cat ghost stripes

Black Cat With Tabby Stripes ( All You Need To Know About These Cats)

When it comes to cats, there are many different coat colors and patterns that you can find. However, black cats with tabby stripes are unique and stand out from the rest.

If you’re lucky enough to have one of these beautiful felines, you know that you have a genuinely one-of-a-kind pet.

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A black cat with tabby stripes is a beautiful and unique cat. While they are not as common as solid black or solid tabby cats, they are a stunning sight.

Black cats with tabby stripes are said to be lucky, and people consider them to be good luck charms.

There are a few things that make black cats with tabby stripes unique. For one, the contrast of the black and white colors is eye-catching.

Secondly, the stripes add visual interest and texture to the coat. Lastly, black cats with tabby stripes are relatively rare, so they tend to stand out in a crowd.

If you are looking for a beautiful and unique cat, a black cat with tabby stripes may be a perfect choice!

You can find black cats with tabby stripes at your local animal shelter if you are lucky because they are not so common.

cat ghost stripes

Table of Contents

Where Did Black Cats with Tabby Stripes Originate?

Black cats with tabby stripes originated in Africa. People often associate the coloration of these cats with magical powers and fertility, which is why they are called “cat’s eyes.” In Egypt, they were worshiped as gods and were considered sacred.

That’s because their coloration represented the goddess Bastet. She was the protector of women, children, and domestic animals.

Black cats with tabby stripes have been known for centuries as a symbol of good luck, prosperity, and prosperity in general.

In the United States, black cats with tabby stripes are native to some areas of the country, while black cats without tabby stripes are more common in other areas.

What Is the Lifespan of Black Cats with Tabby Stripes?

Black cats with tabby stripes are a unique breed of cats. They’re known for their long-life expectancy, which is typical of all cats. The average lifespan of a black cat with tabby stripes is 12-15 years old.

The lifespan of a black cat with tabby stripes depends on the cat’s genetics and lifestyle. Black cats with tabby stripes have a genetic predisposition to live longer than other cats.

You can attriute to their genetic makeup, including genes that slow the aging process and help them withstand stress.

Not forgetting, the black color of their fur helps them stay warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather.

On the other hand, lifestyle matters too. Cats fed well, have a clean environment, and receive proper veterinary care can live up to 15 years or more. Cats that are not fed well, have poor hygiene, or lack veterinary care may die earlier than expected.

Read also:  black cat with white undercoat .

cat ghost stripes

Black Tabby Cat Personality

  • Black tabby cats are known for being curious and playful, especially if they’re kittens! If you want your kitty to be an active and social pet who enjoys playing games with you and your family, you should consider adopting this breed!
  • They like to be the center of attention and will come up to you and rub their face against your leg when they are happy.
  • Another characteristic is that they are quiet animals known to be good watchdogs and will not try to bite if you are careful with them around small children or pets.
  • They are curious about new things and love interacting with people as much as possible and other animals, especially dogs.
  • They are very social and often follow their owner into rooms where no other pets are present.

They are great candidates for children and families because they enjoy having someone around all day!

Black Cat with Stripes Breed

The Black cat with a Striped Coat is a domestic cat breed. This cat breed has a long flowing coat that is usually in the shape of a solid black but can also be spotted or striped.

These cats have dark eyes and broad cheekbones with a strong jawline. The body is muscular and well-defined.

This cat breed is known for its striking appearance, but it also has many other qualities that make them great companions for people looking for affectionate, friendly pets.

We’ve compiled a list of the three best black cats with stripes.

  • The Abyssinian

These cats have a lot of black fur, with white or orange stripes on their body. They are very affectionate creatures, and you should keep them indoors only if you want them to live long lives!

They are very prone to disease and infection, which they can get outdoors. However, if you want your cat to go outdoors without complications, consider getting your kitty vaccinated and spayed.

  • The American Shorthair

These cats have solid black fur with stripes on their body. If you are about to get one, ensure it is fully vaccinated and neutered before bringing it into your house!

  • The Asian Leopard

These cats have dark skin, with white spots on their bodies and tails. They love playing in the water and will often splash around while swimming in your pool or bathtub!

cat ghost stripes

Black Cat with Subtle Stripes

Black cats with subtle stripes are a unique breed characterized by a black coat with subtle patterns of white and gray. These cats have an unusual coat coloration, which can vary from one cat to another.

Although these cats are often mistaken for other breeds, such as the Siamese, they are part of their separate species.

You may also know the black cat with subtle stripes by several names, including the Calico Cat, Blue Point Tortoiseshell Cat, and Chocolate Point, among others.

The black cat with subtle stripes has an average life span of 12-15 years, which is longer than that of other breeds of cats. They require regular grooming and bathing to keep their fur clean and healthy.

People refer to black cats with subtle stripes as “Baroque” cats. That is a reference to the Baroque style of painting, which used a lot of shading and was quite heavy on detail.

People call them Baroque because they look like an artist influenced by this style has painted them.

Some people believe a genetic mutation caused the unusual coloring in their coat; however, there is no scientific proof for this theory (yet).

Appearance and Personality of Black Cats with Subtle Stripes

Black cats with subtle stripes are likely to be Maine Coon cats, and they are trendy. They have a long body, a thick tail, and large ears set high on the head.

Their ears can be straight or curled, depending on the breed. Their nose is large and black, and their eyes are dark brown or blue-black.

The coat of this breed is thick, soft, and fluffy; it comes in multiple colors, including blue, chocolate, and lilac gray.

They tend to be friendly and playful, though they may be aloof around strangers at first. An example is the Maine Coons which like to play games with each other and enjoy playing with children and other pets.

This breed is generally healthy but can suffer from problems such as allergies due to its allergenic coat proteins (also known as dander).

Black Cat Looks Brown in Sunlight

The black cat looks brown in sunlight because the sun reflects off the cat’s fur and creates the illusion that the cat is brown.

Another reason black cats look brown in sunlight is that they have a lot of melanin, a pigment that gives color to their fur.

When melanin is exposed to sunlight, it can darken the fur and make it look brown. Another reason is that black cats have a lot of hair. The hair can reflect light and make the pile look brown.

Another reason black cats look brown in sunlight is that they have darker coats than other cats and absorb more UV light than white, gray, or taupe cats.

Another reason is that black cats are more prone to sunburn than other cats. Finally, the sun’s rays can cause melanin pigments to fluoresce in cats’ eyes and fur so that they can appear brownish under certain conditions.

Black Cat with Stripes in The Sun

If you have a black cat with stripes, you may wonder what happens to its appearance in the sun. The answer is that cats do not have the same physiology as humans and can’t tan like us.

The black cat with stripes has a unique appearance visible in the sun. The pattern of the black fur with white and yellow stripes gives it a distinctive look that you can see from far away.

When you see a black cat with stripes in the sun, you may notice that its fur shines brightly. That’s because sunlight reflects off of the hair and makes it appear to glow.

The black cat with stripes’ furs also has a unique appearance when viewed at night or under dim lighting.

Also, see:  why are black cats called voids ?

What Are Ghost Stripes on Cats?

Ghost stripes on cats are a rare genetic mutation that causes fur to grow in white spaces between individual hairs.

There are two ghost stripes: hair follicle defect can cause one kind, and an enzyme deficiency can cause another.

The former type is more common and causes fur to grow where there’s no hair growth (hence the name). The latter type is less common and usually results in only one stripe or less.

Inherited genetic mutations can cause ghost stripes, and that causes an overgrowth of melanocytes, cells that produce skin pigments in the ear.

These cells deposit pigment into the upper layer of the dermis (this is why it looks like the hair is growing), which makes your cat’s ear appear striped or mottled.

If you have a cat with ghost stripes and you’re thinking about giving it to another family member or friend, you should do your research first!

You don’t want to give away a healthy pet just because you think it has some weird marking on its body!

Ghost Tabby Markings

Ghost tabby markings are an unusual pattern of spots on a cat’s coat. They can look like the outline of a cat’s face or, more rarely, like an actual ghostly apparition.

Gene mutation that occurs when an allele of the Agouti gene is present can cause ghost tabby markings.

