Breed Tips

How is a Tabby Cat’s Personality

If we were to answer this only in a sentence, it would be – Tabby cats have a personality to make you believe that they actually were Egyptian deities once. 

We know that you searched for tabby cats, so you obviously know how to identify one. But for others who landed on this page from somewhere, this is how you define a tabby cat.

  • First, you start by calling it ‘tabby’ and remove the cat from behind as most in the cat community have.

  • You’ll see a distinctive ‘M’ shaped mark on their foreheads.

  • Stripes by their eyes, across the cheeks and back to all the way to their legs and tail.

  • Stripes could be replaced by dotted, lined, flecked, banded, or swirled patterns. 

  • The four distinct patterns known are mackerel, classic or blotched, ticked, and spotted tabby patterns. 

  • And the most important thing; tabby is not a type of breed but a coat pattern that is found in many cat breeds. 

This beautiful piece of art on these cats is all nature. It descends from their ancestors, the wildcats. And if you’re wondering ‘But why tabby?’ – the name comes from ‘striped silk taffeta’, from the French word tabis, meaning ‘a rich watered silk’.  

Now that you’ve learned the basics of tabbies, we can move to their big personalities. 

What is a Tabby Cat’s Personality? 

A gray tabby cat with green eyes is lying on grass.

A study found that the coat color or type doesn’t really influence the personality and temperament of a cat. Most of the time it is the internet making us believe about personality stereotypes of tabbies. And then as a confirmation bias, we tend to look for those signs in our cats. (1)

A cat’s personality is linked to its gender, genetics and the environment they are nurtured in. These factors decide how comfortable your cat is around other people, how active and curious are they and how much would they like to play. (2)

So, you never really know how your tabby will turn out to be. Some may be like Garfield, lazy and sarcastic with a love for lasagna. Others may be more like the Cheshire Cat from "Alice in Wonderland," mysterious, grinning, and often disappearing into thin air, leaving you to ponder your sanity. All we can do is hope that it doesn’t turn out to be like Prof. McGonagall’s tabby from Harry Potter – the one that could switch from stern witch to sassy feline in the blink of an eye (it would be really cool if that could happen though).

Are Tabby Cats the Friendliest?

A tabby cat is lounging on a wooden chair.

As we mentioned above, the coat color does not really ascertain a cat’s friendliness. Having said that, most tabby cats we’ve seen tend to be friendly, intelligent, affectionate, and active. And we we say affectionate, these cats won’t shy away from displaying their love. It’ll usually come in the form of a jump in your lap to ask for a cuddle or a push on your leg with their heads or sleeping right next to you. 

Do Tabby Cats Like to be Picked Up?

A tabby cat is lying by a window with light filtering in.

They are considered to be very social. Most of them would love to participate in all your family activities. And looking at a consensus of people telling us that they are extremely friendly and affectionate, there is a very high chance that a tabby won’t mind being picked up. For them, it would be like an airlift to the next location they would want to explore.  

What are Tabby Cats Most Known For?

On the internet, tabby cats are known for a lot of things. Just search for ‘Orange Cat Videos’ and you’ll be introduced to the very dynamic, entertaining and hilarious world of these cats. But here are some interesting facts about them – (3)

  • About 60% of the cats are tabbies. 

  • Tabbies are tabbies before even being born. The feline fetal cells when seen under a microscope, actually show patterns of thick and thin embryonic skin cells that resemble fur markings they would have later in life.

  • All orange cats are tabbies. 

  • 4 out of 5 tabbies are males.

And here are some interesting real-life tabbies! (3)

  • A tabby named Dusty holds the ‘Lifetime Kitten Award’. She gave birth to an astonishing 420 kittens throughout her lifetime of 17 years. That’s approximately 25 litters a year! 

  • Another orange tabby named Stubbs was elected as the mayor of a small Alaskan town. It stayed in office for 20 years!

  • Jake, a ginger tabby holds the Guinness Book of World Records award for “Cat With Most Toes,” with seven toes on each paw for a total of 28. For any other average cat it would be 18. 

They don’t fail to amuse you, do they?

More About Spot Pet Insurance

These cats are more like supercats. But just like all other cats, even they are predispositioned to several medical issues during their lifetime. As a cat parent or a potential one, it is important for you to know about them. 

  • The most common health problems in spayed/neutered cats include hyperthyroidism, flea-bite hypersensitivity, obesity, periodontal disease, cardiac dysrhythmia, constipation and lameness. (4)

  • Common health problems in intact cats include heart murmur, urinary tract infections (UTI), anemia, anorexia, complications and infections of the reproductive system, and overgrooming. (4)

With pet health insurance, you can save up to 90% of the associated treatment costs that can at times put a big dent in your savings. 

With a Spot accident and illness plan, you can take your cat for treatment at any licensed vet in Canada or the U.S. Spot plans don’t have networks, so whether you’re home or traveling within the U.S, veterinary services your cat receives for the diagnosis, treatment, or management of eligible services can be covered. Spot’s accident and illness plans can help cover a variety of conditions, ranging from broken bones and bite wounds to behavioral conditions, and cancer. While base plans do not offer coverage for preventive care services, Spot’s Wellness Riders can be added to any base plan for an additional fee and can help cover the eligible costs of wellness exams, vaccinations, dental cleanings, and more! 

Learn more about cat insurance or get a free quote. 


  1. Wikipedia contributors. (2024, June 10). Tabby cat. Wikipedia.

  2. Grin, M., & Grin, M. (2024, March 26). The 5 cat Personality types: Which is your cat?

  3. 1800PetMeds. (n.d.). 1800PetMeds.

  4. 20 Most Common Cat Health Problems According to Gender, Neutering Status and Age. (2023, August 16). Vetic | Pet Care Reimagined.

Follow us on Instagram

Follow us everywhere else: