Striped Cat Breeds

Last Updated on August 2, 2021 by Julia Wilson

A striped coat is a type of tabby pattern which occurs in four types, agouti, classic, mackerel and spotted. This article will focus on the classic and mackerel coat patterns which are made up of sworls and stripes on a paler background.

The mackerel tabby pattern is the default wild type coat pattern. Mutations have occurred along the way which has contributed to the vast array of colours and patterns that we see now.

Mackerel tabby

Mackerel tabbies (TaM) have a fishbone pattern, on a lighter background. The most common colour is brown. When the mackerel pattern breaks up, the coat becomes spotted.

Classic tabby

Also known as a blotched tabby or marbled, the classic tabby (Tab) pattern is recessive to mackerel, which means the cat must inherit a copy from each parent. Classic tabby is composed of symmetrical bold sworls along the body on a lighter background. A bullseye can be found on the side of the classic tabby.

Difference between classic and mackerel tabby

The tabby pattern is common in a considerable number of cat breeds, which will be included at the end. The breeds featured occur almost exclusively in stripes (mackerel, marbled or classic), and some also have spots.

American Shorthair

American Shorthair

  • Origins: Europe, North America
  • Eyes: Hazel, green, gold, blue
  • Energy: Medium
  • Temperament: Independent, friendly, easygoing and playful
  • Weight: Males 5 – 6 kg (11 – 13.2 lbs), females 4 – 5 kg (8.8 – 11 lbs)
  • Colours: Every colour is accepted, silver classic tabby is the most prevalent
  • Prevalence: Common in America, so so elsewhere
  • Physical characteristics: Muscular, stocky, short, dense coat

The American Shorthair is an all-American breed that is descended from the European Shorthair. While all colours and patterns are accepted, the American Shorthair is predominantly recognised for its stunning silver classic tabby coat.

American Shorthairs are the ultimate laid-back cat who tend to be more independent than other breeds, but that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy human company. Their chilled personality makes them the ideal family pet.

Australian Mist

Australian Mist cat

  • Origin: Australia
  • Eyes: Hazel, green, gold, blue
  • Energy: Medium to high
  • Temperament: Outgoing, intelligent, playful
  • Weight: Males 5-6 kg (11 – 13 lbs), females 4-5 kg (8.8 – 11 lbs)
  • Colours: Peach, brown, blue, chocolate, lilac, caramel and gold
  • Grooming: Weekly
  • Prevalence: Rare (outside Australia)
  • Physical characteristics: Moderate size, short coat, round head,

The Australian Mist was created by Truda Straede of Nintu Cattery who wanted to create a breed with the best features of the Burmese and Abyssinian with the vigour of domestics. The close-lying coat comes in either spotted or marbled.

Australian Mists are a friendly, outgoing, active and loyal breed who thrive on human companionship, making them an exceptional family pet.

Bengal

Marbled Bengal cat

  • Origin: America
  • Eyes: Green, blue
  • Energy: High
  • Temperament: Intelligent, playful
  • Weight: Males 5-6 kg (11 – 13 lbs), females 4-5 kg (8.8 – 11 lbs)
  • Colours: Brown, sepia, silver, snow
  • Grooming: Weekly
  • Prevalence: Common
  • Physical characteristics: Medium body, sleek coat with glitter throughout, green or aqua eyes

Bengal cats were the creation of Jean Mill who wanted to create a domestic breed with the look of a wild cat. Jean crossed the Asian Leopard cat with domestics to achieve this. The pelt-like coat of the Bengal can be found in spots, rosettes and marbled.

The Bengal is a highly intelligent, loyal and active breed that needs mental stimulation to stave off boredom and opportunities to burn energy. Most Bengals like to play in the water and will happily drink from a running tap.

Dragon Li

  • Eyes: Yellow, green
  • Energy: Medium to high
  • Temperament: Intelligent, playful
  • Weight: Males 5-6 kg (11 – 13 lbs), females 4-5 kg (8.8 – 11 lbs)
  • Colours: Brown tabby
  • Grooming: Weekly
  • Prevalence: Rare
  • Physical characteristics: Medium body, sleek coat with glitter throughout, green or aqua eyes

The Dragon Li is a new breed to the cat fancy which has been developed from a natural landrace of cats. Although the breed is relatively new in the cat fancy, the Dragon Li is, in fact, an ancient breed, with references dating back centuries. It has been suggested that the Dragon Li is a descendant of the Chinese Mountain cat (Felis silvestris bieti). Their primary job was to protect crops and grain by controlling rodent populations.

Dragon Li cats are said to be exceptional mousers, while still being loving, loyal and playful towards their human family.

The Dragon Li is extremely rare outside China, with only four cats in the United States.

Pixie-bob

Pixiebob

  • Origin: United States of America
  • Eyes: Hazel, green, gold, blue
  • Energy: Medium
  • Temperament: Outgoing, intelligent, playful
  • Weight: Males 6 kg (11-13 lbs), females 5 kg (11 lbs)
  • Colours: Brown tabby
  • Grooming: 1-2 times a week
  • Prevalence: Rare

The Pixie-Bob is a stocky, large breed of cat with an unusually short tail and many have extra toes (polydactyl). Legend has it that the breed is a cross between a wild bobcat and a domestic cat. In 1985, Carol Ann Brewer of StoneIsland Cattery bought a short-tailed, polydactyl cat from the base of Mount Baker, in Washington State. The following year, she rescued a second male cat who had a bobbed tail. He was allegedly the offspring of a bobcat. This cat was supposedly a large cat, reaching Carol’s knees, he was named Keba. Keba mated with the female cat of a neighbour named Maggie. Carol kept one of the kittens from this litter which she named “Pixie”.

Pixie had the appearance of a wild bobcat and Carol went on to start a breeding programme with her. These cats were called “Legend Cats”. Other cats from the Mount Barker area were used in the breeding programme; it is said that these cats were the result of bobcat/domestic matings. However, DNA analysis has shown no bobcat genes in the Pixie-bob.

The Pixie-bob is an intelligent, active, playful and curious breed who is easy to train to play fetch or walk on a harness. They have a dog-like temperament and like to follow their human family around the house.

Toyger

Toyger cat

  • Origin: United States of America
  • Eyes: Green
  • Energy: High
  • Temperament: Outgoing, intelligent, playful
  • Weight: Males 5-6 kg (11 – 13 lbs), females 4-5 kg (8.8 – 11 lbs)
  • Colours: Brown/orange
  • Grooming: Weekly
  • Prevalence: Rare

The Toyger is the brainchild of Judy Sudgen of EEYAA Cats, who is the daughter of Jean Mill, the founder of the Bengal cat. The breed was created by crossing the Bengal with mackerel tabby domestic shorthairs to create a breed with tiger stripes.

Toygers are a friendly, outgoing and playful breed that share many personality traits with their Bengal cousins.

Other striped cat breeds

Classic tabby oriental cat
Classic tabby oriental cat

The breeds listed below occur in a range of coat colours and patterns including mackerel and/or classic tabby.