brilliant copper) are usually seen only in purebreds who have been selectively bred for extreme eye color, but they may sometimes appear in non-purebreds.
2. MACKEREL TABBY
This is the kind of pelt most think of when you hear "tabby". Note that tabby cats are not a breed, it is a pelt style! Many breeds have a tabby coloration. Mackerel tabbies are the most commonly referred to when you say tabby. It is often defined by the "M" shape on the forehead. The tabby stripes can be found on any color of cat, from a white with gray stripes to black with blacker stripes (though you wouldn't see them haha)
Many times you will probably think this as just "siamese" or the like, when in fact, a pointed coloration cat can occur in a bunch of different breeds :3 Mostly it means a cat with a light coat with a darker nose/muzzle, ears, legs and tail. Most of the time they are this cream-and-brown color, but I don't think it's exclusive. I'm not entirely sure though, as I stated before, I am not a cat expert haha just a big fan.
This is also classified as a type of tabby coloration, where the stripes are broken into spots. Mostly though I think it's just referring to spotted cats. A couple different breeds, like the bengal, egyptian mau, main coons and ocicats have this patterning. It can occur in many different colors as well. The spots can also change shape depending on the breed, so if you're looking to make a spotted cat character, do your research
This coloration is often confused with calicoes, but they are a bit different! "Torties", as they are sometimes called, are classified as a brindled coat, mottled with patches of orange or cream and chocolate, black or blue. Usually they have little or no white spots, though when they do, they are known as tortoiseshell-and-whites. Sometimes they are called calico as well, but I've noticed that calico cats are mostly white with different colored patches, as depicted in #8. Sometimes this coloration is mixed with tabby stripes, and those are known as "Torbies".
Keep in mind that, because of genetics causing the tricolored pelt, tortoiseshells and tabbies are almost exclusively FEMALE! Male calico / tortoiseshell cats are very rare and, when they do occur, are almost always sterile (meaning they can't father kits!)
Why are they almost always female? Tortoiseshell and related colors (blue-cream, patched tabby, calico etc.) are the result of a sex-linked gene and require two X chromosomes to appear. Generally speaking, these colors will only appear in females. Very rarely, these colors may appear in male cats, but these males are genetically abnormal (they have XXY instead of the normal XY) and are almost always infertile.
This kind of cat is also known as "tuxedo" or "piebald". This is commonly used to describe a black-and-white cat, though not exclusively. Any cat with two colors in it's pelt can identify as this. They have specific terms for what kind of bicolored pattern a cat has, including "tuxedo", "van", "mask-and-mantle" and "cap-and-saddle", all of which have specific patterns and I suggest looking them up.
7. TICKED TABBY
And no it doesnt mean ticked as in pissed off lol. A ticked tabby, such as the coloration in abyssinians and somalis (which is the one pictured here) are a type of coloration where the hairs have distinct bands of color on them, which kind of breaks the tabby patterning into a salt-and-pepper type deal. Also, with such breeds like somalis, remember that tabbies can have white on them too!
As mentioned in #5, Calicoes and Tortoiseshells often get mixed up. This is my definition of a calico, where a cat is mostly white with two other color "patches" of sorts instead of brindled or next to no white :3 Again, with torties, Calicoes are almost exclusively female.
9. SOLID with patterns
Kinda threw this in there to show you can have different kinds of patterns, like white chests or spots or stripes and stuff on an almost all-solid cat. I dunno, with characters its fun to have "uniqueness" attributes as long as they still make sense, right?
Also I needed something in this empty space lol
10. CLASSIC TABBY
The last type of tabby, this one has the swirled markings of stripes instead of the normal ones you'd think of on a mackerel. They can also occur in many different colors :3 This one happens to be an OC of mine so he's got some other factors in his coat, hence why his head is a darker color haha.
That's all folks! Hope you enjoyed it!