Tabby Cat

Tabby is not a breed but refers to a coat pattern in domestic cats. It is characterized by an ‘M’-mark on their forehead, in addition to stripes across their cheeks, around their legs and tail, and along their back. This coat pattern has been inherited from the direct ancestors and relatives of today’s domestic cats, such as the European wildcat, Asiatic wildcat, and African wildcat. The tabby coat pattern occurs due to the presence of the agouti gene, along with its two alternative forms – alleles (A) and (a).

Tabby Cat

Types of Tabby Cats

There are four distinct types of tabby patterns, including the mackerel, ticked, classic, and spotted.

Mackerel tabby: It is the most common tabby pattern with either broken or continuous stripes running perpendicular through the length of the body, similar to that of tigers and mackerel fish.

Ticked or agouti tabby: It is distinguished by a sand-like appearance with few or no stripes on the body.

Classic tabby: It can be identified by the thick curving bands occurring on each side of the body, giving a bull’s eye appearance.

Spotted tabby: This coat pattern features distinct round spots on lighter fur.

Aside from these four basic tabby patterns, a fifth pattern exists – patched tabby, which comprises tortoiseshell or calico coat combined with tabby patches.

Tabby Cat Colors

Tabby cats come in different colors, including brown, gray, orange, and cream. Cats with the orange tabby pattern are also called marmalade cat, ginger cat, red tabby, buff tabby, or blonde cat.

List of Cat Breeds That can have Tabby Coat

Tabby Cat Pictures