10 Fascinating Facts about the Tabby Cat

10 Fascinating Facts about the Tabby Cat

National Tabby Day is April 30; a day set aside to celebrate these unique creatures! Tabby cats are wonderful pets, with so much love to give. Shelters are brimming with adult and kitten tabbies waiting for their forever homes. If you're willing to love and care for a new feline family member, a tabby cat will make a special friend for life!

Here are some interesting facts about tabby cats:


1. Tabbies Were Named After a Baghdad Silk

Tabby cats got their name by being compared to silk from the "Attabiy" district in Baghdad, and the 14th century Middle French term for it was "atabis," which then became "tabis," and eventually our English word, "tabby."


2. Tabby Is Not a Cat Breed

Tabbies are not an actual breed, but rather, the name is a way to describe the unique markings on their coats that set them apart. So "tabby cat" refers to a category of cats, not a recognized breed.


3. Tabbies Have a Characteristic "M" on Their Foreheads

Countless legends surround the characteristic "M" that tabby cats have on their foreheads. However, the explanation lies within the genes. Essentially, the tabby pattern comes in the cat's DNA, and the "M" marking is a part of the pattern.


4. Tabby Cats Come in Many Coat Colors

The most familiar tabby coats are black, but there are variations in the pigment, resulting in black, orange, and gray tabbies. Interestingly, orange tabby cats are usually male (about 20-25% of orange tabby cats are female).


5. Tabby Cats Have Five Unique Patterns

Classic tabbies have bold, swirling patterns, mackerel tabbies have narrow stripes, and spotted tabbies have large or small spots. Ticked tabbies don't have stripes or spots, but instead, have tabby markings on the face and agouti hairs (hairs with more than one band of color) on the body. Patched tabbies can show any one of the previous patterns, with the markings usually more apparent on the legs and head.


6. Tabby Patterns Are Suited for the Wild

Tabby patterns assist in camouflage when cats are hiding in tall grass or brush hunting for prey. Tigers and leopards both have tabby patterns.


7. Tabbies Are Affectionate and Intelligent

These unique creatures are incredibly affectionate and intelligent. They love cuddles and a whole lot of attention. However, tabbies can get pretty cranky if they don't get their way; since as a rule they are very bright, they usually end up getting what they want.


8. Tabbies Are Very Social

Tabbies are fantastic pets, especially for children, because of how social and friendly they are. They love participating in family activities and thrive on being around their human families and other cats or dogs in your home.


9. Tabbies Have "Big" Personalities

Tabbies are very good at expressing their feelings and will let you know if they are sad, angry, happy, or playful. They are known for being friendly, affectionate, and playful, so their human families are in for quite the treat.


10. Tabbies Are Excellent Hunters

If you are in search of a "mouse exterminator," a tabby may be your best friend. Tabbies are hunters by nature. They just can't resist the thrill of chasing down and hunting rodents.


Your Friendly Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital

Pet parents all agree that tabbies make wonderful, loyal companions. If you are considering adopting a tabby, All About Cats Veterinary Hospital in Kirkland, WA is here to help. We are proud to offer a wide range of services for our four-legged patients. You can always count on us for purr-fectly compassionate care!

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