Cat Breeds - Tabby Cats

Cat Breeds - Tabby Cats

Let’s talk about the most common type of cats we see all around Singapore’s neighbourhoods, the Tabby Cats.

Origin: Let’s learn a little about their history. They actually got their name from striped cloth and silk from ‘Attabiy’, a district in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq. In the middle french period from the 14th century, they were called ‘atabis’ and then ‘tabis’ and finally to what we know as ‘tabby’ in our modern day. They were not common until the 18th century.

The Tabby is not a breed but rather the pattern of their coat!

A tabby cat is considered to be any domesticated cat with a coat that features distinctive stripes, dots, or swirling patterns, usually with a marking resembling an uppercase “M” on their forehead. Looking something like this:

Sir Kitty

Sir Kitty

Fun fact: Did you know that a tabby cat was appointed Town Mayor in Talkeetna, Alaska? Meet the late Mayor Stubbs:

And his successor, Mayor Denali:

Now, let’s learn about the different types of tabby cats! There are a total of 5 coat patterns and let’s see if we are able to learn what kind of tabby is your tabby cat!


For starters, we will be going with the classic.

Tabbies that fall under this coat pattern have bold, swirling marks on their side, resembling a bullseye.

Tabbies that fall in this category have evenly spaced narrow lines that run down in parallel resembling fish skeleton.


These tabby cats have large or small round, oval spots and broken mackerel stripes on their coats.


These cats are sometimes called the Abyssinian or Agouti Tabby. They have no traditional spots or stripes on their coat but they do still have the distinctive ‘M’ on their foreheads and have agouti hairs on their body. What exactly is agouti hair? Agouti hairs are the individual hair stripes alternating between light and dark bands.


Last but not least, we have the

These cats can show any of the four distinct tabby patterns on their coats, however their markings will be more apparent on their head and legs.


So, which is your Tabby? Fun fact: About 80% of orange / ginger tabby cats are male, and the 20% are female, which is quite rare! It is said that most orange cats are much friendlier than other cats. There is an internet saying, “ah, it’s the orange cat behaviour”, which points to them being a little dull-witted compared to the other cats. Still cute, tho.


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