If you’re ready to adopt a cat, an interesting type is the Tabby. These wonderful furry felines will come into your home and become a beloved member of your family. They have a lot of love to give, but they do ask a lot in return.
If you’re willing to give them love back, change the litter box and keep them safe, warm and healthy, you’ll have a friend for life. Animal shelters are brimming with adult and kitten tabbies who are looking for a new home but before you bring your new pet home, we have some information for you that might be helpful. Here are twenty fun facts you didn’t know about Tabby cats.
1. Tabby is not an actual cat breed
Most of us are have heard the distinction “Tabby Cat” and just assume that it’s a breed that has stripes. Although this is partially true, it’s not totally accurate. Tabbies are not really a breed, but the name is a way to describe the markings on their coats. They have stripes, swirls and some remarkable features that set them apart from other cats. Now, when you refer to Tabby cats, you’ll know that this is a category of cat and not a recognized breed.
2. Tabbies are known for their big personalities
While every cat is an individual, Tabbies have a reputation for being a complicated cat. Most have a wide range of emotions and this makes them very interesting companions. A Tabby will let you know when he is sad, angry, depressed, playful or happy.
Your cat’s mood swings can be entertaining, but their expressiveness is also good for letting you know when they need to be cuddled and have some extra attention thrown their way. You truly won’t need to wonder how your cat is feeling because they’re good at getting your attention and letting you know what they’re up for. They are known for being friendly, affectionate and playful, so you’ll get a range of positive emotions along with the negatives.
3. Tabbies are hunters
If you’re looking for a cat that loves to track down and exterminate mice, then a Tabby would be a good option. These cats are hunters by nature. There are many Tabbies living on the streets because they don’t have a home. The street Tabbies can hunt for survival and catch small rodents to satisfy their hunger. This is a basic instinct that has been passed down through the generations, before cat breeds were domesticated.
Even your domesticated well-fed house Tabby will hunt mice in a home or business. They are less likely to eat them on a full belly, but a Tabby just can’t resist the thrill of the chase and the whole sporting aspect of hunting down rodents and doing their thing. We have to throw in a disclaimer here though. Tabbies enjoy playing with their prey and their tactics aren’t always pleasant to watch.
In fact, it can become quite grim, so prepare yourself for a few torture scenes. If you can’t handle this, it’s best to place mouse traps where your Tabby can’t access them. If your Tabby brings a mouse to lay at your feet, he’s not trying to gross you out. He wants to show you that he’s doing his job and he expects you to be proud of him for it. Now you know that these loving creatures are capable of violent and cruel acts as well.
4. Tabbies are colonial cats
We’re not talking about the age or the style, but rather the way that Tabbies approach living and survival. They instinctively form familial colonies of several members to share their food sources. They even do this as domesticated cats when there is a need. These cats really know how to take care of one another.
This doesn’t mean that your Tabby won’t become territorial about sharing food with other cats, but it’s more likely that when the chips are down, he will share what’s available. Some Tabby moms have been known to help raise one another’s babies under certain conditions. You can’t always depend on this to be the case, but it happens frequently. Aren’t Tabbies interesting creatures?
5. Tabbies need to use their claws
While we start this fact on a negative note, we must throw in the fact that Tabbies are easy to train. These cats have a natural instinct to scratch. This means furniture, hanging draperies and anything else they can get their claws into. Thankfully, Tabbies are also easy to train if you’re willing to put in a little time and effort. It’s important that you understand that scratching is something that nature tells them to do to keep their claws conditioned.
They can’t grab a nail file, so they scratch on whatever surface is available. If you provide your Tabby with a scratching post and redirect him from scratching your furniture, to the post, in time, he’ll learn what he’s allowed to scratch and what he isn’t. Teach him from day one that scratching you is not going to be tolerated. This is much easier to do when you start training when he’s a young kitten, but Tabbies of any age can be trained if you are consistent and have a little patience
6. Tabbies like to swap roles
Your Tabby is going to think that he is the owner and you are the pet on occasion. There is just something about the smug attitudes of a Tabby cat that makes him want to rule the roost. It’s important to show him who the boss is from day one, but he’ll still try to dominate on occasion. It’s just feline nature and he doesn’t mean to be a pill, but he does like to be in charge occasionally.
He’ll make sure that you complete every task on his mental to-do list. If the food or water dishes are low, he’s likely to complain verbally. If the litter box is too full, he’ll toss the contents onto the floor so he has a clean area to conduct his business. If he wants outside, he’ll let you know it’s time to open the door. Finally, he’ll let you know when he wants to play or be cuddled. Do Tabbies like to take charge? Not all the time, but a good share of it. With this in mind, watch out so your Tabby doesn’t end up owning you because it should be the other way around.
