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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Putitto Series Cat #3 Red Tabby Patches Cup Mini Figure Figurine Kitan ClubPutitto Series Cat #3 Red Tabby Patches Cup Mini Figure Figurine Kitan Club $7.99 Littlest Pet Shop ~ Gray & White Tabby Cat ~ 2004 ~ Hasbro ~ Blue EyesLittlest Pet Shop ~ Gray & White Tabby Cat ~ 2004 ~ Hasbro ~ Blue Eyes $3.95
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Vintage Pound Puppy Purries Pur-R-Ries Tonka Kitty Cat Brown Striped Tabby 7"Vintage Pound Puppy Purries Pur-R-Ries Tonka Kitty Cat Brown Striped Tabby 7" $7.95 Artesania Rinconada #153 Tabby CatArtesania Rinconada #153 Tabby Cat $18.00
Vintage Orange Tabby Cat Mug~Tail Handle~Made In JapanVintage Orange Tabby Cat Mug~Tail Handle~Made In Japan $12.00 Was: Previous Price $15.00 Jim Shore Heartwood Creek Curiosity Angel Tabby Cat Figurine 2006 Kitty V4006928Jim Shore Heartwood Creek Curiosity Angel Tabby Cat Figurine 2006 Kitty V4006928 $7.99
BonEful Fabric Fq Calico Siamese Cat Kitty Pet Bed Blue Gray B&W Brown Tabby OopBonEful Fabric Fq Calico Siamese Cat Kitty Pet Bed Blue Gray B&W Brown Tabby Oop $5.88 Was: Previous Price $23.50 Devon Rex Brown Tabby Cat PostcardDevon Rex Brown Tabby Cat Postcard $3.15
British Shorthair Red Silver Tabby Cat PostcardBritish Shorthair Red Silver Tabby Cat Postcard $3.15 New Black White Tabby Kitty Cat 3D Coffee Mug Cup Tail Handle Ceramic Pet LoverNew Black White Tabby Kitty Cat 3D Coffee Mug Cup Tail Handle Ceramic Pet Lover $11.25 Was: Previous Price $22.50
Webkinz Signature Orange Tabby Cat.Comes With Sealed Code-Sold Out-Nice GiftWebkinz Signature Orange Tabby Cat.Comes With Sealed Code-Sold Out-Nice Gift $74.00 Pretty Little Vintage Kitty Tabby Cat Figurine Orange & White Small PorcelainPretty Little Vintage Kitty Tabby Cat Figurine Orange & White Small Porcelain $14.99
Vintage Norcrest? or Lefton? Mommy Tabby Cat carrying her Kitten figurineVintage Norcrest? or Lefton? Mommy Tabby Cat carrying her Kitten figurine $29.95 Douglas Cuddle Toy Stuffed Animal Plush Grey Tabby Cat Stripe Gray Kitten 19"Douglas Cuddle Toy Stuffed Animal Plush Grey Tabby Cat Stripe Gray Kitten 19" $24.50
Interactive Cat Toy-Cat Scratcher Stick Savvy Tabby Wildtime SisalInteractive Cat Toy-Cat Scratcher Stick Savvy Tabby Wildtime Sisal $11.00 c 1930 British Adorable Top Hat Tabby Cat Mischief photo postcardc 1930 British Adorable Top Hat Tabby Cat Mischief photo postcard $9.99
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Ganz Webkinz Hm431 Ginger Cat Tabby No Code Plush Kitty Orange Marmalade StripesGanz Webkinz Hm431 Ginger Cat Tabby No Code Plush Kitty Orange Marmalade Stripes $20.69 Was: Previous Price $22.99 Vtg Hand Carved Painted Wood Cat Wooden Kitty Tabby Red Black Abstract FiguralVtg Hand Carved Painted Wood Cat Wooden Kitty Tabby Red Black Abstract Figural $9.99
Precious Figurine Sleeping Tabby Cat/Kitty with 2 Mice and ClockPrecious Figurine Sleeping Tabby Cat/Kitty with 2 Mice and Clock $0.99 Vintage Tea Pot Cat on A Stove Heater Furnace Orange Tabby Kitty Rug DecorativeVintage Tea Pot Cat on A Stove Heater Furnace Orange Tabby Kitty Rug Decorative $6.00
Coffee mug Grey Tabby Cat red bow Pelzman designs Vandor 1982 8 ozCoffee mug Grey Tabby Cat red bow Pelzman designs Vandor 1982 8 oz $6.95 Artist Cat Plate, Black, Orange & Yellow Stripes Tabby Cat, 12.5" LargeArtist Cat Plate, Black, Orange & Yellow Stripes Tabby Cat, 12.5" Large $2.99
