Common Breeds of Tabby Cats

Are you curious about the fascinating world of tabby cats? Look no further! In this article, we will explore the various common breeds of tabby cats, shedding light on their unique traits and characteristics. From the playful and mischievous Maine Coon to the elegant and sociable American Shorthair, you’ll discover a wide range of captivating tabby breeds that will leave you absolutely smitten. Let’s embark on this delightful journey together and unravel the wonders of these charming feline companions.

Common Breeds of Tabby Cats

Common Breeds of Tabby Cats

General Information about Tabby Cats

Tabby cats are one of the most popular and beloved breeds of feline companions. Known for their distinctive coat patterns, tabbies can be found in a variety of breeds, each with its own unique characteristics. These cats are not a specific breed but rather a coat pattern that is found in several different breeds. They are easily recognizable by their striped or spotted coats, known as tabby markings. Now, let’s delve into the different classifications, coat patterns, genetics, and specific breeds of tabby cats.

Classifications of Tabby Cats

Tabby cats can be classified into four main categories: classic tabby, mackerel tabby, spotted tabby, and ticked tabby. Each classification refers to a specific coat pattern, making them distinguishable from one another.

The classic tabby, also known as a blotched tabby, showcases bold, swirling patterns on their sides, resembling a bullseye or a butterfly-shaped marbling. Mackerel tabbies, on the other hand, have narrow stripes running parallel down their sides, creating a fishbone-like pattern. Spotted tabbies have round or oval-shaped spots instead of stripes, and their spots can be of different sizes and densities. Lastly, ticked tabbies have a coat pattern that consists of even, individual hairs with alternating dark and light bands, creating a salt and pepper appearance.

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Coat Patterns of Tabby Cats

As mentioned earlier, tabby cats can display various coat patterns. These patterns, combined with their specific breed characteristics, contribute to their unique appearance and charm. Some tabbies may have a solid color on their back, with bold markings on their chest and face. Others may have intricate patterns that cover their entire body, with variations in color intensity and size of the markings. The coat colors of tabby cats can also vary widely, ranging from the classic brown and black to silver, blue, and even red.

Tabby Cat Genetics

The genetics behind tabby cats are fascinating. The tabby pattern is dominant and is considered the ancestral coat pattern of all domestic cats. The specific gene responsible for the tabby pattern is called the “agouti gene.” This gene regulates the production and distribution of pigment in a cat’s fur, resulting in the characteristic striped or spotted appearance.

Tabby cats can also carry additional genes that influence their coat colors, such as the dilution gene, which affects the intensity of the color, and the white spotting gene, which can create patches of white among the tabby markings. Understanding the genetic factors behind tabby cats helps explain the wide range of coat patterns and colors that can be seen within this popular group of feline companions.

Common Breeds of Tabby Cats

American Shorthair

The American Shorthair breed is well-known for its tabby cats. These cats have a robust and muscular build, with a round face and a strong jawline. American Shorthair tabbies come in a variety of colors, including classic brown tabby, silver tabby, and even tabbies with unique patterns such as patched tabby or torbie (a combination of tabby and tortoiseshell patterns). They have a friendly and affectionate nature, making them excellent companions for families and individuals alike.

British Shorthair

British Shorthair tabbies are characterized by their round faces, stocky bodies, and dense coats. The breed is renowned for its charmingly chubby appearance. British Shorthair tabbies often sport classic tabby markings in colors like blue, silver, or cinnamon. With their independent yet friendly personalities, these cats have become increasingly popular as pets in households around the world.

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Maine Coon

The Maine Coon breed is famous for its large size and impressive coat. Tabby Maine Coons are prevalent and admired for their majestic appearance. They have thick fur with a multitude of colors, allowing for various tabby patterns to shine through. Whether it’s a classic tabby with bold swirls or a mackerel tabby with delicate stripes, Maine Coon tabbies are a sight to behold. These cats are known for their friendly and sociable dispositions, often forming strong bonds with their human companions.


Persian cats, with their luxurious long coats and expressive faces, also come in tabby varieties. These tabbies showcase the distinctive patterns on their flowing fur, creating a stunning combination of elegance and playfulness. Persian tabbies can have a wide range of coat colors and patterns, including classic tabby, mackerel tabby, and even dilute tabbies with softer, muted colors. Despite their glamorous appearance, Persian tabbies have a calm and gentle temperament, making them ideal companions for relaxed and peaceful households.


Ragdoll cats are known for their affectionate and docile nature, as well as their striking blue eyes. In addition to their characteristic blue eyes, Ragdoll tabbies display captivating coat patterns. Whether it’s a classic tabby with bold markings or a mitted tabby with adorable paws dipped in white, these cats are sure to capture your heart. Ragdoll tabbies come in various colors, including seal, blue, chocolate, and lilac, allowing for a wide range of fascinating coat combinations.


The Siamese breed is recognized for its stunning blue almond-shaped eyes and its vocal and social nature. Siamese tabbies possess a unique coat pattern known as “lynx point.” This pattern combines the characteristics of a tabby with the color-pointed coat often seen in Siamese cats. Lynx point tabbies have body markings similar to a classic or mackerel tabby, with the tail, ears, and paws displaying striking color points. The combination of the tabby pattern and color-pointed coat creates a truly mesmerizing appearance.

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Abyssinian cats are renowned for their ticked coat pattern, making them stand out among other tabby breeds. Unlike the classic, mackerel, or spotted patterns seen in most tabbies, Abyssinians have a unique coat that gives an overall appearance of a warm, golden hue due to the individual banding of each hair. While they may not have the traditional stripes or spots associated with tabby cats, Abyssinians exhibit a beautiful variation of the tabby gene. With their curious and playful personalities, Abyssinian tabbies make wonderful companions for those seeking an active and engaging feline friend.

In conclusion, while tabby cats are not a specific breed, they encompass a wide range of beautiful feline companions that display the distinctive tabby coat patterns. From classic and mackerel tabbies to spotted and ticked tabbies, each pattern adds to the charm and individuality of these beloved cats. Whether you prefer the regal Maine Coon, the affectionate Persian, or the playful Abyssinian, there is a tabby cat breed for everyone. So, if you’re looking for a friendly and captivating feline companion, consider welcoming a tabby cat into your home.