Tabby Cat Personality and Behavior

Tabby cat personality and behavior. Tabby Cat is the most commonly domesticated cat. A tabby cat is one which has a unique design on its coat, mainly strips, dots and whirls. They have a “M” type mark on the forehead, which is a quick identifier of a tabby cat. There is popular misconception that Tabby is a breed of cats. This is wrong. Tabby cat is any cat which has the distinctive design. Tabby cats are cute, sharp and very intelligent. Although other cats are also intelligent, these cats learn well to live with humans and enjoy their lives.

Tabby Cat Personality Angry

( Photo Courtesy: malfet )

Tabby cats come in all sorts of colors, but the most common colors are black, grey, brown and orange.There is research going on regarding how the tabby cat got its beautiful patterns. Updates suggest that this may be a relation between the common tabby cat and other felines like cheetahs and leopards. Tabby cats may not be of one breed, but they do have some ” tabby cat personality  ” traits in common. These are social cats which get well adjusted to our lifestyle.

Personality and behavior of tabby cats.

  • Tabby cats are more loving and affectionate than other cats. Most cats and other animals of the cat family remain aloof. However, this is not the case with tabby cats. They love humans and particularly like someone within the family. Just like we have different affection levels towards different people, tabby cats too choose their favorites. A tabby cat may be more responding to you than to your sister.
  • Tabby cats are playful and like to stay merry. They like to play games, or play with other pets in the house. They also get popular among other pets in the family. Parrots, for example can become great friends of a tabby cat. Kids love tabby cats and they reciprocate this affection.
  • Tabby cats can be moody. They can be quite playful at times and then become shy. They may have inherited such nature from humans. It is not that all tabby cats have similar personality traits. Each cat has a different personality. Some tabby cats are lazy, some very enthusiastic, some like to stay indoors while others may want to roam around many times a day.
  • Upbringing of a tabby cat affects its nature. The kind of people that they live with and the way they have been brought up can play a major role in shaping their personality.
  • Tabby cats attach preference to things. That is, they like certain things and if they are not allowed to do, they can get angry or annoyed. They may like a particular room  or a particular place in the house, play with one person and ignore the others and traits like that.
  • They are rarely attacking in nature. Tabby cats are easy going cats which like to stay with humans.

Tabby cats are categorized into four types based on their patterns - Mackerel tabby ( stripes like fish bones ) , Spotted Tabby ( having dots/spots ) , Classic tabby ( whirling stripes ) and Ticked tabby ( some isolated bands of color ) . Some colors are found lesser in tabby cats like red color, silver and blue. So, these colors may be considered exotic tabby cat colors.

Tabby cat is a wonderful pet and a domestic animal. It adds cheer to life and makes a great combination with people. Tabby cats are rarely shy and they feel comfortable in public. Tabby cats are so common that people are constantly searching for good names for their pets. If you are not able to come up with good names, try looking up names of characters in books or movies of other cultures.



  1. Haley Peterson says

    I have a tabby cat and he is about 4 months old. He seems to like to bite and scratch alot. Especially me. He also has a circle on each side of him and polka dot pattern on his stomach. Is there a reason to his aggressiveness?

  2. says

    He’s a kitten.. all kittens do that. Perhaps he’s teething and just like to rough house like all kittens and puppies do. Mine was like up..actually still is because I made him that way.. What I mean to say is that I never curbed his kitten behaviour of biting and scratching, so now he does it to get my attention when I want to ignore him. He only resorts to it when he wants something really bad.

    Best thing to do when he bites or scratches is just to pull your hand away and shove a toy in its place. That way he will never associate your hand with a play thing. It’s hard, kittens have such cute reactions to hands and pats.

    Oh, and I read somewhere that Tabbies like to sleep in bed with their owners. 100% TRUE. He will even come get me to go to bed when it’s around my normal bedtime. He will come and sit next to me suddenly, give him the soulful sleepy blinky eyes and meow gently. He will even nip my hand gently to prove his point – that it’s BEDTIME. And when I finally make my way to bed, he is already there sitting at his customary spot waiting for me to get in bed. If Peyo doesn’t get his 8 hours at night cradled next to me he gets cranky the next day and nips my ankle more. He’s really really cranky when that happens.

    It is really true what was written up adult tabby cat’s personality is really shaped by how it is raised. A lot of people tells me that my Peyo is just like a ‘chip off the ol’ block’…he picked up my personality alright.
    Enjoy this time with your kitten – how you react and teach him at this point will really make him what you want him to be in the future…a wonderful loving friend and companion. Good luck with yours and savour your times together. :)

  3. says

    Some tabby personality that I’ve observed in my mackerel tabby..

    - My Peyo has a slight bob tail on him at the tip of his tail, so he’s not exactly the most agile of all cats. He’s quite clumsy in fact, and he seems quite embarrassed by his lack of agility. He actually looks away when he catches me looking at him at his near misses, and seems to give me the “I-will-kill-you” look when I laugh at him for falling off his scratching post after missing it from his clumsiness.

