Did you know that there are two original primary colors in cats – black and red? White is only a masking gene, so it actually hides – or masks – all other color. So a dark black and white cat is really a black cat with white spotting because the white only hides some of a cat’s color instead of all of it.
Cats with beautiful white markings might have larger or smaller areas of white. If you want to describe your cat’s color more precisely, there are different names for the different amounts of white no matter if your feline kitty has long or short hair:
A “mitted” cat just has white paws. A pet with a white spot found on its chest has a “locket.” A cat with one or more little white belly spots has “buttons.” A “bi-color” is about half white. A “harlequin” is mostly white with several large patches of color. A “van” is almost all white with color patches only on the head and tail. A “tuxedo cat” is a black and white cat with white paws, chest, and belly. It might have some white on the face as well. Some people call black and white cats “jellicle cats” (after T.S.Eliot)