Tabby cats are popular because of their unique coat patterns, which may feature spots, whorls, stripes, or spirals. Their most distinctive feature is the “M” marking on their forehead. Various cat breeds feature the tabby pattern ranging from short-haired to long-haired ones. Still, many of us are confused if tabby cats shed just like any other cat.
Do tabby cats shed?
Yes, tabby cats do shed, some more than others. The volume of fur that they shed will highly depend on their breed. Interestingly, a tabby cat is not a particular breed but a coat pattern.
The tabby pattern is most often observed in short-haired cats, although there are some long-haired ones.
The distinctive patterns include the following:
- Mackerel – It is a combination of zebra-like stripes that run vertically on the cat’s body.
- Spotted – Tabby cats with this pattern resemble a cheetah with stripe patterns that run down the legs and paws.
- Ticked – It features agouti hairs that alternate dark and light-colored hairs.
- Blotched/classic – It features swirls that appear as smudges. The blotch is caused by a genetic mutation.
- Patched – This describes the tortoiseshell tabby. There are separate patches of brown tabby and red tabby on the cat.
The common colors of tabby cats are orange, grey, ginger, red, cream, blue, brown, black, tan, and silver. Orange tabby cats are mostly males. The personality traits of tabby cats include being friendly, affectionate, outgoing, and loving towards their owners.
Long-haired tabby cats tend to shed less than short-haired ones. However, it is tougher to groom them due to the tangles and curls caused by matting. They need multiple grooming sessions weekly because of their double coats. Short-haired tabby cats tend to shed more but are easier to groom since they only need to be brushed and groomed around once a week.
Cats with thicker coats need to be groomed and brushed daily; the more the cats are groomed, the lesser the shedding will be.
Cat breeds with the tabby pattern include the following:
- American Shorthair
- Maine Coon
- American Curl
- Domestic Shorthair
- Egyptian Mau
- Australian Mist
- Arabian Mau
Important Facts about Shedding in Cats
Here are some beneficial facts about shedding in cats:
- Brushing is important to control shedding.
- All cats shed more in the spring and autumn.
- Certain cat food that has grain-free ingredients and Omega 3 fatty acids can prevent shedding.
- Stressed cats tend to shed in clumps.
- Certain cat breeds shed less than others.
Cat breeds that shed less:
- Devon Rex
- Cornish Rex
- Russian Blue
- Colorpoint Shorthair
Cat breeds that shed more:
- American Curl
- American Bobtail
- Cats will shed more if they have thicker coat layers.
- Hair loss can be triggered by alopecia.
- Bathing your cat will reduce shedding.
- Dead fur irritates cats and may lead to constant scratching.
- Cats that are kept indoors are more likely to shed less than outdoor cats.
- Shedding is affected by a cat’s age and gender.
- Sick cats tend to shed less than healthy cats.
Are tabby cats hypoallergenic?
No, tabby cats are not hypoallergenic. Being tabby is not a determinant of the amount of Fel d 1 protein levels in a cat’s saliva, fur, or urine. This protein is the allergen that triggers allergic reactions. Your having a tabby cat does not increase the likelihood of your having an allergic reaction. Some cats have lower Fel d 1 levels, but no cat is truly hypoallergenic; all cats, including the hairless ones, produce this protein.
How do I stop my tabby cat from shedding?
Here are effective ways to reduce the shedding of your tabby cat:
- Bathe your cat at least once a month.
- Change your cat’s diet.
- Keep your cat hydrated and encourage her to drink water often.
- Groom and brush your cat regularly.
- Give your cat tender loving care and affection.
Tabby cats stand out because of their distinctive M marking and color patterns. They shed just like other cats. Some tabby cats will shed more than others. Tabby cat is not a breed, but a coat pattern; the volume of fur a cat sheds will depend on its particular breed.
Image: istockphoto.com / Iva Vagnerova