Do Tabby Cats Shed?

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Tabby cats do shed, but the amount that they shed depends on their breed. What many people do not know is that the name “tabby” does refer to a particular feline breed or breed combination, it refers to the pattern of fur markings.


What is a Tabby Cat?


A tabby cat is a cat that bears a specific selection of markings, the most recognizable of which is the letter ‘M’ on the forehead. Cats from many breeds can have tabby cat markings, so determining how much a tabby will shed means identifying a cat’s breed.

Tabby cat markings are seen often in the following breeds:

  • American Shorthair
  • Maine Coon
  • Egyptian Mau
  • Domestic Shorthair
  • Serengeti
  • Oriental
  • American Curl
  • Australian Mist
  • Abyssinian
  • Savannah
  • Bengal
  • Ocicat
  • Arabian Mau

The Tabby Cat Coat Markings


In addition to the letter ‘M’ across the forehead, tabby cats also have stripes, spots, whorls, or spiral markings on their coat. These different coat patterns each have names.

The mackerel pattern is a coat that has vertical stripes that resemble zebra stripes.

The spotted pattern is a coat with stripes that go down the paws and legs and a spotted cheetah pattern on the body.

The ticked pattern is a coat that has banded hairs with two or more colors. The ticked tabby has traditional tabby facial markings.

The blotched pattern is a coat that has smudged swirls. This pattern is sometimes called the classic tabby pattern.

The patched pattern is sometimes referred to as the tortoiseshell tabby and is a coat that has separated patches of red tabby markings and brown tabby markings.


The Tabby Cat Coat


As we mentioned above, the tabby cat coat is present in a range of cat breeds, and while most of these breeds are short-haired, there are a few long-haired tabby breeds out there.

Interestingly, short-haired tabby cats seem to shed more than long-haired tabby cats.

Long-haired tabby cats need grooming daily to prevent tangles and mats. Short-haired tabby cats need grooming less often – around once a week – but more regular grooming will help to cut down the amount of hair shed inside your home.

Some of the more frequent coat colors for the tabby include ginger, orange (most orange tabbies are male,) grey, cream, red, brown, black, blue, silver, and tan.


Reducing The Amount Your Tabby Sheds


If your tabby is a heavy shedder, there are some things that you can do to reduce the amount of hair that gets shed throughout your home including:

  • Regular grooming
  • Skin supplements
  • Healthy diet
  • Addressing medical causes of hair loss

Regular Grooming


Regular grooming is one of the best things that you can do to reduce the amount of hair that your tabby sheds throughout your home. Just a bristle brush will help to brush out dead hair from your cat’s coat so that hair does not drop throughout the house.

Regular brushing also helps keep your cat’s coat healthy by stimulating the skin to produce oils that nourish and protect your cat’s fur.


Skin Supplements


Some cats also benefit from skin supplements designed to promote skin health. These supplements are particularly beneficial for cats with skin conditions or allergies because they help to keep the skin supple, elastic, and hydrated.

Skin supplements can also help to regrow hair in cats that have lost hair to an illness or parasite like mange, for example.

Never use human supplements for your cat, and always talk to your veterinarian before giving your cat any supplements as they can interfere with pre-existing conditions and other medications.


Healthy Diet


Maintaining a healthy diet for your cat is another way to keep their skin and coat in good condition. The better condition your cat’s skin and coat are in, the less hair is shed throughout the home.


Addressing Medical Causes of Hair Loss


Lastly, hair loss is sometimes a symptom of a medical condition, and the only way to address that hair loss is to address their medical condition first.

Some of the most common medical conditions that can lead to hair loss in cats include:

  • Fungal infections
  • A parasitic infection (fleas or mites)
  • Stress
  • Thyroid imbalance
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Behavioral disorders
  • Disorders of the immune system

If you suspect that there may be a medical reason for your cat losing hair, it is always best to check in with your veterinarian and explain what is happening. Your vet will likely take a blood panel and urine sample from your cat to determine a diagnosis.


Conclusion / Summary


The tabby cat coat comes in a range of textures, colors, and lengths, so the shedding frequency of a tabby coat can vary wildly. To get a better idea of how much your tabby cat will shed, look at the shedding pattern of your tabby’s breed. For example, a tabby Bengal cat has the shedding patterns of the Bengal cat.                

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