A black tabby is a coat color type in cats. It consists of black stripes, swirls, or spots against a lighter ground color. Existing since the beginning of feline domestication, black tabbies continue to flourish even today – thanks to the love and admiration they get due to their beautiful patterns and ideal temperament. To let such adorers know more about them, we have compiled a list of 10 interesting black tabby cat facts they might not know!
Black Tabby Cat Facts
1. Black Tabby Coat Shows up in Several Cat Breeds
The black tabby cat is not a breed, but many breeds can come in a black tabby coat. Though the coat is most prevalent in purebreds, if the genetics are all right, it can exist in mixed litters too.
Some of the most common breeds found in the black tabby coat include:
- American Curl
- American Shorthair
- Devon Rex
- Domestic Longhair
- Domestic Shorthair
- Exotic Shorthair
- Maine Coon
- Oriental Shorthair
2. Five Different Patterns Exist in Black Tabby Cats
Like all tabbies, there are five distinct patterns found in black tabby cats, each having its own special markings all over the body. All patterns vary slightly, from simple stripes to spots, whorls, and even more.
To be a bit more specific, here are all five black-tabby patterns:
- Classic: A lot like a marble cake, black classic tabby cats, have bold but swirling patterns along their sides.
- Mackerel: Resembling tigers, black mackerel tabby cats have narrow stripes running down parallel to their sides.
- Patched: This pattern is also known as tortoise or tortie tabby. Its main feature is the occurrence of separate tabby patches.
- Spotted: Like leopards, spotted tabby cats have broken stripes.
- Ticked: This pattern does not have traditional stripes or spots. Instead, the entire coat looks to be hued in a solid color except for the face, tail, and, in some cases, paws.
3. Black Tabby Cats Have an ‘M’ on the Forehead
A distinctive marking common to all tabbies, black tabby cats also have an ‘M’ carved on their foreheads. Consisting of four different lines just above the eyes, regardless of the tabby pattern discussed above, it becomes very easy to differentiate between a tabby and a normal cat even if the stripes or other markings have faded.
Furthermore, various myths and theories are trying to answer how tabby cats got the M. Though the science says that genes are responsible for it, myths and theories lay their emphasis more on past legends.
4. Black Tabby Cats Are Very Social
When it comes to personality, tabbies are exceptionally social, friendly, sassy, and happy-go-lucky cats. They love the company of human beings and form close bonds even with the children. They get friendly with other pets and animals quite easily. Perhaps, one of the best social traits they have is their ability to befriend several people and animals instead of being selective.
Black tabby cats are no different – you will often find them coming close to you and showing their affection by rubbing themselves against you, even if you are a complete stranger!
5. Black Tabby Cats Have ‘Big’ Personalities
Most people describe their tabbies as creatures with large personalities and temperaments, i.e., they possess a wide range of emotions and feelings. And, to add icing to the cake, they are also quite expressive, like the York Chocolate. Black tabby cats exhibit the same demeanor as a part of the tabby family.
They also happen to have mood swings and may instantly disappear from the sight of their owners. However, by and large, they are very playful.
6. Black Tabby Cats Have the Origin of Their Name in Iraq
The name ‘tabby’ originated when the coat pattern of tabbies was compared with the famous silk taffeta cloth that was the specialty of Al-Attabiya District, an old Baghdad City in Iraq. The wavy pattern and unique design were quite close to the tabby coats in appearance. Hence, the name ‘Attabiya’ was given to tabbies which evolved until the 17th century, when it was finally twisted into ‘tabby.’
7. Black Tabby Coat Serves a Purpose
Since black tabby cats have distinct patterns, as discussed above, their coat appears to be somewhat similar to that of cats in the wild, i.e., tigers and cheetahs. Hence, the black tabby coat serves the purpose of camouflage effectively when it comes to hiding and hunting. The marking and color make these kitties blend with the territory and remain hidden from their prey which mostly includes rats, mice, and birds. This is also the reason why tabby cats make awesome hunters.
8. Black Tabbies Have a Connection With Magic
Black cats are often associated with black magic because they have been the favorite of witches for a long time. In fact, it is said that black cats work as a right hand for their black magician masters and stand firmly by their wishes and whims. In theory, black cats have acted as some kind of a demon creature that assists magic.
This naturally enhances the importance of black tabby cats when it comes to sorcery – having melanistic black stripes, black tabby cats are rumored to be in the good books of witches and black magicians.
9. Black Tabby Cats Love Scratching
Though scratching is a normal, instinctive behavior in cats, tabbies, in particular, are fierce scratchers and are known to tear up whatever comes their way. Hence, to keep them off the precious items such as furniture, one must make sure of the availability of scratching posts or cat trees with scratching posts for their tabby pets to release their urge to tear. However, fortunately, since tabby cats are very intelligent, it is quite easy to train them on how to use scratching posts.
10. Black Tabby Cats Prefer a Neat and Clean Environment
Like all tabbies, black tabby cats are freaks when it comes to being neat and clean all the time. Although they are not quite into the water and baths, you will often find them busy doing different kinds of grooming activities. Nevertheless, they expect their owners to do the main cleaning chores regularly, such as maintaining the surroundings and cleaning the litter box. You might find your tabby scratching or even kicking the waste out of the litter box if you do not remove it on a regular basis.
Now that you have read it all about black tabby cats, you may want to take a look at Interesting Facts About Orange Tabby Cats.