Black Tabby Cat – 20 Interesting Facts (With Pictures)

balck tabby cat

The black tabby cats are one of the oldest and most common cats. Today many of the cat breeds that we can admire include brindle specimens among their coat patterns.  So, here in this article let’s find out 20 Interesting Facts about black tabby cats.

What Exactly Is A Black Tabby Cat?

The tabby cat is a type of cat with soft and short fur dotted with gray, chocolate brown, and also copper tones, marbled and slightly brindle. The tabby cat is one of the most common breeds in Europe and one of the most intelligent. Although they are distrustful and somewhat shy, with their owners they are usually very affectionate and they are cats with a relatively easy character, smart, and they adapt easily to new places and environments, which makes them ideal for living with the family.

balck tabby cat

Types Of Tabby Cat:

The color of the tabby coat is defined by its genetics, and although there are breeds that have a fairly specific variety of colors, the same type of colors can be shared by breeds, just as these colors can have the cats that do not breed.

Tabby cats become favorites of many due to their spectacular color. Fur with brightly marked stripes attracts the attention of others and becomes the main distinguishing feature of the pet. There are several varieties of striped color, each of which has its own special characteristics. See below the types of tabby cats.

balck tabby cat

Marble Tabby:

This cat carries a certain pattern: a continuous line runs from the corner of the eye, forming a pattern on the cheeks; from the back of the head there are lines that, going down to the shoulders, form a pattern in the form of a butterfly. On the neck and chest – necklaces, the more of them, the better. There are three parallel lines on the back, vicious circles on the hips, and spots on the stomach. On the legs, there should be rings of the main color.

balck tabby cat

Black Tabby Cats:

The color of the marks that make up the pattern on the body of the cat is dominated by a black color of a rich deep shade. The area outside the pattern over its entire surface, the chin, and the area of ​​the lips have a silvery tint. The nose leather is outlined in black and painted brick red, but black is also acceptable. Paw pads are black.

Silver Tabby:

The color base color is silver. The only color that cannot be found is solid colors. It is a variation of black that can only be found in brindle. 

balck tabby cat

Brown Tabby:

The base color is brown or orange. All orange-toned cats are tabby, the orange coat pattern does not exist in solid colored cat. Today’s cat breeders are working toward the solid orange hue. However, although we cannot see its streaks with the naked eye, they will always be there, hidden from our eyes but present in its genetics.

Classic Tabby:

This variety of tabby colors in domestic cats is characterized by the presence of narrow stripes that are located along the pet’s spine. It is important to note that usually the stripe that is in the center has a darker shade, and the stripes on the sides are noticeably lighter. In addition, such animals have a pattern on the sides of the body.

balck tabby cat

Mackerel Tabby:

A distinctive characteristics of this striped color are continuous stripes. In addition, they themselves are quite narrow and may have a slight smooth bend. Often on the paws and tails of striped animals that have a mackerel color, you can see small, but clearly defined marks. Another characteristic of Marcel tabby cats is the presence of dark stripes that run from the outer corners of the eyes to the cheeks.

Tiger Stripes Tabby Cat:

This option is the brightest and most colorful among all existing ones. The variety got its name due to the fact that the stripes that pass through the body of the cat are constantly interrupted. In this regard, it may seem that these are not stripes at all, but ordinary spots.

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balck tabby cat

Black Tabby Cat Personality

Before adopting a tabby cat, we must take into account the particularities of its character. In general, he is not an excessively cuddly cat (although he is affectionate), so his ideal companion is someone who understands and respects his independence and tranquility and who does not hug and pamper him excessively. However, it is almost impossible to categorize its character, since it is a breed that is born from multiple natural crosses and natural historical evolution, without artificial crossbreeding processes. And, of course, each animal is a world and has its own personality.

Tabby does not require much care in terms of fur and usually enjoys a long life expectancy. If we are looking for a strong and independent cat that is calm and affectionate, this will be our ideal companion.

The differences in character between tabby cats are those that define each breed. However, many owners of tabbies tell us that they are happy, sweet, and sensitive animals, who like to receive attention from their humans. They will accompany and play with the human chosen by them and will shamelessly ask for everything they want at any given moment, not liking it at all if they do not satisfy their wishes.

balck tabby cat


If you provide proper care and a well-balanced diet then our four-legged friend can easily live up to 18, and sometimes 20 years.

How To Take Care Of A Black Tabby Cat

Remember that by adapting, and settling it in your home, you assume full responsibility for its life and health, so try to follow all care recommendations and maintenance instructions. By doing so you will ensure a long, healthy and active life.


Cat care involves proper feeding. It can be high-quality dry food or canned food, as well as natural food.

Important! It is strictly forbidden to combine cats with food from the table (human leftovers) because this will lead to serious problems with the gastrointestinal tract.

First, you need to decide, and then carefully select the diet. If preference is given to dry food, then it is better to choose the holistic or super-premium lines. Many brands offer food specifically for the British, taking into account their age.

