Let’s talk about some tabby cat facts
So maybe you are looking for a new edition to the home. Perhaps you are sitting there with your tabby cat and just curious about him or her. Let’s talk about some tabby cat facts including personality and colour patterns. It’s always nice to dig that bit deeper and learn about our furry friends. Tabby cats are perhaps the most known and adored by cat lovers all over the world.
First things first, the ginger tabby is a coat pattern and not a breed. Many people make this mistake but despite it being a popular assumption, it’s not true. However, any human who lives with one of these cats will tell you her baby has a distinct personality. Evidence is mostly anecdotal, but colour and some aspects of temperament are genetic, so it’s certainly possible these traits are linked.
So, let’s talk about some tabby cat facts!
What about their colours and fur patterns?
You get a fair variety with tabby cats. Consider ginger tabbies, also called red or orange tabbies. They are white striped with any shade of orange or red. This can even be a really deep red like a tigers markings. Tabby patterns include classic swirls, mackerel, ticked and spotted, but all have the typical M on the forehead. The wild ancestors of today’s domestic cats probably sported the tabby pattern. It provides good camouflage for sneaking up on prey or unsuspecting creatures that venture into your yard – and the tabby pattern is often seen in ancient depictions of cats. That attractive ginger color is a naturally occurring mutation.
Tabby’s have wonderful personalities.
We all know cats like to play and yet each has their own individual personality. Tabbys are no different. Let’s talk some tabby cat facts regarding personality differences. Some say that tabby cat personalities are distinct from other cats Tabby close-upin the sense that they are more like the personalities of dogs. Tabby cats love to play and explore. They’ll follow you around like a puppy and some will even teach their humans to play fetch. Tabby cats are also considered to be more intelligent than those of other types by many.
If you do a simple search online, you’ll see that tabby cats are often rated as being of higher intelligence than other types by both breeders and cat enthusiasts. They are amusing, clever, warmly affectionate and make wonderful companions.
What about those ginger tabby stereotypes?
No consideration of tabby cat facts is complete without considering the stereotypes. If you think your orange baby is easy-going, you’re not alone. In the early 20th century, George Ware, the owner of a cat boarding center, formed his own theory of color and temperament. He described ginger tabbies as “big softies and laid back to the point of laziness. Like being stroked, but dislike being picked up and cuddled.” A book on cats in the 70’s described ginger tabbies as quiet, docile and affectionate. Think of it as your friendly kitty waiting for you after a long day at work.
In a recent study at the University of California, cat owners were asked to attribute personality traits to their cats. Orange cats were most often characterized as friendly. Another stereotype is media-driven – Garfield is irascible, and Morris is aloof and finicky. I’m not saying your cat will love lasagne, but he sure may be as lazy as Garfield! These traits actually might have a basis in fact. The gene for ginger is linked to gender, and about three out of four ginger cats are males. Any intact male will exhibit certain behaviours, including roaming and less interest in hunting. However, rest assured that if your ginger tabby is loved and socialized, he will in turn be a loving, affectionate kitty.
What truly is a Tabby?
As we said, with Tabby’s leave your assumptions at the door. Tabby cats are often mistakenly thought of as being a particular breed of cat, but it is the coat pattern that is known as “tabby.” Today’s house cats originated from the African wild cat, which has similar markings to those we see on tabby cats, an effective form of camouflage. The tabby gene is more dominate than any other coat colour gene. This is one of the reasons most second or third generation feral cats are tabbies. Natural selection made the tabby gene more dominant because the tabby coat is better camouflage than solid or bi-colour coats, and thus an individual with a tabby coat would have better chances of survival because it could hunt and avoid predators more easily.
OK, so you don’t need to be a real genetics nerd, but let’s briefly go into how they get that furry coat. The gene for the tabby pattern can be found in all domestic cats. Stripes-on-black-tabby. Look at a “solid” black cat in the sun some day and see if you can find the hidden tabby markings. And have you ever seen a solid red or orange or cream cat without the familiar tabby markings? You won’t, because the gene that makes a cat red or cream also makes the tabby markings visible. The tabby pattern is so popular that it can be found in many pedigreed cats today, and is accepted in a number of breeds by the most popular registries.
There are many variations of the tabby pattern and tabby cats can be found with stripes, spots, ticks and swirls, and in various colours – brown tabbies, silver tabbies, ginger or orange tabbies, grey or blue tabbies and red tabbies Although there are many variations of each, the tabby pattern falls into four basic classes. A fifth includes tabby as part of another basic colour pattern, the “patched” tabby, which may be a calico or tortoiseshell cat with tabby patches. These little balls of fur are called torbies, but you don’t need to memorise that.
Of course any tabby cat facts need to consider the true classics. The classic-tabby holds a pattern that appears most often on tabbies. The classic has large swirls or blotches that end in a circular pattern or “target” at the sides. Three broad lines run from the neck to the tail, and around the neck there are wide bands of colour known as a necklace. Classic tabby cats’ tails have broad bands, as do their legs, and the belly will have a row of vest button blotches. On the shoulders are patterns that are very similar to butterfly wings.
So there you have it. Tabby cat facts that include how they get their look and what personality they may have. Remember, if you are thinking of getting a tabby, don’t expect them to fit into this scheme perfectly! You need to learn and play with them to get to know their true character! One thing is for sure, tabby’s are a favourite in households across the world, and for good reason!