Facts About Tabby Cats | What They Are Unique – Traits, Health Issues, Price And More

Ever wondered what the most popular type of cat in the world looks like? Maybe it’s longhaired or is shorthaired? Does it come from a particular breed?

Maybe it’s the widespread American Shorthair or the fluffy Persian fluffy Or how about the British equivalent of the latter one?

No, none of them. Still, it could be some of them.

Wait. What?

Sorry, I don’t intend to pose a riddle, but give me a listen

I’m talking about the tabby cat.

Of course you’ve heard about it, and you have seen it many times! – And the odd thing is the fact that you will be unable to recall the exact number of times you’ve seen it simply because many other people often pay little or no attention to tabby cats. 

Why is this?

Well, tabby cats are prevalent and so common that they do not stand out at all. Although they have distinctive markings, people are so used to seeing them around that they don’t tend to leave a lasting impression.

And yet, tabby cats are lovely and unique in their way. If you are interested in more facts about tabby cats, keep reading, fellow cat parent.

Some of them will shock you. And others might make you want to get yourself a kitten immediately!

Facts About Tabby Cats

Here are a few interesting, famous, little-known and remarkable facts about tabby cats.

They Are Not Breed Specific

You probably aren’t amazed by this fact. However, it is an essential fact when it comes to tabbies.

These kitties are non-breed specific.

This means you can find tabby cats among a wide variety of feline breeds, including exotic designer breeds like the Ocicat as well as common domestic ones. 

Moreover, the term “tabby” does not actually describe a breed. It’s merely a word used to define a type of striped pattern marking on the fur coat of a cat.

The Most Popular Type Of Cat

Some pet parents and pet lovers might argue with this fact – Maine Coons, Siamese Persians, British/American Shorthairs, are among the top pet choices for pet parents all over the world

But tabby cats are viral.

They are not only common among domestic cat breeds but feral kitties as well.


Tabby is a well-known fur pattern. Its commonness is the exact reason people don’t care much about tabby kitties. They are way too common! The fact that they are not show-stoppers doesn’t mean they aren’t loveable or unique in their way.


There Are Different Types Of Tabbies

In terms of uniqueness and beauty, there are diverse types of tabby markings? Tabby kitties can have linesswirlsstripesdots and other types of beautiful patterns on their fur. Isn’t that impressive? 

Based on official standards, there are four basic types of tabbies:

  • mackerel tabby – this is the most widespread one
  • classic tabby – marbled or blotched and has dark stripes as well as an M forehead mark
  •  ticked tabby – has no stripes and is often found among Abyssinian cats
  •  spotted tabby – has spotted or patched patterns.

Check out this document from Dr Brenda Griffin of the University of Florida to find examples of each type of Tabby marking.

Amazing Eyes

One type of kitty that comes in the most colorful combinations is the famous Oriental Shorthair. Interestingly, it has about 300+ hues as well as patterns. This feline is fuzzy and colorful.

But in terms of eye color, tabbies take the lead.

Not only will you find tabby cats in a plethora of feline breeds, but they also display a plethora of eye shapes as well as eye colors. It all depends on the genetic heritage of the breed, and it’s specifics.

Wild Looks With Domestic Purr-sonality

One of the numerous factors that make tabby cats excellent domestic pets is the fact that they have the looks of a wild cat and the tame personality of a domestic cat. 

One of the objectives of exotic and designer cat breeders is to produce kittens with wild looks that can easily be domesticated.

Regardless of their breed, Tabby Cats already have a wild appearance, even though they do not have any wild DNA in them. They’re safer and cheaper compared to opting for their designer and exotic feline counterparts.

The Mysterious M

A lot of tabby cats have a distinctive letter M marking on their foreheads directly above their eyes. According to scientists, it is a natural gene in nearly every tabby cat’s DNA. Scientists have however been unable to prove the origination of tabby cats, and so the M marking remains a mystery. 

In Christian folklore, a tabby kitty lay right next to baby Jesus to keep him warm and snuggly in his cradle. According to the legend, Jesus’ mother, Mary stroked the kitty’s head as to show gratitude, with her touch leaving the M mark on the cat.

·        In Islamic folklore, a tale is told of a tabby furball named Muezza. Muezza saved the life of his master Mohammed from a poisonous snake that had crawled into his sleeve.

•According to an Egyptian legend, the M mark relates to the word “mau,” which translates into “cat” in the Ancient Egyptians’ language.

To put simply, this mysterious M has been the topic of debates for decades.

Diverse And Unique In Every Possible Way

Since “tabby” is a coat color that can be present in many feline breeds, tabby cats are unique and different in every possible way known to mankind.

From the shape of their beautiful eyes to their fur color, susceptibility to training, body structure, personality and playfulness, you can expect almost everything from every tabby kitty. 

How Much Do Tabby Cats And Kittens Cost? Price Analysis And Buying Guide

So, we have talked about how great these fluffy creatures are and how awesome it is to keep them as pets. But it’ll also be great to talk about how much they cost so that you can be on the safe side (financially). 

Here are some pointers when it comes to the price of tabby cats’ price:

  • Randomly” bred tabby cats can cost as low as $100 or even less.
  • Purebred tabbies cost about $700-$1500.
  • Designer tabbies like the Bengal cost around $2k or even more.

