The question, ‘how to take care of your tabby cat at home’ may sound easy but in reality, you need to consider countless ‘tits and bits’ in order to make things turn in your cat’s favor.
Cat lovers have often stated that tabby cats are ‘tough’ to take care of. Nonetheless, this is not at all true. If you learn the ‘inside tricks’ on how to take care of your beloved feline companion then, all your worries can vanish in a jiffy.
In this article, I shall discuss what a Tabby Cat really is and how you can take good care of your feline friend.
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How to Take Care of Your Tabby Cat at Home Article Contents:
1) What is a Tabby Cat?
2) How did a Tabby Cat come into Existence?
3) What Makes a Tabby Cat So Special?
4) What are the Emotional and Physical Characteristics of a Tabbie?
5) What are the 9 Most Common Tabby Cat Health Issues & How to Overcome these at Home?
6) Top 5 Traits of a Tabby Cat
7) What is the Ideal Vaccination Schedule for Your Tabby Cat?
What is a Tabby Cat?
A tabby cat is a category of cat that has a distinctive fur and coat. Tabby cats are not considered as a different ‘breed’ of cats. It is a myth to consider them as a different breed of cat. So, it is a good idea to consider your feline companion to be blessed with certain ‘distinct’ features that makes the animal appear slightly different from the rest of the flock (cats).
Tabbies are known for their distinctive patterns. They have markings and patterns on their fur that decipher them from other cats. The most common color patterns that Tabbies are blessed with include brown and grey. Many Tabbies are also found to possess black and grey coats. The most common differentiating characteristic is the distinct ‘M’ marking on the forehead of the feline animal.
When you take a closer look at the coat of a Tabbie then, the most common patterns include stripes, bands and even spots. In some Tabbies, the fur is shaped in a twisting pattern. Hence, these cats have varied features and characteristics that differentiate them from other household cats. Basically, your Tabby can be considered an uncommon kitty blessed with the features of an African wild cat.
How did a Tabby Cat come into Existence?
Well, there are several theories around a tabby cat’s existence. The most common one is based on Mau cats. They seems to be the root cause behind the origin of Tabbies in this world. Mau cats are native to ancient Egypt. They claim to have come into existence owing to cross breeding of domestic cats with African wild cats.
If you notice carefully then, the ‘color’ of a Tabbie’s coat and the ‘design patterns’ on the fur are quite distinct and very different from normal household cats. Legend has it that the letter ‘M’ etched onto the forehead of tabbies is owing to the blessing bestowed upon these felines by Mother Mary.
Others are of the belief that the letter ‘M’ was etched (onto the forehead of the cat) owing to Mohammed the prophet bestowing the ‘M’ symbol on the forehead of Tabbies.
It is also stated that the word Tabby originated from a variant of silk. The silk was native to Baghdad and it dates back to the 17th century. The first Tabby cat to make an appearance in a cat show was in the late 18th century in England.
So, a lot of diverse tales are circulating the origin of Tabbies. It is rather tough to believe a particular version. The only truth is that Tabbies do exist as household pets today.
What Makes this Breed Distinct?
Well, Tabbies are cats that have a slight mysterious twist to their existence.
Here are some of the most common characteristics related to this particular breed of cats:
@ Tabby cats are very friendly. They are also quite independent by nature. They love to exercise and explore new areas.
@ Tabbies are also on the heavier side. They can be 9 kilograms in weight on an average. These acts also attain a decent height in between 3 to 4 feet.
@ The coat of Tabbies is what sets them apart from other cats. Their coat can be brown, grey and even orange. Black cats with diverse patterns on their fur are also considered Tabbies.
@ Tabbies can have both long as well as short hair (with special regards to the length of their coat).
@ These cats also have diverse eye colors. Some of the most common ones include blue and green. Some cats have also been known to possess golden colored eyes.
@ Tabbies that are kept as household pets, enjoy a lifespan in between 16 to 18 years (on an average).
@ These cats are known to have come from Egypt. Some are of the opinion that they originated from Baghdad.
@ Tabbies do not suffer from any adverse allergies of sorts.
What are the Emotional and Physical Characteristics of a Tabbie?
Tabbies are a different category of cats. They have distinctive coats and furs. It has also been known that these cats originated from ancient Egypt and a result of cross breeding. They are loving, affectionate, energetic and fun-filled animals.
