Brown mackerel tabby domestic longhair
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Tabby Cat

Tabby cats are often mistaken as a certain breed of cat. The term tabby actually refers to the stripes, dots and swirling patterns of the cat's coat. The tabby pattern is believed to be the original basic cat pattern, and the closest to their distant ancestors. more...

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Tabby coloration is found in many breeds of cat, as well as among the general 'moggy' (mixed-breed or mongrel) population. When cats are allowed to breed randomly, the coloration of the population tends toward brown mackerel tabbies with green eyes, leading geneticists to believe that this is the common wild phenotype of the domestic cat.

The word comes from French tabis, which was earlier atabis, and in medieval Latin attabi. The initial origin of the word seems to be from the Attabiyah section of Baghdad where a type of striped silk was made that was later used to describe cats.

Tabby colors and patterns

There are three tabby patterns that have been shown to be genetically distinct, classic, mackerel and ticked, and a fourth variation, spotted, that is still undergoing debate as to its cause. The color most recognizable as a tabby is called brown tabby in the US and black tabby in the UK. Technically it is a black cat with an agouti gene that causes the fur to break into patterns of black and brown. While the name "black tabby" is more correct, the brown tabby moniker is firmly established in the US and any change is doubtful. It is possible to have a black, blue, red, and cream in classic, mackerel, ticked and spotted patterns. Chocolate, cinnamon, lilac and fawn generally only appear in the ticked pattern, most commonly in the Abyssinian and Somali breeds.

The mackerel tabby pattern is the most common as the gene for this is dominant to the classic pattern. The mackerel pattern is what people commonly think of when they think of tabby. It has vertical, gently curving stripes on the side of the body. The stripes are thin and may be continuous or broken into bars and spots on the flanks and stomach. Often, an "M" shape appears on the forehead. The Maine Coon breed often appears in brown mackerel tabby.

Classic (or blotched) tabbies have a similar pattern on the head of the cat, but the body markings are very different. They have a whorled and swirled pattern with thicker stripes that make what are referred to as "butterfly" patterns on their shoulders. The legs and tail are more heavily barred and the pattern is variable with respect to the width of the bands. American shorthairs are often exhibited in silver classic tabby.

The ticked tabby pattern produces hairs that have distinct bands of color on them, breaking the tabby patterning up into a salt-and-pepper appearance. However, ghost striping or "barring" can often be seen on the legs, face and belly. It is difficult to produce a cat with a solid ticked coat.

In order of genetic dominance, the ticked pattern is dominant to the mackerel pattern, which is dominant to the classic pattern. However, all of these patterns have been observed in random bred populations.

