Grey Tabby Cat – Facts And Fun About Your Tabby
Contrary to popular misconception, a grey tabby is not a breed of cat, but a color and pattern that can be seen in many breeds. Ever since my parents read me Judith Kerr’s books about Mog the cat when I was a child, I’ve always loved Grey Tigers, and the idea of one day having my own Mog is very appealing. But where should I look for a suitable pet and what do I need to know about the health and temperament of silver-striped kittens? In this article, I have collected the latest experience on how this pattern affects and does not affect the cats who wear it.
Types of Grey Tabby Cat
Are you surprised to hear that a grey tabby isn’t just one type of cat? This is true! The breed “grey tabby cat” does not exist. Instead, many pedigree cats, mixed breeds, and cats of unknown parentage may have a silver-striped coat. In addition, grey tabby cats can be classified by exact color and type of stripes, and (or instead) by pedigree. But don’t worry if this seems a bit tedious to you, now we’re making it easy for you!
Grey tabby cats may have:
- Black stripes on a dark grey background.
- Black stripes on a light grey background (aka Silver Tabby).
- Dark grey stripes on a light grey background (also known as blue-silver brindle).
They can also have white spots or be color point breeds like the Siamese. Gray point tabby cats have a visible tabby pattern only on the face, legs, and tail.
Many well-known and lesser-known cat breeds can have grey tabby coats. For example:
- American Bobtail
- American Wirehaired Pointer
- British shorthair
- Maine Raccoon
- Norwegian forest cats
This also applies to many mixed-breed cats and cats of unknown origin (e.g. domestic cats with short and long hair). It is estimated that more than 9 out of 10 domestic cats are crossbred, so most gray tabby cats also fall into this category.
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There are four grey tabby patterns
Finally, it is possible to group grey tabby cats based on the type of stripes they have. The four options are:
The coat pattern of the grey tabby cat comes in three variants: mackerel, classic, spotted, and ticked.
- Mackerel tabby: Also known as the “tiger cat,” the Mackerel tabby is the original wild-type pattern and consists of a dark stripe down the back and a herringbone pattern down the cat’s side. Mackerel tabby is the most common tabby pattern and is dominant, meaning the cat only needs to inherit one copy of the Tm gene to be a mackerel tabby.
- Classic tabby: Also known as spotted or marbled, the classic tabby pattern is recessive to mackerel, meaning the cat must inherit one copy of the classic tabby gene from each parent in order to have the pattern. Grey classic tabby coat consists of a silver background with dark swirls and a round porthole on the sides. The classic tabby pattern first appeared in the Middle Ages.
- Spotted: The spotted gray tabby is a variant of the tabby, but a modifying gene breaks up the characteristic tabby stripes into spots.
- Spotted: Also known as tabby agouti, spotted tabby cats have a gene that hides the tabby stripes, leaving only the agouti coloration underneath. Each hair has streaks of color along the hair shaft. There are few if any stripes on the body, but some faint, thin stripes can be seen on the face, legs, and tail. This can be more noticeable if the cat is heterozygous, meaning her genetic makeup is Ta/Tm or Ta/tb
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The temperament of the Grey tabby cat
All tabby cats have personalities as unique as their stripes. There are cats that love contact, cuddles, and even learning tricks, while others prefer to be independent, exploring and observing their human family from high perches. Interestingly, researchers have looked for associations between coat color and temperament in cats. One study reported that grey and white cats are among the cats most likely to become aggressive around people, in daily interactions, and at vet visits. However, in another study, neither gray fur nor tiger stripes were associated with a significant increase in any behavior.
So the question of whether grey tabby cats have certain personality traits has not yet been clarified. And some scientists are convinced that predictable differences in cat behavior are due to their breed rather than their color.
Why are there so many grey tabby cats?
So these adorable kittens come in all shapes and sizes, and there’s a lot of variation in their exact color and stripe pattern. But how did it come about that the grey tabby pattern is so diverse and widespread? One of the reasons for this is that the brown-grey brindle coat was the cat’s “original” coat. In other words, it’s the fur of the most recent wild ancestor of all domestic cats: the African wildcat. So it came about that striped and grey pigment also spread to domestic cats.
Since then, random genetic mutations have caused variations in the arrangement of the stripes and also eliminated the production of the red pigment, so the once-brown coat has turned grey instead. And these mutations have spread, in part because we love them and find them beautiful. That is why we have made great efforts to reproduce them in new generations of kittens.
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The health of the grey tabby cat
Grey tabbies come from all walks of life, which is reflected in their health and life expectancy. As far as I know, there is no evidence that their fur puts them at higher risk for any specific diseases. Since many cat species can be grey tabby, there are some interesting patterns in cat health in general:
- The most common feline health problems presented to veterinary clinics are dental and gum disease, flea infestations, obesity, traumatic injuries, and skin conditions.
- Non-pedigree cats are more likely to be diagnosed with abscesses and hyperthyroidism than purebred cats.
- A coat disease is diagnosed more frequently in pedigree cats than in short-haired and long-haired domestic cats.
- But overall, neither group has a higher rate of illness.
- When it comes to life expectancy, mixed-breed cats have an advantage. Mixed-breed cats live an average of 14 years, compared to 12.5 years for purebred cats.