Here are some of the most common characteristics of Tabbies:
@ Tabbies are very friendly and they are also fond of their owners. It can be clearly stated that Tabbies are emotionally attached to their owners.
@ These cats are also super-pally (easy to make friend with) by nature. So, they can easily ‘gel well’ with your family and even friends.
@ It is very safe to leave your Tabby with your toddler. These cats are harmless and emotional beings. So, they would not harm a child.
@ Tabby cats are also quite accommodating by nature. In simpler words, they are open to you getting home more cats or even a dog.
@ They do not need a lot of physical exercise. While they love to exercise, Tabbies cannot be considered exercise freaks. You need to however take them out for a small exercise session each day. It could be for a short duration – such as 30 minutes a day.
@ While they are playful, Tabbies are not necessarily attention-seekers. They do love to socialize but they never intrude into your private space.
@ Tabbies are not particularly very high in terms of their energy levels. While they are moderately energetic in nature, Tabby cats are super duper energetic by nature.
@ These cats are not very vocal by nature. While they do talk a lot, the noise levels is always controlled and never to the extent of annoying you. You simply need to spend some time training your cat good behavioral conducts.
@ Tabbies tend to shed their hair. Nonetheless, the hairfall is not too heavy. You (as a pet owner) can easily hope to clean the mess without much fuss.
@ Tabby cats are smart and witty. Nonetheless, Tabbies cannot be considered as the most intelligent of cats.
What are the 4 Most Common Categories of Tabby Cats
Tabbies are supposed to have diverse coat patterns. They are also diverse with special regards to their weight and size. Apart from the fur color combinations and eye color variations, Tabbies have 4 broad categories.
Here is a quick look at each of these:
The Polka Dot:
One of the most common Tabby cat pattern is the dotted category. For example, the Bobtail cat has several dots on the fur. These dots are of varied colors. The dots can be small as well as large in size. A good example of the dotted Tabbie is the Ocicat.
Tick Tabby Cat:
The second category of Tabby cat is the ticked variant. The tick shaped pattern is clearly present on the coat and fur of your feline companion. So, you can clearly view the tick marks. These patterns are even more visible when you take a closer look at the coat of the cat under bright light.
This category of Tabby cat is blessed with whorls that appear like spiral circles (one beneath the other). These circles are present on either sides of cat’s body. When you look at these patterns from far away, they attract the lines of trigger happy guys hoping to nail a bull’s-eye.
The Stripped Tabby:
This category of Tabby is by far the most popular. As the name itself suggests, the cat has a striped fur. The tail and chest of the cat is the most decorated as compared to its other body parts. On the upper part and side of the body, the cat seems to have bold stripes running all the way down to its legs.
In the middle of the stomach is a pair of lines that are adorned with polka dots. It resembles as though a white collar employee is wearing a buttoned shirt. The most common name of this category of cats is Mackerel.
What are the 9 Most Common Tabby Cat Health Issues & How to Avoid these at Home?
Tabby cats are usually healthy as they are rough and tough. Nonetheless, as they have a different coat and fur & body composition (as compared to other cats), tabbies do face certain health issues. Nonetheless, these can be addressed rather easily.
Here is a quick look at the most common issues that cats face along with their speedy resolution:
1. Your Cat is Super Sleepy
One of the most common issue that Tabby cats face is laziness. This is owing to the fact that cats jeopardize their eating (food) and drinking (water) schedule. If the cat is 10 years of age and above and is lazy then, it may be a health related issue. So, you should try and streamline the feeding habits of your cat.
If the cat is old and is lazy then, you should try and ensure that you take it to a vet. If an older cat is lazy then, it may be because of bladder infections, parasite infections, fever, asthma, duress, after-effects of certain medicines and coat related infections. So, taking your cat to a vet is an ideal way to cure your pet’s infection.
How to Treat a Lazy Cat:
@ Try and streamline its feeding pattern. An ideal way to do so is by establishing meal timings and following them strictly.
@ Take your cat for regular exercises. You need to ensure that you stay with your cat as long as possible. Doing so shall reduce its stress levels.
@ Use new toys while playing with your lazy cat. Ideally pick those toys that compel the cat to use her mind. Doing so shall mentally stimulate your feline companion.