The Agouti gene determines whether a cat’s coat will have spots or stripes. Cats with the gene may have a dominant form of the variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) allele. That means they can be either striped or spotted.

The dominant form causes the Agouti gene to be expressed in different areas of the body so that another colored fur appears where there should be none.

Ghost tabby markings look similar to cheetah spots. Cats with this unique pattern generally have dark fur. So, it’s often hard to tell them apart from cheetahs, except that Cheetahs are much bigger and appear to be more vicious.

In some cases, the ghost tabby markings may be more visible than others on a cat’s body; some cats may only have one spot showing, while others will have several on each side of the body (and even on the back).

You’ll find that your pet’s appearance changes depending on how many ghost tabby markings they have: if there are none at all, then your cat will look almost normal.

What Is a Black Ghost Tabby?

A black ghost tabby is a cat with what looks like a white underbelly. The first thing you’ll notice when you look at this feline is the white stripe across its body.

Its belly is usually white, although not always the case. But it doesn’t stop there: black ghost tabby cats have eye rings around their eyes and a black mask on their face and paws.

A black ghost tabby cat also has very faint tabby markings. The markings are so vague that they are almost invisible.

These cats are not albinos, though some people mistakenly think so. They’re naturally dark in color, with a white underbelly and white stripes or spot-like patches.

What some people call “ghostly” or “haunted.” If your cat has a white belly and face but white patches on its paws, body, or tail, you might have a black ghost tabby! And that’s not all that uncommon for cats!

Why Does My Black Cat Have Tiger Stripes?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as the patterns and colors of a black cat’s fur can vary greatly.

No one answer fits all black cats with tiger stripes. Some black cats may have tiger stripes due to their genes or parentage. At the same time, others may have a unique coat pattern.

6 Possible Reasons Why Black Cat Has Tiger Stripes

  • The cat may be a mixed breed with tiger stripes due to genetic mixing.
  • The lines may be the result of a mutation or other genetic abnormality.
  • A medical condition known as “ghost striping” could cause the streaks. 
  • The cat may be a scarce variety of black cat that naturally has tiger stripes.
  • The stripes may result from a genetic condition known as feline hyperpigmentation, which causes the cat’s fur to darken in certain areas.
  • The lines may be the result of the cat’s fur pattern.

Black cats with tabby stripes are not just a rare house cat breed. They are a breed that comes from genetic mutations and not one that is specifically bred for the pet trade.

Their coloration patterns come from piebald genetics or, more specifically, the dominant white spotting gene that leads to malformations in the animal’s coat.

However, black cats with tabby stripes are traditionally associated with magic, sorcery, and bad luck.

But don’t let that fool you. Unlike their colorful cousins, these cats have retained a remarkable appearance.


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  • Cat Breeds, Breeding and Showing
  • Describing Cats - What Does My Cat Look Like?

Does My Kitten Have Ghost Markings?

  • Thread starter Paris Pluto
  • Start Date Feb 10, 2018

Paris Pluto

Paris Pluto

Thread starter.

cat ghost stripes

Charlie's Purrson


Yes, it looks like she has ghost tabby markings, in the classic (aka marbled or bullseye) pattern. Ghost markings in kittens will usually fade once they reach adulthood, so Jiggy will probably end up being solid blue.  


I wonder. She seems to be a solid blue, and thus, these stripes on tail should be ghost markings. And tend to disappear with adulthood. But the ghost markings are usually of the striped type. Here they seem to be of the classic tabby type on her side. So either I must relearn some, or she may be a classic blue tabby after all... Lets see what happens with time. Do you know her background? Parents? Was any of the parents a tabby? Also, more good pics are welcome, so we may see if she is a look alike to some recognized breed. That is what we usually do here...  

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
stefanz said: I wonder. She seems to be a solid blue, and thus, these stripes on tail should be ghost markings. And tend to disappear with adulthood. But the ghost markings are usually of the striped type. Here they seem to be of the classic tabby type on her side. So either I must relearn some, or she may be a classic blue tabby after all... Lets see what happens with time. Do you know her background? Parents? Was any of the parents a tabby? Also, more good pics are welcome, so we may see if she is a look alike to some recognized breed. That is what we usually do here... Click to expand...

cat ghost stripes

I can't seem to upload the other one but hopefully that one helps!  

cat ghost stripes

What a beautiful kitten - here is a pic of Niki's ghost stripes (tail 'rings') she is slowly growing out of them (even though I am kind of quite fond of them lol) FYI Niki is a Russian Blue and 13 months old View media item 420739  

Wags said: What a beautiful kitten - here is a pic of Niki's ghost stripes (tail 'rings') she is slowly growing out of them (even though I am kind of quite fond of them lol) FYI Niki is a Russian Blue and 13 months old View media item 420739 Click to expand...
Paris St. James said: Wow! Niki is so beautiful and majestic. Click to expand...
Wags said: Thanks - she knows it too. But also has the sweetest nature and is an absolute clown when playing - she loves chasing balls up an down the hall way and hiding in closets ( and although I suspect this makes me a 'bad' mother I actually shut her in one all night by accident - she managed to open all my shoe boxes and made quite a mess of the contents lol) I notice that Jiggy has pink/purple-ish paw pads which is uncommon in grey cats (my understanding is that they are usuallyusually grey- matching their fur) Click to expand...

She doesnt seem to be apparent look alike to any established breed, however nice looks she has.. You can always call her for a maltese cat, which are all blue cats where we cant decide what exact breed they may belong to. Hey, once upon a time the early Russian Blue were too called for Maltese cats...  

stefanz said: She doesnt seem to be apparent look alike to any established breed, however nice looks she has.. You can always call her for a maltese cat, which are all blue cats where we cant decide what exact breed they may belong to. Hey, once upon a time the early Russian Blue were too called for Maltese cats... Click to expand...


Tashanasha said: I have the same question. The mom of my little boy was sold blue, the dad bi-colored (blue and white) and he seems to have some tabby pattern, mostly on his legs and tail (which confuses me a bit, since tabby is supposed to be a dominant feature, and if the parents didn't have it neither should hr, right?). This was taken a month ago: View attachment 238538 He is now almost 5 months old and the markings still look the same. Hard to get a good picture of his tail, but here are the legs: View attachment 238539 Do you think he will grow out of them? I don't really mind them, I'm just confused on how he got them Click to expand...


Blue kittens usually have some ghost tabby markings. It is highly variable how long they stick around. At 5 months, a kitten still has its "kitten coat"; most will still have ghost markings at that age. When the adult coat comes in, the ghost markings on the body usually go away (although you may be able to faintly see them sometimes). However, ghost markings on the tail can take a lot longer to go away... even as adults, blue cats often have some faint stripes on the tail, and that is normal.  

StefanZ said: I wonder. She seems to be a solid blue, and thus, these stripes on tail should be ghost markings. And tend to disappear with adulthood. But the ghost markings are usually of the striped type. Here they seem to be of the classic tabby type on her side. So either I must relearn some, or she may be a classic blue tabby after all... Lets see what happens with time. Click to expand...


Hey guys, I also adopted a kitten 3 months old. They were given her away and the advertisement said she is russian blue. However, I am not so sure. She is a doll !! But probably a mix RB. Could you tell me what you think? I read that the eye colour changes after 4 months and the ghost markings dissapewa as they grow old.  



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cat ghost stripes

Cat Coat Patterns: 10 Interesting Facts That You’ll Love

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Stripes, swirls, spots, or even solids, there’s a long list of cat coat patterns to fall in love with. For me, the unique mix on a tortie and the colorful patches of a calico stand out the most. And whether you love the bold and busy or something more subtle and subdued, there’s always a strict science to understanding cat coat patterns.

cat ghost stripes

Did you know a cat’s coat pattern manifests depends on their genetic code?

