10 Fascinating Facts About Silver Tabby Cats

Cat Fun June 23, 2024


10 Fascinating Facts About Silver Tabby Cats

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The silver tabby is the most common domestic cat in the world with a white undercoat that accentuates their bright silver fur and bold black markings, giving them an especially striking appearance. Their looks, combined with friendly personalities, make them popular as pets and show cats.

Their pattern offers excellent camouflage and improved survival chances, which is likely why it was worn by the first domesticated cats. There are many breeds that can produce a silver tabby cat but finding the right one for you may take some research.

In this article, we have gathered 10 facts about silver tabby cats that will help improve your knowledge about these good-natured felines.

1. The Tabby Is Not A Cat Breed

silver tabby cat

Tabbies are not an actual breed but the name to describe the unique markings on their coats that set them apart. So while the tabby cat is a category of cats a lot of people wrongly believe that they belong to a particular breed of feline. However your tabby cat may come from a vast selection of strains.

Tabby actually indicates the kitty’s DNA, which explains the reason why you can get a tabby cat out of more or less any strain and at a vast selection of colors. This pattern is considered a dominant trait, so it’s not surprising that the stripy tabby pattern is not only featured across breeds but also many members of community cat colonies.

Male cats get their coloring from their mother’s genes while female cats get a gene from each of their parents. Unlike orange tabby cats, gray tabbies can be found in both sexes equally.

2. They Were Named After Baghdad Silk

silver tabby kitten laying on the back

Tabby cats got their name by being compared to silk from the “Attabiy” district in Baghdad, and the 14th century Middle French term for it was “atabis,” which then became “tabis,” and went on to become our English word, “tabby.”

Although the exact word origin varies, there are several possibilities.

3. They Have The Characteristic “M” On Their Heads

tabby cats have a distinctive "M" On Their Heads

Countless legends surround that distinguished “M” that tabby cats have on their foreheads. However, the explanation lies within the genes. The tabby pattern comes in the cat’s DNA, and the “M” marking is a part of the pattern.

The M found on the foreheads of all tabby cats has gotten all kinds of mad explanations through time, including many spiritual explanations, like the ones out of Christianity and Islam. In the Christian version of this story, Mary indicated a tabby cat having an M so they would always be recalled for reassuring a chilly infant Jesus. In accordance with Islamic teachings, a tabby named Muezza rescued Mohammed’s own life by killing a snake that had hidden on his sleeve so all tabbies were given the M marking as a remembrance.

4. The Tabby Pattern Was Worn By The First Domesticated Cats

first domesticated cats wore the tabby pattern

There’s a good reason why the tabby pattern is so prevalent in housecats because this was the pattern that the first breeds of domesticated cats wore. Today, many wild cats still wear this type of pattern, including tigers. It’s a necessary pattern for survival.

Tabbies are said to be the first cats that humans started domesticating for companionship and their hunting skills, most likely by farmers in the Mediterranean who needed help keeping their crops safe from pesky rats.

5. They Have Four Basic Patterns

there are four different coat patterns in tabby cats

Tabby is sort of a catch-all term that is used to describe several distinct patterns. In fact, there are four basic tabby patterns that are all different from one another. Classic tabbies have bold, swirling patterns, while mackerel tabbies have narrow stripes, and spotted tabbies have large or small spots. Ticked tabbies do not have stripes or spots, but have tabby markings on the face and agouti hairs (hairs with more than one band of color) on the body.

  • Classic tabby – Is marbled or blotched with dark stripes and an M forehead mark
  • Mackerel tabby –  Is the most widespread type
  • Spotted tabby – Can be found with spotted or patched patterns.
  • Ticked tabby – Has no stripes and is usually found among Abyssinian cats

6. Tabby Patterns Are Suited For The Wild

Tabby Patterns help the cat survive in the wild

There is a good reason why so many cats in the wild still sport tabby coat patterns. Tigers and leopards both have tabby patterns. The first domesticated cat breeds were also tabbies as mentioned above.  Tabby patterns help camouflage cats when they are hiding in tall grass or brush hunting for prey making it an effective pattern for survival.

7. They Could Have Gray Or Red Pads

tabby cat's pads could be Gray Or Red

Lift up the paw of a silver tabby cat and you have a 50/50 chance of finding either grey or reddish pads. These cats can have pads that are either color on the bottom of their feet, but all the pads on one cat will be one color.

8. They Are Very Social

tabby cats are highly social

Tabbies make great pets, especially for children because of how social and friendly they are. Even though all domestic cats may make a good family pet, tabby cats are known as the first pet cat for children. They tend to love participating in family activities and thrive on being around their human families as well as around other cats or dogs in the home.

In very rare cases, you may find tabby cats to be somewhat shy. These would be cats that usually hide anytime they hear a noise, or keep to themselves. Usually, the more people that enter the room, the more reserved the cat will be.

9. They Have Big Personalities

tabby cats have big personalities that you can't stay immune to

Tabby cats are very good at expressing their feelings and will let you know if they are sad, angry, happy, or playful. They are known for being friendly, intelligent, affectionate, and playful, so their owners are considered lucky, especially by the cat.

In general, tabbies are easy to be around with, they want lots of cuddles, but may also get angry if they don’t get their way. However, because they are smart, they are good at getting what they want in the end.

10. They Are Excellent Hunters

silver tabby cat hunting

Tabbies are hunters by nature, so if f you are in search of a mouser, a tabby may be your new best friend. They just can’t resist the thrill of chasing down and hunting rodents.

As far back as ancient times, humans have been using tabby cats in their homes, barns, and boats for their excellent hunting capabilities. They can easily catch mice, rats, birds, and other small prey that may invade your home.

Final Words

Tabby cats are distinguished and recognizable kitties with many Features that make them cherished companions and pets by people all around the world. While they might seem generic to some people, tabby cat owners know that every kitty has something special to offer.

Amy Brown is a Certified NAVC Pet Nutritionist and pet lover. She is the proud owner of two cats and a dog and her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care, nutrition, and product reviews.
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