Is it true that a tabby cat is particularly affectionate and cheerful? It is in any case for its playful character and its many other qualities that the cat with the tabby coat is popular with adopters. But can we really assume a cat’s special character just by looking at its coat? Scientists have looked into the issue, but for now, nothing confirms 100% that a relationship does indeed exist between a cat’s color and its character. Let’s take a closer look at what we’re saying about tabby cats.
What is the tabby coat in cats?
The term tabby designates the pattern of a cat’s coat (we also speak of a pattern), without distinction of race, whatever the color of the animal, except white. The tabby or striped (tabby) pattern can be combined with any type of marking and it is the most common. It is formed by agoutis hairs, named after the gene that determines the two-tone character, whose base is dark and which are interspersed with black bands.
Character of the tabby cat, what does science say?
Since 1870, the date of the first study carried out on the question, scientists have tried to determine whether the color of a cat’s coat and the character of the animal have any relation. It appears from the various studies carried out around the world that tabby cats or tabbies have the following character traits:
- Easy to live,
- Gentle with children,
- Very close to their master,
- Very sociable with all humans,
- Having no relationship problems with their congeners and other animals.
It appears that the tabby cat is trustworthy, neither capricious nor temperamental. He is not jealous, has a large tolerance threshold, is not used to scratching when you take him in his arms … The good character of cats with tabby coats is confirmed by the owners in the vast majority of cases . Best of all, everyone agrees that he’s smart. The tabby cat is considered one of the best pets, including in families with children of all ages.
Should we therefore deduce that all tabby cats have these particular character and personality traits? Not so sure, because the character is not determined solely by genetics.
What impacts the character of a cat?
At the risk of disappointing many owners, it is a bit simplistic to say that the particular character of a cat is determined by the markings and the color of its fur. For example, many adopters systematically exclude tortoiseshell cats from their selection, on the grounds that they are more aggressive than the others and prefer to adopt or buy a tabby cat, ranked among the most loving and the most pleasant to live with.
However, aggressiveness in cats is born more from its life history than from the color or the marking of its coat, because it is more a problem of behavior than of character. Socialization, living conditions, the relationship that the animal had with its former owner, the possible traumas of which it was the victim … all this matters a lot in the life of a cat and can make it aggressive. Tabby cats are not exempt because even in small felines “the dress does not make the monk”.
We cannot therefore seriously consider that the level of aggressiveness of a kitty can only be measured by the appearance of his dress and in this area, it is better not to generalize. It is up to each owner to do everything to offer his cat, tabby or not, the best possible life story.