It can get pretty complicated once you get down to Punnett squares and recessive versus dominant genes. But no matter what your cat’s coat looks like, it’s her DNA that determines whether she has the stripes and swirls of a classic tabby or the pointed pattern of a Siamese. Every type of cat coat pattern has been analyzed and categorized, and here are the top most interesting facts you probably didn’t know about your favorite kinds of cats. 

cat ghost stripes

1. Those Pretty Points Have A Relation To Their Body Temperature

The gene related to the point-restricted pattern (recognized by a lighter body color with a darker color at the face, ears, and feet) is sensitive to temperature. The color only appears on the cooler extremities of the body. Siamese cats are great examples of this cat coat pattern. They typically have cream-colored fur on the bulk on their bodies and dark brown fur marking their extremities. There are also flame-point, lilac point, lynx point, chocolate point, and several other kinds of point coat patterns. This coat pattern is not restricted to any individual cat breed, and they’re fairly easy to spot.

cat ghost stripes

2. Coat Chromosomes Control Sex Chromosomes

Most cat lovers know calico cats and tortie cats are almost always female, and most gingers are male. This has to do with chromosomes that carry certain color genes, and you can read more about that here . Most people don’t realize, however, that cats and hamsters are the only mammals that closely link coat color to gender.

Think about it: you can’t tell what gender a dog is simply by looking at its coat color, can you? That’s because most mammals have genes for hair color and pattern on other chromosomes besides the sex chromosomes. For cats, however, coat color is found on the same chromosomes that determine if the cat is male or female.

cat ghost stripes

3. Only 3 Colors, Technically

You’ve seen cats of all colors including black, gray, cream, white, brown, and orange. There’s a whole rainbow of cats out there. But scientifically speaking, cats only come in three colors . Those colors are black, red, and white. All those other colors you see are simply dilutions or mixtures.

cat ghost stripes

4. Do You Believe In Ghosts? What About Ghost Markings

Ready to have your mind blown? We bet you didn’t know that all cats are tabby cats .

You’re right when you call a tiger-striped kitty a tabby, but there’s more to it than that. Whether a cat shows its stripes or not depends on if it has a dominant Agouti gene that controls the distribution of black pigment. If the gene is not present, their dark stripes won’t show up. But even still, many solid colored cats show their inner tabby if you look at them in the right lighting or when they still have their kitten coats. These are called “ghost markings.” To avoid confusion and to make things simpler, we only call cats tabbies when their stripes are clearly seen.

cat ghost stripes

5. A Signature Marking All Tabbies Wear

Besides the stripes and swirls, there’s one other way to identify a tabby cat. All tabbies have the characteristic “M” marking on their foreheads . It can be any color, but you’ll always find it planted squarely between a cat’s eyebrows. It gives tabbies a striking look that accentuates their eyes.

6. There Is More To It Than Just “Tabby”

To keep up with our favored tabbies, did you know there are actually five different kinds of tabby cats ? The classic tabby with its combination of stripes and swirls is what most people think of. Then there are ticked tabbies that have an almost iridescent look thanks to their multi-colored hair shafts. On each hair, there is a lighter color at the base and a darker color near the end.

A mackerel tabby is characterized by vertical stripes down their body and a dark colored spine. Spotted tabbies are easy to find thanks to their visible spots. Lastly, patched tabbies are cats that show any of the other four tabby coat patterns in addition to red or orange patches linked to their sex gene. These cats are also sometimes called “torbies” or “reverse torties.”

cat ghost stripes

Want to learn more about calicos, torties, and torbies? Check out our article on them: How To Tell The Difference Between Torbie, Tortie, Calico And Tabby Coat Color

7. Ever Heard Of A Caliby?

There’s an unofficial sixth type of tabby cat called a caliby. This is when the cat is both a tabby and a calico. A caliby has stripes or swirls and the M on their forehead mixed in with their calico colors.

8. Calicos Are Always Unique

A black and white cat only needs one speck of orange to be called a calico. Sometimes a calico’s patches and splashes of color are bold and hard to miss. But there are also calicos that only have small amounts of orange. Round up all the calico cats in your neighborhood—even the whole country—and you’ll be hard pressed to find two that look alike. Calico cat coat patterns are unique and special.

9. Tuxedo Cats Are Not Always Wearing Their Formal Suit And Tie

Tuxedo cats are popular for their adorably formal-looking coat patterns. They’re bi-colored cats recognized for being mostly black with white on their chests, feet, and sometimes faces. Being black and white, however, isn’t a requirement for the “ tuxie ” coat pattern. There are also tuxedo cats that are gray, orange, and cream.

cat ghost stripes

10. Truly Solid Is Rare

A solid color without any patches, stripes, swirls, or spots is considered one of the basic cat coat patterns. The cat can be all black, white, gray, red, or cream. It sounds simple, but it’s actually fairly rare for a cat to have absolutely no other color. A lot of mostly black cats have small white markings on their bellies or between their toes. This makes them bi-colored no matter how small the colorful speck!


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I have a question on #8: I call my female tuxedo cat a “tabedo” because she has black and grey tabby markings on her “cape”. However, if you pull the hair on her “cape” back, she has orange hair underneath, and stomach has orange on it between the cape and white section. Does that mean she is a calico as well as a tuxedo and a tabby?

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WOW! technically…yes! she’s one of a kind!!

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Amber, I feel exactly the same as you. My favorite coat patterns are also tortie & then calico. Also, could someone please answer Mandy’s question? I find it fascinating.

done! yes technically she’s calico….and 1 of a kind!!

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nope. heart markings have always been around (though rare). It just happens to be the way that particular patch of hair forms…(proteins surrounding the genes determine which hair is what colour….they tend to group together. It’s called epigenetics. In a calico cat, for example, all hairs have the genes for all colours…whether the hair is orange or black or white depends on the surrounding proteins) Just for interest…the less stress on mama, the more white will be on her kittens!

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i had a calico and when i was young but it didn’t have the usual color pattern it wasn’t black white oragne it had grey white and orange

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I’ve had three cats that don’t seem to fall into any of these categories. All were mostly white, with tabby patches on their head, back, tail and partial legs. They had the tabby “M”, but are mostly white. What is that?

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Uncover the Mystery of the Black Tabby Cat

Home » FAQ » Uncover the Mystery of the Black Tabby Cat

cat ghost stripes

Tabby cats, regardless of their tabby pattern, are alley cats that have a complex history, an original genetic makeup, and cheerful and affectionate personalities that match their stunning appearance (you will fall in love with black kittens that can boast dark tiger stripes on the body, legs, and tail, a signature “M” marking on their forehead, and a coat that shines in the light). These plentiful and peppy black tabby cats a.k.a tiger cats are a win-win option for many cat owners.

Let’s take a look at the appearance of the tabby cat black, the domestic cat genetics, and uncover cunning facts about this unique pet that you may not know.

What Is s Black Tabby Cat?

What Is s Black Tabby Cat?

On top of that, these house cats may also have odd eyes – one eye might be blue while another might be yellow or green. Tiger tabby cats, in general, are very popular; their jet-black coat is striking and elegant, and their furry paws are simply irresistibly cute! We can bet that they might be the cover cats on Cat Fancy.

Black felines with a striped coat pattern are quite common in moggies and purebred cats, but sometimes, people opt for cats of other colors and patterns. For instance:

  • Orange tabby cat This coat pattern is caused by the presence of both orange and black pigments in the hair. Usually, orange tabby cats have stripes on a cream background. The tabby pattern is altered by the modifier gene (agouti or ticked), so the length and texture of orange tabbies’ hair may also be affected.
  • Grey tabby cat The grey tabby is one of the most popular types among cats. The term “Grey” means that the grey area on the cat’s head, forehead, tail, and legs has no white or any other color.
  • Patched tabby cat According to the Cat Fanciers’ Association, if a cat has patches of red and/or cream or has two different colors on its nose leather and/or paw pads, the cat is probably a patched tabby (silver, blue or brown). Patched tabby cats have a blend of red, grey, and brown shades. This pattern is extremely common in female cats, as they have two X-chromosomes. The orange gene is found on the X chromosome, and male cats have only one X chromosome, so they can be either orange or non-orange.

Is the Black Tabby a Breed of Cat?

In fact, there are different breeds of black tabby cats (this group includes moggies and purebred felines). The Siberian cat, for example, has a short, thick, and dense coat that is black. The Abyssinian cat has a slender, muscular body, and a black tabby coat. By the way, Abyssinian cats have a beautiful ticked tabby pattern. The Bengal cat has a medium-length black coat that features brown stripes.

