Monday, January 4, 2016

Which came first, the pyramids in Egypt or the tabby cat?

January is Tabby Tuesdays! All tabby cats big and small get 50% off their adoption fee every Tuesday for the month of January!

In celebration of “Tabby Tuesday” I decided to do a little research on these guys. Tabby is one of the most common coat types found in the feline world. However, “common” is one word I would not use to describe these guys. So what exactly defines a tabby coat cat?

Mackerel Tabby
Spotted Tabby
Marbled Tabby
Ticked Tabby

One tail-tell sign that a cat has a tabby coat pattern is the distinctive marking of an “M” that appears on the forehead. While sometimes this marking can appear faint, or be partly obscured, all tabby cats do have the mark in some capacity. Tabby can occur as one of four types of body markings: mackerel, marbled, ticked, or spotted. The tabby coat pattern is recognized in at least 25 different breeds of cats, including the Egyptian Mau. Some cat fanciers believe the Egyptian Mau is directly descended from the original domesticated cats in Egypt.

There is another domestic cat that is rumored to go back even further than those of the Egyptians. This cat is known as the Cyprus Cat, hailing from the place of it's name, Cyprus. The oldest mummified cat found here, predates Egyptian depictions of cats by 4,000 years. This dates back all the way to the Byzantine Empire! This cat also seems to have been predominately depicted at a tabby coated cat.

The colorful coat pattern of the tabby cat makes it a supreme hunter, their coat is a natural camouflage to help them become invisible while hunting. Some of our favorite wildcats today would also be considered to have tabby coats, some examples are: Tiger (mackerel) Ocicat (spotted),  Bornean bay cat (ticked), King Cheetah (marbled). It seems our tabby is getting more and more interesting!

So the next time you see a tabby, remember that their coat is a banner of pride. They share their stripes and spots with their larger wild cousins, and it's markings were old to cat kind when man was still new. 

In the comments section below, let see some pics and comments about your tabby friends!

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