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

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Of all the cats in the world, the tabby cat is probably the most recognized. Tabby cats come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and breeds. There are many other types of cats in the world too, but just how rare are they compared to other cats?

So, are tabby cats really that rare? Tabby cats are not rare because they are not actually a breed. Tabby cat patterns can be found on many cat breeds. Tabby cats are actually are tabby cats. Certain cat coat colors like smoke, chocolate, and cream are considered rare.

There are some interesting stats when it comes to cats with the tabby coat pattern. You just might be surprised how common (and uncommon) certain tabby cats are!

Are Tabby Cats rare

What Percentage Of Cats Are Tabby?

Of all the pets in the world, the domestic house cat is one of the most popular in the world. Some estimate has this amount in the 10’s of billions and others in the mid 400 – 500 million range.

Tabby cats make up around 60 – 70% of all domestic cats in the world. This means that just about two-thirds of all the cats that you come across will feature some sort of striped, blotched, spotted, or ticked coat pattern. Sometimes the coat pattern can change, this article explains this in detail.

This is because the tabby gene is the most linked in domestic cats. Even if a cat does not completely show the tabby pattern, the likelihood of the gene being traced somewhere in its history is high.

How Many Tabby Cats Are There Around The World

It’s not known exactly how many tabby cats there are around the world, however, estimates are in the hundreds of millions. Most domestic cats that you see will have this pattern.

Because cats reproduce at such a large rate, there’s really no way to give an exact number. Also, the tabby gene is present in almost every cat, even if you cannot see it in the coat pattern. Some people also have mistaken their cats for not being tabby, especially if it’s a cat with agouti hairs or with a ticked coat pattern.

What Percentage Of Tabby Cats Are Female?

The ratio of male or female tabby cats is all based on genetics. There are also some links to the coat color.

An interesting note about tabby cats refers to those with the orange-colored coat. About 80% of all orange tabby cats are male. The other 20% of orange tabby cats are female. While there are some studies to support the correlation of tabby coat colors and whether it’s a male or female, most of this is determined by the breed and genetic history.

So in this example of orange tabby cats, female orange tabby cats are actually very rare. They are more expensive to buy as a result.

The numbers change as you start exploring different breeds of cats with the tabby pattern. For example, Calico cats are much more female dominant. In fact, 1 out of every 3000 is a male, which leaves approximately the other 2999 as a female cat! Part of that has to also do with the fact that male Calico cats have trouble breeding due to their genetic irregularities.

Are Spotted Tabby Cats Rare

While most domestic tabby cats feature stripes, blotches, and ticks, there are also some that have spotted patterns too.

So, are spotted tabby cats rare? Not necessarily. Spotted tabby cats are one of the four main coat patterns that you’ll find. Breeds like the Bengal carry spots. Spotted tabby cats have coat patterns that look like a mackerel, but it’s broken up.

Unique Tabby Cat Patterns

There are some unique tabby cat patterns that don’t turn up too often. Below are a few of the tabby coat patterns and colors worth keeping an eye out for.

  • Silver tabby (includes red, blue, and cream silver)
  • Chocolate classic tabby
  • Cream ticked tabby

What Is The Rarest Color Of A Cat

While the tabby coat pattern itself is not rare, certain colors of cat coats actually are. For the most part, tabby cats will have a black or brown coat. It’ll feature blotched, or striped patterns. Some of the lesser seen patterns include spotted and ticked, and there are a few other hybrid markings too.

As far as coat colors, here are some of the rarest colors found on domestic cats.

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

Many of the colors on this list are mutations of black colors. It’s important to remember there are over 80 different coat color and pattern variations for cats.

Some of the coat colors on this list only come across in pedigree cats. This means they’ll also exhibit some specific traits too, but it all comes down to the breeder. Occasionally you’ll find these colors in mixed-breeds as well.

Of the rare coat colors above there are several you should keep an eye out for. This is due partially that the tabby pattern occurs more in some coat colors and less in others. Let’s take a look at the lavender pattern first.

Cats with lavender fur colors almost have a purple presentation. It’s actually a dilution of the chocolate coat color though. The color almost looks like a pale grey. Lavender is considered the rarest of all the cat color patterns, and therefore lavender colored tabby cats are really hard to come by.

Of all the cat breeds, you will mostly find the lavender color in Siamese and Colorpoint Shorthair cats. While there are some lavender tabby cats around, it’s not generally associated with stripes, blotches, and ticked markings.

The cream coat color usually covers the entire body of the cat, however, it’s not uncommon to find this color in various spots on the cat. The cream color comes from the orange color gene, the same found on tiger cats.

What’s unique about the cream pattern is that it can be found in a solid coat or a patterned coat. This means it’s easier to find a cream tabby cat than it would be with another color like lavender.

Fawn is also a color that’s normally found in purebred cats. It’s a denser coloration of the cinnamon cat. Some fawn cats have more of white color to them while others have a balance of light and dark brown. The fawn coat color is most common in Absynnian and Oriental Shorthair cats.

Rosettes is a unique coat color and tabby pattern combination. You can find this more often in the hybrid breeds like Bengal cats and Egyptian Mau.

The chocolate coat color is rare, but not as much as some of the others on this list. You can definitely find chocolate tabby cats. It’s a little tougher to find chocolate tabby patterns in certain breeds though. For example, Siamese and Siamese breeds tend to be solid chocolate cats.

Final Thoughts

In the end, it turns out tabby cats are not that rare, to begin with. This is by far the most commonly seen domestic cat, and it’s been around for hundreds of years. They can be found in any home, any street corner, and any pet shop.

What is true, however, is that there are certain types of coat colors and tabby patterns that are not as common as others. Hybrid tabby cats are also a little less frequent. Tabby cats of a certain orientation are also rare too. The next time you come across a Chocolate or Cream tabby then you’ve definitely found a rare one!