On top of that, there are black tabby British Shorthair cats and black tabby Maine Coon cats that look marvelous.

Black Tabby M

Black Tabby cats are tabbies that have a distinctive M shaped marking on the forehead. This type of tabby has pencil marks around its face. This is similar to what leopards and jaguars have.

Black Tabby Cat Personality

Black Tabby Cat Personality

The personality and behavior of black tabby cats differ significantly from that of other varieties. Black tabby cats are easy to fall in love with because they’re friendly, outgoing, and have a playful nature.

While most cats don’t need close human interaction to be happy, black tabby cats are those rare felines who thrive on attention and love from their owners. They will greet you with a meow – always asking for your attention, which is endearing and lovable. This special quality makes them wonderful pets for families or singles who want a furry companion that they can relate to on a more personal level.

Editor’s Note

Are black tabby cats cuddly?

While some black tabby cats could be more quiet or independent, others can be quite loving and affectionate. Remember that every cat is an individual and that their surroundings, early socialization experiences, genetics, and other factors may all have an impact on how they behave.

Black Tabby Coat Serves a Purpose

The black tabby coat is not just for show. It’s actually quite functional. The distinct tabby pattern helps to break up the cat’s outline, making it more difficult for predators to spot it in dark environments like jungles or forests. This camouflage can literally be a lifesaver for cats living in the wild.

Additionally, their coats also provide protection from the elements, like excessive heat and cold. The unique coat pattern is also a great identifier for owners of pet cats so they can quickly identify which one belongs to them.

Ghost Tabby Cat

What is a ghost tabby? The term ghost tabby (smoke tabby or shadow tabby) refers to black striped cats. Genetically, all cats are tabby , however, some cats carry the non-agouti (hypermelanistic) recessive mutation, normally, the base hairs consist of two bands of pigmentation, but in the non-agouti cat, the hair appears solid, or self-colored. Since tabby patterns aren’t solid, a ghost tabby kitten appears to be striped with white. The additional white markings can make it appear as if a solid cat has transparent ghosts around it. This underlying tabby pattern can give these black tiger cats an ethereal appearance, which may be why they’re sometimes referred to as black ghost tabby cats or spook tabbies.

Charcoal and Melanistic Black Tabby Cats

Charcoal and Melanistic Black Tabby Cats

This coat color is characteristic of Bengal cats. It looks eye-catching – the main shade is dark, almost black, and the pattern features black stripes, spots, or swirls. The charcoal tabby cat, due to the black pigment, has darker markings than non-coal Bengals, with a dark stripe on its back, and a dark-colored mask on its face. Bengals are thought to have gotten the gene responsible for the dark grey coat color from the Asian leopard cat.

Facts about Black Tabby Cats

Black-striped cats are extraordinary creatures that can boast a rich history and a striking appearance. Here are interesting tidbits about black tabby cats.

Tabby Cats Are Thought to be Furry Friends of Witches

Just as it was with witches, cats have long been surrounded by magic, and black cats were a common theme in many mystical stories. Classic tabby, spotted tabby, mackerel tabby, or black ticked tabby with orange specks and a hint of blue – these are not just regular cat breeds. They were thought to be the familiars (spirit servants) of the witches.

Black Tabby Cats Have Different Distinct Patterns

While it is a common misconception that a black cat with tabby stripes always has stripes, there are many patterns. Tabby cat patterns range from a mackerel pattern (the most common tabby pattern) to a classic tabby pattern, a spotted tabby (the mackerel pattern is broken into spots), and a blotched tabby.

However, even in those categories, you can see subtle differences. It all depends on how dark or light a cat’s hair color is compared to its skin tone and how much white there is. For example, if your black tabby has a darker tabby coat than its skin tone and doesn’t have white markings, it’ll likely be a mackerel tabby kitty. But if it has darker fur than its skin tone with some white markings, it might be more of a classic tabby kitten.

Black Tabbies Were Named After Baghdad Silk

Due to their unique pattern and deep tone, these cats were named after silk from Baghdad.

Black Tabbies Are Outgoing

Outgoing and highly active, black tabbies are known for their amiable nature. Known as a symbol of fortune and being lucky charms, black tabbies are also incredibly friendly companions.

Black Tabbies Have Wild Roots

The pattern of these dope felines resembles the coat design of their wild relatives (tigers, cheetahs, etc.) This distinctive pattern helps them remain undetected by prey.

Can there be a black tabby cat?

Young felines that have an overlying pattern (when the agouti hairs aren’t bandied) can be considered black tabby kittens because they have a solid color.

Where did black cats with tabby stripes originate?

Africa is where black cats with tabby stripes first appeared. The color of these cats is frequently associated with fertility and magic. They were revered and treated as sacred beings in Egypt. Bastet, an ancient god, was symbolized by their color. She stood guard over domesticated animals, women, and kids.

Since ancient times, black cats with tabby stripes have been seen as a sign of luck, wealth, and overall success.

Why does my black cat have tiger stripes?

A black tiger striped cat may inherit tiger stripes from their parents or from their ancestors. Other cats could have a distinctive coat pattern at the same time.

How rare are black tabby cats?

Though some people consider black tabby cats rare, they are quite common in various cat breeds, including fluffy Persians or marvelous Maine Coon kitties.

How much is a black tabby cat?

Like any cat, a black cat of any breed can vary in price depending on where you buy it. Besides, a tabby cat of a certain breed with a white or light-colored coat may also cost more than other tabbies.

If you want to buy a kitten from a breeder, expect to pay around $500-$1,000 (though some breeders will charge upwards of $2,000). Adopting a cat is much cheaper – most shelters charge between $50 and $100 for black tabbies with different patterns, and adoption fees at no-kill shelters are even lower.

How big do black tabby cats get?

Black tabby cats can grow to a variety of sizes depending on their breed. Some breeds are of a smaller size, such as the Siamese, while others are larger, like the Maine Coon. Generally speaking, black tabbies range in size from 5 to 20 pounds.

What is the average lifespan range for tabby cats?

The average lifespan of a black cat with tiger stripes is between 12 and 18 years. The exact age depends on the breed, its diet, and the care it receives. Generally, the healthier a cat’s lifestyle, the longer it will live.

Exercise, proper nutrition, and regular vet visits are all essential for prolonging a tabby’s life. Additionally, cats that are kept indoors tend to live longer than their outdoor counterparts due to reduced exposure to infectious diseases and other risks from the environment.

Do black tabby cats shed a lot?

Black tabby cats shed differently depending on the breed. In comparison to shorthaired varieties, longhaired black tabby breeds, such as Persians and Norwegian Forest Cats, tend to shed more and require more frequent brushing and upkeep.

The time of year might also have an impact on a cat’s shedding rate. Many felines shed more in the spring and autumn to keep cool or to create place for a new, thicker winter coat to develop.

What should I feed my black tabby cat?

For the general health of your black and white cat, a balanced diet is crucial. It is often advised to feed your cat high-quality commercial cat food that is high in protein and complies with the AAFCO’s nutritional standards.

Can black tabbies live with other cats or pets?

Black tabby cats, like the majority of felines, may get along with other pets if the right precautions are taken and the introductions are made gradually. Always make sure each pet has a private area where it may relax.

How to keep a black tabby cat’s coat healthy and shiny?

A balanced diet, routine grooming, and occasional bathing are everything you need to maintain a black tabby cat’s glossy, healthy coat.

Black Tabby Cats: Final Thoughts

Black tabby cats are one of the first domesticated cats with a long history. They have a great personality because they have a strong bond with their owners and a beautiful tabby coat pattern. If you are looking for a faithful pet companion, this furry friend is a perfect choice.

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Ghost Tabby Cat: The Ultimate Guide

ghost tabby

Get ready to be intrigued as we unravel the mysteries surrounding the ethereal Ghost Tabby . These elusive cats have captured the imagination of cat lovers and intrigued researchers alike.

This article will take you on a captivating journey, exploring the intriguing characteristics, folklore, and legends surrounding these majestic creatures.

Table of Contents

What is a ghost tabby cat?