7. Tabbies are social
Your Tabby will give you love and affection if you do the same for him. These social cats like to be in on family activities and even if your Tabby doesn’t participate, he’ll find a comfortable place to watch from. They enjoy being around their family members. They love to give and receive attention. Although not all of them are big talkers, once in a while you’ll find a tabby that will carry on a back and forth conversation with you.
They also like the company of other cats in the house, and sometimes even the family dog. This is particularly true if the cat and dog were raised together from the time that they were young. If you’re into big personality cats that enjoy your company, then a Tabby is a good choice.
8. What’s his is his and what’s yours is his
Tabbies think that they own everything in the house. This is why it’s so important to teach them the difference from an early age. Unless you provide your Tabby with his own highly comfortable bed, he’s likely to try to take over yours. God forbid you should move your leg and bump him in the middle of the night.
These cats have a tendency to curl up at the foot of your bed and sleep when they’re not up tearing through the house at all hours of the night. If you enjoy a cat that will keep your feet warm at night, then a Tabby may be your best option. If you don’t want a cat that jumps on the bed at night, then he’ll go for that as long as you properly train him to stay off your bed and leave your personal items alone. Tabbies are a good deal either way.
9. Tabbies are great entertainers
If you want to laugh until your sides split, then get a Tabby cat. These wonderful furry entertainers have a built-in need to play feature. They also know when you’re watching them, but they really don’t care. When you could use some funny entertainment, just set a paper bag down in front of your Tabby and you’ll soon be rolling on the floor.
Make sure that it’s paper though because plastic is a health hazard. It’s even funnier when you have two Tabbies tussling over the same bag. Cardboard boxes work about as well. These zany critters are willing to give anything that looks like fun a try. You can also have hours of fun with a laser pointer. Your cat will chase a red dot for hours.
Don’t be surprised if your Tabby gets an inspiration to pull something totally stupid for the sake of a good time. This is one of the reasons that there are so many videos of Tabbies pulling silly stunts that have gone viral. It’s fun to watch them but it’s even better when you have a Tabby of your own. Who knows? You may capture the next top cat video and your Tabby could end up being an internet sensation!
10. Tabbies like a clean environment
Tabby cats truly are clean animals. They don’t like it when their litter box is not properly maintained. If it becomes too full or if there is a strong urine odor, your cat won’t want to use it. This is a good thing because it means that he prefers a clean environment. Use high quality litter and change it regularly to keep him happy and content. You’ll notice that your Tabby gives himself regular baths.
Even if he looks clean, he will lick his fur to make sure that he is well groomed. Of course, this means that you’ll have to keep an eye out for furballs in his stomach, but a balanced diet that has the right amount of healthy oils should help him to more easily pass them. One of the benefits of owning a Tabby cat is that they like to keep things clean. They require early toilet training as any other cat does. Males will also spray to mark their territory, but getting males neutered should eliminate this problem.
11. Tabbies are investigators
You cannot stop a Tabby cat from investigating his surroundings. These cats are inquisitive by nature. As kittens, they begin to explore the home immediately. This can be a little risky if you haven’t kitten proofed your home. A Tabby will thoroughly check out any nook or cranny, so it’s important that you seal up any cracks in the walls and make it impossible for them to get into tight areas where they can get stuck. Many emergency service calls have been made to rescue a Tabby that has wandered into an area that they can’t get out of.
Some have even managed to work their way into walls and tight crawl spaces where their owners could not reach them. Your Tabby will also investigate cupboards, drawers, closets and the great outdoors if you let them outside. A Tabby will always be curious, but thankfully, as they grow and mature, they learn more about what is dangerous and what is safe. They aren’t a lot different than small children, with the exception that they can worm their little bodies into much smaller spaces.
12. Tabbies will frighten you
It’s important to note that Tabbies are wonderful and friendly pets, but they do have a prankster side to them. As with most things in life, you have to take the good with the bad. Don’t be surprised if your Tabby gives you a few good frights along with way. They are notorious for making noises in the house through the wee hours of the morning.
If you think that a burglar might be breaking into your home, it could very well end up being your Tabby, doing something naughty in the kitchen or living room. It isn’t much fun to wake up to a loud crash in the middle of the night, but with a Tabby, it could happen. Try to teach your cat to stay off of counter tops to help alleviate some of these problems.
