Tabby Cats Vs. Tiger Cats: What’s The Difference?

Cats with tabby coats have distinct and diverse patterns that can be observed if you’ve ever encountered one. These domestic felines come in various shapes, colors, and designs, and you may have heard of the term “tiger cat.” However, the dissimilarity between a tiger cat and a tabby cat is not what one would anticipate.

Do you know how tabby cats differ from tiger cats? Actually, a tiger cat is just another name for a tabby cat with a specific striped coat pattern. The stripes are thin and dark, covering the entire body, legs, and head of the feline. Mackerel tabby cats are also known as tiger cats.

It is crucial to keep in mind that tabby felines are a combination of purebred and mixed-breed cats, which means that coat patterns similar to those of tiger cats can manifest on domesticated cats. Therefore, let us explore further what distinguishes this particular coat pattern.

Which Breed Is A Tiger Cat

Although tiger cats is a common term for mackerel tabby cats, it’s essential to remember that it’s just a coat pattern. Tiger cats are not an actual breed. This implies that almost any purebred or mixed-breed cat can have this coat pattern. This guide explains how tabby cats get their stripes

Here are some of the commonly known cat breeds that exhibit the distinctive pattern of a tiger cat.

  • Abyssinian
  • Bengal
  • Egyptian Mau
  • Toyger

Out of all the feline varieties mentioned, the Toyger bears the closest resemblance to a Tiger. These cats are recognized for their blend of orange and brown fur. The primary body color is orange, while the thin stripes are represented by brown. Usually, these stripes run vertically along the cat’s body and ribs. Although Tabby cats can have a coat in almost any hue, tiger tabbies also exhibit the M-shaped hair pattern on their foreheads, similar to most tabbies.

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Tiger cats, such as Toygers, have stripes on their legs that are either horizontal or slightly angled and extend to their paws and tail. Additionally, they are distinct because they are a hybrid of Bengal and Domestic Shorthair cats.

Tiger cats, such as Toygers, usually require minimal grooming assistance and are highly adaptable and sociable. Additionally, they possess remarkable intelligence and can efficiently solve complex problems, whether it involves navigating obstacles to reach food or opening doors.

When it comes to their health, Toyger cats share similarities with other domestic cats. It is important to ensure that they receive proper nutrition to prevent obesity, just like any other domestic cat. Additionally, scheduling regular check-ups with a veterinarian can aid in the early detection of heart murmurs and parasites.

Similar to Toyger cats, Bengal cats are likely the domestic feline breed that exhibits the tabby pattern of a tiger cat most prominently, including the size and shape of stripes and general body color. It would be beneficial to delve deeper into their characteristics. Below are some fascinating facts about Bengal cats that may be unfamiliar to you!

1. Bengal Cats Are A Hybrid Breed

The Bengal cat is a result of breeding domestic cats with leopard cats, which gives them their orange color and striped coat resembling that of tigers. The process of creating this unique tiger pattern began in the early 1800s and was successful by the 1980s when the breed was introduced as a domestic tabby cat.

2. Bengals Come In Many Colors

Although Bengal cats are most similar in appearance to tigers with their orange and dark brown fur, they can exhibit a range of colors, including those listed below.

  • Red
  • Snow
  • Charcoal
  • Smoke
  • Cinnamon
  • Blue
  • Marble

3. Bengal Cats Like Water

Unlike most cats, Bengal cats have a unique DNA that makes them more tolerant of water. They are known to enjoy playing by the lake and drinking from running faucets, making them easy to bathe. This particular breed of tabby cat does not exhibit fear or anxiety when exposed to water.

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4. Bengal Cats Are Muscular

Although Bengal cats are of average size, their muscular frame can make them appear larger than they actually are. With the ability to jump up to three times their height, they can effortlessly climb over fences, hop onto entertainment systems, and move around the house with agility.

5. Bengal Cats Are Expensive

Due to the Bengal breed’s distinctiveness, they are usually more expensive than other house cats. The typical price of a Bengal cat is around $1000. Kittens of this breed can cost between $400 and $500. Depending on the cat, its age, gender, and health condition, the price may even reach up to $5000 – $10000.

Tiger Cat Personality

Individual tiger cats have unique personalities. However, since tiger cat is not a breed but a coat pattern, it’s better to consider specific cat breeds.

Cats have diverse personalities, with most being friendly, loving, and smart. However, some may not adapt well to new environments or people. Usually, felines with red or orange fur tend to be more feisty. Nevertheless, tiger cats are usually not hostile if they receive proper care.

Unique Facts About The Mackerel Tiger Tabby

The difference between tabby cats and tiger cats is determined by the genetics that create the mackerel tabby coat pattern, which requires a dominant and recessive gene. Although all tabby cats have some form of stripes, spots, or blotches, only the mackerel tabby pattern closely resembles a tiger’s coat.

Here are some fascinating details about tabby cats, specifically mackerel tabbies, that can also be applied to the other three types of tabby cats.

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1. Tabby cats are thought to be more intelligent

The cognitive abilities of cats have been a topic of discussion for a long time. With hundreds of millions of neurons in their brains, they can efficiently connect specific pieces of information to recall memories, which is why they are recognized for their exceptional long-term memory.

Felines can recall certain individuals, aromas, discomfort, places, and create habits based off of that. Find out more about how smart Tabby Cats are.

2. Have superb survival skills

Cats are descendants of African wildcats, which gives them innate survival abilities such as evading danger, hunting prey, conserving energy, and being agile. Tabby cats are particularly alert to their environment and react to loud sounds by seeking shelter. Some tabbies with distinctive striped markings like the mackerel will even attempt to camouflage themselves.

3. Mackerel tabby can come in any color or coat

Tabby cats exhibit a wide range of colors, including gray, cream, and orange, and typically feature a dark coat with alternating darker stripes along their body, particularly in the case of mackerel tabbies.

4. They Love Catnip

Catnip is an herbal plant from the mint family. Its scent and flavor are attractive to domestic cats, which can cause them to act in various ways. Some Tabby Cats react positively with a burst of energy, while others become more loving and cuddly. It’s been found that more than two-thirds of Tiger Cats enjoy it, so be sure to use it sparingly!



You can also check this YouTube video about this topic:

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