Categories: Cat Coats

Understanding Cat Coat Types

This might be the first of several pages on understanding cat coat types. I need help in fully understanding them. I know them pretty well, perhaps very well compared to some people, but need to know them better. I would like to address the relatively sophisticated and on the face of it complicated 5% of cat coats worn by purebred cats that are difficult to analyse. These are the cats that carry a bundle of genes that affect the appearance of the fur rather than one or two.

A visitor recently complained that I hadn’t spelled out the type of coat under each photograph of each cat. I would like to do that but it is not that cats have just a tabby coat

or a tabby and white coat for example. The cat fancy is so well developed these days that there are some very sophisticated coat types, mixing a variety of genes. I’d like to look at some fancy coat types or at least ones that I struggle a bit to identify and start below with two; a pointed Persian and an Exotic Shorthair (a shorter haired Persian).


Would you be kind enough and discuss this fabulous Persian cat?  This cat is called MandM. If the breeder passes by please stop and talk about your fabulous Persian cat.

Well, here goes. This is a pointed Persian cat (obvious that, I know, but a good start!). In the USA they are called Himalayans; Himmies for short and in Europe: Colourpoint Persians. The difference with this cat’s pointing is that it is not continuous. The pointing is seal point. And the darker tail appears to have a smoked appearance, meaning that the hairs on the surface of the coat are darker than the hairs nearer the skin or is that just a diluted seal point (get what I mean about complicated!)?

When the tabby gene breaks up pointing the coat is called “lynx point”. It looks like tabby markings are in the area of the pointing. But this is not the case here, however.

The inhibitor gene creates the smoke appearance. The question that I have is does the inhibitor gene modify the pointing to break it up (as shown) as well as create the smoke appearance?  I don’t think that it does. But if so this is a smoke and seal (the classic Siamese pointing) pointed Persian cat. Here is another picture:

The Seychellois has a pointed coat that is broken by white fur but it is more pronounced. Another cat is the Snowshoe but once again the dark pointing is cleanly broken by white. Both are semi-foreign in body shape whereas the Persian is cobby in body shape.

Exotic Shorthair

This cat is named: Pookie.  For me this is a tabby and white coat, possibly a mackerel tabby (striped). You can see the beautiful “M” tabby mark on the forehead. But there are only faint or almost no traces of tabby coat on the darker elements of the coat. It is that, which has thrown me a bit. The white fur is caused by the presence of the white spotting gene.

Over then to a visitor to help with my understanding of cat coat types.

Associated pages:

Black Smoke Maine Coon Cat

Modern Siamese Cats

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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