Most common would probably be the MACKEREL tabby – distinguished mainly by the clear stripe markings on the sides, and almost always by the clear “M” marking on the forehead. Apparently they’re also called “fishbone tabbies”, though it’s the markings on the side of the mackerel fish that gives the feline patterning its name. Our clearest mackerel tabbies are probably Whisky and Cloverleaf
|A Whiskey stretch - MW|
|Cloverleaf - MW|
But mackerel markings can be seen in some of our other coloured tabbies too. Little Orange`s fur shows lovely stripes.
|Little O, snoozing on a hot day - MW|
|Quinn - `now, which way should I run...`- MW|
This handsome boy in the barncat pen shows the clear bullseye.
Pumpkin is a relative newcomer to the back courtyard, but making himself at home. His pale orange shows the markings in the right light.
|Pumpkin is gradually becoming tamer - ML|
|Piper says "This is MY shelf!"|
The SPOTTED tabbies are actually a sub-set of the Mackerel or Classic tabbies – the stripes in the original genetic pattern are broken up to form spots. The clearest examples of this are Lucky, our Bengal, and Emery, who clearly has some Bengal in him.
|We can see how in a wild cat this would be protective colouring.|
One of many wonderful Lucky pics by Michele..
But this is probably the most common marking, with the remnants of spots or stripes showing through the agouti fur for both long and short-haired tabbies.
|Birdie showing his pretty markings - MW|
Blog by Brigid Coult
Photos by Brigid Coult, Moira Langley & Michele Wright