Read more at Wikipedia.org


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Ps09 Vtg Photo Boy With His Tabby Cat c 1938Ps09 Vtg Photo Boy With His Tabby Cat c 1938 $6.50 Tabby Cat kitten feline animal printTabby Cat kitten feline animal print $14.00
Wild Republic Wild Watcher 18cm Grey Tabby Cat. Free DeliveryWild Republic Wild Watcher 18cm Grey Tabby Cat. Free Delivery $27.17 Hi-Line Gift Ltd Tabby Sleeping Cat Statue, OrangeHi-Line Gift Ltd Tabby Sleeping Cat Statue, Orange $33.18
W40 Vtg Photo Girl Holding Tabby Cat On Porch c Early 1900'sW40 Vtg Photo Girl Holding Tabby Cat On Porch c Early 1900's $4.50 E260 Vtg Photo Beautiful Tabby Cat W/ Pretty Woman, South Dakota, c 1920'sE260 Vtg Photo Beautiful Tabby Cat W/ Pretty Woman, South Dakota, c 1920's $7.50
Z415 Vtg Photo Girl With Her Orange Tiger Tabby Cat c Early 1900'sZ415 Vtg Photo Girl With Her Orange Tiger Tabby Cat c Early 1900's $5.50 Steiff Tabby Cat 1979 All Id's 17 CmSteiff Tabby Cat 1979 All Id's 17 Cm $45.00
Vintage Milk Cream Pitcher Tabby Cat Lord Nelson Pottery EnglandVintage Milk Cream Pitcher Tabby Cat Lord Nelson Pottery England $49.99 Tabby Cat Trinket Box Ceramic 3" Square Lid Papel Portraits & Patterns JapanTabby Cat Trinket Box Ceramic 3" Square Lid Papel Portraits & Patterns Japan $12.95
Ty Attic Treasures "Basil" Orange Tabby Cat Brand New Pristine Clean w/Mint TagsTy Attic Treasures "Basil" Orange Tabby Cat Brand New Pristine Clean w/Mint Tags $14.99 Photo Cabochon Glass charms Black Cat with ears Necklace Pendants(cute tabby catPhoto Cabochon Glass charms Black Cat with ears Necklace Pendants(cute tabby cat $0.70
Littlest Pet Shop Fuzzy Grey Tabby Cat Kitten w/Green Eyes #323 Ships Free 9 picLittlest Pet Shop Fuzzy Grey Tabby Cat Kitten w/Green Eyes #323 Ships Free 9 pic $7.70 Biltons England Set Of (2) Ceramic Cat Kitten Coffee Mugs Cups Tabby PersianBiltons England Set Of (2) Ceramic Cat Kitten Coffee Mugs Cups Tabby Persian $18.72
Ps193 Vtg Photo Little Girl Holding Orange Tabby Cat & cat toy c Early 1900'sPs193 Vtg Photo Little Girl Holding Orange Tabby Cat & cat toy c Early 1900's $4.50 P845 Vtg Photo Children With Relaxed Tabby Cat, Flower Bed, Lace Curtains c 1931P845 Vtg Photo Children With Relaxed Tabby Cat, Flower Bed, Lace Curtains c 1931 $5.50
5 Inch YooHoo & Friends Tabbee Orange Tabby Cat Plush Stuffed Animal by Aurora5 Inch YooHoo & Friends Tabbee Orange Tabby Cat Plush Stuffed Animal by Aurora $6.99 Trending at $8.59 Tabby Pixie-Bob Domestic Cat White Jelly Silicone Mens Ladies Wrist Watch Sew227Tabby Pixie-Bob Domestic Cat White Jelly Silicone Mens Ladies Wrist Watch Sew227 $27.99
Ps39 Vtg Photo Woman Holding Precious Tabby Cat c 1940'sPs39 Vtg Photo Woman Holding Precious Tabby Cat c 1940's $5.50 Adult Tabby Cat Pajama CostumeAdult Tabby Cat Pajama Costume $59.98
Anticipation Pair of Kittens Cats Orange White Tiger Striped Tabby PostcardAnticipation Pair of Kittens Cats Orange White Tiger Striped Tabby Postcard $5.99 Littlest Pet Shop #1364 Cream Tabby Cat With Blue EyesLittlest Pet Shop #1364 Cream Tabby Cat With Blue Eyes $4.99
Viennese cold-painted bronze (Grey Tabby Cat)Viennese cold-painted bronze (Grey Tabby Cat) $95.00 Tabby RagaMuffin Domestic Longhaired Cat White Silicone Mens Ladies Watch Sew229Tabby RagaMuffin Domestic Longhaired Cat White Silicone Mens Ladies Watch Sew229 $27.99
New Natura "Tabby" Latch Hook Kit, Cat/kitten in Box, 12" x 12", CaronNew Natura "Tabby" Latch Hook Kit, Cat/kitten in Box, 12" x 12", Caron $6.00 Cc149 Vtg Photo Boy w/ Big Tabby Cat c Early1900'sCc149 Vtg Photo Boy w/ Big Tabby Cat c Early1900's $5.50