@ Always get your cat physically examined by a vet. Health issues of your cat can easily be sorted and resolved via corrective advise offered by the vet.
2. Your Tabbie has a Poor Coat
The main reason behind your cat having poor fur and coat is owing to infections. Fleas are the most common pests that tend to spoil the fur of your beloved feline companion. They bite into the skin of your cat and cause sores. Excessive flea infection forces the car to bite or claw the infected area. This in turn results in severe damage to the coat.
How to Detect Poor Coat in Your Tabbie?
@ The first visible sign of a poor coat is sores on the coat.
@ Your cat shall start to itch, bite of claw at its coat.
@ If you look carefully then, fleas may be thriving on the coat of the cat.
@ The feces of fleas would stain your carpet – these are reddish in color.
@ Your cat would be in agony most of the time.
How to Treat a Cat’s Poor Coat?
@ Show your cat to a vet and get it treated. A vet shall offer the necessary medicines to treat its fur.
@ Anti-flea collars and bath related products are readily available. You may use these in order to treat the cat.
@ Always clean the floor and furniture of your home using a natural anti-flea process.
@ If you stay on the ground floor then, always keep the windows and doors closed during dawn and dusk.
3. Your Tabby Cat is Puking
Another (most common) issue that your Tabbie cat faces is constant puking. Ideally, this is an issue related with the digestive tract of your cat. An upset stomach forces the cat to throw-up the contaminated food from its stomach via vomiting. This health issue is quite common to Tabbies. When you change your cat’s diet dramatically then, your (seemingly simple) action may lead to an upset stomach.
How to Detect Digestive Issues in Your Tabbie?
@ Your cat is not eating food regularly.
@ Vomiting is quite frequent in a Tabbie.
@ The cat is not drinking water frequently.
@ Your cat is speedily gobbling up the food and drinking water way too quickly.
@ In case your cat has consumed its own hair that has fallen in its feeding bowl.
@ Your home has undergone recent fertilizer or pesticide procedure.
How to Treat a Tabbie with Stomach Infections?
@ Stomach infections in your cat can be treated via a trained vet.
@ Natural oils that help with digestion issues are best suited for your Tabbie suffering with stomach infection.
@ Avoid feeding your cat normal foods. For example, avoid giving your cat foods that are high in fat and carbohydrate content.
4. Your Cat is Peeing Way too Less:
Another issue that your cat faces is with regards to its urination frequency. Tabbies have been known to suffer from urinary tract infections. When your cat is unable to pee normally then, it is understood that it is suffering from infections in the urinary tract.
Peeing less or slowly is a clear sign that the feline animal is indeed suffering from infection in the bladder area.
When a cat is under stress, suffering from stones, has back issues or swelling in the bladder then, it may suffer from urinary tract infection. Stone in the bladder is a common reason behind UTI infections in a cat.
How to Detect that Your Cat is Suffering from UTI Infection?
@ Your cat shall pee way less than usual.
@ Your tabby may howl in pain while urinating.
@ Apart from pain in the bladder region, your cat may also suffer from stomach inflammation.
@ It is quite possible that your cat’s urine is pale in color. It is also possible that blood may be found in your Tabbie’s urine.
@ Another symptom is your cat’s urine emitting in the form of droplets (rather than a steady stream).
How to Resolve Your Cat’s Peeing Related Issues?
@ You should get your Tabbie checked by a trained medical practitioner.
@ Administer the medicines recommended by your vet.
@ It is recommended that you opt for a change in your cat’s diet.
5. Your Cat has Worms in the Stomach
Worms in the stomach of a cat are very common. This is an infection that most Tabbies suffer from. Eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water is the most common cause behind this infection in your Tabbie. Infections may also occur owing to the cat keeping poor hygiene.
How to Tackle these Worms?
Your cat may be suffering from various kinds of infections. These may include tapeworm, pinworm, roundworm and hookworms. These worms pass from the cat to its kitten via breastfeeding. These worms can be tackled by maintaining the overall standard of your cat’s food and water. Your Tabbie’s personal hygiene too needs to be maintained.
Vets often recommend medications to eradicate these worms. You need to administer these medicines to your cat. Doing so every few months ensures that your cat is freed from the menace of worms. The duration of this treatment is spread over a span of a few days.
