Are you curious about the whats, hows, and whys of a tabby cat?

If you are cat lover, own a pet cat or are looking forward to bringing home a new furry purry friend, you may have come across the term tabby cat. Not so popularly known, yet pretty common, tabby cats are an interesting type of cats.

Among several cat breeds and types, there is a lot of hype around tabby cats. Are these a breed? If not, then what are they? Are they domesticated? Are they ideal pets? And if they are, then what actually makes them different from other cats?

Too many questions, one answer. This blog post; an answer to all your cat-related queries!

Stay hooked!

Key Characteristics of a Tabby Cat

This section of the blog will tell you how you can identify and differentiate a tabby cat among other cats. 

Contrary to popular misconception, no, tabby cats are not a breed. Tabby cats are just a type with similar coats with distinctive characters. Tabby refers to the one with striped coats or silk coats, and in reality, both meanings hold truth.

The most apparent and distinctive characteristic of tabby cats is the striped, dotted or swirling coat with a typical M branded over their foreheads. This coat is found among several breeds among cats whose solid color is disturbed by light-colored patterns.

The variety of Tabby cats expands as the colors vary too, so you can find a similarly patterned tabby in different colors ranging from black and white, grey, brown and different shades of red.

You can also find pe-striped dark marking above their eyes, often called as the eyeliner. These features make them one of the most adorable cats that are just hard to resist!

Five Different Patterns of Tabby Cats

There are about five different patterns you’ll find among tabby cats across different breeds. Read this section to know more!

A Classic Tabby cat is the one marked with evident swirling patterns, like those on a marble cake. They are like bold, circular smudges all over its body.

Popularly known as the tiger cat, Mackeral tabbies have narrow stripes running vertically down their sides. These stripes branch out from a single stripe, resembling a fish skeleton, hence known as ‘mackeral’. 

Spotted tabby has obvious spots along its sides while Patched tabbies have red and brown patches on the same cat and are often called tortie. 

A ticked tabby may be a tricky one as their stripes or spots are not as evident. However, they do have the characteristic M on their foreheads and on closer inspection, you will find alternate bands of light and dark on individual hair.

The Science Behind It: What Makes Them Tabby?

While the science behind a Tabbie’s M mark on the forehead is still debated with most believing it has a religious significance, the blessings of Prophet Mohammad or The Virgin Mary, there are solid scientific reasons for your cats having those patterns.

Two genes make tabbies how they are. The agouti gene that is responsible for the dark and light striations on the cat’s hair and the tabby gene responsible for the different patterns that we see as a variety in Tabbies. 

Tabby Cats as Your Companions

If you’re wondering whether these attractive cats can be your ideal partner and companion, the one you can shower your undying love for cats on, well, we have good news for you.

While several red/ orange coated tabbies are found to be bossy, most tabby cats are warm little animals that are friendly and affectionate. If you want to cuddle with your cat each time you look at its beautiful face, they want it too!

These cats are happy-go-lucky and do not require all that maintenance. So if these are not must-haves for a cat lover, I don’t know what is!

Do you have interesting stories to share about your tabby cat? Our comments section looks like the perfect platform for it!

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