Types of Tabby Cats

Types of Tabby Cats

“Cat lovers” here is the information which you are looking for!

Choose the right cat for you and unpack the bag of every enjoyment provided by your new furry friend. You might be confused about the meaning of “Tabby


Well, a tabby cat means Felis catus or a domestic cat. They are also known as “grey tiger”.

Basically, they have an extraordinary ‘M’ shaped mark on their forehead, stripes by their eyes, across their cheeks, Along their back, and have several different patterns on various other body parts.

These patterns may be distinctively striped, dotted, lined, flecked, banded, or swirled patterns. Before looking at types of tabby cats,

Let’s have a quick site on a few tabby cat’s features.

  •  Patterns on the body of a tabby cat make themselves unique from other breeds of cats.
  •  Display a variety of personality traits, depending on socialization and the home environment.
  •  They require regular brushing and grooming as they love cleanliness.
  •  They are happy-go-lucky and sassy cats with very intelligent and much affection.
  •  They happen to be an excellent companion.
  •  Their size, color, and appearance vary as per the different colors.
  •  Their lifespan ranges from 10-15 years.

Have you ever wondered why tabby cats are so special?

Not only their appearance but their affection towards their owner and their loyalty have uniquely distinguished them from the other cats.

Ready to explore tabby cat types?

Let’s take a tour of types of tabby cats and their coat patterns to not only enhance your knowledge but also to bring you closer to them.


1) Mackerel Tabby Cat


Pets Introduce types of tabby cats Mackerel Tabby
The most common tabby cat adopted is the Mackerel tabby cat.

Its coat pattern is made up of orange or grey background banded hairs, including dark and slim vertical stripes. This cat has got its name from these stripes, which are highly similar to fish bones.

These stripes are gently curved on the sides of the body. Whereas, particularly on flanks and stomach, the stripes may be broken into segments or bars, or spots.

The Mackerel tabby cat is the origin of the tabby pattern and has originated from the African and European wildcat.

Upon mixing these both breeds, various distinct tabby coats were available. Further, selective breeding and gene mutation has led to the formation of different coats.

It is because of this gene that the patterns tend to be hidden by some breeds.

It is also believed that they were once linked with witchcraft during the 16th and 17th centuries.

These cats were recognized as witches’ acts or “familiars” during that time.

They were regarded to be possessed by human spirits or demons.

Also, it was known that they were reborn of humans or a victim of a witch’s spell.

These cats are very playful and amply intelligent than other breeds. Despite the fact of being very active and adventurous, their kittens sometimes tend to be overly eager.

Apart from being recognized for evil things, they are known to be connected with good supernatural elements like a god in human form.

For instance, a tabby cat was made to lie next to Jesus when they were born to provide the necessary warmth.


2) Classic Tabby Cat


Pets Introduce types of tabby cats Mackerel Tabby

Classic Tabby or Blotched Tabby or Marbled Tabby is usually in the shades of dark brown, ochre, and black; sometimes, grey, too.

They have bold, thick swirling patterns with a distinctive mark over body sides, resembling a bullseye. These tabbies have a cool-colored “butterfly” pattern on shoulders (hence the name, “Butterfly tabby”) and three darkest, thin, and centered stripes along the spine.

Among Classic tabbies, the black tabbies happen to have dark-brown, olives, and ochres that stand apart from their dark blackness.

Classic orange tabbies have extravagant and more sights of red than their mackerel counterparts, thereby creating a “solid red” cat illusion.

The classic patterns occur when a mutation turns the recessive gene off, a recessively inherited “classic tabby” version of the cheetah.

This gene switches between mackerel and classic patterns.

The Classic tabby is the most common in many parts of the United Kingdom, the Middle East, and among various places, though second to the Mackerel tabby.

These cats appear to be more attractive and desirable than the Mackerel tabby.


3) Ticked Tabby Cat


Pets Introduce types of tabby cats Ticked Tabby

Ticked tabby or Abyssinian tabby or Agouti tabby, though being a tabby cat, they don’t have stripes or spots on their body.

But, they have alternate fields of agouti hairs, each with a distinct color band, and make the tabby pattern into a salt-and-pepper appearance.

Wondering what agouti hairs are?

Well, the individual hairs that are striped with alternating light and dark bands are agouti hairs. This tabby pattern is not only prominent in Abyssinians but also is exhibited in mixed breeds.

Remaining ghost striping and barring are regularly noticed on the lower legs, face, and belly. Sometimes, they are seen at the tail tip, the standard ‘M’, and a long dark line along the spine. Such cats have numerous structures and colors.


The Ticked tabby gene pattern is situated at a different locus than the Mackerel and the Classic tabby pattern gene loci. If the two copies of the Ticked tabby gene are present, the other pattern masks are completely covered.

When a cat inherits one of these two copies of the gene, often, the masked pattern seems to break through.


4) Spotted Tabby Cat


Pets Introduce types of tabby cats spotted Tabby

As per the name, the Spotted tabby cat has spots all over the body. These spots are either large or small and round, oval or rosettes. It is believed that this cat is the consequence of a modifier gene that naturally breaks up the mackerel stripes pattern and shows up as spots. However, the locus of the gene has not been determined.

The large and small spots pattern happens to be visualized in Australian Mist, Bengal, Serengeti, Savannah, Egyptian Mau, Arabian Mau, Maine Coon, and Ocicat breeds, among others and as well as some crosses.

Basically, the commonly spotted tabby seems to be the same as the mackerel tabby, with classic marks on body parts like tail, head, and limbs, and also the standard mark ‘M’ on the forehead.

The Spotted tabby cats appear in different colors like blue, silver, brown, red, etc. This breed is often found on more exotic domestic breeds.

To create and modify different spotted patterns, genes have been introduced into the tabby cats from the wild species.

There exists a variety of spotted breeds. The far oldest spotted tabby is the Spotted British Shorthair and was recognized since the 1870s.

However, The Egyptian Mau is sometimes claimed to be the oldest one but was not recognized as a breed until the 1950s. It is only a naturally occurring spotted breed.


Bonus: Patched Tabby Cat


Pets Introduce types of tabby cats patched Tabby

The Patched tabby is also known as the Tortoiseshell tabby or Tortie tabby. It is because one of the different versions of markings is mixed with the tortoiseshell pattern to produce torbies.

In unique form, the separate patches of brown tabby and red tabby appear on the same animal.

Although they are called tabbies, they are not a breed of cat. The Tortoiseshell cats are mostly female as it is in the genes.

These cats are heard all around the world and are legendary. The male torbies are believed to be a lucky one.

Wrap Up

The first four are the types of tabby cats but the last one is still not considered as its type but only as a bonus as it is not a cat breed.

Hope you all guys now know more about domestic cats.

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