Breed of domestic cat of short- or longhaired fur. The distinctive patterning of the coat is inherited from the cat’s pre-domesticated ancestors. It is believed that all color variations of shorthaired cats have been bred from the tabby. The coat’s ground color is either gray or golden brown overlaid with stripes (“mackerel”), blotches (“classic”, or (less frequently) spots. There are many varieties.
The name is derived from the striped watered silk, known in Britain as tabbi silk, produced by the weavers of the Attabiya district of Baghdad.