Facts About Tabby Cats

By Chad Stetson

Most people believe that a tabby cat is a breed of cat. However, a tabby cat is not a breed of cat, but a description of a cat's coat pattern. The tabby pattern is the most common pattern of coat, especially for wild cats. Tigers and leopards both have a tabby pattern. Most pets that are a mixed breed have a tabby pattern.

Why a Tabby Pattern

Tabby patterns are useful for cats that are living in the wild. With the pattern being a camouflage, the cats can hide from predators behind grasses and trees. The tabby pattern also allows cats to be hidden from their prey. Cats with a tabby pattern have an element of surprise against their prey.

Appearance of a Tabby Pattern

A tabby pattern consists of two colors of hair. The pattern typically has a lighter color and a darker color hair. Each hair on the tabby cat has many bands of colors on each hair's length. All cats with a tabby pattern have a marking on their face that resembles the letter "M." Whatever the color of the pattern, you will still be able to see the marking.

Variations on the Pattern

The tabby pattern can have several different patterns within the classification. These patterns include the striped tabby, the blotched tabby, the spotted tabby and the ticked tabby. The stripped tabby cat has stripes down its body that are vertical looking. The blotched tabby cat appears to have a marble pattern. On the spotted tabby cat, the cat has dark spots all over its body. The ticked tabby cat does not appear to be a tabby at all. If it did not have the "M" marking, you would not even know it was a tabby.

Variations of Color

Tabby cats have numerous color variations. The tabbies can be colored in red, black, chocolate, blue, cream and many more. The best way to determine the color of a tabby is to look at its stripes and also the tip of its tail. The variations are endless on pattern and color for a tabby cat.