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12 Interesting Facts About Black Tabby Cats

12 Interesting Facts About Black Tabby Cats

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Every cat is different and unique in their own way. However, some cats are more popular and some are less so. We already talked in the previous articles about gray tabby and orange tabby cats, but what about the most common tabby cat?

The black Tabby cat is the most common tabby color, and this kitty is considered to be one of the most popular cats. 

This article provides you with 12 facts about these cats that will help you understand why they’re so popular and why are people crazy about them. Enjoy your reading!

#1 A Black Tabby Cat Isn’t A Specific Breed Of Cat

Many people may often get confused when we talk about black tabby cats. Therefore, it is important to say that black tabby cats aren’t a specific breed of cat. In fact, black tabby is simply a term that refers to a specific color pattern that a cat can have; this pattern may appear in many different cat breeds.

So, a black or brown tabby is a cat with very dark or black stripes on a lighter background, such as light gray or cream.

This pattern is often associated with domestic cats, but, as I already mentioned, it’s very common in many different cat breeds.

This color pattern can be present in the following cat breeds:

• Persian cat• Oriental Shorthair cat• Devon Rex
• Maine Coon• American Curl cat• Norwegian Forest cat
• Exotic Shorthair cat• Domestic Longhair cat• Siberian cat
• Abyssinian cat• Domestic Shorthair cat• Bengal cat
• American Shorthair cat• Cornish Rex

The black tabby color pattern is very popular, regardless of whether it is a purebred feline or a domestic one. They definitely have a special charm that makes people crazy about them.

#2 Black Tabby Cat’s Appearance

Although the black tabby is the most common color pattern among cats, it is very special, and cat lovers will never stop being crazy about them.

These cats are characterized by different shapes of black markings over a light-colored background. Their size and other similar physical traits usually depend on the specific breed of cat. 

However, all of them have one thing in common, and that is that while they can have differently shaped markings, they all have the same marking on their forehead. Keep reading to find out what all tabby cats have in common!

5 Distinct Patterns Of A Black Tabby Cat

Every tabby cat is special. They’re all characterized by darker markings on a lighter background. Here are the different types of tabby patterns that a cat can have:

Mackerel tabby – this pattern refers to stripes that run down each side of the cat’s body, and is common in wild cats.

Classic tabby – cats with a blotched or classic tabby pattern resemble a tiger. That means that this pattern refers to broad swirls that run down each side of the cat’s body.

Spotted tabby – this pattern is characterized by oval-shaped spotted markings that can sometimes appear with longer lines. This spotted pattern is also more characteristic of wilder cats.

Ticked tabby – this type of tabby pattern is very unique and special. In this pattern, there are no visible lines or markings, but the pattern appears due to agouti hair. That makes the cat look like it has just one solid color, except for the markings on the forehead, tails, and sometimes paws.

Patched tabby – cats with tabby pattern patches and tortoiseshell markings are called “torbies”. It’s interesting that almost every tortie and torbie cat is a female.

The Stories Behind The M-shaped Marking

Every tabby cat, despite the color or type of tabby pattern, will have an M-shaped marking on its forehead. This allows you to easily recognize a tabby cat no matter which tabby pattern it has. 

However, what’s even more interesting, is that there are many myths and legends about this mysterious M marking on the cat’s forehead:

• In Ancient Egypt, they believed that the M marking represented the word “mau” which means “cat”.

• In Islam, it is believed that the M stands for the prophet Mohammed who respected cats.

• In Christianity, it is believed that the letter M stands for Mother Mary, as a sign of gratitude to a tabby cat for stopping baby Jesus crying.

These are only some of the legends behind the cat’s M mark on the forehead.

READ ALSO: Lilac Tortoiseshell Cat – All About These Stunning Kitties

#3 Black Tabby Cat’s Personality Is The Best

head of black tabby cat

Although a cat’s personality depends on the specific cat breed and its origin, it’s believed that black tabby cats are much lovelier, more curious, and more playful than other cats. 

When you see a black tabby cat, it will almost always be in some sort of action, exploring certain things, playing with something, or similar. That is due to their curiosity and high energy levels. Because of that, these cats are often excellent hunters in nature.

