|Main original photo by Mark Nockleby|
In the old days it seems that when the cat had a predominance of white fur the cat was called a white-and-black cat (with the hyphens in between the words). The ground color is white with black markings on top. In fact they were considered "entirely different" to black and white cats. In bygone days at cat shows black and white and white and black cats where exhibited and the general guide for success for white and black cats was that the black markings were evenly distributed over the white ground color in a nice balanced fashion.
For black and white cats the "chief points of excellence for show purposes are a dense bright brown-black, evenly marked with white". The classic black and white cat nowadays is what is termed the tuxedo cat and variations on it. The reference to brown-black in the quote is interesting because black fur is brown but today cat fanciers don't write about that in such an open fashion.
Note: Quotes from Our Cats and all about them by Harrison Weir. This book is available from Read Country Books (you can buy through Amazon). You can also download it for free on Kindle: