Tabby Patterns

author Lisa Rowe        Heavenly Muffins

There are four types of tabby coat patterns.  Tabby is not a color or a breed but a pattern and is in many breeds, not just the RagaMuffins.

classic tabby photo courtesy of iCandy RagaMuffins

The classic tabby has bold, swirling patterns along the sides, much like a marble cake. The pattern of circular smudges on the classic tabby’s body closely resembles a bullseye.

A mackerel tabby or “mctabby” has narrow stripes that run in parallel down the sides. This is what some

mctabby photo courtesy of Heavenly Muffins

people refer to as a “tiger cat.” The body has narrow stripes running down the sides in a vertical pattern.  Ideally the stripes are non-broken lines; evenly spaced. They branch out from one stripe that runs along the top of the cat’s back down the spine, resembling a fish skeleton, which is why the term “mackerel” is used to describe it.

spotted tabby photo courtesy of SantaCats Ragamuffins

A spotted tabby has spots all over their sides. These spots can be large or small, and sometimes appear to be broken mackerel stripes. They can be round, oval or rosettes.

ticked tabby courtesy of Mirror Mirror RagaMuffins

A ticked tabby does not have the traditional stripes or spots on the body. This coat pattern has tabby markings on the face and agouti hairs on the body.  If you look up close at the lighter parts of a tabby’s coat, you will see that the individual hairs are striped with alternating light and dark bands, known as the agouti hairs. The ticked pattern is often associated with the Abyssinians.