Most domesticated cats are actually tabby cats. As most cat owners know very well that a tabby is not really a specific breed of cat but those cats who have their coats streaked with dark color. The distinguishing features of tabby cats are many different patterns on their fur which can be found in both purebreds as well as mixed breeds. Some common patterns include tiger stripes, whorls and stripes, spots and stripes and so on. Such patterns are prominent in cats with a white coat. Another attractive feature of tabby cats is a facial marking on their forehead that resembles the alphabet 'M'.
How to Take Care of Tabby Cats
Tabby cats are most suitable as pets as they prefer to live indoors. It is the favorite pet for many people mainly because the pet care task is quite simple. Some of the most important points on tabby cat care are as follows:
- Feed them with the right cat food. Tabby cats are typically carnivorous and survive on the flesh of other animals, though they do not kill other animals to obtain food. You have to feed them with high quality protein rich cat food. Their food should also contain a good amount of vitamins and minerals that are essential to keep them healthy. In other words, you should ensure a balanced diet for them. Keep a fixed feeding time for the cats and offer them food as per that schedule. Adult cats may need food twice a day.
- Tabby cats need plenty of fresh and clean water for drinking throughout the day. The requirement of water is more for those who are fed with dry cat foods. If they do not get adequate supply of water, then their bodies will get dehydrated and they will fall sick. You must know that tabby cats will never drink dirty water. If the water has a foul smell or a bad taste, they will simply avoid that water. So, change the water in their water bowl on a daily basis as they do not like to drink water which is not fresh.
- Apart from food and water, your tabby cats need lots of toys to play with. They love simple toys like fake mice, balls, sticks, strings, etc. Keep a little furniture around so that they can climb on them, jump around and do all sorts of naughty things that you will enjoy!
- Tabby cats are very emotional creatures. So, you must always try to keep them in a happy and cheerful mood. If you do not interact with them much, then the cat's personality will get affected. They may turn aggressive or feel sad when they are neglected and do not get enough attention from you. Do not try to stop them when they are in a playful mood.
- You should know that tabby cats are very particular about their litter box. It should be spacious and clean. They do not like to use a dirty litter box. Another thing you must keep in mind is that the litter box should be placed in a quiet corner of the house.
- Keep a close watch on the cat's behavior and personality as they have this tendency to hide illnesses and injuries. If you notice any such sign that suggests that the pet could be sick, consult your vet immediately. When you fondle their fur, look for signs of any hidden injuries, parasite infestation or lumps. Such problems should be treated on time.
- Even if your pet cats are in good health condition, you should take them to the vet once in a year for a check up. Regular physical examination will prevent any major cat disease like diabetes, obesity, bone and joint disease and so on. They should be vaccinated against rabies, leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Discuss this issue with your vet who will give you proper guidance on the vaccines that your pet needs.
- A domestic tabby cat should be spayed or neutered under the supervision of the vet. Such surgeries are conducted to sterilize the cats so that they do not reproduce. This is an important step of tabby cat care as they breed huge numbers of unwanted kittens as long as they live. Spaying is the simplest way of controlling the growth of the population of tabby cats in your homes. The biggest advantage of spaying is that it reduces the risk of some cancers in the cats and thus increases their lifespan.