I had been grown up with furry siblings, daughters for past 20 years but I honestly did not know what is Tabby cat simply because it is not well known in my local language. Nowadays I can search and view everything about felines and can also join fur babies lovers group, parade from around the world thanks to the internet.And then I start seeing Tabby word on the internet.
Some people say it is specific breed and others say it is not. Now let see the truth behind that debate.”Tabby” is actually not a certain breed but it is a gene of fur coat color pattern of cats as this gene is present in any kind of breed except some plain color felines as their solid fur coat dominate over this genetic patterns.
There are not solid red or orange cats as this gene are main to reveal patterns on your little ginger babies.This pattern may naturally be related to the coloration of the ancestor of modern domesticated feline.They are classic kitties for being common in worldwide even called ” alley cat” in old time.How tabby word related to cats? It is such interesting question with an amazing answer.This English word was formed by the translation of 14-century French word ” Tabis” which meant ” a rich water silk aka Striped silk “.
Types of ” Tabby ” pattern
The most common in all tabbies babies are pencil line letter “M” on their forehead and more spectacular lines around eyes which make them look like wearing glasses.Since ancient time “M” in their forehead is believed to be the holy or sacred symbol.Egyptian thought “M” is for Mau which is called ” cat” in the Egyptian language.In Islam, some people believe Prophet Mohammed once had a tabby kitty so “M” represent to the prophet.On the other hand, some Christian thinks the symbol stands for Virgin Mary. No matter how different in belief, those tabbies are loved by people all over the world.There Four types of tabby fur coat pattern which is formed by specific genetic code.Now I will explain one by one of their each unique markings.
The classic one has mostly in dark brown, ocher and black.There is swirled pattern which is the contrast in color on the side of the body that is known as ” bull-eye “.It is also called Marble or Blotched in some region because the swirling pattern looks like marle scale.There are butterfly wing patches on the shoulders and three strips on the back.The pencil lines and “M’ on the face are clearly visible.The internet famous “Cinnamon roll cat” is definitely the classic tabby because of its unique whorl marking role.Those classic tabbies have dark lines on legs, tails, and cheeks.
Mackeral kitties are sometimes called little tiger because of the stripes on the body which is similar to tiger skin.The tripes are narrows and vertically, gently carving down on side of the body. Those stripes are evenly spaced and broken into narrow bars near the stomach.There are also necklace lines on front chest.This tabby gene is most common among five.How does mackerel fish related to this adorable feline? Mackerel fish has stripes which are down to the side of the body along from spine similar to tabbies.Some people called fishbone cat because it resembles a fish skeleton.The dark lines and ” M” mark on the face are usually in Mackeral tabbies.
Spotted fur coat outline is mostly found in Bangel, Australian Mist, Egyptian Mau, Ocicat breed.American bobtail also shows a tabby pattern.Instead of having stripes, small and big deep brown or black patches on the body though few stripes on legs.However, some coats are like broken stripes of mackerel or classic pattern.They are just like an adorable little version of leopard or cheetah.Bagel cat breed is very famous spotted felines by their significant loyalty and leopard like structure.Face lines and the symbol M is found as usual on the face.
4.Ticked or Agouti
These are called stripe-less ones.Mostly found in Abyssinian cat breed though all tabbies have ticked hair based on visible bars and lines. Stripe-less gene makes Agouti hair which is different dark and light coloration on a single hair.So overall, it has tabby marks on face and stripe-less Agouti hairs on the body.Those ticked fur babies have dull grey-brown in shadow but sparkle under sunlight for having a variety of mixed coloration which closely resembles sand and pepper powder mixture.Faint lines are sometimes seen on the chest, down the side of legs and tail tip. The long dark line on the back running down through spine.
There are some unaware modified patterns of a tabby gene.
-Tortie or Patched which is sometimes called Torbie. The name came from ” tortoise or turtle shell alike”.
-Rossetti which is mostly found in wild big cats like leopard and Bengal breed in domestication.
-Pinstripe which has very thin and dense mackerel outlines from the in-between genetic modification of mackerel and ticked.
-A candle flame that is mainly found in wild such as Tiger. Very rare in house cats.
-Marble clouded gene can be found in wild mainly.
Fun facts about tabby kitties
In Japan,99% of cat population on lovers favorite Aoshima island is the tabby. Some have cute show white fur on belly and end of toes which is like wearing vest and gloves.They are well known for their sweet, loyal behavior.They are not specific cat breed and can be found easily in any types of a breed. Having them in the home makes you feel like having a mini version of tigers, cheetah or leopard especially for proud feline crazy fans.The stripes on their body disguise them from preys while haunting in wild by mixing with background environment color. They are historically famous.
In Christian belief, a tabby cat gave warmth and caring near baby Jesus when a baby was in the cold so the kitty became Manager by having “M” mark on the forehead.Some say the symbol is for Holy Mother of Jesus: Virgin Mary. Another wonderful legend is in Islam.The legend said Prophet Mohammad was a cat lover. One story said he cut out of his sleeve instead of disturbing his beloved furry friend when he had to go for praying.
Another story tells that once a snake crawled into prophet Mohammad’s sleeve without his knowledge but his tabby kitty bravely saved his life by killing the snake. Therefore Prophet invoked “M” on kitty’s forehead to remember him. However, the legend is different. the glory of tabby is still wonderful. Do not wait to have one for your life. They are all amazing felines so be proud parents of tiny tiger and leopard.