Despite their higher energy levels, these cats still know how to enjoy being in your lap. They are very affectionate, lovely, and friendly and know how to enjoy themselves but they also know how to spend some quality time with their favorite people.

So, if you don’t like cats with extremely low energy levels or cats who won’t leave you alone, then a black tabby cat is a perfect choice for you; perfectly balanced, just as it should be. 

Still, it’s important to mention that black tabby cats can often be extremely vocal. The reason why they meow a lot may be to warn you or remind you about something, or they just like to chat with you. Still, if you don’t like vocal kitties, then maybe this one isn’t your perfect pet cat after all.

#4 Gorgeous Eyes Of The Black Tabby Felines

When you take a look at the black tabby cat, you have to admit that they’re completely stunning. But one thing stands out from their overall appearance, and that is their eyes. 

Black Tabby cats are born with blue eyes, as it is the case with most cats, but when they mature, their eye colors usually change. 

Adult Black Tabby cats will have yellow or green eyes. Their eye shape usually depends on the specific breed of cat, therefore there are cats with round eyes, almond eyes, oval eyes, and similar. Their green or yellow eyes definitely add to their appearance.

#5 Black Tabbies Are Rewarded With A Long Lifespan

12 Facts About Black Tabby Cats That Will Make You Go Crazy
Photo from: @countryternative

Every person getting a new feline friend wants to know the answer to the most important question – what is the cat’s lifespan?

If you’re looking for a furry friend who will stand by your side for a very long period of time, then you won’t regret choosing a black tabby cat. In fact, a cat’s lifespan and health condition usually depend on the specific breed of cat. 

However, domestic black tabby cats are said to have a lifespan of 13-15 years, which is a long period of time. When it comes to their health, they’re the best choice once again. 

There are no specific health issues that black tabby cats are prone to, which is why they have a longer lifespan.

One of the main reasons for that is that black cats genetically have less fat than other cats which prevents them from being obese, an issue that usually leads to more severe problems.

So, getting a black tabby cat actually means getting a healthy, energetic, and friendly feline friend who can enjoy a long life with their favorite human.

#6 Black Tabby – One Of The Most Popular Cat Colors

Not only is the black tabby cat one of the most common colors, but it looks like it’s one of the most popular too. Cat lovers choose black tabby cats for both their beauty and their amazing personalities. 

They often look like miniature tigers with gorgeous green or yellow eyes. They’re intelligent and active but also gentle and calm, which makes them excellent family members, especially for families with small children.

If you’re not looking for a specific breed of cat in this color pattern, adoption is always a good choice. Sadly, but luckily for you, you can find many black tabby cats in adoption and rescue centers waiting for lovely forever homes.

#7 Melanistic Black Tabby – The Twin Cat

black tabby cat with yellow eyes
Photo from: @beles.and.rakli

Another popular color pattern is the black tabby cat’s non-identical twin – melanistic tabby cat.

These cats are very unique and special, and everything unique is also rare. Because of their rarity, these cats are also called ghost cats. But, what do they look like, and why are they rare?

Melanistic Black Tabby cats look like they’re solid black cats, but if you look more carefully you will notice a faded tabby pattern that is barely visible. Their eyes may also appear green or yellow in color.

So, the kitten will be a melanistic tabby cat only if both cat parents possess the gene for black fur. Many people may confuse the two terms melanistic and albino but worry not, as we will clarify that right now.

Melanistic cats have black fur due to the excess pigment in the skin, while albino cats have no pigment at all. 

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#8 Black Tabby Cats Are A Symbol Of Good Luck In Many Cultures

Cats are, along with dogs, one of the most popular domestic animals. Due to their popularity over the years, it’s completely normal that there are many different cat legends and myths, from different cultures.

Just like black, white and orange cats have specific meanings in different cultures, black tabby cats became popular as well and are often a symbol of good luck. Now, let’s see where they are most popular and why!

• In Japanese culture, cats are often associated with positive things and good energy. When it comes to tabby cats, they have a special meaning in their culture. They symbolize good luck, money, and success which is why they’re often gifted to new families or businesses.

