Tabby cats are one of the most popular cat breeds. Their coats are typically striped, with the classic tabby markings being a lion-like face mask, whisker spots, and shoulder spots.
Their coats can be either short or long haired, and they can be either relaxed or playful personalities. These traits make for a wide variety of Tabby cats!
Some Tabby cats have tufted ears, which is a genetic trait specific to Tabby cats. Tufted ears have fur that sticks out of the top of the ear like a pin cushion. This feature is not exclusive to Tabby cats, however – any breed of cat can have tufted ears.
There are three different types of tufted ear genetics: recessive, intermediate, and dominant. Recessive means that you need to have two copies of the gene for the trait to show outwardly, intermediate means you need to have one copy of the gene to show the trait, and dominant means you only need one copy of the gene to show the trait.
What causes them?
The genes that determine tabby patterns are linked to genes that determine whether an animal is male or female.
Because male and female animals both have gender-determining chromosomes, the gene for the tabby pattern is located on a sex chromosome.
The gene is found on the Y chromosome, which only males have. Because females are defined as those with two X chromosomes, they do not have the tabby patterning due to this difference in sex chromosomes.
Since the gene for tabby patterning is found on the Y chromosome, females cannot have a fully developed tabby pattern due to this genetic difference. Male cats can potentially have some spots, but they will not be as defined as a female cat’s.
The genes that control whether an animal is male or female and that determine the specific patterns of fur growth both influence the development of fur tufts, hence why they are affected by the genetically-modified tabby patterning.
Are they a mutation?
When people refer to tabbies as mutants, they are not speaking metaphorically. Tabby cats are often referred to as mutant breeds due to their unique markings.
The word mutant is used because tabbies are believed to have a gene mutation that affects the pigment cells. This causes the distinctive stripes and color variation of the tabby pattern.
Some tabbies are called chocolate tabbies or silver tabbies depending on the color of their coats. These colors can be caused by genotypic mutations, or differences in the genes that affect coat color.
Genes are units of heredity information located on chromosomes. Chromosomes are structures inside of cells that contain genetic information. Cells use this information to perform specific functions and behaviors such as growth or division.
Are all tabby cat ears tufted?
No, not all tabby cat ears are tufted. The word “tabby” comes from the pattern that many breeds of cats have.
These cats have stripes or bands of color on their coats. These bands of color are called “tabbies.”
Tabby cats also almost always have ear tips that are white in color. Some tabby cats do not, but most do. The hue of the white can also vary.
There are several breeds of cats that have tabby patterns without the characteristic white ear tips. These include Bengal cats, Ocicat cats, and Orientals among others.
What is a tuffted ear?
A tufted ear refers to an ear shape that resembles a triangle. The top of the ear is wider than the base, and the top of the ear is also higher than the inner ear.
The tips of the ears are usually rounded or pointed. This can be seen in tabby cats, where the tips of the ears are often a darker color than the rest of the ear.
The more prominent and higher top of the ear gives this breed a unique look. The rest of the shape can be either pointy, rounded, or somewhere in between.
Some cats may have one tufted ear and one normal-shaped ear, or both ears can be shaped this way. Some cats may not have any tufted ears at all! It depends on what gene mutations occur during development.
This is why there are some tabby cats that do not have tufted ears.
Are all cats with tuffted ears tabby cats?
No, not all cats with tufted ears are tabby cats. A tabby cat is a fur pattern that cats have. It can be either male or female, so that is another indicator that a tabby cat is not necessarily a female cat.
All tabbies have tufted ears, but not all cats with tufted ears are tabbies. So, how do you tell the difference? Look at the rest of their coat and check for whiskers.
If the coat is white, gray, or black then they are not a tabby. If they do not have whiskers then they are not a tabby cat. Simple as that!
Some cats can have tufted ears and not be tabbies either. For example, some lynx breeds have tufted ear tips which look similar to a tabby ear tip shape.
Do all tabbys have tufted ears?
No, not all tabbies have tufted ears. The word tabby comes from the old English word taib, which means to strike.
Tabby cats are sometimes called stripy cats, due to the distinctive patterns they have. They are said to have marbled coats, which is where the term marbled coat comes from.
The nickname came about due to the way a tabby cat moves- like a stealthy jungle predator. This is said to be portrayed in their patterns.
Tufted ears are a separate characteristic that some tabbies have. Tufted ears mean that the ear looks fluffy at the top, almost like it has an ear fur boost.
What are the other characteristics of a tabby cat?
Apart from the striped fur, a tabby cat has certain characteristics that define it as a tabby. The most obvious is the tufted ears.
All tabby cats have ear tips that are thicker and slightly rounded. These tips also have a distinctive darker color, which is why they are called tufted ears.
Tabby cats also have a distinctive pattern on their face. This pattern is known as the marking of the jaguar. All tabbies have distinct spots on their faces that resemble this feline feature.
Their coats can be any color, but all of them have some sort of dark color such as brown, black, or grey. Sometimes these tabbies can be mixed with other breeds to produce new colors such as bicolor or tortoiseshell.
Lastly, all tabbies have tan colored paws with darker claws. These markers always stay on the paw regardless of whether they go into hibernation or not.
Are all cats with tufted ears tabbys?
No, not all cats with tufted ears are tabbys. The word tabby comes from a old pattern of stripes that were called tabs.
These stripes were thought to be a kind of paw pad markings, which was the reason they were called tabs. Later, it was discovered that these stripes were a form of camouflage.
Today, we know that tabbies have patches of brown and orange fur with white bars of color. These tabbies can be either male or female. Since they are gender neutral, they are sometimes referred to as taibbie.
There are many different breeds of cats that can be taibbies, including ocelots, lynxes, and pugs! Any cat can be a tabby, as long as they have the right markings. Some cats have very faint tabby markings though.