A ghost tabby cat, also known as a phantom tabby, is a term used to describe a cat with a rare pattern of coat colors. Unlike most tabby cats, ghost tabbies have pale or muted coat, which sometimes gives them an almost translucent appearance.

How are ghost tabby cats formed?

Ghost tabby cats are formed due to a natural genetic mutation that causes their distinctive coat pattern. Cats have genes that determine their physical characteristics, including their coat color and pattern. In the case of ghost tabby cats, a specific mutation occurs in the gene responsible for the tabby coat pattern, known as Taqpep .

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This genetic mutation affects the distribution of pigment in the hair cells of a cat’s coat. As a result, the coat color of ghost tabbies appears pale or muted, making their stripes and spots very subtle. This gives them a ghostly or ethereal appearance, hence the name “ghost tabby.”

The mutation in the Taqpep gene causes the pigmentation of the fur to be lighter or diluted, resulting in a less noticeable coat pattern. While most tabby cats have bold and defined stripes, ghost tabbies have faint stripes that blend in with their overall coat color. Sometimes, the stripes may only be visible under certain lighting conditions or when observing the cat’s coat closely.

Are ghost tabbies rare?

Ghost tabby cats are very rare. There are only a few dozen in the world, and they are all owned by people who are very dedicated to their feline friends.

The genetic mutation that causes ghost tabbies coloring is extremely rare, and so the chances of you finding one in the wild are slim. If you do find one, you are encouraged to take them home with you and love them forever!

What is the lifespan of a ghost tabby cat?

Ghost tabby cats tend to live long lives, with an average lifespan of 15 to 18 years. However, this is not an exact science. The factors that contribute to their longevity include:

  • Environment

the physical appearance of ghost tabby cats

The ghost tabby’s fur is a delicate blend of silver and white, resembling a delicate tapestry of ethereal shades. As light dances upon their sleek fur, it creates an enchanting effect, making them seem almost otherworldly. Their fur possesses a silky texture that beckons your hand to run through it, leaving a faint trail of shimmer behind.

The markings on their coat are what make them truly stand out. These patterns, like intricate strokes of an artist’s brush, are composed of elegant swirls and delicate stripes. Their tabby markings are subtly defined, appearing in various shades of silver, ranging from pale gray to a more intense charcoal hue. These patterns form a delicate harmony that accentuates their regal stature.

Their faces are adorned with striking features. Large, expressive eyes, reminiscent of pale moonstones, gleam with an uncanny intelligence. These captivating orbs seem to hold ancient secrets, often accented with hints of green or gold. Their eyes are like windows to another realm, reflecting the enigmatic nature of these mysterious creatures.

The ears of ghost tabbies are delightfully proportioned, perched atop their head like miniature sails, seemingly ready to catch whispers from the spirit world. Tipped with a faint touch of silver, these ears add to their overall mystical charm.

Their slender bodies, lithe and graceful, are the epitome of elegance. With their high cheekbones and slender necks, ghost tabbies exude an aura of regality and poise. Their movements are smooth and deliberate as if they are gliding across the physical plane, effortlessly bridging the gap between the seen and unseen.

What are the personality traits of ghost tabby cats?

Ghost tabby cats are known for their independence, curiosity and playfulness. They are also known to be very loyal to their owners once they’ve bonded with them.

They are known to be very intelligent. They are quick learners and can easily adapt to new environments or situations. Ghost tabbies love to play games with their owners and other pets in the house. They especially like playing fetch with their owners.

These cats need lots of attention from their owners because they are very social animals. They need to have interaction with humans regularly as well as time alone each day so that they can do whatever it is that they do when they’re not haunting your living room wall or bathroom mirror (we don’t know either).

How Much Is A Ghost Tabby Cat Worth?

The price of a ghost tabby kitten will depend on the breeder and where you buy it from. If you are looking for a pedigree kitten, expect to pay between $500-$2,000 depending on where you buy it from and how much supply there is available at that time. As with all cats, if you go through an animal shelter, expect a lower price and save yourself from the stress of finding one!

Another thing to consider when purchasing this type of cat is whether or not it has been neutered yet – if not, then expect another fee on top!

How do I care for a ghost tabby cat?

Caring for this cat requires attention, love, and a touch of understanding for their unique nature. Here are some guidelines to ensure the well-being of your enchanting feline companion:

  • Provide a Serene Environment : Ghost tabby cats thrive in a calm, peaceful atmosphere. Create a sanctuary for them, complete with cozy hiding spots and elevated perches where they can observe their surroundings. This will allow them to retreat and recharge whenever they desire solitude.
  • Grooming Rituals : The exquisite coat of ghost tabbies requires regular grooming to maintain its ethereal beauty. Use a soft-bristle brush to gently remove loose fur and keep their coat lustrous. Since their fur is prone to matting, pay special attention to brushing around their neck, chest, and hindquarters.
  • Balanced Nutrition : Just like any other cat, providing a balanced diet is essential for the overall health of your ghost tabby. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate type and amount of high-quality cat food that meets their specific nutritional needs. Keep fresh water available at all times.
  • Interactive Playtime : Engage your cat in interactive play sessions to stimulate their agile minds and keep them physically active. Provide toys that allow them to chase, pounce, and swat, satisfying their natural hunting instincts. Feather wands or puzzle toys can be particularly intriguing for their curious nature.
  • Regular Veterinary Check-ups : Schedule routine visits to the veterinarian for comprehensive health examinations, vaccinations, and preventive care. Regular check-ups will help ensure your cat’s well-being and allow any potential health issues to be detected early.
  • Mental Stimulation : Engage their keen intellect with puzzle toys, treat-dispensing devices, or interactive games that challenge their problem-solving abilities. Providing mental stimulation will help prevent boredom and ensure a contented ghost tabby.
  • Safe Indoor Environment : Ghost tabbies are best kept as indoor cats to protect them from potential dangers such as traffic accidents or encounters with other animals. Ensure their environment is free from hazards and provide scratching posts to satisfy their natural instincts.
  • Affection and Companionship : While ghost tabbies may have an independent streak, they still appreciate affection and companionship. Spend quality time with them, gently petting and cuddling when they seek your attention. Your cat will cherish your love and presence.
  • Intuitive Connection : Embrace the intuitive connection you may develop with your tabby cat. These mystical beings often possess an uncanny understanding of their human companions. Trust your instincts and nurture the unique bond that exists between you.

What are the health risks of ghost tabby cats?

  • Dental Issues : Ghost tabbies, like many other cats, are prone to dental problems such as periodontal disease , gingivitis , and tooth decay . Regular dental care, including brushing their teeth and providing dental treats or toys, can help maintain their oral health.
  • Obesity : Due to their graceful and slender build, ghost tabbies may be more prone to weight gain and obesity if not provided with a balanced diet and regular exercise. Monitoring their food intake and engaging them in interactive play is essential to keep them physically active.
  • Skin Sensitivities : Some ghost tabbies may have sensitive skin prone to allergies or irritations. They may develop reactions to certain environmental factors, such as certain cleaning products, pollen, or even specific food ingredients. Look for any signs of skin redness, itching, or excessive grooming, and consult a veterinarian for appropriate care.
  • Eye Issues : They may be more susceptible to certain eye conditions, such as conjunctivitis or corneal ulcers . It is vital to Regularly monitor their eyes for signs of redness, discharge, or cloudiness. If you notice any abnormalities, seek veterinary attention promptly.
  • Urinary Tract Problems : Like many other cat breeds , ghost tabbies may be prone to urinary tract issues, including urinary tract infections or the formation of crystals or stones. Providing fresh water, a balanced diet, and monitoring litter box habits can help detect any potential problems early.
  • Genetic Disorders : While they do not have any specific breed-related genetic disorders, they may still inherit certain conditions that are common in cats, such as polycystic kidney disease or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy . It is advisable to obtain your cat from a reputable breeder who conducts health screenings and tests on their breeding cats.
  • Age-related Conditions : As ghost tabbies age, they may become more prone to age-related health concerns, such as arthritis or kidney disease. Regular veterinary check-ups and appropriate senior cat care can help manage and address these conditions effectively.

myths and legends about ghost tabby cats

With their ethereal appearance and subtle coat patterns, these intriguing felines have given rise to various tales and beliefs.