As for natural nutrition, in this case, it is better to give preference to fresh meat. It can be a rabbit, veal, or turkey. It is advisable to prohibit pork, as it is too fatty. Before serving, the delicacy can be doused with boiling water and immediately given to the animal. To make the food more nutritious, it is recommended to use vegetables. It can be pumpkin, zucchini or carrots. Some people grind the meat in a meat grinder, then twist the vegetables and make vegetable-meat meatballs, which the four-legged eat with pleasure.

balck tabby cat

Hygiene Procedures:

Cats need to be bathed periodically. This should be done in warm water and using only those detergents that are designed specifically for cats. In addition, do not forget to brush your cat’s hair regularly, especially for breeds that have long hair. It is also necessary to regularly trim the claws of the animal.


Remember about the regular treatment of the cat from worms, fleas and other harmful microorganisms. At least once every six months, show the animal to the veterinarian, and at the first manifestations of the disease, immediately go to the veterinary clinic, and in no case self-medicate.

Also, consider the behavioral characteristics of the breed. For example, some species need outdoor walks (in which case you need to purchase a leash and schedule walks), other animals, on the contrary, love peace and quiet, so you should not constantly try to pick them up or play with them.

balck tabby cat


In general, tabby cats need the same grooming activities as pets of any other color. So, first of all, the care and maintenance of the animal should be based on the characteristics of a particular breed. However, there are general rules that must be followed if you are the owner of a tabby cat of any breed and variety.

20 Interesting Facts about a black tabby cat

1. Striped Color Is Due To The Dominant Gene:

Any striped color is due to the dominant gene – tabby, which, having different markers, is expressed either in continuous lines or in spots or rosettes. Tabby is the oldest camouflage color in cats, therefore it is very often found in outbred individuals, among which the recessive genes of solid colors have never been bred into the dominant by selection.

2. Legend Behind Letter “M” On Forehead:

There is a legend per which, after the hotly anticipated birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, a cat came to the origination in the outbuilding and started to stroll around the trough. Then, at that point, he set down with the child and started to lounge close to him, while the youthful mother stroked his soft head. After few time, the letter “M” supernaturally showed up on the temple of the tabby, as the capital of the name of the Mother Mary.

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balck tabby cat

There is a conviction among Muslims that the image of the letter “M” showed up on the brow of dark-striped felines in light of the fact that the prophet Muhammad was extremely enamored with these creatures.

3. Color Is Stable Immunity:

A distinctive feature of animals with this color is stable immunity because the striping and the quality of immunity are controlled by the same gene. The choice of a particular striped animal that will become a full-fledged member of your family should depend on a large number of various factors: appearance, color option, breed, and so on.

4. Average Weight And Size:

The average weight of a cat is 4–4.5 kilograms, but black cats can weigh up to 11 kilograms. While it is understood that male and female body sizes will vary, the average house cat is 23–25 centimeters tall. The length of his body is 45 centimeters, plus another 30 centimeters falls on the tail. 

balck tabby cat

5. First-class Hunter:

Tabby is a first-class hunter that appeared in the process of evolution. She moves silently, almost always getting her hind legs into the prints of her front ones, leaving a minimum of traces of her presence.

The cat has a sensory detection system in which hearing plays a key role. Certainly one of his most developed senses. They often hear their prey long before they see them.

It’s ears, mobile at 180°, are real amplifiers, capable of perceiving the ultrasound emitted by rodents. The cat pilots its super ears as it pleases, separately, a bit like speed cameras.

Composed of 27 muscles, they isolate sounds to analyze them. Another unexpected ability: the extent of the range of sound vibrations perceived by cats is three times greater than ours. But although it spans 11 octaves (compared to 9 for us), there’s nothing like low-frequency whispered words, in a soft, deep voice, to make them vibrate.

balck tabby cat
balck tabby cat

6. Plays With Its Prey:

When a cat catches its prey – usually small birds or rodents it plays with it: allows it to escape from its paws and catches it again and again. This is one way to harass prey so that the cat can easily catch it.

7. Cats Can’t Chew:

Cats have thirty teeth, but they are all completely unsuitable for chewing food. When a cat finds meat, it uses its fangs and molars to tear it into pieces and then swallow it.

8. Cats Sleep Most Of Their Lives:

Up to twenty hours a day. When your cat sleeps on your lap, you may see rapid eye movements behind closed eyelids and feel occasional muscle twitches, signs that cats are dreaming too.

balck tabby cat
balck tabby cat

9. Assistant To The Witch:

Throughout the life of many centuries, cats have been associated with the occult and mysticism. The darkest superstitions are associated with them. A black cat crossing your path portends misfortune. The cat was considered a companion and assistant to the witch. Sometimes the cat was also the companion of the gods: for example, in Norse mythology, she pulls Freya’s chariot. But most often she is mentioned as a servant of the fearsome earth goddess Hekate.

10. Brings Good Luck:

Some cultures believe that cats can enhance good luck and improve financial position. Sailors took cats on board ships to hunt mice. The British believed that a black cat would bring good luck to the ship and ensure a safe return home.

