7 Rare Cat Coat Colors

| Published on April 21, 2015

When you think of a cat, you probably think of a few basic coat colors and patterns that you most commonly see cats in. But did you know there are some rare coat colors out there? While some breeds are made up entirely of rare coat colors, others truly are hard to come by. If you think you’ve seen them all, check out this list!

#1 – Smoked


Smoked cats are produced by color inhibiting genes and is when a seemingly solid colored cat actually has banded hairs. This means that the cat’s hairs are dark (usually black) at the tips but have much lighter colored bands near the bottom. When the cat’s hair is parted, you’re able to see the unique smokey-looking color.

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#2 – Chocolate


If you’re looking into pedigreed cats such as Persians and Havana Browns, you will find true chocolate colored cats. But the color is a genetic mutation of the black gene, diluting it to a brown color. It’s rarely found outside of cats purposefully bred for the mutation.

#3 – Cream


Cream is a dilution of the red (commonly called orange) gene in cats. Cream can show up in any number of patterns, such as a full cream colored tabby cat to a cream colored pointed cat. While many purebred cats are starting to become more popular in the cream color, it’s still very rare in domesticated, non-pedigreed felines.

#4 – Lilac/Lavender

Photo credit: Mel via Flickr.

Lilac, or Lavender, is a much rarer coat color found in cats and isn’t purple at all, but is the result of a diluted chocolate color. It is considered a dilution of an already diluted color and is therefore not as commonly seen in even pedigreed cats.

#5 – Roan


A roan color is essentially any color evenly mixed with white hairs and was actually first described in Thailand in the late 1800s. These cats were a blue roan and can still be occasionally found today in the litters of feral street cats in Thailand.

#6 – Fawn

Photo credit: Sheila Sund via Flickr.

Fawn is similar to Lilac in that it’s a dilution of an already diluted color. Fawn is the dilution of Cinnamon, a color often found in Abyssinians and a few other breeds. Outside of breeding for the fawn color, it’s rarely seen.

#7 – Chinchilla


Chinchilla seems to be becoming more and more popular, but if it’s a color that pops up only rarely in cats not being bred specifically for the coloration. Chinchilla is similar to smoked coloration, but the tipping is very light. In this case, almost the entire hair shaft is a light color and only the tips are darkened.

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