5 Interesting Facts About Tabby Cats

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Tabby cats may look like your average domesticated cat, but they have their own uniqueness, and a few interesting facts about these kitties are listed below so you can get to know them a bit better.

Tabby Is a Pattern, Not a Breed

Tabby refers to a cat’s coat pattern, so it is not considered a breed of its own. This is actually the most common coat, and it can be found on kitties across a wide range of breeds.

Related: Top 10 Long Haired Cat Breeds

Some of the many breeds that can showcase the tabby pattern include the American Shorthair, the Persian, the Egyptian Mau, the Maine Coon, the Norwegian Forest Cat, the Abyssinian, the American Curl, and the Siberian.

There Isn’t Just One Tabby Pattern

Another interesting fact is that the tabby coat could actually come in several attractive patterns:

  • The mackerel tabby cat will feature stripes on the body, as well as on the legs, chest, and tail. The stripes will run from the belly to the spine. This is the pattern that most people think of when they think of tabby felines.

Related: Crafting with Cat Fur? Yeah, It’s a Thing.

  • The spotted tabby will feature spots rather than stripes. The spots could be small or large, and they could be round or oval.
  • Instead of showcasing stripes or spots, the classic tabby will have thick swirls on the body. This distinct pattern is also referred to as the marbled tabby.
  • The ticked tabby is also known as the agouti tabby pattern. You won’t find spots or stripes within this pattern either, but there will be typical tabby markings on the face, along with agouti hairs on the body. This means that every hair will feature both dark and light bands of color. A great example is the Abyssinian.
  • Finally, the patched tabby pattern can be found on tortoiseshell and calico kitties.

Tabbies Can Feature Any Color

In addition to interesting patterns, tabby kitties could also feature a wide range of coat colors. These include brown, brown/gray, gray, cream, buff, and orange.

The Tabby Pattern Has an Interesting History

When researchers analyzed the DNA of cats that lived thousands of years ago, what they realized was that the tabby coat did not actually show up until the Middle Ages. And it took until the 18th century for the tabby pattern to become more common amongst kitties. Other than that, cats haven’t changed much at all since ancient times.

They Have an “M” on Their Forehead

When you look closely at a tabby cat, you will also notice an “M” as part of the pattern on the forehead. Like the rest of the coat pattern, this cute feature is simply a part of the cat’s genetic makeup. And this “M” could be faint and blended in with the rest of the fur on a cat’s face, or it could be pretty obvious because it is dark enough to stand out against the rest of the pattern.

Thinking About Adopting a Tabby Cat?

Tabby cats are easy to find in shelters and foster networks around the world, so if you are thinking about introducing one of these beautiful kitties into your family, consider adopting one who is searching for her forever home.