Guardians of the Spirit Realm

In some cultures, ghost tabby cats are believed to be able to see and interact with spirits. It is said that they act as guardians, protecting their human companions from negative energies and bringing good luck to those who encounter them.

Omens and Superstitions

They have often been associated with superstitions and omens. In some folklore, seeing a ghost tabby is believed to foretell significant events or changes in one’s life. It is said that encountering ghost tabbies can bring about fortune or misfortune, depending on the circumstances.

Transformative Powers

According to certain legends, these cats have the power to shape-shift or traverse between dimensions. It is said that these mystical felines can disappear during certain nights or under specific conditions, leaving behind an aura of enchantment.

Connections to the Otherworld

Ghost tabby cats are often linked to the supernatural and the spirit world. They are believed to possess a deep connection to realms beyond our own and can guide humans in understanding and navigating these mysterious realms.

Symbol of Mystery and Intuition

Ghost tabby cats are seen by many as symbols of mystery and intuition. Their ghostly appearance and subtle markings reflect their enigmatic nature and their ability to perceive things that might go unnoticed by others. They are often associated with heightened senses and a keen intuition, making them intriguing and mystical creatures.

Final Thoughts

The alluring mystery of ghost tabby cats has captured the human imagination for centuries. These rare feline companions possess a unique and ethereal appearance that lends itself to various legends, beliefs, and superstitions.

More on Cat’s Colours:

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Mike & Jenny

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I have 3 ghost tabbies. Our first was a stray that showed up about a year ago and she ended up having 4 kittens. 2 are ghost tabbies and 2 are gray tabbies. Only one of them is super cuddley and needy and that’s the male ghost tabby.

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What Is A Ghost Tabby?

A ghost tabby is a type of cat that is said to be able to haunt houses. They are said to be able to move objects, make noises, and even appear in human form.

Ghost tabby cats are also said to be able to see into the future.

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What is the rarest color of tabby cat?

There is no definitive answer as to what the rarest color of tabby cat is, as there are many different tabby cat colors and variations. However, some of the rarest colors of tabby cats include those with a black tabby coat, blue tabby, and tortoiseshell tabby.

What are the 4 types of tabby cats?

There are four types of tabby cats, according to their coat color:

1. Black and white 2. Tortoiseshell and white 3. Red and white 4. Red and black

Are black tabby cats rare?

It depends on a variety of factors, including the region in which a given black tabby cat is located and the size of the population of black tabby cats in that region. According to the ASPCA, black tabby cats are not particularly rare, but they are not commonly found either.

What is a black tabby called?

A black tabby is a popular name for a domestic cat.

What is a marbled tabby?

A marbled tabby is a type of domestic cat that has a pattern of alternating light and dark stripes on its body. Marbled tabby cats are popular as show cats, but they are also commonly used as pet cats.

What is a Harlequin cat?

A Harlequin cat is a breed of cat with a distinct pattern of black and white stripes on its coat. The stripes are most noticeable on the cat’s back and sides.

Harlequin cats are generally affectionate and playful, and make great companions.

What is the rarest cat breed?

The rarest cat breed is the Siamese.

Do all tabbies have an M?

It is highly variable based on the tabbies’ genetic background and environment. Generally speaking, tabbies with an M gene have a more dominant personality and are more active and playful than tabbies without the M gene.

In addition, tabbies with the M gene are more likely to be light brown or yellow in color and have a long tail.

Are gray tabbies rare?

Gray tabbies are a rare breed of cat. They are one of the thirteen recognized cat breeds in the United States.

They are not as common as some other breeds, but they are still found in shelters and rescues. Some people think that gray tabbies are more rare than other breeds because there are not as many registered cats in this color.

What are ghost stripes on cats?

Ghost stripes are a common trait seen on cats, and they are caused by a variety of things, including mating, disease, and genetics. Ghost stripes can be light or dark, and they can be seen on either the front or back of a cat’s body.

Ghost stripes can also be wide or narrow, and they can be sporadic or continuous. Ghost stripes can be a sign of health or illness, and they can be indicative of a cat’s genetic heritage.

What is a silver tabby?

A silver tabby is a domestic cat that is predominantly silver in color with some black and brown. Tabby is the most common color in cats, and silver is the lightest color.

What does the M on a cats head mean?

The M on a cat’s head means that the cat is male.

A ghost tabby is a type of domestic cat that is characterized by its pale fur and dark stripes. Ghost tabbies are often said to be shy and elusive, and they are known for their ability to disappear into the shadows.

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Kitty Devotees

What Is A Ghost Tabby Cat?

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Have you ever seen a ghost tabby cat? These rare creatures are something to behold.

What sets these cats apart from other felines is their striking appearance.

Ghost tabby cats are mostly white, with patches of grey or black fur. They often have bright green eyes, which contrast sharply with their pale fur.

If you’re lucky enough to spot a ghost tabby cat, you’ll be sure to never forget it! They are not easy to find, but once you do, you will never forget them.

So, what is a ghost tabby cat? Let’s take a closer look.

What Are Ghost Markings On A Cat?

Ghost markings on a cat are simply patches of white fur that have a transparent or translucent quality to them.

These markings can occur on any color of a cat, but they are most noticeable on cats with dark fur.

 Ghost tabby cats are especially beautiful because the contrast between their dark fur and bright white markings is so striking.

Many people believe that ghost tabby cats are lucky, and they are often sought after as pets.

 If you’re lucky enough to have a ghost tabby cat in your life, be sure to cherish them! They truly are special creatures.

Tabby cats have distinctive stripes, dots, lines, or swirling patterns, usually with a light background.

The tabby pattern is found in many different breeds of cats. Some people believe that all orange cats are tabbies, but this is not the case.

 While the tabby pattern is commonly found in orange cats, it can also be found in cats of other colors.

Ghost tabby cats are simply tabbies with white fur instead of orange fur.

Types of Tabby Cats: A Quick Overview

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There are four types of tabby cats: classic, mackerel, spotted and ticked.

 Classic tabby cats have a swirl pattern on their fur, while mackerel tabby cats have stripes that run down their sides.

Spotted tabby cats have spots all over their fur, and ticked tabby cats have ticking or freckles on their coats.

Ghost tabby cats are a type of mackerel tabby cat with very faint stripes on their fur. They are also known as agouti or Abyssinian-type Abby cats.

These Cats get their name from their unique coat pattern which is created by the interaction of two genes.

The first gene determines if the Cat will be black, brown, or red. The second gene controls how much of the Cat’s coat will be white.

When these two genes work together, they create beautiful agouti or Abby cats with very faint stripes on their fur.

These Cats are also known for their striking green eyes. Ghost tabby cats are very rare and are not often seen in the United States.

Ghost Tabby: The Rarest Tabby Cat

There are many different kinds of tabby cats, but the rarest is the ghost tabby.

 This is likely because their coat coloration is so unique. Ghost tabby cats are felines with translucent fur that gives them a “ghostly” appearance.

As kittens, they typically have a classic or blotched coat pattern. This coat pattern is made up of large, circular patches that cover their entire body.

 However, as they mature, their fur begins to lighten and take on this unique coloration.

Ghost tabby cats are not a separate breed from regular tabby cats. Any cat can be born with the ghost tabby gene.

 However, it is most commonly found in British Shorthair and Siamese cats.

While they may look different than other tabby cats, they are just as friendly and loving as any other cat!

Ghost Tabby Cat Personality

View this post on Instagram A post shared by @ryder_the_ghost_tabby

As we have established, a Ghost tabby is not a breed—it refers to the coat pattern.

This means ghost tabby cats can be found in several breeds, including domestic short-hair and long-hair cats.

As a result, it is difficult to make generalizations about the personality of ghost tabby cats.

However, we can take a look at some of the common traits associated with each parent breed to get an idea of what a typical ghost tabby cat might be like.

Generally speaking, domestic short-hair cats are known for being independent and self-sufficient.

They are also generally very adaptable and can do well in a variety of different environments.

 Long-hair cats, on the other hand, are often known for being more laid back and easygoing.

