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Tipping is not restricted to black. It can occur in any of the solid colours. The naming convention is given in the table below. Red on silver and cream on silver are also early developed colours and hence have a number of synonyms! The term "shell" was used to describe the cat having a shell of colour rather than a solid (to-the-roots) colour. "Cameo" described the type of red - similar to the colour of old cameo necklaces - with "Cream Cameo" (pictured below) simply meaning a paler form of this.

The tortoiseshell pattern can also occur on a pale undercoat, giving us the Tortoiseshell Chinchilla (Shell Tortoiseshell, Silver Tortoiseshell), the Shaded Tortoiseshell (Tortoiseshell Shaded Silver) and the Smoke Tortoiseshell, (Tortoiseshell Smoke). Tortoiseshell tabby (patched tabby) also occurs on the silver undercolour e.g. the Silver Patched Tabby (Silver Tortoiseshell Tabby).


Full colour
Chinchilla = Silver/Silver Chinchilla (shorthair)
= Tipped/Black Tipped
Shaded Silver
Black Smoke

Silver Tabby
Tortoiseshell Silver Tabby (Patched Silver Tabby)

Silver Ticked Tabby (Usual Silver Abyssinian/ Somali)
Red Chinchilla = Shell Cameo/Red Tipped
Red Shaded (Silver) = Shaded Cameo
Red Smoke = Smoke Cameo

Red Silver Tabby = Cameo Tabby
Red Silver Tortoiseshell/Tortoiseshell Tabby

Red Silver Ticked Tabby (Red Silver Abyssinian/Somali)

Broken Full Colour
Tortoiseshell Chinchilla = Shell Tortoiseshell/Silver Tortoiseshell
Shaded Tortoiseshell = Tortoiseshell Shaded Silver
Smoke Tortoiseshell = Tortoiseshell Smoke

Blue Chinchilla/Blue Tipped
Blue Shaded Silver
Blue Smoke

Blue Silver Tabby
Blue Silver Tortoiseshell/Tortoiseshell Tabby

Blue Silver Ticked Tabby
Cream Chinchilla = Shell Cream Cameo
Cream Shaded (Silver) = Shaded Cream Cameo
Cream Smoke = Smoke Cream Cameo

Cream Silver Tabby = Cream Cameo Tabby
Cream Silver Tortoiseshell/Tortoiseshell Tabby

Cream Silver Ticked Tabby

Broken Dilute Colour
Blue Cream Chinchilla = Shell Dilute Tortoiseshell
Blue Cream Shaded = Shaded Dilute Tortoiseshell
Blue Cream Smoke = Smoke Dilute Tortoiseshell


Luckily the newer colours follow a general formula without too many confusing synonyms e.g. Chocolate (Chestnut) Chinchilla, Lavender (Lilac) Shaded Silver etc.

[colour-name] Chinchilla
[colour-name] Shaded
[colour-name] Smoke
[colour-name] Silver Tabby
[colour-name] Silver Tabby-Tortoiseshell ([colour-name] Silver Patched Tabby)
[colour-name] Silver Ticked Tabby, [colour-name] Silver Abyssinian/Somali

Some of these colours have probably turned up historically, but have not been recognised as distinct colours. For example, some early tipped, shaded and smoke cats were described as poorly coloured. "Poorly coloured" Blue Smokes were very likely Lilac Smokes, a colour not recognised or understood at the time.

The Golden series is also relatively recent and is still uncommon:-

Golden Chinchilla, [colour-name] Golden Chinchilla
Shaded Golden, [colour-name] Shaded Golden
Golden Smoke, [colour-name] Golden Smoke
Golden Tabby
Golden Tabby-Tortoiseshell (Golden Patched Tabby)
Golden Ticked Tabby, [colour-name] Golden Ticked Tabby

Golden tabbies are derived from Chinchilla/Shaded Silver cats. Because the Inhibitor gene is dominant, a shaded/tipped cat might carry a hidden recessive form of that gene. If two recessive carriers are bred together, there is a good chance that some kittens will inherit two copies of the recessive gene, giving rise to a Golden. They cats are different from other tabbies, being brighter in colour due to wider colour bands on the hair shaft.

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