Video:All About Tabby Catswith Franny Syufy
The truth about tabby cats is that they aren't actually a breed, but rather a color pattern. Learn more about the types of tabby cats.See Transcript
Transcript:All About Tabby CatsThe name "tabby cat" brings to mind many different things to different people. Tabbies are so ubiquitous that many people think of them as a breed. Not so; the tabby is a color pattern - most often stripes, but sometimes stripes and whorls, or even spots and stripes.
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. Although there are many variations of each, the tabby pattern falls into four basic classes. A fifth includes tabby as part of another basic color pattern, e.g. the "patched" tabby, which may be a calico or tortoiseshell cat with tabby patches (the latter is called a "torbie." Some pointed breeds also allow "tabby points" within their color standards.
Types of Tabby Patterns
Classic: This pattern usually has whorls ending in a "target" on the side of the cat. Many American Shorthair cats demonstrate this pattern.
Mackerel (striped): This is by far the most common pattern, so much so that some people think it should have received the title "Classic." Mackerel tabbies have striped rings around their tail and legs, a "necklace" of stripes on the front of their chests, and bands of solid or broken stripes running down the sides of their bodies. They will have the darker color in spots running in two lines across their tummies (called "vest buttons.")
Spotted: The Ocicat and the American Bobtail are good examples of spotted tabby pattern, although some Moggies will also demonstrate this color pattern. The American Bobtail illustrates the spotted tabby pattern to perfection.
Agouti (Ticked): Most tabby cats will have agouti hairs as part of their pattern. If you look closely, you'll see different bands of color down the length of the cat's individual hairs. Cats with an all-ticked pattern almost shimmer in the sunlight, because of the color variation. The Abyssinian is a classic example of a ticked tabby or agouti pattern.
Many breeds today accept the tabby pattern in one variation or another. Some of the breeds which are allowed the tabby pattern are: Abyssinian (ticked) American Bobtail, American Curl, American Wirehair, Egyptian Mau, Manx, Norwegian Forest Cat, Persian, Scottish Fold, Siberian, and Somali (longhair ticked) Thanks for watching, to learn more, visit About.com
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