Fascinating Origin of Tabby Cat Markings

One theory suggests tabby markings mimic those of wild cats like tigers, lynx, and ocelots. Early cats may have bred with wild felines.

Wild Cat Link 

The distinctive stripes and swirls of tabby cats may have naturally evolved as camouflage for hunting prey in the wild.


While varied, tabby patterns fall into three main types: mackerel, classic, and spotted. Each has a distinct stripe appearance.

Three Pattern Type

However they originated, tabby markings are beloved today. Tabbies make up the majority of household cats.

Beloved Markings

No two tabby coats are exactly alike. Their swirled stripes and spots create an abstract, signature look on each cat.

Unique Swirls

With their bold vertical stripes, mackerel tabby cats show the closest resemblance to wild tigers.

Tiger Link

The spotted or broken tabby pattern is thought to mimic that of wild lynx cats. Both share a spotted belly and barred legs.

Lynx-Like Look

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