To the non-cat aficionado all cats may look the same. But to those with more affinity towards cats and a keen eye for detail, tabby cats have five different coat patterns. Even though their coat patterns vary, all tabbies have the distinctive ‘M’ on their foreheads. Throughout history this has been attributed as a symbol for the word ‘Mau’ which means cat in ancient Egyptian or as a representation of the ‘M’ for the Prophet Mohammed who dearly loved cats. What kind of tabby cat do you have?
The classic tabby coat is made up of whirls that look like blotches. You could even say that it looks like a marble cake.
The mackerel tabby is traditionally known as the tiger cat. It has stripes running down the sides of its body. The pattern resembles a fish skeleton, hence the name mackerel.
The patched tabby is actually known as a tortoiseshell or tortie. They have spots of brown and red in no particular pattern.
A spotted tabby has spots all over its sides. These spots can be large or small, and sometimes appear to be broken mackerel stripes. Shapes can be round, oval or rosettes.
A ticked tabby (sometimes called Abyssinian tabby or agouti tabby) displays tabby markings on the face and agouti hairs on its body. There are no traditional stripes or spots on the body, and may hardly seem to be a tabby.