page title icon Grey Tabby Cat – Amazing Facts You Should Know

by Linda Mathews Last Updated August 3, 2023

If you’re a great fan of Grey Tabby cats or want to expand your family by adding a lovely Grey Tabby cat kitten to it, you need to know more information about these amazing cats.

Below you’ll find so many interesting and very important facts about cute Grey Tabby cats that can help you understand such gorgeous fur balls as Grey Tabby cats better and make the adaptation process both for you and your new little favorite much easier and quicker.

What Is A Grey Tabby Cat?

There is one most frequently asked question about a Grey Tabby cat. Is Tabby a breed? Actually, NO!

The Grey Tabby cat isn’t a breed of a cat at all, it is a coat color and pattern of feline. Gray tabby cat breeds in which the tabby pattern can be found more often among many others include the Domestic Shorthair and the Scottish Fold.

One of the main Grey Tabby markings is a traditional letter “M” on their foreheads. However, all Tabby cats have this “M” marking on their forehead between their eyes, not just Grey Tabby cats.

But don’t forget that the size and general appearance of any Grey Tabby kitten as well as an adult cat, of course, except for the color and pattern of the coat will depend directly on the breed.

History of the Tabby Cat

Some people claim that the Mau, an ancient Egyptian breed created via the domestication of the African wildcat, is where the tabby’s origins lie. The cat inherited its pronounced “M” marking on the forehead from its progenitor. 

The manger was visited by a tabby, according to a story from the Bible. A little tabby cat cuddled up next to the infant Jesus with comforting warmth.

Islamic folklore describes Mohammed’s intense affinity for cats. He once decided to remove a sleeve from a garment rather than wake up his favorite cat, who was sound asleep on his sleeve. According to such tales, Mohammed marked tabbies with the letter “M” to signify his affection.

Grey Tabby Cat Genetics

The tabby is considered the most common coat pattern in cats and this is because of genes. It isn’t a great secret that Tabby cats are often called Tiger cats due to their specific coat pattern. The African Wildcat has quite a similar pattern in its fur like the Tabbies.

But scientists have proved that it is just a similarity and, in fact, the tabby gene is performed thanks to the agouti gene. Therefore, the agouti gene or tabby gene is dominant and it is easy to explain why the grey tabby pattern happens so often in various cat breeds.

Editor’s Note

Are GREY tabby cats male or female?

While orange tabby cats are typically male, gray tabby cats can be either male or female.

Coat Patterns

There are so many types of grey cats and perhaps even more you can see among the Grey Tabbies. Of course, all Grey Tabby cats have some similar markings but they all can be different in size and their overall appearance can also vary.
How big do Tabby cats get? A lot of people want to know the answer to such a simple question. But any vet or cat expert can hardly give it because the size of a particular grey tiger cat will depend on its breed and its breed peculiarities.
However, when it comes to the coat pattern variations of the Grey Tabby cats, you should know that there are five main tabby patterns.

Grey Classic Tabby Cat

The classic tabby cats of grey coloration usually have dark grey or black swirls on their fur. Such a circular coat pattern of the Grey Tabbies often happens and features elegant whorls and tapered ends on the side of the feline. This sweetest cat with this coat pattern is usually called the silver grey tabby cat because of its light grey tabby background.

Grey Mackerel Tabby Cat

The Grey Mackerel Tabbies or Striped Tabby cats are characterized by circles of stripes around the cat’s legs and tail. The cats with this coat pattern feature rich or broken lines on the body sides and this characteristic makes them look like the fish skeleton.

Grey Spotted Tabby Cat

The Grey Spotted Tabby, also known as the Tabby Mottled Grey cat pattern, attracts people’s attention by its uniqueness and mystery. Spots on the tabby cat coat are usually a bit oval-shaped or slightly elongated than stripes.

Grey Patched Tabby Cat

The Grey Patched or Marble Tabby cat coat impresses by its extraordinary look. It is so original due to the addition of the third color, for instance, ginger or brown.

Grey Ticked Tabby Cat

Such an interesting coat design of ticked tabbies features solid lines on the cats’ legs, tails, and faces. But the rest of the body parts haven’t any visible lines due to agouti hairs.

Grey Tabby Cat Temperament

The Grey Tabby, also known as the Tiger Striped Cat, is as spectacular as it is captivating. Due to its external similarity to the African Wildcat, a lot of people believe that the grey tabby cat personality is feral. But that’s not actually true.

Despite the appearance and resemblance to the African Wildcat, the Grey Tabby kitty is known as a feline with a tender and slightly patient temperament. Don’t forget that the cat’s character mostly depends on the peculiar cat breed.

That’s why the Grey Tabby Maine Coon cats can be a bit independent and unpredictable while the Persian with the grey tabby coat feature a calm and lazy temperament.

Health and Lifespan

When it comes to the gray tabby cat’s health, we can just highlight the most common health issues of the cats with such an outstanding coat pattern.

Some grey tabbies may tend to diabetes, obesity, urinary and kidney issues, conjunctivitis, and worms. But in most cases, cat health also depends on the cat breed and more extended breed characteristics.

Pedigree cats live on average 12 years, whereas mixed cats can live up to 14 years.


It can’t be difficult to groom the grey tabby cats. Usually, such charming creatures require weekly brushing because they groom themselves daily on their own.

Short-haired tabbies need brushing once a week but they often wait for cuddling several times a day. Keep them in mind!
For the owner of the long-haired grey cat, it is important to remember that your furball needs brushing two or three times a week in order to avoid problems with its luxury fur.

