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Tabby cat personality: What are they like?

Have you ever heard of tabby cats? I am sure you have because many cats identify with that name. Have you ever wondered, “what’s the tabby cat’s personality like?” However, as many tabby cats as there are in the world, guess what? It’s not a specific breed but a type of coat pattern! Just as there are cats with monocolored, bicolor, or even tricolor fur, striped cats are known as tabbies.

If you’re interested in learning more about these beautiful furries, I’ll tell you everything you need to know to become a tabby cat expert.

What is a tabby cat?

It is an adorable cat with a distinctive striped coat, found in many different cat breeds. The pattern is due to a mutation of the Agouti gene, which determines the distribution of black pigment in the base coat of a cat. This gene is dominant and, when present in both parents, results in a striped litter, and although all cats may be tabby, they will not necessarily all have the same pattern. There are different types of tabby patterns.

All variants share the dark color of the markings, whether stripes or dots, on a lighter coat, which makes their fur stand out. In addition, all tabby cats will always carry a mark in the form of the letter M on the forehead. This “M” is undoubtedly their mark of identity.

Classic tabby

The coat of these cats is distinguished by broad stripes that follow a circular or spiral pattern on the sides, resembling a target on both sides. Cats with this pattern are usually brown with black, known as marble.

tabby cat personality - classic

Spotted tabby

As you can imagine, these cats don’t have stripes but spots! If you draw an imaginary line between the spots, you will notice that they are distributed linearly, so we could say it is a broken line. Usually, the spots are outlined by a line darker than the center color, and these spots are called rosettes.

Cat breeds with this pattern are usually exotic, as only a few have it. Among them are the beautiful Bengal cat and the Australian Mist.

tabby cat personality - spotted

Mackerel tabby

These beautiful cats are very similar to the classic tabby, with the difference that the stripes go in a vertical direction from head to tail in thin lines. And on their legs and around the tail, the marks have a ring pattern that adorns these kitties very well.

Ticked tabby

These cats are inquisitive because although they are tabby, they do not look like it. You will have to get very close and pay attention to distinguish that each hair in their coat has dark and light coloration bands. Each strand has a tabby pattern rather than the coat as a whole. This pattern makes the cat appear one color, although lighter in some body areas. These are also agouti tabby cats, as the gene responsible for this color pattern.

tabby cat personality - ticked

Patched tabby

These cats are also somewhat peculiar because instead of having fine lines, they have thick dark brown or grayish and red or orange patches, one after the other, extensive stripes like a classic tabby pattern. These cats are also known as tortoiseshell or torties because they resemble tortoise shells.

Can one speak of a tabby cat personality?

Since it is not a specific breed of cat but only a coat pattern, we cannot say that all tabby cats have a particular personality since this corresponds mainly to their breed. Of course, it also depends on the environment and the conditions in which they have been raised and live. But if you are interested in having a tabby cat, you can check the personality of their protagonists, the cats that, by excellence, have the famous tabby pattern.

American Shorthair

These classic tabby cats are very playful and quickly become the perfect pet because they are very docile and easy to train. These cats came to the American continent from Europe aboard ships, where they had an essential job. They were the mousers in charge of keeping everything in order. And just like their ancestors, ASHs still enjoy hunting small prey, whether a toy mouse or a real one.

If you are looking for an independent cat but at the same time looking for love, they are your best option, and they are perfect companions for families with children and other pets.


These furries are undoubtedly beautiful. They look like miniature leopards! Not only do they have lean, athletic bodies, but they are also super active and more than playful. They are brilliant, and games that challenge their minds are great for them. Don’t let their wild appearance fool you, as these guys are very affectionate and gentle with anyone. Bengals will always be looking to spend a good time with their family, preferably if it involves long play sessions.

tabby cat personality - bengal

With a Bengal cat, you won’t have dull days, but make sure you close the bathroom door when you shower because these guys love water and won’t hesitate to join you as soon as they see the opportunity. Can you guess the type of tabby they are? Yes, a spotted tabby!


Now it is the turn of a ticked tabby. The Abyssinian is known for being energetic and always ready to play with everyone and everything. They are the typical cat that will knock everything over and enjoys being the center of attention. Although they are independent cats, they love and act silly to entertain their audience.

They enjoy spending time with their owners. However, they prefer to be accompanied from a distance or sit on the side rather than being carried. Give them their space.

Maine Coon

These giant cats are a bundle of love with paws. They are a trendy breed because, in addition to their distinguished size, they have a great poise that makes them look elegant, and they are very intelligent little guys who love to spend time with their family. Of course, once a cat trusts its humans, it is the most loyal cat in the world.

tabby cat personality - maine coon

They are very curious, will follow you everywhere, and try to be part of your daily activities. And just like the Bengal, they love water, so be careful when you turn on the faucet, or you will have them there waiting for their moment to get wet.

These cats can have different colored coats, and it is common to find several with a mackerel tabby pattern.

Tabby cat personality: The bottom line

Now you know that tabby cats aren’t a breed, and you can’t generalize their personality, but we hope this article has helped you know a little more about the typical behavior of some of the most popular and loved tabby cats. And if you are considering adopting one of these beautiful furballs, remember to visit your nearest shelter! There are always plenty of kitties in need of a loving home.

What do you think? Do you already have a favorite? If you have a tabby cat at home, tell us what its personality is like in the comments!

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