6. Your Cat Gains Unwanted Body Weight
The most common issue that your cat faces is with regards to gaining unwanted body weight fast. When your cat gets fat, it tends to be stricken with all sorts of diseases. An obese cat is a disease stricken animal. The main reason why a cat tends to get obese is because it eats more than what is required by its body. At the same time, the cat is not exercising enough.
How to Treat the Problem of Obesity in Cats?
@ Change the diet of your cat. Make sure that it consumes a lot of proteins and less amount of carbohydrates.
@ Take your cat out for its regular dose of exercises.
@ Make sure that your cat consumes lots of water.
@ Reduce the total daily calorie intake of your cat without reducing the nutrient value of your feline companion.
7. Cold & Flu Infection
Another infection that tends to adversely affect the cat is with special regards to its respiratory tract. In simpler words, your cat may start to suffer from cold and flu. Difficulty in breathing, runny nose and congestion is what your Tabbie cat often suffers from. This is a rather common infection that needs to be treated in the quickest possible manner.
What Kinds of Respiratory Based Infections does Your Cat Suffer From?
@ Your Tabby may suffer from runny nose.
@ Stuffy nose is also a part and parcel of such an infection.
@ Your Tabbie may suffer from sneezing and experience watery eyes.
@ The cat would suffer from digestive issues.
@ The cat’s mouth may also be stricken with painful ulcers.
@ Your cat may not be able to eat food normally.
How to Treat Nasal Infections in Tabbies?
@ Feed your cat with warm water. Give the cat fresh & light food.
@ Keep your cat stress free.
@ You also need to ensure that your house is made germ free.
@ If you have more than a single cat then, ensure that you keep the feeding utensils of the infected cat separate.
@ Keep the infected cat away from other cats.
8. Your Cat is Suffering from Gum & Tooth Infection
Tabbies are supposed to suffer from tooth and gum infections. It also needs to be noted that Tabbies get sore gums and decayed teeth. This is when you need to make sure that you should get your gum and tooth treated effectively.
It is quite problematic when your cat suffers from oral infections. This is when you need to ensure that you take care of this issue immediately.
How to Detect Tooth Infections in Tabbies?
@ Your cat suffers from awful breath.
@ The gums have dark lines that tend to stretch to all corners of the cat’s gum.
@ Your cat may not be able to consume solid food owing to tooth aches and gum related pains.
@ Aches and pains force your cat to howl in agony.
@ If you closely inspect the oral cavity of the Tabbie then, you might find tartar and plaque development there.
@ It is quite possible that your Tabbie shall reduce its daily food intake.
How to Treat Tooth Infections in Tabbies?
@ The first line of action is to check the gum and tooth of your beloved feline companion.
@ You should apply medicated gel onto the affected gums of your cat’s teeth.
@ Make sure to avoid allowing your cat to consume sugar laden treats (such as cookies and ice cream).
@ Always conduct regular dental cleaning – toothbrush and toothpaste application daily.
9. Your Cat Cannot Poop
The last and final health issue that your Tabbie tends to suffer from is constipation. More often than not, your poor cat finds it tough to ‘go about its daily business’. This is when the cat tends to start moaning and crying out in agony. This is a serious health issue and you (as a responsible cat owner) need to address this issue effective immediately.
Why does My cat Suffer from Irregular Bowles Related Problem?
@ First and foremost, your cat may not be drinking enough fluids.
@ Maybe the diet of your Tabbie is devoid of fibers.
@ It is also quite possible that your cat has colon related ailments that are blocking normal bowel movement.
@ In many cases, the cat eats its own fur. These hairballs cause constipation by blocking the colon.
@ Lastly, your Tabby’s kidney may be infected leading to improper bowel movement.
How to Treat Constipation in Tabby Cats?
@ You can begin by adding fiber into your cat’s diet.
@ Fruits such as banana, apple, watermelon, blueberries, strawberry and mango are best suited for cats suffering from ISB.
@ Carrot, peas, corn, pumpkin, squash, spinach and green beans can be added to your cat’s daily diet.
@ If the problem persists despite taking preventive measures then, show your cat to a vet.
@ If the vet suggests medications then, administer the suggested dosages in a timely manner.
