Mackerel Tabby Cat – Origin and Important Facts

This post is about my obsession with Mackerel Tabby Cats. “There are two ways of relief from the cares of life: music and cats,” Albert Schweitzer, a great theologian and writer, once stated.

His affection for cats was unmistakable. Do you adore felines? If you answered yes, you’d probably say they’re adorable! Are you a fan of their sophisticated black stripes and coat patterns as well?


‘Tabby’ is the name for these dark-colored marks on the cat’s fur. That’s really cool! Aren’t these designs enthralling? The most common tabby cat is the striped or Mackerel.

Mackerel cats usually have a distinct’mark on their forehead. Do you want to learn more about the Mackerel tabby cat? Then let us whisk you away to an info-ride!

The Mackerel Tabby Cat Pattern in Detail

The domestic cat Felis Catus (mackerel tabby) has stripes on practically every portion of its body. Have you ever seen attractive girls with eyeliners on their eyes? These cats, too, have lovely dark lines around the corners of their eyes.

Their legs, backs, faces, necks, chests, flanks, stomachs, shoulders, and more are all covered in black stripes! The circles surrounding their tail are reminiscent of tree trunk rings. The ‘M’ sign is commonly seen on their forehead.

Their striped design is reminiscent of a tiger to many people. As a result, they are sometimes referred to as ‘tiger cats.’ Remember, the tiger is the largest member of the Felidae (Cat) family! So, some resemblances are to be expected, right?

So the Mackerel tabby cat is a type of cat? Certainly not. It’s a striped pattern that can be found on a variety of cat breeds. When bred to the Maine Coon, the Norwegian Forest Cat produced some stunning tabby markings!

Mackerel tabby stripes are virtually perpendicular to the length of the body part. The streaks are continuous, but they can also be split up into spots or bars. Because the stripes resemble fish bones, the Mackerel tabby is also known as the ‘fishbone tabby.’

These facts are fascinating, but the tale behind the name “mackerel tabby” is even more so. Do you want to learn more about it? Then scroll down.

Tabby Cat and Mackerel Tabby Cat are two names for the same cat. Did you realise that the word ‘tabby,’ which is linked with your adorable little cat, has Arabic origins?

Tabby cat hair is similar to striped silk taffeta, which was first made in Al-Attabiyah, a Baghdad neighbourhood. Al-Arabiya is said to be named after Prince ‘Attab’ of the Omayyad dynasty.

In Arabic, this textile was known as ‘Atta.’ When the French came to see the fabric in the fourteenth century, they called it ‘tabis’ in their own dialect. It was subsequently further changed by English speakers, who coined the term ‘tabby.’

However, there was no link between tabby, a plane weaved silk material with wavy moiré patterns, and cats until the late eighteenth century. People began to link the striped pattern on the cat’s coat with striped silk taffeta after this time.

The transition from silk to cat is enthralling. Isn’t that so? Silk, on the other hand, was left unsupervised when tabby became linked with cats. Are you curious about the term’mackerel’? Mackerel was initially defined as “a predatory oceanic fish with a greenish-blue back.” It is a valuable food fish.

What is the relationship between fish and cats? The relationship between cat and fish, on the other hand, makes more logic than the one between silk and fish! Don’t you think so? There is, however, a rationale behind it.

The streaks that emerge from the cat’s spine resemble the skeleton of a fish. As a result, the word “mackerel” was coined!! (in the background, there are drum rolls)

Mackerel Tabby: 5 Things You Didn’t Know

1. They’re Related to Legends

Mackerel tabby is more prestigious and historically significant (kind of!) than you might believe! You may not have had the opportunity to be linked with a legend, but this pussy has it crossed off her list. They appear in all legends, from spiritual luminaries like Mary and Prophet Muhammad to intriguing Egyptians!


Writer Jim Wills has the most recent story about the genesis of the letter ‘M.’ In his novel ‘Beloved of Bast,’ he claims that when Bast, the sun goddess Ra’s cat, paid a visit to Mother, a cat, she was so moved by her generosity that she bestowed the letter ‘M’ on all Mackerel tabby cats.


When Jesus was born, he was put in a manger with hay all around him. Outside, it was bitterly cold, and baby Jesus began to shiver. He was unable to cope with the cold and began to cry. Nothing worked, even though Mother Mary rocked him and covered him with blankets.

