Can British Shorthairs Have Tabby Markings? Exploring the Possibilities.

Tabby markings are the result of a genetic mutation that affects the way the cat’s coat is pigmented. There are several different genes involved in tabby markings, and the pattern can be passed on from one generation to the next. The exact combination of genes that results in tabby markings can vary from cat to cat.

Types of Tabby Markings in Cats

There are several different types of tabby markings that can occur in cats. The most common type is the classic tabby pattern, which features bold, swirling stripes on the cat’s coat. Other types of tabby markings include the mackerel tabby, which features thin, vertical stripes, and the spotted tabby, which features large spots on the coat.

Factors that Affect Tabby Markings in British Shorthairs

While tabby markings can occur in British Shorthairs, there are several factors that can affect the appearance of the markings.


Breeding plays a significant role in determining the appearance of a cat’s coat. If both parents have tabby markings, it is more likely that their offspring will also have tabby markings. Breeders can also selectively breed cats with specific coat patterns to produce offspring with desired markings.

Age and Growth

The appearance of tabby markings can change as a cat grows and develops. Kittens may have faint or subtle markings that become more pronounced as they mature. Similarly, older cats may develop more prominent markings as they age.

Feeding and Nutrition

A cat’s diet and nutrition can also affect the appearance of their coat. A well-nourished cat with a balanced diet is more likely to have a healthy, shiny coat than a cat with a poor diet. Feeding your British Shorthair a high-quality, balanced diet can help to enhance the appearance of their tabby markings.

How to Identify Tabby Markings in British Shorthairs

Identifying tabby markings in British Shorthairs can be relatively easy, as the markings are often quite visible.

Physical Characteristics

British Shorthairs with tabby markings will have one or more of the classic tabby patterns, such as bold swirls or vertical stripes. The markings may be subtle or bold, depending on the individual cat. Some British Shorthairs with tabby markings may also have a white bib or white socks on their feet.

Behavioral Traits

While tabby markings are primarily a physical characteristic, some cat owners have reported that cats with tabby markings tend to have certain behavioral traits. For example, some tabby cats are said to be more active and playful than cats with other coat patterns.


In conclusion, British Shorthairs can indeed have tabby markings. The appearance of the markings can vary based on several factors, including breeding, age and growth, and diet and nutrition. If you are considering adding a British Shorthair with tabby markings to your family, make sure to choose a reputable breeder and provide your cat with a healthy, balanced diet to keep their coat looking beautiful and healthy.

ThePetFaq Team