domestic cats

Tabby-colored cats: features of the pattern on the wool and a list of breeds

Of all the pets, perhaps the greatest love and popularity is enjoyed by all beloved cats. Every fan has his own preferences. Some people prefer redheads, others black or three-suited. There are also quite a few fans of tabby cats.

What it is?

Translated from English, the word “tabby” means “striped” or “motley”. The very first spots in cats appeared for protection and camouflage. It was thanks to them that small animals hid from large predators, and also easily approached their prey. This coloring is most natural for representatives of the cat family.

It is worth noting the fact that there are practically no animals with the same patterns in nature.

However, all have features that unite tabby cats. These include the following items:

  • mark in the form of the letter “M” on the forehead;
  • nose and eyes outlined in bright edging;
  • on the collar, paws and on the tail, patterns resembling a necklace are clearly expressed.

Most often, these cats come with eyes of warm shades. They also come in yellow, brown, and copper. Only silver animals have green eyes.

The shade of the coat, first of all, depends on the amount of melanin – the pigment that is present in the hair of her coat. But the agouti gene is responsible for the dark stripes. It is thanks to him that pigmentation appears and becomes visible to the human eye. Most often, wool is decorated with transverse stripes. The wider the stripes, the darker the color of the cat’s coat. The pigment eumelanin is responsible for black stripes or spots, and pheomelanin is responsible for brown-red spots.

Almost all tabby kittens are born with spots, but they fully appear only after 2-3 weeks.

Types of drawings

Felinologists studying cats divide tabby patterns into several types, each of which has a specific number in the international coding system. In addition, they all have different characteristics.

Ticked #25

Cats with this type of coloration, at first glance, seem to be solid, but in fact they have some marks that are placed on the paws, tail and muzzle of the animal. If you look closely at such cats, you can see small black rings that look like freckles, like in humans.

Tiger №23

Tiger cats are called domestic animals, and their wild relatives, and new thoroughbred cats that have the same coloring. There is another name applied to them – mackerel tabby. These cats got their name in honor of the fish with the same name.

Tiger stripes run along the spine and then branch vertically on the sides. There are several rings in the form of necklaces on the chest.

Marble №22

Such animals differ in rather large and clear patterns, which are placed in the form of stripes or rather wide divorces. On the back of these animals you can see a pattern in the form of a beautiful butterfly.

Leopard №24

Such cats, as can be understood from the name of the type, are a bit like leopards. Only their color is a little more faded. The spots are located mainly on the back and sides.

In addition to these basic types of colors, there are a number of varieties of tabby cats.

  1. Turtle tabby. It combines two main colors at once: white and red or black. Randomly placed drawings can be seen throughout the body of the animal.
  2. Links point. In such a cat, the pattern is placed only on the neck, paws, tail, as well as on its muzzle and ears. All other parts of the body are monotonous.
  3. Patched. Most often, this color is inherent in cats. On the main pattern, be it spotted, ticked or any other, there are small “patches” of red or cream color.

Most Common Colors

In addition, all tabby cats differ in the fact that What is their main coat color?

  1. Brown. Light brown cats have black paw pads, as well as the same nose. Spots on the coat stand out with a rich black tint.
  2. Purple. In animals with this color, the paw pads and nose are painted in a delicate pink color. In addition, all marks are also distinguished by a beige or lilac shade, only more saturated.
  3. Silver. Cats of this color have a silvery shade of fur. In addition, the drawing is quite pronounced against its background.
  4. Red. Most often, cats are painted in a light red color, and dark red drawings stand out against its background.
  5. Brindle. In this case, ticked hairs are distributed throughout the cat’s body. The pattern is striped and resembles the coat color of real tigers.
  6. Blue. On a cream background, you can see gray patterns. In addition, the paw pads and nose of the animal will have a gray or pink color.

Tabby breeds

For some breeds of cats, the tabby pattern is an integral part of them, for others it may appear in one or more kittens.