    - He taught me how to play fetch with him. He would bring one of his mouse toys to me and drop it by my hand. And when I throw it off the bed (because i don’t like his toys on my bed) he would then bring it back. Like how a dog plays fetch.

    - Peyo loves water and the faucet. Always playing in the water, and can sit there for hours watching water dripping from the tap. When I shower I will fill a bucket and when I come out of my shower he will run in and stand on the rim of the bucket, with a paw in the bucket swirling the water in circles. Then he would tip it over and watch the water flow around the shower enclosure, trying to ‘catch’ it with his paws. I call this ‘cleaning the shower after mommy’.

    - He likes to bury his bowl after he finishes eating. Sometimes he will bury it and then eat some more and then re-bury it. And he would do this for half hour… not sure if he’s burying it or digging it up again to eat it.

    - He’s a leg follower…meaning he likes to chase ankles and legs. He also thinks it’s funny and fun to trip me when I walk. I’ve learnt to walk with my back to walls and cupboards, in case I have to hold on to something to break my fall in mid stride. When he is angry with me, he will chase my ankles and nip at it to prove his point.

    - He likes to sleep cradled in the crook of my elbow at night. For 7 – 8 hours at least. If he doesn’t get this nightly cuddle – like when I had a sleep over at my friend’s house and came home the next day, he will act very cross with me and bite my ankle all day. He will also come and fetch me to go to bed if I’m not in bed around my customary bed time. He will sit next to me on my couch (if I’m watching tv), or next to my laptop (if I’m doing work) and blink at me with his sleepy eyes. He would even wink at me and yawn once. If I’m not up on my feet in 1 minute he will then bite gently on my elbow and meow to prove his point. If I’m not on my way to the bedroom in 5 minutes he will ‘nip’ harder and won’t let go. The meows then become insistent.

    - Then at 7am SHARP he will sit on my chest and demand that I wake up with nudges, licks (with his rough tongue that hurts), and bunts his head on my nose, so that I can get up and feed his royal highness. Only time he doesn’t wake me up this early is on the weekend. Yes, animals can tell the days of the week as well!! On weekends, I get to sleep in till 8am.

    - Now I have a maltese puppy, and he’s become the father figure for this 6 months’ old puppy. He plays with her, and cleans her. He always licks her and cleans her face so that she doesn’t have the brown stained nose. He’s also the most patient cat I’ve ever known. He will stand there and let her chew on his ear, his collar and even his nose. He never hisses or scratches the puppy. When I ask him where is the puppy, he will go to where she is and sit there so that I can find her.

    It’s true what they say about the animals adopting you versus you adopting them. I went to the shelter, and looked at this aloof cat that was very much trying to look uninterested in me. But I wanted to see him because I liked his coat and when they picked him up then put him in my arms, he rolled onto his back and purred loudly. Then he snuggled his face into my neck – that was it. He saw me and picked me all along, even before i noticed him.

    I’m so lucky to have this wonderful, loving and patient creature in my life. He brightens my mornings with his quirkiness, makes my day with his clumsiness and playfulness and nags me to bed at night. Best.Cat.Ever. I highly recommend a mackerel tabby if anyone is in the market for a cat.

  4. Donna says

    I have two classic tabbies with the swirls and spots. One taught us that he played catch…the other who is more mixed looking, learned how to play catch from his brother. Both follow people around like puppies, are affectionate, and love bedtime. The more classic tabby is clumsy, is a bit lazier, and more clever. They love nip for attention or to get their point across. They have amazing personalities (as a long time cat owner, I know this is true of all cats, but these classic tabbies are just so fun and sweet).

  5. Amanda says

    I (we) have a traditional coloured female tabby and I loved her as soon as I saw her sitting in her basket at a cat sanctuary, she was around 9 months old and very nervous. We have had her 19 months now and she has grown into a lovely settled cat companion. Cherry is affectionate in her own way but still does not sit on my knee (she may never) but will sit on the back of my big chair with me and will sleep with us on the bed occasionally snuggled into our legs. She loves her human brothers 17 and 19 and her human Dad and sits/lies with us in our sitting room in one of her beds. She loves to roam around her garden surrounding/ area and is fiercely protective of it especially when other cats enter! I love her coat and beautiful markings. She greets me at the front door when I return and jumps up and rubs her body against my leg. She is much more settled now but it took time and I was patient but it was worth it and we all love her and she is my furry daughter cat companion. My friend says that tabby cats are quite rare now . She loves her cat toys and our younger son loves to play with her which she loves. Cherry is intelligent and is very pretty. She has grown and filled out but is still a small cat.

  6. mima says

    I have a Brown female tabby named Prupru, she just turned 1 year old on the 22nd of this month. She’s my baby, but for some reason she won’t stay in my lap if I’m not holding her if not she’ll jump off like a bat out of bell. She lets me cares her wen she feels like it or when she’s hungry. She’s also very jumpy, to the pinot that if she’s eating and I drop something she’ll run away and stop eating.. I don’t understand, I have her since she was 1 month old!!

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