Why do kittens from the same litter look so different? Kittens born minutes apart by the same mom can look completely different, and might have different dads! The one that looks like a Siamese may be from the same litter as the calico, the tabby, and the one with orange stripes. Each cat has a base color and a pattern. What the kittens turn out to be will depend on both parents. A black mom and a black dad will usually have black kittens. An orange mom and an orange dad are likely to have orange kittens. An orange mom and a black dad will most likely give orange boy kittens and tortoise shell girl kittens. A tortoise shell mom and a black dad are likely to combine into male kittens that are orange or black, and female kittens that are black or tortoise shell. A tortoise shell mom and an orange dad are likely to have male kittens who are orange or black, and female kittens who are orange or tortoise shell. Orange female cats are unusual, and male tortoise shell or calicos are nearly impossible. There are many other colors of cats, of course. White, partially white, silver, dilute, colorpoint, chocolate, cinnamon… Some cats will carry the gene for a color combination without showing it in their own coat. Most cat moms give birth to litters with three to five kittens, but they can have close to twenty.