A Tabby is any domestic cat with a color pattern most often stripes but sometimes stripes and swirls or even spots and stripes. Genes of the tabby pattern can be found in all domestic cats. Although each pattern may look different, the tabby falls into four basic classes; the Classic, Mackerel, Spotted and Agouti or Ticked.
Classic tabby, also known as Marbled, have the “M” pattern on their foreheads but the markings have swirls on the cat’s side.
Mackerel tabby also with an “M” on their forehead, are known for the stripe rings around their tail and legs, on the front of their chests and bands of solid or broken stripes running down the sides of their bodies.
Spotted tabby, as its name implies, are distinguished because of the spots on its body. Both large and small spot patterns can be seen.
Agouti or Ticked is a salt-and-pepper or sand like pattern. If you look closely, you will see different bands of color down the length of each hair. Sometimes a long dark line can be seen running along the spine.