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The Tiger Cat

Tiger Cat portraitPortrait of a Tiger Cat

The term “tiger cat” doesn’t refer to a breed of cat, it is simply a color pattern that may occur in almost any type of domestic cat.

Tiger cats come in two main styles, either a brown or beige body color, with black or brown stripes, or a red or orange body color with stripes that are a darker shade of red or orange.

Domestic cats never really have the color scheme of an actual tiger – orange body, black stripes. But tiger cats are cool just the same.

The tiger color pattern is more officially referred to as “mackerel tabby”. This is one of the four tabby patterns recognized, and is a pattern of thin stripes that cover the entire body and ring around the neck, limbs and tail.

Because tabbies also come in other patterns that are not striped, one could say that when it comes to the color patterns on domestic cats that

all “tiger cats” are “tabbies” but not all “tabbies” are “tiger cats”.

A tiger striped cat can be any of a majority of pure-bred cat breeds, especially American Shorthairs, American Bobtails and Maine Coon cats.

Many Domestic Shorthair cats (the “mutts” of the cat world) are “tiger cats” and the color can be seen in long-haired kitties too, both among Domestic longhair cats and any number of pedigreed cats including Persians.


Tiger cat descriptive wordsHow Do You Describe a Tiger Cat?

Tiger Cat-Stats

Tiger cat in grassTiger cat in grass


Toyger- the ultimate tiger cat

Tiger cats are one of the classic color patterns most folks think of when they think “cat. This is the same coloring seen in many small wildcats around the world from which the domestic cat descended. 

Stripes accent the contours of the cats body, and add expression to the face. In the center of the forehead, the stripes almost always form the letter “M”, which stands for “marvelous” of course.

Because tiger cats are tiger-striped tabbies, they have the “tabby personality”.

Most tiger cat owners will tell you that there is more than just the color of their cat that is special. They tend to be quite “cat-like”, occasionally aloof, but more often mysterious, whimsical and even a little magical.

The tiger striped pattern may occur among any number of purebred cats, and of course, among mixed breeds and un-registered house cats as well.

The tiger color does appear in some particular breeds quite often, though.

So, if you love the color pattern, and want to have some idea of the likely size, temperament, and genetic tendencies your new kitten may have, consider these: The Manx cat, the Scottish Fold cat, the American short hair and British short hair cats, the Oriental short hair cat, the Siberian cat, the Exotic short hair cat, and the Persian cat.

Even exotic breeds like the LaPerm cat, the Munchkin cat,  American curl, the Sphynx cat and the Devon rex  and Cornish rex cats have tiger colored individuals on a regular basis, so with a little effort, you could find a cat that is not only a perfect fit for you, but also your favorite color!

Tiger cat closeupTiger cat closeup
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Tiger KittenTiger Kitten!

Tiger kittens tend to be very active , busy and adventurous.

Often a handful to corral and decidedly head-strong, they may put themselves in precarious situations until they learn their limitations.

Kitten-proofing is definitely recommended for anyone considering adopting or purchasing any kitten. High furniture should be off limits, caution should be taken when holding these wriggly little youngsters, particularly when carrying them across hard wood or tile floors.

Also pay attention to spaces under counters were a kitten could squeeze through to take a nap under the dishwasher.

In appearance, the Tiger kitten is basically a miniature adult, although sometimes tiger kittens are born without their stripes and the coloring appears slowly over the first few weeks of life.

They tend to grow at an average rate and reach mature height at about 6 months, filling out and maturing to full size and weight at about one year old.

The color can be found in any of dozens of pure-bred cats so there are many to choose from, and tiger kittens are regularly available for adoption at local shelters.

M is for MarvelousM is for Marvelous

favorite cats


tiger cat

Tiger cats come in red, brown or grey colors but the coat pattern is always fully striped.  Cats like the red and white lady below are not usually referred to as “tiger cats” because the amount of white takes away from the “wild” cat look, and really doesn’t resemble a tiger

The rugged gent stalking through the grass probably somewhere in the jungles of Sumatra is what we’re talking about when we’re taking tiger cat.

But the thing is real tigers have very orange fur and very black stripes mtigeraking for extreme contrast and a lot of visual impact – WOW!

Butiger catt when most domestic cats have really black colored stripes, like the cat in the grass, the body color tends to be dark as well, more like black stripes on brown than black on orange. And when the body color is rich and orange like the gorgeous kitty in the tree, well, guess what… the stripes are orange too. 

Still, the term “tiger” can be sold with the right attitude,tiger cat close-up as demonstrated by the regal individual peaking through the underbrush, probably in Siberia.

Of course the jig is up with the inclusion of a collar or other such instrument of domestication, and bells ruffles and ribbons only exacerbate the dissolution of the charade…..

tiger cat

tiger cat

remember a tiger is a wild animal so a sense of wildness really should be maintained at all times.

this is embarrassing ….  

tiger cat in the tropics
                                                                      Notice the use of both a sunhat AND an umbrella – clear givewawy that this is actually a domestic animal.       


Longhaired Tiger CatLonghaired Tiger Cat
  • A tiger cat is a color, not a breed
  • All kinds of purebred cat breeds can be found with the “tiger” pattern – even Persians and Sphynx
  • Tiger cats are usually very “cat-like” in personality.
  • Garfield is probably the most famous tiger cat of all- he is also considered a “tabby cat”
  • “Tiger cats” are tabby cats with stripes

Tiger cat

Next cat from A to Z is the Tonkinese  

  So Much More to Explore…

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