11. Strong Sense Of Smell:

Tabby cats have an enviable sense of smell. The ability to smell the smell of domestic predators is approximately 15 times higher than that of their owners. Thematic experiments have shown that a cat is able to smell the mouse’s “aroma” even a week after its owner has disappeared.

balck tabby cat

12. Wash Themselves Frequently:

The mustachioed-striped ones are distinguished by exceptional cleanliness – cats wash themselves at least 10 times a day. This is an instinct that has been preserved since the same hunting times, even among domestic animals – after all, they should never have been allowed to potential prey to be able to determine the “surveillance” by smell.

13. Cat Never Sweats During Hunting;

A cat never sweats during a strenuous hunt in the sense that people do. Sweat glands are found only in the pads of her paws. Unlike us, a cat will not move its mustache until the thermometer rises to 52 ° C. When it gets too hot even for her, she cools herself off usually by panting.

14. Black Cats Are Disease Fighters:

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have found that the genetic mutations that give cats black coats may provide them with some protection against disease. In fact, the mutations affect the same genes that confer HIV resistance in humans.

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balck tabby cat

15. Black Cats Can Change Color:

If a black cat has a tabby gene and likes to bask in the sun, his black tabby coat serves may take on a rusty brown hue. The sun’s rays break down the pigment in their fur to reveal the underlying tabby stripes. So they become not coal-black, but with a chocolate sheen.

16. Black Cats Have Nine Lives:

Although black cats generally have a worse reputation than other cats, they tend to get sick less often! These types of cats usually have a specific gene that protects them from the diseases that humans have.

17. Golden Eye Color:

The color of his eyes is due to melanism, which is very abundant in them, so his hair is black and causes a golden/yellow iris color.

18. Hearing Abilities:

The funnel shaped ears of the feline get a great many frequencies that get away from human ears. They likewise identify calmer and more far off sounds. The state of felines’ ears permits them to both intensify sounds and distinguish their starting point. This capacity to decide the wellspring of sounds assists felines with following their prey, however it additionally permits them to envision their environmental factors when they can’t see well.

Surrounding commotions like a dishwasher, a fan, or stirring leaves can assist them with situating themselves. Certain individuals accept that blue-looked at white felines are bound to be hard of hearing, however that is not really the situation.

balck tabby cat

19. Taste:

Cats actually have a much less developed sense of taste than humans, and they probably can’t even detect sweet taste. It is believed that this shortcoming is compensated by their excellent sense of smell, which usually performs the functions of taste. Since their vomeronasal organ is in their mouth, flavors that are too intense can cause interference. Cats don’t like the bitter taste because they think it’s dangerous.

20. Telepath:

What if they just “heard” our thoughts? By dint of listening to stories about the invisible communication between cats and their masters.


Q. How many years does a tabby cat live?

A. Tabby cats can live as long as any other cat. As long as they are healthy and well cared for, and especially if they do not go outside at all, they can easily reach 20 years of age and sometimes even exceed them.

On the contrary, if they are strays or live in a state of semi-freedom (that is, they spend time at home and time outside) their life expectancy will be shorter. It is impossible to know how much more since it depends a lot on where they are: if they live in a city, they will live for a short time due to the amount of danger there is, but if they are in the countryside they could reach 6 years or more.

Q. What breed are tabby cats?

A. It is often thought that tabby cats are a specific breed, but the reality is that it is nothing more than a tabby pattern in the coat and black tabby coat. There are many breeds of cats that can present it, for example, the common European or Roman, the Persian, exotic, angora, or the Maine coon.

All of them have in common, apart from the characteristic pattern of stripes, which can be shades of gray or orange, the typical “M” on the forehead.

balck tabby cat

Q. What care do they need?

A. Every cat that lives with humans should always have food and water freely available, a safe and quiet place to sleep (and live), and lots of love. In addition, it will be necessary to take him to the vet every time we suspect that he is sick, or when he needs a check-up, which is normally recommended once a year. If you are looking for a perfect feline companion, the tabby cat may be the one you are looking for.

What Is the Difference Between a SBT Savannah Cat and a Black Tabby Cat?

A SBT savannah cat hybrid explained enters the picture when comparing it to a regular black tabby cat. The main distinction lies in their lineage and traits. While the savannah cat possesses wild ancestors, the black tabby is a domestic breed. The former exhibits an exotic appearance, larger size, and active nature, whereas the latter displays typical tabby markings and behaviors.


All tabby cats are marked with a special “scarab sign” – a large letter “M” traced on their foreheads. In ancient times, this mark was considered divine by many peoples, legends and parables were associated with it. And one more sign of minke whales – their eyes are circled in black. Although they are distrustful and somewhat shy, with their owners they are usually very affectionate and they are cats with a relatively easy character, smart, and they adapt easily to new places and environments, which makes them ideal for living with the family.

Article by Barbara Read
Barbara read
Barbara Read is the heart and soul behind From her early love for cats to her current trio of feline companions, Barbara's experiences shape her site's tales and tips. While not a vet, her work with shelters offers a unique perspective on cat care and adoption.