So Are Tabby Cats Really That Rare? Here Are The Stats


The Tabby cat is widely recognized among all the feline species worldwide, with a diverse range of sizes, shapes, colors, and breeds. However, it remains unclear how uncommon they are in comparison to other cats.

Is it true that tabby cats are uncommon? No, they are not since they do not belong to a specific breed. The tabby cat pattern can be seen in various cat breeds. In fact, tabby cats are just that – tabby cats. However, some coat colors such as smoke, chocolate, and cream are considered rare.

When it comes to cats with the tabby coat pattern, there are some fascinating statistics that reveal the frequency of certain types of tabby cats, which may surprise you.

What Percentage Of Cats Are Tabby?

Out of all the pets globally, cats are one of the most favored. The number of domestic tabby cats is estimated to be in the tens of billions by some and in the range of 400-500 million by others.

Tabby cats account for approximately 60 – 70% of all domestic cats globally. This implies that nearly two-thirds of all the felines you encounter will have some kind of striped, blotched, spotted, or ticked fur pattern. Occasionally the coat pattern can alter, this article explains this in detail.

The reason why tabby cats are not that rare is that the tabby gene is highly prevalent in domestic cats, and even if a cat doesn’t display the typical tabby pattern, there’s a high chance that the gene can be traced back somewhere in its ancestry.

How Many Tabby Cats Are There Around The World

Although the exact number of tabby cats worldwide is unknown, it is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions, and this pattern is prevalent among most domestic cats.

It is difficult to determine the exact number of tabby cats due to their high reproduction rate, and the fact that the tabby gene is present in nearly all cats, even if it is not visible in their coat pattern. Additionally, some individuals may mistakenly believe their cat is not a tabby, particularly if it has agouti hairs or a ticked coat pattern.

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What Percentage Of Tabby Cats Are Female?

The Tabby Cat gender ratio is determined by genetics. Here are some connections to the fur color.
An intriguing point about Tabby cats alludes to those with the orange-hued coat. About 80% of all orange Tabby cats are male, as per studies. The other 20% of orange Tabby cats are female. Despite the fact that there are some investigations to back up the relationship between Tabby coat hues and whether it’s a male or female, most of this is dictated by the breed and hereditary history.

When it comes to orange tabby cats, finding a female one is considered a rarity, which makes them pricier to purchase.

When it comes to cats with the tabby pattern, the statistics vary depending on the breed. Calico cats, for instance, have a predominantly female population, with only one male for every 3000 females due to genetic abnormalities that hinder male breeding.

Are Spotted Tabby Cats Rare

While most Tabby cats have stripes, blotches, and ticks, there are also some that display spotted patterns.

Are tabby cats with spots considered rare? It’s not entirely true. Spotted tabby cats are among the four primary coat patterns that exist, and breeds such as Bengal have them. The spotted tabby’s coat pattern resembles a mackerel but is fragmented.

Unique Tabby Cat Patterns

Tabby cats have some distinctive coat patterns that are not frequently seen. Here are some of the tabby coat designs and hues that are worth watching out for.

  • The category of silver tabby encompasses variations such as red, blue, and cream silver.
  • Chocolate classic tabby
  • Cream ticked tabby
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What Is The Rarest Color Of A Cat

The tabby coat pattern is not uncommon, but certain colors of cats are. Generally, tabby cats will have a black or brown coat with blotched or striped patterns. Other less common patterns include spotted and ticked, as well as some hybrid markings.

Regarding fur hues, these are some of the least common colors observed in domestic cats.

  • Chocolate
  • Smoke
  • Cream
  • Fawn
  • Lavender
  • Cinnamon

Several hues on this roster are variations of black shades. It’s crucial to bear in mind that there exist more than 80 diverse patterns and colors for tabby cats.

Among the coat colors listed, certain ones are exclusive to purebred cats, which may also display particular characteristics that are associated with them, depending on the breeder; however, these hues can sometimes be found in crossbreeds too.

There are certain rare coat colors that you should be on the lookout for, as the occurrence of the tabby pattern varies in different coat colors. The lavender pattern will be examined first.

Tabby cats that have a lavender fur color appear to have a purple hue, which is actually a diluted version of the chocolate coat color, resulting in a pale grey appearance. Due to its rarity, the lavender pattern is considered the rarest among all cat colors, making it extremely difficult to find rare lavender-colored tabby cats.

Out of all the feline varieties, lavender hue is commonly seen in Siamese and Colorpoint Shorthair cats, whereas lavender tabby cats are not typically linked with patterns like stripes, blotches, and ticked markings.

The cream-colored coat of a cat typically covers its entire body, but it’s not unusual to find this hue in various places. This color is derived from the orange gene, the same found on Tabby cats.

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One distinguishing feature of the cream pattern is its occurrence in both solid and patterned coats, making it comparatively simpler to locate a cream tabby cat than a color such as lavender.

Tabby cats come in a variety of colors and patterns, including fawn which is a denser version of cinnamon. Some fawn cats have more white while others have a mix of light and dark brown. This coat color is most prevalent in Abyssinian and Oriental Shorthair cats.

Tabby cats with a coat color and pattern combination called rosettes are quite uncommon, but can be found more frequently in hybrid breeds such as Bengal cats and Egyptian Mau.

While the chocolate coat color in tabby cats is not as common as some other colors, it is still possible to find them. However, certain breeds like Siamese and Burmese may have solid chocolate coats instead of tabby patterns.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, it appears that tabby cats are not particularly rare, as they are the most frequently encountered type of house cat and have been present for centuries, with their presence being ubiquitous in households, on street corners, and in pet stores.

Although not all Tabby cats are rare, there are specific coat colors and patterns, as well as hybrid types, that are less common. Additionally, certain orientations of Tabby cats are also considered rare. If you happen to come across a Chocolate or Cream Tabby, then you have found a truly uncommon feline.

You can also check this YouTube video about this topic:

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[Wikipedia] [Encyclopedia Britannica] [National Geographic] [cdc.gov] [Purina]

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