Littlest Pet Shop Cat Kitty Tabby Yellow w Green Eyes #94Littlest Pet Shop Cat Kitty Tabby Yellow w Green Eyes #94 $3.96 Was: Previous Price $6.60 Hallmark Vintage 1987 Yellow Tabby Cat Tin Trinket Box 5 1/4" VgucHallmark Vintage 1987 Yellow Tabby Cat Tin Trinket Box 5 1/4" Vguc $8.99
Ty Pluffies Purrz the Tiger Plush Baby Lovey 2003 Orange Striped Tabby Cat KittyTy Pluffies Purrz the Tiger Plush Baby Lovey 2003 Orange Striped Tabby Cat Kitty $23.99 New Cat Bird House - Orange Tabby Cat Birdhouse - Knife And Fork So Cute GardenNew Cat Bird House - Orange Tabby Cat Birdhouse - Knife And Fork So Cute Garden $25.00
Long Island Iced Tabby Glass Removable Cat With Drink Feather Boa Resin NwobLong Island Iced Tabby Glass Removable Cat With Drink Feather Boa Resin Nwob $29.99 Cat T Shirt - I Love My Tabby Men Women Adopt Rescue Animal Puppy Friend Dog # 1Cat T Shirt - I Love My Tabby Men Women Adopt Rescue Animal Puppy Friend Dog # 1 $11.85 to $18.85
6"Ty Beanie Boo Boos Kiki Black Tabby Cat Stuffed Plush Kids Gift Soft Toys D56"Ty Beanie Boo Boos Kiki Black Tabby Cat Stuffed Plush Kids Gift Soft Toys D5 $3.59 Littlest Pet Shop Romantic Picnic Yellow Tabby Cat #122 #1364 Accessories N63Littlest Pet Shop Romantic Picnic Yellow Tabby Cat #122 #1364 Accessories N63 $12.99
Tabby Cat Face Trinket Box Siamese Grey Black White Kitty Faces PorcelainTabby Cat Face Trinket Box Siamese Grey Black White Kitty Faces Porcelain $24.33 Ivory Cats cross stitch kit Gemma on a Dhurrie tabby kitty Lesley Anne Ivory artIvory Cats cross stitch kit Gemma on a Dhurrie tabby kitty Lesley Anne Ivory art $24.97
Wood Cat Statuette Hand Carved Painted 'Ginger Tabby Cat Wish' Novica BaliWood Cat Statuette Hand Carved Painted 'Ginger Tabby Cat Wish' Novica Bali $49.99 Postcard Oriental Blue Ticked Tabby CatPostcard Oriental Blue Ticked Tabby Cat $3.45
Women leggings Tabby Cat Cats Purple Stripe New Print Buttery Soft Plus SizeWomen leggings Tabby Cat Cats Purple Stripe New Print Buttery Soft Plus Size $11.99 to $12.99 Retired Build a Bear Cat Kitty Tabby Orange Old Style Tush Tag Plush StuffedRetired Build a Bear Cat Kitty Tabby Orange Old Style Tush Tag Plush Stuffed $14.95
Vintage Black Tabby Kitty Cat Kitten Curled Tail Handle Coffee Hot Tea Mug CupVintage Black Tabby Kitty Cat Kitten Curled Tail Handle Coffee Hot Tea Mug Cup $22.49 Was: Previous Price $29.99 Silver Tabby Cat in Eyeglasses w/ a Stethoscope Doctor Two Tone Black Mug 11 ozSilver Tabby Cat in Eyeglasses w/ a Stethoscope Doctor Two Tone Black Mug 11 oz $12.61
Novelty Travel Portable On-Ear Foldable Headphones Cat Kitty KittenNovelty Travel Portable On-Ear Foldable Headphones Cat Kitty Kitten $8.99 Ornge And Gray Tabby Cats / Kitten Ceramic Pottery Miniature Animal FigurineOrnge And Gray Tabby Cats / Kitten Ceramic Pottery Miniature Animal Figurine $8.99
Grey Tabby Kitten Cat Plate Platter Dish by Nina Lyman - Nwt Cats By NinaGrey Tabby Kitten Cat Plate Platter Dish by Nina Lyman - Nwt Cats By Nina $22.00 Cat Collect Huge Stuffed Toy - Kijitora San And Mackerel Tabby'S Plush dollCat Collect Huge Stuffed Toy - Kijitora San And Mackerel Tabby'S Plush doll $82.00
Miniature Dollhouse Fairy Garden Large Tabby Cat / Kitten FigurineMiniature Dollhouse Fairy Garden Large Tabby Cat / Kitten Figurine $4.99
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Prices current as of last update, 06/23/17 6:40pm.

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