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View Poll Results: For each of the three cats, vote if you would call them calicos or tortoiseshells.
CAT #1 **Don't Vote Here** 0 0%
Calico 5 20.00%
Tortie 0 0%
CAT #2 **Don't Vote Here** 0 0%
Calico 0 0%
Tortie 3 12.00%
CAT #3 **Don't Vote Here** 0 0%
Calico 13 52.00%
Tortie 4 16.00%
Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-10-2011, 11:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Calico vs Tortie

I'm a genetics/color buff. My main interest is horses, so cats are still fairly new to me, but I have a fairly good understanding of a lot of the color genetics.

I understand that the genes for either a black or orange base coat is on the X chromosome and they are co-dominant. So a female, who carries two X chromosomes, can carry black and orange, and since the trait is co-dominant, both are expressed. Thus, a black and orange cat. I also have a basic understanding of the white patterns.

But I'm somewhat confused on the general terminology of the phenotypes (physical appearance). What I call a calico, some others call a tortoiseshell.

What I consider a calico is based on the appearance of black and orange. If there are distinct completely black patches, distinct completely white patches, and white...it's a calico. A tortoiseshell has black and orange hairs mixed together for a mottled effect. There may be a few spots where it's all black or all orange, but most of the cat is mottled. I think a tortoiseshell can have white pattern and still be considered a tortie, but I've heard others say that as soon as there are white markings, it's a calico, no matter what the black and orange looks like. And then, of course, there are dilute (blue/cream) torties and calicos. There are "torbies," and colorpoint (siamese) torties.

These, in my opinion, are calico cats. They have distinct black and white patches with white:



These are what I call torties/torbies. The black and orange (or blue/cream or grey tabby/orange) is all mixed up. Some of them have white, some don't.


So here's a little poll to see what you all think... what would you call each of these cats?

Cat #1


Cat #2


Cat #3


EDIT....oh shoot, you can't choose multiple answers for the poll...I'm mainly interested in cat #3 since the other two are fairly obvious. But feel free to post your answers
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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im not sure how it works in america but all of the above are 'tortoiseshell' in england. Just different types. Also the word calico isnt a majorly used branding (just a linguistics difference nothing more) But yeah, they are all the same 'tortie' just different types.
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'd call #3 a calico because of the white chest and paws.
I'd also call her adorable!
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nan View Post
I'd also call her adorable!
I'll go a step further and say they're all adorable. #1 and #3 I'd call calico, #2 I'd call tortie. I have a real knack for getting things wrong though, so you may not want to listen to me.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well it depends on the breed's color standard. Some standards for torties allow intermingling of colors and some don't, has to be definite patches; some allow minimal tabby striping in the patches. Most calico standards want to see chest, belly and all four feet white, and even some a white muzzle. Usually it's a calico if it has approximately one third of its coat white predominantly the underparts, otherwise its a tortie and white. Sometimes difficult to say when a cat is a tortie & white and when it's a calico.

Of the first four cats pictured: calico, dilute calico, tortoiseshell, silver patched tabby and white, and tortoishell and white.

Of your numbered photos: #1 calico, #2 tortoiseshell, #3 tortoiseshell and white (not enough white in belly to be a calico).
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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From what I understand Torbie is short for Tortoiseshell Tabby, it a Tabby with Tortoiseshell colors on top
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Old 06-10-2011, 01:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Torbie, Patched Tabby, Tortoiseshell Tabby all mean the same color pattern. The show standards refer to them as Patched Tabby for the classic (bull's eye) and Patched Mackeral Tabby or McTabby (striped pattern).
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Old 06-10-2011, 06:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i think my cat is a mix of torti and calico.
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Old 06-10-2011, 07:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulw View Post
i think my cat is a mix of torti and calico.
I think since she has remnants of tabby stripes she'd be a Torbie not a Tortie which is just short for Tortoiseshell.
No matter she's a beauty.
Torbies and Torties
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hmm. I can't multi vote here for some reason. :/ OH well. Well I guess the second photo is a tortie.
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