She then summoned all of the animals to encircle him in order to provide him with some warmth, but nothing could block the cold breeze.

From a safe distance, a Mackerel tabby was watching. She then entered the manger and began cuddling up to him. Jesus was put to sleep by the cat’s purr. Mother Mary, impressed by the efforts, bestowed the ‘M’ sign on the tabby’s forehead.


Cats were referred to as ‘Mau’ by the ancient Egyptians. Have you ever heard of this name? Exactly! The sound is that of a cat. Some people believe that the letter ‘M’ on a cat’s forehead depicts the sound they make, which is meow.


Prophet Muhammad was reported to be a cat lover. He once noticed his cat Muezza napping on the sleeve of his robe as he was about to depart for prayer.

Despite the fact that he had woken her up, he cut off her sleeve. It turned out to be a positive omen for him later on. As a result, some people believe that the letter ‘M’ stands for Muhammad, the tabby guardian.

2. Mackerel Tabby Cats Are Intelligent and Playful

“Just watching my kitties can make me happy,” observed Paula Cole, an American singer-songwriter. Have you ever sat down to study and seen your cat playing with your book? Did you declare her the cutest distraction despite shooing her?

Cats enjoy playing, as any experienced owner knows. It doesn’t matter if it’s with her woollen ball, toys, or even you. They adore fetch and are nearly giddy at the prospect of spending time with their owner.

Furthermore, as compared to other cats, they are more intelligent. They are perceptive and prompt in their decision-making. Their capacity to make excellent companions may surprise you. They’re also a fun way to pass the time. Their naïve appearance mixed with wit may amuse you.

3. The Mackerel Tabby Is Where The Tabby Pattern Began

Have you already been stunned by the description? Yes, you were correct. The Mackerel tabby is the ancestor of all tabby patterns. Both the European and African wildcats have a drab, striped tabby appearance.

Mackerel tabby coat was created when both of these breeds were mated together.

It is now recognised in practically all domestic cats. So why don’t they all have tabby patterns? Most likely due to the fact that their genes for the same are not as dominant, therefore concealing the effect.

Greater desirable tabby patterns could emerge with more selective breeding and gene mutations. Perhaps we’ll discover a totally surprising pattern with unusual breeding combinations!

4. They Used To Be Linked To Witchcraft

Can’t get enough of The Maleficent from the Harry Potter series? Even in horror films, black cats with gleaming eyes can be seen outside the haunted house. In movies and television shows, their haunting scream is used as a horror sound effect.

However, there was more superstition in the past than there is now. These cats were supposed to be either possessed by a soul or cursed by witchcraft throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Tabby was traditionally used to refer to a witch’s female cat. A stereotyped black cat is presented as ghostly in movies, but tabby pattern cats were traditionally thought to be witches’ favourites. “Familiars” was the name given to these cats.

5. Mackerel Tabby Kittens Can Be Excessively Inquisitive

Mackerel tabby cats are intelligent, as previously said. Furthermore, kids have a natural curiosity. They have a strong desire to go where no one has gone before.

When presented with a novel object, individuals may be compelled to utilise it even though they have no prior knowledge of it. ‘What happens if I jump from this high shelf?’

These types of crazy ideas run through their heads, and you may not even be aware of it. It is preferable to prevent than than cure. As a result, keep these cats away from high furniture, shelves, and ladders.

They may also try to approach your little child and play with them out of curiosity. This can turn out to be very dangerous for your little one. In this circumstance, extra caution is required.


Which story, in your opinion, best explains the origin of the letter ‘M’? You can choose from a variety of options. There are biological reasons for this as well. According to some specialists, it is caused by either unprotected sexual encounters or self-mimesis.

There are some intriguing hypotheses as well, such as how their habit of looking at the rat-hole with dilated lids caused them to grow lines on their forehead that resemble the letter ‘M.’

It’s all right! It’s fascinating to see how these cats can be both dangerous and friendly at the same time. Their intelligence is frequently overwhelmed by their insatiable curiosity.

Their combination of inquisitiveness and wit could lead to disastrous consequences. Cats, interestingly, are thought to have nine lives. Is it possible that it is due to their insatiable need to learn more about the world? Who knows what will happen!