They tend to be less active than their short-hair counterparts and may even enjoy a good cuddle session from time to time.

So, what does this mean for the average ghost tabby cat? Well, they are likely to be a mix of both personality types.

They may be independent and self-sufficient like the short-hair cats but also have a laid-back and easygoing side like the long-hair cats.

Of course, every cat is unique and will have specific personality traits, so it’s always best to get to know a ghost tabby before making any assumptions about their character.

How Much Is A Ghost Tabby Cat Worth?

Ghost tabby cats are especially unique because they have a translucent coat that makes them appear ethereal and this makes them quite valuable.

You can expect to pay upwards of $500 for a kitten and adult ghost tabby cats are even more valuable, with some individuals fetching prices as high as $2,000!

Related Post: How Much Do Orange Tabby Cats Cost?

Ghost tabby cats are very rare and beautiful creatures.

 Some say that these tabby cats are the result of a genetic mutation, while others believe that they are the product of crossbreeding between two different types of cats.

Whatever the case may be, there is no denying that ghost tabby cats are something special.

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Hi! I am Eleanor Price. I started this website after my cat, Louie, almost died from a case of botulism (a type of food poisoning often caused by bacteria that grow on food items). Turned out that my cat’s diet was the problem. I have made it my duty to provide the best information and recommendations about everything cat lovers need to know about their felines’ health and wellbeing. My goal is to find the most informative content on anything feline-related and share it with fellow hardworking kitty lovers.

Do Black Cats Have Stripes? 2 Amazing Facts

cat ghost stripes

It is now known that some black cats may in fact be Tabby Cats in disguise with a ghost-like striped pattern hidden away in their coats.

The Science

Do black cats have stripes, where will you see the stripes, black panthers, actually seeing the stripes, my thoughts.

New research into domestic cats is continuos and some of the new discoveries are fascinating.

The understanding of what a black cat is has dramatically changed over the decades.

For a cat to have a black appearance, both of the cat’s parents have to have the black color gene.

This gene is called an allele and to create the color black it’s known as B.

The most dominant cat fur pattern type is Tabby and for the Tabby gene to remain suppressed another recessive gene has to be present.

This gene is know as a non-agouti (a).

I have written more on black cat genetics here…

If the agouti gene wins the battle and is the dominant gene, the kitty will be a Tabby.

Well, a black cat that has the Tabby Cat gene may have stripes that are visible only in bright light.

They appear as a ghost-like pattern that is just about visible.

We have an American Shorthair called Coco and to our amazement, when he was still a kitten he had a big stretch in the sunlight and we noticed stripes on his back legs!

They look a lot like zebra stripes and they are quite thick from his hips down.

Seeing him in the sunlight like that also brought to our attention just how brown Coco is.

He’s not black at all really, in fact a lot of his body is a reddy-brown color.

I think this highlights just how complex fur is and the properties and purposes that it has.

At that point we were surprised by this but we didn’t do any research into it.

Writing for this blog gives me the opportunity to research and dig deeper into all aspects of our furry friends.

do black cats have stripes

It’s common to see these ghost stripes on the legs, the tail , and possibly on the top of the cat’s head.

But remember they may only be visible in the brightest of sunlight at certain angles.

Do black cats have stripes? Yes, and big black cats may have a similar story to tell too…

Did you know that the same science that is talked about in this article, applies to black panthers too?

Black panthers still have faint spots throughout their coats that can be seen from certain angles in bright light.

Does this apply to other animals I wonder…?

As I mentioned above, it may be tricky to see the stripes, and to be honest I’ve only seen them a few times on Coco.

Coco is 3 years old at the time of writing this and at that time, seeing his stripes has been rare.

If you know anything about photography , you may know that black cats are notoriously hard to photograph due to problems with exposure.

Using a DSLR you often end up with an overexposed image due to the contrast between the dark fur and a light-colored background.

There may be a silver lining to this though…

An overexposed image of your black cat may reveal your cat’s ghost stripes!

I find the subject of black cats and what makes them black fascinating.

There’s so much science involved on a genetic level and more to be discovered.

When I realized that Coco was in fact a Tabby in disguise, I must admit, I now look at him differently.

I like to look at his black fur as a sort of suit of armor as the black fur is thought to have many survival of the fittest properties on a genetic level.

Does a black cat’s coloration make them better hunters?

There are also suggestions that black cats have a better chance at fighting off illness due to having such strong genes.

What I do know is that I’ll never get bored talking about black cats.

Do black cats have stripes? Yes, some do and it’s due to them being Tabby Cats in disguise.

The stripes on our black cat’s coat are zebra-like and can be seen in bright daylight on his rear legs.

Stripes may be visible on a black cat’s tail, legs and face .

Good luck seeing them as they can be very hard to spot indeed…

For more black cat content check out the  My Mini Panther Facebook page.

cat ghost stripes

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How do cats get their stripes?

Striped grey cat with green eyes sitting on a sofa

Ever wonder how your favorite furry feline got its stripes? A new study of domestic cats has revealed which genes give felines their distinctive fur patterns and hints that the same genetics may grant wild cats, such as tigers and cheetahs , their characteristic coats.   

How cats get their stripes is a decades-old mystery in the life sciences, senior author Dr. Gregory Barsh, a geneticist at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Alabama, told Live Science in an email. About 70 years ago, scientists began developing theories as to why and how organisms come to bear periodic patterns, like the stripes on a zebra or the squidgy segments of a caterpillar's body. 

In some animals, like the zebrafish, these patterns emerge due to the arrangement of different types of cells. "But in mammals, the skin and hair cells are exactly the same across the entire body, and the color pattern comes about because of differences in genetic activity between, say, cells underlying a dark stripe and cells underlying a light stripe," Barsh said. So the question of how cats get their stripes comes down to how and when various genes switch on in their cells and how those genes influence the animals' development. In short, it's complicated.

Related: Genetics by the numbers: 10 tantalizing tales  

But now, in a new study, published Tuesday (Sept. 7) in the journal Nature Communications , Barsh and his colleagues identified several genes that work together to give cats their coat patterns. 

One gene, called Transmembrane aminopeptidase Q (Taqpep), they'd identified previously, in a study published in 2012 in the journal Science . Cats that carry one version of the Taqpep gene end up decked out in dark, narrow stripes, while those with a mutant version of the gene bear "large whorls" of dark fur; the "whorl" version of the gene is most common in feral cats. 

To investigate what additional genes might shape the diverse markings on cats' coats, the team began collecting discarded tissue from clinics that spay feral cats; some of the resected cat uteruses contained non-viable embryos, which the researchers examined in the lab.

They noticed that, at about 28 to 30 days old, cat embryos develop regions of "thick" and "thin" skin; at later stages of development, the thick and thin skin gives rise to hair follicles that produce different types of melanin — eumelanin for dark fur, and pheomelanin for light fur. 

Remarkably, "the developmental mechanism responsible for color pattern takes place early in development, before hair follicles are formed and within cells that do not actually make any pigment but instead contribute to hair follicle structure," Barsh said. Spotting this pattern, the team examined which genes were active leading up to the development of the thick skin, to see if specific genes directed the patterns' formation.

The team found that, in 20-day-old embryos, several genes involved in cell growth and development suddenly switch on in the skin later destined to thicken and give rise to dark-fur-producing follicles. These genes are known to be involved in a "Wnt signaling pathway," a molecular chain reaction that drives cells to grow and develop into specific cell types, and one gene in particular, called Dkk4, stood out as particularly active.

Related: 20 weird dog and cat behaviors explained by science

Dkk4 codes for a protein that turns down Wnt signalling, and when it comes to cat fur, the tug-of-war between Dkk4 and Wnt seems to dictate whether a patch of fur ends up dark or light, the authors found. In the dark patches, Dkk4 and Wnt balance each other out, but in the light patches, Dkk4 beats out the Wnt.   

This finding supports a theory that computing pioneer Alan Turing developed in the 1950s, Science magazine reported . Turing proposed that animals' periodic patterns, like stripes, crop up when an "activator" molecule boosts the production of an "inhibitor" molecule, and these two molecules mingle in the same tissue; in this case, Wnt would be the activator and Dkk4 the inhibitor. Following Turing's hypothesis, Barsh's team thinks that Dkk4 spreads through tissue more quickly than the Wnt signalling travels, and that this uneven distribution generates periodic patches of light and dark in cats. 