Ps41 Vtg Photo Woman Holding Her Tabby Cat, Beloved Pet c 1940'sPs41 Vtg Photo Woman Holding Her Tabby Cat, Beloved Pet c 1940's $4.50 Euc Cat Kitty Hand Puppet Folkmanis Puppets Stripes Orange Tabby KittenEuc Cat Kitty Hand Puppet Folkmanis Puppets Stripes Orange Tabby Kitten $9.95
P848 Vtg Photo Sleepy Tabby Cat And Huge Gourd c 1931P848 Vtg Photo Sleepy Tabby Cat And Huge Gourd c 1931 $7.50 Pepaloves Modcloth Medium Tabby to Oblige Top Collar Green Gingham Cat ShirtPepaloves Modcloth Medium Tabby to Oblige Top Collar Green Gingham Cat Shirt $24.99
Y234 Vtg Photo Handsome T Shirt Guy Holding Tabby Kitty Cat c Mid CenturyY234 Vtg Photo Handsome T Shirt Guy Holding Tabby Kitty Cat c Mid Century $5.50 Tiger Tabby Striped Cat Wood Sculpture Figurine Folk Art Primitive Wild FeralTiger Tabby Striped Cat Wood Sculpture Figurine Folk Art Primitive Wild Feral $18.99
Black Brown Cat Kittens Tabby Polka Dance Bucalossi Vintage Poster ReproBlack Brown Cat Kittens Tabby Polka Dance Bucalossi Vintage Poster Repro $12.90 to $74.00 Ps42 Vtg Photo Edwardian Women Fussing Over Tabby Cat, Beloved Pet c Early 1900sPs42 Vtg Photo Edwardian Women Fussing Over Tabby Cat, Beloved Pet c Early 1900s $5.50
Aceo Original Art Animal Cat Tabby Autumn Fall Leaf Realism Drawing - SmcNeillAceo Original Art Animal Cat Tabby Autumn Fall Leaf Realism Drawing - SmcNeill $30.00 L136 Vtg Photo Christmas Fam Tree, Fat Tabby Cat & Cocker Puppy, Ny c 1949L136 Vtg Photo Christmas Fam Tree, Fat Tabby Cat & Cocker Puppy, Ny c 1949 $10.50
Gray & White Tabby Cat Christmas Ornament Tangled in Xmas Lites Ooak Hand MadeGray & White Tabby Cat Christmas Ornament Tangled in Xmas Lites Ooak Hand Made $7.00 StealStreet Ss-G-18071 Orange And White Tabby Cat Lying Down Animal Statue De.StealStreet Ss-G-18071 Orange And White Tabby Cat Lying Down Animal Statue De. $10.55
Kittens Cats Postcard Playing 1908 - White Cat with Pink Ribbon Tabby and MoreKittens Cats Postcard Playing 1908 - White Cat with Pink Ribbon Tabby and More $9.99 Artsi Factory Sealed Fuzzeez Pink Tabby Cat No Sew Craft Plush For KidsArtsi Factory Sealed Fuzzeez Pink Tabby Cat No Sew Craft Plush For Kids $7.69
OptiPets / OptiPaws Cat Eyeglass Holder - Ginger Tabby CatOptiPets / OptiPaws Cat Eyeglass Holder - Ginger Tabby Cat $42.50 Something Special needlepoint kit Orange Tabby Cats On Shelf 30548Something Special needlepoint kit Orange Tabby Cats On Shelf 30548 $29.99
Tuxedo & Tabby "Wish We Were Sailing" Art Print ValliTuxedo & Tabby "Wish We Were Sailing" Art Print Valli $4.99 Royal Copenhagen Cat Tabby Kitten 727 Playing w/Tail 4"A x 2 3/8"H x 2 1/2" DRoyal Copenhagen Cat Tabby Kitten 727 Playing w/Tail 4"A x 2 3/8"H x 2 1/2" D $44.95
Orange Ginger Tabby Cat Spoon Rest Ceramic Kitchen Accessory NewOrange Ginger Tabby Cat Spoon Rest Ceramic Kitchen Accessory New $15.11 Was:  Previous Price $16.98 Z812 Vtg Photo Tabby Cat Needs A Forever Home c Early 1900'sZ812 Vtg Photo Tabby Cat Needs A Forever Home c Early 1900's $4.50
P850 Vtg Photo Missing Front Teeth Girl Holding Beloved Kitty, Tabby Cat c 1931P850 Vtg Photo Missing Front Teeth Girl Holding Beloved Kitty, Tabby Cat c 1931 $5.50 P868 Vtg Photo Young Woman Snuggling Beautiful Tabby Cat, Beloved Pet c 1930'sP868 Vtg Photo Young Woman Snuggling Beautiful Tabby Cat, Beloved Pet c 1930's $7.50
E176 Vtg Photo "Myrtle Me & Jim" Tabby Kitty Cat named Jim, Early 1900'sE176 Vtg Photo "Myrtle Me & Jim" Tabby Kitty Cat named Jim, Early 1900's $5.50 Khadzonzos/ Sokoke Tabby Cat White Jelly Silicone Mens Ladies Wrist Watch Sew303Khadzonzos/ Sokoke Tabby Cat White Jelly Silicone Mens Ladies Wrist Watch Sew303 $27.99
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Prices current as of last update, 03/20/18 10:00am.

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