Humans tend to find patterns in everything around us – it’s just our instinct to have the world make sense, and associations between a cat’s personality and coat pattern are just one of those things! So while many people have suspicions or beliefs about tabby cats, is there any truth to them? Are tabby cats aggressive?
Tabby cats aren’t necessarily more aggressive than any other type of cat. There has been no evidence to support a link between cat behavior and coat color or pattern, so the idea that tabby cats are more aggressive or more affectionate than other cats is simply a myth.
Does a cat’s coat color or pattern influence personality?
Not at all! According to a study conducted by the University of California, no particular type of cat was more aggressive than any other.
Despite the lack of a scientific link between coat and behavior, many people still hold superstitious beliefs about cat coat color. Of course, some of these are positive, but some negative beliefs can be to the detriment of these animals.
For example, the belief that black cats are a bad omen leads to many black cats being looked over for adoption! However, prospective cat owners can rest assured that this superstition, along with the idea that tabby cats are more aggressive, just doesn’t hold water.
What are some common myths about tabby cats?
Some cat owners believe tabby cats are more aggressive, but others think just the opposite! So what are some other beliefs about tabby cats and their behavior?
- Tabby cats are more affectionate than other cats. Just like the “tabbies are more aggressive” myth, this isn’t true! As personality varies from cat to cat with no relation to coat color, a tabby cat can be just as friendly or just as aggressive as any other cat. Many factors are at play in determining a cat’s personality, but a coat isn’t one of them.
- Orange tabby cats are lazy or unintelligent. This is a popular myth concerning the orange tabby cat. While we know this doesn’t have any basis in fact, silly orange tabbies are cute either way! A popular lazy orange tabby is pop-culture legend Garfield – perhaps this is where this belief comes from!
- All orange tabby cats are male. While it’s more likely that an orange tabby will be male, there are female orange tabbies as well! Though females only make up about 20% of orange tabbies, they do exist! The orange gene is sex-linked and recessive, so it’s more unlikely for a female cat to have an orange gene on both X-chromosomes.
- Tabby is a color. “Tabby” refers to a coat pattern, not a color. In fact, tabby cats can come in many different colors! Brown tabby is very common, but orange and grey tabbies also exist. There are various tabby patterns as well!
Are tabby cats common?
Yes, tabby cats are incredibly common! Approximately 70% of all cats have tabby markings – perhaps that’s why there are so many (sometimes contradictory) myths about them floating around out there!
The tabby coat pattern is a genetically dominant trait, which is what makes this coat pattern so widespread among domestic cats!
What kinds of tabby patterns are there?
There are several varieties of tabby coat patterns, including:
- Mackerel. These cats have parallel narrow stripes down their sides in a vertical pattern. Some people call these guys “tiger cats”!
- Blotched. These tabbies have circular swirling patterns on their sides that resemble a bullseye or marbled desserts.
- Spotted. These cats have spots on their sides. The spots can be part of mackerel stripes and come in various sizes.
- Tickled. Sometimes called an Abyssian or agouti tabby, these cats don’t have visible stripes or spots, but a close inspection of their fur will reveal the stripes on each hair.
- Patched. These cats have patches of tabby fur alongside tortoiseshell coloring. A very unique-looking cat!
Do tabby cats make good first pets?
Since tabby cats make up most of the cat population, I would say yes! Cats are generally regarded as good first pets, as they are more low-maintenance than dogs and can have more unsupervised time. Cats also typically require less training than dogs, making raising a new kitty less overwhelming and involved!
Of course, you shouldn’t pick a cat on looks alone. It’s most important to find a cat that has a personality that will mesh with yours and integrate well into your lifestyle. For example, some cats are bold and friendly, while others and shy and quiet. No matter what you choose, a cat can be a wonderful addition to your life!