Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

National Tabby Cat Day 2024: When It Is & How It’s Celebrated

Ed Malaker

By Ed Malaker

man holding scottish fold gray tabby cat

Tabby cats have a telltale “M” on their forehead and stripes on their face and body. You can see the pattern in many recognized breeds, as it is extremely common. If you have a tabby cat, you likely want to celebrate them on National Tabby Cat Day, which takes place on April 30 of each year. Keep reading as we explain how it got started and give you tips on how to celebrate it with your friends.

hepper single cat paw divider


When Did National Tabby Cat Day Begin?

The Mayor’s Alliance for N.Y.C.’s Animals, Bideawee, and Triumph Books celebrated the original National Tabby Cat Day on April 30, 2016.1 The first event featured a book signing and cat adoption that benefited Bideawee and a local shelter for cats and dogs. Pet owners noticed it and started celebrating it on April 30 of every year.

Why Do We Celebrate National Tabby Cat Day?

National Tabby Cat Day helps celebrate the joy that these cats bring into our lives, and it also hopes to inform the population that tabby is a coat pattern and not a cat breed. The pattern connects the cat to their ancestors, including the African Wildcat, European Wildcat, and Asiatic Wildcat.

woman holding a gray and white tabby kitten
Image Credit: Mel Elias, Unsplash

The 5 Ways You Can Celebrate National Tabby Cat Day

1. Adopt

One of the best ways to celebrate National Tabby Cat Day is to adopt a cat from your local animal shelter. Doing so helps free up space and resources that can be used to help other animals. The cat that you adopt will be eternally grateful, and there is a good chance that they will increase your happiness in return.

2. Volunteer

If you can’t adopt a cat right now, you can volunteer at your local shelter. You can help socialize the cats and provide them with much-needed activity to help keep them healthy until they find new owners. In some areas, you can even provide administrative help.

animal shelter for cats
Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

3. Donate

Another way to celebrate National Tabby Cat Day is to donate what you can to your local animal shelter to help them acquire more resources.

4. Share

Share images of your tabby cat on social media to help encourage other people to do the same. Adding information to your posts about how tabby is a pattern and not a breed is also a good way to celebrate.

5. Treat

A few extra treats and plenty of attention is a great way to thank your pet for everything that they do. Spending time playing with your cat will make you both feel happier.

a tabby cat being fed a cat treat by hand
Image Credit: Jakub Zak, Shutterstock

The 4 Types of Tabby Cat

  • Mackerel: The Mackerel Tabby cat has vertical stripes along their sides, similar to a mackerel fish or tiger, and these can be broken or solid.
  • Classic: Classic tabbies are the most common type, and these cats have swirling stripes on the sides that often resemble a bullseye. They will also have a light-colored butterfly pattern on their shoulders.
  • Ticked Tabby: Even fields of agouti hairs create the ticked tabby pattern, resulting in few to no stripes or bands on the back and sides. That said, the “M” on the forehead is usually still visible, and there can be dark stripes on the legs.
  • Spotted Tabby: Many experts believe that the spotted tabby is a mackerel pattern that’s broken into spots across the cat’s sides.
tabby cat lying on the Floor
Image Credit: Esin Deniz, Shutterstock

Other Interesting Things About Tabby Cats

  • Tabby cats love attention and will often interrupt you to get it.
  • Wild tabby cats will often form colonies to stay warm and find food.
  • Many tabby cat owners report that their cats are excellent hunters and keep their homes free of mice and other intruders.
  • Many tabby cat owners report that their pets are intelligent and easy to train.

hepper single cat paw divider



National Tabby Cat Day occurs on April 30 every year. The Mayor’s Alliance for N.Y.C.’s Animals, Bideawee, and Triumph Books started it in 2016 to celebrate these pets’ greatness and raise awareness that the tabby pattern is not a breed. You can celebrate by treating and spending more time with your cat. You can also help by donating to a local shelter or volunteering. If you don’t have a cat, National Tabby Cat Day is a great time to adopt one from your local shelter.

See Also:

Featured Image Credit: Standret, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database