Top 5 Traits of a Taby Cat
Tabbies are cute animals that are considered an ideal household pet. This is owing to their friendly and accommodating nature. Of the numerous traits I have discussed above, here are the top 5 traits that I would again like to reiterate in this sub-heading:
Tabbies Love to Cuddle:
I particularly like to reiterate the fact that Tabbies love to snuggle against their owners. This is what makes these cats super-friendly and affectionate. So, if you have small kids in your house and you like keeping pets then, Tabbies are an ideal choice. These cats are also accommodating and do not get irate in a jiffy.
If you have other pets at home (such as parrots and dogs) then again, a Tabbie shall be best suited for your home. These cats tend to get accustomed to other animals in the house sooner than expected. Your cat would become friends with other pets pretty soon. The cat shall also accept friends and relatives into the house without throwing a tantrum.
They Love the Outdoors:
Unlike most other cats that laze around the house most parts of the day, a Tabbie loves to exercise. It simply loves the outdoors and is always eager to follow you around as you take a stroll in the nearby park. As a Tabby cat exercises often, it is free from boredom and exhibits almost zero signs of irritation.
Tabbies are Smart:
These cats are blessed with an intellectual fortitude. Compared to most other categories of felines, Tabbies are quick learners. They also tend to learn new things without making a face. So, it is far easier to teach them certain commands than other cats.
For example, ‘stand up’, ‘high five’, ‘come on’, ‘use the toilet’ are the most common commands that you need to teach your cat to maintain ‘law and order’ in your house. A Tabbie learns these in a jiffy.
They Often Emit Varying Pitched Meows:
Tabbies are known the world over for their affection. While this is not an uncommon fact, most pet owners are not aware of the pitches that a Tabby uses to communicate with you.
Here are some of the (most common) pitches that your Tabbie emits to seek your attention:
@ If your cat emits a medium pitched meow. This is a clear indicator that your precious Tabbie is eager to communicate with you (in a rather pleasant manner). Basically, your feline companion seeks your attention.
@ In case your cat is emitting a long pitched meow then, it is an indicator that your cat wants to have his/her meal. Usually, this pitch shall be overheard in the morning or the evenings.
@ If your Tabby emits a high pitches meow then, you have not met your feline companion for a long time (perhaps a few hours).
@ A purr emitted from your Tabbie is a clear indicator that it is in bliss. It is a resultant of the feline rubbing its body against your feet.
They Love to Snuggle:
Tabbies are friendly and loving by nature. These cats have the uncanny ability to express their affection towards you. They do not hold back and are always eager to express their affection openly.
So, do expect your feline companion to snuggle against you or run their body against your legs. Do love them back as your cat deserves to be reciprocated for its affection. It is a ‘give and take’ world.
What is the Vaccination Schedule for Your Tabby Cat?
Like any other pet, your Tabbie too needs to be vaccinated. Vaccination schedules have been established by seasoned veterinarians. Ideally, vaccinations are divided into two broad categories – compulsory and optional.
In order to avail the best possible results, you should include both these categories for your beloved Tabby. Non-compulsory vaccines are usually considered for cats that travel a lot with their owners or stay outside of the house for prolonged time periods.
Compulsory medicines (on the other hand) are basically suited for all categories of Tabbies.
There are six broad categories of Tabby Cat vaccines. Let me discuss each of these in brief:
Feline Herpesvirus Vaccine (First Vaccine):
This is the first major vaccine that a cat needs to be administered with. It saves the cat from herpesvirus infection. This infection tends to affect the upper respiratory tract of the animal. Herpesvirus can be transmitted via saliva and secretions from the nasal passage.
Dosage for Tabby Kitten:
The initial vaccination is administered to a Tabby kitten when it is 6 weeks old. There are a total of 3 doses of this vaccine. The gap between three doses is 4 weeks.
Dosage for Tabby Cat:
The initial vaccination is to be administered to a Tabby cat when it is 16 weeks and above. There are a total of 2 doses. The gap between two doses is 4 weeks.
Yes, booster doses can be administered to your Tabby cat. The first booster dose is administered 12 months after the final vaccination. Thereafter, 1 dose of this vaccine should be administered every 3 years.
Rabies Vaccination (Second Vaccine):
Rabies is an infection that has no cure as yet. If a cat falls prey to this viral disease, there is absolutely no chance that the animal would escape alive. Rabies affects cats in three stages.
