Tabby cats are very popular as domestic pets as their markings are very interesting and distinctive. They tend to have brown and orange coats and so it is quite unusual to find a grey tabby cat and this makes them all the more interesting. Here are 10 facts that you may not know about the grey tabby cat.
1. They Are Not Actually A Breed
Tabby cats are not a breed in their own right, their coat can be found on any breed of cat. If you are not sure which breed your tabby cat is then a vet should be able to tell you this.
2. They Are Descended From Wildcats
The genetics of tabby cats can be traced back to the time when they would have lived in the wild. It is thought that they first started to be kept as domestic pets sometime in the 17th Century. They were particularly popular in Europe and this popularity remains today. They were introduced to North America when they were taken over by people from Europe who left their homes to settle in the New World.
3. Their Coats Would Have Helped Them In The Wild
It is thought that the patterns on their coat may have developed from the time when they did live in the wild. The markings on their coats would have acted as camouflage and helped them to hide from predators.
4. Their Coats Are Actually Black
All tabby cats have black coats, it is just the pigments in the hair that gives the appearance of different colors. If you look at the hairs that your cat sheds then you will notice that they are black at the root.
5. There Are A Number Of Myths Surrounding The M On Their Heads
Tabby cats are known for the marking on the top of their heads that resembles the letter M. There are several myths about how this marking came about. In Ancient Egypt cats were believed to be god like creatures and the M was thought to represent the word Mau which is Egyptian for cat.
Another myth comes from the fact that a tabby cat was said to have slept in the manger with baby Jesus to keep him warm and the M is a symbol of gratitude from Mary. It is not just Christianity that has these myths as in Islam they believe that the M appears due to the protection that a cat offered to Mohammed.
6. Grey Tabby’s Have Distinctive Personalities
Tabby cats have distinctive personalities and so no tabby cat is the same as another. Their personality may be down to the particular breed that the cat belongs to. However, anyone that has ever owned a cat knows that every cat has something about them that makes them special and different from other cats that you may own.
7. There Are Four Types Of Tabby Coats
The markings on each tabby cat is different but they can all be categorised into four different types. The four different types are blotched, mackerel, ticked and spotted. Each type has a different pattern on their coat and this is where the names come from.
8. The Name “Tabby” Is Associated With Silk
It is thought that the name tabby cat comes from the Arabic word for silk. Atabi was a type of silk that was produced in Baghdad. When this silk began to be imported to the British Isles people noticed that it has the same texture as the tabby cats fur. At the time they were known as tiger cats before the name tabby started to be adopted.
9. They Love To Eat
Tabby cats love their food and they are not fussy about what they eat. They will eat anything that is put in front of them and will also keep eating until there is no food left. The combination of these factors means that it is not unusual for domestic tabby cats to have problems with their weight.
10. They Can Be Very Lazy
A tabby cat will not do anything that requires too much effort and they are known for being quite lazy. They do have some nocturnal traits. Owners often notice that they spend a lot of the day snoozing, only waking up when they are hungry.
You can also read:
- 20 Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About Tabby Cats
- Science Reveals How Tabby Cats Get Their Stripes
- Debunking All the Myths about the Mackerel Tabby Cat
- What Exactly is a White Tabby Cat?