The 5 Patterns of Tabby Cats

The typical domestic cat is occasionally referred to as a “tabby,” however this misnomer is incorrect; kitty’s coat pattern is what gives her her name. Additionally, it tends to be the most typical feline coat pattern. Technically, all felines carry the tabby cat gene, regardless of the colors or patterns you see on your cat. Those tabby markings may be concealed by other cat colors or patterns, but they are always there.

Some tabby basics:

Sometimes a solid-colored cat sitting in the direct sun will get those slight tabby markings. Have you ever seen a cat that was a solid color—red, orange, cream—without the typical tabby markings? You won’t since the tabby markings are equally visible in cats with the red or cream gene.

All tabbies have a distinctive letter “M” on their foreheads, delicate pencil lines on their faces, and expressive markings around their eyes. Some people think the “M” stands for Mau, the ancient Egyptian word for “cat.” Some people believe that the “M” represents Mohammed, who adored tabbies. Others still think it has the Virgin Mary’s blessing.

There are five types of tabby coat patterns, each possessing its own unique markings. We’ve listed them below alongside photos of each.

1. Classic Tabby Cat

The classic tabby has bold, swirling patterns along his sides — much like a marble cake.

This tabby is called a “blotched tabby” in some regions. The pattern of circular smudges on the classic tabby’s body closely resembles a bulls eye. Popular Read:  Why Does My Cat Scratch The Sides Of The Litter Box? – Simple Explanation

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2. Mackerel Tabby Cat

A mackerel tabby has narrow stripes that run in parallel down her sides. This is what some people refer to as a “tiger cat.” The body has narrow stripes running down the sides in a vertical pattern.

Ideally, the stripes are non-broken lines; evenly spaced. They branch out from one stripe that runs along the top of the cat’s back down the spine, resembling fish skeleton — which is why the term “mackerel” is used to describe it.

3. Spotted Tabby Cat

A spotted tabby has spots all over his sides. These spots can be large or small, and sometimes appear to be broken mackerel stripes. They can be round, oval or rosettes.

Often, a mackerel tabby with a broken pattern resembles a spotted tabby. It is not known whether these spots developed from a mackerel tabby or come from a separate gene.

4. Ticked Tabby Cat

A ticked tabby cat (sometimes called Abyssinian tabby or agouti tabby) does not have the traditional stripes or spots on her body, and may not, at first, seem to be a tabby. However, like all tabbies, this coat pattern has tabby markings on the face and agouti hairs on the body.

What are agouti hairs? If you look up close at the lighter parts of a tabby’s coat, you will see that the individual hairs are striped with alternating light and dark bands, known as the agouti hairs. The ticked pattern is displayed prominently in Abyssinians but also appears in mixed breeds. A tortoiseshell kitten.

5. Patched Tabby Cat

This is the term used to describe a tortoiseshell (also called tortie) tabby. In the typical form, there are separate patches of brown tabby and red tabby on the same animal.Popular Read:  Why Does My Cat Scratch The Sides Of The Litter Box? – Simple Explanation

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A tortie who also carries the tabby gene is often called a torbie. Patched tabbies can show any one of the above four distinct tabby patterns. The markings are usually more apparent on the legs and head.