We all know what tabby cats look like! Their mottled coats can come in the form of swirls, bands, stripes, or spots. They’re also distinguished by an “M” pattern on their foreheads.
But, did you know that, while tabbies are among the most common cats out there, they sport some unique personality traits?
These traits are one of the crucial factors to consider when choosing a future feline friend.
Let’s look at the seven main tabby cats’ personality traits and find out what makes them so special.
1. They’re Crazy About Human Company
I bet all of you are looking for a social and friendly personality in your future pet.
Does a tabby cat pass this test? To say yes to this question is quite an understatement!
Sociability is one of the essential personality traits widely present in cats with a tabby coat pattern.
A tabby cat is friendly and social with humans, especially with children. It loves to be a part of every activity its humans are involved in and tends to make deep bonds with them.
A family environment is the best one for a tabby cat. The more people around this little social cat – the merrier!
These cats are likely to show you their friendliness and affection by purring loudly, head-butting you, and kneading at you.
2. Curiosity Is A Tabby’s Cat Middle Name
A tabby cat is a curious little investigator.
It loves to explore its surroundings and is always up for new, fun adventures. You can count on this cat to scale the highest spots in your home.
Watch the video below to see a funny tabby cat exploring around.
Tabby cats hate when humans deprive them of something they want to observe. For instance, they will not be thrilled with closed doors in your home.
Their immense curiosity can even lead them to trouble. Your tabby cat will want to be everywhere you are and to see everything you’re up to.
To prevent a tabby from getting hurt, it’s a good idea to use child-proof locks on cabinets you certainly don’t want them having their paws on.
Another part of your home that’s likely to need protection from a curious tabby is your kitchen counters. Different essential oils can be of great help here.
Curiosity is one of the traits that make a tabby cat so amusing. At the same time, it’s necessary to stay cautious as to prevent them from getting into problems.
3. They’re Smart As A 2-Year-Old Child
Intelligence is another important personality trait of tabby cats.
These felines are not only curious but also exceptionally clever, displaying an interest in their surroundings as they continuously strive to understand the world around them.
Tabbies have good memory and remarkable cognitive skills. The fact that they make strong bonds with their humans tells enough about their social intelligence.
They also acquire new information very quickly and can be trained easily. Of course, only when tasty treats are involved!
If a tabby cat were left outside on its own, it would certainly find a way to survive, due to their high intelligence and ability to successfully adapt to different environments.
4. There Isn’t A Dull Moment With Tabbies
Tabbies are highly active cats. There are even some studies confirming this!
One of them was conducted by Mónica Teresa González-Ramírez and René Landero-Hernández  who investigated the correlation between cat coat color and their personality traits.
Cat parents who participated in this study characterized tricolor cats as stubborn, while bicolor cats were believed to be tolerant. The owners of tabby cats described them as bold and highly active.
Active cats like tabbies always need to have something to do. This can include hanging out with their owners, hunting, playing with toys, enjoying a nice view from a tall cat tree, and so on.
Highly energetic cats don’t only enjoy diverse activities, but they also need them to stay healthy and happy.
This is why a tabby cat may not be the best choice for people looking for calm and quiet companions.
5. You Can’t Say No To This Cat’s Call To Play
Playfulness goes hand in hand with high energy when it comes to tabby cats.
They just love to play and often interrupt whatever their owners are doing to invite them to join in the fun.
Playing is a great way for a tabby cat to exercise and stay fit. It’s also a form of mental stimulation. Furthermore, by playing with a cat, you’re strengthening your mutual bond.
So, when a tabby cat lets its owner know it’s playtime, the answer no shouldn’t be an option.
Playfulness is just a crucial part of a tabby cat’s personality. I believe it’s also a reason why many people would love to have a cat with this specific coat pattern under their roof.
6. Social, But Also Independent
Although tabbies are friendly and outgoing, they’re quite independent at the same time.
This means that a tabby cat can stand staying alone for some time. It will find something interesting to do even when you’re not around.
This doesn’t mean they aren’t loving, since we already established that they tend to bond deeply with their humans.
Independence can be seen as a highly wanted trait, since even people with busy schedules can handle this cat at their homes.
7. Mischief Is A Part Of A Tabby’s Nature
Finally, a tabby cat’s personality isn’t spotless. Cats aren’t robots and creatures that will simply do what we tell them to.
Tabby cats are likely to exhibit stubborn and tenacious behavior, especially when things aren’t done their way.
Also, when a tabby cat gets bored, it’s likely to show mischievous behavior. Just because this kitty is likely to be independent, this doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some specific requirements.
A tabby cat needs a lot of interactive toys, cat trees, and hunting opportunities. Otherwise – you could come home to see a mess on your floor, scratches on your furniture, and even proof of this troublemaker peeing around your house!
What Breeds Can Have A Tabby Coat?
It’s fascinating to know that many different breeds sharing a tabby coat pattern also share common personality traits.
Still, exceptions are always possible. This is why it’s essential to know which breed the tabby cat is, so you can better prepare for a future life with this cat by your side.
After all, a breed is one of the essential factors determining a cat’s personality. The following popular breeds can have a tabby coat pattern:
• American Shorthair
• Egyptian Mau
• Exotic Shorthair
• Maine Coon
• Norwegian Forest Cat
• Oriental Shorthair
The Bottom Line
What kind of personality do tabby cats have?
One thing is sure: You will never be bored with this cat on your side, since it’s curious, intelligent, and highly energetic!
Tabbies are also social and friendly, always up for interaction and playing. At the same time, they aren’t overly clingy and can handle being alone for some time.
Many tabbies will sometimes exhibit mischievous behavior. This is mostly related to boredom and not getting what they want.
Regardless of the breed, tabbies are certainly cats with big personalities.
What do you say? Do you see yourself as a future tabby cat parent? Share your thoughts with us!
 González-Ramírez MT, Landero-Hernández R. Cat Coat Color, Personality Traits and the Cat-Owner Relationship Scale: A Study with Cat Owners in Mexico. Animals (Basel). 2022 Apr 15;12(8):1030. DOI, Retrieved December 14, 2023.