Facts on a Tabby cat’s Personality, including information on mackerel, orange, & grey kinds!

Tabbies are very popular among cats. Thus, understanding a Tabby cat's personality is important regardless of which kind you get.

When it comes to physical attributes, tabbies are indeed one of the cutest breeds you can get.

One of their most distinguishing features is the unique M-shaped mark on their forehead.

Many people often think that tabbies represent a cat breed. However, the truth is, the name ‘tabby' represents a coat pattern and not a breed.

Thus, different breeds of felines can have tabby patterns. Moreover, some pet owners prefer to call them ‘tabbies' regardless of their breed.

While some pet owners prioritize the appearance of a kitty in choosing a pet, some instead focus on the pet's behavior.

Although it doesn't denote a particular breed, tabby cat personality is entirely exclusive to tabbies. 

The tabby pattern can be traced back to the coloration of their direct ancestors which include the African wildcat, European wildcat, and Asiatic wildcat.

However, the origin of its name is still unclear.

Whether you prefer a pet's behavior over its appearance or the other way around, you can never go wrong with tabbies:

Tabby Cat Patterns and Coat Colors

why are orange tabby cats so affectionate

Tabbies are domestic kitties that feature a coat with distinctive stripes, lines, dots or swirling patterns.

The pattern of the coat is determined by the agouti gene which is responsible for giving either light or heavy pigmentation to each hair.

A tabby kitty may have stripes only, or it can also have any combination of stripes, spots, lines, and swirls.

Currently, there are four tabby patterns known to be genetically distinct. These are the following:


Also called ‘blotched’ pattern, classic tabby coat resembles a marble cake due to its wide stripes that curve over the flank and shoulders.

Three large stripes run from the shoulder blades to the tail’s base.


It has vertical stripes that gently curve on the side of the body. Narrow stripes are either continuous or broken into spots running perpendicular to the spine.

This attribute gave them the name ‘mackerel' due to their fishbone-like stripes.


This pattern has distinct round spots that become more apparent against the background of lighter fur.


Sometimes called ‘agouti' or ‘stripeless,' this pattern has almost no stripes because the hair has distinct bands of color on them.

This gives the coat a sand-like appearance. However, if you look closely, you'll notice some very thin stripes on their face, tail, and legs.

You can determine the color of a tabby by looking at its stripes and the tip of its tail. Additionally, tabbies comes in colors such as:

mackerel tabby personality


Orange tabby is probably the most popular among this type of felines.

It is characterized by orange markings on a coat of different patterns like classic, mackerel, ticked and spotted.


Markings in grey color are also common among tabby cats. The markings become more prominent against a lighter shade of coat.


Ginger tabbies are often mistaken for orange tabbies due to their resemblance in color. However, ginger tabbies have dark orange markings in contrast to the bright orange markings of the orange tabbies.


Classic tabbies typically have brown stripes and curves. However, brown markings are also standard in spotted tabby pattern as well.


Black markings become more visible against an opposite coat color such as silver or bright orange.

Personality and Behavior of Tabbies

grey tabby cat personality

Tabbies are more than their gorgeous appearance. 

Domestic cats are mainly known for their intelligence and affection towards their humans.

However, tabbies possess more desirable characteristics that most owners wish in a pet.

The traits of a Tabby cat's personality  greatly varies from one to the next because they borrow the traits of their parents.

Although tabbies are not a specific breed, they do have behaviors and traits in common.

Tabbies are fast learners and can quickly adapt to a lifestyle.


Tabby cat personality

Tabbies are friendly by nature, and they love to hang around people. Moreover, they are incredibly playful. 


Despite their friendly personality, they tend to get deeply attached to the person who spends the most time with them.

Felines are creatures of routine, and it is likely that they form affection towards that person whom they interact with every day.


Tabbies are responsive pets which makes them easier to train than other feline pets.


Some kitties are too aggressive and possessive that they hardly get along with other pets in the house.

However, tabbies are far removed from that behavior. They can get along well with other kitties and even dogs in the house.


why are orange tabby cats so affectionate

They are often referred to as the ‘dogs of cats’ because they are more active and playful than other kitties.

With their enthusiastic behavior, they love to explore the outdoors, climb some trees and play with you all the time.

If you’re planning to get a tabby for a pet, make sure to commit some time to play with them.


Tabbies are known to be merry and playful, but they also have their dull moments.

If your usual cheerful tabby suddenly turns gloomy, just let it be. It's just a matter of time before it reverts to its usual self.

However, if the behavioral change lingers longer than expected, you may need to consider the possibility of a health problem.

Why Are Orange Tabby Cats So Affectionate?

mackerel tabby personality

Orange tabbies are one of the most preferred colors among tabby cats. 

Orange tabbies are well-loved because of their affectionate nature. Most domestic kitties, regardless of their breeds, are mostly affectionate.

However, nothing can compare to the affection of orange tabbies. 

Some animal experts believe that a cat's colors have something to do with its personality. So, what does the color orange denote?

The orange color symbolizes an optimistic and affectionate personality that inclines fun, excitement, and stimulation.

Mackerel Tabby Personality

Tabby cat personality

Mackerel tabbies are also favorite among cat lovers. Moreover, this may be beyond their fishbone-like markings.

A Mackerel tabbies' personality resembles that of a dog.

Just like dogs, mackerel tabbies love to be around people and play with them. If you’re patient and determined enough, you can even train them to perform easy tricks.

They are particularly adventurous felines, and they can be ideal companions for hiking or casual strolling.

If you decide to get a mackerel tabby, be sure to have sufficient time to play with it.

Moreover, never leave them unsupervised in the outdoors because they tend to explore unfamiliar places.

Grey Tabby Cat Personality

why are orange tabby cats so affectionate

Remember when we told you about the link between coat color and personality? 

Grey is the exact opposite of orange. From the perspective of color psychology, grey is the symbol for boredom, indecisiveness, detachment, and laziness.

Grey tabby cat personality is known for being quite lazy, and they tend to refuse anything that requires too much effort.

On the brighter side, they can be a perfect pet for those who prefer a quiet pet that won't bother them.

However, If you decide to adopt a grey tabby, you’ll need to regulate their diet since they lack physical exercise.

Sedentary kitties are at higher risk of obesity and other health issues. However, you can help minimize these risks by providing a well-balanced diet.


A tabby cat's personality makes them a fascinating addition to any household.

Moreover, if you're looking for an affectionate pet that can mingle with people and other animals, tabbies are the answer.

Since tabby patterns are standard in all feline breeds, tabby cat personalities differs from one kitty to another.

Despite the complexity of their physical features and behaviors, tabbies still have some things in common.

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