Remember, you have an inquisitive cat that doesn’t care if he knocks over a few pots and pans while you’re sleeping. Tabbies have also been known to jump out of the dark at their owners when they’re feeling playful. When you’re least expecting it, your cat will spring out in hopes of catching you unawares so don’t be too surprised if this happens from time to time. Aren’t Tabbies amazing pets?
13. Pet Taxi’s are required
A Tabby has a need to know and even if the cat loves to travel, it’s important to keep him contained in a small area when you travel. An open car window is an invitation for him to jump out to see what’s outside of the car. This could be tragic if the car is moving or if you’re in heavy traffic at a stop light. Your cat won’t stop to consider the potential consequences.
When you’re driving, the last thing you need is to have a cat bouncing from front to back and getting down by the brake and gas pedals. A Tabby is not likely to quietly lie in the back seat. in fact, you can depend on him to act like a pinball as you’re going down the road. The next issue from not keeping your travelling cat in a pet taxi is that as soon as the car stops and the door opens, he’s going to split.
This is more likely to happen if he isn’t enjoying the ride and just wants to get away from the car. It’s highly recommended that you always transport a Tabby in a pet taxi.
14. Tabbies refuse to be ignored
It won’t matter that you’re busy working on a project or talking on the phone. A Tabby will insist on getting the attention that he thinks he deserves. He’ll find a way to get your attention when he thinks the time is right. Tabbies are known to be attention hogs, so don’t be shocked if he comes in between you and your significant other physically. They’re great at insinuating themselves into any situation and Tabbies do get jealous when their special person is paying attention to someone else.
15. Tabbies come in a variety of colors
You can find Tabby cats in grays, blacks, orange and a variety of different colors. Some are very unique because the patterns can incorporate a variety of colors. They have swirls, dots, patches, chevrons and various different patterns and color combinations. Among the most common are gray and orange though. This great variety is what makes Tabbies so popular. If you look hard enough, you can find a beautiful Tabby with unique and distinct coat markings that sets him or her out from the rest.
16. Some Tabbies have spots
If you look really close, you might be able to find spots on your tabby cat. Some Tabbies are very unique and have distinct spots on their coats that are round, oval or a combination of these shapes. If you’re really into spotted Tabbies, you might want to consider checking out the Ocicat breed or the American Bobtail. They are beautiful cats that could make you the envy of the neighborhood.
Tabbies with spotted markings often resemble something that you would expect to see in the wild. These types are not as common as most other kinds of Tabby, but if you’re really interested, start looking for one of the two breeds mentioned, but you’re probably going to have to pay a decent price for one.
17. Some Tabby Types are named after a fish
While not a breed, some Tabbies have a unique coat pattern that is known as a Mackerel. If this sounds fishy, you’re on the right track. Mackerel types have vertical patterns and stripes over most of their bodies. Narrow strips run parallel down their sides. The stripes are regular with no breaks in between and their tails chests and legs have ringed stripes. The reason that the pattern is called a Mackerel is because they look a lot like the skeleton of a fish. These Tabbies are not the most common, but if you find one, they’re sure to become a conversation starter in your home.
18. Some Tabbies sparkle in the sun
Abyssinian or Agouti Tabbies have an amazing shimmer when they are in bright sunlight. The Abyssinian breed has a coat that is made up of Agouti hair that features a variety of color shades which shimmer in sunlight. No, they’re not vampires that sparkle in sunlight, but they are uniquely beautiful. This type of Tabby coat is known as the ticked type. Did you ever think that there would be so many different types of Tabby cat in the world?
19. Tabbies also come in Tortie
Tortoise shell type cats are beautiful in their own right, but when you have a tortie Tabby, you have something very special. Tortie, also known as torbie Tabbies are easy to spot because they usually feature patches of red and brown Tabby markings on the face, head and legs. If you’re into wonderful variety, then you’ll love the tortie type Tabby.
20. Tabby cats are steeped in folklore
Have you ever noticed that a lot of Tabbies have an M pattern that sits between their eyebrows? While not all have this feature, many of them do. In addition to this, some have black lines around their eyes that make it look like eyeliner has been applied to them. According to folklore, this is said to originate from Egyptian folklore because it closely resembles the “Eye of Ra.” This adds a mysterious element to these special kinds of Tabbies.
You can also read:
- 20 Things Only Tabby Cat Owners Understand
- 20 Fun Facts About The Brown Tabby Cat
- What Exactly is a White Tabby Cat?
- 20 Fun Facts about Orange Tabby Cats
- Five Things You Didn’t Know about the Calico Tabby