The Most Complete Guide On Tabby Cats

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The most surprising bit of tabby cats to people who are a novice is that they are not a breed. Unlike Persian or Siamese, tabby cats are not a certain breed of cat. The term tabby is a description of a domestic cat with markings of lines, swirls, and stripes. Another recognizable mark on tabby cats is the ‘M’ on the forehead. This case means that several different groups of cats can fit into one group – tabby cats. It is evident among countless pre breeds, mixed breeds, and mongrel cats.


Origin of the name ‘tabby.’

The English definition of the title states it is if a fabric or silk with a striped pattern. It also has another meaning, which has little to do with appearance. Which meaning was the first?

The meaning of tabby as striped patterns was the first in the English language. The Arabic name for fabric is ‘Atabi.’ It has its origin in the ancient district of Baghdad, Attabiah. The name ‘Atabi’ became an English name in the 17th century. English speaking people converted the pronunciation to tabby and used it to describe anything that had striped. The word became a standard description of striped cats in the 18th century.


What is the ‘M’ on the forehead?

The exciting bit about tabby cats is that not all stripped cats have the right to be termed tabby cats. One has to have the ‘M’ on the forehead to fit in the group. The marking makes any cat that does not have stripes, swirls or patches a tabby cat.



The ‘M’ on the forehead triggers mystique that runs through to older generations in history. Legend has it that the letter was a natural labeling mystery in Egypt. The Egyptian name for a cat is ‘Mau,’ which likens the sound of cats ‘Meow.’

Another story has a religious connotation from the times of Jesus. Mary asked animals to rally around baby Jesus as a way of comforting him when he cried. The only animal that was small enough to fit into the manger was a tabby cat. She, therefore, honored the cat by granting it a label of the first letter of her name.

The mystique of the letter ‘M’ does not really matter as long as you find the magic of the story. It adds personality and beauty that makes the cat a cryptic charm.


Types of tabby cats

Specific breeds will have distinct pattern markings. A combination of two particulars will produce a particular pattern marking. The five main types of tabby cats are:

         Type Stripes Spots None
·        Mackerel yes Yes
·        Spotted yes Yes
·        Patched yes yes
·        Classic Yes
·        Ticked Yes



The name has its roots in the mackerel fish species. Other people believe that the markings are more akin to that of a tiger, and not the fish. This cat will have stripes on the legs and tail. The chest will have lines that resemble the layout of a necklace. The body’s sides will have either solid or broken lines. The haunches and shoulders will have faint lines that form the shape of a fish’s skeleton.


These cats have spots that could be oval, circular, large or small, and look like dark blotches. They sometimes have necklace markings, which are not as pronounced as that of a mackerel tabby.


These cats have the most common pattern markings. This tabby is the one people will refer to when talking about a tabby cat.

The main features are bold swirls on the body’s side, with some looking like big blotches. Some countries in the UK call this cat blotched tabby or marbled tabby – the color contrasts and patterns look like those of a marble surface.



Classic tabbies have three prominent lines running along the back from the neck to the tail. They have rings on the neck that look like several layers of necklaces. They also have blotches on the belly, legs, and tail.


It is essential to understand the disclaimer that the name of this tabby cat does not refer to animal ticks. Ticked cats do not have any of the typical pattern markings of tabbies. They, however, have alternating shades of darker and lighter fur. This condition earns them the name ‘Agouti.’ The only thing that makes them a tabby is the letter ‘M.’

The Abyssinian breed seems to have slightly distinct patterns. The fur of these cats has varied colors, which make for an exciting tabby cat.


These tabby cats have the most varied color patterns. The most common are the colors are ginger, red, or brown. The second most common color is blue-grey, which often has the accompaniment of cream patches.

The distinct pattern may be anything from swirls, stripes, patches, or spots. They have all the makings of the previously described tabby cats. A patched tabby will, however, have rampant markings on the legs and the head. Some people alternate their name with tortoiseshell tabby.


Common tabby colors

The colors of a tabby cat are not restrictive with each particular tabby pattern. Colors are more natural to identify; hence they are a common way of grouping the cats. There is no right or wrong formula for classifying the cats because they fit into various classes according to their physique.


This is the most common and enchanting color of cats. The color is albeit within a combination of other colors, such as brown. The black is highly distinct and will sometimes have the dilution of silver or white shades.


Tabby cats with this color fall in a wide range of grey shades. The tabby could have extremely dark greys, while others will be on the other end of the spectrum of lightness. Grey tabbies tend to have a beautiful underlying hue, such as silver or blue. The patterns of a grey cat can be anything from swirls, spots, stripes or patches.


The brown color makes people think it is a quintessential tabby cat. The color also makes people believe that tabby is a breed of a cat.


