HomeCat CoatsWhy are tabby cats called tabby cats?


Why are tabby cats called tabby cats? — 11 Comments

    • Interesting article and great cat Rudolph. He looks pretty big too and very regal. I hope he lives many more years happy and healthy.

  1. Hi Michael,

    A Tabby is when a cat – regardless of coat pattern or genetic heritage – puts his paw on the space bar of your keyboard and the cursor advances 5 or more horizontal spaces. If your not careful to react quickly enough, the cursor could advance several vertical lines in a very short period of time.


    =^..^= Hairless Cat Girl =^..^=

      • Hi Michael,

        Just an on-the-fly original by Hairless Cat Girl.

        If you put that one in your book of cat jokes be sure to mention me as the author if you don’t mind πŸ˜‰

        I liked your article – interesting bit of Tabby cat history.

        =^..^= Hairless Cat Girl =^..^=

        • It would give me great pleasure to put that little gem of a cat joke in a book and credit you with it. Maybe we should have a page on cat jokes but I only know one at the moment πŸ˜‰

  2. Great job depicting the connection Michael by the way. I really get it now and personally I find language and its history and roots to be very interesting.

    I never associated the swirly pattern with the sort of oil on water effect of reflective silk but i now see how similar the tabby coat is to that. Amazing really. I just love the red maine coon in the lower part of the picture. I think i have a bit of a thing for medium long haired orange tabby boys after my Red. He has a very similar swirl on his sides to the one depicted. He looked very much like that cat. I have always wondered where the word stems from and it is not suprising it comes from another language as do many words in the English language. Thats why English is such a rich and versatile language I suppose.

    The other word I wondered about is the word ‘moggy’. To a Slovenian this word makes a nice name and my ex has a boycat called Moggy. If you are not English this makes a very nice name for a cat – quite exotic sounding to slavic people – yet ironically it has another meaning altogether to an English person. Wrongly I would say since mixed breeds are the most beautiful and in many ways exotic but sadly moggy is like saying ordinary or boring.

    • I exaggerated the watery silk effect to make the point but I think that is fair. The explanation of the development of the word tabby makes sense and sounds correct. The red Maine Coon is absolutely gorgeous. I wasn’t there when he/she was photographed. But I did meet some amazing looking cats when I visited Helmi. Cats I would never get near to normally.

      I’ll see if I can do a post on “moggie”. The answer might be too short to fill a article. I may have done a page already but forgotten.

  3. It’s interesting too that the gene for the tabby pattern can be found in all domestic cats and sometimes in the sunlight we can actually see the tabby markings on our two black and white cats.

    • Thanks for that Ruth. I didn’t get that point. It makes sense since the African wildcat has a tabby coat and all domestic cats have evolved from that wildcat.

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