A Tabby refers to any domestic cat’s coating featuring unique stripes, dots, lines, or patterns. They are usually accompanied with a mark on their forehead resembling the letter “M”. Tabbies are sometimes assumed as a cat breed however, tabby pattern can be found in many breeds and occurs naturally.
The mackerel tabby, also known as “fishbone tabbies”, has vertical, slightly curving stripes on the side of the body. These stripes are narrow and can be continuous or broken into bars and spots on the flanks and stomach. They are accompanied by the letter “M” mark on the forehead of a cat along with dark lines across the cheeks to the corners of the eyes.
The classic tabby, also known as “Blotched” or “Marbled” have dark browns, ochres and black swirled or twirled patterns on their bodies. They are sometimes in a grey color. These patterns are often called “Bullseye” and can be found on the side of the cat’s body. There is also a light colored “butterfly” pattern on their shoulders and three thin stripes running across the cat’s spine. Just like the mackerel, they also have the “M” mark on their forehead as well as the dark lines across their cheeks and dark lines on their legs and tail.
The ticked or “stripe less” tabby pattern has hairs with unique bands of colors, breaking the usual patterns into sand-like appearance. They will sometimes have faint stripes on their lower legs, face, belly, and on the tip of their tail with a dark line usually running along their spine.
Spotted tabbies are more like the mackerel and classic tabbies but instead of stripes, they appear as small and large spots, respectively.
What tabby patterns do your cats have? Let us know!