If you’d like to buy a tabby cat or kitten, here’s my pro tip.

Opt for friends that have pregnant cats or opt for shelters.

Because the tabby is the most widespread fur pattern, its easy to find such kitties in animal shelters, you can save the life of a feral or formerly domestic homeless kitty without having to break the bank. 

Tabby Health Concerns

Another great reason why tabbies are excellent pets is the fact that they don’t have any specific health concerns.

Unlike the case of albino cats, the tabby pattern doesn’t carry a genetic heritage that’s linked to specific diseases or other health issues.

The possible health conditions of a tabby cat are mostly dependent on its breed, diet, surroundings and upbringing. So it’s totally up to you whether your kitty will grow and thrive in perfect health.

Famous Tabby Cats Around The World

A lot of tabbies have left their mark not only in folklore but in the sands of time. Here are a few of the most famous tabby cats known to history


Freya is the tabby pet cat of George Osborne- the former Chancellor of the Exchequer for the UK. Over the past few years, she has made it into headlines many times.

Freya is widely known for her impressive disappearing acts and for bullying Osborne’s pet dog to the point where she was banned from Downing Street and sent to reside in the isolated Kent countryside. Talk about being feisty and having a well-suited name!

Think Think and Ah Tsai

Ah Tsai and Think Think are the two pet cats of the President of Taiwan- Tsai Ing-wen. Indeed, these two are the First Cats!

Think Think is a grey female tabby. She used to be homeless before being gifted to the President by a Taiwanese legislator.

Ah Tsai is a male ginger tabby. He was given to the President as a gift by a good friend during her presidential campaign. 

Both kitties have made several appearances on social media and in the news. 


The list of famous cats will be incomplete if we do not talk about Garfield. Garfield is one of the most adorable but self-centred characters of all time! You probably didn’t know this, but Garfield is a tabby cat.

Oscar and Miko

Oscar and Miko were two out of Freddy Mercury’s many pet cats. Mercury had several others, which were either rescued from shelters or gifted to him.

Have a look at this extensive article by Telegraph concerning the subject if you’d like to know more about Queen’s late vocalist’s fascination with feline furballs.

David Bowie also loved tabbies.

It appears that famous musicians were fond of tabby cats. Bowie did not only write music about felines but even attended a photoshoot with an Abyssinian tabby kitty that stole his spotlight and his heart.


Toby was the pet cat Betty White used to own as a little girl. It was an orange tabby kitty, which probably helped her develop such a deep love for animals.

These days, the actress is a renowned animal activist with more than 40 years of humanitarian work done for many organizations fighting for animal rights as well as welfare.

Mark Twain

Here is yet another famous historical figure whose love for cats was hard to notice.

According to many sources, Mark Twain not only surrounded himself with kittens as well as cats, even during his vacations but also had a tabby pet kitten that was super special to him. This kitten was special to him because he played pool with it! 


Heathcliff, the orange tabby cat, is a famous fictional character that gained global recognition through his comic strip and was also the primary star of two animated TV series from the 1980s It was also the star of a theatre movie.

Because of his hilarious pranks, mischievousness and striking looks, he gained a lot of popularity and a large fan base back in the day.


Oliver is one of the major characters in the animation Oliver & Company. He’s an orange tabby cat whose calm temperament enables him to make friends with dogs and help’s him save the life of his owner, later on. 


Talking about unnatural behavior (befriending pups), here’s another well-known tabby cat who made it to the history books with his unique personality. Tiger is a longhaired tabby cat star from the animation “An American Tail”. The unique and baffling thing about Tiger is the fact that he’s a vegetarian. 


Maru – a Scottish Fold tabby kitty, went viral some years ago. Today, he’s among the most famous cats on YouTube, and his videos have been viewed over 300 million times!

Lil Bub

Lil Bub is an Internet celebrity tabby cat, a meme inspiration, a published author, an animal activist… the list goes on and on! Lil Bub has raised over $300,000 over the years for many animals in need of help, care and love. 

Take a look at her official website if you’d like to know more about the notorious perma-kitten faced cat.

Cheshire Cat

It would be unfair to leave out the ever-puzzling, ever-grinning, and ever-disappearing Cheshire Cat? Although this tabby kitty has changed his appearance over the years (from grey to blue, green and even to purple), the stripes on this Cheshire Cat are his ever-present feature alongside his shining pearly whites.


Last on our not-so-long list, comes Loki, the Instagram celebrity. Loki is a tabby kitty that is famous for its mischievous expressions, and it’s vampire-looks vampire-like looks. 

He has about 350k+ Instagram followers. His unique appearances are gaining a huge fan base from all over the globe every day.

So, tabby cats and kittens are not only famous in books, movies, on the streets and in shelters in shelters, but they are also popular among famous (and not so famous) pet owners.


Diverse in terms of temperament as well as physical traits you don’t have to neglect tabby kitties with the excuse that they’re too common. They can make the best feline companions, even though they don’t have mind-blowing markings.

Ultimately, looks aren’t everything! 

If you are confident that you’re ready to welcome a tabby kitten into your home, visit some of the shelters around you. You may find a tabby cat or two there that deserve to get a caring pet parent and a good home to live.