Some people argue that ginger is simply a lighter shade of brown. A closer look reveals that ginger is a combination of brown and an orange undertone. It is a fun fact that the most famous ginger cat was part of a Guinness World Record. This common cat type is the camera-friendly cat. Garfield.



Common breeds with tabby cats

There are approximately thirty breeds of cats that classify as tabbies. A few of the most popular will give you an insight into all of them.

Maine coon

This breed is at the top because it is one of the most common kinds of cats. These cats have a large body size and a tranquil nature, which gives them the reputation of being gentle giants. The big body size gets exaggeration from long coats. The fur has a glossy appearance that has various marking patterns and colors. The most common patterns are classic and mackerel.

American shorthair

These domestic cats are known for their lowered curiosity and good mannerisms. They make quick friendships with children and live peacefully with a wide array of household pets. The American shorthair is easy to maintain because of their docility. The tabbies of this breed have different colors and patterns. The most common are white, grey, brown and silver.


The tabbies of these cats have several colors, with the most common being hues of blue, red-brown, and fawn. Abyssinians are the oldest breeds of domestic cats and have loyalty and desire to be close to humans. They have notable high intelligence and make for exciting playful cats.



American Bobtail

These cats are active and known to be acutely intelligent. Their look does not automatically lend them to be domestic. Their name comes from their short tail, which is typically half the size of a typical cat. The tabbies of this breed tend to primarily swirl and classic.


Traits of tabby cats

It is nearly impossible to attach a specific behavior to tabby cats. This is because the cats share outward appearance and not behavioral. Additionally, they come from many different breeds. It is, however, possible to attach certain generic behaviors that are visible cats.

Community spirited

Tabby cats like to live and enjoy their days besides a group of cats. They will happily share their food and interbreed. Tabby cats will care for kittens of other cats without any apprehension.


Cats, including tabby cats, will let you know when they are uncomfortable with something. These situations include anything from wanting to get back into the house or noting something seemingly dangerous on their radar. It is also evident that tabby cats will be loud and clear about their desire for the food on your plate.



Their communicative quality makes them an excellent companion for walks, games, and other fun activities. These cats return as much love and affection as they get.

Some people wonder if communication is also two way. This case is because it is not uncommon to note that the cat in front of a computer watching YouTube is most likely a tabby. The question is whether these cats have a better understanding of words than we presume. If not, they most likely have an affinity for moving pictures and human-like entertainment.


This is a dominant trait of all cats. It is also interesting to know that cats, inclusive of our sweet tabby cats, do not kill a catch immediately after capture. They will play around with it as a form of exercising their predatory and sporting quality.


Fun facts about tabby cats


The most massive tabby cat was called Himmy. He was over 46 pounds and lived in Australia. The Guinness World Book of records was worried that the owners were endangering the cats’ lives in an attempt to earn them a worldwide mention.


A tabby cat, commonly referred to as Stubbs, was the mayor of an Alaskan town in Talkeetna. His re-elections are due to him not raising any taxes in the region.


Many people have been known to have an obsession with tabby cats. Fans, including famous people like:

  • Winston Churchill
  • David Bowie
  • Hilary Swank
  • Meryl Streep
  • Taylor Swift
  • Mark Twain


Tabby cats have motivated fans to open up designated chill spots for tabby cats. There are ninety cat cafes across the United States.

  • Dallas
  • New York
  • Miami
  • Los Angeles
  • Pittsburgh
  • Atlanta



The tabby cat face in Atlanta works closely with the local adoption charities to ensure that they have a happy home.


Taking care of tabby cats


This practice was common in previous times. Currently, most vets will not agree to it. The procedure is excruciatingly torturous. You should create several posts around the home as an alternative to their scratching tendencies. It might take a while to train the cats to stop scratching furniture or your face and stick to the spots.


It is important to neuter your cats if you want them to have a blissful life. Cats are already subject to short lives, and there is no need to subject them to extra abrasiveness by common conditions of life.


These parasites are a nuisance to both cats and humans. Cats from the streets may have a tendency to bring in insects. You do not have to wait for them to thoroughly learn new ways and leave behind the inclination that exposes them to nasty insects. Purchase a high-quality anti-flea treatment that will make the transition smooth for everyone in the household.

The TevraPet Actispot II Flea Prevention and Treatment solution is a long-lasting one that will cover at least six solutions in one month. The manufacturers advise that buying one topical solution will cater to the needs of one large cat. The solution is waterproof and will last throughout the day or night until you wash it off.

This particular anti-flea solution will also keep off eggs, larvae, and pupae from growing into adults. Break the cycle of fighting off incessant fleas with an easy topical solution that is insanely cheap and still adequate.

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