Smokes, Silvers, Solids and Tabbies

Silvers are tabbies with white roots. Smokes are solids ( not tabby) with white roots. Smokes often have ghost tabby markings that can be classic, mackerel, etc., but they usually fade as the cat gets older. All cats have tabby genes, hence the ghost markings on solids. It’s the presence of the agouti gene that effectively turns the tabby pattern on or off, but even if it is turned off, you often seen the residual ghost markings, especially in smokes. Other than parting the fur and looking at the roots, the easiest way  to tell if a cat is a plain solid, smoke, or tabby is by the white rimming around the eyes and ears. The rimming is much more prominent on a tabby. Currently, there is no DNA test for the inhibitor gene (the gene that causes smoke and silver), so there is  no easy way to tell.