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What's more, a cat's Taqpep genotype — meaning whether it carries the "stripe" or "whorl" version of the gene — also dictates where the Dkk4 gene can be activated, Barsh said. "But we don't know exactly how that happens," he added. Taqpep codes for a protease, an enzyme that breaks down other proteins, but for now, the team doesn't know whether this enzyme affects Dkk4 activity directly or indirectly.

As a follow-up to the embryo analyses, the team examined cat genome sequences from a database called the 99 Lives collection. They found that Abyssinian and Singapura breeds, which bear no stripes or spots and instead have a uniform appearance, carry mutant versions of Dkk4 that disable the gene. In future work, the team wants to see whether similar mutations crop up in wild cats. 

Previous studies suggested that for cheetahs ( Acinonyx jubatus ), at least, a cat's Taqpep genotype affects the appearance of its spots, and the same might go for Dkk4, the authors noted. Then there's the serval ( Felis serval ), an African wild cat that usually sports bold, black spots but occasionally grows a coat of tiny, tightly packed specks instead. Could a Dkk4 mutation explain this variation?  

"Our observations to date are only on domestic cats," Barsh said. "It is quite likely that the molecules and mechanisms studied in domestic cats apply to all of the more than 30 species of wild cats, but we will need to carry out additional studies of wild cat DNA to know that for sure." 

Beyond wild cats, the team wants to study whether the same mechanisms are also at play in distantly related mammals, such as zebras and giraffes . 

Originally published on Live Science.

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Nicoletta Lanese

Nicoletta Lanese is the health channel editor at Live Science and was previously a news editor and staff writer at the site. She holds a graduate certificate in science communication from UC Santa Cruz and degrees in neuroscience and dance from the University of Florida. Her work has appeared in The Scientist, Science News, the Mercury News, Mongabay and Stanford Medicine Magazine, among other outlets. Based in NYC, she also remains heavily involved in dance and performs in local choreographers' work.

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Try DIYing these easy, cheap, and classic gender-neutral Halloween costumes when you find yourself in a pinch

  • Halloween is almost here, and it seems to come faster every year.
  • If finding a costume has slipped further down your to-do list, here are a few ideas.
  • From an easy DIY zombie to a pumpkin, these are Halloween classics.

Insider Today

It's hard to believe that Halloween is just around the corner. This fun and festive holiday is beloved by families worldwide, including mine. But it brings up the annual dilemma of helping your child choose the perfect costume — princesses, dragons, superheroes, the choices seem endless.

Many parents enjoy coordinating elaborate costumes months in advance or purchasing prefabricated costumes from a store or online. But for parents who leave costume decisions to the last minute, here are seven easy, cheap, and gender-neutral Halloween costumes that are guaranteed to save the day.

Create a classic ghost costume from materials you already have

Ghosts are a classic choice for spooky season . The best part about this costume is that it's easy to assemble and likely won't require any shopping at all.

Start with an old white bedsheet and cut a hole in the center for your child's head. If that's all you can manage, feel free to stop there — instant ghost! For an added spook factor, dust your child's hair with flour or baby powder, apply white face paint with gray-rimmed eyes and maroon lipstick, and tie back any loose hair or ponytails with an old-timey ribbon or strip of rag. Your child might even frighten themself!

Nothing says Halloween like a black cat

For this costume, wear black pants and an all-black T-shirt without any logos. You can also turn printed shirts inside out to avoid buying something new. Next, find a large all-black dress sock and stuff it with paper towels. Pinned to the back of your child's pants, this will serve as the cat's tail.

Many children already own a headband decorated with cat ears. If not, a few triangular pieces of cardboard colored black and glued to a plain headband will do the trick. A nose and whiskers drawn in eyeliner or face paint finishes this feline look.

With a few stripes and a little makeup, your kid can be a mime

This one might be even more fun for your kid to act out than it will be to create. With some black pants, a striped shirt, and a red bandana — all of which you likely already have, and if not, can be purchased relatively inexpensively — your child can transform into a mime. You can also add some face paint and beret for the final touches.

A zombie look is easy to create and on trend

Zombies are having a moment in pop culture. To turn your child into a zombie, you'll only need a few simple items. Start with a plain white T-shirt and add a few well-placed holes and tears.

Next, find some red food coloring or paint (you can even use ketchup in a pinch!) and create some "bloodlike" stains anywhere you like. Some gray eye shadow underneath your child's eyes adds that perfect "undead" touch.

A pumpkin is the perfect seasonal costume

A classic Halloween costume, a pumpkin is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

Start with a solid orange T-shirt (again, turning clothing inside out for an all-orange look is a great hack!) and black pants or jeans. Using a piece of cardboard, trace triangles for eyes and a gap-toothed "jack-o-lantern" mouth. Color these in all-black, cut them out, and use duct tape to fasten them to the front of the shirt. For your pumpkin's "stem," find a green hair bow or baseball cap, or create a green stem shape with cardboard or construction paper and affix it to a headband. Voilá — an adorable pumpkin!

Use your recycling to create a robot

Create a robot out of your recycling by taking a large box and cutting holes big enough for a head and two arms in the appropriate places. Then it's time to decorate — use tinfoil and colorful construction paper to make button- and knob-like shapes and glue them all over your robot. You can also use paper towel rolls to create the illusion of tubes coming out of the side of the box or to create a short cylindrical shape coming out of the neck.

Mummy costumes have withstood the test of time

This is perhaps the easiest and most fun costume on the list, and dressing as a mummy takes no time at all. Outfit your child in light-colored layers (whites and grays), and wrap them in toilet paper from head to toe, leaving peepholes for their eyes. If you really want to up the wow factor, try cutting strips from old rags and using these as "bandages," instead. Spooky and simple!

Even the most efficient planners occasionally need Halloween costumes in a pinch. A seam rips, a last-minute party invite arrives, or — gasp — a child's best friend steals their costume idea! Whatever your reason, consider adding one of these easy, cheap, gender-neutral costumes to your holiday routine this year. Happy Halloween!

cat ghost stripes

Watch: 5 Halloween costumes you can try with just makeup

cat ghost stripes


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  1. Does my cat have ghost stripes or tabby markings?

    Mar 23, 2020 Messages 23 Purraise 18 Hi I know I posted a thread about this already but it is a few days or week old so I just wanted to make it with a fresh start and go kind of in-depth with it. Whenever I look at him, he has stripes on his head maybe it's because I can depict different colors quickly but I'm not sure.

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    StefanZ, the ghost markings on a solid blue kitten will reveal whatever tabby pattern the cat would have, if it were a tabby. Depending on the tabby pattern genes the kitten is carrying, it could be a classic (blotched), mackerel (striped), broken mackerel, spotted, or even a ticked tabby, and you will see ghost markings corresponding to the ...

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    The mackerel pattern is composed of vertical stripes similar to the one of a tiger. The name comes from the mackerel fish, which also has vertical markings. This pattern is the wild-type one, which means it's typical in wild cats. All the other patterns are natural mutations that occurred in domestic cats.

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    A black tabby is a type of coat color and pattern combination that consists of melanistic black stripes, sworls or spots on a lighter banded (ticked) ground color. The face of the black tabby cats consists of an M on the forehead as well as thin pencil lines on the cheeks.

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    So the question of how cats get their stripes comes down to how and when various genes switch on in their cells and how those genes influence the animals' development. In short, it's complicated ...

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    Black stripes ranging from coal black to brownish on a background of brown to gray. Brown mackeral tabbies are the most common. Tabby M All tabbies have distinctive ... Tortoiseshell cats with tabby patterns. Torties because of random color variation, but tabbies due to the patterns in the coloration.

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    From ghosts to black cats to zombies, here are seven cheap, easy, gender-neutral Halloween costumes for kids you can make at home if you need inspiration. ... Create a classic ghost costume from materials you already have. ... With a few stripes and a little makeup, your kid can be a mime. This one might be even more fun for your kid to act out ...

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