We also know that important factors in a cat’s health are:
- A high-quality, age-appropriate diet.
- maintaining a healthy weight.
- spiritual stimulation.
- Opportunities to practice natural behaviors, such as B. scratching.
- Regular preventive health care, such as flea and worming treatments.
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Is A Grey Tabby Cat Right For You?
Since this coat is possible in so many types of cats, I think there’s probably a grey tabby for every cat-loving family!
Although they have a reputation for being aloof and independent, it’s wise to realize that some cat breeds are quite the opposite. For example, Persians are generally very affectionate. And Bengals and Siamese cats are often described as almost canine-like in their love of people and play. So think about the extent to which your cat should or must be independent before committing to a specific breed.
I also think that the specific health issues of some cat breeds deserve special attention. For example, it is known that Manx cats are more likely to suffer from spinal disorders due to the lack of a tail. And cats with flat faces, like Persians, are more likely to have respiratory problems, eye injuries, and dental problems.
Where does the word tabby come from?
The name tabby derives from the 17th-century French word tabis, which in turn comes from tabi (or attābiyy), a type of silk made in Al-ʿAttabiyya, a neighborhood of Baghdad named after the Umayyad governor of Mecca, Attab ibn Asid. This silk was exported to England and on one occasion its patterns were compared to the marks of what was then called the striped cat or tiger cat. As a result, these cats soon became known as tabby cats, later shortened to tabby.
Harrison Weir further elaborates:
The word tabby comes from a type of taffeta or ribbed silk that is given wavy lines during calendering, or what is now called “watering”. In the olden days, this fabric was often referred to as “brindle,” so a cat with streaks or spots in its coat was said to be “brindle.” They could also, one might surmise, be called “taffety cat” with equal justification unless the calendering of “taffety” made them “tabby”. What is certain is that the word “tabby” referred only to markings or stripes, not to absolute color
Frequently Asked Questions About Grey Tabby Cats
What breed of cat is a GREY tabby?
Although American Shorthairs can come in a wide range of colors and patterns, gray tabby cats are one of the most popular. This all-American breed can be traced back to the Mayflower and other working cats that came to the New World with European settlers.
Are GREY tabbies good cats?
A gray tabby cat makes a good housemate
While there are some true feral cats who prefer to avoid human contact, many kittens are friendlier to humans. Or they just stop by because the delicious food and a scratch on their chin do them good.
What are the 4 types of tabby cats?
There are four basic coat patterns for tabby cats: tabby, spotted, and classic, also known as marble. The tabby pattern is the most common and is the pattern that most people think of when they think of tabby cats.
What is special about grey cats?
Muscular and energetic, they live up to their reputation in French literature as excellent mice. They are natural hunters, but they are also good-natured, loyal, and calm. This cat is playful, fun-loving, and good at retrieving. They are also known for familiarizing themselves with their name and responding when spoken to.
Are grey cats usually female?
But when we talk about the gray tabby cat, we know that the coat color will be gray. The tabby pattern can consist of lines, spots, stripes, and whorls. What is that? Gray tabby cats can be either male or female, while orange tabby cats are almost always male.
Are Gray Tabby Cats Friendly?
In general, gray tabby cats are friendly. These kittens are very affectionate and get along well with other pets and children. This is especially true if your gray tabby was bred with other pets and children.
However, there are cases when gray tabby cats do not have a pleasant temperament.
This is the case if the cat has been traumatized or taken medication. Temperament problems can also be the result of a lack of socialization in the early years of life,
How Long Do Gray Tabby Cats Live?
The average life expectancy of gray tabby cats is between 10 and 15 years. However, a few gray tabby cats live up to 20 years.
The exact life expectancy of a gray tabby cat depends on breed, genetics, health, and living conditions.
What are gray tabby cats called?
Other names for gray tabby cats include gray-striped cats and gray tigers. As expected, the alternative spelling works too: gray-striped cats or gray tigers. Additionally, some people refer to gray tabby cats as blue tabby cats.
Are gray tabby cats hypoallergenic?
In general, not all gray tabby cats are hypoallergenic. While there may be some that exhibit hypoallergenic properties, most gray tabbies are not. The reason for this is relatively easy to understand.
The tabby is not a uniform breed of cat. Instead, “brindle” is just the term referring to their coat pattern. This means that tabby cats can be completely different when it comes to being hypoallergenic.
Are gray tabby cats rare?
If you’re in love with gray tabby cats, you’ll be pleased to know that these kittens are fairly easy to find. Gray is not an uncommon color in tabbies.
In fact, gray tabby cats are more common than other colors, including chocolate, cream, lilac, tawny, and lavender.
Do tabby cats lose their fur?
One of the most interesting things about tabby cats is their fur. They can have long or short hair (short hair is more common). Of course, the amount of dandruff depends on the species inherited. The thicker the coat, the more frequently the owner should brush it.
What breed are gray tabby (silver) cats?
The gray tabby is a color and coat pattern, not a breed. Most gray tabby cats are short- or long-haired domestic cats (meaning they are not purebred), but gray tabby is also common in many purebred cats.
The American Shorthair is known for its beautiful gray brindle coat.
Your grey tabby cat
What is your favorite grey tabby breed? Tell us what you think in the comments below!