5 Super Types Of Tabby Cats | Tabby Cats 101

5 Super Types Of Tabby Cats | Tabby Cats 101

Cats look so cute and cuddly. All our domestic cats look like a ball of fluff. Tabby cats even more so! But how do we recognize which cats are tabby cats? How many types of tabby cats are there? What’s their personality like?

Domestic cats across different breeds are classified as tabby cats. The tabby markings on a tabby cats are due to their unique coat pattern.

Dorky Fact: Contrary to popular belief ,Tabby Cat is actually not a breed of cats but represents many cat breeds. The word ‘tabby’ denotes a cat’s coat pattern and not a breed!

Tabby Cats have a distinct personality along with unique coat pattern. Some tabby cats have swirls on their coat while some have stripes. Some tabby cats have a combination of swirls and stripes.

Tabby Cats also differ by the colour of their coat. The different types of tabby cats are classic, brown, grey, silver and orange tabby cats.

Hungry for more tabby cat trivia?

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How do you recognize a Tabby Cat?

Types Of Tabby Cats | Domestic Cats
Types Of Tabby Cats | Domestic Cats

A tabby cat is any domestic cat with distinct tabby markings all over the body. These tabby markings may be striped, swirled, dotted, lined, flecked or banded patterns. Tabby is not a breed of cat, rather a characteristic coat pattern of cats that come in different colours.

Dorky Fact: A cat lover is known as an Ailurophile!

Tabby cats can be of grey, silver, brown and red shades such as ginger and orange. Tabby markings run all over a cat’s body including face, neck, shoulders, tail and even around the eyes.

Types of Tabby Cats

There are different tabby cats based on the coat pattern and colour. This is known as a unique tabby marking. Some tabby cats have straight stripes as a coat pattern. Other tabby cats have concentric circles all over their body. Some tabby cats have dark round spots or broken stripes. The different tabby marking depends on the variety of coat patterns. Tabby cats come in different colours, sizes and coat patterns. A tabby cat rarely weighs above 8 kg. Tabby cats have different eye colours such as blue, green, copper, topaz or even gold!

There are four basic types of tabby cats – mackerel, classic, orange, spotted and ticked.

Classic Tabby Cat

Types Of Tabby Cats | Coat Pattern
Types Of Tabby Cats | Coat Pattern

The classic tabby cat is also known as blotched tabby cat. The classic tabby cat has spirals as coat pattern that cover the face and entire body. Dark and wide stripes cover the shoulders of a classic tabby cat. They have three large stripes down the length of their body from their shoulder blade to the base of their tail. Classic tabby cats have light yellowish or brownish coats with black concentric circles.

Mackerel Tabby Cat

Mackerel Tabby Cats are more common than classic tabby cats. They have rings around their tails and legs as tabby pattern. Mackerel tabby cats have solid or broken stripes all across their body.

Types Of Tabby Cats | Tabby Markings
Types Of Tabby Cats | Tabby Markings

Concentric circles as stripes appear on the chest of a mackerel tabby cat. They also have lines of dark coloured spots across their tummies known as ‘vest buttons’. Mackerel tabby cats can be cream or brown or grey tabby cats.

Spotted Tabby Cat

Types Of Tabby Cats | Tabby Markings
Types Of Tabby Cats | Tabby Markings

A spotted tabby cat is either brown, grey or even white. It has dark round spots as tabby markings. Instead of stripes, a spotted tabby cat may have a cluster of dark spots or broken stripes all over its body. The spots as a coat pattern of a spotted tabby differ in size.

Agouti Tabby Cat

Agouti tabby cats are also known as ticked tabby cats. Ticked types of tabby cats are either dark brown or grey.

Types Of Tabby Cats | Domestic Cats
Types Of Tabby Cats | Domestic Cats

They have tabby markings of light stripes or varied coloured bands. An agouti tabby cat glows in the sunlight due to its tabby marking.

Orange Tabby Cat

Domestic Cats | Orange Tabby Cat
Domestic Cats | Orange Tabby Cat

Orange tabby cats have a coat pattern that is a combination of white and orange. Usually, orange tabby cats have an orange back, white underside and white paws. There might be darker orange stripes or spots on the orange part of the tabby marking. The white areas are usually solid in colour. Orange tabby cats have an orange face with a white patch surrounding the neck and chin. Their coat pattern has varying ratio between white and orange tabby markings. Orange Tabby cats are also known as Ginger Tabby Cats.

Dorky Fact: The famous mischievous Garfield is one of our orange tabby cats!

Tabby Cat Personality

There is a lot of fanfare around the personality of tabby cats. Tabby cats are more outgoing and lively as compared to other domestic cats. Pet owners believe tabby cats are not only cute & cuddly but also intelligent.

Types Of Tabby Cats | Domestic Cats
Types Of Tabby Cats | Domestic Cats

Tabby cats are popular with kids and adults alike. They also happen to feisty and mischievous especially orange tabby cats.

Tabby Markings | Domestic Cats
Tabby Markings | Domestic Cats

Fun Facts about Tabby Cats

  • The word ‘tabby’ originates from a French phrase ‘striped silk taffeta’. The phrase contains the root word ‘tabis’ which means a rich watered silk.
  • Most tabby cats have a distinct ‘M’ marking on their foreheads!
  • Tabby Cats can have different coat colours from cream to brown, grey to orange or even black!
  • The coat pattern of a classic tabby cat resembles a classic marble cake!
  • Most orange tabby cats are male cats with only 20% of them being female cats!
  • An orange tabby cat called Orangey appeared in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
  • A tabby cat called Stubbs was elected Mayor of an Alaskan town where he served for 20 years!


Tabby Cats irrespective of the breed have beautiful yet diverse coat patterns. They are domestic cats with tabby markings in various styles & colour. Tabby Cats also have a lively personality that wins hearts all over!

Types Of Tabby Cats | Domestic Cats
Types Of Tabby Cats | Domestic Cats

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