This breed of cats was bred artificially. There are several color options. To obtain Ocicats, two representatives of the spotted tabby were crossed. Almost every kitten has a bright spotted pattern that stands out against the main background.

Abyssinian or Somali

A cat of this breed is distinguished by a ticked color. He may not have a necklace on his chest or legs, but his eyes are outlined in dark outline. Besides, on the muzzle there is a distinctive sign in the form of the letter “M”.

Almost all of his body seems to be monochromatic, but at the same time, on the paws, muzzle and tail of such an animal there are distinctive tabby color patterns. Most often there are cats with such shades of wool as lilac, blue or brown-red.

Egyptian mau

This cat breed was formed naturally. Such an animal has a leopard type. The main features of the breed are the following:

  • a large number of bright and contrasting spots of various sizes are randomly distributed throughout the body;
  • their form is quite varied;
  • on the forehead there is a distinctive tabby pattern in the form of the letter “M”, which makes the cat look a little gloomy;
  • on the chest, as well as the neck, you can see a necklace characteristic of the tabby;
  • the paws are framed with bands resembling bracelets.

The main color of such cats is black or silver. In addition, there are smoky cats. They are rarer, so they are considered much more valuable.


This breed of cats is distinguished by a light ticked color. Almost every hair of an animal is dyed a different color.

However, some shadows on the front legs of such animals are also allowed. They are a bit like bracelets in their shape. In addition, there are also distinctive tabby marks on the muzzle. This is, first of all, a pattern in the form of the letter “M” of a rich dark color.

The main color of Singapura cats is considered to be ivory, on which ticking of a brown tint is very clearly visible. The tone can be both lighter and darker.

In addition, tabby-colored kittens can be found in the litter and in other breeds of cats. All of them will meet breed standards.

  1. Sphinxes. Dark spots are located in such animals on the paws, back, and also on the tail. The most common sphinxes are marble, leopard or brindle. Against the background of smooth skin with a light downy coating, the characteristic color is noticeable as well as on long hair.
  2. Thai cats have a point color that appears on the muzzle, paws and ears. The main coat color is white.
  3. For the Siberian cat breed, any color variant is acceptable, except for the ticked one. Throughout the long coat you can see small spots and characteristic tabby color patterns.
  4. The main color of the British cat breed is leopard. Their eyes are either green or copper. However, marble is considered the most valuable shade. It appears already in newborn kittens, while the pattern is visible very clearly.

From birth, spots and stripes stand out brightly against the background of wool. However, a subspecies of the British color-point cat breed attracts special attention. They have beautiful blue eyes, very thick and light fur. In addition, bright patterns are clearly visible on the tail, paws and muzzle.

  1. Scottish lop-eared. Here you can find almost all varieties of tabby, ranging from tortoiseshell to tabby point. All patterns are clearly expressed in certain places. These are paws, and tail, and muzzle, and chest.
  2. In Maine Coons, you can find all variants of tabby color, except for the ticked version. Long hairs can be dyed either completely or partially (only at the tips).
  3. Bambino. This is a completely new hairless cat breed that has very short legs and weighs little. There are different color options for these cats. In this regard, they are a bit like sphinxes, so tabby lovers can pick up a kitten without much effort.

In addition, the world federation of felinologists has established certain color standards for each specific breed of cat. For some of them, the tabby color is completely unacceptable, and a cat with such a “defect” cannot be allowed to participate in exhibitions. These include breeds such as Russian Blue or Siamese, Burmese or Chartreuse. If the owners of the cat are not aimed at taking him to exhibitions, you can safely take such an animal for yourself and not be afraid that something will be wrong with him.

Summing up, we can say that the tabby color is found almost more often than others and is considered the most natural for all cats. Such cats are not devoid of individuality and have many fans, therefore, regardless of belonging to any breed, cats with this color are popular and loved all over the world.

In this video you can get acquainted with the Asian tabby cat breed, its habits and the main characteristics of this breed.