Don’t forget that your special favorite needs cat grooming tools and you should be patient when implementing a weekly habit into the routine of your kitty.


The gray tabby cats don’t love water in most cases. Of course, there are exceptions but they are very rare. It would be better for you to introduce a bathing habit step by step and don’t be nervous.

If you have a long-haired grey tabby, you should bathe your fur ball at least once a week. Just remember, you should use high-quality cat shampoo for your feline.

For masters of short haired grey tabbies, it is necessary to know that your kitty doesn’t need to be bathed too often. You can wash your cat once a month or even more seldom if there is a need.

Diet and Nutrition

​​Any breed of tabby may typically be fed a healthful cat diet, either canned or dry. To learn if your cat’s breed has any particular nutritional needs, do some research or consult a vet.

Training and Exercise Needs Of The Grey Tabby Cat

Grey Tabby cats usually become very loyal and devoted family members who get along well with kids and other pets. These creatures with a tabby coat can be highly energetic and most tabby cat owners say that there aren’t any problems to train these cats.
However, some cat breeds are known as lazy ones and don’t like to learn new tricks but actually, they can learn them if you make the effort. Although cats don’t need as much physical stimulation as dogs do, they still need to exercise every day to keep fit and avoid becoming fat. If your cat chases toys, climbs on objects, and scratches on the scratch posts, you shouldn’t be concerned that it may get obese.

Fascinating Facts about Grey Tabbies That You May Not Know Yet

  • The name tabby comes from the Arabic language

Not many people know that the name tabby comes from the Arabic word ‘Atabi’ which means silk. The name tabby has quite an interesting history. Atabi was a type of silk produced in Bagdad and exported to England. The English started comparing this silk with the coat of such an amazing cat because of the same texture and, thus, the names of their four-legged friends appeared.

  • The main habit of the Gray Tabby cats

If you’re wondering what grey tabbies love doing most of all, you’ll smile. The main or favorite grey tabby cat’s habit is eating. Really, the grey tabby cats like to eat and commonly leave no food on their cat plates. Because of this, many tabby cats often have some problems with weight.

  • The coat of the Grey Tabby cat is really black

It isn’t a joke! All Tabby cats and grey tabbies aren’t exceptions and have black fur. But the cats with grey tabby coat patterns have a specific pigment that makes their fur of various colorations.

  • Grey Tabby Kitties have two spelling variations

A lot of people think how it will be right to say ‘grey’ or ‘gray’ tabby cat? The answer can surprise you. Both variations are right. In the USA, it is more often used ‘gray’ while in England people more frequently say ‘grey’.
Besides, the grey tabby cat is also called the ‘blue tabby’ or blue tabby cat.

  • Grey Tabbies can have a wide range of eye colors

It can sound amazing but the gray tabby cats can be found of various eye colors. You can see the grey tabby cat with blue eyes, a tabby grey cat with yellow eyes, grey tabbies with hazel, green and copper eyes. This peculiarity is directly connected with the breed of the cat.

  • Grey Tabby Cat was the inspiration for the first stuffed toys

The first cuddly toys in the USA were produced thanks to the Gray Tabby cat called Caesar Grimalkin. It inspired the manufacturer to make the Ithaca Kitty – the stuffed toy that started the era of producing other cuddly toys in America.

  • Grey Tabby Cat held two world records

Can you believe that, in 2010, one grey tabby cat named Stewie held two Guinness’ World Records at once?
Stewie got the title of the longest grey tabby feline as it could stretch 48.5 inches in length. Besides, this amazing kitty obtained the title of the grey tabby cat with the longest tail (the length of its tail is 16.3 inches).

  • National Tabby Day

Is Tabby a breed? We’ve already answered this question! No, Tabby isn’t a cat breed. It is just a specific gray tabby pattern. But despite that, tabby cats or tiger cats are extremely popular around the globe… so popular that some people even start celebrating National Tabby Day! April 30 is known as National Tabby Day in the USA.


Is a GREY Tabby cat rare?

Luckily for you, no, it isn’t! The tabby cat coat isn’t uncommon and often happens due to the genetic factor as we’ve explained above. The grey tabby cats can be easily found if you’re ready to add the new four-legged favorite to your family.

Are GREY Tabby cats friendly?

Actually, yes. The grey Tabby kitties are very affectionate, gentle, and friendly felines. This may be the main reason why these cats are so popular among cat lovers. Of course, the temperament of the grey tabby cats mostly depends on the breed of cat, but, in most cases, grey tabby cats are known as sociable and easy-going creatures with pleasing nature.

What breed is a GREY Tabby cat?

Grey tabby isn’t a breed, it is a coat pattern. Grey Tabby cats can be found in many different grey cat breeds. The most popular ones are the Grey Tabby Persian cat breed, the Maine Coon, the Norwegian Forest cat, the Domestic Shorthair, the Scottish Fold, and so on.

How much are grey tabby cats worth?

The price depends on the breed of a Tabby cat. If you visit a reputable cattery, be ready to spend $1000 and up. If you want to adopt or rescue a cat, you will spend about $100.

Are tabby cats chatty?

Even while they aren’t nearly as chatty as Siamese cats, they are chattier than the majority of cat breeds.


If you’re going to extend your family and bring a new fur ball into your home, the grey tabby cat will be the perfect option. This distinguished and gentle creature can make your life more interesting and bright. Moreover, you’ll get a loyal four-legged companion who will wait for you after hard work and can easily relieve your stress and fatigue.