Are Tabby Cats Male or Female? (Both, But Not Equally!)

Are Tabby Cats Male or Female

Are tabby cats male or female?

It’s not as crazy of a question as it may sound – some colors of tabby are much more likely to be male!

Whether you own a tabby or you’re thinking about adopting one, they have wonderful personalities and stunning-looking coats!

Are Tabby Cats Male or Female?

Tabby cats can be both male and female, although some colors of tabbies do not have an equal chance as I will be explaining in this article.

There is a general misconception that all tabbies – and this applies to tortoiseshell, torties, and other tabby mixes – are female.

This is just not true.

You can find any color of tabby as either gender, male or female.

It’s hard to find certain colors and patterns of tabby cats as male. But it is possible, just rare in some cases.

What Breed Is a Tabby Cat?

A tabby is not a breed of cat, but rather a coat pattern.

The classic tabby look – sometimes called “tiger stripes” – is one of the most popular patterns among domestic cats.

While tabbies come in many colors, the most common are brown, black, and gray (think of the Whiskars cat).

There are also orange or ginger, blue, and red tabbies, but they are less common.

Tabby cats can be any breed, although the most popular seem to be Maine Coons and British Shorthairs.

Related See more than 158+ names for brown tabby cats here!

Why Are Tabby Cats Called Tabby?

The word “tabby” comes from the French word “striped fabric.”

When early European settlers saw cats with this striped pattern, they thought of the fabric and started calling them “tabby.”

The scientific name for the classic tabby pattern is “agouti,” which refers to the alternating light and dark bands on each hair.

What Are the Different Types of Tabby Patterns?

There are four different types of tabby patterns: mackerel, classic, spotted, and ticked.

  • Mackerel Tabby: This is the most common type of tabby pattern and is also sometimes called “tiger stripes.”
  • Classic Tabby: Classic tabbies have large swirls on their sides that look like targets.
  • Spotted Tabby: Spotted tabbies have spots all over their bodies instead of stripes.
  • Ticked Tabby: Ticked tabbies have each individual hair banded with light and dark colors.

How Can You Tell the Difference Between a Male and Female Tabby Cat?

There are a few ways to tell the difference between a male and a female tabby cat.

It’s the same as telling the difference between any cats really:

  • First, you can take a look at a cat’s anatomy if you want to be sure if they’re male or female. It’s not always easy to do when a cat is young, but you should get a good idea by lifting their tail!
  • Second, look at the head. Males tend to have larger heads with wider faces and their cheek pads are typically more developed.
  • Finally, look at the body. Males are typically larger and more muscular than females, they have larger paws and a more confident strut when they are walking.

There is nothing to look at in terms of the colors or markings on a tabby that will tell you 100% if they are male or female.

You need to take a good look at the physical characteristics. Some say females are more aggressive, but I don’t think you can use that as a rule.

Are Orange Tabby Cats Usually Male or Female?

Contrary to popular belief, orange tabbies can be either male or female.

It’s true that there is a much higher percentage of males that are orange tabbies, but that does not mean all orange tabbies are male.

The reason why there are more male orange tabbies – about 80% are male – is because the males only require the orange gene from one parent, while females require the gene from both parents to be orange.

Are Gray Tabby Cats Usually Male or Female?

This is not the case with gray tabby cats, there is an equal chance for a gray tabby to be either male or female.

Here are some posts explaining how long it takes a tabby to grow up, the differences from calicos, and what a torbie cat’s personality is like.

What Kind of Tabby Cat Is on the Whiskas Advert?

I’m sure almost everyone reading this has seen some of the Whiskars adverts over the years.

If you haven’t, here’s one of their ads featuring the super-cute gray tabby:

Whiskars also use the same breed on most of their products as part of their branding, so this tabby has really become synonymous with their brand.

Well, the Whiskars cat is a British Shorthair Silver Tabby with stripes!

It’s a beautiful-looking cat, I’m sure you’ll agree. It’s also single-handedly made silver tabbies more popular and is the reason why they often cost more.

In Summary

So, there you have it. Are tabby cats male or female? The answer is they can be either!

Although, some colors are much more likely to be male due to how the color sex-linked gens work.

I hope this has cleared up any confusion and that you now know a little bit more about these lovely cats.

If you’re thinking of getting a tabby cat, then go for it! Male or female, tabby cats make awesome family pets.


Image credits – Photo by Kateryna T on Unsplash

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