tortoiseshell tabby abyssinian cat
- September 22, 2023
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The terms "tortoiseshell" and "tabby" refer to specific coat patterns and colorations in cats. However, when discussing the Abyssinian breed, these terms aren't typically associated with the breed's standard.
Here's a breakdown:
Tortoiseshell (often called "tortie" for short)
This describes a cat with a coat that combines two colors other than white, usually black and red or their diluted versions, blue and cream. Tortoiseshell cats can be with or without the tabby pattern.
Refers to the coat pattern found on many domestic cats, characterized by distinct stripes, dots, lines, or swirling patterns, often with an "M" shape on the forehead. There are different tabby patterns, such as mackerel, classic, spotted, and ticked.
The hallmark of the Abyssinian's coat is the "ticked" pattern. Each hair is banded with multiple colors. The base color is usually rich and warm, overlaid with a darker ticking. This gives them their unique, warm glow. The main recognized colors for Abyssinians are ruddy (or usual), sorrel (or red), blue, and fawn.
While the Abyssinian's coat is a type of tabby pattern (specifically, the ticked tabby), they don't display the typical tabby stripes, swirls, or spots on the body. Furthermore, Abyssinians do not come in the tortoiseshell coloration as a breed standard.
That said, it's theoretically possible for an Abyssinian to have a mix in its lineage that results in non-standard colors or patterns, but such a cat would not meet the breed standards for show purposes. If someone is referring to a "tortoiseshell tabby Abyssinian," it could be an informal or non-standard description of an individual cat's unique appearance, rather than a recognized variant of the breed.