In China, tabby cats have an important role because it is believed that these cats can ward off evil spirits and bad energy.

The most famous culture for their love for cats is Ancient Egypt. Cats were sacred animals for ancient Egyptians, and were basically considered representatives of the gods. They also believed that tabby cats possessed magical powers, therefore they treated them with the utmost respect.

• In the United States you can often find a black tabby cat on charms or trinkets, which again means that they’re associated with good luck.

These are only some of the superstitions. Of course, not everyone believes in them. However, they help us realize how popular black tabby cats are and that they represent good luck in many different cultures in the world.

#9 The Older A Black Tabby Gets, The Darker The Coat

angry black tabby cat

Newborn tabby kittens are light-colored with barely noticeable black markings. However, it’s interesting that their coat color changes, just like their eye color. So, while kittens grow and mature, their black markings become wider and darker. 

Some cats may reach full black coats, but this is not the case for every cat. As they mature, the black color gradually spreads over their entire body. Cats that will have a solid black coat may take up to three years to make the transition. 

So, the older a black tabby cat gets, the darker coat it has, which is one of the most interesting facts about these fascinating cats.

#10 The Interesting Story Behind The Name “Tabby”

Why are these cats called tabby and what is the origin of that name? We’re about to find out now.

It’s interesting that the word “tabby” derives from the French word “attaboy” which is translated as “marked with stripes” or “striped”. As our tabby cats are actually marked with stripes, this word became a part of the English language in the early 1600s and was used specifically for cats.

Nowadays, when someone says “tabby” we all know that it refers to a cat as it’s one of the most popular coat patterns that may appear in a variety of colors and markings. Whether they have tiger stripes or cheetah spots, Tabby cats will always be one of the most popular felines that everyone will be able to recognize easily!

#11 These Kitties Are Also Called Black Tiger-Cats

Adorable scottish black tabby cat.

Black Tabby Cats are often called Black Tiger-Cats, especially those with a classic tabby pattern because their markings are almost the same. 

However, what confuses people the most is the difference between a black tabby or a solid black cat and a Bombay cat. These cats appear to be almost the same. However, there are certain differences. Once you see these differences, you cannot unsee them.

The Bombay cat is a specific breed of cat that is characterized by black coat color only. On the other hand, tabby cats may appear in different colors and pattern types. Put simply, every Bombay cat is black, but not every black cat is a Bombay.

#12 Black Tabby Cats As Witches’ Favorite Pets

One of the most popular cat myths and superstitions is that cats were the familiar pets of witches. In fact, cats were their familiars, which is actually a demon in the animal as the accomplice of the witch. 

According to the myths and legends, black cats were almost always related to dark magic and demons. In the media, black cats are always associated with witches. 

Still, many people who believe in such things avoid black cats. Well, I think that black tabby cats are the sweetest cats ever and that they would never harm anyone!

READ ALSO: Rare Cat Colors & Patterns: 23 Stunning Cats (With Pictures)


Is A Black Tabby Cat Rare?

No, Black Tabby Cats aren’t rare. In fact, they are one of the most popular and most common tabby cats. These cats are usually characterized by very dark or black markings on a slightly lighter background.

What Is The Rarest Color In Tabby Cats?

Two of the rarest colors in tabby cats are lilac and lavender. However, these colors are very common for breeds such as the Siamese and others with Colorpoint patterns.

What Is A Ghost Tabby?

A ghost tabby cat is also called a melanistic tabby cat, and it’s characterized by a solid black coat with faded, barely visible tabby markings. These cats are extremely rare because both cat parents need to have a gene for black fur in order for their kitten to have it.

Closing Thoughts On Black Tabby Cats

I hope you find these facts about black tabby cats very interesting and that you have learned something new about these amazing felines.

Black or brown tabby cats are one of the most common and most popular color patterns. They have the amazing appearance but also great personalities which makes people crazy about them.

So, if you would like to have a new feline friend, consider adopting a black tabby cat or get a specific breed of cat in this color pattern, and trust me, you won’t regret it!