The first stage is termed as Prodromal stage wherein the symptoms start to show their menacing side. It lasts 3 days max. The second stage is when your cat loses all control over its emotions. This lasts 7 days at the most. The cat is completely out of control and can attack anyone.
The last and final stage is paralysis. This lasts 2 days at most wherein the cat suffers a paralytic attack and dies.
Dosage for Tabby Kitten:
The rabies vaccination for a kitten is administered every year. The first vaccine should be administered to a cat that is 8 weeks and older.
Dosage for Tabby Cat:
Tabby adult cat needs to be vaccinated with a rabies vaccine each year.
Yes, booster doses are available. They can be administered to the feline every 3 years.
Bordetella (Third Vaccine):
Bordetella is a highly contagious infection that affects the upper respiratory tract of the animal. The bacteria responsible for this infection in cats is termed Bordetella bronchispetica. When infected with this bacteria, the bronchi as well as trachea gets inflamed. This vaccine falls under the “Non-Essential” category.
Dosage for Tabby Kitten:
The first dose of the Bordetella vaccination is to be administered to the Tabby kitten when it is 4 weeks of age.
Dosage for Tabby Cat:
For an adult Tabbie, there are 2 doses in total. So, when the cat is 16 weeks and more, a single dose of Bordetella vaccination is administered. The second dose of the same vaccination is administered one year from this date.
A booster dose of this injection is to be administered to your beloved feline companion every 3 years after the final adult dose has been administered.
Feline Distemper Vaccination (Fourth Vaccine):
Popularly known as the panleukopenia virus, it is an infection that tends to damage the white blood cells of your feline companion. This infection tends to affect the intestinal tract as well as the bone marrow of the animal. Panleukopenia virus also damages a cat’s stem cells. The end result is anemia, infections of various types and even death.
Dosage for Tabby Kitten:
Kittens are administered 4 doses of this vaccination. The minimum age for receiving the distemper vaccination in kittens is 6 weeks. Each dose should be administered in a 4 week gap. The last dose is given to the cat before it has reached 20 weeks of age.
Dosage for Tabby Cat:
For adult cats, the doses are 2 in number. Each does is to be administered at a gap of 4 weeks from the first dose.
The first booster dose of Feline Distemper is given a year after the last adult dose is given to an Adult Tabby cat. The next booster dose is given 3 years later. You may continue giving the booster dose at a gap of 3 years.
Calicivirus Vaccination (Fifth Vaccine):
The last and final vaccination in Tabby cats is for combating Calicivirus infection. This viral infection tends to jeopardize the upper respiratory tract of the feline. It causes joint pain, anorexia and high fever.
Dosage for Tabby Kitten:
When a kitten is 6 weeks old, the first Calicivirus vaccination is administered. The next vaccine is given after 3 weeks. This process continues until the kitten is 20 weeks old. So, the total number of doses vary in between 3 to 4.
Dosage for Tabby Cat:
When the Tabby cat is 16 weeks of age, it gets 2 doses of Calicivirus vaccination. The gap between each dose is 4 weeks.
Booster doses of Calicivirus vaccination are administered to the cat every 3 years from the last adult dose.
FeLV Virus Vaccination (Sixth Vaccine):
This is the last and final vaccination that is administered to cats. The FeLV virus stands for feline Leukemia virus. If infected with this virus, the cat can develop a weak immune system. This in turn may lead to cancers of various types. This is a ”non-essential” vaccination for your beloved cat.
Dosage for Tabby Kitten:
The first dose of the FeLV vaccine is administered to the kitten that is 8 weeks of age or above. The next dose may be given to the kitten after 4 weeks of administering the first dose.
Dosage for Tabby Cat:
For cats that are 16 weeks and above, there are 2 doses of this medication. The gap between each dose is 4 weeks.
Booster doses of FeLV vaccine is not mandatory. Nonetheless, if the cat tends to spend most of its time outdoors then, a booster dose may be recommended.
Tabby cats are affectionate, loving, intelligent and energetic feline companions that almost every cat lover wants to keep at home. You simply need to ensure that your beloved feline companion is well taken care of.
While cat training is vital to help the animal live comfortably at home, taking basic care of its needs is even more important. Simply follow the above mentioned tips to ensure that your cherished feline companion is always hale and hearty.