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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Tabby Cat Sleeping Canvas Print Poster 16X12"Tabby Cat Sleeping Canvas Print Poster 16X12" $18.10 Rescue Me Now Orange Tabby Cat Ear Plate 11-1/2-InchRescue Me Now Orange Tabby Cat Ear Plate 11-1/2-Inch $30.59
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Calico Critters Tabby Cat Baby Twins / Epoch JapanCalico Critters Tabby Cat Baby Twins / Epoch Japan $11.99 Playing Cat Tabby Leather Charm Bookmarker *Vanca* Made in Japan #61401Playing Cat Tabby Leather Charm Bookmarker *Vanca* Made in Japan #61401 $17.00
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Gund New * Pusheen * Cat 12-Inch Plush Plushie Kitty Tabby Stuffed Animal GreyGund New * Pusheen * Cat 12-Inch Plush Plushie Kitty Tabby Stuffed Animal Grey $20.15 Miniature Plastic Orange Tabby Cat Sitting Figurine 1 5/8" Dollhouse ~ Free ShipMiniature Plastic Orange Tabby Cat Sitting Figurine 1 5/8" Dollhouse ~ Free Ship $6.50
Munchkin Tabby White Cat Mens Womens White Jelly Silicone Wrist Watch Sew168Munchkin Tabby White Cat Mens Womens White Jelly Silicone Wrist Watch Sew168 $24.99 Tula Pink Tabby Road Cat Snacks Bluebird by Free spirit 100% Cotton 1/2 meterTula Pink Tabby Road Cat Snacks Bluebird by Free spirit 100% Cotton 1/2 meter $11.77
Cute Pet Doormat Outdoor Funny Entrance Floor Rug Carpet Anti-slip Bathmats NewCute Pet Doormat Outdoor Funny Entrance Floor Rug Carpet Anti-slip Bathmats New $11.39 Was: Previous Price $11.99 Harald Wiberg Swedish Postcard Tomte Elf Tabby Cat Cellar Christmas PorridgeHarald Wiberg Swedish Postcard Tomte Elf Tabby Cat Cellar Christmas Porridge $3.99
Patty Reed Designs Collection Tabby Cat Pillow Cushion Plush Toy 34Cm TallPatty Reed Designs Collection Tabby Cat Pillow Cushion Plush Toy 34Cm Tall $15.75 I'M Not Just A Cat Person i'm A Tabby cat Mummy Printed Mug - Gift PresentI'M Not Just A Cat Person i'm A Tabby cat Mummy Printed Mug - Gift Present $10.38
I'M Happily Owned By A Tabby Cat Printed Mug - Gift Present KittenI'M Happily Owned By A Tabby Cat Printed Mug - Gift Present Kitten $10.38 Tabby Cat Teacher Vtg Postcard Charm by Imcc & Crystal Dangle by Jewel KadeTabby Cat Teacher Vtg Postcard Charm by Imcc & Crystal Dangle by Jewel Kade $17.95
On Board Cat Car Sign Silver Tabby on Board Suction Cap providedOn Board Cat Car Sign Silver Tabby on Board Suction Cap provided $7.09 Head Case Designs Big Face Illustrated 2 Hard Back Case For Nokia Phones 1Head Case Designs Big Face Illustrated 2 Hard Back Case For Nokia Phones 1 $7.95 to $8.45 List price: Previous Price $16.90
New Cat Lover in Your Life Funny Orange Tabby Cat Tissue Holder Free ShippingNew Cat Lover in Your Life Funny Orange Tabby Cat Tissue Holder Free Shipping $60.00 Adorable Halloween Art Tabby Cat w/ Witch Hat and Pumpkin Artist SignedAdorable Halloween Art Tabby Cat w/ Witch Hat and Pumpkin Artist Signed $50.00
Vintage Kitten Statue Gray Grey Tabby Cat FigurineVintage Kitten Statue Gray Grey Tabby Cat Figurine $15.00 Hand Painted Orange Tabby Cat Kitty 6-3/4" Plate Pet Dish Signed Debby CarmanHand Painted Orange Tabby Cat Kitty 6-3/4" Plate Pet Dish Signed Debby Carman $8.40 Was: Previous Price $12.00
Cat Salt & Pepper Shakers -Grey Tabby Cats Porcelain Hand Painted in ThailandCat Salt & Pepper Shakers -Grey Tabby Cats Porcelain Hand Painted in Thailand $31.10 Littlest Pet Shop Tabby Cat #349 Yellow Striped Blue Eyes Kitten 100% AuthenticLittlest Pet Shop Tabby Cat #349 Yellow Striped Blue Eyes Kitten 100% Authentic $2.40
Hiccup H2Z Long Island Iced Tabby Cat Orange Kitty Figurine in Glass 73657Hiccup H2Z Long Island Iced Tabby Cat Orange Kitty Figurine in Glass 73657 $49.99 Life's Better With Dog Breed 4x6" Car Fridge magnets many breeds! akcLife's Better With Dog Breed 4x6" Car Fridge magnets many breeds! akc $5.49
American Girl Praline Gray Tabby Cat Kitten Plush 5" highAmerican Girl Praline Gray Tabby Cat Kitten Plush 5" high $6.88 Savvy Tabby Us138904 Mylar Balls Cat Toys, 4 Pk Us1389 04 NewSavvy Tabby Us138904 Mylar Balls Cat Toys, 4 Pk Us1389 04 New $17.79
Gund Plush Cream Gold Stripes Tabby the Cat w Sheer Neck Ribbon Bow 17" Eu 43101Gund Plush Cream Gold Stripes Tabby the Cat w Sheer Neck Ribbon Bow 17" Eu 43101 $21.24 Was: Previous Price $24.99 Tabby Cat Loves You More Than You Love Yourself Printed Mug Gift PresentTabby Cat Loves You More Than You Love Yourself Printed Mug Gift Present $10.38
Littlest Pet Shop #32 Paw Up Grey Striped Tabby Cat with Green EyesLittlest Pet Shop #32 Paw Up Grey Striped Tabby Cat with Green Eyes $3.99 Big Dog T Shirt I Love My Tabby Cat Men Women Adopt Rescue Friend Animal Cat # 2Big Dog T Shirt I Love My Tabby Cat Men Women Adopt Rescue Friend Animal Cat # 2 $11.85 to $18.85
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Prices current as of last update, 08/13/17 8:20pm.

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