With all the cat coat patterns out there, the tabby coat pattern is perhaps the most popular one. Here's what you need to know about these long-haired cats!
Let's just clarify this real quick: the term "tabby cats" actually does not refer to a specific cat breed, but rather, a type of coat pattern on felines. This pattern can be found on a multitude of different cat breeds, which can either be purebred or mixed breeds.
In fact, the tabby pattern just refers to any cat with a unique "M" shaped marking on its forehead and a stripes pattern all over the domestic cat. And while when most people think of a tabby cat, a domestic shorthair cat comes to mind, these stripey cats can also be long-haired or short-haired cats.
The 411 on Long-Haired Tabby Cats
Known for their luxurious, thick plush coats, these long-haired cats have much to be loved — the house cat has a long coat that can measure up to six inches long! This gorgeous and super fluffy coat, combined with the tabby coat pattern, makes the long-haired tabby cat a very popular cat, no matter the breed!
Just like its short-haired counterparts, these tabby domestic longhair cats come in four distinct patterns:
Mackerel: probably what most of us think of when we think of a tabby cat, a mackerel tabby has zebra-like stripes that run down vertically on the cat's body.
Spotted: a spotted tabby will sort of look like a tiny cheetah! These domestic long-haired felines have a mix of both stripes and spots, with some spots being bigger than others.
Ticked: tickled tabbies might be the hardest one to identity — the almost non-existent pattern forms a salt-and-pepper appearance that gives it a sand-like look.
Blotched (a.k.a. Classic or Marbled): a blotched tabby is often referred to as a "classic" tabby. Classic tabbies, rather than having stripes or spots, just have a thick swirled pattern covering their body.
On top of these four coat patterns, long-haired tabby cats can also come in a combination with calico and tortoiseshell patterns — resulting in the interesting-looking "caliby" and "torbie".
Grooming + Popular Long-Haired Cat Breeds
While most long-haired felines are healthy cats with minimal health issues, because of their long locks, grooming is a must for these longhair cats. Usually, they'll need multiple grooming sessions in a week, or hairballs and mats can easily form with the long hair of these cats.
Surprisingly, long-haired tabby cats tend to shed much less than their short-haired cousins.
Long-haired tabby cats can come in many breeds. Here are some popular long-haired cat breeds in the United States:
- Maine Coon
- Long-haired Siamese
- American Longhair
- Norwegian Forest Cat
- Scottish Fold (The longhair version is the Highland Fold!)
- Siberian Cats
- Turkish Angora
Do you have a Long-Haired Tabby cat at home? Share your feline friend with us on the Wide Open Pets Facebook Page!
This article was originally published January 20, 2021.